When an old friend called me recently about his visit to the city It
surprised me, not because of the imminent visit, since had heard it from
another friend/relative, I was surprised and a bit thrown off because this meant
that now I will have to take part in the tribal activities which include small
talk, political and global problem solving sessions , food and health issues of
various attendees, whose median age is somewhere in the 55’s and believe me
hours are spent in discussing the properties of flax-seed, how to grind, what
color to buy etc, until one of the attendees, a micro-biologist puts it all to
rest by declaring that best would be the extracted oil, since most other
methods lack adequate absorption….”Probably” he declares after a
sufficient pause and having made all around eye contact with those of us still
paying attention and not completely absorbed in their various hand-held magical
devises. I say magical, because if you happen to look at these being’s hunched
over stares, you would know what I mean.

Anyhow back to the friend from Eastern Canada and the tribal summits,
held usually at one of my older sibling’s home. The fact is that I do end up
enjoying all this, once in the pen, it is the sameness of all the times that I
have a difficulty with. So, I was happy to get the call from this visiting
eastern friend, and I must qualify “friend” here, in that, our friendship
is not an active one and as such do not call or E-Mail each with exceptions of
major events etc. and we get each other’s news from my relatives here, who are
in an active friendship mode with him, in that spend holidays etc. together and
have extended tending protocols with each other’s friends/ relatives etc.

The eating talking and discussions took place on schedule and the
friend at one point asked if he could acquire one of my paintings which he had
seen in a show in 2009, I was of course, thrilled, and perhaps those of you
in the field would know how gratifying it is to have a respected friend or relative  wish to hang one of your art pieces in their home. So as were walking along downtown,on a sunny afternoon, and me basking in   glory of being accepted as an artist by someone whose opinion I respected, we ran into one of his acquaintances and without any hesitation what so ever  he introduced me as someone’s sister. (What struck me most was they did not know my brother).I stepped way to allow privacy in a busy marketplace and soon realized why I had done so… It took a few seconds longer and I let the full import of the introduction sink in and as we walked, i ever so gently why I was introduced as an appendage and not as a person in my own right etc,

After the usual back and forth of sorry, doesn’t matter etc. We walked
on and at the leave-taking my friend very sincerely / gingerly, gently apologized
once more. With me, that is the wrong thing to do. I need time to cool off, but
being a linear thinker and an engineer, he sought to put a final spoon of water
on ash, not realising the heat of live coal underneath.

As I write this, I realise
that I was a bit too sensitive. Perhaps in a day or so I will send a
note…better still send it along with the painting. Oh Yeah!!!