Cars, Rumi, Twizzlers: A Midnight Report / by Mara Zepeda

It's close to midnight. I'm alone at PIE. This could be the start of every entry for the last two weeks. Sean, like some lunatic Dunkin' Donuts worker, takes the 5 AM - 4 PM shift. Mark, my office mate who I rely on for spiritual guidance/acrobatic shenanigans is gone. It's me, a bowl of Twizzlers (Adam remarked, accurately, "they are on brand!"), a children's ski coat featuring pegasuses (the plural would be...what exactly?) and my notes for my Refresh PDX talk on Wednesday. 

I've been thinking about what I want to feel like, and what I want attendees to feel like, at tomorrow's event. Not just tomorrow, but using Switchboard in general.  Is this normal to think about? Am I admitting too much? There are two videos I keep toggling back and forth between. The first is this one: 

Crazy, unbridled joy and enthusiasm. Surprise. Wonder. Amazement that the universe is so generous and benevolent. Inspired to give of ourselves abundantly, excessively, freely. And then this one: 

Man in white tunic, love, something real. Appropriately, Roger read this poem by Rumi in class tonight: 

Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror

up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,

here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.

If it were always a fist or always stretched open,

you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated

as birdwings.

These forces, of cars, candy, coats, and closings, are the ones we're going to dig into on Wednesday. Join me so you can tell me in person if I managed, at all, to pull it off.