Tom Soma surprised me–and all of us at Conversation 2010–by harvesting in real time our discussion from the first day of our meeting into a poem, which he read aloud to us at the conclusion of our day. Tom is the Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington (Portland, OR). He is a 2009 and 2o10 participant at GHC Conversations. Following is the first of four poems Tom wrote for Conversation 2010.
Setting the table -or- Grace before dinner
in a middle place,
surrounded by a different mix of friends—
both known and to be known—
starting with blank pages,
considering “things that make you go, ‘hmmm,’”
challenging former assumptions within a space to think,
searching for more meaningful, more fair ways
to do good…
we are writing a story
which will end,
ironically and paradoxically
with a more passionate listening
and a letting go
For we already know
that the traveling, the journey
matters far more
than any anticipated destination.,
are intrinsically worthwhile…
all await our embrace.
Energy will emerge naturally
from the bouncing around of ideas,
and community fueled and forged likewise
The table is set,
the menu nutritious and unlimited.
Let us partake of the feast.
28 April 2010