we met on my last trip to portland.
and if it wasn’t for her overt kindness, i’m not sure we would have really met at all. she offered to take me out for a day while i was there…who just so quickly signs up to entertain a friend of a friend? for a whole day?
she was so keen to show me the city she adores. she took me to mothers and powells on hawthorne. to noah’s bagels and modest mouse’s house. to stumptown and into the bagdad. she took me all over.
but the best was lunch at por qué no taqueria on hawthorne.
and this was what i wrote about it on the train ride back to canada, november six.
“we sat under the tent on a picnic table sipping some seriously stiff margaritas and chewing on tortilla chips.
talking about church and how to go without getting pissed off.
about the counting crows lyrics she wants me to hear and the donald miller book i want her to read.
talking about guys. about how scary it is to believe in Gods promises when that might mean you’ll be alone.
about finding community and what we are willing to trade for love and how to feel strong.
about Gods direction and the fight against it.
how to survive. this whole thing.
she sat there in solidarity and let me be what it was that i was, even when my eyes glossed over with the potential hoover dam of tears. she granted validity to “what if it’s not going to be ok? what if!” and didn’t try to instantly coax me into optimism.
this mutual “hell, do i know what you mean” is the greatest comfort of my life. the only other time i’ve felt that kind of comraderie with someone i had just met was with bex billington in new zealand. we’d sit at the patio table in the evening heat, smoking djarums and drinking coffee, occasionally dunking a timtam. and we’d just let it fly. the hours would walk past and i felt so understood.
its like God made a really big heart, chopped it into a few pieces and flung it into the chests of women that would hopefully find each other. just so they could sip strong margaritas together someday so that loneliness wouldn’t be a condition that could steal them away.”
we’re going for dinner at por qué no taqueria tomorrow night. five months later, round two.
i couldn’t be more grateful. this is a woman that is heart of my hearts.
without knowing it, she saved a lot of me that day. i have no doubt God had her play His right hand, because i was pretty much ready with the white flag, ready to surrender because the weight i was carrying was too big.
and she came along and shouldered it. after knowing me for a couple hours.
she’s kind of extraordinary.