I’m in Portland, Oregon, now for a qigong workshop (like tai chi) for women being held in a conference room of a nursing home. I met my daughter here and it’s just in time for her birthday in two days. We wanted to include a birthday celebration in our healthy weekend of learning how to alchemize energy to prepare our bodies for the winter.
Portland is known for its exceptional restaurants. But being late for the workshop yesterday, we stopped at a food truck and grabbed lunch for later. After a lively discussion of how to pronounce “gyro” which involved asking people on the street and everyone we knew, we settled on falafel and a gyro (pronounced yero, I think).
The qigong session ended at 6:30 and, after a long day of intense learning new movements and philosophies, we decided not to go out but to bring our food in from the car and eat in the nursing home dining room. After all, there were tablecloths and a colorful Christmas tree, and we weren’t going to eat their pale, canned green beans, so how bad could it be? As soon as we sat down, we were asked to leave because the dining room was about to close. If you think that the early bird special starts early, you would be surprised to know how early it ends!
Staying with our plan, we found a table along the wall of the hallway and settled down to cold falafel and a soggy gyro. Our conversation was more heated than our food. After talking about the workshop, we somehow ventured into areas of conflict. As we drudged through the muck, we came out with a clearer understanding of how to hear each other. We started to laugh as we each took ownership of our contribution to the mess. One by one, the lights around us were turned off. One by one, our inner lights were turned on. The gift shop volunteers were long gone. There was not a soul in the lobby except for us and the night guard. By the time we left, we were laughing at our idiosyncrasies and how we could even have fun at a birthday dinner at the nursing home.