" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

July 08, 2009

Spirits Disguised

There is this man who has been coming into the employment centre where I work for some time now. Possibly, before, and as long as I've been working there. He has the most beautiful long blonde hair down his back. Sometimes he lets his beautiful long blond hair flow freely. Sometimes he wears it in a knot on top of his head and that gives a more oriental flavour to his appearance. His face is very pleasing, well proportioned and peaceful. In fact, his whole being is peaceful.

He wears the kind of clothes that make him look a bit Asian in his way of dress and yet he is definitely not Asian. He teaches Qi Gong and when I asked him if he was still doing that he responded by saying, yes, I'm still teaching and... learning... and studying...

He's a carpenter and apparently a very good one according to my co-worker. I didn't talk to him much for the first many months because he's very quiet and so when I think of him it feels a bit ethereal; as if he just floats in, doesn't take up space, he doesn't impose on your energy with his, and he does what he needs to do and then leaves.

He speaks very softly. A while ago, perhaps a month or so, he needed some help with his resume, so I helped him and that's when I began to talk to him in more depth. I learned that if he could do anything he would make houses that are oriental looking. He's very interested in creating buildings or gates or any type of structure that has an oriental feel to it. He's knowledgeable about green building and is familiar with rammed earth housing and building.

Today, I had to ask him what that meant. What is rammed earth? I asked and he said, Are you kidding?

No, I said. I don't know what that means. So, he explained it to me and afterwards he said, maybe one day he could build me a rammed earth house and for a second, in my imagination, I revelled in that imagery.

I said, that would be nice but you have to have land for that I said. I don't own land. How could I ever own land here? And, then our conversation meandered through spiritual ways of thinking and perceiving and him referring to how he truly believes that I will own land because he has faith, if I understood him correctly, that it's only a matter of perception. I responded by saying that I understood the intent of his belief but unfortunately I wasn't at the point of believing it.

He's beginnning to grow on me this person. He came once to this vendor beside me at the market and after he left I asked the man if he knew him. He said, yes, he's very special. He's not of this world were his exact words. And, I thought that was such an appropriate way of describing him.

Anyway, this type of interaction is what I most like about my job. Every day I am reminded that we should not judge people by how they look until we have had the opportunity to get to know them. He is one of those people that reminds me of this. And I like that. When I worked at UBC, people were how they seemed. Educated. Formal. Conservative. And, for the most part, very nice. Maybe they weren't but what I"m trying to say is that there weren't too many surprises in terms of people and the way they were. Homogeneous.

Here on Salt Spring I am much more surprised by people. They are often disguised. Their bright spirits are often cloaked in unusual clothing or difficult circumstances or physical bodies that betray their intelligence, humour, insight, depth.

I like that about my job. It's as if what I envisioned and was seeking in my imagination prior to moving here has unfolded in a way that I would never have believed had I not been experiencing it daily.

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