November 22, 2008 § 1 Comment
There are these moments, I’m sure you know them, with friends or strangers or those in between, where your eyes meet and you know you’re sharing a thought. Countless songs and poems and epic sagas have been centered around these moments… across a crowded room, in a crisis, just before the elevator door slides shut. Mine aren’t usually all that dramatic. I find them on the MAX, at work, out with friends… simple little moments of shared experience, where our thinking collides and we are of one mind for a second or two. I can map my life with eyes-meet moments.
In truth, it’s a bit of a miracle. I’ve been told repeatedly that I have an unusual world view, but each of us is really wandering around in the bubble of our own experience. None of us truly see the world the same way, and yet we intersect, if only briefly, through the meeting of eyes and the sharing of covert smiles… inside jokes and eyebrow raises, shared admiration, a collective “aww!”
I crave these intersections, so much so that I find myself overwhelming people with information, in a perpetual state of “overshare” with the hope that I’ll generate that feeling. I’ll share any secret that’s mine to tell, any weakness, any strength… it’s annoying. I’ll pipe in my matching stories with “This one time at band camp” enthusiasm, trying always to prove that we have things in common, we can reference them, we can think the same way…
I cling to the people with whom the intersections are frequent… I pull them in and keep them circling within reach. They are the remedy to loneliness, the proof that I’m known, that maybe my “unusual world view” isn’t that much of a mystery after all.
Today I am thankful for intersections. For the desire to seek them and the joy of finding them… and thankful I have so many of you to intersect with.
November 18, 2008 § Leave a comment
9/5/08 (for the man with the cardboard sign)
mr.anyone sits and he watches me hovering
he once had a name, but lost it in the fire
i wonder what in me he could be discovering
what that’s left of me he’s found to admire
still mr.anyone seems captivated
i’ll go on my way with the warmth of his nod
strangely and newly and justly elated
faced with the varying faces of God
November 5, 2008 § 3 Comments
Last night was surreal. We were playing Scene It at 8:03, when the election was called shockingly, historically early… we performed the celebration rites we had planned: champagne, Dan’s ancient cigar, some enthusiastic “WOOHOO!!!”s off the front porch. It felt anti-climactic, our lonely celebrating, so we walked downtown in the almost-rain.
Here’s where it became real to me: we were wandering through downtown’s mostly quiet and empty streets when we happened upon a posh little restaurant and bar. We could see the TV through the window, and the group of us clamored in to the lobby to join the watching. As President Obama (elect, whatever) spoke last night, the symphony let out. We stood in the lobby watching his speech, and symphony goers, elderly couples, waiters, chefs, and diners stopped what they were doing and sat, quietly, to watch, to cry. All of us sat together, strangers drawn in by a face on a screen, and no one spoke. Never in my life have I seen a room full of people pay such rapt attention.
When we left the bar, there were drums on the streets, and the crowd of few quickly became a parade of many, hundreds, maybe a thousand, and there was dancing in the street in Portland, OR. We stood on the steps of the Square and sang the Star Spangled Banner off-key. We clapped. We laughed.
This is hope. It is attentive and still, it is unified and inclusive, it is joyful and impossible to contain. And though we love and support the man who has served as the voice of this hope, we know he isn’t the source of it. The hope stems from all of us, strangers in a bar, familiar faces on the street, sharing a common joy… we wanted this, we worked for it, and the victory belongs to all of us. Barack Obama isn’t a savior. He’s a man, a good man, but just a flawed man like all of us. The hope, the hope is that we have chosen him. We doubted our ability to influence change, but we have succeeded. We know now what we are capable of… we know we can. The hope is community… something we’ve been missing for a long, long time.
A word to my friends in California… I’m happy we’re celebrating together, but I’m sorry your joy is tainted by the Prop 8 results. Know that I’m praying for you always, and loving you from here… I’m sorry that somewhere along the way we seem to have forgotten our call to love, and replaced it with a need to enforce our interpretation of religious law. This is the sort of thing that caused Jesus to challenge the religious leaders of His day, asking them to look to their own faults instead of trying to regulate the choices of others. Please remember that many of us are for you… my heart is broken for you today.
But it’s a new day. Anything is always possible.
November 4, 2008 § 1 Comment
**The blogger backs away from her computer, sits down, crosses fingers, legs, toes, and squeezes her eyes shut**
“Yes we can yes we can yes we can yes we can yes we can”
**This will continue for the next several hours, until ultimately, God-willing, tonight she and friends will drink champagne and sing a rousing chorus that goes something like this:**
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone!
I can see all obstacles in my way…
it’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day 🙂