5 Question Friday With L. Lisa Lawrence

Lisa Spinning Fire

This week’s 5 Question Friday, we have L. Lisa Lawrence. She’s a photographer. She’s a gardener. She runs marathons. She’s a community organizer. She’s a fire spinner. She was once a park ranger. She is someone who just might have more stories than I do.

1.Hilltop is one of the most infamous neighborhoods on the West Coast. What made you choose the Hilltop as the place to make your home and how do you like it?

What attracted me to the Hilltop is the fabulous 100 year old houses, the early history of the people who built this town (my house was built by Italian immigrants), and the spirit of the neighborhood. Hilltop was my first choice for these reasons, as well as the fact that it is still affordable and was a damn smart investment.

This neighborhood (which deserves respect) had to pull its self together and fight what it was becoming. I Love my neighbors. We all watch out for each other, pay attention to what is going on and communicate with each other and the Community Liaison Officers from TPD. This is the safest most peaceful place I have lived in Tacoma.

People wave to each other, we sit on our front porches and we walk through the neighborhood, people stop to ask if someone needs help carrying groceries or digging a hole to plant a tree. In some ways, the Hilltop is Mayberry.

2. You’ve done everything from being a tri-athlete to spinning fire. Your interests seem to be all over the map. What do you want to do next?

I’m actually hoping to get back to some things that were put on the back burner when my mother was sick and dying, specifically playing my violin/fiddle and guitar. I’ve been learning to spin (fiber, not fire) and knit (don’t laugh, some of the most badass athletes and backpackers I know are knitters) I’m all about my urban farm, community and sustainability. Stillness is death-I never want to stagnate or stop learning.

3. Speaking of spinning fire, could you tell us about that?

I was a theater kid, I have a dance background. I love grace, rhythm and music. Fire is a primal force-something that is beautiful and which must be worked with carefully and with respect; in addition to the artistic aspect, there is a highly technical aspect which totally turns a geek like me on. In short, it is a rush.

Tacoma is home to some amazing fire dancers who I am proud to call friends and mentors, including Deanna Reilly , Cathy Marcotte, and Tabitha Andrews. (we’re for hire, check us out, monkey fist poi and fuel aren’t free)

4. You were part of the Speakeasy Arts Co-op. What do you think Tacoma needs next in support of the visual and perfoming arts?

The Tacoma art community is in some ways is a “victim of it’s success” there are so many art events, galleries and cooperatives that on any given night one is faced with so many choices that it’s impossible to do it all. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I suppose more coordination would be nice…

5. What’s one thing you want everyone to know about you?

What do I want people to know about me? For the most part, I am an open book-one of the reasons I’ve been told that I am a good writer is because I am accessible and am not afraid to “open a vein” if it touches or moves someone (just friend me on Facebook or read my blog http://wildcelticrose.net/ blog.

I guess the short answer is, I am not what you expect, I am much like the heyoka of Lakota tradition (healer and sacred clown) or coyote; I am contrary. I may do something incredibly non traditional and badass during the day, and then sit and knit and/or cook a gourmet meal later that evening. Much like the old Enjoli commercials in the 70s,”I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man”. I believe that stereotypes and labels are limiting; I chose to ignore the stereotypes and limits.

I am me, passionately and unapologetically me. People generally love me or hate me; there is not much middle ground. I’m good with that. How sad would it be to be someone people are indifferent about?

Thanks to L. Lisa Lawrence for participating in 5 Question Friday. To find out more about her, visit her blog at http://wildcelticrose.net

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