Be Here Now: How? With Offers You Can't Refuse

“Thy light alone like mist o’er mountains driven, 
Or music by the night-wind sent 
Through strings of some still instrument, 
Or moonlight on a midnight stream, 
Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream. ”

— Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

Lan Su Chinese Garden – a haven of peace and tranquility “designed to inspire, facilitate personal growth, and spark creativity,” according to its website – is located in the middle of the busy bustle and noisy mayhem of downtown Portland. Artisans from Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province modeled Lan Su after their own historic Ming Dynasty gardens, which were intended to be spiritual utopias for their visitors and inhabitants. So why construct such a place downtown? It turns out the decision was very purposeful. The garden is meant to provide a bit of a break from the hustle of everyday city life, which is a concept I found interesting. While it is nice to wholly escape the perpetual grind (vacation, please?), finding calm in the midst of the storm is the order of the day for most of us.

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Be Here Now: How? Insights From That Time I Almost Missed Le Diner en Blanc

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” — Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

We got in! I coveted an invitation to Le Diner en Blanc like I do food on my husband’s plate. Every story raced through my mind in glittering detail – secret locations, beautifully decorated tables, fierce attire, new friends and, of course, the ethereal white. What’s more, I was going across the country to attend Seattle’s inaugural event.


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