Diamond-Cut Life

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Things I’m Excited About

November 27th, 2011 by Alison · 2 Comments · community

As Diamond-Cut Life readers know, I love not just sociability, but community, i.e.  interwoveness, especially between folks of varying ages and walks in life. So!  Thor’s and my 8th annual Christmas party is Sunday December 4th, from 2-7 p.m. Children are welcome; I’m pretty crazy about them. Jeremiah, 9, exclaimed the other day, “Wow, you’re strong!” The context was that I’d hugged him, then swung him around in circles. While our parties have always been kid-friendly, this time we’re adding an official child care person who’ll lead children’s activities in our dance room.

Speaking of dance, have you ever done Nia? (Colleen, I know you have, since I brought you!) It’s my favorite form of dance, very expressive and flowing. I went yesterday to a good Nia class led by Erin Marie at the East Portland Community Center. The  joy of Nia is part of the inspiration for my novel ‘Revelle’, (rhymes with gazelle), which is 82% complete. I’m currently finding an editor to help me polish it. Then I’ll self-publish it. My goal with Revelle is to give to at least 100 people the deep pleasure I’ve had many times in my life of a good book, a story that pulls you in, takes you out of yourself, and inspires you to meet the hard things in life with strength. I’ve been an avid consumer of books for decades now . . . time to give back by producing one.

New topic: Sue Staehli is one of the best dinner party guests I know. Not only does she insist on helping with the dishes (I never turn down offers like that one), but Sue has developed these cool, advanced communication skills that I want to emulate. Some background here is that Sue is the board president of Sisters Of The Road, an award-winning non-profit that supports people’s dignity while providing good meals in a homey cafe. After we had Sue and her sweetie David over for dinner last night, and played the UnGame (which stimulates great conversations and let me witness Sue’s skills) I slept soundly and had a luminous dream in which I was dialoguing, warmly and calmly, with the member of my family that I find the most hurtful and difficult. Note to self: hang out as often as possible with the friends I want to emulate.

And finally, back to the joy of physicality . . . While running on the west slope of Mt Tabor the crisp, clear morning after Thanksgiving, I remembered how exhilarated I felt doing the Hood To Coast run back in the late 90′s. Then I thought: I’d love to do Hood To Coast again — if the team I was on had shared values and lots of camaraderie. I immediately thought of Heather McCarey, my pal who loves to run and is the executive director of the Westside Transportation Alliance. I ended up leaving voicemails for her and two other transportation-options (TO) colleagues during the course of my run. Let’s see what they think of the idea of a Hood To Coast team of TO people. It’d be a great experience of community around a sport that’s usually solitary. The paradox in this case would be the intense amounts of driving involved in the event — when our profession is about minimizing driving whenever possible. But life involves paradox. I’m holding the idea lightly . . . while feeling my excitement.

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