In performing and writing comedy, I’ve found success in trying out and working in new material when it’s attached to an “anchor joke,” a solid bit that already works. This often helps win the audience’s confidence which allows them to move forward with you.
It’s a comedy strategy that I hope works in this thing called life. Having survived the biggest fire in California history, my home town folks (and I) now get to figure out a way to move forward.
One good method may well be the rebuilding of an iconic Santa Rosa landmark: The Round Barn. (See news article.) I’m donating to a GoFundMe campaign that a long time friend (and I mean since kindergarten) Moira (et al) has started. It’s one of the things I’m supporting financially because we all need an anchor to hang on to in our post-fire future. And when anchored perhaps we can catch a breath and help those that need more than an anchor, those that need a hand hold, that leads to a foot hold, that leads to a plateau in this part of life’s climb back to whatever normalcy might be for them now.
Here we are in the afterwards of the previously unthinkable, figuring how to continue to be a good neighbor and friend to the many who survived, but are far from what I would call “intact.”
While moving back home had been one of the best decisions (so far) of my life, figuring out how to best help those around me (like the 7 or so friends from high school who lost everything) is a challenge. But helping is a goal I’d like to look back and be proud of.
To those like Doug, Rachelle, Jennifer, Joel and Marian, Cathie, and Dave, as well as the classmates that I don’t know about, the other friends and Santa Rosans I will learn about, I hope as individuals and as a community we figure out how to best help those who need, and I’m gonna start by helping to rebuild an anchor. Any step forward is a step in the right direction.