About two months ago, my friend Jeff and I were sitting on the couch after a guitar lesson. “Hey,” he said. “There is something I want to talk to you about.”
“What?” I asked him intrigued. Our chats, usually about things like guitar and our kids rarely start this way.
“I have a brilliant idea. Let’s throw a party for Odette. To help raise money to support her daughters. ” Odette has worked her way into everyone’s heart in this community. She is light, a gentle peaceful presence whose kindness is felt by all of us.
And so the planning began. The planning that resulted in a musical benefit. Jeff’s photo studio became transformed into a magical space with funky lights and a retro couch, a full stage. African food was spread out over a table and potluck desserts came in by the tray-ful. A band was up on stage, playing their heart out all night from 6pm-well after 2:30. We raised over $3750 in one night.
As each guest walked through the door my heart leapt. It was a parade of many of my favorite people–people who are kind, supportive, loving and gentle to Max and I on a daily basis. People from my work, from our neighborhood, from Jackie’s and Jeff’s wide circles
I am sure there are amazing pictures of the evening. The lovely shutter sister Jen Lemen wandered about all night with her magical camera, while I held down the dance floor with Odette, the beautiful Madeline and other children and friends. But we will need to wait to get the photos (I promise I will post a link when Jen gets them up) but in the meantime I can simply say the evening shimmered.
Now its all back to almost normal. Our kitchen is still trashed from our marathon cooking but the photo studio is back to looking like an industrial studio. The leftover wine has been stored. The keg has been returned. We have sent out thank yous and are now in that exhausted, hung-over, spacey space. There are some post-party blues to contend with (aren’t there always?) but for now I keep repeating the word “grateful” over again and again. It is a word that sums up how I feel about the place I live, the people I share the park with, a community so wide and open.