Tipsy In A TeePee

Saturday, October 24, 2020

I couldn’t have imagined last evening’s gathering–in a TiPi!–of myself with pleasant and interesting others. We discussed oddities like poetry while sipping wines–from Costco an inexpensive cotes du rhone and from Portland a homemade and drink-worthy pinot noir. In the TiPi’s center, a wood-fire blasting from an old (found) pot covered in bullet-holes was sprouting high to a smoke-escape hole.

That TiPi belongs to my neighbors and friends, Dale and Susie Neubauer. The structure sets just outside their home. It’s the Real Deal–authentic, impressive, and primitively beautiful. All day, I’d looked forward to a little unstructured time with the Neubauers, who were hosting their long time friend, Joel Salter, visiting briefly from Portland.

Joel beside a bottle of his wine

Dale and Susie are manufacturers, Joel recently retired from the EPA, and there’s no telling what my presence might contribute to a gathering.

Dale and a fire in his bullet-hole pot
Susie senses compatibility, brings people together

The evening was perfect, our small circle sitting around a fire and sipping wine. A great beginning, but who’d have imagined Joel’s casual mention of just having finished writing a letter to his 95-year-old, fully cognizant aunt–who happens to be a published poet!

That got us off on topics practically unheard of among casual mixed company. We talked about families and communicating, art’s impact in both visual and written forms, and our similar world and political perspectives. Joel long ago was a Peace Core participant stationed in Sierra Leone and spoke thoughtfully about the Third World.

Sometimes we stumble into situations that can reawaken our dreamiest ideas and wishes. We secret most of these from our ordinary goings-about, but in our cores cherish each and all.

Sitting inside a genuine TiPi itself reawakens imagination. So does witnessing a fire’s energy and awesomeness. Each is plenty. But add-in people who take the time to talk (really talk, even if assisted by good wine). Their in-the-moment presence and open thoughts knit together everything. Sharing our collective history, current situations, options and optimism, renews a human capacity of hope for a fruitful future.

Dear Friends: I’m deeply grateful for having participated in that kind, warm gathering. Diana

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