Monday, September 20, 2004

it's all greek to me

saturday night, katy and i decided to attend this greek festival held at a greek orthodox church in the mission district. as we looked for parking and drove by, we could hear music reverberating from the back lot where all the people congregated. upon entering the festival, we passed the gyro booth with the smell of succulent lamb emanating into the chilly night air, making it warmer. next we passed a booth of copied paintings- attempts at great favorites like "the kiss" by klimt, "the french cafe" by van gogh. on we walked and passed the biggest brown turkey figs i have ever seen. some of them were as big as my fist! as we were marveling over the figs, pam walked up and surprised us. she said she, darren and their son jesse were at a table with some of their friends from work. we continued walking around the booths, perusing all the delights and finally settled on gyros for dinner.

grandmothers sat alongside their children who sat next to their children. the multiple generational component was powerful. the youth group danced in traditional greek and cretan attire. the boys' slick black riding boots appeared impressive all smashing down together at the same time on the ground. after the show, the musicians played so the audience could dance. katy and i got up, joined the grapevine and got into sync with the other dancers. pam chased jesse around the periphery of the dance area, where he ran around, flailing his arms, looking like the lord of the dance. she then grabbed his arms and danced along with him, in tandem with the community of dancers around father, holding daughter's hand, mother holding grandmother's.

prior to this evening, i thought only one form of grapevine dancing existed. for whatever reason, my mind hearkens thoughts of dancing to "hava negila..." saturday night i found out a whole myriad of grapevine dances pair with certain songs, much like you wouldn't dance a mambo to cumbia music. i laughed so hard as we held shoulders with our neighbors, left foot crossing in front of right. this one man held my left shoulder as his bald head gleamed under the bright outside lights, his teeth loomed down on me large and white, carniverous almost... i decided not to look at him again, otherwise i would get freaked out.

katy, a non-greek woman named caroline and i chatted for a bit. caroline has had a very interesting career-life. she was a consultant for energy companies overseas and has traveled extensively. she became interested in greek dancing during a short stint in greece, took classes and was hooked. she now works as a strategy consultant to non-profits.

we had a very lively discussion about my experiences at the living room and about the wednesday night dinners held at church. she and katy got up to dance again. i stayed seated, as my quad muscle was pulsing with a dull ache from the soccer game friday night (which we won!) i checked my email this morning and caroline has already emailed me inquiring when we can get together to continue our discussion.

i feel like i am in a game of connect the dots, i'm just not sure how they all connect right now.
from meeting todd (who i am having coffee with tomorrow night to discuss his role with the non-profit he started), stephanie, the life coach from last week's dave matthews concert and now caroline, a strategy consultant for non-profits. all of them interacting with me, a marketing coordinator, who believes these meetings are not chance encounters but part of the other.


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