Just got back last night from Portland, Oregon. Learned a lot---how to accept myself more, how to focus on my strengths and weaknesses more clearly, how to let people share themselves with me and how to share myself with others with more depth, how to just have a whole lot of fun. It could get chilly at night, warmed up some during the day, and, in this picture, you can see how the wonderful mountains are starting to dry out, just a little bit, we hope...
This was a "get down time." The presenters, Gil and Rose Apodaca, from Beaumonth California, and Fr. Tom Griffith, Divine Word Priest, from Duxbury, Massachusetts (one cool dude, let's give a shout out for cool Catholic priests!"
In this picture, from the right are the presenters, Father Tom Griffith,SVD, Rose and Gill Apodaca, the coordinators for the program (the hard workers), LaVonne and John Doherty, from Portland, and yours truly (who was a long distance encourager and got in this picture because, first, I look pretty (just telling it like it is), and second, along with the coordinators, I am a member of the executive team for the region...
The theme: well, Marvin Gaye would sum it up this way, "Let's Get It On." Behind the words and movement of that wonderful artist would be affirmation of love, of one's need for touch, affection, understanding, and passion, of the beauty of giving oneself to one's beloved. And I was so happy to deepen my appreciation of love, affection, passion, and of self-giving. Check out these two, they were witnesses to our deliberations... sitting on the presenters' table and appearing in various locations over the weekend to remind us that the greatest gift we can give to each other is unconditional love.
I enjoyed getting outside and clowning. Some folks who were getting in a smoke before the next section suggested taking a picture of me in front of the recycling bin would be instructive. Were they focusing on various possible metaphors... (and I added the swagger and moves of a rapper to make the metaphors melt)... a.. this brother is getting too old and plump and needs to be recycled; b... this brother is crazy, be careful... c. this brother is running for governor of Illinois, RUN AWAY!
Well, my brother (by love community, not by birth, ok...or am I belaboring the obvious) got me on videotape. I have left out his name and phone number to protect the silly.
I really enjoyed this enrichment... and I had a great time... thanks John and LaVonne and Gil and Rose and Fr. Tom... you are making a real difference in my life
Check out the music and the folks coming in before one of the presentations... cool, cool people!!!