As I hurried from my car to the door of the Royal Panda it was a thrill to see the faces of some of my dear friends already seated at a table near the front window.
I am honored to know some of the wisest and most honorable folks walking the planet. I am sure everyone knows what I mean–when you look around you at all of the talented and giving and intelligent people that you know, it seems so oddly impossible that the world could be such a hostile place.
Just being there was such a sweet gift from each of them. They are the kind of people who always have ten full plates of activities spinning while they juggle work, family, civic and church duties. The colorful beribboned gift bags waiting on my chair were truly an embarrassment of riches–words like, “but you all shouldn’t have” seem so trite, but they were heartfelt.
They shouldn’t have. But they did. And it really was fun.
There are two kinds of people–those who always seem to find the perfect gift–and those who never do. Of course it is not surprising that my perfect and generous friends fall into the former category.
Ann selected a pair of small scissors from China that were artfully crafted to look like a crane. Their long thin blades formed the beak of the crane.
Besides the crane’s obvious connection to the Wu Food Project, the scissors were a tip of the hat from a fellow artist, an affirmation of my interest in cutting paper and collecting ephemera for my collages.
When the GPAC Guild held a Masked Ball to raise money for GPAC, I created a number of masks for the event. Ann fell in love with the one pictured above and wore it to the gala.
Now when I cut paper, I will not have to worry that I am going to lose part of an image because the blades of the scissors are too thick.
When I use them I will remember our Ann, who is such a fine artist herself. And I will think of my birthday dinner at Mr. Wu’s, and about the legend of the crane.
I will pray that our friendship will always be borne aloft by the crane’s broad wings and the silken ones of blue butterflies, bearing us up and away from the cares and burdens of life that weigh us down and lifting us up so that we may enjoy an old age filled with happiness and good health.
That would be my birthday wish.