Today was the beginning of Women’s History Month. And in honor and celebration of my ancestors and the generations of women who came before me, I was going to invite you to my studio for chai, storytelling and community. But today, this happened.

I was on the freeway, in 6th gear, driving 70, maybe 75 miles per hour, when it sounded and felt like the earth was caving in on itself inside my car. I think if I had waited even 30 seconds, maybe one minute longer, I may not have made it safely to the shoulder. Relieved but feeling vulnerable with cars and trucks whizzing by me at what seemed like a million miles per hour, I felt my whole day fall apart. But then, almost just as quickly, it came together again.
As I sat in my car, I watched a giant truck with a flat bed that seemed to have materialized out of nowhere slowly begin to back up towards me until it stopped just a few feet in front of me. A man, with his fluorescent orange and yellow, construction-style vest, climbed down and out of the cab and walked towards me. Soon after, a state trooper pulled up behind me. Both were there for me.
In a world that feels so ugly, James, the man in the fluorescent orange and yellow, and Alex, the state trooper, reminded me of the beauty. The beauty of daily acts of service delivered kindly. The beauty of standing with strangers on the side of the road. The beauty of quiet conversation with someone new. The beauty of safety. And, the beauty of community.
As many of you know, I began sharing my homemade chai in the lobby of Milwaukee’s iconic Pfister Hotel in the summer of 2019. But then, in March of 2020, like almost everything, COVID shut it down. Since then I have been dreaming of bringing it back. In the best of times, there is nothing better than sharing a quiet moment of connection over a hot cup of chai. But in times of war, isolation, censorship and hatred, there is nothing more important than coming together and finding the beauty in each other’s stories.⁣⁣
So, please join me for art & culture, conversation, community and homemade chai at my studio next week, Wednesday, March 9th, 11:30 — 1:00pm & 3:30 — 5:00pm. I hope to see you.
~Bela