Here’s to 2020.
May it be filled with grace & beauty by the buckets full, may it bring you more than you hoped for desired wished-for prayed for wanted – may it bring you more than you wanted.
May it be filled with the kinda magic that makes you feel like you swallowed the sun, may it bring you peace and kindness and goodness – tons of fucking kindness & goodness.
May it bring you the courage to walk away from bad and nasty humans who don’t get the privilege of having you in their lives, may it toss glitter your way and may it shine bright on you. May it shine oh so fucking bright on you. May this new year fill you with self-love – cause if you got that you can do anything. Self-love, tag it, put your name next to it. May it give you a bounce in your walk and may you walk a thousand different ways spreading joy and kicking ass.
And may 2020 be the year we take back what is ours – our Country, our hopes, our dreams, our decency – and show others that hate and cruelty and viciousness has no shelf life, and let us prove that mean does not age well and nothing – nothing – beats love.
What a grand way to end the year, I’ve been invited to co-facilitate a super grand writing retreat mid-year with a very favorite woman writer-activist SHEro of mine & I said YES; more to follow but such a lovely way to end 2019.
I wish you all grand love: getting paid attention & getting noticed, inclusion and being seen and being heard and feeling loved and feeling wanted and all that good stuff.
I wish you all that good stuff plus a hefty side of WHOA IS ME.
A note from the website director – FUCK on Amy & Ken – You tell it real!
A very favorite post – MyKen iKen
“Let’s not be so cavalier about the world right now,” he said to me about an hour ago, and I could tell he was scared. Worried. My husband; my brave kind good sexy generous man; my hunka burnin’ love man. Let’s not be so cavalier. He is not, generally speaking, a guy who worries about the big things. He worries about the small stuff, I know, a kinda-sorta used up cliche, but he doesn’t worry about global destruction or a nuclear arsenal often. He worries about his garden; his greens & herbs & flowers that he grows from seed in the basement, the basement that is so overgrown with weird fucking shit, old shit, shit from the ’80s before me, because I came along in the early 90’s – so, it’s his shit – that even I, me hesitate to go down there. I call it a serial killer basement. A bad joke now. Ken doesn’t care about the basement, he cares about the garden that he’s growing from seed in the basement; the micro in the macro. I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. Let’s not be so cavalier. He took my hand, and I could tell he was feeling mighty unsure about life – the whole of life, all of life, the world we’re living in life – in that moment. His hand was shaking. He is 78 years old, and reminds me all the time that he has lived through and lived in and lived for the very best of times; the 60’s and the 70’s and the art and the music and the films and a culture that rocked the fucking world, and yes, the worst of times; an abusive family life, and bad shit and cruel stuff and a child he never saw or knew for years because people can be so fucking cruel and mean and vindictive and so unforgiving; we make people villains so we don’t have to take responsibility for our own piece of the huge sadness, or the bitter estrangement or the fucked-up shit. Let’s not be so cavalier, as we muted the fucking news and upped the fucking volume while Garland Jeffreys sang 96 tears, and we were reminded – for one-second – that music – art – saves lives. Keeps the heart beating, and as he took me in his arms, and we swayed back and forth, back and forth, making believe we were dancing to the Garland-God himself, he whispered: let’s not be so cavalier, and while I was shivering about the world and this thing called life – I understood head to toe, all in, what ‘falling in love” means; someone wanting to save me from falling away from my own life.
A re-post well… because… given the world.
Years ago, when I was a screenwriter, I wrote a script about police widows, and no, it never got made, and yes, it had many thisclosethisclose moments. I wrote it for Ned Tanen while he was at Paramount Pictures; he was such a good man: a mensch-hero, and a mentor.
I spent months researching; months with police widows, an extraordinary, awe-inspiring group of women, along with the partners of slain officers. I worked closely with Mario Cuomo’s office, and his gubernatorial team because I wanted to help get it right. Cuomo was a huge advocate for these women, and their children. What was extraordinary to me – stunning – was the camaraderie between the women: black women & white women; latino women & muslim women; asian, jews and christian women. All these women had lost their husbands to violence. Whether it was gun violence, drug deals, bombs detonated, or gang shootings.
They shared a deep bond.
They took care of each other. They loved each other. They had each other’s back. The funerals lined the streets. Three, four deep; the grieving was palpable. The faces of the thousands of officers, cops – both men & women – standing shoulder to shoulder saluting their fallen comrade as the carriage carrying the coffin (or coffins in some case) – draped with an american flag – would pass. The faces of the widows; the faces of the children holding tight to a perfectly folded american flag that was given to them for an act of bravery. One widow told me it was like being Jackie Kennedy for the day. Another widow, whose husband was gunned down in cold blood, told me that when he left for work every morning, she would pray to God to please, please, please bring him home at night.
I interviewed cops who lost their partners. Their stories were filled with deep profound sadness. The kind of sadness that lived and stayed in their eyes.
One cop – a black cop – told me about his partner, a white guy. They’d been partners for a few years, a ton of tension at the beginning of their partnership. A couple of times they each, on their own, requested transfers. The whole black, white dance: don’t get too close, you ain’t my friend, fuck you, no fuck you; a little attitude, pent up anger, entitlement. The whole shebang. But they spent every single day together sitting in a patrol car working through their shit because their job was not only to protect the streets, they had to protect each other. So, in that car they got to know each other: slowly, surely. They even delivered a baby together; a woman giving birth in the back of her car – while one said push, push, push, push, push, the other one – with the help of the very shocked husband – brought that baby into the world. The woman named her newborn after both the cops. A proud moment, no doubt. They would sit. They would argue. They would bicker. They would disagree. They talked about everything – from the New York Yankees to the New York Knicks to the New York City racial tension that was sweeping the city, and when the time came for the black officer to be promoted he said – half-jokingly – he’d only take the promotion if his partner was promoted along with him. But that never happened because his partner bled to death in his arms.
A drug deal gone fucking awry. And they didn’t even work narcotics, they answered a call.
On that day, years & years ago, I asked him what he missed the most about his partner. He listed a whole bunch of things. quirks, a couple of funny stories, the way ‘he always had to have a toothpick danglin’ in his mouth, he chain smoked marlboro’s: evil cigarettes, nasty, I wanted him to be cool and smoke menthol’s.’ I asked him what he remembered most, he said, “He used to talk about (his wife) all the time. We’d sit in the car, hours and fucking hours, some days it was boring as shit, but once you got him started, man, all he’d talk about was her. I knew everything about her. The kinda clothing she liked, the kinda perfume she wore, the way she liked her tea. Little things. The kinda music she loved listening to. You hear someone going on about someone they love – a wife, a kid – you know, you can’t help but start lovin’ those people. You can’t help but love them, you don’t ever have to meet them or see them, just hearing about them seeps into your skin. You love them before you ever meet them.
We were both shot that day, I was bleeding, but… him, I had him in my arms, he was pouring blood, it was squirting everywhere, and when I looked down at my hands I couldn’t tell his blood from mine.”
Someone posted/commented/asked last night: where’d you learn to love the way you love?
Here’s a taste – and while I have you, happy & merry:
The bag sat on my lap, she told me to hold on to it tight, “Don’t let it spill open,” she said while she chain-smoked.
We pulled into a driveway, the car now in park; a deep breath a deep sigh a deep exhale of cigarette smoke combined. She took the bag off my lap and I watched as she walked up the stoop and rang the doorbell and then she disappeared into the split level. A good forty-five-minute drive from where we lived out on Long Island. I sat, fidgety, minding my own business and everything else from inside the car.
After what felt like forever in little girl years, she came out of the house cradling her purse, the man stood on the porch and waved to me, I waved back. I had no idea who he was, but my mother always reminded me to be nice to her friends.
She placed her purse on the seat between us and while I was concocting a million stories in my head about what happened to the bag that sat on my lap she lit a cigarette, opened the window a crack and then motioned for me to open her purse, and there in her purse was a box, a black box, “Open it,” she said, and I opened it and right there smack in the middle – as if it were standing at attention – was a ring, a man’s pinky ring. Two diamond chips on either side of a tiger eye stone set in platinum. “Where’s your jewelry, Mommy, where?” “Well, I made a trade, I traded some of my jewelry for this, for Daddy’s birthday. It’s a surprise, a secret, so don’t say anything. Cross your heart.”
I crossed my heart.
“… and hope to die?” I asked
“No, no… it’s enough to cross your heart.” She said.
We were broke, struggling, a bad set of circumstances spiraled, setting our lives back and we were barely eeking by.
She threw him a small dinner party at our house with some of their nearest and dearest and after he blew out the candles and made a wish she placed the little black box on the table and when he opened it his eyes filled and my mother leaned in and kissed him – long and hard – and in what seemed like a whisper – stuck, lodged – in her throat she wished him a happy birthday and many more and then he slipped the ring on his pinky and it felt as if he grew an inch or two taller as he stared at this gift, this unexpected gift filled with so much love.
A little over a year later, while our lives were still on hold, slowly but surely regaining some ground, it was my mom’s birthday. He was taking her out to a favorite restaurant of hers and even though it would cost him an arm and a leg he was willing to give up those body parts for her. A giant gift-wrapped box sat on the dining room table, a card leaning up against it; her name Bea written in his impeccable gorgeous handwriting on the envelope. She was dressed to the nines, her hair coiffed, her face made-up. Her lipstick matched her dress, magenta. “Mommy open it open it open it,” I had no idea what it was but I loved gift-wrapped presents. They were filled with hope. My father stood next to the table as she unwrapped the box. A brand new leather jewelry box, three drawers thick, she looked up at him and he nodded and gestured for her to open it. There in the jewelry box were the pieces that she had pawned to buy him the ring – her jewelry polished and shiny and ready to wear.
Years later my Dad told me the story, “A little O’Henry-ish,” I said. Yes, he said, smiling, yes. The jeweler – the nice man I waved to – was a good friend of my dad’s, he owned a jewelry store on West 47th Street – the Jewelry district – and he held on to my mom’s jewelry knowing he would give it back to my dad.
“What do I owe you,” my dad asked his friend.
“The pleasure of your friendship,” he said.
They remained good friends until my dad died.
My dad’s pinky ring along with a few of my mom’s pieces live side-by-side in a jewelry box that Ken gave me.
All this to say:
Please, believe in love & goodness & hope.
IT is time to stop being mean
Last night I was raked through the coals on a thread. I, along with a few other people, were dragged and raked and treated horribly. I thought, who the fuck needs this? Who needs to come on to Facebook and speak their truth and then be ridiculed & beaten to a pulp. It gave me pause. It also gave me the opportunity to stand up for others who were being ridiculed & slammed and raked. My heart hurt and I tossed and fucking turned and iKen, MyKen – OurKen – said this to me: ‘you stood up for folks who were being treated as badly as you were – that’s a great thing. That’s you. That’s what you do.’ I dropped a xanax and tossed & turned some more but his words rang in my head. Last night I wanted nothing to do with Facebook, and the mean spirited humans who roam the edges and toss verbal bombs at each other and decide who is worthy and who is not and god forbid you say something that doesn’t quite jive with what they’re saying – hell hath no fury. And the odd thing, the funny thing, we are supposedly on the same side. Last night I wanted to purge myself of this community; this nastiness, this bullying – but this morning I woke up and thought: This is what WE DO, what we ALL do for each other. We stand up for each other, we virtually hold each other, if we’re lucky enough, we call each other and we kvetch and we moan and we get to talk out the pain we’re feeling. There is a lot wrong with Facebook – everything from it being Zuckerberg’s deep pocket playground to it being a place where one can be 65 years old and revert to being a lonely 12-year-old in a nanosecond. But what is right about it is that strangers come together and encourage each other, lift each other, fill each other with hope on hopeless days and nights; strangers come together and inspire the fuck out of each other. We offer shoulders and hands and various body parts to lift someone up out of the doldrums, we offer words and stories and bits & pieces of our lives that make others feel they are not alone. We, mostly strangers, on any given day save each other. You have certainly saved me. That’s for sure. I hope I have reciprocated. The world aches; the world is hurting. The world is filled with bullies and cruelty and folks are hurting. Deeply hurting. Let us keep lighting the way for each other, let us keep being that shoulder, that hand. Let us be the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Let us be kindness.
Let us be love.
Let us be light.
Let us be the occasion that we rise up too.
I am so grateful to this community, to this messy complicated imperfect glorious community; my GraceBook family.
May your day be merry and very fucking bright.
this is what i know
pre christmas eve
give love. be love. be kind. do kind. be joy. do joy. be generous. do generous shit. sprinkle good shit everywhere. give kisses. give hugs. give more. give more than that. come on, dig deep, deeper. don’t hoard love & kindness. share the goodie bag. offer up hot cocoa, coffee, tea. share the wealth. share a meal. hold someone tight. be the light. do magic tricks. perform a miracle. change the sheets. call, don’t text. slip something under the tree. slip an extra five to the waitress.
give a fuck.
you are all a gracious plenty.
(From the website editor-Right Back at Ya AMY!)
A message to Amy Ferris
Wisdom grows with age and my love, Amy Ferris, wise woman that she is, talked me off the ledge this morning. It’s the first holiday without my dear friend, Linda, and I finally discovered what’s been wrong with me for weeks. I’m grieving. I’m grieving and I didn’t even know it. Thank you, my very wise friend. Thank you for the gift of your love, your friendship, your wisdom. You are a magical woman.
It’s the Sunday before Christmas & all through the house, a house that needs to be vacuumed & dusted – needs a little shine.
A little SHErmon:
I thought he’d love me if I gave him everything; I thought she’d like me better if I forgave her cruelty & jealousy, I thought they would include me if I always included them, I thought he would keep me safe if I stood up for him, I thought she would defend me if I came to her defense.Any of it sound familiar, feel familiar, make you cringe a little?
Yeah, I thought so.
This is what I know
There are folks who will never love you the way you need and want to be loved – stop giving away the goods to them, stop giving them gifts and trinkets and pieces of yourself – stop – your love is invaluable, priceless – love the folks who genuinely love you – love them; there are friends who will never reciprocate your friendship the way you need a friend in your life – stop treating them as if they’re gonna come to your rescue when you really need a friend – love the friends who really truly genuinely love you, defend you, hold you in their heart – love them; the folks who don’t include you in their life but who want to be included in yours – stop bringing them along – they’re not loving you or wanting you the way you need to be loved and wanted – we all wanna be loved and wanted and included – find the folks who do that for you – love them, love them mightily; the folks who never defend you, never stand up for you, who never make sure you’re given your due – those folks don’t deserve the privilege of you.
Here’s the rub, the whole KENchilada: You are a privilege – find the folks who see your value, your beauty, your gorgeousness, your heart – those folks – love them. Love them. Hold them tight. Hold them in your palm and in your heart and cherish them. No one needs to be loved conditionally, no one needs to walk on egg shells, no one needs to diminish who they are in the world or shrink or burrow, and here’s something I really know, deeply know: if you find yourself heading back – turning back – to a bad relationship – stop in your tracks – stop walking toward bad – and take a breath and declare with every fiber in your being that you are worth much more than the crumbs being tossed at you, you are worth much more than an occasional phone call or text, that you are worth much more, much more…much much more.
Do not settle for mediocrity.
Do not accept or take less than.
Do not get accustomed to being an afterthought, or a maybe.
Do not stand in the background or out of view.
Do not wait to be called on.
Do not beg or grovel to be seen.
Do not be silent.
Trust me: you’re the whole galaxy, shine up.
Shine the fuck up.
This is what I know this morning before I head out to the VET to pick up more meds for my ailing pussy, and no it’s not my vagina, my vagina is very fine thank you… it’s my pussy cat Bella, she’s ailing.
But before I head out the door, and get on the road I want you all to know this, something I know a teeny bit about:
I know that we’re all so imperfect, so amazingly gloriously gorgeously exquisitely imperfect. We fuck up, we make mistakes, we rewind, we fuck up again, we breathe in & we breathe out, we bounce back, we fall down, we get up, we fall down again, we stumble, we breathe some more, we inhale, we exhale, we make headway, we apologize incessantly, we seek forgiveness, we seek love, we seek approval, we seek validation (which, by the way the only place you ever need to be validated is in a Parking lot or a garage) we are filled with shame & guilt & doubt & and most of it – most of it – isn’t even ours to carry – we inherited that.
We are such extraordinary creatures. Truly. And sometimes we have no clue how amazing we are. How brilliant we are. How magical we are. How beautiful – truly beautiful – we are. How sexy & messy & magnificent we are.
And it’s high time – high fucking time – we choose happiness.
And not just on odd days.
And not just on Wednesday’s or Friday’s,.
And not just on high holy days, or Christmas or Hanukkah or special days or two-for-one days or coupon days or groupon days or gluten-free days.
Happiness. It’s ours. We have dibs on it. Seriously. We have dibs on happiness.
So this here – go on and choose it – today, choose it: hold it, grab it, wrap yourself in it, embrace it, coddle it, dance with it, sing with it, dress up in it, flaunt it, wear it, own it, step into it, strut it, sleep with it. LOVE IT. Wake up with it. Caress it. Grab hold of someone’s hand if you need to and let them lift you, hold you, let them remind you that you’re gorgeous, beautiful, worthy.
Please, choose the door that says: HAPPINESS
Do not choose the door that says: POSSIBLE, MAYBE, COULD BE HAPPINESS, IFFY AT BEST. Iffy at best sucks.
You deserve so much happiness. So much joy. So much goodness. So much kindness. So much generosity.
You are the occasion we rise to.
YES, YOU CAN SHARE MY POST – Amy
Following Susan Davis‘ lead here.
As you can imagine, Hallmark is now getting trampled on by bigots & hate groups; homophobic rants from the MillionMom group. I believe that any corporation or business that stands up to hate and bigotry – reversing a bad decision – should be thanked. As I mentioned earlier (on a post), I’m cautiously optimistic when it comes to stuff like this – I’m a firm believer that donating money to the very causes you were excluding, in this instance the LGBTQ community – makes for good cheer, but I also believe wholeheartedly that when folks are given choices and they choose love & community over hate & bigotry it should always be acknowledged.
I just left a voice message for both the CEO and the director of communications thanking them for standing up to bigotry, standing up to exclusion, standing up for LOVE.
And to the One Million Moms group whose hate and fear was in full ugly force & display yesterday: no one should hide their love; no one should live in fear of loving anyone; no one should live in a closet. A closet is not a room. Maybe some of you oughta step out of the dark lonely closet and air yourselves out.
It’s this time of year
People fall hard.
People rehash what they coulda – shoulda done to stop all the pain that creeps in and seeps in and sweeps in this time of year.
People curl up, and no, not with a good book, with their demons & doubts & worries.
People hide – who the fuck wants to hang with someone filled with sorrow and struggle and sadness and not much to give – they think in their head – and replay those words until those words are remembered and spoken verbatim.
It’s this time of year when some have so very much and many have so very little and stores & malls are filled with hopes and wishes and shopping lists. I tell you, nothing beats kindness and goodness and generosity. And I’m not talking trinkets or tschotskes (however you spell it), and I’m not talking fancy stuff and a boatload of toys.
I’m talking humanity, a hug. A stroke of compassion. I’m talking the giving of time and listening and paying attention. Pain and sorrow and depression needs an ear, a hand, a shoulder – a massive mug of coffee. I’m talking the kinda gifts that most of us long for this time of year.
For all of you hurting, in pain, scared, worried – cradling a pillow – please know you’re not alone. Seriously, you are not alone. And I know that that alone will not make it better, I know, I really know, but here’s the groovy stuff, the meaty stuff: what we share is what is inside of us. It is. It’s in each of us because there is no color, no religion, no faith, no sexual preference to feeling blue. It really doesn’t discriminate.
Depression and sadness don’t weed out the wealthy or the beautiful or the skinny or the flawless skin or the wrinkle free or the perfectly coiffed or the sexy bikini wearing bodies.
So, while I’m still in bed, with the covers up to my chin and I can feel twinges of blue popping in & out, I send you all my love, every bit, and my fervent wish is that we band together and never let each other go.
Here’s to us: we are the occasion – the messy, complicated, wacky, chipped, edgy, frayed, cracked & oh so magnificent occasion – that we rise up to.
Here’s a fabulous little ditty from “Amy in Retrograde,” the never published (or better yet: not yet published) collection of short stories about my crazy-ass addiction to psychics and all my psychic experiences.
True story, pre-iKen
I am in Los Angeles for five days. I am here on ‘screenwriting’ business, seeing friends, and it is Valentine’s Day. I am on a date with a guy I met through work – a television Producer.
He takes me to some fancy-schmancy restaurant up in Malibu Canyon, and I’m on my second glass of wine, having just finished my frisee & pear salad with bleu cheese, when the headache starts up again. Pounding, pounding, pounding – it feels as if my head is going to split open & explode. I have been having horrible blinding headaches for about a month, and they keep getting worse, and here I am experiencing a god awful blinding headache, and this time, at this restaurant, on this first date, it comes back in a fury.
I am trying to act normal, until I can’t any longer, and I tell this guy – this guy who I hardly know at all – that I’m awfully sorry, but I think I need to be rushed immediately to a hospital NOW, as in this fucking minute. I stand up, and ask him if he would like to take me to Cedars Sinai, or… or, and I would completely understand if in fact he didn’t want to, I could have the restaurant call me a cab. He offers to take me, but asks if we could just wait a few minutes, so we could get the food we ordered to go. We don’t have the time, I tell him.
At this point, I am convinced that I am dying, and I don’t want to dilly-dally. Although, I don’t tell him that, it feels like too much information to share on a first date. He throws down a wad of cash to pay for a meal that is costing an arm and a leg not to mention a piece of my brain, and we make a mad rush out of there.
He drives directly to Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills, and we proceed to push our way up the queue in the Emergency Room line. This being Hollywood, I notice a couple of B slash C movie actors in the waiting room. Now it’s my turn with the emergency room nurse and she asks me what’s wrong. I tell her that I believe I have a brain tumor. My new friend turns absolutely white, “A brain tumor.” he says/asks. Yes I say, a brain tumor. I don’t think he wants to see me anymore. I think he wants to leave, and go back to the restaurant and try to pick up the cute waitress who was flirting with him, who, by the way, appears to have a very long life in front of her. The nurse gets me a semi-private room within the emergency room area, and my friend tags along. We wait for what feels like hours until the attending Emergency Room physician makes his way to see me. Long story short – they take an X-Ray, there’s a small tiny cluster that appears on the X-Ray, and I am now officially unofficially told that I have what appears to be a brain mass, or what is commonly known as a brain tumor.
I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.
They put me in a private room, where handwritten on a board directly above my head, it reads, “Brain Tumor.” My friend stays with me, and we get to know each other, because, well, clearly I don’t have much time left. We chat. He’s a Pisces, and loves Opera; I’m a Sagittarius, and I love the Rolling Stones. He loves algebra and calculus, anything and everything mathematical, I like none of that. He loves watercolors and ink drawings, I love sculpture and modern art. He loves Betty White – of course, of course, television. Of course. I like romantic comedies, thrillers, and 40’s film noir; he likes sci-fi and musicals and loves, with a capital L, game shows. Game shows – not my favorite. Clearly, this is not a match, not even close. But he stays, and I think he stays because he has no-where else to go, and for that I am grateful, but not grateful enough to engage in any sexual activity as a thank-you.
Another attending doctor comes in, a small wisp of a guy, and asks me if there is anyone, a family member or otherwise, I would like to call. The specialist brain tumor doctor will be in first thing in the morning, to take a look at the X-Rays, but in the meantime, they’ll give me some pain medication to ease my pain: Percocet, percodan, and/or codeine. And again, asks me if there is anyone I would like to call. Yes, I say, I want to call Betty. “Your sister?”“No. My psychic.”
If I wasn’t convinced enough that my new friend’s eyes glazed over with the brain tumor line, this certainly clinched it. I dial Betty’s number, I’m pretty sure she’s asleep – it is three hours later in New York – but, she answers the phone. I tell her I am in a hospital, I’ve just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and… and…I knew it… I knew it, I just knew these headaches were life-threatening, and she stops me mid-sentence, interrupting me, telling me point blank, “It is not a brain tumor, whatdya fuckin’ kiddin’ me, who the fuck told you it was a brain tumor, they should have their fuckin’ medical license taken away, you wanna know what you have? You wanna know what’s wrong, you have sinusitis.”
Huh, I say, really?
Yeah. A sinus headache, she says.
But I never had this before, I say.
I never had a weight problem, but I have one now. You don’t have a fuckin’ tumor, Betty says.
Well, she’s not always right.
My new friend asks, “So, uh, what did your psychic say?” with enough cynicism that I knew – it was all in his tone – I knew that he wasn’t a believer.
I spend the night.
The nurses and attending physicians tiptoe around my room, treating me like the terminally ill patient I am, with kindness and the occasional hand-holding and the big toe grabbing. And then morning comes. My friend has also spent the night, having fallen asleep in the chair. The specialist comes in, a very lovely older gentlemen with a shock of gray hair and a lovely smile, and he introduces himself and says, I hope you didn’t call your parents because that little cluster that the attending emergency room physician read on the X-Ray was in fact the sinus cavity, and it appears that you have what is commonly known as sinusitis.
He then gives me a Claritin, which I can now buy over the counter at any pharmacy or drug store.
My friend asks me if I would mind terribly taking a cab back to my hotel room. Shortly after our date, I was told, he left the television and film business, moved back to Vermont, where he owns and operates a “Welcome to Vermont” tchotchkes store.
And according to another psychic, someday I will run into him, and he will avoid me like the plague.
And yes, I have sinusitis every year, every year, right around Valentine’s Day.
This today: chris Murphy57 mins ·
I want to tell you a story. An important story.
And then I want you to share it.
To help people understand why the small things we do matter – amidst all the big things that seem so insurmountable and scary.
But on Dec. 14, 2012, implausibly, he did. He hustled down the driveway in his pjs and flip flops, and hugged his brother goodbye.
“The only time that ever happened,” said his dad.
Back inside, his dad told him he could go back to bed, but Daniel wouldn’t. He wanted to cuddle with his dad.
When his sister left for school, and his mom left for work, they got big hugs too. So nice, they remember, because often Daniel was still asleep when they left.
On the walk to the bus stop with his dad, he didn’t want to play their usual game of tag.
“Can we just hold hands today?” He asked.
So they did.
Daniel didn’t come home on the bus that afternoon.
He died, 7 years ago today, in his first grade classroom.
But what he did that morning – the hugs, the cuddling, the holding hands – are, for his family, perhaps the most important things he ever did.
Big things matter. I know they do. I fill my days working on big things.
But small things – the kind words, the little favor, the easy compliment, the hug – matter more to those on the receiving end than any of us know.
Today, more than other days, that’s worth remembering.
I’m gonna be 65 in 10 days. In 65 years I’ve had my heart ripped to shreds, broken into pieces and crazy-glued back together. I dropped out of high school, tried suicide and spent some time on a commune. I was thrown out for shaving my legs. True story. I got my GED at 17 and never went on to college. I filled my body with enough drugs to open a pharmacy and I slept with a gazillion wrong men whose first name was either Joe or David or I’ll call ya. I fell down, I got up, I fell down, I got up, I fell down. I got up. I spent all the money I made as a waitress & temp worker on fast food and rent and useless dreck, and then I started making a ton of dough as a writer. I wrote a couple of groovy movies that got made into groovy films and have had more than a few books published. I have loved bad men and cruel men and married the coolest guy on the fucking planet. I’ve been betrayed and hurt and cracked wide open by women friends and you’ll still get me to love you and champion you and toss you a line. I lost my mom to dementia and I lost my dad to a heart attack and my family unraveled into a million estranged threads. I don’t believe in God but I do I believe we are all capable of being God/Goddess-like: kind, good, loving and compassionate. And I do believe if there is a God it is a woman. I think Colin Kaepernick is a SUPER HERO and men who abuse their power are insecure and small little fucked up slimy creeps. I believe in redemption with my whole entire heart and soul and I believe it’s one of the most underrated & necessary issues that we don’t talk about enough. I wanna talk about it. I believe in second chances and I believe that the third time is in fact a charm. I believe there is nothing more glorious than a human who can stand in their own power and be comfortable in their own skin and own their beauty and their greatness. I can safely say that yes I have made it to that place. I believe getting loved is way, way better than getting laid but getting laid beats phone sex by a good mile. But nothing beats self-love – nothing. I know for a fact that kind is way better than nice and the Verizon friends and family plan is pretty bogus. I recommend we put a fast halt on being needed and pump the motherfucker gas on being wanted. I feel strongly about inequality and injustice and that poverty destroys and kills more lives than we care to admit. I know for a fact that depression comes in waves & tsunamis and dementia grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let you go. I know that money doesn’t buy happiness or friendship or love but having some cash sure the fuck makes you less worried. I learned a long time ago that marrying well can’t hold a candle to marrying good and if you can’t find a light at the end of a tunnel you’re in the wrong fucking tunnel. There is always a light somewhere. In ten days I’m gonna be 65. I love that my life is made up of broken edgy frayed magnificent glorious sexy gooey messy amazing life-pieces; I am so proud of who I have become because I gotta say for a while it was touch & fucking go. Thrilled to be here. Absolutely thrilled to be here.
Friday, November 22, 2019
From Sheila Weller
New York Facebook friends!: come one, come all…to the beautiful Jefferson Market Library in the heart of Greenwich Village tomorrow, Saturday, November 23, at 3 PM. where Amy Ferris and i will be In Conversation about Carrie, complex women with wonderful messy lives, female midlife depression and grand productivity and mishegoss. Autumnal refreshments will be plentiful! Books will be sold, mine and Amy’s.
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Today, on what would be my dad’s birthday, I’m re-posting this. He was my greatest champion and I know he would be awfully proud of the life I’m living. I can actually hear him saying: Oh my Amechik, you turned your mistakes into gems.
“I can’t make your mistakes for you,” that’s what my dad whispered to me as I was about to board a plane after I had dropped out of High School to go live on a commune in Oregon with a boy who didn’t love me the way I loved him. I was barely out of braces, rebellious as a girl on fire.
I can’t make your mistakes for you… and the mistakes, my mistakes, piled up like a major crash on the LIE – one on top of the other; bumper to fucking bumper.
Our imperfections are not who we are, they are pieces of us, slices, slivers; our foibles are not who we are, our flaws most certainly are not who we are. We are imperfect creatures. All of us. We fuck up, we fall, we get up, we fall again, we say shit we don’t mean, we fall down, we do shit we don’t mean to do, we hurt folks with the slice of our tongue. We are so amazingly imperfect. And it is precisely our imperfections and flaws and foibles and fuck ups and fuck downs – our mistakes – that make us so very extraordinary.
I gotta say, none of it’s a straight line, none of it. We make a lot of wrong turns and get lost and wobble and lose our way and get back on track and back on the highway and hope, hope, we’re getting on and off at the right exit.
Most of the times all folks need is a hand to hold or a shoulder to rest their head and just a couple of words: “I’ve been there.” Nothing fancy. I’ve been there. And I’ve been there could be hell & back, could be walking through fire, could be a stint in rehab, or a stint in jail, or a divorce or a broken heart or an empty bank account.
We can all use extra love, extra care, extra nurturing.
Most folks I know who have made something mighty gorgeous and spectacular out of their lives have made it from the cracked broken edgy sharp pointy ragged frayed pieces that they managed to crazy-glue together.
Let’s love folks better and more.
Let’s give them hope.
Women’s eNews is running a series that I created: The Ovary Office. The intent of this series is to inspire and encourage WOMEN to run for office. While there are women who have thrown their hat into the Presidential ring, there are many women – in small towns and big cities across this Country – who are standing tall and standing up and fighting for justice. Women who know that mud will be slung, dirt will be dug up, and nasty and cruel words will be said about them. But run they must. For their rights, for human rights, for their children, for their friends and co-workers; for all of humanity. Perhaps you’re as exhausted as I am by the bully pulpit and men who not only disregard women, but treat women as second and third class citizens, men who believe that rape is God’s will, and abuse of power is their right.
Lori Sokol and I met a few years ago and just like that magic happened: we determined that we would try our very best to make this world kinder and better; that we would stand up to racism and sexism and homophobia and xenophobia and abuse of power, that we would create opportunities for all women to have a voice.
Lori Sokol is one of my very favorite Warrior SHEroes, and every single day without fail she rises – without fail – so in my world, my little corner of the world, Lori IS the occasion that I rise up to.
In order for The Ovary Office to continue it’s profound & important work – and for Lori (& WEN) to continue interviews and articles and making a ruckus – making sure women who run for office will be heard and seen and yes, voted in – money needs to be raised.
Lori will be reaching out soon through Women’s eNews and giving Tuesday and I hope that you can dig in a bit and donate to this extraordinary series.
We have the power to change the world, we do, through our words, through our actions, through our hearts, through our deep desire to take back this Country.
We are Mother Earth and we will not be destroyed or discarded or abused.
Those days are long over.
Monday, October 28, 2019
California is on fire. Friends & folks are evacuating. Up and down the coast: it is fucking burning. Please, let’s make sure that our friends and our families and our acquaintances and the land surrounding them and the land they live on and all the beauty is safe from harm, and if folks need a safe place to rest, to go, to hang a bit … let’s find that comfort and safety for them.
Keep & hold CALIFORNIA is your hearts.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Rep. Katie Hill is resigning. I think of Katie Hill in the same way I think/thought of Al Franken: please, don’t go; I also firmly believe, deeply believe, that we can’t have – or hold to – double standards when it comes to inappropriate relationships – or anything, actually – whether it be men or women. I’d like to see a civil conversation below in the comments. Rep. Hill admitted to having a relationship with a female staffer (and other staffers); she is in the middle of a divorce from her husband. Nothing crude, nothing nasty but please, a conversation/dialogue below because this is important given the #MeToo movement.