Last week I participated in an improv workshop. Me? I know, and I had fun.
We laughed and bonded, bonded and laughed. We began with a “Yes, and …” exercise.
Partnered, one person spoke and then the other would say, “Yes, and” and would augment a response. Back and forth it went. It’s very different from saying simply, yes, or no, and a yes does not mean agreement but it does allow the sharing to expand. My partner and I solved the problems of the world in our back and forth.
Then, Saturday, I attended a “celebration of life” for my neighbor Louise Jenkins, a magnificent woman, who passed easily and gently in the home she and her husband built together after World War II. Louise was 91 and her children will keep the home and land as it is, property fragrant and vibrant with a lifetime of care, laughter, block parties, bread making, knitting, gardening, connecting, sharing, and fun.
Her children shared that they’d never heard their mother say anything mean about another. Oh, and then, one chimed in, “except for her grandmother”. She said her grandmother was mean. I’ve been sitting with that, seeing how quickly we may rush to condemn or judge another.
Perhaps, as a child, watching her grandmother, Louise saw the power of words to hurt and divide and she chose not to do that. I’m not saying she was a saint because Louise wouldn’t want that, but I saw photos of her when she was young and she was beautiful, but truly those photos of her as she aged simply glowed. Her whole face and being was radiant, a light.
Louise Jenkins philosophy of life is my intention for my remaining years. That, and “Yes, and ….”
And here again is Jeanine Aguerre’s photos of two hawks, monogamous and ready to mate again this year in our “hood”.