PSO 2014

February 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm (Uncategorized)

This past week I was fortunate enough to attend a great pre-service orientation for my AmeriCorps term in LA, and I wanted to write a bit down about it before it started to slip out of my mind. So, in no particular order, a collection of thoughts:

  • What a great group of people. I met some really amazing human persons this week in LA, and I am certain that these are going to be people who will be out changing the world over the course of their lives. Definitely a humbling moment to be around people like that.
  • I was reminded once more of the ability of music to bring people together. Singing on the beach in Santa Monica, or in the hotel, I felt this kind of instant connection with the people I was with. I think there is a lot of beauty in our shared humanness, and in opening ourselves up to the vulnerability of making art. It was on full display this week, and it was an amazing feeling. I was also just impressed by people’s willingness to jump in and have an impromptu sing along. Not everyone can do that.
  • Favorite conspiracy theory posited: Daft Punk just keeps being replaced by new people, but you never know it.
  • Lucked out with both my roommates, Sander and Gunther the Beetle. All three of us, seeking that self-actualization.
  • If VISTA ever is looking for a new tagline, I would recommend “The Best. The Brightest. The Booziest.”
  • Semi-related: Drunk tweeting is the best/worst idea.
  • I also totally lucked out with the other VISTA working at my site. Andrew seems like a great person, and I can already tell that I’m going to learn a ton just being around him this year.
  • I got to go on a short side adventure to pay my respects to Ella Fitzgerald, and it was a special moment. What a legend.
  • Definitely was impressed by how much information they were able to pump into 3 days while still allowing for a bit of time for us to all get to know each other. I definitely feel energized going into my year of service, and I just hope that I can carry that with me when I eventually board the struggle bus at points this year.

I guess in the end I would have to say that this week was incredibly affirming, both in regards to underscoring my faith in humanity and in me believing that this work is important. I’m privileged in so many ways, and this weekend was just one of them. Also, this weekend did a masterful job of stoking the flames of my innermost political core. Let’s do some wealth redistribution, and let’s teach people how to live more effectively. Let’s build sustainable communities. Let’s give communities the support and tools they need to become sustainable themselves. Let’s tear down the patriarchy. Let’s think about what would happen if we loved a little more and judged a little less.

My only regret is that I won’t get to be around all of these people again. There’s always social media, but there is an inherent difficulty in building relationships with people when you’re so far apart. I guess we’ll just have to do our best and hope that we can keep the energy going. If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. I just hope everyone comes to Portland visits sometime. Plenty of room on my couch. I might have to start trying to scrimp up a travel budget, too.

My heart is just so full.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”  Rabindranath Tagore 

PS: Go Hawks!

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