Friday, June 09, 2006

1001 Details

I've been too busy lately to post something. I led the effort in creating another successful Buddhist Festival in the Park. A lovely friend of Portland BPF took photos that day. For some reason she took several of me. I like this one. Maybe because one gets a feel for the festival, seeing the banner, prayer flags, and park shelter in the background where teaching was taking place, but in the foreground is a colorful booth where people have connected to each other. Plus I guess I never really get to see the back of me, and Reverend Faulconer looks really cool from the back, with his robes filling the center of the photo. Then Jan came around to the front for this one.

Several people said they want to help next year, or help more than they did this year. I will remind them of that. While this is work I gladly do, I don't want to be the one doing most of it, as happened this year. Not only do I feel pressured, I don't think it helps the festival either. I am already thinking about how I can get more people involved in pre-event planning, and get more area groups involved. This is a conundrum of virtual connections. While I can reach many instantaneously and quite a few express enthusiasm, few actually step forward with real-time effort.

People kept asking me how the day was going. Could I tell them that my main concerns were a day starting with no canopy for the info booth, no bathroom cleaning supplies, and no bell? There were a 1001 details: I had thought of a 1000, and there were several that somebody forgot. Instead I responded that they were in a better position to tell me, because while I focused on the details to make the day go smoothly, they were getting to experience it. Several people commented that they enjoyed how peaceful and relaxing it was. People at the booths felt those who stopped by were genuinely interested.

I particularly enjoyed covering the children's booth for an hour. I read a story, giving the boys who were there a choice between two books. (I brought as many Buddhist books for kids that I could get my hands on from the library...a feature of the kids booth that parents especially liked.) The boys chose Little Stone Buddha. We had a good time talking about it as well as reading it. They shared news of their own statues of Buddhas, and we had a little conversation about mudras as well. We noticed the Little Stone Buddha held his hands and arms in a couple of different mudras.

Some of these boys spent most of the afternoon coloring. In this photo I am cutting Buddhist images from a magnetic sheet that they can color with magic markers. This was left over from a Dharma School project. (Yet another thing that's been keeping me busy, but now I have the summer off.) A little while later one boy asked for another story, which tickled me to no end. But I got a couple of pages in, then the others returned to gather him up for a game of tag, which was fine with me.

This was our third year to hold a Buddhist Festival in the Park, and the third year that I did a good bit of the arranging of the teachers who would speak, but did not get to hear them myself. This time though we got a volunteer to record the talks, so I get to hear them after the fact, and so will others.

Yesterday I treated myself to a gift that honors this year in which I feel like I've done a lot of bodhisattva work. I got a garden statue of Kanzeon, she must be about 4 feet high, and put her on a stump pedestal near my back porch. More on that later, with photos.

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