26 July 21
Ooops, one more thing, while iKen snores:
This is super fucking important. We ALL need to be loved. Full on, all in.
- Not: half-assed loved.
- Not: half-baked love – that’s not love.
- Not: I’ll call you when I have time love.
- Not: maybe in two weeks we can hook up love.
- Not: wow, you’re sexy, but I’ll catch you on the rebound love.
- Not: oh geez, I got a whole bunch of shit to do but when I’m done, I’ll try and reach out love.
- Not: I gotta work through my own demons first love.
- Not: I need a whole lotta space so maybe maybe maybe in a month or two love.
- Not: Gimme your cell, I’ll call you when I’m out this complicated thing love.
Love is messy, complicated, fucking hard as nails, up down up down…up down…up fucking down….crazy-ass crazy-glued…but real love… good love is UNCONDITIONAL.
Beginning of story.
DO NOT let anyone take your glory, or your joy; do not let anyone dismiss you, discard you – destroy you.
25 July 21
Oh My Fucking God… while everyone in the whole world is oohing & aaahing Bennifer…. and her 52nd Birthday, TWENTY FOUR humans took their own lives today because they were bullied, harassed – sexually assaulted, and VIOLATED. This is the shit that’s important. And yeah, yeah… I wish Jennider Lopez great good amazing happiness and love, I do…. but whoa…whoa… can we please pay attention to the folks who are no longer feeling safe in their own skin, no longer able to live OUT LOUD, no longer financially secure. No longer able to walk outside without being tormented. Twenty-four humans took their own lives today (and no doubt, there are MANY MORE) because they can no longer walk this earth and feel safe.
****From Karen Hale – webmaster**** A MUST READ!!!
24 July 21
“Y’know, you ARE Marisa Tomei. You are. That was you on the set of Mr. Wonderful, stomping your feet, yelling up at the camera, telling me you thought I was different from the other guys. That was you… she should play you in a movie.”
“I want Meryl to play me.”
“Yeah, but…she IS you. You are her. Stomping your feet in your high heels, hands on your hips… screaming: you up there… on the camera…fuck you.”
And then we kissed, smooched, for a few minutes and… end scene.
22 July 21
From a Friend –Samantha White 7/22/16
Here’s the thing. That’s one of Amy Ferris‘ favorite sentences in her FB posts. It’s not that Amy exactly owns those words. That’s not the thing. Lots of people say and write, “Here’s the thing.” The difference between most people and Amy Ferris is that when most people write or say, “Here’s the thing.”, it often isn’t. When Amy writes, “Here’s the thing.”, you can be guaranteed that it really, really is the thing. I love that about her writing.
18 July 21
I did a thing. 30 years ago I did this thing, I co-authored a screenplay and then I = me = got hired to rewrite that screenplay by the studio, Warner Bros, and then Anthony Minghella came on board, holy fuck, and then he asked me to work with him and do another re-write and that screenplay, that draft, became a movie with a few groovy people – super groovy people – and I met iKen on that movie and tonight friends did another very, very cool thing, they showed that movie on an outside movie screen here in PA and a bunch of people showed up – showing up, my new mantra – and we all watched this thing that I did 30 years ago and it’s a real thing and it was such a delight to hear people laughing and getting a bit weepy and that thing led me to many other things and other things and other things that led me here where folks showed the thing I did on a big screen and I felt so overwhelmingly proud, so fucking proud, that I get to do this thing that I love, love passionately: I write.
17 July 21
16 July 21
I would like to introduce you to Molly’s first love, Chip. Molly has meowed me to not refer to him as iChip.
14 July 21
13 July 21
12 July 21
10 July 21
What if nobody ever told you that you couldn’t or shouldn’t?
What if no one ever made you wanna crawl into a tiny ball?
What if someone never said the words the made you hide and cower?
What if the group of mean/bully girls lifted you up instead of pushing you aside and down?
What if the boys you liked liked you back?
What if the men you swooned over paid attention instead of making you feel so fucking unattractive?
What if the boys & girls you desired didn’t make you feel sinful?
What if the book got published?
The painting sold and was on a wall in a gallery?
One of the extraordinary things we get to do when we’re honored and acknowledged is we get to lift and champion others. It is, no doubt, my very favorite thing to do in the world – champion & lift others.
This is what WE do when we are fortunate enough to be seen and heard: we get to raise others even if we don’t know them intimately. This is what we do: we get to champion others even if they’re not in our immediate pod or… circle. This is what we do: we take notice of the women around us who make a difference in the world – women who lead by example and live by example and make this world better.
Tracey E Vitchers is THAT woman.
She is bold & audacious and oh, so very KIND and… I am in awe of her courage and her infinite grace. She is nationally recognized for her work as a survivor advocate; she is the Executive Director of “It’s On Us” – founded in 2014 – during the Obama/Biden administration to combat campus sexual assault – activating the largest student organizing program of its kind, and she is a Democratic political advisor – now working with the Biden Administration.
I nominated Tracey this year and I am thrilled to pieces that she is one of the 21 women being honored through Women’s eNews, an organization that lifts and inspires and champions women’s voices, women’s stories, women: period.
This is why we get awards and get noticed: so that WE can make sure that other women are seen and heard and noticed; so other women can use their voices to lift and champion and inspire other women, so that other women can be praised and honored.
This is why.
4 July 2021
3 July 2021 I wanna share a few books I’ve read (over the past few months) that are kinda like fireworks – they sizzle and pop and make me believe in magic.
29 June 2021
Today is David Paul Kirkpatrick‘s 70th birthday and I would never be in his glorious extraordinary magical orbit had it not been for Jeff Arch who is also glorious & extraordinary and yes, magical and so… here’s to the men who do make this world better, kinder, and more magical. Here’s to men who lift & champion and inspire women – who cheer us on and cheer us up and support our lives, here’s to men who are indeed men of their words, words that are filled with so much beauty.
22 June 2021
Be brave – it wears well & never goes out of style.
Be courageous – it’s a good contagious.
Be bold – it never gets sloppy.
Be audacious – it’s a sexy accessory.
Be kind – it goes with everything.
Be goodness- it multiplies.
Be generous- it doesn’t have an expiration date.
Be a hand up – it will return as a hug.
Be a hug – it will keep another heart beating.
Be truth – it’ll set you free.
Be freedom – it’ll set you on your way.
Be someone’s best day.
Leaving you with this. I have no desire, none, to compete with any one of you. No desire. I have enough, more than enough, and what I have… I’m willing to share. No desire to compete.I read & watch women competing all the time. All the time. Wishing women well, but you know… not too well, NOT WELL ENOUGH.
20 June 2021
3 years ago.
I will however say that I am writing this for many friends who can not bear one minute, or witness this ‘holiday’ without sadness and deep pain.
18 June 2021
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 live it. Estrangement – or as I like to call it now: e-strange.
- Everyone has their own crap that they have dealt out, that they spewed, that
- they tossed into the heap.
- Everyone has stuff that they need and want to hide, keep secret. Everyone has stuff they want to be hidden deep – way deep – kept in the darkness.
- We are all broken.
- We are all filled with shards and jagged edges and sharp pointy pieces that can hurt like a motherfucker.
- We are all imperfect creatures. Deeply scarred.
- We get to choose who we want in our lives. We get to choose the folks who lift us, inspire us, make us feel like we swallowed the sun.
- We get to choose who we walk side by side with, and stand with.
- We get to choose who we love.
- I choose you.
15 June 2021
And then one day, you’ll hear these words:
What do you want?
14 June 2021
Second pre-launch personal reading.
13 June 2021
She is not flawed, she is brave.
She is not broken, she is a mosaic.
She is not overweight, she is more.
She is not overwrought, she is over the bullshit.
She is not too much, she is fucking epic.
She is not fragile and weak, she is vulnerability and power.
She is not your competition, she is your greatest self.
6 June 2021Another shooting in Austin, Texas. Two days ago 3 people were murdered – gunned down – at a Publix supermarket in Florida – one an infant. Five years today a massacre at the Pulse nightclub. All those folks lived outside the womb. Last night here in Dingmans, gunshots rang close to home at 10PM. To say I was petrified would be an understatement. My folks were victims of gun violence on their 20th wedding anniversary, and while they both lived, they were held at gunpoint for hours & hours. Robbed and beaten. The fear that ran through their veins remained with them forever. My mother tucked that experience way down deep but trust me, fear wasn’t too far.
We MUST do better.
Those are the very rights we all must-have.
11 June 2021
6 June 2021
This IS going to be amazing.
5 June 2021
26 May 2021 I do have to go on about this, this shooting today. In San Jose. I’m pretty sure most of us know that song…do you know the way to San Jose… anyway, I digress, sort of.
Yesterday I was labeled a baby killer on someone else’s post because I commented about my abortion, and a few women were attacked ‘virtually’ for sharing their abortion stories, and some righteous broad with nothing better to do with her time decided we were all baby-killers. That post came down.
First of all, let me explain something to all of you pro-birthers out there: I am not sitting here at my dining room table drinking fucking kool-aid & eating pizza from a pizza parlor selling babies in the kitchen as a side dish. I mean who the fuck came up with that nasty cruel evil horrific bullshit?
I am PRO-CHOICE – and from where I am sitting right now, this minute, with a cup of cold coffee – it is a choice that I am having cold coffee just as it is anyone’s choice what they eat what they wear who they love how they pray where they pray who they are friends with and man, I can go on about choices.
Eight more humans were massacred today and they all lived outside the womb, and they all had hopes and wishes and secrets they carried and grudges they held and hearts they broke and hearts that were broken and dreams that were tucked away.
It’s the right to BARE arms, people, so loved ones can run back into them.
My body my fucking choice… your haircut your fucking choice, your wardrobe your fucking choice… your rage is your choice, your hate is your choice, your intolerance is your choice, your phobias – your choice – stay outta my body and I promise you I’m gonna stay outta your hair salon.
i am so crazy nuts in love with ken. like over the moon. and let me tell you why. because he doesn’t take my shit – not one bit, he doesn’t pamper me. no extra spa days for me because i didn’t scream bloody murder the entire 2 hours plus car ride. he doesn’t kneel at the altar of amy (although he does kneel at the altar of Joules Evans!) he doesn’t buy into the bullshit i scoop out on occasion, or anyone, for that matter. he certainly keeps me on the straight & narrow & often – very often – the very crooked & sexy road. he’s such a good man. and soul. and lover and husband. and i worked hard at this marriage. yes, i did. and for those of you out there who have one foot out the door… advice, 2 cents: if you can: work it out. trust me, work it out … the good, the bad, the fuck you, no no fuck you…we all have so much shit to work through. and anyone who tells you otherwise, that they have no shit, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THEM.
So, before I take a break today & yes, take care of myself and my life I wanna leave you with this.
Stand tall in your truth, your belief, your power. Stand up and stand proud. Truth to power. Stand in your convictions and stand up and tall for those you love, who love you, who have your back, who hold your hand. Who comes through for you. Life is short, people, on a dime, in a flash … so please, for the sake of every fuck, don’t go through hoops for anyone who wouldn’t do the same for you, don’t go pleasing folks who think of you as an afterthought or worse, don’t think of you at all, please, don’t waste time on anyone who doesn’t see the absolute privilege of your life.
This is going to be slightly unpopular, but thankfully I am not attending a popularity contest this weekend. The term “Believe All Women” needs an overhaul. Seriously. Overhaul. We can’t go around saying believe all women when it comes to sexual harassment but ignore the truth completely when it comes to political lies and blatant untruths. Example: what Marjorie Taylor Greene says most every day. I do not believe her. I do not believe many, many women in the Republican party, and I certainly do not believe any woman who has the audacity to stand behind the last grifter-president whose desire to see America burn to the ground was right before our eyes. The Vote was not stolen, another fucking mantra that needs to be stopped immediately, but decency was and hope was and lives were stolen & taken and horrifically abused under his regime. I do not believe in women who stand at the intersection of hate & cruelty. I refuse to believe women whose objective is to destroy lives, to schmooze with violence, to rub elbows with liars, to share a meal with corruption, to bow to wannabe dictators and any woman whose goal is to rip and tear another woman to shreds is not a woman to be believed.
I’m not a big fan of Liz Cheney, she threw her sister, Mary, under the bus when she voted against equal rights for the LGBTQ community – but… I am a huge fan of humans speaking the truth, spouting the truth, OWNING the truth and the truth is Donald Trump is a scumbag. He’s a nasty cruel vile man. And while we’re putting nasty cruel vile predatory men in their place these days and we are, I would like to think that he would be among the fallen. Donald Trump is among the crudest, the nastiest… his own words speak for him. He was, in fact, the man who said he could grab women by their pussy. He rated women on a scale of one to ten – no doubt I would be a two or three… he was friends with Jeffrey Epstein and yes, there are numerous photos to prove that. He also ignited & incited an insurrection on January 6th. Scumbag. Liz Cheney saw the fucking light, and the light flashed in front of her eyes. I’ll give anyone credit – everyone credit – for standing up and standing tall and speaking up against evil. She stood her ground. She was ousted. That says much more about the Repulsive Party than her.
This man, this face, these lines.
He’s earned every gorgeous line, I’ve no doubt added a few, but this face.
The end of the night, I’ve had a ton of time to think about Mother’s Day. Y’all got a glimpse of my mom this week.. the good, the sexy, the awful, the negligent. My middle finger on my right hand has been broken for 57 years because she was too busy playing MahJong to take me to a doctor. A severely crooked finger to remind me of her negligence. But…but…I have absolutely heart-stopping holy fuck perfect Mikimoto opera-length pearls to remind me of her ‘generosity….’ Yeah. The yin yang. The awful & the heart-stopping, and let me tell you straight out that we all deserve mothers who are present and loving and compassionate and here for us. No amount of goodies or sparkly shit ever makes up for the need & desire to be loved, to be seen, to be valued; the desire to be held and comforted. I learned a long time ago that I needed to nurture my own life, mother my own life. I don’t wanna make my mother, paint my mother, into some saint now that she’s dead. She was brutal and hard and unforgiving and competitive and heartbreaking and didn’t let a chance or opportunity go by without her reminding me that she loved me because I was her child but… she didn’t like me. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. I became the woman I am today because of everything that caused me pain I determined I would not do the same thing to other women. That certainly didn’t prevent other women from demeaning me, or hurting me…but every awful thing she said… I would not recycle it.
My wish for all women: Let us now be the very best of who we are meant to be. Not a fake or faux version (thank you, Alexia). Not a sliver version. Not a made-up glitter version of what we think others wanna see. But a real true no-bullshit version. And some of us have made our mothers out to be so much better than they ever were. We don’t need to do that. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to step into OUR OWN MAGNIFICENT POWER, the truth of who we are. My mother most certainly birthed me, but it is up to me to now birth the gorgeous stunning fierce as all fuck truth of me. The beauty of me.
5/9/21 – morning
Today is a hard day for many, many women I know.
- Some have lost their mom’s this year,
- some have lost their moms in recent years and this day is a hard day for them,
- some moms have lost a child – an unimaginable pain,
- some children never had a mom to call their own,
- some women could never have children & yes wanted them.
- Some made the choice to not have children.
- Some had mothers who abused them, hurt them, abandoned them, demeaned them. Some had mothers who never accepted them – their life choices.
- Some are estranged from the woman who birthed them, brought them into the world.
On this Saturday, that really does feel like a Saturday with a small side of Tuesday, please, hold tight to the folks you love, forgive folks their blemishes and their imperfections and their faults and their fuck-ups. On a dime. A snap of the fingers. One moment you’re texting, the next you’re wishing they were still here to text/chat. Let go of the grudges and hold tight to the goodness and please, for the sake of every fuck, please know that folks are suffering & struggling and every one of us is in the boxing ring with our own demons and our own fears and our own doubts and pain and worries. Be good to each other, be kind. Tell folks you love them. Hold them in the palm of your hand if you know they’re in pain. And no, no, fuck no, we can’t save folks who are tired and weary and in deep emotional pain, but we can remind them that their life matters and makes our lives better by just knowing them.
#RestInPower and Peace, Shanna.
We’re all gonna continue loving you.
I am so very grateful to Johnny Palmadessa for asking me to write this letter – a letter denouncing hate and intolerance and every “ism” and phobia… on behalf of our Community – our County – a full page in the Newspaper. Johnny is truly amazing and one day he will be the President of the United States. Until then, until that day, he has my undying support & love & gratitude.
It’s been a week filled with all sorts of emotion, every emotion, the whole gambit of emotion… and then, BAM… a massive side of goodness & generosity reared its head yesterday, and so, this is what I’m offering up this weekend to the folks in my life – and I’m guessing a few strangers – I hope you all join me in this offering:
- Kindness, not just your run of the mill kindness – compliments and kudos and opening doors – but authentic true blue no bullshit kindness; to let go of a grudge you’re holding onto about something you can barely fucking remember and to stop holding shit over someone’s head over something that happened eons ago before there was even call waiting – that kinda kindness.
- Kindness that pays dividends, that can change a life, that can make someone feel like they swallowed the sun without you ever having to hand them sunscreen.
- Kindness that is filled with pure unadulterated beauty.
- Goodness, not just ‘hey, sure I can make that call for you,’ but full-on all in fierce as all-mighty fuck goodness. G
- Goodness, that wreaks of joy and magic and hope. That kinda goodness.
- Goodness, that leaves a heart print and makes another human stand taller and feel more beautiful and comes from a place of generosity. Yeah, yeah, that kinda goodness.
- Goodness, with no strings attached – none – that can leave a human feel like they’re floating on air.
- Hope, not just a sliver of hope, but a whole mess of it. A fucking boatload of hope.
- Hope, because who the fuck doesn’t need hope?
- Hope because it’s filled with possibility and the promise of something better and my god, who doesn’t wanna feel that something better is coming up, or near? Yeah, that kinda hope.
- Hope full because that’s about tomorrow because hope less is about the past and regret and none of us should carry around regret it weighs too fucking much and didn’t we all gain enough fucking weight during this pandemic?
- Hope. Offer it up as a main dish – it is hearty & filling enough.
- Love. Because we all want love. We all want it. To be love, to receive love, to give love, to feel love, to touch love, to hold it in our hands and our heart because love is so fucking cool, so fucking needed, so fucking necessary, so fucking stunning and gorgeous and don’t let anyone, not one soul, sell you an imitation of love – or try to get you to buy into some faux love bullshit, or convince you that love is brutal and violent and abusive because that is not love – not at all.
- Love is hard and messy and complicated and it’s filled with roadblocks and obstacles and wrong turns and soft shoulders and pit stops and bathroom breaks and full moons and half-moons and fuck you and thank you and enough magic to make you believe. Yeah, that kinda love.
So, please, let’s offer up the very best of us to the folks we love who yes, love us back and not just who we think they wanna see but who we’re meant to be in this world. Offer up that human – that glorious sexy imperfect edgy frayed mighty human because from where I’m sitting – we are fucking magnificent, we are.
Don’t sell yourself short, that was someone else’s idea of you.
Own your beauty and brilliance and creativity and power – it is more than enough.
Thanks for being in my life.
Today, please, even if just for today… love yourself, give yourself kudos, hold yourself high, way up high; forgive yourself your mistakes & flaws & foibles & fuck-ups. Be kind to yourself. Pat yourself on the back for getting out of bed. Be good to yourself. Treat yourself with generosity. And if anyone gives you shit today, please, tell them: not today. Not today.
So, here’s a little story about good love.
And yes, yes…lucky him.
Opposite is good.
Opposite is sexy.
Opposite is never fucking boring.
And at the end of the day, it all comes down to love.
I’m wanna share one more thing before I get on with my day and do my work and take care of my man who needs some tending to and leave you with this: since this week, for me, is about mother’s and daughter’s and what we inherit unknowingly.
5/3/21 I wrote this not very long ago, but I wanted to share it again, because yeah, the anniversary of my mom’s death is approaching, so here:
That moment when we awaken to our greatness.
When we realize that being in control and taking charge are two entirely different things, and taking charge is so fucking powerful, empowering.
That moment when we see ourselves as the sexy, messy, awesome, amazing, magnificent, crazy-ass, badass, complicated, fuck-yeah powerhouse humans that we are.
That moment when we stop needing approval, or permission or validation to be huge, or mighty or fierce; to use our voice – our lives – without letting anyone or anything stand in our way.
That moment when we stand up not because someone told us to, or because someone asked us to, but because we decided to. We decided to be seen & be heard & visible, and that’s enough, more than enough.
That moment when we say fuck yes, and go after the life we want because life is way too short and goes by in a flash, and should & could & maybe hasn’t worked out in our favor, and it is high fucking time we live on our terms.
That moment when we realize that the folks who make us go through hoops, who keep us at arms length, who wish us well but, you know, not too well, will never stay in our lives; time to let them go.
That moment when we bet on us – put all the proverbial chips down on the table – because we are so fucking worth betting on.
That moment when we decide that someone else’s opinion of us doesn’t match up with who we are, and who we wanna be in this crazy wacky fucked-up messy beautiful world and that pleasing everyone at our own expense isn’t noble, because goddess knows that there is nothing noble in putting our happiness on the back burner.
That moment when we decide that wearing our life out-loud, open carrying our lives – no excuses, no apologizes – to the nines – is the sexiest thing we will ever wear.
That moment when we realize that being silent – quiet & timid – is all about being nice, accommodating – being the good girl – not making waves and living in fear – because nice is based in fear; and being loud – bold & audacious – is all about being kind, visible – being the do-good woman – because kind is based in love; making a ruckus and living fierce, because making a ruckus and living fierce moves the fucking universe.
Two months ago there was only dirt. A hard ground with hopes that the ice would melt & goodness would start rearing its head. Two months ago it was all dull and grey and a bit hopeless. And then one-by-one beauty showed up. Popping. Strutting. Gathering with friends – competing best in petal & color. If spring proves anything to us it is this: there is so much beauty down in the mud, so much grace under the ice-cold, so much luscious tucked in & buried deep just waiting for the right time to shine the fuck up.
Uh oh. Apparently, I’m not woke enough. I’m not even sure what being fully woke is. Or what it looks like. I suppose being woke, really fucking woke, means agreeing with much or most of the cancel culture/culture and all the hate spewed toward folks who are trying their best to be in the middle – the middle where Tyler Perry is – but whew, some folks wanna know what that middle looks like and where the fuck that middle is and they don’t like the middle. I’m gonna make a wild guess: the middle is where you find it. You. Your middle. My middle might be a bit different than your middle if in fact my road (or in my case, my body) is a bit wider than yours. So my middle might be to your left. Or to your right… depending. But yeah, today someone told me I wasn’t woke enough. I needed to be more woke. You wanna know the honest truth, no bullshit: I am really fucking exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open. My heart hurts so much these days with all the cruelty and the hate and the ugly being spewed every which way and where. Woke? How about we all take some naps, and rejuvenate and re-invigorate, and hit the refresh button. How about we stop being so nasty and so vile and so unforgiving? How about we think before we fucking speak, and how about we take a breath before we hit send and how about we stop and wonder: is this gonna break someone’s heart in a million fucking pieces cause I got news for you, hearts are breaking and cracking every which way and everywhere. If woke is being wholly full-on nasty because someone forgets to say the correct word or right phrase because that word – that phrase – is not yet in their consciousness or their vocabulary and yeah, it’s gonna take a bit to access that word…record that word, that phrase… how about digging deep in and finding some tolerance and patience and humanity? How about not beating the shit out of someone for being of a certain age when certain things were part and parcel of their daily life. How about we lift each others best qualities and spirits and shine a light on each other and inspire and encourage rather than diminish and demean? How about we educate and not erase, how about we speak our truth and stand in our power without demolishing and destroying the past that got us here. So today I’m not woke enough. I tell you, I try to be the best human I can be on some of the hardest days I’ve ever had and coffee isn’t doing the trick, so I think I’ll stick with igniting the words that are inside of me and hoping that I can always make you feel better about your own lives, and these hard days and inspire you to awaken to your greatness – to me, that’s what being woke is: awakening to our greatness, to our beauty, to the best of who we are and share and sprinkle that good shit everywhere we can.
So here, this, my little wrap up:
If you’re woke you care if you’re woke you have compassion & passion and unlimited kindness if you’re woke you hold up others if you’re woke you stop hate in its fucking tracks, if you’re woke you stand up with the folks who stand behind you, who walked before you, who gave you a lift on their very shoulders.
I am woke.
My offering today: a bouquet of fresh flowers & the word: Believe.
Believe in the greatness of your life.
Believe that you are worthy.
Believe that nothing is impossible.
Believe that standing up makes you taller & sexier and more beautiful.
Believe that you got what it takes & if anyone wants to take that from you – fuck ‘em. Don’t let anyone take away what is yours.
Believe in your talent, your words, your art. Believe that you are necessary & vital.
Believe. Sending you all massive love.
4/25/21 (from another source)
This came up yesterday in the Writers and Editors of Color “Writing for Change” talk I did on Twitter Spaces. Written 3 years ago, it’s a reminder of how far I’ve come in the struggle since having a stroke. I have so many people to thank, but it was Jen Pastiloff who gave myself and my wife a new perspective and something to look forward to living.
“Having a stroke was somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It’s giving me the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do. My new and beautiful friends,
Jennifer Pastiloff, Amy Ferris, and many others have pointed to all the great stories I have to tell, and I’m telling them.”
Today is recycling day – garbage & recycling – Ken does it all. He does. He doesn’t trust me with the recycling. He doesn’t trust me with the garbage either because sometimes – not often, but sometimes – I toss recycling into the garbage and that just gets him all crazy-ass nuts. But, I digress. He handed me a catalog this morning and asked me if I wanted it, or should he toss it. The catalog was filled with some swanky clothing – real swanky – and as I flipped through the pages I noticed that each & every model was the size of one of my legs – thighs. Maybe a size 3 or 4. Maybe. And while the clothing is super duper wow, I handed him the catalog and said, yeah, yeah, recycle.
But here’s the meat:
I was a size 4 years ago. Years ago. Slim – long & lean. I was thin and lanky and wore swanky clothes and high heels and strutted my stuff like a peacock and I wasn’t always self-confident and I certainly lacked in the self-esteem department but I certainly knew how to use my swagger because back then, in the ’70s and ’80s and into the ’90s, being long and lean was sexy cool – as cool as the Newports I smoked – two packs a day, pushing down and pushing away all my feelings and all my emotions and anyone who dared to come close to me with every single inhale & exhale of smoke.
I gave up the cigarettes and the heels and the ‘stay the fuck away’ and opened my heart and soul and invited trauma and love and kindness and goodness and pain and sorrow into my life. All and every bit of it.
And my body grew.
It grew wide and it grew up and my heart grew, expanded, with it.
I’m no longer a size 4. I got a ton of meat on my bones. I no longer wear tight jeans or high Blahnik heels and very often, like every single day, you’ll find me in an oversize Hanes white v-neck (thank you, Alexia!) and black pants or capris and I hardly wear any make-up and I love my Sketcher flats and holy fuck: I can feel my body and feel my power and feel my heart expanding because I can feel it beating underneath the weight that I carry and I may not always be madly fucking in love with how I’m looking but I know for a fact that I am a Goddess and Warrior and that strutting my stuff has nothing to do with the clothes on my back and everything to do with the back’s that I carry and hold up and support and champion.
My body is not only my choice, it is my passion, and sometimes yes, it carries the weight of the world but mostly – mostly – it carries and holds profound good messy love.
Here’s to all of you.
I carry you all in my heart.
Derek Chauvin believed that he was going to be found ‘not guilty’ – any human who can kneel on a man’s throat for 9 minutes & 29 seconds KNOWING they were being filmed is that fucking arrogant to believe that they would & could get away with murder. He knew that he was being filmed. He knew it. He watched as bystanders took out their iPhones & cellphones and then HIT record/video. He kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck and throat – pushing his knee deeper and harder into George Floyd’s life. A Black man lost his life because a white man believed he had the power to take it away. And tonight, all over the country, white men and white women know that there is a hefty price to pay for annihilating – extinguishing – another life outside the womb. Derek Chauvin did not think he would be found guilty. He believed he was above the law, not just the law. He believed that George Floyd’s life didn’t matter. Not one iota. He believed that he had the right to take his life because he wore a badge. And that one action – that one vile horrific action – has now destroyed so many lives; the cops awaiting trial – he was their supervisor, the men and women and young people who filmed George Floyd being killed right before their eyes – they will never forget those minutes. All of us who watched that horrific ugly cruel violent video over and over and over again. How can we ever not see that horror? To be that inhumane, that arrogant. To believe that a badge or uniform or title – or skin color – gives you the right to take another life.
I’m not one to believe in heaven or hell, I believe both are right here – right here – on this very earth, but tonight I believe that Derek Chauvin is going to hell and George Floyd, well, he is most certainly surrounded by angels – the world wept on his behalf tonight.
Before the Verdict
In the midst of pain & sorrow, unease… discomfort… in the midst of fear & worry… there underneath the hard soil, the ice, the cracked broken earth – there is hope & there is beauty. Our hill, leading up to our barn/garage is filled with so much beauty so much hope – a sign that kept standing through this brutal winter – Black Lives Matter. To all of you out there, on here, who stand tall, who stand up, who open carry your lives, who speak & write your truth so others can be brave and courageous, thank you – you are THE occasion I rise up for and I am so mighty grateful.
One of the best humans – and one of the most creative humans on the planet wrote this children’s book: Joany Kane and I would love it if you all can support her and champion her, and hoot and holler for her. She truly is magical and I love her to pieces and this has been an amazing journey for her. Glorinda Marie is her creative artistic partner in this.
Since so many folks always wanna know why I use the word fuck so often, sprinkle it everywhere, here’s my answer:
Yes, true story.
So, here is my sassy memoir. My raw & funny and dig deep in the mud memoir. And I know a whole bunch of you fabulous humans bought this book and I bow to you, I seriously bow to you… but for those of you who have never read this, it’s truly grand. I am so very, very proud of this book: the truth of it, the truth in it – the courage it took for me to write the last section, those chapters. So, if you’re inclined to support me, and my words… this would be a good book to read. And It’s a swell gift to give. Thank you so much in advance.
Who doesn’t wanna be loved? Who doesn’t crave being seen & heard and yes, noticed? Who doesn’t long for someone to say: you’re beautiful, you’re necessary, you’re invaluable? Who doesn’t want their heart to be held in the palm of a hand after it’s been broken? Who doesn’t want to be thought of? Thought kindly of? Who doesn’t wish that their mistakes and their foibles and their flaws weren’t thought of as the totality of their life? Who doesn’t wish that their imperfections were thrown in their face by someone who is just as imperfect? Who doesn’t wish they can take back a word or two or an email sent in the middle of the night because sending it out was better than holding it in? Who doesn’t wish that humans were kinder, more gentle, more thoughtful, more tolerant, more generous, more accepting, more capable of loving better? Who doesn’t wish on the first star they see at night? Who doesn’t wish for strength under their breath when life is hard and bones are weary? Who doesn’t wish for more days with the folks we love? Who doesn’t wish for the right person to come along and sweep us off our feet and say: through everything, every single thing, I will love you & cherish you no matter fucking what? Who the fuck doesn’t wish to be loved and wanted and needed unconditionally – not strings – no sitting on ceremony – no bullshit – because conditionally isn’t love and I wish you all unconditional good love, the kinda love that yes, makes you feel warm, the sun warm, like you swallowed the sun kinda love.
Art on the walls.
I don’t know why this fab photo popped up but it made my day and I’m surely going to share it….The ever-gorgeous Ken and Amy Ferris… FFE!!!!!
A perfect Facebook memory:
Please, whatever the fuck you do… don’t settle. We’re not on this earth to take less than. We’re not here to master suffering, we are NOT here to live mediocre lives. We are not here to give someone else – or allow someone else to take – the credit for what we say, do, accomplish. We are here to be fucking huge, epic, glorious, magnificent. We are here to show the world what we’re made of.
Here’s a hard-core fact.
Here’s the deal: I’m on meds and imma feeling mighty shitty from my 2nd vaccine, mighty shitty, but anyone – ANYONE – hurts a human I love & cherish, says nasty shit about someone I love behind their FaceBack – you know it’s gonna come back to me… any person says nasty shit about someone I love…YOU IN DEEP MOTHERFUCKER TROUBLE.
Do Not Talk Shit About Anyone I love.
Trust me, the shit has a way of circling back and finding me.
I am the last person ‘mean’ wants to come face-to-face with.
Spritz it on.
It goes with everything.
It circles back like curdled milk.
Mean doesn’t age well.
So, the 2nd day really sucks. Truly deeply. No sugar coating. Yes, I’m taking Tylenol, yes, I’m drinking Gatorade (and yes, I’m making believe it’s Sauvignon Blanc Gatorade after 5 pm) and yes, I’m resting, in bed…and I know, I know… I know… this too shall pass, I know, but this too… really fucking sucks.
Sending you all my love & deep gratitude for the love you’ve sent my way.
You all have been loving me up so much, Good Goddess… the love pouring in is extraordinary.
this gorgeous private message I share with you:
Where the fuck is Molly?
Well, she does not want her photo taken.
She had a “PETicure” this afternoon and now hates that her long pointy “Imma gonna scratch you if you fuck with me’ nails are just a teeny bit shorter.
She is not a happy pussy today.
Here’s to all of you gorgeous creatures out there on this Saturday that actually, yes, feels like a Saturday.
Wear your dreams out-loud.
Do not take shit from anyone.
Love big and love better, be kind and be generous.
And for the sake of humanity:
Pssst: You with the ‘abortion is murder’ post – a heads up:
20 people were massacred this week who lived outside the womb.
This just came up in my feed – I was tagged on this post- and even I’m inspired by my own words.
“Write a story to save your life.”
– Don Hahn
What an extraordinary class today @ Story Summit Writer’s School
While iKen was on the phone this morning explaining to his doctor why he needed his Cialis refill, I was scrolling through emails & text messages and thinking about how in 28 years he & I have experienced all sorts of life. And by all sorts, I mean every single bit: ups & downs & sideways. I mean life at its very fucking best & juiciest and holy shit worst and scariest. I mean blood-curdling screaming – tossing fuck you’s like frisbees; to kissing, loving passionately, deeply. I mean all those middle of the night moments when you think, why did we get married, to all those moments when you know deep in your soul that forever will never be long enough. So, while he was negotiating his refill (successfully), and I was negotiating the world wide wild web (unsuccessfully), I came to the realization – which, by the way, this is not a new realization, I’ve had it numerous times before – that life is never gonna be a straight line. Never. Ever. This brings me to this: go for it. Go for what it is you want in life. Don’t wait for it to show up. Don’t. Be a motherfucker dog with a bone. Be the kinda person who makes waves and makes a ruckus and demands the best for your own life, and the best for the ones who you love. Be the kinda person who stands up and declares their worth, their value, because a) you showed up, and b) you shine up. Period. Be the kinda person who fights like a motherfucker for every single thing you want in life and know when to step back and know when to back down and know when to walk away because not everything we want is good for us, or the best for us. Be the kinda person who roots for others & champions others and hoots & hollers for others, but not at your own expense – don’t give away the goods or goodie bag to please someone else, or make someone else happy who doesn’t make you happy because 9 times outta 10, seriously, those folks – the ones you wanna please, jump through hoops for – are gonna up and leave, hit the road at some time. Trust me on that.
Be the kinda person who loves good, and loves big and loves hard and loves mighty, and loves fiercely but doesn’t sell their own soul to just any Jack or Jill or Jackass. Be the kinda woman they name hurricanes after, and the kinda men they name groovy film festivals after or Awards for.
Be the kinda folks who make the world better & sexier, bigger & kinder, who can shake & rattle the universe and make it spin like a fucking dreidel.
And let me just say for the record, you, reading this: you’re not just anybody, you’re not just someone, you’re not just anyone. You’re a warrior, a Goddess, a buddha, a bodhisattva. A queen. A King. You are it – all & everything plus a side of delicious. And every single storm, detour, bump, the wrong turn; every single fucking obstacle that rears its head, throws you down, catches you off guard is for you to prove what you’re made of, for you to see for yourself that you are made of beauty & magic & awesome & all that fucking glitters.
I have heard numerous – numerous – folks over numerous years share their opinions over what they like or don’t like whether it’s a piece of music or a painting or film or a play. It used to be that you could not like something and were not dragged through the mud. I didn’t like the movie Mank, thousands & thousands of folks loved that film. I loved LOVED Nomadland, others didn’t. I loved One Night in Miami – thought it was fucking brilliant, the guy down the road couldn’t get through the first hour. I love Cat Stevens but recently I was slammed for whatever reason for loving him. I adore Beyonce. Not so much Rap. I’m pretty fond of Musical theater, can’t stand opera. I also do not like Reality TV, so not sure where on the face of the five senses map that puts me. Recently I was taken to task and told my reactions to ‘music’ are based on a patriarchal system. I call bullshit. Not everything I like or don’t like is based on a patriarchal jumping-off point. It makes women seem that our own beating heart can’t make a decision or have a feeling on its own. And for the record, anyone who doesn’t like My Cousin Vinny better not argue with me about that. I’m not sure being so fucking woke is so fucking good, maybe we need to hit a snooze button every so often and then hit the re-charge mode and come back willing to be less in attack mode.
*Please know I just tagged
Dale Launer in the comments – he wrote My Cousin Vinny; here in our house, we bow at the altar of Dale Launer & My Cousin Vinny.
Simon & Schuster has paid Kellyanne Conway “millions & millions of dollars” for her tell-all book deal about her time in the Trump White House.
Millions of fucking dollars, a bundle of millions.
I have friends who are brilliant writers – stunning writers – who can’t give away their books, and this kinda shit gets millions upon millions.
Stop rewarding nasty cruel vile famous people.
Reward brilliance, not bullying.
Mike Pence got a loaded deal and a shitload of folks who worked in the Trump White House. Do not reward these people. Do not. They’re cowards & liars & they wanted to burn the house down.
This is my friend Beth Broday’s magnificent daughter. She’s living in fear. Beth is living in fear. Please, let’s hold each other up and hold each other tight.
Do not be silent when it comes to hate crimes. Our voices must be louder & stronger than hate and bullets.
As I expected, I got a lot of nasty shit for my post. Some were PMs, some were comments and a few were in emails. I don’t regret one word that I wrote, but I will share what makes me so very, very sad.
We live in a world where we are reminded daily that we must believe all women – but we also are living in a world that vilifies certain women for speaking their truth, for sharing their lives. We live in a world where me too has become me only and no, you don’t know what the fuck I went through; when not liking a song becomes ‘being a racist’ and sharing our opinions has become an opportunity to cancel our feelings.
A few years ago a friend of mine wrote about her children – she adopted 2 children – both are black. She shared how scared she was when they go, or drive, or walk down a street. She shared her pain. Her fears. She also shared that she was a white woman and the hate that came her way was unbearable to read. One person actually said she, my friend, couldn’t imagine what it was like because she is a white woman. She removed the post and disconnected from social media. That comment landed her in such a deep emotional hell. She adopted two babies who were in foster care, bouncing around from one home to the next until she & her husband came along and gave them a good safe loving life. She was petrified for her children but that didn’t seem to matter to some folks.
No, I do not know what it is like to be a Black woman or a Latino, Latinx woman, or an Asian woman or a gay woman or Native American woman or a trans woman or a disabled woman. I only know what it’s like to be me, and that may not be good enough for some of you, and that’s okay, and yes, I hope to fucking god I learn every day how to love better, do better, be kinder, listen more… pay attention. I hope every fucking day I become better at this thing called life. I hope to stand on the right side of life and if I slip off, I hope folks grab my hand and pull me back in. I hope that my voice raises others, encourages others. All others. I hope that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, that I am remembered by my words, which no, aren’t always perfect and often clumsy and misspelled, and yeah, I ramble, and I wish us all more empathy.
Years & years ago my friend’s husband died unexpectedly, he had a massive stroke on a flight and died on the plane coming home to her. She picked up his body at the airport instead of him walking through the gate. At the shiva call – at her house – a young girl, maybe 16, 17, was tucked into the corner of the room – her niece – and my friend walked over to her and knelt down, cupping the young girl’s face in her hands asking her why she was crying… her niece said these words: my boyfriend broke up with me and I’m so ashamed that I feel so sad when you just lost your husband… my uncle… and … she was weeping, weeping… and my friend said this to her: we both lost people we loved, now we both know that kind of pain.
We both know that kind of pain.|
No, no… I don’t know what it’s like to be a Black woman or Latino/Latinx – or Native American or Asian or Gay or Trans or Disabled… but my heart – my messy cracked crazy-glued heart – will always break and crack and split into a million fucking pieces for anyone who is made to feel like they don’t belong on this earth and in this world.
Please, be kind to yourself.
This is what I know
This post is from 3 years ago – the storm that devastated our county.
“I don’t know you, but I am lifting you up.”
What one woman wrote/said to another woman – commented – on my post in an exchange they were having. What an exquisite thing to say to someone; I don’t know you but I’m lifting you up.
May we all say those exact words to a human in need of comfort & kindness.-
So, this. From all the gorgeous comments I can see y’all love our house. It’s a pretty stunning magical house but get this: 30 plus years ago it was a hunter’s cabin in the middle of the woods. A tiny small get-a-way for Ken to come to after hours & hours & hours working on a film set, he came every Saturday AM (pre-Amy) and slept a few hours and started his garden. Gardening the whole weekend. Building beds from stones on the property and filling the veggie & flower beds with soil made from his own composting. And then from seeds grew so much beauty. Good beauty. Healthy beauty. Pretty beauty. As an aside, no doubt, while he was on his knees midday steeped in mud – because yes, this was pre-Amy – I was trying on sexy kitten heels @ BarneysNY or Bendels. The house was super tiny. Perfect for one. A great place to lay his head and then … that one little room (now yes, with Amy) with a swell gorgeous growing garden became a thing of beauty. Growing expanding – filled with art & kindness and so much love. A room here, a room here, a bathroom/sunroom there… Ken grew the house the same way he grew his garden knowing that seeds have the potential to bloom into so much beauty and that everything – no matter the state they’re in – has the potential to be magical. He saw the magic of a tiny little house, the same way he saw the magic in me when he first laid eyes on me. And his love helped bring all that magic to light.
Please, find the magic.
Strut it, and use that magic every fucking single day.
Do not hoard your magic.
The world needs you.
March 22nd, Audie Awards. Old School Love has been nominated for a BEST of #AudieAward
I am so thrilled, over-the-massive-moon thrilled to be the Co-Author with RevRun (RunDMC) and Justine Simmons.
A book about love. Good love, kind love, generous love, unconditional love, messy love, complicated love, faith-filled love, sexy love, remarkable love, pay it forward love, epic love, forgiving love, crazy-glue love, crazy-ass-magic love.
I am so thrilled.
This book was such a joy to collaborate on.
Please, wish us well.
Since it is Women’s History Month and you all know how I feel about that since my post 3 days ago – all together now: Every Fucking Day is Women’s Day – I decided instead of honoring one woman, in particular, each day because truth be told I have so many extraordinary women in my life and I would feel goddess fucking awful if I left out any or forgot to mention or skipped over any woman who changed my life, lifted me out of the darkness, held my hand, championed me, or just plain loved me so I could love myself better. So, this month I’m gonna tackle some issues we women have and hopefully inspire and encourage all women to awaken to their greatness. Speaking of being left out: that’s a hot-button issue for many women and me, yes. Being excluded, being left behind… being discarded. Holy fuck. We, women, have a tendency to do that to our female-fellow-SHEroes. And it is god awful fucking painful to be set aside, left out. That goes under the category: not seen. I know some women who have a ton of success who would not have that success if it weren’t for another woman championing her, but…sometimes, many times, the “championeer” gets pushed to the background or the side and is replaced by a newer version, a hipper version. And that’s called human nature. But Mother Nature would like all women to stand together to fight the storms that come our way. Shoulder to shoulder. When one rises up, we all rise up, when one falls and crumbles we all help pull her up, help her stand. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been left out or set aside or forgotten who doesn’t have the scars from that. And some of us, stoically, will say oh, no big deal, doesn’t bother me, some will say, I didn’t wanna do it anyway, and some of us will poo poo it, and some of us will silently stew, and some of us will feel the pain of child hurts – reliving, replaying, rewinding being forgotten. So, on this day, every fucking day is women’s day, let us make a pledge to ourselves that we will try our very best to never make another woman – a friend – a colleague – a good neighbor – a co-worker – a human woman that yes, we like very much – feel unwanted, unseen, unnoticed, invisible. Let us dig into our own hearts and remember what it was like being the one left behind, not invited, not included, and let us take that pain that we felt and make sure we don’t ever spread that unnecessary unhappiness around. Love yourself more. Share the goodie bag, no-one needs 50 lip glosses. Champion others., it’ll make you feel like you swallowed the sun. Lift someone so high they can reach for the stars. And please, please… wear your scars like stardust, you are the whole fucking SHEbang.
Coupla very very cool things are happening on March 22:
We’re kicking off Our Disney Animation week @ the Story Summit Writer’s School with the super extraordinary Tab Murphy; and…Linda Schreyer
is beginning a brand new Slipper Camp on March 22nd through the month of March, and …Old School Love (the book I proudly co-authored with Rev Run of RunDMC fame & Justine Simmons) may just win an AUDIE Award that evening (it’s been nominated). And it also happens to be the birth DAY of the Glorious Goddess Alexia LaFortune
In the damned, if I do, damned if I don’t world of posting, I’ll go for the damned if I do…
Time for us to draw a line about what is sexual assault and what is sexual abuse and what is a really shitty come-on and what is a really bad stupid joke. Being a 66-year-old woman in the world, I can say with utmost truth that sitting at a bar – years & years & years ago – asking for a light, because, yes, I smoked back in the day – I would get some pretty crude, ridiculous responses like: hey, baby, you need a light, how about I light you up, and I would say fuck you asshole and move to the other end of the bar. Did they harass me, sexually offend me – no, they were being stupid assholes and they thought they were charming. When men complimented me, telling me I looked beautiful – or even sexy – did I think they ALL wanted to sexually assault me? No, I didn’t. No. Some men were assholes, yeah, sure, and some were genuinely complimenting me, and some were fumbling trying to say something to actually get my attention. And by the way, a lot of guys are insecure and try real hard to sound like they have all the confidence in the world. My husband, Ken, you know all him… fumbled on our ‘first’ official date… telling me I was so pretty and sexy and even said I was luscious… luscious … and he also said something that cracked my heart wide the fuck open: he said I wasn’t the most beautiful women he had ever seen but I was indeed the most joyful. And let me tell you, that compliment – which some would think wasn’t a compliment at all – that knocked me outta the world. I suppose many of you are saying that kind of flirting couldn’t happen now, and all I have to say: what a shame. The only man who truly deeply ever hurt my soul & my self-esteem was the man who beat me. And I left that relationship in pieces… but I crazy-glued myself together and let others help me and I decided I didn’t want to be a victim of someone else’s demons. And years later, many years later – I was married by that point – I received a letter from that man, the man who hurt me – a handwritten letter – that was so profound and filled with unbearable truths and pain – his – and he had been to rehab, and got himself into a few more bouts of ugliness and finally was able to dig himself out of the horror of his own life; he shared with me that he was married with two daughters, and he wanted his daughters to know that he was once an angry bitter mean man who was filled with rage but even men like him were able to rehabilitate and find redemption. I believed he called it ‘breaking the chains of awfulness’.
Leaving you with a brand new hot off the conveyor belt word/hashtag:
We have been silent for too long, quiet for too long, we have held on to our pain and sorrow and unhappiness for too long. We have been pushed into corners and dismissed and discarded and shushed for too long. We have been told to calm down, to not be so emotional, to lose the edge.
We have much to say. Much.
I’m asking this and I want serious answers, not flip answers. Upfront: I am not a fan of his; I find him to be a bully. But, that said, that doesn’t mean I believe he should step down or resign. Yes, I thought he had done – and has done – a great job as Governor of NY during this Pandemic – with the major MAJOR exception of what is now coming to light, re nursing homes – he has done the job a Governor is elected to do during a crisis.
- Why is he not stepping down?
- Why are folks not demanding his resignation?
- Why is he getting what feels like a pass?
- Why does he get to ask for an investigation from the NY AG and still stay in his position of power?
This is for the guy/person who commented: So, you wished him dead? That’s not very nice of you. People like you are hipocritical. (Yes, he/they misspelled)
Let us not forget that Rush Limbaugh ignited hate. He inspired violence with his rhetoric. The names he called women – demeaning their looks and their character – the way he spoke about gun violence and the thousands and thousands of times he perpetrated lies. He was indeed a racist.
I try not to wish people dead, but I do wish more than anything that folks who carry intolerance and hate and racism in their hearts and a meanness and a nastiness that stains others – I wish them to understand another heart that beats differently. Seventy is not old. Not at all. It is long enough to know better, to do better, to be kinder, to be more compassionate and more tolerant. It is long enough to change your heart. It is long enough to stop and think about the rest of the life you wanna lead and leave behind.
And he certainly did not deserve the medal he received, but I do believe he received the ending to his life that was appropriate.
Late last night, really late last night, I received a private message from a woman, Terry, who follows me on FB to let me know that I saved a young girl’s life because I write about my depression and my suicide attempt and I use the word fuck, which she loves, and she wanted me to know that I make a difference in the world and helped a young woman navigate through her pain.
- Holy fuck.
- Holy fuck twice.
And I stayed up, and I thought about why I write about what I write about and why I do it, and I turned to my gorgeous sleeping man who was snoring and content as can be and I thought about how messy love is, and how hard it is, and how some days I wanna hit the road, Jack and how some days are so fucking gorgeous, and some are so excruciating, and some days – like yesterday with Marta & all the Story Summit humans – are magnificent and filled to the brim with beauty and joy and hope. My god, some days take my breath away.
Inspire. Encourage. Lift. Share your story. Tell your truth. Be your own best advocate. Share the goodie bag. Give away words of love. Offer up paragraphs of confidence and courage and bravery.
If I had a chance to tell my younger self something of great value I would tell her, do her/our life the exact way I did ours/mine. Make mistakes, they become your mission. Sleep with mistakes, they bring you closer to loving your own life. Wear your mistakes so others know they are not alone in this world. Double down on your mistakes so that you really fucking learn the fucking lesson. And treasure those mistakes, they make us human and vulnerable and keep us humble and if worn as an accessory they’re right up there with pearls – yes, wisdom.
I wish you all love, kindness, self-love; I also wish you could see yourself through my eyes – you would fall madly in-love with your life and your own messy cracked edgy broken sexy as all get out heart. I wish you tenderness and comfort on hard days.
Please, be good to yourself.
Good morning humans! Last night I posted about asking for what you want. What I want. I gotta say, that was a hard motherfucker post to write because it is excruciating for me to ask for what I want/need. Holy fuck massive hard. So, this: let’s ask for what we want, need this weekend, this coming week. Let’s ask for help, ask to be lifted. Let’s step outta our comfort – or better yet, discomfort zone – and put our very lives front & center and say: hey, I can use… hey, I need some help… hey, I want… hey, could you do me a favor? Hey, I need a hand, a shoulder, an ear…
If I have learned anything during these god-awful COVID months, going back to ‘what was’ isn’t gonna work. Normal was never fucking normal and we get to create & make our own magic. We get to choose who we wanna be. We get to do this thing called life better, we get to set boundaries and get to say no to the folks who don’t reciprocate our love & generosity and kindness and we get to say yes to folks who stand by us, who love us, who hold our hearts in the palm of their hands, whose shoulders we lean on. I keep telling folks to stop taking crumbs, so let’s stop doing that. Let’s stop selling ourselves short, let’s stop accepting less out of fear we won’t get what we want, let’s stop diminishing & demeaning our own lives, let’s stop standing on fucking ceremony and start standing up with power and brilliance and beauty – let’s stop making others more important than us and start seeing how invaluable our lives are, let’s stop giving shit away to folks who will NEVER love us. Hold tight to those trinkets, they probably look mighty gorgeous on you. Let’s stop devaluing our own lives and let’s open our very own eyes in seeing how immensely worthy & magnificent we are.
And please, remember this: if you ask and someone says no, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it or do it or be it, it just means you gotta work that ask muscle. Pump it up.
I send you all my love, I am so grateful I get to share my shit on here knowing that others are nodding and saying, yeah… me too, me too, sister… me too.
I refuse to go to bed angry and bitter and filled with bile. I fucking refuse. It’ll just eat away at me and cause me bad nasty dreams and who the fuck needs bad nasty dreams?
I just wanna reach out here, on FaceBook, and let you all know that you’re not alone in the pain, and the trauma, and the fear and the rage; you’re not alone in being triggered by the events that took place on January 6th. Most everyone I know who watched – or caught the Impeachment hearing at some point today – were mortified and horrified and sickened. To watch & witness the violence and the unbearable hate and the near-death and the death – to hear the screams, the gunshots, the beatings.
For those who were violated, sexually assaulted, raped, beaten, held at gunpoint… for those who lost loved ones to gun violence and hate, to those who lived their entire lives pushing aside and pushing down and silencing the memories of being battered… to witness the videos this week and especially today were more than traumatizing.
- You are NOT alone.
- We need so much hope.
- So much.
We need so much kindness and so much goodness. We need to hold each other the best we can while distancing to keep us healthy and safe. We need to keep reminding each other that love wins even though love is so fucking hard and messy and complicated and yes, brutal at times and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s winning at all. We need to encourage each other, inspire each other, light the way for each other. We need to show up for each other even if showing up means a text or message just to say: I got you, I do, but I gotta take care of myself today because I need to fill the emotional tank which holy fuck is running on empty; we need to be each others GPS when we get lost and can’t find our way, we need to know that right now, this very minute, we are the huddled masses… yearning… we are yearning to be free from hate and bigotry and racism and antisemitism and sexism and so many isms I can barely count them all.
Let us hold tight to each other, let us remind each other that mountains are meant to be climbed and yes, that is fucking hard, and the moon can, yes, be lassoed but it takes a few times or a hundred to get it right, and there is a light at the end of each tunnel and yeah, fuck yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find the tunnel… but hold tight we will, and let’s love each other a bit better and be a bit more generous, and share the goodie bag and wear kindness because kindness goes with everything and let’s never forget that on January 7th – at a little after 4 AM in the morning – both Democracy and the good guy & the good woman won.
Emails, Benghazi… you ripped her to shreds, you dragged her through the mud, you vilified her; you spread vicious rumors and screamed lock her up & wished her worse.
- These were not immigrants, these were not Mexicans or Muslims, these were not Black Lives,
- these were not the ‘Chinese flu’ spreaders, these were not the fake news journalists,
- these were not whacked out people trying to steal jobs. These were not his enemies.
- These were his people.
- These were his followers, his loyalists, his minions.
- These were homegrown motherfucker terrorists who wanted to desecrate and destroy and kill for him.
This is on him.
One man hell-bent on destroying democracy.
Unlimited self-esteem doesn’t mean you never have doubts or fears or don’t experience moments of self-loathing, or periods of what the actual fuck, or hours that seem like fucking days where you feel so overwhelmed and so intensely burdened that your back screams out because of the load you’re carrying; days where you feel you’ll never succeed or write that book or play or TV series or poem or compose that song or fall-in-love again or for the first time … unlimited self-esteem means all of that and still, YOU RISE,
- still, you stand the fuck up,
- still, you write with everything you got,
- still, you create beauty,
- still, you move forward,
- still, you push away the cobwebs,
- still, you move that mountain,
- still, you sit down and tap away at your computer,
and while the voices in your head say “no fucking way” your fingers & your heart and your soul say: “way” and still and still and still and STILL you make magic and show up in your own life for your own life so that others can show up in theirs… still.
A little Sunday SuperBowl SHErmon:
I am a big – massive – supporter and champion of collaborating and collaboration. A huge champion of completing each other NOT competing with each other. I believe, without a doubt, there is more than enough pie and cake and chips and dips to go around; I believe we can make more pie and more cake and dole out larger pieces to others. Not just slivers. I believe that jealousy & envy destroy not only relationships but fester inside our own bodies filling us with a bad taste that turns sour and makes us feel sick to our stomach.
To stand up for others who may feel a bit shaky standing up for their own lives, to hold up another human so they can speak their truth and share their story, to have another human’s back so they know they are not alone. This is the very best of who we are. To say to someone I got you and mean it. Fucking mean it. To say to someone I will hold your secret deep in & never spill it; to make others feel safe so they can share their down & dirty and cleanse their own soul just a bit, to shine a light so someone can glow up, to be able to offer up a word or two or three that will fill another heart with compassion and courage. To share the worst of you – your experiences – so others can be braver, stronger, less afraid.
And by the way, showing up doesn’t mean never fucking up, we all fuck up, we all say shit we don’t mean, we all lash out in a fit of untamed passion, we all break promises at times because life gets in the way and all we wanna do is crawl under the covers and hide. We are in fact oh so very human. But if we’re lucky the humans in our life will give us a few passes so that we can stand up a bit taller, be a bit braver ourselves, wear our scars like stardust and our worst scary awful days become the stories that yes, save other lives.
Please, don’t hoard your heart. Expose it. Let others see the cracks and broken pieces and the edges and the wounds. Open carry your life. Know that your mistakes and fuck ups are not who you are but actually make your life more glorious, more magnificent, and oh, so relatable; and please… for the sake of every fuck, share the goodie bag – how many lip glosses do you really need? Share, be generous, don’t hold a grudge, and recycle all that keeps you at arm’s length into an embrace of others who are trying their best to make the world kinder, better, more loving.
From Amy Ferris
Let’s be sure to thank these Republicans…
Here are the names (and States) of the 11 Republicans who voted YES with Democrats to removing Marjorie Taylor Greene from two committee assignments:
I have sent each one a thank-you email for standing up to hate & violent horrific dangerous rhetoric.
This is for anyone & everyone feeling the weight & sorrow & pain of estrangement on this day, week, month… year: many of my friends – and yes, MyKen, iKen – are estranged from their families; parents, children, siblings, and I’m right there with you, I know this feeling, this pain, this sorrow too well. I live it.
Estrangement, or as I like to call it now: e-strange.
And what I can tell you, what I know – most of the guilt & shame & regret I carry around – schlep around – is not my own. It’s a collection – a greatest hits album – an entire history of family stuff. Disownment & discard and all the anger and all the shame and all the guilt – years & years & years of he said, she said, they said, I said, you said – that goes along with it. All the: fuck you, no, no, no fuck you, fuck you more.
Years of nasty ass crazy-ass crap. Years of garbage piled on top of more garbage. Years of mistakes & wrong turns and misunderstandings and miscommunication and no communication that are treated like felonies instead of misdemeanors. And god knows there is nothing worse than having the past thrown up in your face over & over & over again, Rubbing, smashing up against your skin. To be reminded of all the crazy-ass crap you did when you didn’t know any better; when all you wanted was to be seen, to be heard, to be held, to be loved. And the truth is – the rub is – everyone has their own shit. Everyone. Everyone has their own guilt. Everyone has their own crap that they have dealt out, that they spewed, that they tossed into the heap.
Everyone has stuff that they need and want to hide, keep secret. Everyone has stuff they want hidden deep – way deep – kept in the darkness.
We are all broken. We are all filled with shards and jagged edges and sharp pointy pieces that can hurt like a motherfucker. We are all imperfect creatures. Deeply scarred.
Each & every one of us – and my heart breaks, cracks, for all my friends and my husband – all the folks I know, who long for forgiveness from folks who are incapable of forgiving, incapable of loving unconditionally, incapable of owning their piece of the wedge, the tear, the broken-ness; incapable of owning their piece of the destruction.
We treat our own so unkindly and we wonder why the world is so deeply chaotic, so deeply troubled, so deeply wounded, so deeply steeped in pain & suffering; so unforgiving, so horribly mean-spirited.
So for all my friends out there who are deeply pained, who feel the unbearable weight of sorrow because they have been discarded, dismissed, forgotten, left out – please know this – please – we get to choose who we wanna share our lives with. We get to choose who we want in our lives.
We get to choose the folks who lift us, inspire us, make us feel like we swallowed the sun.
We get to choose who we walk side by side with, and stand with.
We get to choose who we love.
Hate speech is not really – not really – freedom of speech, and yes you can argue with me on this, but I am sitting here watching videos from January 6th and the days that followed and I can tell you right now that hate speech COSTS lives, nothing free about it.
When you promote destruction, when you encourage killing, when you support massacres and rampages …those are not words of goodness, kindness, humanity.
Praise for Another
I wanna talk about love. The kinda love that wraps around you and holds you tight and makes you glow and shine. No, not romantic love. I am so fortunate to have friends… humans … women & yes, men… who take such amazing care of my heart.
Folks who want me to shine, who want me to stand tall, who want me to breathe clean air and exhale all my nasty fears & doubts & worries and inhale all the goodness coming my way… good fucking god, I am surrounded by goodness. All you need is one human to make you believe that your life is glorious, that your words matter, that your heart is so sexy because it’s cracked and broken and chipped, one human who holds you up and puts your face toward the sun.
Today I want to honor someone, who has loved me up for over 12 years now.
Brooke Warner – she took what was on the page – my messy heart spilled words – and she made sure that they were read and seen and heard and yes, published. She took a chance on me at Seal Press, she and a few other amazing women who believed that what I had to say was of great value. We are lucky if we get our words published, yes… but we are so much luckier, so much more fortunate, if we are able to call our champions our friends. I have had the amazing fortune of having Brooke in my life all these years. She is a woman of her word (no pun intended), she is a warrior – for both herself and the folks she loves, she is a champion of humankind, she is also a fighter – and if she loves you, she will fight for you like nobody’s business – willing to walk through all the bullshit and all the nasty – she will have your back and then she will be there to stand right next to you or in front of you to lead the way. She will never abandon you or your dreams. I am fortunate beyond words that Brooke is not the only women – or human – in my life who does that for me, but today… this day… after walking up from a class that she led last night – a class that dug deep into my heart I wanna honor her, a woman who is my friend, dare I even say, one of my secret keepers – my life is so very safe with her. How extraordinary to even be able to write that.
Because they were Jewish, they perished. Because they were Jewish they were massacred. Because they were Jewish they were thrown into ovens: incinerated, burned, howling while the flames engulfed their bodies and the bodies of their family members and their newfound friends. Because they were Jewish they were gathered up like cattle – their possessions taken from them, their memories and their trinkets and their life removed, forever removed. Because they were Jewish. Jewish men and Jewish women and Jewish boys and Jewish girls; gay men and gay women and artists and shopkeepers and scholars and writers and athletes because yes, yes, they were Jewish. They were not Aryan master race perfect. Because they were Jewish they deserved to die. And not just die, but to become skin and bones; their shoes and their clothing and their wedding bands thrown into a heap, their bodies tossed – one on top of another – until the mounds were filled with broken bones and broken teeth and bodies tangled and ash. The numbers that were burned into their skin, forearm. Because they were Jewish they had numbers, not names.Today is a day we remember the Holocaust; the horror, the unbearable, the unspeakable for millions of humans.
And for those of us who had relatives who perished in Buchenwald and Auschwitz-Birkenau – for those of us who had relatives who survived the horrors – we light candles and say prayers and offer up these words: Never Again.
Human life is so very precious.
Strip us down to our hearts – take away our skin – and pile our hearts in a mound: one heart on top of another heart, on top of another heart, on top of another heart; would we continue being so very cruel, so very brutal, so very intolerant, so very violent, so willing to take human life and toss it in a heap if all we ever saw were hearts beating and pounding and longing?
This is Wednesday’s #WhoaIsMe tip:
I witnessed something today & I wanna share it with you because it sorta kinda rattled me in both a bad way and then in a good way.
I went food shopping this morning – our big weekly shop – and while I was waiting online at the ‘Fresh Seafood’ department, an older gentleman – and by older I mean mid-to-late 80’s (shhh, don’t tell Ken) and by a gentleman you’ll soon realize why I say that – was not wearing a mask. Just as I was about to say something to him, the woman in front of me reamed him a new asshole – literally, tore into him – both mortifying him and probably a few folks standing around – he immediately covered his mouth and he got emotional, “Oh my god, I forgot… it so easy to forget these days…” he was wearing a small LGBTQ flag pin on his Perry Como sweater and his eyes welled up. I asked the woman behind the counter if they had an extra blue paper mask, she shook her head. I turned to him and said, I’ll go get you one – stay right here, I’ll be right back… and asked him to please watch my cart – which was semi-full – and he stepped up and nodded while his hand stayed planted firmly over his mouth… and I ran to the pharmacy kiosk – or whatever the fuck it’s called – and asked if they had a paper mask, they didn’t, they told me to go to the courtesy desk – I ran – and there behind the counter was a woman – a cranky woman – who told me that the man himself needed to come and ask for it; oh, come on, I said, gimme a mask, the guy is by the seafood counter and before I could get in another word – you know, like fuck – she handed me a paper mask and I ran – yes, ran – back to the seafood department where he was manning my cart; I handed him the mask, he put it on and I turned to the woman who reamed him and said: maybe not everyone deserves a verbal lashing. I winked at the man, he returned the favor, and off I went with my cart. The gentleman came after me: Excuse me, miss – (as an aside: I like being called Miss and not Ma’am) thank you so much for being – he pointed to my mask, which says BE KIND on it. And then he told me how he was so exhausted, so exhausted, he had just picked up his dog from the Vet and he was in the back of the car, and how he needed to rush in and pick up some food and oh, God, how easy it is to forget to put on a mask and while he caught his breath – I said it sounds like you’re a really good human, and he said, sounds like we both are. We probably would have hugged, two strangers, but maybe the next time when we run into each other and yes, I’m hopeful we will … I’m so fucking hopeful.
Please, remember this:
Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.
And yes, I ran today, not miles but a few aisles, and even Ken was mighty impressed.
And sorry for rambling on & fragmented sentences and any and all fucking typos.
- Be brave – it wears well & never goes out of style.
- Be courageous – it’s a good contagious.
Be bold – it never gets sloppy.
Be audacious – it’s a sexy accessory.
Be kind – it goes with everything.
Be goodness- it multiplies.
Be generous- it doesn’t have an expiration date.
Be a hand up – it will return as a hug.
Be a hug – it will keep another heart beating.
Be truth – it’ll set you free.
Be freedom – it’ll set you on your way.
Be someone’s best day.
Really, shine the fuck up.
Polish your life.
Be shiny & glow.
The world needs us to shine & stand out. Stand out and stand up and be seen and yes, for fuck sake, be heard. Raise that voice of yours. Words change lives – spoken words, written words, words hidden deep in journals and diaries – words matter. Use your words to change hearts and lives and remember that the pen is mightier than the sword so use your #PenSword to cut through the nasty and the cruel and the foul that may come your way. Listen to your own heart, your own beating heart, it doesn’t lie to you. I mean really fucking listen to it. It could become your very best friend if you pay enough attention to the rhythm of it, the beats of it. A heart lets you know if you’re in trouble, if your fear is real or imagined, it lets you know if the person standing in front of you is true or spewing some bullshit; if the person lying next to you is loving your heart the way to should be loved. Your heart tells you when it hurts when it’s time to leave when it’s time to shut the fucking door on bad and awful and abusive. Listen to your heart. Take this life of yours and make it what you want – repeat that: what YOU want. Take your flaws and your foibles and the ragged edges and spin all of that into beauty; recycle the frayed edges into gorgeous braids, take your mistakes and turn them into your mission – use your worst days, your saddest days, your ‘can’t get outta bed stop fucking calling me days’ and make those days someone else’s saving grace. Your worst can become the very best medicine for someone else’s heart and soul. We are here to be huge, to be mighty, to be almighty powerful.
Release your untamed power out into the world. Don’t look for permission, don’t seek validation – the only place we need to be validated is a parking garage – take that heart of yours and do your life. Your life. Do it up, do it big. Feel the fucking fear but don’t let it move in with you. Greet your trepidation but don’t let it sit down for too long. Welcome your worry but don’t let it consume you.
Today is a great fucking day to decide who you wanna be in this crazy-ass fucked-up but on it’s way to, yes, a better world and grab hold of it, and don’t let any human, not one, ever tell you that you don’t have what it takes. Trust me, you have what it takes.
The world needs us to step the fuck up, speak the fuck up and shine the fuck up.
Go on, strut it… the runway is waiting for you.
A Facebook memory.
My grandfather – the beautiful man wearing all black – sitting right next to Trotsky and you all wonder where I get my fierce as fuck from…
Here’s a little story – to accompany the photo of my grandfather with Trotsky – it’s the kind of story that can turn you into a believer.
She fell in love with him on the streets of Russia.
He traveled in a horse-drawn carriage; she had a window.
He sat in the carriage, she sat on the windowsill.
She would watch him; it’s easy to fall-in-love with someone from afar. You can daydream all you want. Imagine all you want. Close your eyes and drift off – drift away – all you want.
He was a Socialist, a Trotsky-ike; through & through & deep through. Politicized & activated. He left Russia & his horse-drawn carriage (right after Trotsky left). She stayed. She gave up the windowsill & the hope of ever seeing him again.
Years later, in Connecticut, her sister, Dora, brought home a man to meet the family; a Russian man. Dora was in-love; he, not so much, and Dora knew that. The door swung open to the apartment and there he stood; tall and lean and sexy and he was the man who Bessie watched every day in Russia from that windowsill. He took one look at her and said: You, I saw you every day. She took one look at him and said: You, I watched you every day.
My grandfather once said it took a moment – just one moment – for his heart to never be the same, to never recover.
Dora never married. As you can imagine, her heart cracked & crumbled; pieces.
On the day of Bessie & Samuel’s wedding, Bessie and Dora’s mother – my great grandmother – died in an accident shortly after the vows were exchanged.
As you can imagine, more heartache, more tears; more crumbled pieces. Bessie and Samuel never celebrated their actual wedding anniversary date; they celebrated the day they met at that apartment in Connecticut. They had five children, my mother the youngest, and they stayed married until Samuel died on 7/17/71.
He died as he lived – a man of profound passion and unwavering truth – and yes, a Socialist.
Bessie took care of Dora until Dora died; undoubtedly guilt played a big part, but so did love.
My grandmother told me to always do three things:
- Moist skin. Always, always use a moisturizer, gobs of it, and make sure at night that the moisturizer is a bit cold – keep one jar – moisturizer – refrigerated; that will keep the skin from wrinkling. Check.
- Love a little more; even if you think you’ve loved as much as you can, there’s some extra. Use it up. Love should be used up. Check.
- And never overcook the chicken. Rubber chickens don’t taste good no matter how much salt you add. Check.
I spent almost every weekend with my grandparents, they raised me good, they loved me plenty, they taught me to not be stingy with my heart.
So, my advice today: Do not hoard your heart; a heart – no matter how messy or cracked or frayed – is meant to be shared.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- It’s not just a holiday.
It’s about someone grand, fierce – yes, all mighty.
- It’s about making a ruckus.
- It’s about 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, fuck 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 Black Man & Black 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. Freedom.
- 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.
Look at Colin Kaepernick.
Look at August Wilson.
Look at Aretha Franklin.
Look at James Baldwin.
Look at Carol Jenkins.
Look at Jamia Wilson.
Look at all the men & all the women whose music & songs & voices get us up on
Wear kindness today,
it goes with everything.
And the world is filled with so much goodness.
Even on the days when we are blindsided and crushed, flattened… even on the days when all we wanna do is curl up in bed and even on the days when loss seems to creep up and creep in and stay longer.
So much goodness.
I am so fucking blessed to have this grand amazing gig where I get to lift folks and champion folks and invite friends/folks to teach and write and share their stories. I am so amazingly fortunate to work side by side with the magnificent David Paul Kirkpatrick and the Goddess known as Debra Engle and the bad-ass angels known as Mariah and Vanessa and Rodrigo and Christian and all the folks – all – who make Story Summit Writer’s School magical.
On days that feel so scary and fear-filled and crazy-ass, there is beauty.
I have said it once and I will say it a million times: we are not here on this Earth to master suffering, we are here to master love.
Thank you all for being in my life.
You are all a gracious plenty.
Today’s Sunday SHErmom:
Marriage is hard and messy.
Two humans – a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman – come together to this thing called love & matrimony with baggage. Plenty of baggage. For me, I schlepped many valises into my marriage house. I was 38 years old, had many many one night stands – many nameless one night stands – and a few long term relationships. I met Ken and my heart burst wide open and seven months later I was walking down an aisle – well, a ‘restaurant’ aisle – in a Carmen Marc Valvo sexy as all get out backless wedding dress popping Xanax because I was pure fuck-show petrified. I had no idea what I was doing. None. I loved the dress & the shoes & the ring we picked out and… I loved adored swooned over the guy standing at the end of the aisle, the restaurant aisle, waiting for me, but marriage… whoa whoa whoa Nelly.
Two humans under one roof forever.
Back then, all I knew: we were sharing a closet & a couple of dressers and a one-bedroom on the Upper West Side and he was a vegetarian & into recycling and I loved meat & couldn’t separate plastic from paper. He liked beer and I loved wine; he liked smoking joints and I loved smoking cigarettes. He was one joint a day guy. I was a two-pack a day girl. He loved hiking & the outdoors & oohing & aahing nature and I loved Barneys NY and Bergdorf’s and Henri Bendel’s and MoMA and being on a couch curled up with a good book. Thankfully, we both loved sex but truthfully – the two of us – complete opposites.
I inherited my mother’s opera length pearls along with her stubbornness and I walked out on Ken at least six times over 28 years. A couple of times were due to menopause & emotional and hormonal breakdowns. I spent a couple of nights at a Hampton Inn off the side of a road and one or two nights at a swanky hotel – watching reruns and old movies and hanging at the groovy bar & chit-chatting on the phone with my girlfriends who were convincing me to stay and make it work. But, that’s a whole book and I won’t bore you with that now.
But love won.
And it won big.
My feisty sexy man wasn’t gonna let me go so fast.
Marriage is hard. Relationships are hard. It takes courage & brave & guts & grit and passion and yes, a fire to keep it burning. You gotta add a lot of logs when the heat is dying down and keep stoking it. My guy is the best guy human creature I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and sleeping with and sharing my life with. He calls me out of my bullshit and holds me tight when I’m shaking from fear. He inspires me and encourages me and roots me on and believes in me like crazy-ass wild. Marriage is hard. Love is hard. Working at this shit day in & day out is hard. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. In 28 years, I learned to fight like a motherfucker for the folks I love & cherish and have their back no matter what. In 28 years I’ve learned to let go of the riff-raff. In 28 years I learned to stand up & speak up & stand tall for the folks who mean the world to me. In 28 years I learned to love better and be kinder and be more generous and hold someone tight when they’re scared to death and mostly I learned that imperfection is all out crazy-ass sexy.
And here’s the very best lesson I learned: sometimes when you’re in someone’s arms and the only sound you hear – the only sound – is the sound of your heart’s beating & you start swaying just a little bit – that’s just like dancing.
Thank you for indulging me.
You all make me swoon; thank you for teaching me something groovy & necessary every single day.
For four years you screamed & chanted LOCK HER UP, for four years you turned your back on children and friends and family being massacred by gun violence in schools, in places of worship, at nightclubs, in shopping malls; for four years you did nothing – nothing – when Black men and Black women were murdered right before your eyes in cold blood by men who believed their badge made them supreme. You demanded Colin Kaepernick be strung by his balls for kneeling for justice all while you knelt on Sundays pretending to love thy neighbor. You threatened and bullied, disgraced, and demeaned. For four fucking years you stood by and supported anti-semitic homophobic racist misogynist men and yes, women carrying flags of hate. “Jews will not replace us.” Fine people on both sides. Fuck you. You stood on the sidelines when lives were threatened. “We’re coming for you.” You said nothing when one of your own had her life threatened by thugs. You did nothing when something was necessary. “Let’s have trial by combat.” Your passion for stripping long-held rights – fought for and earned – only matches your passion for indecency and destruction. And now you want unity, you want us to put all this vile shit behind us, you want us to turn the other cheek and let bygones be… you want calm and peace and gee it’s only what, nine more days… you wanna break bread and shake hands and forget that we’re in the middle of a horrific pandemic where touching is deadly. “MyBodyMyChoice” Fuck you. You refuse to wear masks but white hoods are still very much in fashion. Unity? You want unity? You instilled fear and hate and incited violence and you did nothing; you stood with a man who will not give one shit about you in 10 days. He will do to you what you did to the people murdered on January 6th – he will turn away from you.
The definition: being joined as a whole.
A condition of harmony.
Do not ask for unity when you stood with a domestic terrorist who pretended to be a president as we watched our house ransacked and desecrated, human feces spread on the walls of the chamber, urine sprayed on the floors.
Terrorism – homegrown terrorism – took hold on the floor of the United States Capitol incited and encouraged and inflamed by one man who urged folks on to create a horror show for Americans.
Mind your own hate.
Facebook wants to know what’s on my mind: love is on my mind. Good love kind love unconditional love sexy love generous love reciprocal love straight up no bullshit love; kindness is on my mind – kindness that multiplies, kindness that gets worn and accessorized, and kindness that is yes, flaunted because kindness is so fucking sexy. Wear it. Flaunt it. Goodness is on my mind. Goodness with a hefty side of generosity. Because goodness is like kindness, it is way better than nice. Nice is rooted in pleasing others, a bit of fear happening in nice. So, if you could move the dial to kind. But what’s really on my mind today, this day, this late afternoon… is empathy, compassion, lifting others, and when I say lifting others I mean to shine a light on the folks who spend their days championing & lifting – as a dear #BuddhaFull friend said to me the other day: we ALL – ALL – need to be seen. Those who lift get tired, those who carry the weight of the world need to rest, those who are always giving need to be on the receiving end, those who give the shirt off their back might very well be shivering right this minute… empathy, compassion, generosity… thoughtfulness…on these days when darkness comes early when hate makes room at the table, when cruelty struts the runway, when fear takes up residency, let us be the folks who offer up hearts filled with glitter to those who desperately need a spike of beauty, to those whose ‘fierce as fuck & mighty’ chip need re-charging, to those who need a shoulder and a hand. Let us be those humans who offer up goodie bags to friends and co-workers and neighbors and lovers who feel the weight of fear and worry – the relentless drumbeat of racism and sexism and homophobia and anti-semitism – right now.
Today, I offer you up love, so much fucking love, and I am grateful – wholly grateful – that it comes back a million fold.
Let us make sure that none of us deflate or deplete our lives. Let us breathe life into each other.
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 80 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/guy/kid, the kid 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 that way.” 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 that he has kept that promise ten-fold. 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 – and homeless kids – so they could learn the beauty & power of dance. That’s who he is. 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 the 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 80th year on this planet, I will make sure that it is filled with beauty, kindness, love, good food, massive kisses, much appreciation, and my personal favorite: a wish for 80 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 bottom of my heart for loving & appreciating myKen iKen.
It means the world to me.
What I know:
Do not underestimate the sheer magnificent power of Black Women.
In 1968 Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to Congress; we stand on her shoulders. Here is a list of other Black women – leaders – whose magnificent & audacious shoulders we stand up on –
- Vel Phillips
- Pamela Carter
- Vikki Buckley
- Denise Nappier
- Karen Freeman-Wilson
- Jennette Bradley
- Velda Jones Potter
- Sandra Kennedy
- Jennifer Carroll
- Kamala Harris
- Jenean Hampton
- Sheila Oliver
- Barbara Jordan
- Fannie Mae Hamer
We will soon be standing on Kamala Harris’ shoulders.
We are now standing on Stacey Abrams glorious strong fierce as all-mighty fuck shoulders.
These women have shown us time and time again the power of determination, the beauty of standing up and standing for; they have shown us decency in the face of defamation and indecency, they have demonstrated courage in the face of racial abuse and horrific injustice, they have shown us grace in the face of gratuitous vulgarity, and they have shown us dignity through their actions and words and courage and brave and impeccable strength.
This week is iKen Week.
MyKen, iKen – OurKen – is turning 80 on Thursday and I wanna spend this week celebrating him the best way I know how: loving him through words. So, please, bear with me while I share some good love about a good man who stole my heart and has kept it warm & beating for 28 years.
MyKen had a slew of women – amazing sexy gorgeous dynamic women – before he met me. I, fortunately, am his last girl – third time’s a charm – and yes, I say that with absolute conviction. 100%.
But, truth be told, he had some very groovy and wonderful women
along the way.
I’m a firm believer that each one of us is made from the pieces of others; the humans in our lives who stop in. Share some meals. A bottle or two or three of wine or whiskey. Share a bed or two; a night or longer. Some stay, some hightail it out of here, some hang around and leave and come back and hang out and leave and come back. Some love us good but not enough. Some love us the only way they know-how and it doesn’t fill the glass. Some can’t love at all. Some folks teach us, through not loving us, to love ourselves better, more, mightier. Some folks leave stains that take years & years to remove, bleach, fade, disappear into the fabric.
MyKen has made some good choices in his life; some of the women he chose made him a kinder man. A more thoughtful man, a more generous man in all ways. The ones who were good women taught him something; left him something; added to the beauty of him.
At a memorial a few years ago for a fallen cameraman, a co-conspirator in the film business; a fabulous human who died way too young and unexpectedly, Ken was chatting with an old girlfriend, someone he loved very much years & years ago, someone I knew about and heard about and liked plenty because of the way he talked about her; a relationship that went sour and left them both sad; she’s a real sassy human, fierce & mighty and still beautiful.
I walked over to them, while they were catching up, and while I had the chance, the opportunity to butt in, I said to her: Thank you so much for contributing to the goodness of Ken.
We hugged. I was so very grateful, hugely grateful, to meet one of the women who made him a better man.
And his second wife, the one before me – his last wife, Diana, is such an amazing human – she founded the New York Theater Ballet Company – and get this: she was named one of the 10 Humanitarian Heroines: Women-over 50 in 2018, the very same year I was named one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews.
The worst thing you can tell a human who is suffering from depression and fear is ‘to get over it.’ We don’t get over depression or fear, we go through it. And most likely we will go through it the rest of our lives and hey, while I have you, depression is very much a disease and not a yearly seasonal cold. Please, understand that folks who suffer from depression, get down in the dirt with fear, they wrestle that dirt, and this shit is painful. This shit can have you in a head lock, this shit keeps humans from living their life full-on some days. This shit can keep you bed. So, please, right now folks are scared and worried and fear is a constant companion. Be kind, pay attention, reach out. Fill a bucket with LOVE and leave it on their porch. Make them know they’re loved as best you can.I love you all.
I think this is mighty extraordinary. Our refrigerator died on December 29th – up and died. Suffice it to say that there was crap in that refrigerator from 1998. I was thin in 1998, I had bushy eyebrows and wore heels. I shopped at BarneysNY and travelled first class to LA.And as we – iKen & I – cleaned out the refrigerator because, no, Lowes would not haul it away with all that shit in it, it really truly deeply dawned on me that I DON’T NEED MUCH. I do not need much now, in 2021. And truth be told: I never needed much. I wanted much. I craved much. Much meant that I was important. But that’s a whole other thing: need vs. want. It dawned on me that back in those days, the thin heeled sexy hail a cab days, I believed that life was mighty easy. But life really wasn’t easy. It was faux easy. And it dawned on me as I was asking Ken what the actual fuck was in a jar that coulda been pickles or maybe pickled salsa or maybe even some kinda jam….that life – a good life, a lived life, a life worth sharing – is all about cleaning up messes. The ones we make, the ones left to us, the ones that get in our way, the ones that others toss in our path, the ones that are self inflicted and the ones that we create for attention.We cleaned out the entire refrigerator and freezer except for two jars that seemed to be crazy-fucking-glued to the shelves. Seriously stuck. At 2:30, on the dot, today – New Years Day – Lowes pick up & delivery came – two big strong men who were going to haul away the old and bring in the new and hook up the new one and Ken and the two guys fidgeted with the water line and pulled out the old one. And oh my fucking god, what a fucking mess under the fridge, years worth of messy hiding in corners and underneath and one of the guys, all masked up & gloved up – taking full COVID precaution – pulled the two jars off the shelf as if they were crumbs. BAM. Whoa, I said. Whoa, he said, and then he said: we are wasteful people. Whoa, I thought, while the lump in my throat gathered steam. So many have so little, he said. And with that BOOM. On New Years Day, 2021, as if an Angel, albeit a big sturdy angel, came to my house to remind me that I have all that I need and less is so much more and generosity is what makes a life great and kindness is contagious and love makes the world go round and… don’t be fucking wasteful.Do not waste a moment – not one – on folks who break your heart, on situations that cause you unnecessary pain, on humans who make you go through fucking hoops, on crap you don’t need, on people who don’t love you.Don’t waste a moment waiting for that text, that call, that email to validate you.I’m here to tell you – on New Years Day – that we are all fucking stunning awesome creatures, magnificent. Messy and gooey and fucked-up and magnificent.Don’t waste one moment believing that you’re not extraordinary.I love you all.
2020 was a year that kicked our asses so let’s make 2021 the year we kick ass – kick ass not kiss ass; let’s stand tall & stand up brave, let’s fulfill the dreams that we tucked away out of fear and self-doubt and shake them out and bring them to fruition – they need to be born; let’s bring others joy and buckets of courage – two wonderful accessories to wear every day; let’s not take shit from anyone. No shit from anyone. Let’s speak our truth and wear our scars like stardust. Let’s hold tight to each other – making sure that when darkness comes we are holding each other’s hand and have each other’s back. Let’s love better, be kinder, be more generous. Let’s share the goodie bag. Let us champion and support and nurture each other’s dreams and adventures and hearts.
Let’s shine the fuck up & illuminate as many humans as we can so that they too can be seen and heard and shine.
Let us be the light.
I love you all.
I wish you all a gracious plenty.