The charter bus was abuzz with the chatter and energy of the Cirque du Soleil OVO cast after their opening night show in Loveland, Colorado. I sat among them, preparing to head back to the hotel while on a press junket to preview the show as it makes its way to Spokane. Twenty-one countries and 12 languages represented by the cast and crew of 100 insanely talented individuals. I speak plain ole’ English, aside from five words of Spanish I’m proud to slay every now and then, so there weren’t many aspects of their conversations I could follow; but laughter is universal, and I busted out in belly laughs along with them several times. I felt so blessed as I soaked them in.
The next day, I watched them rehearse and push themselves to new levels in their particular talent—I love seeing ambition in motion, and was inspired by their world-class commitment to their crafts. We shared meals, conversation (most of them speak English conversationally, along with several other languages) and laughter throughout the day. They sold me. On the show. On what it takes to be some of the best in the world at what they do. On humanity. And I sold them on glossy magazine editors and on Spokane.
As I flew back home to Spokane—full of a joy for travel, adventure and humanity—with 200 strangers or so, I handled the full-on garlic bacon cheeseburger my row mate brought on board (and apologized an uncomfortable amount of times for). He partially gobbled the meal, placing his leftovers in the empty seat between us. I averted my eyes so as not to make eye contact with the white box, thinking of the “would you rather” games my kids make me play. Would I rather be trapped beside this fragrant box of food for two hours, or eaten by crocodiles? Easy answer.
The gentleman in front of me pressed his seat back into my crossed legs as though he was frantic for the extra three inches of space the recliner seat promised. I didn’t have time to uncross my gams, so the de-pretzeling without disturbing him was tricky. Would I rather be straight-jacketed into this tiny space, or lost at sea without a life raft? Okay, I’ve got this.
And then the gal behind me broke out her eucalyptus full-body—from the intense smell of things—salve.
For. The. Love. Tall girl in a small space. Seat mate is a partially gnawed-on garlic bacon cheeseburger. Vicks vapor love rub intensely floating in the air and up my nostrils. The baby in the back of the plain begins to cry, and I fight off the compulsion to rush to her, wrap my arms around her, sing a hushing lullaby. And then my “must stay hydrated while traveling” efforts created another challenge: the sudden need to use the restroom. Like, it’s an emergency. And my human row mate is now snoring.
Which reminds me of the spectrum of intrinsic possibility I believe everyone has inside of them. From the darkest dark to the lightest, most celebrated and honorable bright . . . And that we are all dancing along that spectrum at any given time. And how I want to dance on the dark side with the garlic, bacon, eucalyptus, reclined seat, snoring, tortured baby in back, and the uncomfortable need to . . .
Twenty minutes to final descent into Spokane and the captain says to stay in our seats. I can’t. I wake my row mate and he kindly allows me out. The Southwest flight attendants don’t yell at me when I ask to use the tiny capsule of a restroom, in spite of the “seatbelt” sign’s illumination. And the guy in front of me puts his seat back to the upright position upon my return. My row mate finishes his garlic burger leftovers and passes the to-go box to the flight attendant making one last pass through the cabin. I see the twinkling lights of the outskirts of Spokane, my favorite city—home with my family and my friends and my people. Okay, that was Airway Heights or Cheney. Nonetheless, I’m back to being joy-filled and okay.
A 15 minute drive and I’m home to a smiling grand baby who wants a dance party. So, I scoop her up in my arms and head to the kitchen where we cue up her favorite Raffi Pandora station. And. We. Dance. And eat cheese at midnight as I share my adventures.
A few days later, a couple of vitriol-filled messages land in my email inbox, reminding me of that human spectrum of intrinsic possibility. I held on to my high—and intrigue—for humanity as I replied, thanking the writers for reading the magazine, and for taking time to share their passionate views with me.
I make no apologies for Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine’s mission to encourage all readers to be their best—reach for their best—and to be the positive change they want to see in their community. I trust readers to stay curious about others and what’s happening in our community, but I also trust that when something doesn’t resonate—or maybe even irritates—they’ll realize their own power to . . . turn the page. That’s the beauty of the quiet, peaceful aspects of a print publication that covers information applicable to a broad spectrum of 130,000 readers, each as valuable and important to me as the next.
And I’m reminded of my new favorite lyrics from Lady Gaga’s song, “Million Reasons”: “I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away, But baby, I just need one good one, good one, Tell me that you’ll be the good one, good one, I just need one good one to stay.” I pledge to be one good reason for my readers, for my community, and for humanity. We aren’t diminished by experiencing individuality and diversity, we are enhanced by it . . . and better because of it.
We are Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, and we are Spokane. Please find me on Facebook—and hop over to “like” the Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living page—to stay connected between press dates, and share your thoughts, stories, and life in real time.