Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On Ayyam-i-Ha Rushing to Conclusion: Fast Approaches

Ayyam-i-Ha is rushing to a conclusion again this year, and the fast is nigh upon us. -gw

Happy Ayyam-i-ha, all you crazy Baha'is. I've stopped calling this holiday the Baha'i Christmas and am now calling it the Baha'i Mardi Gras, minus the beads...

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha! The party went well. ... Afterwards we had a short interfaith pray service. Allen read from the Koran (he's not Muslim). Bennet and I read from Baha'i writings, Upendo read from Baha'i writings in Kiswahili (she's not Baha'i) and Amber and Emmanuel read from the Bible.


Well, the first day of Ayyam-i-Ha is concluded. This is nearly my favorite time of year--especially when there are such wonderful events as are going on this week. Tonight, I left work early and went to have dinner with my parents and several Baha'i friends--we spent most of the time just laughing hysterically, and those are the best kind of evenings anyway.
But it was last night that was beautiful. After a few months of intense planning, the Baha'is of Albany, having teamed up with the Jewish community of Temple Israel, pulled off a tremendous victory: a multicultural benefit concert that raised more than $1,500 to benefit the Food Pantries for the Capital District. The best part was the extraordinary teamwork between people of both faiths--there we were, in a conservative Jewish synagogue, and the Baha'is were working as greeters, welcoming people in. In the lobby, both "Shalom" and "Allah'u'abha" rang out in greeting. Initially a little shy around one another, by evening's end there was a shared pleasure and sense of being part of something much bigger than one evening's fundraiser.
Klezmer, reggae, gospel music sung by two members of a Baptist choir from across town, steel drums, and African dance. And complete openness and trust from both communities.
Of course, it didn't hurt my feelings at all to have a very tired Lila and a very happy Rhea (who is about 5, and enjoys playing big sister to Lila as much as I enjoy playing auntie) come join me in the front row while I ran the video camera for a while. What a great start to Ayyam-i-Ha: great music, great friendships-in-the-making, watching my friend Barry see one of his dearest wishes come true, and hanging out with two of my favorite wee girls. I'm grinning.
{Re-posted with permission}

On Too Cool for Words: R's new best friend is a Baha'i ??!?!?!

The kids and I haven't yet gotten back into the habit of attending Baha'i school and devotions on Sunday mornings. We got there yesterday, though. To be more precise, M went with me; R had a play-date with a friend. The joke was on R, though.

In the middle of devotions, as all the kids headed off to their Baha'i school classes, I noticed a familiar face amongst the children. Okay, so I recognized lot of the faces, but one face I knew NOT from the Baha'i community. It was the familiar face of R's newest best friend from school, X!

You see, X is the friend that R made on this year's first day of school. X had just moved here from Texas, and had yet to make any friends. X and R have gotten along famously ever since. R even invited X to attend his Cub Scout open house. Only now have I learned that they had known for quite some time they were both Baha'i. R didn't even bother to tell us...which delights me to realize just how commonplace he thinks he is as a Baha'i.

As soon as I recognized X, I quickly looked for X's parents, whom I'd met once before. I didn't have to look far, as they were sitting directly behind me. We parents were delighted to find this unexpected common bond; the kids were completely nonplussed. We just can't seem to get our heads around how the only two Baha'i kids in the Access School -- one of them a "new kid" -- succeeded in finding each other on the first day. That our respective children resonate so deeply with the Baha'i principles as to be found quickly by other Baha'is is just too cool for words.

Nolan, "R's new best friend is a Baha'i ??!?!?!" Keeping Up With Nolan
{Re-posted with permission}

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On Ruhi Study Circles: Youth Book 2 @ LGBI and other efforts

I saw the new book outlining the "learnings" of the past Five Year Plan. Wow, what an inspiration! Here's to the Institute process... -gw
So! I have been talking with my roomies and a few of them have agreed that that they might be interested in doing book one with me. I’m really excited and hope they decide to follow through with it, however, its all up to God.

seb, "trying to start up Ruhi with my roommates," Tribe
there has been some some ruhi that is getting done at a good pace (yuichi is almost done his book 6) which i am really happy about

Jesse, "More in Prep," I'm Big In Japan

Youth Book 2 @ LGBI!!!

All pics uploaded on February 21, 2007 by Oak on flickr
and taken at the Louis Gregory Baha'i Institute in South Carolina

Sunday, February 25, 2007

On Ayyam-i-Ha: Start of the Holidays

Baha'i folk have been getting in the spirit for Ayyam-i-ha for days. -gw

Ayammi-ha (my arabic/persian spelling is the pits) festivities will be in full swing. tomorrow i have my first party this year for it, and there will be a few more to follow.

Jesse, "More in Prep," I'm Big in Japan
Tonight is our party to kick off the holidays! I have been cooking all day - and am now putting together a play list of good music to listen to whilst we eat and be merry !!

M, "Good friends, good food , good music = Ayyam-i-Ha"
M's Place
Felicidades a todos!!!! Hemos tenido una bonita celebración en nuestra comunidad!!

Daniela & Hugo, FELIZ AYYAM-I-HA =) Daniela Prada
Ayyam-i-Ha...starts this weekend.... Emily's family is Bahai, and I rarely miss an opportunity to have a good time, so we'll be there.

Nick, "Minnesota, Twins, Trains, School, Etc," Otternews
aliyah and i went to an orange picking service project in mazra'ih for ayyam-i-ha. many families were there and aliyah got to see all her friends. we had so much fun.

Nageen, "Orange Picking at Mazra'ih," It's All About the Good Love

Friday, February 23, 2007

On djshoghi: What's in a Baha'i name?

The Founder of the Baha'i Faith encourages his followers to "spread the glad-tidings." There is no clergy. All Baha'is are encouraged to teach their Faith. Baha'is who do are generally not referred to as missionaries (see the Wikipedia article). Say the word "missionary" and the image conjured up has usually been a Westerner going to an indigenous culture to seek converts. In the following article, the "missionaries" referred to were Easterners teaching their Faith to a family of Italian and Spanish descent living in Ecuador. -gw

"Cuenca, Ecuador," uploaded on February 6, 2007
by Dan Brooke on flickr
My mother ... was born in Cuenca, Ecuador of Italian and Spanish lineage. She and her 14 brothers and sisters grew up in a religious Roman Catholic household and they were all raised for the most part to be your typical pious South American Catholics. However that was not to be, some Persian missionaries made sure of that.

My mother and most of her sisters and brothers “converted” to the Baha’i Faith almost forty years ago by those abovementioned missionaries. One of the major figures of this religion was Shoghi Effendi, hence my first name. My mom lobbied my dad long and hard to name me in honor of this Baha’i historical figure. My father finally gave in saying that at least I was being named after a religious man. The Baha’i Faith has influenced my outlook on morality for most of my life. Its main tenets are very liberal which is how many would describe me. These include: the equality between men and woman, the elimination of racism and the “harmony” of religion and science. I still don’t quite understand the latter but I would be the first to admit that the Bahai belief system smacks more of modernity than the Inquisition. At this point of my life I am an atheist and naturally don’t subscribe to any religion, but even so I do admire the aforementioned principles of the Bahai faith.

djshoghi, "Assignment #6 'What's in a name' rewrite," 31 Year Old Freshman

Thursday, February 22, 2007

On Toynbee and the Baha'i Faith: A Mystery Afoot

Photo: Amy Kerlin

There is a mystery afoot. The Toynbee Plaques have been showing up in streets in many East Coast cities. They are stirring up interest in Arnold Toybee and the Baha'i Faith. -gw

Arnold Toynbee was an English historian, most notably remembered as being a "religious historian". This should not be confused with being a "historian of religion" or "religion historian" as Toynbee was not apt to merely document the religions of history. Instead, Mr. Toynbee felt that all historical signifigance was based on the major religious movements at any given time or place and, accordingly, he wrote his history based on the revolution and connectivity of religions and major historical events. Toynbee was also a religious man himself, but this is not to say he was a non-secular academic. In fact, Arnold Toynbee was a very secular man. On browsing through a long out-dated book on cults, I came across a section on the new religion of Baha'i. In this section Arnold Toynbee was quoted as having called Baha'i "the next great religion". Baha'i is a religion which believes that all religions are correct religions, but are correct for a specific time and place. The Baha'i faith believes that Christ, Muhommad, and Buddha were all sent by God (God is the same God worshipped by all religions, they believe) and were all preparing different people, at different times, for their introduction to God. The Baha'i faith still exists today, and is still one possible lead to the placement of the plaques, although not a very good one, as I will talk about later, some plaques suggest that an individual is placing the plaques, not an organization.
John Charles Taylor, "Background Research,"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Reflection on "An Inconvenient Truth" and Religion: It's a Matter of the Heart

The movie "An Inconvenient Truth" is considered controversial and has led to a lot of reflection. Here Mark's reflection reminds him of an experience he had as a Baha'i youth. -gw

I think the power of a film like [An Inconvenient Truth] isn’t actually in the science itself. When I’m thinking about the things in the movie I like I’m not thinking about the statistics on CO2 emmissions over that past 20 years — I’m thinking about the feeling I gained from the movie — the perspective on my part in the greater scheme of our environment. To say that the entire merit of this film rests in it’s science seems to be ignoring the more important reason to watch this film in the first place — to inspire one’s self to take action.

When I was younger and went door to door in a nearby community to invite people to a inter-faith dialogue sponsored by the local Baha’i’s, my friend and I came across one man who this whole thing reminds me of. He had gotten a degree in religious studies through a local Christian College (which I believe is now a University) and had said he once wrote a paper on the Baha’i Faith. Based on his exhaustive research (which it turned out, didn’t include actually reading any Baha’i writings) he came to the conclusion that this “cult” (as he called it) didn’t follow true religious doctrine and wasn’t a real religion. I was only a teenager at the time and barely had the cognitive ability to put together a well-formed sentence, let alone discuss the issue with this guy, so we tried to be as polite as we could, left him the invitation (it was actually for a discussion related to Race-Unity Day) and went on to the next house. The truth is, we were there only to invite people to a discussion on Race-Unity issues put on by the local Inter-Faith group, but I guess he heard “Baha’i” and decided to talk about that particular topic.
But in later years I came to realize that while this person may have felt that he did pretty exhaustive research on the Baha’i Faith, he didn’t actually know much about the religion itself. For myself, and I think for people of all faith’s, the true importance/passion/significance of being a part of one’s religious community isn’t based on research, comparative fact-finding and scientific data, but it’s based on matters of the heart. It is about how you feel — the love and connection you have with those people in your community, and with human beings at large. I think that is where a lot of the significance of religion lies for most people.

And I’m not saying that one shouldn’t do their research and investigate the “truth’s” which are presented to them — it’s very important to be unwavering in your approach to developing a sound understanding of these sorts of things. But when that is said and done, what pulls you towards a certain set of beliefs is what your heart tells you is RIGHT.
Uploaded on February 3, 2007 by jetalone on flickr
So when I think of this film, An Inconvenient Truth, I feel that it’s merit isn’t actually so much in the science (Yes, the science is important and, if you watch the film, you can see that they did a lot of work to really make sure their science is sound — which is why I find it ironic that people would say it isn’t) but in the message they are conveying. It’s a good message. It’s an honest message. And it speaks to the heart. Maybe the science isn’t 100% there, but you know what? I don’t really care. Because what the film did for me was help me shift my paradigm to one where I’m considering new things that I might not have thought of before.

{Re-posted with permission}

On Finding Faith: Baptised as a baby, now a Baha'i

Intriguing snippet from an online discussion forum. -gw

I was baptised as a baby, but i didn't confirm. I stil have my christening bracelet, it's so tiny! I'm now a Baha'i.

Snowflake, Re: Religion « Reply #111 on: February 19, 2007, 04:57:33 PM »
National Self Harm Network

Sunday, February 18, 2007

On Remembrances: Kay's Poem for Phil Lucas

photo: Flitzy Phoebie

Kay, the tutor for Ruhi Book 7 my wife and I are taking, wrote this poem after attending Phil Lucas' memorial service. Here are the links for The Seattle Times, The Seatle Post-Intelligencer, and the Los Angeles Times articles on Phil. -gw

Phil Lucas

Brother, friend, lover
Citizen of mother earth
Skywalker spirit.

He had charisma
Generosity and love
Songs stories laughter

Creative passion
Gifted to generations
Lessons taught and lived

With hope we will walk
And stand tall on his shoulders
We call it to us.


On Extreme Ruhi: Rahmat Is Caught in the Act

I never put a GPS device on my son Rahmat to monitor his activities when he went down to L.A. a year and a half ago to participate in a youth project. I didn't have to. A spy took pictures of him and put them on the Internet. Of course, I didn't know that a spy was doing this until I came across these photos on Flickr while searching for a Ruhi photo this morning. -gw

Rahmat doing extreme Ruhi
All photos uploaded on September 12, 2005 by carmiento on flickr

Friday, February 16, 2007

On Accepting Invitations: Our mission slowly moves forward drawn by the Spirit to who knows where

Bob:That man is richest whose pleasures are simplest...

I find Bob's post very moving. Click over and read his entire post and then link to his earlier post. -gw

...when I got home... Amy was talking to our Baha'i neighbor on the phone. She and her son are planning a pilgrimage to the Baha'i holy land to visit the shrines in Haifa, Israel. She was telling us about it at last year's block party. There's like a 5-year waiting list to go on pilgrimage and their number was finally coming up.

Anyways, one of her friends just returned from a pilgrimage and would be sharing her experience and photos last night. She invited us to go.

Now, I'm not particularly interested in the Baha'i faith but I am interested in my neighbor. In understanding her, learning about what she believes, and more than anything else, trying to show we are interested in her as a person. Basically, we decided to go to the presentation because we wanted to foster our relationship with her.

The presentation was entirely too long (for me) but it was interesting enough to help me understand some of the basics of her belief. We met some of her friends and got reacquainted with others we'd already met.

I say all that to say this. This isn't church. I cannot be. It can only be mission. Our participation is not to merge the two religions or find common ground. Our participation is for the purpose of understanding an individual, our neighbor, accepting the invitations she extends in sharing her life, and simply trying to love her. It is a slow process but last night was a 3 hour investment in our relationship. We look forward to sharing her anticipation as she embarks on a pilgrimage of her own. She has already asked us to pray for her trip to go smoothly (there are some complications that could cause her no to go at this point).

All in all, the evening went well. Our mission slowly moves forward drawn by the Spirit to who knows where.

Bob, "Accepting Invitations," Bob: That man is richest whose pleasures are simplest...

{Re-posted with permission}

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On Reactions to the Baha'i Speaker in the Comparative Religions Class: Neat to see how we were really all on the same page

Emilie doesn't freak out, nay rather, she is open-minded and accepting about religious diversity. -gw
Today we had a Bahai speaker in my Comparative Religions class. I think I'm going to like that class better than I thought I would. It was interesting...not really what she had to say but how we reacted. It was neat to see how we were really all on the same page. I'm glad I'm a really open-minded person about stuff. I think it's important to know and fully understand something before you form your opinions about it. I get so sick of people who are so afraid anything different and they immediately go into defense mode and freak out. It comes across as they are a weak person who is so afraid of doing wrong they can't stand anything that contradicts with what they believe. Get over it! The world isn't all the same! A strong person would know what they believe, have faith in that, and not spend their time reprimanding people for doing what they see as wrong.
Emilie, "Baha'i..." Saber_of_Light
{Re-posted with permission}

On Reflecting in Sweden: Borna beams his blog

From Upplands Väsby, Sweden, Borna beams his blog to the world. -gw

the reflection meeting went really well, at least from a personal point of view. the presentation was very much appreciated by the attendants, and they said that they had a completely new view on the statistics and what was happening in the cluster. glad to be of help!

activity-wise for me, things are probably starting to happen again. I've had a long break from mostly everything because I haven't been sure where I'm going and what I'll be doing. now that I finally have some sense of stability it is time to get going. our teaching team, gloria, juan and I, have started planning some activities, and hopefully we'll soon get a junior youth group started. of course the football will also bring us in contact with many people, and the plan is to apply many of the Baha'i principles there too. naturally, it is more important to create a united group that has fun and develops than only focusing on winning. it's a challenge, but we're up for it.

finally, it's time for me to start reading, deepening, and studying, different kinds of things. got one course still left in uni, will probably take it some time in the summer. and then of course I want to read loads of books. and also probably go through the Ruhi books by myself, just for refreshment. always good to study the Writings. we'll see what happens...

{Re-posted with permission}

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Interfaith Dialogue: So it was the islamic soc, the christian union and the baha'i society

The interfaith movement is strongly felt at edinburgh uni, apparently. -gw

on monday went for a fantastic interfaith session. it was pretty interesting. for their own reasons, the jewish society wasn't involved. which was kinda sad. so it was the islamic soc, the christian union and the baha'i society. got to know people, and eat free food, then they got us split up into groups and talking to each other. it was pretty fab. my group (creatively called we're all wearing jeans.) initially consisted of a northern irish guy from the cu, and an english guy from the baha'i soc. the most fascinating part was how similar we all were when it comes to the way we deal with our respective religions. all of us agreed that nature helped us be closer to God, and that temptation was hard to avoid in university. also we discussed how the most important thing when it came to the people we hung out with was the presence of some kind of moral guideline, something that drove people, which prevents people from being shallow and kind of silly, really. its not really religion, because there are people who don't believe in anything who still have moral direction, but i think those people who honestly don't even think about what they're doing in a larger context tend to be hard to be with. its not just annoying in its self-centredness, but its tiring as well.

Coloured Light, "Friday, February 09, 2007," Food Friends Fluff

{Re-posted with permission}

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On Brief Mentions: Read On

Brief mentions. -gw

i'm by no means looking for a religion, but i have this policy of trying to go to anything someone invites me to, so we went to a meeting of soka gakkai buddhists and another one for baha'is this weekend.
so in composition class, we are focusing on the harlem renaissance. & i was researching alain locke who was an significant writer of the time, who wrote a lot of important pieces such as "the new negro" & i found out... he was a baha'i! same
religion as me.
Im now reading Freakanomis and an introduction to Baha'i teachings. Cool stuff. Quick note on Baha'i initial reactions: Why are all the prayers in old english?

On the Passing of Phil Lucas: Some Blog Reflections

It's been a week since the passing of Phil Lucas. He has been in the prayers of so many Baha'is, expecially in the Pacific Northwest where he lived. Here are some posts of reflection about Phil with other links that relate to his work. -gw

Jere, "The Passing of Phil Lucas!" BumpaStuff


Monday, February 12, 2007

On the Gender of the Manifestation: Female Manifestations Possible

Interesting discussion "Re: Gods manifestations only male?" on Comparative Religion. -gw
"There is nothing in our Writiings that would preclude a female Manifestation of God... and we only know of about nine Manifestations. We are told there were many more so it is possible a female Manifestation already has appeared." -Arthra

Sunday, February 11, 2007

On a Baha'i Computer Game in the Making: Unreal

"The game Unreal is familiar to computer games fans worldwide as one of the most prominent games of the 'run and gun' genre - otherwise known as 'first person shooters'."

So begins an article on the work of Chris Nelson, a Baha'i who is head of the computer games design course at the University of Ballarat, that appeared in ABC Ballarat in Australia, entitled "Subverting violent computer games with religious poetry."

"The Valley of Love, screenshot 13" from

"What I've done is to take a computer game - a first person shooter computer game, where the main idea is to actually run around and kill your opponents, and the person who gets the most kills wins in the end. I've taken it and subverted it, using the game to create an interactive artwork based on the mystical treatise The Seven Valleys," said Chris.

The Seven Valleys homepage is here, and more about Chris is here. -gw

On Finding a Religion that Makes Sense: Next week I will go to a Baha'i service

"Spaceship Church in Yongsan:This building may not have always been a church but today it's a Christian church connected to a Buddhist Temple " uploaded on April 7, 2006 by SuzÿQuzÿ on flickr

I KNOW that not all Christians congregations are like the ones I've experienced in Korea. Although, I was told that a lot of the Christians in Korea view evangelical work as a high priority. I just don't understand religions and the people who practice.

Next week, I will be able to go to a Baha'i service. Maybe something non-Christian will make more sense to me. Who knows?

Friday, February 09, 2007

On Creating Alternative Futures: The new TA is delighted

Immediately below is how the Baha'i Chair for World Peace is described on its website at

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland is an academic institution dedicated to developing and applying material and spiritual knowledge in cooperative pursuits of global peace, social and economic justice, and human security.
On her LiveJournal blog DaliaBloom describes her delight in being asked to be a teaching assistant for one of the courses being taught by Dr Grayzel, the Baha'i Chair for World Peace, at her school. For a recent story about Dr Grayzel's presentation at the Orlando Baha'i SED conference go here. -gw

HONR299A Creating Alternative Futures (Teaching Assistant). Best for last baby. While I was in France last spring I realized, after analyzing a particular aspect of my speech, that I wasn't thinking far enough into the future. That I was only taking the near future into account. Then I considered France, which although they know how to live well, is a nation that abhors the future. I wanted to educate myself more about futures on a national level, so I settled on one class for the fall semester called Peacebuilding, Regional Ethnography, & Post Conflict Reconstruction. It's essentially International Development, taught by Dr. Grayzel, Maryland's newest Baha'i Chair for World Peace and a former officer of USAID overseas for 27 years. Imagine my delight when I discovered Dr. Grayzel was teaching a honors seminar the next semester on the FUTURE. And then my intensified delight when he asked me to be the TA! So far we've talked about Utopian theory. Tomorrow is a guest lecturer from Israel who's an expert on Leibniz. And I'm going to talk about how Leibniz's philosophy relates to Spinoza's. Oh boy!

DaliaBloom, "The Rundown," The Taming of the Jew: silly, semitic, sincere

Thursday, February 08, 2007

On Glen and Dale and the Baha'i Faith on the Internet: Thanks to the Pioneers

Dale has a blog, Dale of Planet Baha'i, that long-standing, multi-faceted, quality resource.

Glen has a blog, Glen who started A Baha'i Faith Page way back in 1994. Read his posts "The 'mechanism of world inter-communication'" and "The world as we will know it" for a bit of history and reflection about the Baha'i Faith on the Internet.

To these two souls and the many others whose names I simply am unfamiliar with due to the newness of my arrival on the web, thank you. -gw

"64-bit Chip: This vintage photo portrays the previous paradigm shift in electronic memory… This is a 64 bit (not KB, MB or GB) memory chip from the mid 60s on top of the industry standard at the time," uploaded on March 14, 2005 by jurvetson on flickr

These documents below, some already cited on Baha'i Views, also chronicle both the history and opportunities the Internet provides Baha'is who will venture into its ether. As you will glean from reading them, both through its individual adherents and through its institutions, the Baha'i Faith is poised to fully utilize "what God hath wrought."

Participation and the Internet
Blogging and the Baha'i Faith
Building Internet Communities
Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Guidelines for Internet Communication

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On Spending Time with Loving Souls: Baha'i Study Circles Started His Habit

Ah, the power of study circles. -gw

Spent my Saturday in a campus Leadership Symposium with a few hundred of Berkeley's finest leaders. This is how I love to spend my Saturdays- all day with kind loving souls focused on a common goal. Started this habit back in the summer with Baha'i study circles.

Panseed, "Saturday, February 3, 2007," Efforts Across Continents

On Him Who Loveth the Whole World: Love from Dubai

Marco again has his finger on the pulse. Here is his latest email. -gw

Dear Baha'i Bloggers,
Attached is a copy of the cover of a book entitled "Rashid's Legacy" (The Genesis of the Maktoum Family and the History of Dubai), and a copy of page 451 of the book, where chapter 27 begins with a quote from Baha'u'llah!

The Maktoum family is the ruling family of Dubai to whom the Emirate's incredible progress is credited.

For more information on the Maktoum Family check:

Baha'i greetings from Lisbon,
Marco Oliveira

The quote:
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
- Mirz Husayn-'Ali, religious leader and writer

On the Party at the Home of the Folks Who Are Baha'i: Cure for Bad Moods:

"Card Games," uploaded on December 27, 2006 by aabbbiee on flickr

Whateverman's Pad is a blog "where reality and perception meet." I like that description. -gw

I've been in a pretty black mood for a couple of months. There's so much going through my head, and I've thought about trying to spit it into this blog since I began it. But I realized that to keep the whole thing moving, I need to be a bit more pragmatic.

So, this last weekend, my Sis dragged me to a dinner party she'd convinced me to attend a few weeks back. I'm a bit of a loner, so the idea of going to meet a bunch of strangers didn't sound immediately appealing. But my sister has always needed me more than I was willing to give, and I've grown more and more aware of that as I've gotten older. So, coupled with the self-imposed guilt, and the fact that I know I need to get out more, I figured this party would help kill 2 birds with one stone.

Anyhoo, it was a really eccelctic crowd, mostly made up of couples: two people in their 50s that Kris really likes (it was their house), a pair of young kids who had just gotten married, a couple in their mid thirties (re. my age), and an older professorial guy. Most taught in the local school system, some were musicians, some dabbled in software development. They all brought food from around the world: phillipino, north african, greek, spanish, etc. The folks who owned the house were Baha'i, so it was an alchohol-free evening, though there were 3 kinds of coffee and a great fresh ginger punch. The house was full of hardwood and large windows - the open fireplace made it seem pretty darned cozy.

The conversation ranged from cooking, to politics, sex, the local school system and the current problems with the kids at that age, how to raise children, how to be creative, etc. Everyone was really friendly and open. After dinner, someone called us into the living room saying "Now we're going to play a game" - I'll be honest and say that my first thought wasn't overly enthusiastic. Still, it was a laid back card game, and ended up being the highlight of the night.

I came home, and have to say that I felt pretty ... "peaceful" after it was over. I've got stuff that keeps me freaking out, but that party, and meeting new people, and having fun with strangers - those were skills I wasn't certain I had any more. And to find out that I fit in as normally as anyone else there - well, it cleared ... my head.

Whateverman, "It's the Little Things," Whateverman's Pad

{Re-posted with permission}