by Wendy Strgar July 26, 2010
I began the day at the local grange’s very berry pancake breakfast. The pancakes were homemade and the entertainment was the fiddlers playing old time songs. We sat with neighbors we had never met and the whole scene felt like I was an extra in a quaint movie scene. It was so basic and pure to eat berry-coated pancakes with strangers that I couldn’t believe I didn’t do it more.
The afternoon was filled with a fabulous excursion on a nearby lake in the boat of a friend of a friend I had never met. There were a lot of kids who hadn’t met before either; but here we all were, laughing and learning about each other, listening to loud Bob Marley and taking turns on their bouncy tube. Unknown people become friends easily when there is some fun involved.
The evening brought the only summer dinner party of the season so far. The group was small and intimate and also included several people I had never met. I always have potlucks and the food is always a testament to how well things work out without any planning. The mix of company was just as easy and before long we were singing an old Glen Campbell classic “…I need you more than I want you and I want you for all time…” Strangers become fast friends when you are looking for what you have in common and when you can laugh.
It was a great day of possibility when the idea of discovering new friends and creating new relationships is only as limited as your own capacity to put yourself in places to meet them: to laugh and exchange stories with someone unknown and witness the simple transformation of becoming a friend. After ten years of driving by the grange, and at least two of thinking of becoming a member, I finally joined the local grange today.
It felt easy to say yes to making new friends who plan berry pancake breakfasts and chicken barbeques.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” I am aware today of how many days I have lived and not looked for the new friends that might be strangers at the moment I stand next to them. I know that transforming people into friends is harder in a grocery store line than on a the boat of a friend of a friend. But maybe it isn’t just the circumstance that prevents me from seeing that friend, it might also be the way I am looking.
by Wendy Strgar May 22, 2018
There is no time like long summer nights to cultivate our uniquely, profoundly human capacity for pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Our pleasure response transforms our relationship to each other and even to life itself. Focusing on pleasure not only changes how we see our opportunities for intimate connection, but also invites us into a deeper relationship with our erotic soul.
by Wendy Strgar May 17, 2018
It becomes hard to trust your own thinking when nothing seems to be working. The space between how I thought it would go and how it is going seems to widen in front of my eyes. Maybe most difficult of all is how often the undesirable outcomes around us spill over into our relationships, both at home and at work. An errant comment too easily turns into an argument. I become blind to my impact on people around me, caught up in the unresolved problems surrounding me. During times like these, we often underestimate the power of the choices we make and how it can create a path back towards what’s working or down the slippery slope of self-destruction, which my husband affectionately calls “flirting with the gutter.”
Here is my short list to making it better when it isn’t working at all. Each one helps you do the next one, so start at the beginning and work your way down.
by Wendy Strgar May 03, 2018