the beckoning of lovely

I'm just back from a lovely evening that began with beckoning lovely, and ended with dinner with my very wonderful friends, Laura Mayes, Katherine Center and Jenny The Bloggess.  It was sort of an odd, wonderful and yes, lovely evening, and I'll try to capture it here as best I can -- although so much happened in one hour at the little Blue Willow Bookshop that it's unlikely I'll remember everything.  These are, however, the highlights.

The evening was hosted by the Amy Krouse Rosenthall, who is the mind behind The Beckoning of Lovely, and who also happens to be a very accomplished writer of both grown-up books and children's books (I bought one of them, Spoon, tonight for Alex -- it's all about how being different is beautiful.  It's a fantastic book, and I can't wait to read it with her).  Amy led us through a series of little exercises that were, well ... lovely.

First, Amy enlisted the aid of a sweet young man to perform a beautiful poem by Shel Silverstein (forgive me, but I don't remember which of Silverstein's poems it was).  (Update:  Rhonda, one of the women I met last night, informs me that the poem was "How many, how much."  You can read it here.)  She whispered the lines in his ear, and he said them loud and proud.  It was really sweet.


Amy then talked about how, at various performances, like movies, or theatres, you're asked to turn off your cell phones.  So instead, she asked us to turn on our cell phones, and text someone the words "I love you."

I texted Marcus.


The lovely Katherine Center read an excerpt from her book, Everyone is Beautiful.  It's a great book, and it's always so wonderful to hear the book read in the author's voice.  Lovely.


Amy told a story about this beautiful snow globe ring that a friend gave her when she admired it.  Amy spontaneously gave the ring to one of the attendees, with the instruction that she is to wear it only until someone else admires it, and then pass it along.  Eventually, the ring will hopefully make its way back to Amy, having been worn by people who loved wearing it.

Amy shared some of her favourites of her tiny music box collection.  You really have not lived until you've heard "Stairway to Heaven" on a music box.  Seriously.


One of the participants sang Patsy Cline's Walkin' after Midnight.  It was surprising, and really great -- she belted it out, and we all clapped our hands to the beat of the rhythm. 


And finally, we all sang, and Amy recorded us all.

And these were only some of the activities -- there were also moments of silence, and stories of laughter yoga. There was even sidewalk chalk art.  And it was all done in 60 minutes.

As I said, it was strange, but it was beautiful.  We all met some really great people.  And we spent an hour without worrying about anything but being in each other's company.

Thanks to those of you who made it out -- I hope you walked away thinking the evening was lovely and special, too.  At the very least, hopefully you left with some ideas about how you can beckon a bit of lovely into each of your own lives.


SongWalkin' after midnight by Patsy Cline