Blessed to be a witness

Oh where do I start? I am blessed. I don’t always feel that way, but today I do, today I feel overwhelmingly blessed.

I was blessed to be invited to fly to Rochester, MI for the Streaming Conference at Rochester College. It was an amazing few days where Jess and I were bombarded with incredible information from renowned scholars who invited all of us attending to love more radically through the simplicity of hospitality. I was blessed to see many old friends and to meet many new faces. I was blessed to be able to share some of my own story about living in awareness of my own bodies decay, about its clear fragility, and about the implications these realities have with regard to hospitality and community. It was an amazing few days and I feel blessed to be a part.

I was blessed to travel with my partner in life. Not only did she do all the heavy lifting, but she’s also great to cuddle with on a cramped airplane. There’s no better person to sit in an airport with than Jess.

I was blessed to come home to my beautiful children who were eager to be with us on this, their first day of Summer vacation. While Jones was upset that he wasn’t allowed to stay in his jammies all day and build Lego’s, he did overcome quite well–even ‘allowing’ us to eat dinner at Edgefield.

But more than anything today I am sure that I am overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of the downtown Vancouver community. There’s no way to define what this community is nor what it is becoming…yet. There’s no way to capture who exactly it is and what the boundaries clearly are. The lines are all blurry, the impetus for togetherness is not easily understood. But there is movement happening–there is A movement happening.

Today we were surprised by forty of our downtown friends by a mural that they had been working on for nearly three weeks with the utmost secrecy. They painted until nearly 1am the last two or three nights in order to finish in time to share it with us today. It is amazing. I think it’s supposed to be a tribute to our family, but what they’ve really done is they’ve captured our heart, our passion, and our dreams of Vancouver. The paint on the wall partially captures who we are, what we love, and what we want to be all about–but I think it’s the actual event itself that truly brings me to tears. Friends from every nook of our downtown life came together in one big communal mess to work in partnership in order bring beauty to our streets and to bless someone they love. Does it get much better than that? Bringing art to our neighborhood? Blessing someone they care for? Developing new friendships? Creating new partnerships? Engaging in subversive acts of beauty? I mean, it seriously doesn’t get much better than this now does it?! Oh yeah, and did I mention that the design itself is hugely meaningful too? Yeah, there is that part too now isn’t there! The image is perfect (though as of yet incomplete I’m told) as it captures some of the iconic downtown Vancouver buildings (including our home!)–and yet, as you can tell it is not the buildings that is bringing life. No, for the Grassroots Conspiracy movement it’s not about buildings but about what they represent. Life is emerging all around and throughout those buildings–in the image those buildings are being covered by life and light in the same way that I believe/dream/hope that our downtown movement sees life and light envelope all that is ‘us’.

…and I love being able to say (as I’ve said a few times over the last year or two)…it’s happening. Life, light, movement, hope, community, meaning it’s happening. And I’ll be pissed if I don’t get to stick around long enough to see even greater things than this emerge.

I am so so blessed.

5 thoughts on “Blessed to be a witness

  1. Ryan, I am so excited for you and Jess. How, wonderful it must be to see your dreams for the Vancouver community coming true. I have been on my knees petitioning for you to be able to see this movement evolve and I will continue to do so. Peace to you and your family.

  2. Ryan Woods I wish I would have waited to post this till today because there's so much more I want to say to the neighborhood! There's so much more I want to say about the design! There's just so much more to be said! Thank you all.

  3. Pingback: mini (he)art bomb: uptown mural « love is a radical act

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