Although I have never seen the musical Wicked (it’s on my bucket list), one song in particular echoes so clearly with the ways that I feel about the people who have touched my life in the past half century. I remind folks that everyone they now know and love was once a stranger and that there are new people every day waiting to meet them and vice versa. I consider the thousands of folks with whom I cross paths each year, some in cyberspace and some face to face and my mind reels at the idea of overlapping soul circles. On facebook, it becomes an exponential process, since not only am I connected to 5000 people, but anytime I post something on someone else’s page, their friends see it and if they pass it on, their friends see it….. and it becomes like the Herbal Essences commercial…”She told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on.” I treasure these relationships and welcome kindred spirits.
I am also fascinated with the six degrees of separation concept, that each person on the planet can track their connection to someone else with no more than six people between them. In my case, it sometimes one degree of separation, since I often know someone, with no one between us. Such was the case tonight at a cozy gathering spot in Doylestown, PA called The Zen Den. There I met Marcia and as we spoke, she shared that she had been taking yoga classes with Maria Starr, a treasured friend whom I have known since the late 1980’s. I met Maria when my then husband Michael introduced me to her as he was friends with her then husband Bruce. As it turns out, Maria was also a wonderful vegetarian cook for someone with whom I was to become close friends later; Sandy Levenson. Sandy connected me with Kathy Tooley who in turn opened the door to her studio and heart where I met a group of women who now call themselves ‘Yoga chicks’. Glad to be flapping my wings as one of them.
Around the same time that I met Maria, I became friends with a delightful 14 year old who I met at the home of the woman who had introduced Michael and me. Our friend Ute Arnold hosted open house events and Ruth Anne Dilley (now Wood) was there accompanying her mother Catherine Werth. “Ruth the Poet” (since she wrote such profound poetry) is what we called this precocious teenager who is now a mature 30 something year old coach, writer and interviewer. When Ruth and her husband Jason decided to marry, I officiated at their wedding.
In September of 1979, I set foot in a single story building along a busy highway in the college town of Glassboro, NJ. Little did I know that nearly 33 years later, I would maintain friendships that have existed for more than half my life. Although we are all over the country, our hearts remain connected and although three of our circle of friends are now on the Other Side, we are still family of choice who revel in each others’ joys and support each other in times of challenge. Together, Inc. was the name of the counseling center and it is a perfect reflection of the impact we have had and continue to have on each others’ hearts and souls. As I am writing this, my friend Gina Foster is about to become a a grandma for the second time since her daughter Amy Foster Riggs is soon to give birth to her new little one. I remember when SHE was the new bambino.
As a result of writing my Bliss Book, I have connected with my wondrous editor Pam Maliniak and my soul sistah Joan Schaublin, who invited me to publish it with Balboa Press. Because I know them…..the book is dancing its way out into the world.
I could go on marveling at these overlapping soul circles, but it really could take all night to enumerate them all. Suffice it to say, that they have all left handprints on my heart and changed my life for good.
http://youtu.be/XScNGy5y5TE For Good from Wicked-Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel