Wednesday, June 13, 2012

At the Women's Conference in Portland. The plants here are so cool! They can grow all sorts of stuff that won't make it in northern Idaho. And others, like the Hydrangea paniculata, can and do grow in Idaho but never look as good there as they do closer to the coast. All the vegetative growth is lush, growing with abandon.

On the way here, we stopped at a place called Maryville; apparently this place was built by a very rich Quaker. He used to live in this huge house, and now it has art, including a collection of chess sets (fascinating!) and the best: sculptures by Rodin. Yes, Rodin. I couldn't believe it! I never thought I'd see his art in person, or possibly one work in Chicago perhaps...if I were to make it back to the Art Institute there. Seeing the work in person....I just can't was awesome.

And....this is a challenge. I really struggled to make going to this conference work. I was committed to being here. I'm so happy to see all the Friends, many of whom are not seen anywhere else, so I won't see them for two more years. But there are still a lot of folks I don't know and...I feel out of place at times. For example: I am not sure what the tactful course of action is when you are talking with someone and another person walks up and the person you were talking to turns to talk to them. Do you leave? Just walk away? Insert yourself into their conversation to say goodbye and then go? Stand by and try to figure out what to do? I've done all of these things and they all feel awkward. Usually I just sort of fade away quietly. There are a lot of people here....they are all women, whose social skills are generally more advanced, and my social cluelessness is staring me in the face at every turn.

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