And Then There’s Oprah, Thank You Very Much

Catherine McCall - Telling

I have quite a playlist of songs in the memory bank of my mind. This morning it was set on George Gershwin’s musical, PORGY AND BESS: “Summertime…and the livin’ is easy.” ‘Guess that’s because it is easy for me right now. Peter and I are  in Maine, traveling to the Stone Coast Writing Conference which will be held in Freeport next week. We’ve been having fun together, and haven’t been reading the paper or intentionally watching TV.  But we do get on Facebook or see news clips on the TV’s that are in restaurants from time to time, and when we do, it’s hard to digest the continuing reality of senseless tragedy occurring throughout the world. And then there’s OPRAH.

Yes, OPRAH. She’s still doing it. She’s working hard to educate parents and our society at large about sexual abuse. She’s working hard to protect children from sexual abuse. And…

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Am I REALLY a Writer?

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Rejection is one step closer, sister. Keep on. It is clear to me this is the path for you. MAKTUB. Just lean into it. It’s already done. All you gotta do is make sure your ass is in the chair and your fingers move. The rest will take care of itself. Love, G.” *

 

Recently, Glennon Melton wrote this message to a fellow writer following an interview and I just kept reading it over and over again. If you are unfamiliar, Melton is the author of Carry on Warrior  and writes in the image I wish to reflect in my own life. I don’t like finger waving preachy or telling someone how to live. I just want to show up, live and love to the best of my ability….fuck it up a whole bunch, hope for the best and write about my real life, an AWAKE life. It always feels like a disjointed beautiful mess, lots of Face Palms, and I love it, just the way it is.

 

Do you know I have dreamt for most of my adult life about writing my own book? I want the satisfaction of holding in MY hands something I birthed with my words. I am not sure how important it is to me that more than one copy exists!

What is keeping me? I have been blogging for almost a year now and perhaps that is not done with me yet. But, I can tell you, I do not give myself the space to sit MY ass in this chair and bang-bandigty-bang on these keys enough long enough.

I have something important to say, at least to myself. And if others want to listen. Bonus.

Just last night, I had the privilege of sitting with my BFF as she shared with me how she was finally making the decision to focus on what she loved and honor herself in a way that she has not for many years. I always knew she could do it. Can I?

Maybe one day both you and I will find the collective good of this life wrapped in a 3-D rectangle with a pretty picture and pretty words on the front.

Funny thing is, some days I think the fire in my belly will rot me away if I don’t make it real. Others, I am reminded I am already good enough so why am I so worried?

 

*check out the entire beautiful interview here:

http://arwenfaulkner.blogspot.ca/2014/06/puzzle-pieces-glennon-doyle-melton.html

 

The Meaning of Happiness

Well worth the read…..

Cold

storm and merry go roundMy youngest daughter, Josephine, had a birthday this past Friday the 13th.

At seven, she is dreamy, funny, contemplative and just delighted with herself. Typical of her age cohort, she tore apart her wrapping paper with a fiendish glee, strutted around in her brand new mermaid tail (though she has her doubts that mermaids actually exist, she still holds out hope that she can become one, say, as a career or lifestyle choice), and spent half the day talking to herself in the mirror as she is apt to do.

It was during one of these mirror episodes that she turned to me suddenly and said, “Mom, was the day I was born just the happiest day of your life?”

Huh.

It was not.

The day of her birth and the subsequent few years were by most standards pretty horrible, in fact. Not post-apocalyptic horrible, but bad enough so that…

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Celebrating Independence Day

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Like many Americans, our idea of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is a mass of old white men standing around in lavish clothing, likely sighing, and waiting their turn to finally sign this sweaty document that had been written and rewritten many times. The truth is each were fleeing, secretly hiding and many coming incognito to Philadelphia to sign the declaration one by one while the revolution was in full force. John Adams was incensed when he later saw the commissioned painting by John Trumball because he felt it gave off the very impression many are left with today.

Sometimes, I worry the celebration of the 4th of July perpetuates that same impression. Everything is simple. We signed a document, we are ALL free, independence belongs to each one of us and there is nothing left for us to do. Now, as a child I recall spinning my sparklers, eating Bar-B-Que and enjoying being with my family. Growing up in California fireworks were strictly forbidden so we could only watch them from the air force base. I still appreciate these simple pleasures, but I’ve grown beyond my own freedom and wondered if I only celebrate my independence, does that make me shallow? CUZ ~  just down the road my fellow neighbor sometimes does not have enough to eat and struggles to keep the lights on. Some of my neighbors cannot marry because laws have been made out of fear and hatred. Or how about the cultural phenomena that makes your head hurt like, how many women are beaten, raped and killed every day? What happened to their freedom? And how about my brown skinned brothers and sisters who would say that our independence was simply their bondage?

I ate my Bar-B-Que today. AND sour cream and onion chips, thank you (Mary Poppins intonation needed here). I am celebrating my personal freedom from the bondage of shame. I have spent most of my life enslaved to the fear of being “FOUND OUT!” As one client just joyfully said this week, “I want to march in the streets with the rest of my group saying, ‘RUINED-and HAPPY, DAMN IT!’

I hope I never loose sight of the many, many gifts I have been gifted by both circumstances and hard work. I graciously wave my American flag knowing that I can press the “Post” button and there is no one on the other side to say I cannot. May I never NEVER loose sight of what really matters to me and that is spending the rest of my life encouraging and supporting others to find their independence. May we each find our way out of whatever is enslaving us in this life, celebrate our independence and never make a hollow mockery of the struggle of our fellow human.