Monday, November 23, 2009
The first occasion that you wear a gift shirt should be an occasion.
Selecting the occasion well is a token of gratitude to the giver.
You get to walk through part of a day looking different from how you have looked for a while. If the fit is right and the color a favorite and the first washing successful in bringing a desired softness to the fabric, you look – and feel – like new.
Or so you hope.
And gifts are about hope. They are about a hope that connections will deepen and prospects improve for the important people in your life and the ways you get to interact with them.
This last Saturday I wore my new grey plaid flannel shirt. It was my birthday weekend, and I was going places during the day for what would prove in the end a series of treats.
I would not expect everyone to choose to start a birthday weekend with a stroll through a sprawling urban cemetery. The morning was a delicately cool one, however, and the garden spaces through which I got to wend my way were landscaped with monuments and tombstones and chapels. The end of fall was all quiet and November mood.
As meditative a walk as I had chosen, I discovered every now and then that I had not been the only person alert to the attractions of this kind of morning. I spotted other individuals on the cemetery paths, wearing the same easy layers as I, appearing at times engrossed by the paved road beneath their feet, at other times directing their gaze up and around to all the high and quiet drama of the monuments.
One particular view caught the attention of two of us at the same time. As one man raised his iPhone to click on the image of a cemetery chapel, I walked up behind him and aimed my BlackBerry at his careful focussing. I enjoyed the prospect of capturing a scene similar to one I must occasion from time to time for other visitors.
And you know what? I was glad to have on my new shirt at that moment. I was glad to feel like new.