It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since I published my first post, on my old blogger’s site in 2007. I had very little experience in writing and less knowledge on the internet. Back then, I had only been out of the corporate world several years, exploring waned attempts to launch my business with talking-stick workshops, before moving on to try my hand in learning the mortgage industry. What in the world was I doing?
But, crazy as it seems, I still felt the need to talk and get my stories out, if only it was to put them down in words in a blog rather than share them face-to-face. I’ve always believed in a need to connect with one another in some way. I think it would make a difference and go a long way in learning how to work through things in our lives, if we understood each other and felt validated.
So, I began, as I’ve done in many other situations, when I’m not sure what I’m doing. I pick at it, a little at a time, learning as I go. In the end, I’m more dangerous, with the little I know, than knowing nothing at all, especially when it comes to technology. It’s crazy how a laptop and keyboard, with electric current charging through it, can throw me into a panic when systems freeze and don’t talk to each other. I get claustrophobic, almost to a point of hyperventilating. Hubby can tell you ― it’s not pretty. But, when I calm down, I’m able to pick it up again and don’t seem so bad.
Somehow, I’ve managed over these 10 years to create a blog(s) and publish 275 posts, make videos, produce an e-book, and connect with loving, fellow bloggers all over the world. I also started a small internet business selling pine cones with my followers and social media. It’s more involvement in technology than my brain can handle sometimes.
I haven’t written much lately feeling stuck, like I’ve run out of things to say. After all, 10 years of rambling on with my stories, I began wondering if maybe it’s all been said. But, what I’m discovering is that I’m on a plateau, taking deep breaths and getting ready for what’s next . . . a new chapter.
I’m sensing what I’ve been doing, all along, has only been preparing me for this change in my life ― adopting all the things I’ve learned and experienced. Given how things are shaping up in the world these days. It’s getting real and, I feel, we no longer have the luxury to just simply go about our business. I’m sensing an urgent need to connect in personal, authentic ways, where we feel comfortable and trust. It’s about change and there has to be a way to do that from all over the world, touching each other’s lives and hearts privately, where we feel safe to tell our story and interact in our own space.
I’m only one voice but together I see possibilities for a movement where love and harmony can come through bringing us together. Underlying all the pain and suffering, humanity has been hungry for relief and the cry for help has been silently simmering for a long time.
I was reminded of this, when I saw a PBS interview by Tavis Smiley last week with Arlo Guthrie and remembered the same familiar stirrings in my heart. Arlo is well-known for his popular song 50 years ago, “Alice’s Restaurant”, and is the son of famed Woody Guthrie. He talked about music back in the ’60’s, a change in consciousness and how it still exists today. Something happens and something shifts ― a change in the critical mass. It doesn’t come from the top down but from the bottom up. And he continued by saying:
“There’s not a majority, there is not most, there’s enough and, if everybody who feels that enoughness, is willing to get out there and say, “Me too. I’m in this”, it will change faster than anybody can imagine.”
In the podcast interview with Tavis (around time stop 17:47), Arlo talks about going down the street in New York City, after a show late one night with Pete Seeger, and they saw a group of kids gathered. They were singing songs but didn’t know them very well. Pete (then in his early ‘90’s) wanted to go over and join them and was able to ignite the energy by adding more words and music to their singing.
I remembered the feeling, as Arlo talked about what happened, in the collective spontaneous energy and spirit that unfolded. It struck a chord with me and helped me realize that the magic is still there and is something I’ve experienced. You can’t prepare for it or plan it. It takes on a life of its own and is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s moments that are beautiful and magnetic and, if any of you have had the opportunity to experience it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
For me, one of the experiences I remembered this happening was many years ago at a 4-H weekend gathering. It was similar and electric, like Arlo talks about, that also involved music. I was a chaperone and it was one of my daughter’s first 4-H retreats for kids ages 11-13.
Everyone gathered on Friday night, dropped off by their parents to be picked up late Sunday morning. We went through the introductions and schedule for the weekend and settled in for the night looking forward to kicking off the next day’s events.
I got to know the kids, as the weekend progressed, and I observed how they interacted with each other, having never met before, working through challenges and experiencing new emotions with their peers. One particular boy stood out, named Porter, and I noticed him when his parents came with him to drop him off for the retreat. It would be his first time without them and they were a bit apprehensive leaving him. You could tell ― for he was blind.
But, there was fervor in Porter and you could tell it was something he was definitely ready and eager to do. He just wanted to be like other kids his age doing what they do. After his folks left and we completed registrations, I noticed how the kids mingled with each other while some gathered around him, asking questions and getting comfortable with him. He just acted like he was one of them and soon you wouldn’t have known he was blind the way they laughed and joked interacting with one another.
As the weekend advanced, I continued to watch to see how it would play out and sensed something was happening. The kids had workshops to attend and different events they signed up for depending on what their interests were. There was one big event of the weekend on Saturday they all had to prepare for and participate in, where they broke up into teams ― a play doing a series of skits.
That’s when I noticed Porter’s talent for music and how his team performed together with him in their skit. They were a hit along with all the other teams and energies were flying high for the rest of the day. I could tell something magical was stirring. I was caught up in it and humbled to be a part of such love and harmony expressed in these kids. They were teaching me something, first hand, and it came so natural to them.
Sunday rolled around and it was the last day of the retreat and we had one final gathering before the kids left with their folks. We all met in what was similar to a band room and packed ourselves in, filling the seats and lining the walls: kids, instructors, chaperones and parents alike. They each had a chance to talk and share what their experience was for the weekend and, then, it came time for Porter to talk.
But, instead of talking, his parents said he had composed a song he wanted to sing and play on the piano, as his expression of what the weekend meant to him. As he began, I felt an immediate hush and, as he sang and played, the magic stirred and the energy was electric. It was some invisible force bringing us together in such heightened love and harmony, such as some have never seen before. After that, no one wanted to leave and some cried when it came time to go home. Hearts were touched that day and real connections were made.
The moment was the same, as what Arlo talked about, and in what was captured in a small clip in the interview with Pete Seeger singing with those kids in the street of New York City. I remember it well and stays with me along with other moments such as these.
It may have taken 10 years of blogging and almost 70 years of living to finally understand what I want to do: bring people together and allow space for special moments like these. Something happens inside when you have an experience like this and it changes you. Maybe, I still had a little tweaking to do within me before I could arrive at this place. But, if I do my part, then the invitation alone and spirit of love will take care of the rest. That’s when magic happens and change will begin. I believe the world is in dire need and more than poised and ready.
(You can read more about Porter and the kids in a post I wrote called, “Today’s Kids — I Love Them”)
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table