Friday, January 30, 2009

What's in a Friend's Name?

Sometimes you meet someone and there's an instant rapport. I'm not talking about entertaining each other, little bits of superficial laughter, or any of those rituals of interaction where you establish that you won't eat each other alive, and then there's a "wait and see" about whether you'll become acquantainces, friends, or very good friends.

I'm talking instant "I just met a friend today." I'm talking, "Yes, I'd even give you some of my art supplies. Here, take them now."

Here's what happend, and Ginny Gaskill's photo reminded me of it. She was at Leighanna's Metal Deck class and she took this photo and posted it to her blog:

leighanna light workshop

That's me on the left, Leighanna on the right, and a woman I met briefly at the NMBS workshop when I stopped by to plug various upcoming workshops at OFFCenter (and no, if I look bored, I really wasn't. Just antsy to get to work). She and I sat together after the demo and realized we both have the same first name: Mary.

She is Mary O'Hara and she's not one iota Irish. She's Hispanic -- her family is from Chimayo (now there's a power spot on a ley line or two). I'm Mary Tafoya and I'm not one iota Hispanic, but I am 5/8 Irish. Did we get the wrong names?

Maybe there was a balancing energy in that, LOL! because I so enjoyed working beside her. She was absolutely fearless in her method and completely accepting of the happenstance results (hey we were slathering patina, gesso, and many other things onto metal). I was being a bit more controlled that day, having learned that if I don't finish it then and there, I'll probably never get back to it. I had a plan. She had a non-plan. So, balance in that too.

She reminds me a bit of Betcey Ventrella, and she's got that same grounded, curious, having fun in life nature. Well the whole class had that nice, friendly vibe really, thanks to Leighanna. She was very attentive to everyone, and totally accepting of their stories and backgrounds and work.

Now I just remembered that Wendell Berry wrote a poem about meeting someone you feel like you know already:

The Recognition

You put on my clothes
and it was as though
we met some other place
and I looked and knew
you. This is what we keep
going through, the lyrical
changes, the strangeness
in which I know again
what I have known before.

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