Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Potluck Potlatch

Indian visitors arrive at a potlatch in Alaska
Roger and I went to a potluck dinner Saturday night. Good food and great company. The hosts made a fantastic Spanakopita with portabello mushrooms. Another guest brought delicious greek-influenced stuffed zucchini. We brought a big salad with lettuce, spinach, avocado, tomato, homegrown carrots, and hearts of palm. Oh what a feast. After dinner, the plan was to settle in for a game of dictionary, but I told them I had an idea of what we might do instead. Roger and I had been talking about what it is we feel that we have really learned since we've been alive. I thought it would be enlightening if we could write down five things we know to be true, things we might confidently impart to children. So we each wrote our lists, and then folded our paper, and put them in a pile. Then one by one we picked up a folded sheet and read someone else's list out loud. The game became to guess who had written which list. I was most interested in the content of the lists, but it was a fun game to be sure. Here are some of the highlights of what eight people, whose collective years on the planet number over 450 years, thought they'd learned.

Listen to your intuition.
Kindness kindness kindness.
Do what you love doing, what brings you the greatest joy.
The greatest richness in life is love.
Garlic is as good as ten mothers.
We must always care for our planet.
There is no difference in young children from any culture.
When you mix blue and yellow it makes green.
Humans are not as smart as they think they are.
Enjoy sex.
Don't step in shit, and don't go over your credit card limit.

These are just a sample of what we came up with. We laughed about the funny ones, we thought wistfully about how simple most of life's truths really are. Many of the same things showed up lists, although "enjoy sex" and "don't step in shit" showed up only once. We wish you could have contributed to our potlatch. What have you learned? What would you write down on your list?

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