Dispatch from Raleigh

I arrived in Raleigh, NC this afternoon after a short flight from Washington, DC and am now relaxing in the home of my best mate Melissa.  At the moment I am at her dining room table banging away on her laptop, it looks like Melissa is involved in a crossword puzzle on her couch, her boyfriend John is in the kitchen reading the paper and her cat Allie is running around like a lunatic, peeking up at me now and then with an expression that says something like, "Keep your distance, strange human, or I will melt you with my stare."  No matter where either of us is living, whenever we arrive at one another's house it is like putting on a favorite warm bathrobe, where nothing is more important or pressing than being comfortable and cozy. I have been continuing my training for the upcoming Breast Cancer 3-Day while on this trip, and I had a wonderful glimpse into my own place in the world while running along the Mt. Vernon Parkway a couple of days ago.  As I think most of us do, I often times wonder what, exactly, my role in this world is, always eager to be living each day in some form of positive service to the world, most especially those that I love.  I have already raised more than $1000 for the 3-Day, and this first round of donations gave me a tremendous amount of motivation to push myself a little harder and go farther than I thought I could go.  Feelings of gratitude, pride and responsibility came forward, and I found myself running harder out of a desire to make my supporters proud, to make their donations worthwhile not just for the wonderful cause I am walking for but also for the fact that they believe in me.  I do not want to let them down.

From there my mind traveled to my entire circle of friends, my family, my creative community and all of the amazing people that are in my life...all of the people I have come to count on as my friends, my tribe, my soulmates, my inspiration, my lifeblood.  It was in that warm, churning ocean of thought that I realized a definitive purpose or role might not be the ultimate goal in life, but rather the goal is to live the best life I can live and follow my passions as much as possible, because only while on this path will I find my most inspiring community, a community that exists on the deepest levels possible, whether I talk to these people on a daily basis or maybe only once.

And I thought of all the people who inspire me to get out of bed each morning, to paint, to dance, to be full of joy and to weep from sadness when I have to say good-bye to them.  And I ran in the sunlight and ran by the water, ran by the reeds and the grass and the sailboats and the birds.  And I said a quiet thank you with every step, for every step I am able to take in this life surrounded by these incredible souls.