The yo-yo provides an interesting image. The string is tied to one’s finger at one end. The yo-yo dances at the other end, but it only dances as well as the operator’s skills will allow. Practice increases the intricacy of the dance, its fluidity and elegance.
If the yo-yo is the goal, then the string is the path and the hand is the will. The particular yo-yo in what follows marks a change of course. This is why I thought it was a fitting image.
July 10. Jeffersonville Pizza Department Facebook page. This is one of the pages I manage. On this day, a new private message appeared. It was from Natacha Liuzzi, of Brown Dog Books & Gifts, in Hinesburg.
Natacha – Hi there! We stopped in on Monday and brought you a wooden yo-yo from Brown Dog Books. Did you find it?
Scribe – Can you give us a clue? Is it hidden somewhere around the building? Did a squirrel take it? No yo-yo in sight and now all we can think about is playing!
Natacha – My son said he put it on your door upstairs.
Scribe – Hmmm! Looks like we may have to pry it out of someone’s hand and fight for it! Will let you know who wins! Thanks again. This is fun.
Natacha – Wrassle ’em down to the ground!!
Scribe – With pleasure!
Natacha – Any luck?
Scribe – Sort of. Chef Jack got it and won’t share! He makes great food, so he is forgiven… for now.
Natacha – Ha!
I love these playful exchanges. The Internet is interesting that way. As a blogger and Facebook page manager, I often stop in my tracks and realize how this is a place where first impressions truly happen with a meeting of the minds. Everything is based on tone, language, even story telling.
In a short time, I had all the pages I manage connected to Brown Dog Books & Gifts and saw Natacha make her own appearance on them as well. This is exactly how the networking process works. It is so simple, yet so powerful.
I thoroughly enjoyed our online exchanges in the course of representing and networking our respective pages, so this weekend I decided it was time for a road trip and a face-to-face encounter. I was also curious about perhaps offering some of my artwork at Natacha’s shop. I felt it had to be a great environment and I am rather particular about that. So I brought along just one of each of a few items, for show and tell.
I arrived there soon after noon. The first thing Natacha did was to offer me my own yo-yo!
We chatted for a while. The meeting of minds continued off screen. I indicated my interest in perhaps having items on consignment there. I did not want to make that the focus of my visit. Natacha immediately asked to see the items I had brought and proceeded to offer me a consignment contract on the spot for the small one-of-each batch. Now I have to build inventory.
While she entered my business information and items in her computer, I browsed a very pleasant book and gift shop offering a selection that stands alone. You know how you can browse two book shops and the same titles jump at you row after row. My eyes were met with something new at every turn. I came home with The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo and Kyle’s Island, by Sally Derby.
More than this, I came home with a sense of having taken a first step in a new direction, and exactly in the right place on the path.
The image of the yo-yo fits so well, as does its presence in this story. Sometimes you release the yo-yo and it just won’t climb back up the string. Getting a new grasp on this art path of mine is like seeing the elusive yo-yo climb back up into my hand, effortlessly. I hold my world on a string.
The next time you feel like taking a road trip, I invite you to venture to Hinesburg and Brown Dog Books & Gifts. You never know what revelation you might find. Ho, and if you’re in the mood for a delicious bite, drive a little way down the road to dine at Good Times Café.
Thank you, Natacha.