My “What Is Your Dream?” event


I am happy to report that my on-the-street (well, on-the-bike-path!) empathy and encouragement event went well!

I set up “camp” next to the Vera Katz statue on the Eastbank Esplanade, just north of the Hawthorne Bridge. I sat there for about two hours, from 3:00 to 5:00.

I’m mildly disappointed to share that I didn’t get many “takers,” in terms of people stopping to sit and talk. But I still consider the event to have been a success, and I’m looking forward to doing it again soon—possibly even tomorrow, since the forecast is looking lovely, with sunny skies and a high of 65F (18C).

Although I only had two people stop by to talk, a third guy walked by and looked wistful. He glanced at the “free listening” sign and said, “Where to start??” I smiled encouragingly, and the woman who was already sitting in the other chair talking with me got up to offer him her seat, since “this gentleman clearly needs to talk more than I do!” But he demurred, shaking his head and saying, “Ugh, no, I’d be here for three days! But thanks for doing this.”

He walked on.

There is a need for this.

I also saw a number of smiles when people saw the signs, and a few people commented to me that they thought it was a kind and valuable thing I was doing.

Although I had hoped for more interaction, I could really see and feel the value of simply having a sign publicly visible that says “What is your dream?” I could see people looking at it, perhaps thinking of their own dreams, or wondering what their dreams might be.

I’ve been talking with some Cambly students lately about their dreams, too, and several students have mentioned that they used to have dreams, but those fell by the wayside over time. I suspected that some of the people who walked or cycled by my sign may have felt the same. I hope the sign helped to inspire, or re-inspire, some people to connect with their own dreams.

Toward the end of my time there, my second visitor arrived: an awesome guy named Tim Davis, whom I had met via a mutual friend on Facebook just about a week ago. We had agreed that he would swing by (on his Brompton!) after participating in an Earth Day celebration at Kailash, a nearby ecovillage where we both know some people.

Sure enough, he came by, and we started talking about Bromptons, bicycling, traveling, how cool Portland (still!) is, and many other topics. His mind was encyclopedic; I’m always inspired and awed when I meet people like that.

He waxed rhapsodic about Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, where he will be moving soon for a few years.

We finished up the talk at the downtown Veggie Grill, where we shared an Earth Day buy-one-get-one-free entrée special: Santa Fe chik’n wraps!

On the way home, I enjoyed all the industrial and natural sights of the Springwater-on-the-Willamette bike path.

I’m really proud of myself for following my own dream—and overcoming some jitters—to bring this event together. I’m happy with how it went, and I hope to do it again tomorrow or very soon!

p.s. Dear reader, what is your dream?

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