Whenever my sisters and I get together we make brain stew. Basically, we dump our thoughts into a common vessel and swim around in it, collectively chewing for a minute or two on a piece of thought and then, still starving, dive back in for another nibblet.
On a recent trip to visit my parents in the concrete jungle (Phoenix), my sister Amy and I took a coveted kid-free walk. A few miles in, baking under the high sun as we walked towards the McDowell mountain range, we started the inevitable sister stew. Amy's contribution was this: "expand your territory." Why some words pass over me like Katie Couric's voice and others stick like industrial strength magnets doesn't really make sense to me, but that's how my brain-absorption-system works.
"Expand your territory" (EYT) for me reads: open up, get dirty, wallow around in the muck, take risks, MAKE CONTACT. What is most profound for me about EYT is the inherent potential. Anybody can expand their territory. There are BILLIONS of people in the world. Infinite moments of contact between each of us and those billions. The hand gestures with the woman in the silver Lexus SUV who insists on letting me cross the four-lane busy street with my snail-paced 5-year-old in tow- CONTACT. Negotiating which lane to swim laps in with the profoundly weird man in the purple speedo- CONTACT. Making eyes with the exhausted pony-tailed single dad on the plane who is sitting two rows in front of his nine-year-old daughter because no one will switch seats with him- CONTACT. Cyber-stalking a cute guy from a cafe and emailing him- CONTACT.
The possibilities for EYT are endless. In two days I'll be in Oaxaca, Mexico. I can't wait to try EYT in Espanol.