The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

Love Sign Date

Hello dearest ones!

I am happy to share a bit with you about a magical day I had today.

I woke up this morning with the instinct to take the Love Sign to the mall. I don’t hang out much at the mall, but I knew I wanted to look for a nightgown (I’ve been feeling to treat myself to something lovely and loose and pink, like I wore as a little girl), and I knew that, with temperatures getting up around 102 F this afternoon, I wasn’t going to be holding the sign outside anywhere.

Well, don’t you know, it turned out to be a lovely time.

When I first got to the mall, I spent almost an hour audio Skype-ing with my good friend in England, supporting and encouraging one another. I loved having her “in the mall” with me, thank you Nordstrom wifi. It was a nice bridge, getting me comfortable sitting in my chair and having people smile and wave as they were going by, my hands free (ear buds in) to hold the sign and wave back.

Then, after our call, the interactions started pouring in.

First there was the pimply teenaged boy in a black t-shirt who looked back and earnestly said, “I love you.”

Then, shyly but surely crossing the path of people to come see me, was gentle Mary Beth. She was wearing an orange button down shirt with white stripes and said, “I’m usually not very brave,” but she wanted to come say hi to me. She was amazing and we hugged and connected. She said that she and her husband are going on vacation to France on Wednesday, and she’s really excited. I asked her to think of me when she sees a painting that takes her breath away. Sweet, sweet Mary Beth.

Then came a guy who warmly squeezed my hand and said that he and his people were waiting for me to get off of my call so they could come tell me that they loved me too. We took pictures with his friends.

Then came Angela:

angela

Angela waited patiently to talk with me and then said, “Is there anything you need that we can do for you?” What a wonderful question to be asked! In fact, I did need a pee break, and I asked her to stay with my sign while I ran off to do that. She works for Nordstrom HR and thought maybe I was putting on an event that she could help with. So very cool. Thanks for the pee break!

Then I saw a woman across the way (I was facing an open-sided coffee shop, near the entrance to Nordstrom) see me and jump up and down. I had to go toward her, and upon approach she told me that she’s just been in Austin one month and that she doesn’t really know anybody here. She said the gestures that she’s been seeing around town, like mine, “make a difference.” So great! Welcome!

What else is there to tell? I’ve been working through the beloved Artist’s Way course (for my fourth time), and I’ve been painfully aware at my lack of intentional Artist Dates. Well, no longer. I intended that I’d take one today, and the instincts I got this morning were good! I had a great time at the mall. And although I didn’t end up with a new nightgown (still on the lookout for that one!), I made a new friend named Grace (of course) in the lingerie department, and, on my way out, I found and bought this t-shirt.

don't quit your daydream

Your instincts are good too! Follow ’em.

I love you.

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Love Signs

As we move over to this, our new site, I’m transferring all that you’ve seen so far about the Love Signs. Want a smile? Scroll here.

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This picture makes me feel so happy. Look at their beautiful, relaxed faces. Delight!

Thasswhassup.

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I love my job. I have had other jobs that I’ve loved, or at least really liked, but this one takes the cake. Even to see one person be surprised and smile, it just makes it all worthwhile. While I was out on the corner tonight, it was a summery experience. At least what I nostalgically think of as summer: Mild, warm temperatures, green, lush trees, looking far distances across fields or quiet streets, light evenings . . . it was very relaxed and I felt like I was already on the road. Living the summer travel adventure right there. Perfectly right there. I was humming a lot tonight and almost dancing around. And also my arms got kind of tired and I realized that some of my shoulder issues may be exacerbated by holding the sign. And it gave me more love for my shoulders and their woes. I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and I would relish the chance to allow this to be my full time and only job. Oh wait, it is. The Therapy Booth is alive and well. <3

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South 1st and Mary, right next to Bouldin Creek, on an unseasonably warm day in February. I love you!

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Here I am in front of Flashback on South 1st in Austin. It was a chilly afternoon! This photo and sign-holding session was the inspiration for the banner doodle on this page. My dad had been asking me if I had a plan. When I came in from holding my sign that evening, I drew my plan.

I love you!

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This day a lady named Kathy handed me a quarter. She had long braids, wrapped up in black cloth on her head, and she wore a long black dress with a plunging v-neck, and she said that morning her allergies had been killing her but that she was feeling better now. She sat on the bench beside me at the bus stop and waved at cars with me. She was delighted. We laughed a lot and we loved each other. We slapped five and giggled and hugged before she got on the bus. Thank you for the quarter and the smiles, Kathy! The above photo was taken by a woman named Mardi who pulled over to say hello and take a few pictures. Often I’ll ask folks to send me a copy of a picture, but I didn’t ask her to send me one, and I sort of wished I had. A few minutes later, while I was still out with the sign, I got a text message with a picture in it from my friend Shawn. It was this picture. I asked him, “How did I miss seeing you??!!” thinking he’d snapped it — and he drives a great big red milk truck, so he’s really hard to miss! He said his friend had sent it to him, with a message about why she loves this town. So he passed it back to me. A happy love circuit, connections made, love going round and round. Thanks you guys! I love you!

P.S. Kathy and I have met many times since this picture was taken. I have since moved out of the neighborhood where we would meet at the bus stop, but I saw her the day I was moving. Bitter sweet! What a great lady.

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