Austin’s Film Festival kicked off this week with the annual Food & Film benefiting young filmmakers in Austin. Some call it the best party of the Festival.
It was a lovely night indeed. For me it was an opportunity to catch up with Austin’s media movers and shakers, and run into a screenwriter or two and ‘play Padma’ for the night as I try Amuse Bouche size portions from Austin’s finest restaurants.
But this year, I would have an unique encounter. As I was leaving the event I ran into a friend who was sitting in the bar with a group of his favorite people. We were in the throws of introductions, when I saw this shiny beautiful something hanging from the wrist of a man named Kevin. I halted the banter to let him know I appreciated his watch.
Kevin immediately took the watch off and reached it over the table for me to see it. A little surprised, I took the watch and put it on. What a heavy thing I marveled as I tried to guess its’ weight. I started modeling the watch.
And then I said what came to mind, “It’s not about the time, it’s about the Watch.”
All of a sudden, Kevin’s eyes got big and he rushed over to my side of the table.
He got down on one knee took my wrist, and said:
K: Listen to me. I want you to keep this watch, and mail it back to me when you are done with it.
Me: What? *laughter*
K: I’m serious. The watch was just returned to me after I lent it to someone for two years. And now I want you to have it.
Me: But you don’t even know me!
K: It doesn’t matter. What you just said, “it’s not about the time, it’s about the watch,” was enough. Here’s my card, mail it back when you are done with it.
Unbelievable. Seriously, who does that? Who gives something of value to a perfect stranger with no guarantee of it being returned? Sure we give water or food to the person in need. But do we ever give something to someone who isn’t in need, who isn’t deserving, just because?
I don’t really know what Kevin gets out of it, but in the two days since, it has had an effect on me:
- I want to wear the watch everyday. Because I know I won’t have it forever, so I want to get the most out of it…enjoy it. Hmmm…wouldn’t it be nice if we treated everything we had like that…including life?
- I appreciate the watch more because it isn’t mine. Because I didn’t deserve or earn it, it was graciously given to me. There is something about grace…
- I want to do something great with the watch. I don’t know what, but I want to be able to mail it back to Kevin one day and say, “Your watch was a part of ___”
- I want to give away my own ‘watch’…not sure what it will actually be, but I’m hoping it will come to me spontaneously like it did to Kevin.
I guess I would say now, It’s not about the watch, it’s about the act.
Do you have a ‘Watch’ in your life that you gave or received?