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  • So, I went to this party.

     It was a huge party-- lots of guests coming and going, entertainers, refreshments, dancing, interesting discussions, a few arguments, everything you find at your typical huge party. I laughed, I danced, I met lots of people, got lots of hugs and a few cold shoulders. I ate a lot, sometimes too much. I helped out as much as I could because, well, parties are always a lot of work, you know-- making the food, keeping it replenished so no one goes hungry, arranging for entertainment, keeping the guests happy, cleaning up. Oh my, a LOT of clean up.

    I spent quite a bit of time engaged but I also spent a lot of time trying to avoid people. Geez, some of those people just got on my last nerve! Can you believe how irritating some people can be? And then some people can just be so damned enchanting and I followed some of them around for a while, trying to soak up some of their charisma and make it my own. When that didn't work, I spent a lot of time in a pissy mood until I tired of that. Now I'm just sitting here to the side, watching. The nice thing about being on the sidelines is that you can see the whole event with more clarity. You start to notice things you hadn't noticed before.

    I am noticing, for instance, that the people who irritated me and the people who charmed me look a lot more alike from this vantage point. Interesting.

    I notice that folks involved in dancing and those engaged in clean up duties simply seem to be moving. Funny, I had enjoyed the dancing far more than the cleaning up, yet all I was doing in both instances was moving. Intriguing.

    The people in arguments look different to me. I realize it is because they no longer look angry to me, they look scared now. My heart breaks for them.

    I hear both the music and the laughter from my spot at the side and they are merging into a comforting soundtrack that is making me feel dreamy and content. It's nice here on the side. People occasionally come by and chat with me and I seem to be able to understand what they are saying even if the words they use tell a different story. They melt my heart, these people. They have me wrapped around their little fingers. I adore them because I now know who they are. They are me. And I am them. How amusing that I never saw this before. It was right in front of me all along.

    I've been at this party for quite a while, it seems. I glance at my watch. It's a quarter past sixty-two years old. It's getting late. I'm not quite ready to leave yet, but I'm beginning to think about it. Parties don't last forever. At one point everyone has to make their way home. But I'll tell you one thing. I know now that I won't leave this party bored or tired or dissatisfied or angry. No, I will make my exit with a smile on my face, the smile that comes from embracing the whole of the experience, just as it was, and calling it the best party ever.
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