September 28, 2020
(A MUST READ)
I was gonna stick to “estrangement” today but I just read an article that had some ugly nasty scary shit in it about Don Jr. going around telling folks they need an army -encouraging folks to carry guns, to scare folks at the polls because they must win this election.
If you’re voting for this rabid brutal vindictive bully, get the fuck off my page. You’re not a Republican, you’re a bully; you’re a crude racist – you’re complicit – and if you’re thinking this motherfucker is gonna take care of you & you’re gonna keep your nest egg/money – this guy is full of shit. And if all you care about is your money, well, that’s pretty shitty especially when most humans are scraping by, living off crumbs, wondering if they will ever work again because this creature doesn’t give a shit that folks are dying from COVID – he’s telling you it’s a hoax and meanwhile, hundreds of thousands are dying. And if you’re thinking right now, whoa… she uses fuck a lot and has a real nasty mouth – I can promise you this is mild compared to what I’m really thinking.
Donald trump is an abuser. Ask any woman – or man – who has been abused: beaten, battered, made to feel like shit – his words are the same words that abusers use. Making you feel like the truth is complete bullshit. Making you believe that he’s the only one who can make life better. making you think that if you leave him the world is gonna fucking crumble and you’re gonna regret it. He is an abuser, a batterer, he is the man you wish you never met and he has you in a headlock.
He is an abusive crude vindictive conman and his son is going around telling folks that they need a fucking army – a militia – in order to keep him in the White House. He’s turned Washington into Jonestown.
You know what’s scarier than leaving an abusive man or an evil cult: staying.
Leave the fucking cult.
We will welcome you & we will help you and we will even make you comfort food for your battered & beaten soul.
Many of my friends – and yes, MyKen, iKen – are estranged from their families; parents, children, siblings. And I’m right there, I know this feeling, this pain, this sorrow.
I’m taking a break from writing to address something that is very important to me: on my page, my posts, I take a lot of shit. I expect it. I expect to be dragged through the mud, vilified, and tossed on a junk heap – I write my truth and my truth doesn’t always jive with others; I try very hard to keep to my truth and not sway with the wind; I am not one of those people who tries to be PC for the fuck of it. I don’t wanna be that kind of person. And yes, I defend myself if I’m being tormented or pummeled, or I block the asshole who won’t let the conversation go or… I try to engage best I can. Life is too short, and none of us should apologize for our truth, our feelings, our hard-earned lives. But on my page, on my posts, I would prefer if people who come on to my page to express themselves aren’t shamed, or dragged through the mud or vilified. I have read & re-read numerous comments – both about Kobe Bryant and now about the half-time show – and I will say this: everyone is entitled to an opinion – and no, we don’t have to agree, but we do need to stop from humiliating folks, or belittling them for having a reaction that isn’t the same as ours. if it’s civil it becomes a dialogue, a conversation – something, a word or two or three that can open a closed heart or enlighten another human – and that’s a good thing. A really good thing. Conversations, dialogues. A give and take. But we seem to think shaming others is a groovy thing to do nowadays. I abhor bullying. I despise it. We have a bully in the White House and every day he says or does something that is cringe-worthy. You bet we’re better than that, than him, than his nasty fucking bullshit. So, I expect to be dragged through the mud because of what I put out in the world – if everyone liked me or thought I was some word guru it would be boring and it would be a lie. We learn from folks who are different, who don’t share our opinions, we can crack open our own hearts and souls if we’re smart. I have been called every name under the sun, and I could go alphabetical, but one word I absolutely know I am – through and through – is kind. So, here on my page, go ahead disagree, share your opinions, but offer up a heaping side of kindness in the midst of your outrage; the world is in pain, it is bleeding and it is hurting and we’re feeling it deep – let’s make it better, after all, we are all we have. Let’s find those common threads in the heat of a moment- let’s pull at them – and let’s do what we do best: shake and rattle the universe – and if it happens to be with our asses – let’s applaud those who can still do it, and let me just say being a badass is just as fucking sexy.
Here’s a partial list – a partial list – of what offends me, in no particular order:
Abuse of power
Concentration Camps, here in America, in 2020
Abusing & using & misusing God
Faking benevolence & altruism
White sheets used as a fashion hate statement
The Confederate flag
A Commentary on:
Oh my fucking God, 22 men are tackling each over a fucking ball and folks are arguing back & forth over too much crotch & tits during the halftime show and no one – NO ONE – is talking about the fact that they actually had performers in cages on the stage to make a statement about the children in cages at the border.
Can we please, for one moment, give it up for these amazing women who had the fucking courage to do that?
My god, what they were showing us on that stage is what we should be talking about.
You wanna know what almost got me thrown in FB jail yet again – this here:
Hey, Lisa Murkowski, it’s “COUNTRY tis of thee” not “CUNTRY tis of thee” – women like you shouldn’t be making decisions for women like me; you’re siding with a conman predator who doesn’t give a shit about Alaska, stop kissing his ass, you don’t have enough chapstick. Never again say you care about America when you have the fucking audacity to kick her down and bring her to her knees; destroying our Democracy.
I’m pretty sure it was the CUNTRY that did me in not the kissing ass that tossed me in a cell for a few hours.
Keep on writing & speaking & living your truth people, YOUR TRUTH, it’s our only hope – ass kissing is so unattractive.
Pleasant dreams & dream fucking big.
The United States of America is going to be sold out by a bunch of cruel & vicious entitled men & women – individuals – who are in the Republican Party. Afraid to dig deep into their hearts and souls because a bully predator sits in the White House, threatening people, tweeting nasty vile disgusting shit out into the world and Mitch McConnell has a tight grip of cruelty. I don’t know how any of these folks can sleep at night, or look themselves in a mirror when they shave or put on make-up. But sleep and shave and apply cover-up they do. Men and women who have put trump before truth, who have put their party before humanity, who have sworn on bibles to uphold the constitution and have decided to trash all it stands for. Donald Trump should have never been elected President, he has no business sitting in the Oval Office; he’s a creep of a guy and he doesn’t give one fuck about America, he gives many fucks about his own wealth and ego. A two-bit reality star who brought in two-bit lawyers to defend him, men who have a history of supporting pedophilia and murder and making a living off of other men who are murderers and rapists, men like Jeffrey Epstein and Claus Von Bulow and OJ Fucking Simpson. America is not a reality show, and yes, she is getting raped every single day by the men and women who are sitting in their cushy political positions because they don’t care about our lives or our rights. They demand women carry an unwanted child to term and then put those children in cages, where they are sleeping on concrete floors and covered in aluminum foil screaming for their mommy’s and daddy’s and being groomed to become hateful vicious humans because that is all they will know while they are caged liked animals. Oh, pro-life my ass.
And here is a real hard motherfucker truth: we – we, the people – have become meaner and nastier toward each other. We throw darts at folks who have a different opinion, we slander and belittle each other for liking a certain candidate, we rip each other to shreds over not being politically correct enough, we destroy and annihilate each other, we shame each other, we destroy someone’s self-esteem over words spoken and written and shared, nowadays we stab each other in the heart not just talk behind each other’s back, and no you don’t need to come out and shame me for writing the truth. I’ve been shamed quite enough the past week over my feelings about Kobe, for my exposing my own shame-filled filthy past, for words I’ve written and friends I’ve supported and humans I deeply love and champion. Put through the wringer because that’s what we do now to each other, and it saddens me and disheartens me and it hurts me that we lash out and beat each other up and react before we think.
What I know on this last Friday in January at around noon-ish, if we don’t start holding each other tight, loving each other better, allowing each other feelings and thoughts, seeing that we’re not all that fucking different when we strip away some of the privileges we were born into and with and by privilege, yes, I mean the skin we wear; if we were all lying in a pool of blood, no one would be able to tell whose blood we were soaking in and drowning in. America is being bludgeoned to death right now and if we don’t come together for the stake of humanity, we will be in that pool of blood.
Hold someone tight today, forgive someone their flaws today, understand another heart today, hear someone’s pain today, reflect on your own mistakes today, be kind to a stranger today, look into your child’s heart today, see yourself through someone else’s eyes today, put yourself in someone else’s shoes today, and start thinking of taking back your country today – put yourself in her soul, in the very soul and heart of our democracy – America is being attacked by predatory men, and grit-less women, abusing their power, grabbing at her, destroying her, wanting her to stay silent – you would demand justice done, demand it for her.
#aMEricaTOO people, #aMEricaTOO
We do not have to live the words we inherit.
I had just moved into my new apartment on the Upper Westside. It was my first grown-up apartment.
It was January 1990.
I walked into my building, got into the elevator, and before the doors closed, two huge black men got into the elevator with me. And, all I thought was: “Holy shit, oh my God, I’m gonna be raped.”
Let me fill you in, and please… bear with me:
I grew up in a family where the word ‘schvartza’ was sprinkled in sentences as frequently, and as often, as salt & pepper were sprinkled on steak. If there was an abandoned car on the side of the L.I.E – with all the tires stripped – my mother would declare, “schvartzas.” If there was a robbery, or a break-in, in our all-white neighborhood, “schvartzas,” and anything – anything at all – that had the stench of bad or rotten – no doubt, a schvartza did it, or at the very least, was involved.
Schvartza, not an uncommon word used in my house. Passed down generation to generation to generation to generation; just like an inheritance. Rumor has it, and this is not a good rumor when a black person got up from their seat on a bus, my grandmother would take her perfectly ironed cotton handkerchief and wipe the seat down.
My parents socialized often; they had gay friends, non-Jewish friends, Christian friends; dinner parties, nights on the town, cocktail parties, soirees. But, the truth, the painful deep ugly truth, there was always a blatant, underlying unease, feelings of superiority coupled with an unconscious (or probably not) fear that seeped out without any thought what-so-ever toward their colored friends, and yes, back then in the ’60s, they were colored. Both my brother and I, on more than one occasion, were mortified at what came out of our mother’s and father’s mouth. An off-color joke here, a nasty remark there, a little dig here, a bigger dig there. My mother often said that if I dated a black man she would disown me, and I would often respond with, “Well, what about sleeping with one?” She would laugh. Or maybe, maybe, it was an uneasy chuckle. I had, and have, many friends who are black.
But, I grew up with that awful, ugly, derogatory word embedded, like a chip – and I would wager I’m not sharing anything new, and I would wager that many of you – okay, some of you – reading this grew up in a home not unlike mine.
And no, this is not something I feel good admitting, not one fucking bit.
Back to the elevator.
There I was standing in the back of the elevator, convinced that these two men – both at least 6’7” – were going to hurt me. Rape me. Kill me. I heard the word schvartza playing over and over and over in my head. I heard my mother saying it, I heard my grandmother saying it. I heard all my relatives saying it.
I knew I was afraid.
I knew I was petrified.
My heart, pounding out of my chest, was the give-a-way.
I also knew it was the night of the Cooney/Forman fight, a big night in boxing. One of the guys asked me, “You like boxing?” I said, “Yeah, oh, yeah.” “Really?” he asked, “Who you betting on to win?” Without blinking, I said, “I’m betting on the Black guy.”
They both laughed.
It turned out one of the guys lived in my building, in the penthouse. He was a professional basketball player; he played for the New Jersey Nets. He was throwing a party that night – a Cooney/Forman party – and right there in the elevator, invited me to come, as his guest.
I asked if there would be any food.
“Yeah,” he said, “we’re gonna roast the white guy.”
I lost every bit of color I had regained. He looked at me and saw how scared I was. “Hey,” he said, “I’m jokin’. Really. Cooney’s gonna lose, Forman’s gonna knock him out in the first round. Please, come on up… we’re ordering Chinese. You like Chinese?” “Yeah, I like Chinese,” I said.
I was the only white person in a sea of black people watching Forman punch the shit out of Cooney in the second round.
At the end of the evening, my new friend made sure I got home to my apartment safe and sound – just two floors below him – and thanked me for coming to his party. He was gracious and kind and funny as all get out, and he and I remained friends, good neighbor-friends. He would bring me soup when I was sick, and I would send him champagne on his winning days. He moved out of the building a couple of years later; traded to another team, and moved to another city.
We lost touch, but he touched me deeply.
As I think about all the shit that’s happening in this country, ugly hateful vile shit – irrefutable horror – and the tapes that play over and over and over again in someone’s head; words that are embedded, phrases that stick, stories repeated; the hatred and the violence circulating like bad air; the ugly and the nasty: the faggot, the homo, the goy, the kike, the Jew, the spic, the n*gger, the queer – the schvartza – the words that we hear in our heads that are spoken in other voices; parents grandparents siblings friends neighbors spouses lovers co-workers.
Words are spoken and tweeted daily by the man living in the White House, the president of the United States of America.
I think about that night, in that elevator, and that bet that I made, and I never thought that years later in 2008 and again in 2012, that I would say, “I’m betting on the black guy,” out of complete love and respect, out of appreciation and gratitude, out of joy and hope and not one ounce – not one ounce – of fear.
We do not have to be the words that we heard & inherited, we do not have to recycle hate & violence & fear.
We do not have to live those words.
*As website manager for Post Coffee-Pre Wine, I am committed to commenting on this election pulled from Amy’s Facebook Page. Whether you agree with her thoughts or not, please take a read, because we, the people, are the ones that must change the course we are on… (Karen Hale)
It’s is time to do the right thing for self and others
Last week, or maybe it was the week before, I decided to take a much-needed mini-break – a two-day break – from Facebook. I was, for lack of a better word, depleted.
Actually, you know what, I was fucking depleted. Empty. The tank was empty.
But truth be told, it wasn’t Facebook that was depleting me, it was life. The news, the crazy motherfucker in the White House, the bad shit circulating; the too many things I was squeezing into too few hours. Not taking care of my own precious life, and yes, dismissing Ken, and our life.
And I know some of you are gonna say, don’t listen to the news, don’t pay attention to the crazy motherfucker, squeeze in less, put time aside… but it’s not that easy. I smoked cigarettes for 32 years, quitting almost did me in. It’s not easy being addicted, whether it’s the news or crack cocaine or a bad hairdresser. We do bad shit because we wanna belong, we can’t say no, we don’t wanna hurt someone’s feelings, we wanna be numb and stay numb and not face the world, we don’t wanna miss out on anything, we keep folks at arms length, we keep ourselves small & tidy and insulated.
Addiction isn’t about always about getting high, or being included or wanting to belong – it’s about fear. And if we don’t look at what we’re afraid of, we hang on to the bad shit. And then well, it’s a vicious cycle.
I’m gonna tell you what I found out being away from FaceBook for a teeny bit of time.
FaceBook is not bad shit.
I found out this here, right here, is a community, and we all long for community. We’re all searching for folks who see us, hear us, miss us when we’re gone. We long for a place to share our beliefs and frustrations and pain and sorrow and yes, our joy. And it’s here, on this platform, that many of us are learning how to finally stand up for ourselves, speak our truth, offer up our beliefs. We get to fall in love with folks whose opinions and voices are triumphant and magnificent. Life-altering. We get to unfriend and block folks who treat us – and other friends – like shit, with disrespect and disdain; their meanness is too much to bear. We get to say – with just a click, a swipe – no more of this shit, no more of you. We get to shut off and shut down the bullies.
And what this community brings, really brings, is love. And who the fuck doesn’t need to be loved? I have seen more beauty and read more beauty and witnessed more camaraderie and selflessness and compassion and companionship; Activism and ARTism and Humanism; humans who came out of their shell and shared their works in progress. I’ve seen friends share the grief, their unbearable pain and the humans who gathered around them and held them virtually and wouldn’t let them go or fall. It was here on Facebook that I found out about old friends whose live’s were cut short by their own hand, and folks who I hadn’t seen in years who passed away from diseases that eat away at us, and how I wished – when I read of their deaths – how a door had not closed by one or both of us. I needed to see that not very attractive piece of me, the one that can easily walk away over something petty, a thread that becomes more frayed over time, and I needed to offer up the very same compassion to my very own life that I offer up to others.
Self-compassion is vital.
I needed to take care of myself.
Stop neglecting my own life.
I live in Pennsylvania, and here we have to fill our own gas tanks. For lack of a better example: I needed to fill my own tank. I needed to not depend on anyone to fill it for me. I was taught at a very young age to put other folks first. That’s how you get to be loved, and if you do that, they’ll take care of you. Until you do something they don’t like, then you gotta start all over from scratch to get their love. Conditional love sucks, it rips the life out of you. So, here’s what I absolutely fucking know: no one, not one soul, needs to be loved conditionally. Conditional love has too high a price. So, no more of that. We all need to step away from the folks who love us conditionally. That’s also an awful addiction. The crawling back, the begging for more, the promise that we won’t rock the boat or shake up shit. We spend an awful lot of time on folks who will never love us the way we need and want to be loved. We need to spend more time, give more time, to the folks who love us plenty, who love us good, who love us no matter what. Those folks are the ones who make our hearts beat. The next time I go through hoops it’ll be on a basketball court. Unconditional love, now that’s the cats fucking meow.
So, I am here to say, you are all my community.
This is where we get to champion each other, lift each other, share our deepest shit and our greatest joy.
This is where we get to come and visit and tap on someone’s page – a drive-by – and leave a Facebook ‘post-it’ saying I love you.
This is where we get to offer up ideas and opinions and toss butter patties on the proverbial ceiling and see what sticks, see what doesn’t.
This is where we get to decide, on a moments notice sometimes, to be brave, and fierce, and mighty and wear our courage out-loud.
I took the time to nurture my life, to fill my empty tank, to witness my own beauty and my own glorious girl power, and I missed you all – okay, okay, most of you, many of you, a ton of you – for the right reasons: you have become my chosen family and I am ever grateful.
life is short.
we don’t think it is, but it is.
on a dime, it changes.
live your LIFE, not someone else’s.
LIVE YOUR LIFE FULLY.
don’t take shit from anyone.
declare your worth.
know your value.
YOU ARE INVALUABLE.
say it out loud.
believe it in your soul.
YOU ARE INVALUABLE.
and please, if you wear your heart on your sleeve, accessorize accordingly.
This Facebook memory popped up from January 19, 2015 – and it’s making me weep, and I just love it, so I’m gonna share it. Here’s to wearing our scars like stardust, our lives out-loud, and being women they name hurricanes after, and men, who yes, have climbed – and continue to climb – to the mountaintop. I toast you.
This is what I know
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
It’s not just a holiday.
It’s something enormous.
It’s about making a ruckus.
Putting your life on the line so other folks can stand tall.
It’s about giving a voice to the voiceless.
It’s about dignity & respect & integrity & courage.
It’s about decency.
It’s about making waves and riding those fucking waves.
It’s about brotherhood & sisterhood & and no, no, not the blood kind.
And so today, while I’m honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m also gonna honor every single extraordinary, stunning, courageous African American man & woman whose backs we stand on – and don’t kid yourself, we do stand on their strong, glorious magnificent backs. They didn’t just stand up from shackles & slavery for segregation & apartheid, for civil & human & women’s rights for their own good, they stood up so that we – each of us – could have those freedoms.
Freedom of choice, freedom of speech.
Look at Rosa Parks. Look at Frederick Douglas. Look at Medger Evans. Look at Nelson Mandela. Look at Harriet Tubman & Sojourner Truth & Jackie Robinson & Jesse Owens & Paul Robeson & Fanny Hamer & Shirley Chisholm & Angela Davis & Marion Wright Edelman. Look at John Lewis. Look at Elijah Cummings. Look at Barack Obama & Michelle Obama.
My god…the list is endless.
Look at all the men & women whose music & songs & voices get us up on the dance floor – songs we sway to, make love to; look at the men & women whose words – books & plays & poetry – have stirred our souls, our lives so deeply, so profoundly; look at the men & women whose art has created revolutions & cultural change; look at the men & women whose films & television & documentaries make us wanna be better humans. And look at the men & women who play sports and get us up off our feet cheering, rooting for the home team.
Today is a day I’m gonna honor the limitless power of the human spirit, and to say thank you for making me know that massive courage, epic courage, comes from standing in front of fear & hate, and saying out fucking loud: please, step aside, I have a dream that I need to share, so others can dream.
Wear kindness today.
This is a really great story, so please, bear with me.
Back in December 2018 Lisa Sharkey (HarperCollins Publisher) reached out to me & asked if I would be interested in co-authoring a book on Love.
Lisa, for those who don’t know her, is a very passionate and enthusiastic and gloriously wonderful human being and publishing maven. Her passion is absolutely contagious.
She had followed me on FaceBook and we got to know each other and she loved how I loved – she loved how I wrote about love and you can’t get a better compliment than that. Harper’s had a bought a book idea called Old School Love from Rev Run of Run DMC fame.
Now here’s where I get to be really truly holy shit honest: I had no fucking idea who they were, I mean, yes, I had heard of Run DMC and more than likely I probably heard their music and yes, fuck yes, I did know ‘Walk This Way’ with Aerosmith, but I’m not a big Aerosmith fan – I’m a Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Doobie Brothers, Garland Jeffries, Springsteen, Clapton, Ginger Baker, Commander Cody kinda rock n’ roll girl with a huge massive love for soul music and a huge massive love for Laura Nyro and Carole King and Joni and Carly and Pat Benatar… and Ricki Lee Jones – gimme girl groups & soul and Rock n’ Roll and I’m gonna dance and sway and make-believe that I’m one of the back-up singers.
I’ll give you Eminem.
I like him.
So, a meeting was set up. Me and Rev Run and Justine Simmons to see if we get along if this is a good match. And just to be on the safe side, I watched a YouTube of Walk This Way, and Run DMC getting inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of fame.
I go to Jersey to meet them at their house and I get lost, driving around a town I have never been to and all the time I’m thinking: don’t bullshit, don’t pretend, don’t say you love Rap music… just be you, Amy.
Just be you.
I finally get to his gorgeous home a few minutes late and he greets me at the door.
Rev Run takes one look at me and tells me I’m an angel.
Those were his exact words: “You are an angel. God sent you to me. You are an angel from God. I know it. I know it. God sent you and you are an angel, and you look like an angel.”
And I said: I’m an angel who doesn’t know a whole lot about Rap but I know a whole lot about love.
He was beaming.
And that was the beginning of our working together, co-authoring this book called Old School Love.
I brought Ken with me a few times and they all fell crazy nuts for each other – instant love. Rev even named him Rev Ken and on one occasion when Ken wasn’t feeling well at their house, they took amazing care of him. Amazing care.
I learned a lot about Rap Music, I learned about faith from Rev and Justine’s amazing passion and commitment to their God, and I learned that while I knew a whole lot about love, there was room in my life to learn much more.
My heart grew – expanded – working on this book with them.
Rev and Justine are going out on tour with the book in two weeks – they’re gonna be on talk shows and radio shows and signing books all over the country, and I’m as proud as can be to have shared many many days and many many meals and many many stories with them.
I know you all love me and appreciate me and you come by here on my page and you root me on every single day without fail.
Please, root them on, would ya, and cheer them on and go to their book signings if they’re in your town and catch them on TV and know – just know – that they’re out in the world spreading their old school love and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
There is always one crazy-ass broad who decides to take me into the ring & tries to pummel me in three rounds – this one was about my post, she PM’d me and wrote: I’m just letting you know if Bernie isn’t the nominee I’m not voting for anyone. It’s Bernie or bust. I wrote back and asked her why she didn’t post that comment on the thread, she came back with: you think I wanna get my head handed to me? To which I wrote: If it’s Bernie or bust for you then you deserve to get your head handed to you. One more exchange and then Fuck You was my last response, and I unfriended her and blocked her. I have no idea who she was or is but what I do know is she despises trump and rants on & on about him.
You can’t rant on & on about trump and then say it’s Bernie or no one, or Biden or no one, or Amy or no one, or Warren or no one because then all your fucking ranting is for nothing – for no one.
This is not a fucking reality show. This is not season three of The Trumpano’s, this is not Survivor or The Housewives of DC. This is real fucking life and there is a real bad man sitting in the Oval Office, a man who once said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still get elected – this is a man who is shooting lies at us every single day, shooting his mouth off every single day, shooting fear into the crowds at his rallies, shooting hatred and cruelty into the streets and in his tweets; he’s a bully and his cult base spray Swastikas on subway cars in NYC, defacing synagogues and churches and carrying tiki torches and AR-15’s because they are willing to march into hell for him.
Hold your nose if you have to, wear fucking gloves if you don’t wanna touch that lever at the voting booth, but pull that lever you must come November because someone you may not be crazy nuts in-love with might just get the nomination and four more years of Trump Mobsters is un-fucking-acceptable.
Here’s the thing: when you say you’d never vote for Pete, or never vote for Warren or never vote for… Biden or Bernie or Amy… how about putting this in perspective: you’re not marrying any of these folks, you don’t even have to have a meal with any of them, all you have to do is remind yourself that what is at stake is humanity and decency and our democracy; this isn’t a dating site or a dating app – we’re already getting fucked every single day by a man millions & millions & millions of us wouldn’t let into our home unless he was wearing an ankle monitor AND accompanied by a Police chaperone; so, it’s simple: if we don’t unite & rally around saving our Country from thugs and conmen and white supremacists and white nationalists and anti-semites and the ugly blatant evil & hatred that is seeping into the very fabric of our daily lives we will die, maybe not all at once, but our hearts and our hope will start to atrophy and give way and I for one refuse to let that happen.
We just picked up Bella’s body from the Vet. They took her paw print & gave us a few gifts to remind us of her good love. We are sad & heartbroken but so very grateful that the humans who work at the hospital are filled with kindness & generosity & massive goodness. Bella died in her sleep; the Vet said she was sassy to the very end.
Twelve years ago we brought her home in a carrier case, today we bring her home in a box with her name & a heart engraved in magic marker; she was filled with magic & always brought us love.
I promised I wouldn’t share her name. Pinky swear. But I received this email this morning & she wanted me to share this letter on Facebook and so I will, and yes, it can be shared.
I sat in a corner and you brought me coffee and asked me if I wanted sugar or sweetener to go with it. Milk, you asked? I shook my head, no. You touched, not grabbed, you touched my hand and gently squeezed it and you said these words: you are safe here, I promise. I sat and I listened as the group of women, thirteen women I believe, shared stories that seemed far worse than my story. I told you that my story was stuck in my throat, you whispered in my ear: I think it’s stuck in many parts of your body. Again, you were so kind, so compassionate, so loving. Where do you get that compassion? Someday you’ll tell me. You asked me if I wanted to read. I shook my head, no. We broke for a few minutes and while everyone wandered about, I stayed in the corner. Trying. Crying. Sobbing. You stayed with me. You came over to me. I asked you if you would read what I had written aloud because I knew I would choke and cry and not be able to. You skimmed the piece and your eyes welled up and you gave me the greatest hug I ever got from anyone in my entire life. I felt like your hug put all the loose and broken pieces of me back together and then your eyes, your gorgeous penetrating eyes, you looked right into me and at me and said, yes, I will read this for you. You asked me to sit next to you so you could hold my hand, a gesture that felt like a life jacket and the women came back into the room and I sat down next to you and you read the words that were on the lined paper that I had written, that I was so afraid to write and as you read the words I could feel my life coming back to me. I don’t think I can ever thank you enough for that day and the days that followed that you kept in touch and then completely unexpectedly you sent me back the money from the workshop with a handwritten note saying please buy yourself something wonderful or take yourself for a grand epic dinner (I love how you use the word epic even for a meal) or get a spa treatment. You changed my life. No, really, you changed my entire life. Your heart and your compassion and your truth and I can go on. I am able to reclaim my life now because you told me I was brave and beautiful and ‘sexy as all get out’ and I wasn’t feeling any of those things for so long. I stood behind a wall of women at the courthouse this week and I could feel you holding my back up.
Thank you for being that woman, that woman you put out into the world every single day, so real and so true.
Sending you sisterhood love,
I’m gonna leave you with this.
Sick as a fucking dog, no seriously, I can barely lift my head, this flu & the coughing & laryngitis – I sound like Brenda Vaccaro – has left me somewhat debilitated, not fully, just a bit. And truth be told, a few folks down here are suffering from the same flu/cold. Must be traveling around the country.
And while I still have you where did ‘sick as a dog’ come from? Why sick as a dog?
As always, I digress.
So, here I am in Paradise. Seriously: paradise.
A small sexy hotel: houses & cottages and a very groovy tiki bar and a great farm-to-table restaurant and a swell spa all stretched out on the luscious beach. Ken’s forever birthday get-a-way.
The ocean this evening – pounding, whipping waves, high tide.
The most ferocious the ocean had been, they said, the owners said.
I sat on the end of the dock – dangling my feet – and watched and witnessed as the waves pounded and twirled and climbed and soaked me and retreated and pounded and twirled and soaked me and climbed and swept in and holy shit the ferocity and the power and the relentlessness and the unabashed and the undeterred and the sheer beauty the shear glory the sheer audacity, the fierceness and the connection and the magnificence, the boldness and the perfect rhythm – nothing could stop the magnificence of the waves. rolling together.
We are those waves, you know.
We are that fucking fierce and that powerful and that relentless and that audacious and that stunning and that ferocious and that determined and that glorious and that bold… and yes, fuck yes let’s remove the vile ugly mean vicious conman liar bullyman squatter from the White House, OUR house.
Let’s make sure the likes of him – his ilk – leaves & never returns.
We can do this.
Lounging here in gorgeous Jamaica at a real groovy joint hotel – Jakes – where we are now considered family because, well, six years in a row – and between Bella dying and waking up with a horrific cold/flu, I’m just letting all of this crap sickness go through me. Water is healing.
Folks here are taking good care of me; bringing me all kinds of concoctions – herbs – to ease the coughing & phlegm.
Folks here are taking good care of me; bringing me all kinds of concoctions – herbs – to ease the coughing & phlegm.
Being so loved helps the healing.
Life is fragile, don’t kid yourself. It’s fragile and messy and complicated and magnificent and all of the shit and pain and suffering we go through is to understand another heart, other hearts. To have empathy. To have compassion. All the struggles, the climbing up massive fucking hills and mountains and digging our way out of tunnels is what makes us so fucking extraordinary and brave and courageous. All the no’s that got us to that one yes and that one yes always seems so fucking perfect. All the rejection that brings us the right human who brushes the hair out of our eyes, who holds us up, who has our back – who loves us the way we hoped & prayed & wished to be loved … all the times we wanted to give up because some fool said we weren’t good enough or worthy and then we decide to ditch that advice & all that bullshit and prove just how fucking enough we are; all the times we wept by a phone waiting for it to ring only to find out the human we were waiting for wasn’t good enough for us anyway. All the times we were this close, this close to tossing our work into a pile and the phone rang or a letter came or a text came filled with praise that lifted our spirits and made us believe in magic.
Even in my heightened flu-ish state, I believe we are powerful beyond belief, we are more glorious & more extraordinary than we even imagine; we are magnificent creatures capable of anything & everything we set our minds to.
Set your minds to epic and bold and audacious.
Ignore the naysayers, ignore the haters, ignore the bad press, ignore the folks who want you to be unhappy because they’re unhappy; ignore the folks who keep you small, ignore the folks who don’t include you or acknowledge you. Ignore the folks who make you feel like shit. They’re not worth your time or the privilege of you.
Life is messy, fucking messy, and where I’m sitting right now, messy is mighty stunning.
Trust me, when the sun hits – shines down on all the pieces that are you – the broken, edgy, flawed, cracked, ripped, frayed, sharp pieces that are you, there is nothing more breathtaking.
This is so worth re-posting because
A) we’re down in Jamaica, and
B) it’s one of my all-time favorite posts ever.
Okay, so, here I am in Jamaica for a week. It’s one of those: take me away Calgon experiences. Down to a little bird that chirps whenever I do something a bit out of the box. By out of the box I mean drinking frou-frou drinks (I’m a white wine girl), getting wet sand stuck between my toes (contrary to all & any rumors, I’m not a beach girl, although I am a sunset/sunrise over the beach girl) & putting on a bathing suit, and by bathing suit, I mean a black one-piece with white piping.
Before you go all WTF on me – hear me out.
Years & years ago I was thin & lean & slinky and I would wear mini skirts & thigh high boots & high heels & little white V-neck t’s with great pizzazz (and no, had nothing to do with my (one) topless dancing experience) and I would strut with the best of them. I was filled with an energy sorta kinda like an ever-ready-battery. I also smoked a pack a day. That & coffee kept me going & thin. And then I gave up smoking and menopause hit like a ton of fucking bricks and depression set in. I traded in sexy black Levi jeans for long, black comfy sweaters & Eileen Fisher. Thigh-high boots & heels for my old reliable Frye boots, sexy white Barneys NY V-neck’s for Hanes v-neck’s, and truth be told, I sorta kinda – okay, most definitely – cocooned. And by cocoon I mean I drank tons of coffee, wishing I had one or two packs of Newports stashed away, stayed home & mostly sat at my desk or on the couch or in bed writing. Day in and day out.
Or more honestly, making believe I was writing.
The sitting part I can’t make up.
And my lean, slinky, thin body grew. Expanded. And then one day I went to Woodbury Commons to buy a bathing suit for yes, vacations/holidays/celebrations like these, and I had a complete & utter meltdown in the dressing room. Holy shit, where the fuck did my body go I asked out-loud – or maybe I was wailing – as if the salesgirl would be able to find it and bring it back to me.
And now. Here. Jamaica. The bird.
I’m watching as a woman struts down to the pool. She’s a large woman, and by large, I mean large. And she is filled with pure absolute joy. Not fake joy. Not bullshit joy. Not, ‘I just smoked a joint and i don’t feel any pain’ joy. A pure absolute joy. And I’m watching some of the men looking over at her, and a few of the women looking over at her, and one or two kids looking over at her, and some of the staff looking over at her, and she takes off her beach cover-up and BOOM: she is a full-bodied, magnificent, big, gorgeous woman. She’s wearing a turquoise one piece. Not a color I would choose, but, hey, we all have our fashion causalities. She eases herself into the pool and disappears under the water and then comes back up & shakes her short hair, and it’s just like a commercial, except this woman is fucking real. And by real I mean no airbrushing, no slimming down, no faux-removal of cellulite, and all I keep thinking as i watch her: I wanna be her. She’s confident & sexy & gorgeous and she owns her body. Owns her beauty and maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t like the color of her bathing suit, but no one would know that. And I went into my room, and slipped on the black with white piping one piece and went down to the pool and eased myself into the water. And I understood with every fiber in my being that sexy has nothing to do with weight.
I’m finding – reclaiming – my sexy in Jamaica.
Thanks to a woman whose name I may never know, and a little bird who thinks I’m the cats fucking meow.
Many of you know about iken, myKen through me, my eyes, my words. What you may not see or feel or witness is his gorgeous pounding luscious delicious sexy heart. It is such a grand heart, filled to the brim with goodness & generosity & a deep love for what is right. He has witnessed so much in his 79 years beginning with the sadness & pain & humiliation of his mother at the hands of her husband, his father. He – Ken – wanted so badly to help her, save her often; to be the hero, the superman, the guy who came in and swept his mom away from all the bad nasty, cruel moments. But very often he would just hide, or cower, he was, after all, a little tiny boy. But as he told me one day, “I was glad that I wanted to save her, help her when he was mean, I was glad I even thought like that.” He did once get in the middle and the push he got and the fall he took is what he mostly remembers. He swore & promised himself that he would never be like his dad, and I can tell you straight up, balls-out, that he has kept that promise tenfold. He sure did. He learned who he didn’t want to be through his dad’s example. He chose to be the opposite of that. He cultivated a deep & glorious admiration for women & girls. He is a champion for all & everything women-centric. He even helped create a ballet company in NYC – New York Theatre Ballet – (many, many years ago) with his delightful & brilliant ex-wife (she was a ballerina) for underprivileged boys & girls so they could learn the beauty & power of dance. He is a true blue friend and mentor. He raised many folks up in the film business & he did it without even realizing it. He just, you know, showed up with a desire to make the best films and wanted all the folks he worked with to be oh so proud of the work they were doing. Mentoring came as an accident. Truthfully, it’s not really his thing, but he’s just so fucking good at it, you hardly even know he’s given you an opportunity that will change your life forever. He’s a grand cheerleader. He’s subtle and loves watching folks rise up. Boy, does he love watching folks rise up – it brings him immense joy. He hasn’t always been the very best guy or the best human or the best husband (I am number 3 after all) and he can be as imperfect as they next imperfectly perfect creature. he’s not always good with money, but what he lacks in funds he makes up for in kindness & goodness. He despises injustice, any and all kinds of injustice. He’s a silent activist, but an activist all the same. He is a gardener, a nester, a home builder, a fire maker and yes, a retired cameraman. He has made some gorgeous films in his lifetime and I know he has tremendous pride for being able to have done that.
He has lived and worn his life well.
So today is his day, his 79th year on this planet, his birthday.
I will make sure that it is filled with beauty, kindness, love, good food, many hugs, massive kisses, much appreciation, a massage, and my personal favorite: a wish for 79 more.
It’s on days like this when I know – I just fucking know – that forever isn’t long enough, but hey a girl can dream, and I am convinced – thoroughly convinced – that I possess some very sexy & powerful magic.
Thank you all from the b bottom of my heart for loving & appreciating myKen iKen.
It means the world to me.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
– written by the Ocean, the Ocean which no doubt – no doubt – is filled with many human tears:
My greatest fear was that her biological mother would come looking for her, come back for her.
She was a sexy tough feisty sassy smart little pussy.
She would sit & look up at us – staring – with those gorgeous eyes of hers and she would purr as if to say: hold me love me feed me pet me. Gimme me. And don’t be stingy. Don’t be fucking stingy, fill the bowl. She stayed with Ken through his surgeries, two knees, and one ankle – she literally velcroed herself to him for six weeks. She was his girl on those days, taking care of him. She weathered some bad bad storms – literally & figuratively – a few major snowstorms and Quinn, a storm that rocked the East Coast, taking down most of the trees in our area and decimating our parks; and then two days later her best friend & partner Lotus died suddenly; she grieved & mourned Lotus, and we took Bella to the Hotel Fauchere for 4 nights because we had no power and it was there, in a gorgeous room filled with sunlight and two brand new kitty bowls, that she started to heal herself, and yes, she even wrote a review for the hotel. When we brought Molly into our lives, into the house, she treated her as an intruder for a bit and then she slowly & gradually grew to trust her and love her – letting Molly take care of her. No doubt, Molly is now mourning the death of her friend & confidante.
Bella was brave & beautiful and never settled for anything. Not food or humans. She was not a hunter. I like to think of her as a humane feline. She would play with mice, push ’em around and toss ’em a bit, but she never killed them. Never. Unusual, I know. I know. But that was Bella. She was named after Bella Abzug because, well, she was one fierce as all fuck kitty chick.
And she loved us mightily.
And we loved her mightily.
She was our baby girl.
Friday, January 3, 2020
Please share your abortion story here.
Let’s make sure Roe V Wade does not get overturned, and please please… let’s make sure that Planned Parenthood is not called a SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
My bad choice – my god awful choice – was the boy I slept with when I was 15 who left me high & dry. Yes, 15, and pregnant, and he wanted nothing to do with me. An abortion saved my life.
Thursday, January 2, 2020
We can never run out of courage.
It’s unlimited and for many of us, most of us, courage requires a rooting section – a cheering section – plus a ton of fucking practice because it is always, undoubtedly, accompanied by fear, and sometimes – not always – crippling fear and horrific guilt and yes, unbearable shame.
Courage comes from pushing, with both hands and both feet and sometimes a shove so hard the earth shakes – pushing all that shit – all that fear & guilt & shame – aside; and courage comes from folks championing us, supporting us, loving us.
So, let’s root for each other.
Champion each other.
Lift each other.
Encourage and inspire and hold each other fucking tight; love each other good.
Courage and goodness and empathy, these are all life accessories that we own, they are ours for the taking. We get to try them on and wear them when times are tough, hard, brutal, unbearable – holy motherfucker unkind.
So, you and you and you over there in the corner and you and you and you…and yes you hiding behind the computer screen, and you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you… and you gorgeous creature you… you are all filled with mighty courage; gorgeous boundless unlimited sexy-as-all-get-out courage.
Wear your scars like stardust.
WE are the people, and WE are extraordinary, and WE will not be quiet.
(Thank you Diana Hartman for posting the original and giving me the opportunity to tweak this just a bit. Thank you so much, my friend!)
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Five years ago I held a two-day writing workshop in NYC, there were 18 women in the room; many were not writers, most had a story they needed to share, spill. Stories we kept tucked away. Deep in. In the back of a drawer next to stale cigarettes. Out of shame and guilt and fear. We all became friends, sisters. Secrets were spilled. We made sure we would protect each other. Pinky swear. Some of the stories were harrowing and god fucking awful, some were sweet and lovely – so very heartwarming and some were devastating to the core and bone and so fucking chilling.
Some stories were going into memoirs, some were going into anthologies, some were being tucked away.
One was a story about a sexual predator.
A famous man.
A name was not mentioned, but the story was familiar. She wept & wept & wept while reading it aloud, and we cheered her on; we cheered her on.
She gave us courage.
We gave her courage.
That story, her story, is one of the stories that brought down Harvey Weinstein.
His trial begins on the 6th.
I will be forever grateful that she felt safe enough to share her words with us, in that room, in my workshop.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Here’s my New Years’ resolution, and I never make a New Years’ resolution but this year… this year:
We women need to stop being full of shit when it comes to other women who we love & admire – who we claim are our friends. And by not being full of shit, I mean: we need to protect and stand up for the women we love, who love us.
If you hear a woman talking bad about a friend of yours: STOP HER IN HER TRACKS.
If you hear someone say something awful about a woman you love & admire: STOP HER or HIM.
If you witness a woman denigrating a woman who has supported you, loved you, championed you: STOP THE DENIGRATION.
The only way we will ever be trusted is if we stop the bullshit said and perpetuated about women we like and love; stand up for those women, defend those women, hold those women in the highest esteem.
Be the woman who stops another woman from saying awful shit about a woman you like & love; a woman who has been a friend to you; who has supported you, loved you, stood up for you.
Be THAT woman.