Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the waiting area of my friend's office. She's an attorney and has a pretty hectic and stressed work life. I always notice that when I am in the vicinity of high pressure and stress, I always feel a bit uncomfortable. That kind of work environment is unfamiliar to me now, which is why I notice it so readily, although in my past work, I worked with high tension on a daily basis.

As I was waiting, I noticed something on an end table partially covered by magazines. When I looked closer, I could see it was a small sign about eight inches in length and two inches high, spelling out the word RELAX. I was so drawn to it, I picked it up to get a closer look. It was handmade from old fashioned long carpenter nails, creating the letters. The nails were soldered together in a way that the word RELAX, could stand on its own. As an extra little decorative touch, there was a small bit of yellow stained glass in the peak of the A.

First of all, I admired the creativity of the artist that created it. I also loved the simplicity, yet appreciated the power of the reminder to relax. I imagined someone carefully fitting and soldering the nails together and imagined their state of mind as they would have created it.

As I sat admiring the sculpture, I could overhear the voices of people inside the office. The conversation was filled with frustration and agitation. I couldn't help but think this sweet RELAX sign was not being appreciated and maybe not even noticed. Viewers of this art would have to be open and willing to take in its message. Buried under magazines, no one was even seeing it.

Later, when I told my friend how much I loved it, she said I should have it because I would give it a good home and appreciate it. Although I resisted at first, I really did want to accept it. Eventually I did and am very grateful for this little piece of art.

RELAX is now resting in a place of honor in my Family Room. I look forward to its reminder whenever I forget to slow down or find myself upset. It's amazing what one little word can do when you are open to receiving it.

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