i am extraordinary
I was concerned about attire (and rightfully so, many dressed in their business best with the House in session and others coming from, gasp, black tie events... my business casual was most definitely screaming that... casual...), but opted to join in just the same. I was curious if there would be any notable people in attendance, which was greeted by a resounding "yes" as I found myself about a foot from Donald Rumsfeld. Definitely not an everyday occurrence in 'bama, nor in Mississippi. Sometimes you just know you are in DC.
All of the bells and whistles though faded in the context of the overall reason behind the evening. Last evening was to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary in a grand fashion. It was also to raise awareness about their cause and about legislation coming to the forefront to support more insurance coverage towards mental illness. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I sadly do not know as much on political issues as I wish I did. It was interesting to learn more about the cause, about the possible changes they're supporting, and about an organization that so many people passionately support that until this evening was unknown to me.
I loved the closing comments by Will Ris. He said that we all strive in our daily lives to reach such great goals, to challenge ourselves, to be extraordinary. It's neat how sometimes someone can say something that makes you sit straight up. Makes the hairs on your arms stand straight up. My song these days has been Liz Phair's Extraordinary.
I love it. It's what I turn on, full blast, and take to the front steps of our row house to greet the day. I usually listen to it 2-3 times en route to the metro. It gets me going. This morning was not an exception. It takes every ounce of restraint in me not to dance the whole way to the metro. Sometimes, I break... I'll admit hah.
But anyhow, it really struck me for him to say that we all strive to be extraordinary, when the people that come to Green Door with varying forms of mental illnesses just hope to be able to be ordinary. To be able to get up each day and go to a regular job. To be "normal". That really hit me. I don't know that I've ever thought about it from that angle.
My hopes to leave at a "decent hour" paled even further as I realized the reference to Mary Chapin Carpenter at the bottom of the program was not stating that the song would be played over the sound system but instead indicating that she would be performing live. I'm not an avid fan, but I was in awe that she was there just the same. She's a name I know well... respect well... she played a small set of three songs, and I sat quietly and listened.
The first song she played off of her new album was beautiful. The words were just amazing... I had to go home and find it on iTunes...
We believe in things we cannot see
Why shouldn't we?
Why shouldn't we...
Come on darling
Feel your spirits rise
Come on children
Open up your eyes
God is all around
Buddha's at the gate
Allah hears our prayers
It's not too late
Why shouldn't we...
She closed down the evening by an upbeat well-known fave from her repertoire, "Shut Up and Kiss Me". Dr. P and I especially loved this part:
"Come closer baby I can't hear you,
just another whisper if you please
Don't worry 'bout the details darlin',
you've got the kind of mind I love to read
Talk is cheap and baby time's expensive,
so why waste another minute more
Life's too short to be so apprehensive,
love's as much the symptom darlin' as the cure"
But what a great cause. And left an impression for sure. Left me thinking.