My friend Jim, interviewed Bettye Lavette for the magazine today. He told her that she had a fan in the office (me!) and her response was that I was "What does somebody that young have to be sad about?".

This brought up something I said with Kristin the other day. I said that I hadn't done anything regrettable. Everything has contributed to who I am now, and most of my mistakes have been honest. If they haven't, I have learned from them. Certainly, I've had hard times. I reflected on these things after I said this; being poor growing up, internal family strife, being physically assaulted. These are bad situations, things I wouldn't wish on other people. I don't say this to up my "pain deck of cards"; I know we all have horrible things to contend with. But I wanted to talk about how we can tolerate more than we know, without succombing to a negetive, cyclical status. Perhaps the reason that I have such a depth for sadness is because my well for joy is pretty high-reaching, and I think about expanding that all the time.

I wish I could have asked Bettye how her reserves for pain and joy were harnessed or recognized.

I am going to stop prefacing my ideas with "little" or "silly" or other discouraging words. I need to articulate better, not make things more palatable for people by bringing it down.

My grandmother is good at this. I see her picking and choosing her words as we go. Certain things stick with me, like the phrase, "warts and all". I can't think of a better, more complimentary way to say that something is honestly exposed.

There is a little table near the common area that is covered with puzzles. People can come and go as they please, assembling pieces and leaving it for others to contend with later.

"Do you have any blue pieces?"

"Oh, you went to the place depicted on the puzzle?!"

An easy way to create community, low pressure and casual ways to get to know one another.

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