September 9, 2010
The Cultural Center (Washington and Michigan)
Today it feels like fall. It is the first day I have had to scrounge through my winter clothes to look for my one red sweater. The sky is grey.
On the way to our hug Sara tells me about our hug fans in her office. One of her co-workers in particular, Kelsey, has come out to almost every one of our hugs. Apparently, several days ago Kelsey was watching a scary movie and when she started to feel freaked out she just thought about us hugging and then felt better. I smile when Sara tells me this.
Sara is getting married in about two weeks. I am more excited about her wedding then I have ever been about a wedding. Ever. I have been making a ton of origami, which will go on the tables. Sara has also asked me to speak at her wedding. It feels like an immense responsibility. On the way to the hug we talk about her wedding arrangements. I know it is a very stressful time for her. I feel honored to be part of her special day and the preparation. I am closer to her now then I ever have been before. I know it has something to do with the hugs.
We find our spot
and wrap our arms around one another
our hearts’ centers connect
this is something like coming home.
Today I am still
I bring quiet patience from the first moment.
We are a silent presence,
overlooked and unnoticed,
yet we still hold space for ourselves
and every person that passes.
“Can’t move, huh?” a man says as he passes. For a moment I imagine this to be true. We went in for a brief hug and just got stuck. I like this image.
“I thought there was a sadness,” says another woman. She seems relieved. I understand what she means. Sadness is the only socially acceptable reason I can think of for two people embrace for a long period of time. If I approached two people hugging on a grey fall day I might think there was a sadness too.
A man walks by on the sidewalk. He does not stop but every couple of paces he looks back to see if we are still hugging. Every time he looks back we are still hugging.
A woman seems confused about how to interact with us. Another person explains to her what we are doing. This person is our Hugevangelist. She seems like she wants to hug us. “I don’t have to hug you for an hour, do I?” she says. No, we reply. “What about three seconds?” she says. “I would hug you for three seconds.” But she still does not come forward.
Today the hug is quiet. Very few people pass us as they bustle through the intersection. But I do not feel invisible. On the contrary, today it seems we have created some kind of powerful and energetic cocoon around ourselves. We are present to those who are looking.