A Sunday Reflection - Your Dream Dinner
"Imagine you're going to throw a dinner party for yourself and seven guests. You can invite anyone who has ever lived. If you choose someone from the past, they will be magically alive and present for this one day. But here's the twist - in order for the magic to work, each chair will only hold a guest who fits into a certain category. Tell us who you would invite and, if you like, tell us a little about why. What do you admire about that person or what would you like to learn from him or her?"
Guest one must be someone who is/was creative with words - a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, journalist, etc. Who would you invite?
My first guest would be Maya Angelou. She has a magnificent presence that always moves me to tears. This is truly a woman who has lived her live with grace and a determination that baffles me. I was so fortunate to attend a poetry reading that took place in my city several years ago. I was blown away. She inspires people with her words, she lifts them up when they are down and she really has shown me that words are powerful.
Guest two must be someone who is/was creative with images - a painter, photographer, sculptor, fabric artist, collage artist, etc. Who would you invite?
My second guest would have to be Georgia O'Keefe. How does a girl from a dairy farm in Wisconsin become one of the most respected and widely regarded American artists of the of last century. Her paintings are earthy and sensual and in the end created her own style that is still as breathtaking today as it was 60 years ago. What stories she could tell, and she really was a trailblazer for women in the arts.
Guest three must be someone who is/was a performer - an actor, singer, musician, comedian, acrobat, etc. Who would you invite?
Well guest number three could only be Katharine Hepburn. She was bold, brainy, beautiful, and an independent individual and empowered woman at a time when neither of those things was particularly in fashion. First and foremost a movie star, she is also a living legend of the silver screen--an actress who brought her own definitive personality to each role she took on, yet one who always challenged herself artistically and refused to let stereotype or criticism bring her down.
Guest four must be someone who is charting/charted new territory - either in the physical sense, like an explorer, adventurer, or astronaut, or someone like a groundbreaking scientist or inventor. Who would you invite?
I think my fourth guest would have to be Marie Curie. As the discoverer of the element radium she opened the door to deep changes in the way scientists think about matter and energy. She also led the way to a new era for medical knowledge and the treatment of diseases. I have a slew of questions I would want to ask her.
Guest five must be someone who is/was a leader of other people - perhaps in the area of politics, like the literal leader of a country, or perhaps a leader in the area of religion, military, business, or even a great philosopher or teacher, or an inspiring athlete. Who would you invite?
Guest five would have to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, one of the most influential men in history. I mean... she was his Mother... and taught him many lessons. I would so want to ask her what it was like to carry the child of God, how her life changed when she accepted her fate... and if she had a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Guest six must be someone from any field who you believe is/was underrated and under-appreciated by most people, but whom you admire. Who would you invite?
My sixth guest, and the first male would have to be the Dalai Lama. He has lived his life in peace and integrity and as a refuge. I want to know if winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 was a highlight for him... and I want to ask him about his thoughts in educating children about compassion.
Guest seven is a wild card - your choice! Is there someone you'd like to invite who didn't seem to quite fit into any category, or was there a category where you'd have really liked to invite two different people? Then this is your chance to add the person you missed to the table. Who would you invite?
Guest seven is my son, Alex. I want him to share this experience with me and to see that successful does not mean you are the richest or the smartest person... but the person that lives your life with integrity, that follows your own dreams and goals and not those forced upon you by others.
Bonus: Uh Oh! The dinner party is just about to end, and all your guests are about to disappear, and you realize that you've forgotten to ask one important question of one of your guests. You just barely have time to squeeze in that last question, so quick! - what was the question and who did you ask?
I would probably ask Mary how the spirit of the Lord came (well you know what I mean) over her... and if this eternal life in Heaven is for real... and more importantly would she be seeing me there?
And a super bonus.... I would want Julia Child to cater the event.... I mean.. what a blast that would be.