What an Evening!

[These are last night’s reflections – written after just after publishing the last post written earlier in the day.]  I came home feeling exhilarated by the time spent with so many people in stimulating conversations on different subjects.  At one venue the conversations may have shaped a major future event.

It was one thing after another.  It started at BA Design, enjoying a conversation with former Parishioner Stacey, seeing the art she has been producing — as good as I have seen at any of the art shows I have attended in recent years — even the major ones.

The next venue brought the conversations that may have impact on a major future possibility.  First of all, the owner who knew I had traveled to Australia, introduced me to a young woman (college age) who just four days earlier returned from six months in Australia.  Her Dad and Boyfriend who were with her this evening had visited Australia for a month.  We were excited and animated comparing notes on our experiences.  She had ridden a horse on a ranch in the Outback for some of her time there.  She had come off the horse at one point.  She is young and was not hurt.

The last time at this Art Gallery, a conversation with the two owners sparked again my interest in doing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the 500 mile backpacking Pilgrimage in Spain.   This time I discovered that a young couple (he works at the gallery) have walked the Pilgrimage.  Her Dad is a Lutheran Pastor as am I (although I am retired and no longer serving a congregation).  For months now, the idea of doing that Pilgrimage has been lurking in the back of my mind, moving forward from time to time.  I have been searching for someone who has actually been on the Pilgrimage so that I could find out what it is really like.  As we were talking a fellow overheard us.  He came over to say that he and his wife had done the Pilgrimage.  He and his wife are around my age.  His wife is from Spain.  Both couples agreed to send me their email addresses so that I can be in contact with them for information about it.  I am becoming more and more convinced that I need to set off for France and Spain sometime in the next year and make that Pilgrimage.

The next venue brought encounters with all sorts of people with whom I already have relationship as well as opportunities to create some new friendships.  Three of the people from the Hospice group with which I spent more than a year happened to be there checking out the art and music.  I arrived too late to hear the Band I had come to see and hear (Chris Aytes and the New Ambition), but I got to talk with them for quite a while after I arrived.  Chris and Renelle are people I have come to like very much.   The conversations can be wide ranging and often thoughtful, touching on subjects close to our hearts.  Big Josh, another member of the band, joined us for a while.  Little Josh is Chris and Renelle’s little boy.

Phil came over to talk a bit.  We had come to know each other when he was working at PT’s Coffee.  He is a very intelligent conversationalist, appreciates the arts and is top of the line at motorcycle and auto repair, a bit of a Renaissance Man.  Laura and Andrew came by.  I already knew Laura, a very gifted artist.  I met Andrew and within minutes we were deep in conversation since he had spent time in a (different brand) Seminary also.  We talked theology.  Soon Carlos and Julie arrived, both new to me although I had seen Julie before at the Monkey.  With Julie the conversation was about singing, which both of us enjoy very much.  With Carlos the conversation was about food, especially the cooking of Ozzie, the Ozzie of last Friday’s outing to the Nelson and the tapas restaurant.  While various conversations were going on, Parishioners from my former congregation came by.  Their Son was among the 21 Eighth Graders I Confirmed last Sunday when I stood in for Pr. Jim in leading the worship services.  They are wonderful singers.  He is the main male soloist in the parish.  They have sung many duets as well as singing as part of the choir and a Contemporary Service Ensemble that regularly leads worship at one of the Services.

I came home feeling the same kind of excitement I experience after having been impacted by a great concert.  Whether a shower of endorphins or a dopamine rush, it is clear that good music and good conversation are my recreational drugs of choice.  Of course, there is always the option of caffeine (PT’s coffee is the delivery system of choice).

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