Thursday, December 27, 2007

starting now

do you know my sister? she's wicked smart. and completely right. (read this now)

what brings americans out into the streets you ask? post-holiday sales at wal-mart and the victory of a hometown sports team. what's happened to us, do you suppose? are we blinded by entitlement and the flashbulbs of the paparazzi? are we numb? have we been anaesthetized by reality tv, itunes and 'oprahload?'

bhutto was a force - young, glamorous, brave, imperfect - and today she is a victim of the sinister rhythms of the way the world works now, leaving someone else to deliver on the promise of her cause, a cause her supporters lived and died for as well. and i wonder, can that happen here?

those who appear to be in a position to lead such a discussion chose not to do so. (and i've yet to see a campaign that fully captures the public's imagination.)

is it possible to persuade americans to embrace a sense of urgency that is not circumscribed by self-interest? is there anything that can move us to take stock of the present moment – this moment, here and now -- and consider how our power to make things anew can be shared with others? do we have what it takes to undertake a new beginning? do we know what that is? and just how do we address the unproductive silence?

let's not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. instead, i propose we do justly, now. love mercy, now. walk humbly, now. we are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are we free to abandon it.

let's start today - it's as good a day as any. listen closely to that voice inside of you and make a difference in the life you live, even if it's only meant to offer a smile to one soul, a thousand or your own. choose to make a stand. talk to someone. write a letter. vote! those of us who are tired of the way the world works now will create this new beginning through our choices.

starting now. and yes, it's still too long of a wait.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

stupid is as stupid does

i am a fucking idiot. no. seriously. i am.

what else do you call someone who makes the same mistake over and over and over again - each time expecting a different result? (situationally insane?)

i've been making this same 'mistake' since the sixth grade when i ran for class president and john park confessed to me (in the midst of a kickball game) that he 'liked' me, but that he wanted to run for class president, too, and well, his friends would tease him something awful about losing to his 'girlfriend.' so, i let him win. and he promptly confessed that he never really liked me, he just wanted to be president.

(who among you didn't see that little development coming? ... am i the only one raising my hand?)

i liked him (and believed he liked me) and so i did what i could to make things 'better,' 'easier' for him. and so ... john park became the class president in mrs. knight's sixth grade class at greentree elementary school and i became a child of the 'golden rule,' an indentured servant to the ethic of reciprocity, bound to treat others as i would want to be treated myself.

in return, i have had my feelings handed to me in pieces more times than i can count. except that i can count them and recount them with great clarity, so i'll just say this once: WE ARE NOT IN THE SIXTH GRADE ANYMORE!


i'm sorry to yell at you. that's not really fair (is it?) on this day where i've taken everything personally. it's not your fault that i feel angry or hurt or a million different things tonight. it has nothing to do with you at all, except that you're a captive audience. and i'm not really ready to give the details, just know that if i were going to, it would be here because this is one of the places it feels safest to implode. still, i'm fighting that impulse. for now.

so i'll just say this day was long and tiresome and ... heartbreaking; not the heartbreak of losing a lover, but that of losing faith in myself - the sudden knowledge that maybe the world isn't in love with me or against me, just indifferent.

but, please - no kind words, no pep talks, no apologies for your absence, no questions. that's not what i came for, not what i want. of course, if i'm perfectly honest, i don't know what i want, except, i guess, a chance to rant, and so i have and so i thank you. and i'm sorry.

i need sleep. and food. and little green lights to stay lit a little bit longer. for now, i'll settle for sleep.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

here comes the bride

darling liz ... dear, sweet, blushing liz;

it's been too long since we've talked. of course, we're good enough friends that you understand this is just the way i am ... and so, from opposite ends of the earth, we get to meet here.

i am over the moon for you! for both of you, yes, but mostly for you.

i was there, in the winter of your broken heart. i watched you hurtle yourself through space, living your life like a fireball, burning and fast. it was difficult to be near you, then - even as it remained incredibly easy to love you and to wish you the greatest of happiness.

and now, all these years later, as we've finally passed through the silly youngness of us, i am thrilled that you have finally discovered a love that has transformed you. (and i'm sorry, tony, but it is not you.)

more than atticus, more than tony, i can see you've finally fallen in love with liz (they way we all eventually do) and i am so excited for your happy ending/happier beginning. truly, i am.

as beautiful as it feels right now, i'll let you in on a little secret no one tells you when you're first engaged ... being married sucks sometimes. and other times, it's spectacularly lovely. and in between, well, it's groceries and laundry and struggles for the remote control and passing in the hallway on your way to separate rehearsals and kisses goodnight. it's matter of fact and magic all at once.

and i can't wait to see you in the middle of it all, shining and happy and on your way toward 'forever.'

and do me a favor, will you? wear your 'ass-kicking' boots under your wedding gown ... so you'll always remember that in the middle of your joy, it's possible - necessary, even - to hold on to a piece of the person you were before the 'two' became 'one.' you'll both be the better for it. i promise you that.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

a piece of cake

dear 'mo' ...

in texas, it's long past midnight, and so, as always, i am a bit late for this very important date. in the olden days, i'd have called and awakened you at the proper hour, but with the wee one and the sleepy husband, we'll have to settle for this letter from far too far away.

i have been crazy about you since before i met you - when, over martinis, dan said, 'oh my god, you and shannon will be so dangerous together. you have to meet her.' (and then, over martinis, i did.)

'you'll love her!' and i do.

when people ask me how long we've been friends, i just say, 'since forever.' there's no point in counting the years. and when they ask me how we met, i tell them i played the less perfect version of you in a play, once. no one ever questions that. as if, somehow, me as the less perfect version of you is part of the natural order of things. like gravity. or the sunrise.

and it's funny - they ask me the 'how' and the 'how long' - but never the why. if someone ever did ask 'why' we became friends, i'd have to think about it a minute ...

maybe i'd say it's your unique point of view or your generous nature or your mysteriously sassy sense of style ... maybe i'd say it's that i don't have to worry at all when i'm talking to you that you won't get it or that you'll get bored ... maybe i'd say it's the way i can act like an idiot and you call me 'kick ass' and never make me apologize for not being a quiet, boring girl ... maybe i'd say it's because we have the same restlessness, the same dissatisfaction with the default mode, the same idiot tendency to keep getting it wrong -even if only because it's the only way to get it a little less wrong each time ... maybe i'd say it's just nice to know that you paddle just as hard and at least sorta in the same direction.

maybe i'd say those things. maybe.

because i think the real reason we're friends is because it is the natural order of things. like gravity. or the sunrise. without you, the earth wouldn't turn and stuff wouldn't grow and life as i know it would have no life in it at all.

you are more important to me than i can ever express. you are the reason why i'm laughing, even when there's no one else around.

i love you and I MISS YOU and that's all there is to say right now. except ... that as i close my eyes in the dark of this morning, i have a very clear picture of you dancing and singing 'goldfinger' with so much soul that i absolutely believe it. so, go ahead and blow out the candles and have a piece of cake.

happy birthday, dear friend. i am so very glad you were born.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

the takeover

well ... it has finally arrived. i have officially taken over my world.

i have ceased 'assisting' and have begun 'acting' as the manager. i find it odd that it doesn't feel odd. it feels easy and right, a natural progression. tomorrow, i may feel different, but, running away to the heart of the night ... i'm no longer afraid. i've practiced enough and i'm as ready as i'll ever be.

to think of it starts an obscure little camus passage playing round and round in my head ... 'a man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. this is why, perhaps, after working and producing for twenty years, i still live with the idea that my work has not even begun.'

my work has not even begun. and i can't wait to see what happens next.

still, i will wear my big girl shoes. i will remember to breathe. i will remember to smile some and just listen awhile. i will be gracious. and i will shine.

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