Connect the Knots

-Lori Oliver

I live alone. I dine alone. I shop for one. I sleep in a twin-size bed. Everything in my closet is mine and mine alone. I’m the only signer on my bank account. The hair on the soap is my hair. I go days without speaking to another person. I am all alone. And I’m never lonely.

I feel connected to people in places I used to live, as well as places I hope to move to someday, maybe. I’m happy here for now. My house is where my stuff is, but my people are everywhere. My family and friends are all over the world. And we are connected.

For years I have told this story: Soroptimist is like one of those nets that surround a blown glass float…the kind you see hanging from the rafters in one of those fish houses with the landlocked dingy out front, with a pair of oars painted with “We’re Open 24 Hours…But Not In a Row!” Each knot in that web of rope represents a connection with other women in clubs all around the globe. Like me, like you, all of us working together, trying our best to keep the world together.

I remain convinced that if any of us were to wash ashore after a shipwreck, and we dragged ourselves onto any foreign beach and uttered a single word, “Soroptimist,” someone would understand that word. And before we knew it, we’d be resting in a warm bed with a big-hearted woman smiling at us with a bowl of hot soup, or a chilled Pinot Grigio.

I am alone, but I am never lonely because I am always connected to you and others I’ve never even met. Soroptimist is a hundred years old. Think of all the connections you have made in your time as a member, and think of the women who started with a ball of twine and decided to make it into a net a hundred years ago.

How thankful I am for you, for them, and for Soroptimist International.