DOGVILLE’S Pretty Girl

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The curtains were just not the right color that afternoon. Therefore there was no reason to stay any further.

The next morning, the family portraits on that mantel seemed too exuberant. Therefore this one will never do.

An overly-friendly neighbor offering to open the gate; the locust trees in front not maturing quickly enough; the lack of four-door cars on the Boulevard – all perfectly good reasons not to settle here and call this place home. There were simply too many things not exactly perfect in this house; on this block; in this neighborhood. Why wasn’t everyone fixing all these terrible problems immediately? Did they forget all the rules? Did they run out of time? Or could they just not see all these terrible problems?

Surely, these sole-proprietors and residents have been warned before. It is obvious things cannot continue at this tragic rate and in this uncivilized manner. Therefore it all must be destroyed again. Everything must be burnt to the ground and they should start from the beginning. They have not followed the proper rules and instructions. And therefore, Grace will have no place and time for them.

Grace was the gangster’s daughter who ordered everything burnt to the ground… for their own sake, of course.

She once saw a beautiful little town in the midst of magnificent mountains where people had hopes and dreams. And she believed the people had the right to make the most of their lives. But if people in that town didn’t like or want Grace, there was nothing she could do about that. Grace is a lost traveler. Grace is a metaphor. It’s an unmerited favor. It’s immunity; a manner of forgiveness; a pardon. Grace was also a 15th century Dominican monk who sold indulgences in exchange for saved souls. And on occasion, it is even a prayer; a reprieve, a state and an act.

Most of the time, grace can only be given or offered from a position of power. Even when an opportunity presents itself, we have to arrive at a judgment of the situation beforehand – a moral judgment. It’s unavoidable. We cannot help ourselves to be arrogant sometimes when our instincts poke and prod at us with our individual righteousness, opinions and tastes based on our different experiences. Perhaps someone else’s curtains were not the wrong color, or their family portraits not too exuberant after all.

And even if I can still judge and hold firm my opinions, the point is not having to do so.

I will never arrive at grace if I cannot even substitute my judgment with a sign of compassion. We do not arrive at Love when everything feels wonderful and the future holds unlimited promise – That’s just joy. We reach Love when we are challenged, but still believe there is that sustainable joy ahead.. and we choose to proceed towards it. The manner in which we proceed, I believe shows us who has grace.

Arguably, grace is not essential at all to acquire what we want… what we need. I don’t even honestly know if I need or want Grace in my life. But, at the risk of confirming my own arrogance, I think I deserve some of it.

Well, that was ungraceful of me! What the Hell… I can always buy an Indulgence.

About The Author

I made a choice to enter the real estate field early while considering pursuing a career either as an architect, psychologist, musician or an active duty U.S. Marine. Starting as a full time Realtor and a top agent in my first office, I quickly realized I had to expand my knowledge and education into the commercial market to better serve both my clients and customers. Experience through a varied background in many aspects of the business is what I have earned since 1987, including studying abroad for partner market investments, active memberships with National Real Estate Associations, local Equal Housing committees, and neighborhood Chambers of Commerce. Continuing education has proven to me that the industry is ever changing, and we all must meet the needs and demands of our previous and future clients and customers on local, national, and international scopes. Being proud and very grateful to have worked with the most successful and professional companies in Chicago such as Prudential, Coldwell Banker, and Rubloff only re-affirmed that the most important professional relationship in my industry is, and will continue to be directly between each Realtor and each individual client and customer. The real estate industry has changed and evolved dramatically, at the fastest pace ever in only these past few tumultuous years. Today, again I have made a choice to position myself to best use the myriad of resources available to me, to first and foremost, benefit my clients' needs above any franchise or companies' business strategy. I have been presented many Real Estate awards throughout my career. But one that I hold in high regard is a professional QSC designation with an almost 100% rating for referral, satisfied, and repeat clients. My work and reputation within the Real Estate community, business referral partners and fellow Realtor colleagues is also an indelible part of my business practice. As a Chicago Bucktown / Wicker Park resident and property owner, I greatly appreciate being able to invest personally in this market and donate a small portion from each of my closing commissions to the Chicago Mercy Home for Boys and Girls organization assisting abused and homeless children. I have always sustained and invested in my real estate career, and will continue as long as I am able to be productive, make a positive difference and truly enjoy it. It is important to me that my clients, customers and collegues enjoy it as well!

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