I don’t remember the last kiss, hug, embrace, or touch. I wish I could remember just one. Because at his best he was the most sincere, and caring man. He loved me. I loved him. We had plans. Until we didn’t. One day we stopped planning. Life took its course. Throwing curveballs. Job losses. Foreclosure. Ends upon ends. Until our marriage halted.
I told her I don’t want her to live in a world where her vagina is a liability. How can a person who is essential to bringing life into the world be treated so poorly? This is a country where her gender means she makes 28-cents less than her male equivalent. A country where “equality” is a hollow word filled with adjectives like homophobic, racist, misogynistic, supremacist, narcissistic, ugly, evil, and wrong.
Fridays signal the end of the work week, and it’s always in the same place sandwiched between Thursday and Saturday right near the end of the calendar week. Friday’s arrival comes with a sense of relief, accomplishment, and anticipation. There is a reason why we say TGIF, because Fridays are a great reminder of new beginnings.
It’s Thursday. There’s plenty of time to find a babysitter, change a carpool, or cancel a lunch date. It is scary, to stand out and up for something you believe in. What’s scarier is what happens when we sit down.
If you haven’t laughed in a while, please do so. I promise you’ll look at the world a little warmer than you did the moment before. And if you haven’t spoken to or seen a friend who has the ability to make you nearly pee your pants, please get in touch.
I don’t want to work for anyone anywhere. I want it to mean something and make a difference, and while that may sound Pollyannaish, it’s true and the truth is my north star. I want to inspire and be inspired.
I smiled. We all smiled. The other three agreed. In unison, oh yeh, he was my favorite, too. They went on and on, and I told the story of my regret, and how I just found pictures and a letter of and from him, and yes, I admitted I had thought of him, both recently, and often.
When I went to find the link to share here, it turned out that darkroom was not a prompt, so I’ll have to try this again sometime when my brain is better equipped to follow directions.
My opening quote struck a chord with me this morning because when I read it I didn’t think of myself at first, I thought of two women who I shared the evening with last night. I think they are both courageous.
The truth is other than shocking the people in the car at the thought they almost struck a blind person on a bicycle, I don’t remember much, other than the laughter.
I never fully considered the upside of “suffering” but after reading Janine’s poem this morning, I smiled. When I awoke this morning, I was intent on finding beauty today. I was intent on finding joy. I was intent on writing something uplifting this morning. I was intent on appreciating happiness. I found it in Janine’s poem.
Just like in Improv, it’s not always easy to roll with the line, though. But it’s better than killing the scene. In life, when we accept what’s put in front of us, the outcome, at least in my experience is healthier. Acceptance sure works better than Pepcid, TUMS, and Zantac. It’s cheaper, too. Denial had me drinking alongside the alcoholic, ignoring the problems, and in a constant state of resentment. It sucks to be perpetually disappointed. Saying goodbye to denial is a great relief to the mind and liver, too.
I love few things more than slicing a bright red tomato still warm from the sun, sprinkling salt on it, savoring its acidity, and sweet and salty tastes.
“Momma you have to tell me why you’re crying!”
I waved her off in a futile attempt to silence her. Using the collar of my t-shirt, I wiped wipe my tears, mumbled and pleaded between sobs, “I will, I promise, please just listen, Bridget, just listen.”
Like a champ, yes, that is how I feel this morning. As if I ran a relay race in record time last night, with friends and family cheering my team and me on, all the way to the finish line. This morning’s quote about the absence of fear nailed this morning’s mood.
“Wait. We do have one more person who signed up, what did you say his name is?” My jaw and heart fell at the thought that this fellow who I just broke it off with had also signed up for this class.
God didn’t abandon my Grandma when Ellen died. He surrounded Dorothy with the likes of her mother Ellen, strong women, kind women, determined women, who together made her the woman that she was.
I yearn for quiet, and a long walk. The type of walk I enjoy most in the forest preserve, when all that I hear are my feet crushing the snow.
I thought of that concept this morning. Blissful ignorance. It would be nice to remove the thoughts that taint our opinion of others. Nice is an understatement, in fact, it’s life-changing. I found a way to do that on Monday.
Those lines are delivered by two characters. The sincerity and vulnerability of the lines, though originating from one, is shared by the two, both of their desire to be seen, to be understood, to be appreciated, and to be loved is so fervent that it is palpable.
It is your year, too. So enjoy it. Own it. And by God, do what Oscar said, “Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.”
On this last day of the year, I could focus on the worst parts of 2017, but that’s foolhardy. Who wants to look at life half empty, when it is so full of promise? Not I. For that reason, I’m going to say goodbye to this year with love and admiration for the friends and family who brought me so much joy, so that I could return it. As I look ahead to 2018, I know in my heart and mind there is nowhere to go but up.
My Aunt Karen called me last night. And did we have a gab! I am named after her, a point of pride for me, and at some point in the conversation, we talked about our shared name. I love my name! I love how both Karen and Craven are two syllables and how each start and end with the same consonant sound. Before I even came to appreciate those things, I first loved that I was named after my mom’s younger sister.
I don’t normally have Thursday nights free and I was excited to get out. I’m currently grounded from yoga and walking the dogs and was desperately in need of being around people. I loved listening in on their conversations, watching them react and interact with the art.
We are always told to “Put yourself in their shoes” or “Walk a mile in their shoes” or some other iteration. And I have tried over the years to do just that. I recall sitting in court at 26th and California, listening to the public defender plea with the judge or jury as a death penalty was considered and begging for forgiveness. Those moments almost always made me think about how we choose our paths, and ultimately how our environments contribute to our behavior.
WHEN A MARRIAGE FAILS
Out of the mud the bluest flowers
open in the sun
without anger or regret; neither more or less than what it is,
alive again and free.
I’ve always wondered without journalism where we would be? What if no one photographed Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, or September 11, no one documented the Civil Rights Movement or Women’s March, nothing to intricately connect our shared experiences like fine Irish lace? Outside of our those shared experiences, each family needs its own history keeper. Each family should know its own truths. Who knew that when my mother gave me a Christmas ornament 24-years ago that its meaning was not so much about the trajectory of my career, but more about my role in this family, its history keeper?
Yesterday morning I spoke with my sister and shared my blues about being alone Christmas Day. Bridget will be with her father today, and I am not making Christmas dinner, which we’ve always shared with my parents. I was dreading being alone. In spite of my little pep talk, about subtracting “no” and “can’t” from my vocabulary, I was falling right into the trap I desperately wanted to avoid: Self-pity.
Acknowledging and accepting what we have; isn’t that what this day is about? A savior was born in a manger on Christmas Eve because his parents didn’t say no. Mary and Joseph didn’t cut and run. They didn’t resist, they humbly accepted the scene as God presented it, and what a gift they gave us.
When I was home, I was on my phone, or computer, always occupied with the past and the future happenings of my work, rarely ever savoring the “quicksilver moments”.
My favorite story which makes me believe in fate is from January 1942 at St. Bernard’s Hospital. Patricia Craven and Dorothy Burns shared a room in the maternity ward. Patricia gave birth to Pasty, and Dorothy gave birth to Marie. The mothers would meet again 27 years later when Patricia’s son, Jerry, married Marie.