At age 5 I organized a bike race and was afraid that no one would show. How delighted I was when 40 kids showed up and raced around the school yard won construction-paper awards I had crayoned and ate orange sherbert. But I feared that the fliers and the phone calls did not explain why so many had showed up and their magic was not valid so I climbed back into my little scroll of a shell. At age 17 I organized a beach party I wore a sign on my back to school every day and on the last day of school sprayed my hair pink and shared the hair spray with kids who wanted to be pink, too. What beauty to see a sea of students sporting pink hair. A low turnout on a cloudy day at Stinson Beach despite the fun we had convinced me that those who came were not enough. So after the party I climbed back into my spiral shell. At age 32 I organized a group of programmers mutually in love with a programming language. And then I sank back into my shell of oneness afraid of people again. Now at age 38 I'm organizing for peace Buoyed by the tide of organizers and walkers and drummers and dancers and sign bearers around me. I've learned to thrive on the energy the people give and to give it back to the people to keep it going to channel anger into poetry to turn cries and screams into music and rhythm. I've learned that people are not afraid to hear my name and my greeting and my message of peace and music and I've finally learned that we are all a little bit scared to come out of our shells. But now I know that if we don't, we'll be stuck at the bottom of the sea with the giant octopus of security wrapped around us.
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Copyright © 2003 Laramie Crocker