Went down to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show this past weekend.
I should mention, in days of yor, whilst living in the Old Pueblo, I would've taken great pains to avoid this particular scene, not unlike Sedona during the Harmonic Convergence, or even, more currently, North Scottsdale during The Open.
Each can be said to have their own Sh*t Show potential so it was highly uncharacteristic that I found myself, Saturday, willingly delving into the belly of the beast.
Why, you may ask, might my lovely bride and I venture 300 miles round trip on a single day to mingle with the ravenous hordes? Read on, dear reader, read on.
We arose and departed at the crack of noon - she, having worked the previous night through in purveyance of spirits, fine and otherwise (okay it was really 11:15 but who could possibly pass up "crack of noon"), and with a 70 degree wind blowing back our proverbial collective hair, we put pedal to the metal.
2 hours later, having navigated the wasteland and some minor domestic trifles (nothing barring our spiritual sojourn of course) we found ourselves at the Riverside Inn or River Park Inn or Riverside Park Inn. There was definitely a "river" somewhere in the title. Physical evidence of any actual rivers was sadly lacking. Meanwhile, however...
We parked the road warrior, met our friends (of which, we have one or two ensconced in the spiritual strata of society - not unlike a hidden cache of sustenance in the desert, giving succor as needed... blah blah blah - what the hell was I talking about? Ah yes, moving on...).
My friend, henceforth known as Yarn (names changed to protect the innocent, not to mention my own potentially libelous ass) is a player of bowls. Tibetan brass bowls. I'd met him last year at a monastic retreat (no I haven't converted) and was attracted to him (not sexually) when he demonstrated same.
It was, like, a spiritual thing, dude.
He played the bowls (accomplished by steadily rotating a cloth covered stick around the outside until a beautiful multi-layered tone is emitted) and I resonated to same.
That was the beginning of a lovely bromance -and- now, nearly one year later, I find myself the owner of my very own bowl. Well, ok, it's not really mine - in the universal sense of cosmic oneness and impermanence - but at least I get to hang on to it for a while.
Oh, and I should mention the beloved and captivating LB - aka my bride - definitely led the charge, was the first to obtain a spiritual vessel of her own, and it was only after her promptings I purchased my own version - which, when properly coaxed, generates a deep, gentle and brassy "F".
This apparently, is for opening up one's heart chakra, and can be accompanied by the chanting of "ohm", which I swear the bowl generates on its own accord.
Later that night at work, LB related the day's experiences and subsequent purchase to her bar back as she poured drinks and he stocked the cooler.
Her tale was met by silence and a mischievous, sparkly-eyed sidelong glance.
She paused, and after a moment's realization, said "Dude*, it's not that kind of bowl."