The Real “Whatness” of Change

Lisa VihosDear Michael and Terri,

I am writing this post on January 6, Epiphany. In the Christian tradition, this is the day when the three Magi visited Jesus and gave him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. For a secular take on the word “epiphany,” James Joyce defined it as, “the revelation of the whatness of a thing.”

What an amazing and unexpected “whatness of a thing” it was to sit with the two of you in person this past Friday night at The Greek Joint in Hollywood, Florida, eating the most excellent galaktoboureko (Greek custard cake) and talking about the next iteration of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Like I said on Facebook after our meeting, “you really are real!” Of course you are, but how nice to sit with you to talk and share and scheme.

I will never forget that night almost two years ago when I was sitting at my dining room table in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and I saw on Facebook the small image of you, Michael, smiling in front of a sunflower. There was something in that photo that said “good energy is here,” and when I read your request: “would you be willing to organize a day of poetry to support change in your community?” I felt as though the only possible way to answer this question was “damn straight I would be willing to do that, brother!”

And so began a friendship that has developed over two years and lots of “agonizing organizing” and miles and miles of distance represented by tiny profile photos of people all over the world who are dedicated to the same process: poetry and change, music and change, friendship and change…

Our little curbside table was wobbly until Terri took charge—as she is wont to do—and improvised a folded napkin table-stabilizer. Then, the conversation could continue without distraction. It was the stabilizing effect of “being together” that brought into focus a more three-dimensional version of what 100TPC is all about: the evolvement of a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. That vision of change became palpable at our little table oasis last Friday night as we discussed the future amidst the hullabaloo of the balmy, restless streets of Hollywood where couples strolled and belly dancers and fado singers beckoned customers into glittery emporiums of merriment.


Here’s to more chances for all the poets, musicians, artists, and agents of change to sit and be inspired at the same table. There is so much strength when we go forward into the whatness of everything together, not just in cyberspace, but for real….

Lisa Vihos
January 6, 2013
Hallandale, Florida

Lisa Vihos and her father, Hollywood Beach, Florida

Lisa Vihos and her father, Hollywood Beach, Florida

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