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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