It was 1:30am on a Wednesday night and I would usually be sound asleep by then but I couldn’t bring myself to leave any earlier than the end of the night. Sleep was the sacrifice I was willing to make to savour every last ounce of wonder that the beautiful human beings I got to spend some time with last night possessed.
I was invited at the last minute by an old friend-quaintance, but there was something about his invitation that spoke to me. There was something there that said, ‘You need to say yes to this. You need to say yes to this right now, and it doesn’t matter what you’re giving up1.’ And honestly, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation in my entire being.
A few other thoughts swirling in my mind the night that I got the invite was related to work (I had made some pretty big mistakes at work, and had gotten emails from my boss about it that night), and of course the lack of romance (from external sources) in my life…. but all of those thoughts paled in comparison to the mere invitation.
I went to work as normal, went about my work day as normal, and had a pretty uneventful day2. There was potential to go for a coffee with a friend before the dinner, but
that fell through and instead of going home I decided to head straight to dinner. I picked up one of my favourite French Pinot Noirs from the LCBO and walked over to the building where the dinner was being held.
On my way to the dinner, I ran into two acquaintances I adore, and had a quick catch-up with them. Too quick to really get into anything but I tried to send them as much non-verbal love as I could in the brief moments we shared.
When I finally got inside the building, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was one of the rare moments in my life when I was early for an event; so I went to the washroom to freshen up and decompress from my day before I walked in. I was the second guest to arrive.
There were simple rules laid out for everyone, but things were pretty casual. No cell phones after 7:30pm; photos are okay. No interjecting when someone is talking. No trying to solve something for someone. Everyone will get a turn to answer the questions. You must listen when someone is talking; don’t spend that time thinking of your answer.
I didn’t get to ask the hosts how much thought they put into who is invited to the dinner, and whether there is any consideration given to the potential dynamic that the group could have when together. Personally, I don’t think it matters.
We were all open. We bore their hearts to each other and everyone, in turn, received each other with such openness I can only dream of seeing in the world. I hope I never forget the sensational, and unencumbered love that was flowing in that room and how empowering it felt. I hope we all felt the same. We may not have solved any of life’s major problems, or maybe we did in some small way; all I know is that my life is forever changed because of the wonderful people I got to meet at that dinner.
Without naming anyone (because I didn’t ask permission from any of them before writing this) I also want to remember the vulnerability, humility, strength, courage, willingness, acceptance, thoughtfulness, flexibility, and curiosity that each person3 brought to the table4 that night. I am eternally grateful, and hope that I was able to return the favour or at the very least return it in the future.
So much love.
- I was supposed to grab a coffee with my ex who I am still in love with and am trying to patch things up with[↩]
- minus a few important conversations with some friends[↩]
- there are 9 characteristics because there were 9 of us, and I did pick one word for each of us but all words also applies to each person[↩]
- pun intended!![↩]