Respecting the Agenda of the Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center

Note written for the original version* of this entry: This article may seem — understandably — that it is about religion or politics or activism… or, perhaps, my personal background in the theatre. It is not. Rather, the work, the focus is exclusively about how to address the need for mentoring designed to build self-confidence, and provide leadership training and related instruction for the young people of Napa, California. How to set up educational opportunities which are fresh, and which are aligned with the realities of our post-modern world… from a new perspective. Following an unprecedented paradigm. One that also encourages a sense of community whilst aiming to strengthen family relationships in the process. Please resist the understandable inclination to label the motivation of this piece. It is solely concerned with the communal good. In addition, I should underscore that what’s below is unedited. And that all entries on this archived site are dated, written for specific people, for particular purposes at a given time.

*I will provide the original upon request, but the (UNEDITED) version below is more appropriate, I believe, for requesting a rendezvous with the powers-that-be in Napa. Which is what I would like at our earliest mutual convenience.

Respecting the Agenda of the Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center

Dedicated to helping our youth… out of the rain
by Oxman

I’ll start on a very mundane note. That is, few people I know that the Federal Government owns 46,633,400 acres of land in California. That’s equal to 44.5% of the state.

That’s a good point of departure for… preparing our youth for the future. In fact, I plan to write a play for The Napa Valley Playhouse which bounces off of those figures, and — simultaneously — waltzes the audience through the steps necessary for our youth to benefit from… changing that aspect of our collective status quo. Talk about leadership training! [Pause.] I trust that my proposal for action will create a watershed in history. [Pause.] I’m nothing if not presumptuous. But, at least, I do have a sense of humor blended in with my highly ambitious goals.

Seriously though, the serious agenda delineated on the Napa Valley Youth Center site — also quite ambitious, admirably so — is the kind of fountain from which my current runs or else dries up. For it is infused with great belief, and unconditional giving. I humbly request to be a part of the NVYC agenda, to serve the purposes of the wonderful people who have their sights on making this a better world, on changing crucial aspects of everyone’s lives right now… in the here and now.

And speaking of the here and now — this very heaven on earth — I look forward to getting started… yesterday. My lovely family is relocating as I write… very excited about putting down roots on Main Street in Napa, where we’ve secured a very sweet house rental, serendipity rearing its beautiful head this week. It’s not even 7am yet — this 11th of April — but I can’t wait to get started. And I expect that long before the ground breaking takes place in mid-2012, I will be able to serve the primary priorities of NVYC. That with the local youth and their families, we will be able to be a part of some miraculous advances prior to the first building being occupied.

If you glance at my select background** under the banner “About Us” on this archived site, you’ll see that I’m qualified to raise funds, tutor in all sorts of disciplines, work in marketing/PR, and so on. I even wash floors and do windows. My family and colleagues connected with the low profile (but highly effective) Zinn Institute have also expressed interest in contributing something to the NVYC cause, and with their collective green light my confidence in producing results is at quite a high pitch.

**It’s very important that I don’t lose you prematurely over any aspect of my personal bio or (seeming) attitudinal set; I am a team player through and through, and nothing in my past precludes my honoring the Napa Valley Youth Center agenda as per its set parameters and values. Elaboration upon request.

I’ve been in touch with Betty Malmgren of Napa Valley College for quite some time, looking forward to our first in person meeting. She’s responsible for the institution’s Community Relations. I believe it’s a great connection for us all, and I’m eager to explore all the options before us. Pregnant with promise.

I haven’t even done my homework yet, but my vision keeps beckoning me loud and clear and beautifully. And so… I respectfully request a meeting sooner rather than later. Preferably with people in a decision-making capacity. I must admit I am a bit worn down by having had to sound bite what I have to offer repeatedly to date. The endless telegraphic blah blah in lieu of the rolling up of sleeves, and getting down with real challenges in solidarity can be draining. But as my own main mentor used to say, “I’m not into mood changes.” Meaning, none of that will… sidetrack.

I look forward to deep, leisurely dialogue regarding the above.

Thanks for your kind consideration.

Rique Oxman, 7:27am
P.S. If you attempt contact and I don’t get back to you immediately, it’s only because the family’s personal computer has been packed up for our relocation. I will try to make use of other computers to keep in touch during our relocation. We are departing Lake County on Thursday — where we have been house sitting and pet sitting for friends — and we expect to be firmly ensconced at our new digs on Main Street some time next week. That said, any and all missives will be highly welcome… so that I can fantasize this and that during the delay. Finding my way to what’s dear to your heart. For me, enabling my own youngest child to bond with his new community will be greatly rewarding. In fact, I expect that he’ll be contributing more than me in a sense. [Pause.] To be explained.

When I was only eight-years-old I had the privilege of meeting with Edna St. Vincent Millay up at her legendary Steepletop in New York; adult connections can do wonders for a youngster, yes. The rendezvous, in retrospect, has a bittersweet dimension for the great poet was not to live much longer. But it’s never left me.

When we were alone she recited part of her precious Renascence to me, placing — in my memory — special emphasis on the segment I’ve reproduced for you directly below.

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through