Frankly, coming off a full, stressful  workday, I was still in task mode. However, I was determined to check out the art fair across the street and see if there was anything “interesting”. Power-walking through the aisles of stalls I scanned for photographers and visual artists whose work grabbed me. “Seen his stuff. Not my thing.” “Saw her work last year. That image of a flamenco dancer outdoors is kind of dramatic . . .” “Oh, I like the geometry of the palm fronds.” Scout and scoot. I hardly paused at each stall as my eyes scanned ahead.

I was headed toward the exit when The Ambush occurred. A white coat hanging on a form in an apparel stall stopped me cold. The shape of it was . . . different. Intimately human like a living presence. It drew me in. As I stepped closer I saw – and felt – that the texture was . . . well, I don’t have words for it. Gauzey. Like spun sugar in intricate webs. Translucent silk and felt interwoven.

All of my judgements and scanning fell away as I stood in the presence of this beautiful apparition.

And when I stepped into the stall I was stunned by all the varieties of textures and colors of the fabrics in jackets, dresses, scarves. Like stepping onto an exotic planet of alien colors both subtle and fantastical. I looked mostly at the scarves, taking in the colors, feeling each unique texture, and began to see visions of how they could adorn my portraiture subjects. I spent nearly an hour dreaming possibilities until Kali the artist had to close up shop. I took home a rich brown scarf and a vivid Chagall-blue one.

The next day I made a pilgrimage back to the art fair, spent another hour with Kali talking about color, and brought home four more scarves. My scarves are now hanging on an ornamental bamboo ladder ready to help set the stage for a client’s beautiful portrait. They inspire me. I’ve made a home for them as they make a home for me.

Beauty is a playful trickster she is, and an ambusher, waylaying  me with wonder and delight . . . when I at least meet her halfway and open my eyes. 

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