Pomegranate Center

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A note from Katya – May 2020

by Katya Matanovic

May 8, 2020

Hello dear friends,

I sat down to write you an inspirational article about the changing art of community collaboration during these times of social distancing. But I’ll be honest – my mind is a bit of sieve right now. Between juggling work schedules, “homeschooling” my 5 and 8-year-olds, keeping up with family and friends, and a week’s worth of laundry… I feel like I need the inspiration more than having any inspiration to share.

The truth is, we don’t know what community collaboration will look like in the coming years. It will most certainly change. But I can say with certainty that the principles that Pomegranate Center counts on for collaboration – transparency, including everyone, clarity, momentum – are not going anywhere.

I’m a big fan of Stephen Sondheim’s work and grew up singing along with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters to Sunday in the Park with George, where I learned about both pointillism and bustles. And this song keeps coming into my head… “Changing, things keep changing, I see towers where there were trees….” Granted, it’s a song about encroaching development changing a view, but the message is still resonating. George encourages his mother to see the beauty in the change, in what is right now, not what once was. “Pretty isn’t beautiful,” he says. “Pretty is what changes. What the eye arranges is what is beautiful.”

Through the mess of this time in our house (as I write, my five-year-old is letting me know that my plans for the day are just. not. okay.) I keep hearing those lyrics under it all. And I know that sometime soon, I’ll be able to see the beauty in this moment, rearrange it to see the meaning and the learning that comes from this time of pandemic.

For the practice of community collaboration, the work Pomegranate Center has been committed to for 35 years, the legacy my father fearlessly put into place – I do see the beauty of the changing moment. We suddenly have the opportunity to ask ourselves – now that the cracks in the system have neon signs pointing at them – what ought to happen here? How do we rebuild and connect with purpose and vision, and build not just what was, but what could be? It is glorious and scary and exhausting and courageous. And it will take some serious collaboration to imagine it and make it happen. When I’m not buried in Legos and laundry, I have moments of feeling strangely…excited. What a moment for people like all of you to bring your belief in creative collaboration, in trusting community, in fierce facilitation for the purposes of finding joy and connection in solving problems.

We have some exciting things planned for you in the coming months – ways we are adapting our work for virtual space and the needs of this time. In the meantime, Collaboration Office Hours remains open to everyone. We have added an extra day each month. (Hurry – the spots have been filling up!)

Keep it up folks. This is hard, glorious work.



p.s. Those extra Collaboration Office Hours are happening May 14 and May 28th this month! Can’t wait to see you – I may even bring my kids 😉