A month or so ago I went to the 60th birthday party of a good friend of mine. She gave me a great piece of advice and said “Elena, remember the Mae West quote ‘You are only as young as the man you feel’ ” she tossed back her redhead and laughed but she was somewhat serious. I like to think I have surrounded myself with a variety of people, and that they all help me feel alive. A lovely, young friend (maybe I’ll get to feel that young soon enough) taught me this week how to push my body to physical extremes for triathlon and that it was mostly mental, he challenged me and I am thankful. Taking care of my physical body is just as important as taking care of my mental self. My goal isn’t to wonder about the next life, but to live as much life as I can in this one. To surround myself with people who challenge me and love me, so that I may never stop growing—that growth is life. I know much of that sounds cliche, but it really is truth.
This weekend my friends’ Pete and Mary Alice of Electric Grandmother came to town from Washington DC. I am proud to call them my friends. Mary Alice has taught me a lot, like the expression of “being the most considerate judgmental person” you will meet. I am that and she is in a way too. It is a great compliment. Pete has great patience, awesome listener and accepts all people. They are living their life fully and opening themselves to others as well as entertaining us in the process with their music. It was warm, and loving, and a sense of home, to have them shout out dedications to me during their show on Saturday night.
That same night, crashing at my house were Joe Biel and Elly Blue. I am not sure when I first met Joe, but no doubt it was at some punk music show, I remember us hanging out at More Than Music Fest (1999?) but I think at that point we had already been friends for sometime. He has always been a solid inspiration and this time, just like last summer (I wrote in a post about how their tour saved my idealism), I felt good about the world knowing he and Elly are in it and surrounding themselves with other awesome people who were also making the world better. Elly eloquently and with fervor writing about bike-economics, Joe with his film making and documentaries, both of them with their publishing company, and with them as they tour discussing all of this are Joshua Ploeg cooking and bring people into a better awareness of food, and Aaron Cynic (btw Aaron I am still waiting for the picture of all of us on my couch!) with his great journalism skills bringing the collective knowledge of the group together to document for others.
I’ve got good people in my life. Solid people doing good things who have been around for years. I have sown deeply rooted friendships not only locally, but globally. How lucky am I? I have friends who constantly are shocking me and impressing me with their impact on the world. They are amazing, and I am lucky enough to not only know them but to call them my friends.