I just got back from the state of Washington after a two week visit. What a state! Besides the lush Olympic rainforest and slopping waves of Puget Sound, we visited the Chihuly Museum in Seattle. Chihuly was a glassblower, a simple artisan, whose simple art became a world treasure. The ceiling in this room is filled with nothing but glass, but glass handblown with exquisite breath and burning hands. There are hundreds of unique pieces in this ceiling, and this is the result.

There are so many tasks to be done in order to normalize mental health as a daily regime, to maintain that vigor and that beauty. I don’t know how Chihuly can get five glass foundries from all over the world to work together, in different languages, on different national projects. Dale Chihuly suffers from intense bipolar disorder.

Maybe he does it like this: As Sandra, my activist friend, and I returned from Sequim back through Washington to the Sea-Tac Airport, I happily drove the winding roads and the freeway to the Walla Walla Ferry. But when we got to the ferry, we had to change sides. There was no way I was going to drive that car onto that ship with 200 other cars, lined up and honking! Even admirals, when coming into port, relinquish their control of their ships to a tugboat captain who understands the details of shoals and rocks.

So, Ryan Rebueno and I have decided to work together with LELA for one year. I will be Interim Director and he will direct Events and Communications until June 25, 2018, when we will elect officers. We plan to work with our new Directors Circle to provide a space for peer advocates. We want them to find themselves as administrators, as potent communicators, and as vital to the health of our communities. We want to provide Team Circles for peer professionals. We want to hold Healing Circles meant not only for peer advocates but for anyone who sees mental health as a positive.

Wow, we’ve actually lowered all this raw glass into the fire. There are so many things that can get warped and broken. Like this website… Well, we’ve begun. We hope we can develop through the next few months as a space for learning and inspiration. Let’s see what happens. Let the light shine through.


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