Monday, December 28, 2009


this week i empty and turbulent and small.

my heart aches for the mess that she's made. i want to feel the edges of things and today, i do. sharp and cold and skeptical. the butterflies have left for greener girls.

would you mind if i rest with you awhile? nuzzle my head into your chest. feel your fingers tangled up in my hair. until, finally, i can fall asleep and this ache in my jaw and fog in my head falls away for a moment of clean breathing and peaceful dreams.

my schedule is upside down this week. days off in odd places, early mornings at the store ... making it hard to find time and space in which to think and feel my way through my melancholy. so, as i leave for work, i'll keep my hands in my pockets, hide my heart in a bag and wait for the turbulence to dwindle down.

and somewhere in the middle of this week, my happiness will start slowly creeping back. that much i know. (will it ever start sinking in?)

i hope this first monday after the holiday finds you on your way towards 'rested' and happy. don't rush too much. ease into your stream as best you can ... the water is bound to be cold. and if you can, take care of me a little.

Friday, December 25, 2009

en route

tonight, i am like a child awaiting the arrival of santa claus, and awake much later than i ought to be. and so i've logged on in the dark to see if you're here somewhere, too; hoping there's a message from you and knowing there won't be. you aren't the boy who leaves messages.

still, i'm sentimental this evening and not the least bit sorry about it. maybe it's the holidays.

or maybe it's that driving home tonight, the sky a smoky veil and a moon in the shape of a smile, a christmas song i've heard ten thousand times before intersected with the chill in the air and suddenly, there was a smile and a flush and there you were.

it doesn't matter, now, what the memory was, or if it was even a memory at all - when it comes to thoughts of you, there's a certain joy imprinted there. indelible, you. on that same drive home, it should be noted, the sun took an unusually long time to leave the party (flirting with the moon again, i guess - she was all aglow.). and, seeing as he was en route to your half of the globe, i called in a favor ... so, this christmas, as you roll over in bed and wake to the new day and when you step outside and first feel the sun on your skin - consider yourself kissed. and think of me.

happy christmas.

Monday, July 13, 2009

jet lag

standing in the kitchen this evening, there are things to say ... but when the time came, i found my words imprecise and my command of them ... faulty.

i don't know if it was my asthma, or your home purchase or if i'm just having - what jenni calls - a 'charlotte moment,' but it hit me this morning, in a way i hadn't quite grasped before, how important and how fragile this is.

it takes me by surprise, sometimes - when i least expect it - how comfortable and easy and lovely it feels to be with you. it isn't at all what i expected ... but then, it's the expected that keeps us steady. standing. still. the expected is just the beginning; it's the unexpected that changes our lives. right?

'it's nice to be appreciated,' you said (in that sleepy little voice i love so much). and i can't believe anyone ever made you feel as if you weren't. i can't believe anyone could find fault with those things i find so dear - how could anyone not see how perfect you are in your imperfection? and it's not because we're 'new' or because i'm lost in the sex haze ... my opinion is not clouded by hormones or pheromones or cinnamon toast. i've just come to see that you suit me.

you do.

and it makes me happy in ways i can't even describe. i've also come to see how important this little family is and how much you must miss seeing the girls everyday and how hard it must be to vist the life you had before ... every day. it's a difficult thing to watch.

let's face it, no one believes that their life will turn out just kind of okay. we all think it's going to be great. and from the day we enter into any kind of relationship, we are filled with expectation ... great expectations of who we will be, where we will go. sometimes it takes a long, long time. but we get there. it just doesn't always look the way we think it will. and sometimes it's a million miles from where we thought we'd be - and it leaves us feeling jet lagged. i think that's my problem today. jet lag.

still, i'm right where i want to be. and i hope you are, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy day

it's early, early, early in the morning and i've slipped out of bed to write you this letter.

everyone else is asleep. well, almost everyone ... the cat in my lap is gently 'bathing' the dog's nose as he rests it on my leg ... providing a gentle reminder that we are capable of looking after each other in a kind and careful way.

(wouldn't it be lovely if the world were a place where everybody got his or her needs met and received plenty of acknowledgment? everything is sweeter when we begin to appreciate each other and mutual admiration prevails. )

in a little while, isabella and grace will awaken and pad into the room that serves as bedroom and living room in the loft - the sound of their bare little feet slapping against the concrete will herald their arrival. they will stand next to the bed, watching me for signs of movement and when there are none, they will touch my face and whisper close, 'it's time.'

together, we will raid the refrigerator and i'll help them make breakfast for the man pretending to sleep in the bed nearby. it will be loud. it will be messy. there will be arguing. someone will cry. gone are the days when i could pour myself a cup of coffee and wake up slowly with the world. and i wouldn't have it any other way.

would any of us?

today is father's day. and i miss you.

i wish you could be here to see the sun shining, taste the pancakes - sweet and hot. (gracie and bella can cook pretty well, already. their dad has taught them how. ) and i wish you could meet them.

they are lovely. in every way. and it's because of their dad that they are becoming these amazing little creatures. he treats them as little adults (which, frankly, they don't always appreciate, but they'll be grateful for later). he recognizes them as individuals, not as an extension or reflection of himself. and he always treats them as people he likes (and reminds them to treat themselves and each other that same way).

and if i'm honest, i know it will be mostly due to his example that they have the tools they need to navigate the world ... they will know how to be reasonable and fair and strong and careful and responsible. he will be the reason they prefer convertibles, make a perfect biscuit and find humor in everything ... why they'll make everything from scratch, why they'll set the table with all the silverware, even if they know they won't use it ... why they'll set the table at all.

he is why they will read more than watch tv, laugh more than cry and pay attention when they drive. he is why they'll never make fun of kids who run funny, why they'll try, even when they don't feel like it, yell at political shows on television and why they will sing 'mack the knife' and 'big yellow taxi' to their own kids at bedtime. thanks to him, they know the joy of cats and blind dogs; they won't fear moving to new places where they don't know anyone and they'll know there isn't anything a hug from dad, james taylor or homemade pasta can't fix.

he and his existence in the world flavor everything for them - just as your absence does for me. i so hope they know how lucky they are. i'm pretty sure they do.

through them, i'm celebrating this day for the first time. from now on, i get to see it through their eyes and it's finally something i look forward to.

don't worry ... father's day only makes me a little sad, the way you might expect ... but it doesn't make me long for things that never were. instead, it reminds me of how grateful i am for mom's efforts and her sacrifice and it reminds me, too, that if you had lived, laurie wouldn't exist and i wouldn't know these girls or this man ... and that, i couldn't bear. i wouldn't trade my situation for anything. not anything.

and it might sound silly or slightly insane ... but i know you're present. not right now. or every day, even. but you are. i can tell. and where some folks thank god for the wonderful things that happen in their lives, i thank you. it's an unusual idea, i know. one not often spoken aloud - if ever. the good, the great - and even the unspeakably awful - things that happen in my life, if i haven't created them myself, then i'm pretty sure they come from you - or others who've left this life and moved beyond. tiny joys, valuable lessons, the jolts, the hairpin turns ... someone reminding me to wake up to the wonder of my life.

and this year, that 'someone' comes in tandem, padding across the concrete floor, touching my face and whispering close, 'it's time.'

isn't it funny how life - and death - work out?

happy father's day, dad, wherever you are. and if you're close today, enjoy the pancakes. i made 'em for you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

to whom it may concern ...

dear ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CW, etc...

i am a grown up.

and by 'grown up' i mean: i have a job. i am in a relationship (which is not a pre-requisite, by the way). i have friends and pets who i love and who love me. i am no longer 25. i have a hobby. i take vacations. i don't call my mother as often as i should. i worry about my weight and my hair color and my retirement and whether the democrats will stay in power. i buy things (or i used to before the economy tanked and i will buy things again. with a vengeance!). i have a brain. i watch TV.

it bears repeating ... i buy things. i have a BRAIN. I WATCH TV!!

please stop canceling and/or destroying the shows i watch. seriously.

there are others like me out there. i've seen them. i've talked with them ... at work, in line, online ... we LOVE TV. and we're worried you're wrecking it.

see, great writing, complicated (yet realistic) story lines, women who might not look good in bikinis ... these are the things we crave. these are the things we invest in.

we, your grown up audience, are loyal and true. when we find a show we like, we stick like glue. (oh, look. i rhymed.) we tell our friends. we rearrange our schedules. that takes time. we need you to recognize that. three episodes doesn't give us enough time to change our work schedule, find something else for the kids to do, or to figure out when the show is even on.

so, please. stop looking for the next 'friends.' stop trying to recreate 'lost' and 'the x files.' be brave. be bold. support good writing. reward great storytelling. give our shows a chance. develop more shows for us and we won't disappoint you.

listen to us. choose us. love us.

don't give up. save some TV for the grown ups.

warmest regards,

leigh anne

p.s. you understand, right, that if we can't work this out, we're going to have to see other people. i've got cable now and i'm not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


my apologies for the 'quiet.'

it is a silence is bourne of obligation and activity, friends and a good bit of fun - equal parts 'fundamental' and 'environmental' -and not from a desire to remain at a distance.

my life is good. mostly.

i know this because i've been taking stock ... counting, searching for answers and reasons for it all. and i'd like to think it's the idea of moving or aging or balancing my checkbook that has me out of balance.

but it isn't.

even in the midst of these most glorious of times, i find myself struggling, profoundly, with the idea of the future - and balancing the pleasure of 'now' against the pain of 'before' and the question of 'next.'

i am hoping that the erosion of that which had seemed solid is not wrong; i am hoping it means that something new, something better, something stronger has been created. i think of ice floes, hardened in winter, dispersing in the warmth of spring; when the ice melts, a mighty river emerges. but, i am still hardened in winter ... and i wonder... does it ever get easier? should it? where i used to wear my heart on my sleeve, will i now wear my uncertainty?... branded for eternity with a scarlet 'u?'

i'd like to think that there has never been a question i'd end up here ... that if there is a question, it isn't 'where' or 'who' ... only 'when.' i'd like to think that under my ignorance and along side my real life, there is this mindless certainty, humming blithely along, ensuring i will finally come together with that which is best for me - bringing me to the place where i'll either stumble, crash or live my way into my whole life's happiness. coming to life is never a conscious decision.

it would be simple, at a time like this, to dismiss everyone. but as idiotic and painful as it may be, i am a true believer in that wonderful mythical law of nature that says the three things we crave most in life ... happiness, freedom and peace of mind ... can only be obtained by giving them to someone else.

and so, i'm challenging myself to remember what is good and allowing my imagination to discover the evolutionary potential in these experiences. i am making a conscious decision to delight in even the quirkiest of life's developments.

still, my most fervent hope is to navigate these waters with patience and kindness and few regrets, save for the breaking of hearts. it's a delicate business, this closeness. you can never be sure how hardy another's heart will be. likewise, you can never really know your own - which i quite like, i think.

besides, no one breaks my heart like i do.

Monday, April 27, 2009

undone and undefined

have you ever read heidegger's thing about van gogh? items disappearing into their function?

i've been thinking a lot about that in terms of relationships. it's so easy to disappear into our function - security, sex, service ... and i wonder, how do we reclaim the space where we can be seen again? how do we come into focus once more?

and by 'we,' i mean 'me' ... well, 'i.' how do i come into focus?

i feel fuzzy lately. undefined.

i am not the wife, not the mother, not the boss, not the best friend, not the girlfriend, not the one. i'm neither here nor there, neither coming or going ... standing somewhere in the middle, highlighting some, holding up the others ...

... and crushed under their weight ... crushed under the wait for that kinder, gentler, easier sort of life - the kind others seem to pass through with ease and without knowledge that it could ever be any different.

i know, i know! nobody made me do this ... i chose this life ... i lifted myself right out of the old one ... dorothy's house falling out of the sky ... and landing with a giant thud. i am the cyclone and the witch and the little girl waiting for her eyes to adjust from black and white to technicolor and wondering when the dust will finally settle, wondering where i'm headed, wondering what happens next.

and on this day where i've taken everything personally... i wonder what's mine.

it's no one else's fault that i feel angry or hurt or a million different things tonight. it has nothing to do with anyone in particular and the events themselves are not important. when viewed independently, they are comical almost - their depth and breadth not nearly as heavy as their collective weight. they won't even make great stories one day, the kind i love to tell, laughing so hard in their midst i have to pause for breath to continue.

so i'll just say that the 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.

and i may have designed my life so that i'll find myself alone, just as i've come to the middle of it.

and i hope i'm wrong.

Friday, April 24, 2009

the prince has a frog in his throat

'i love you,' he whispered softly.

he took a small halting breath and then he said her name.

'don't think i forgot your name,' he added sweetly, 'i didn't; i just had a hard time getting it out. i was busy choking on the first part.'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

at her service

he was shuffling around the kitchen, mopping up the beer he'd spilled and preparing to prepare dinner. she was lying sideways across the bed. 'i don't suppose you'd like to wait on me hand and foot and bring me a glass of water with a straw?'

'don't you know that's what i live for,' he said, as he made his way toward the bed.

she laughed. 'i'm going to remind you that you said that. over and over again.'

'darlin'' he said, as he sat next to her and leaned in for a kiss, 'you won't have to.'

the eye of the beholder

standing in front of the mirror, she surveyed the landscape before her, closed one eye and then the other, hoping to improve the appearance. it was no use.

'how drunk are you?' she said, walking into the kitchen from the bathroom. 'i just looked at myself in the mirror, and i am not cute at all, i do not know WHAT you are talking about.'

he put out a hand to stop her, but she moved past him toward the bed in the middle of the room. 'my hair is all wonky and i have these giant bags under my eyes and ...' he stopped her with a kiss.

'the trouble is ... when you look in the mirror, you're only looking at you. but when i see you, what i see is you ... looking at me. and you're beautiful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i should stop inserting myself into the places i don't belong.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

99 things

:::99 things:::

saw this here, and thought i'd play along ...

here are the rules: bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden in a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo’s david
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistine chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theater
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. got flowers for no reason
64.donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a check
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in times square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guards in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. kissed a stranger at midnight on new year’s eve
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person
96. swam in the great salt lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

wow. looking at the list, i see i need to get out more.

i hope desperately for numbers 63, 94 (or 15), 12, 28, 19, 50, 4, 52 and 37. but until those days come, i will work toward numbers 71, 62, 60, 2, 6 and 43.

what about you?


i cannot sleep. even though i am tired ...

... i am tired of feeling guilty for choosing to make a different life. so go ahead, feel abandoned or betrayed or whatever else you want to feel. i am no longer accepting responsibility for that.

... i am tired of worrying about money.

... i am tired of looking for a place to park.

... i am tired of the phrase, 'in this economy.' also: 'in times like these,' 'in these troubled times,' and 'we know it's hard out there.' everyone knows it's hard out here. stop talking about it and DO SOMETHING, damn it!

... i am tired of my grey hairs spiraling out of control. even if grace did pronounce them, 'cool.'

... i am tired of having to ask people to do their jobs.

... i am tired of apologizing for how i feel.

... i am tired of being without an ipod. life is so much better when it's set to music.

... i am tired of being guarded and cynical and old, old, old. i want to be young and stupid and love openly and earnestly. well ... not stupid. i do not want to be stupid. (doesn't stop me, though, does it?)

... i am tired of keeping my hopes hidden just because you're scared of getting wrecked again. i am, too. who isn't?

... i am tired of schedules and questions and ex husbands and junk mail and fruit flies and how loudly my neighbor walks up and down the stairs and telemarketers and ...

... and i am tired of this mood. wasn't i fabulously happy just 24 hours ago? hormones are ridiculous.

Monday, April 6, 2009

of coconuts, difficult truths and soft, safe places to land

you know that old saying, 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade'? i don't think life has ever given me a lemon.

a lemon would be too easy. too yellow. too cheerful. a lemon isn't difficult; it's something i can squeeze the juice out of with one hand and then use to lighten my hair and garnish my cocktail.

nope. life has never given me a lemon. it's given me ... well ... coconuts. something hard and lopsided and ... well ... hard. while other folks are drinking lemonade, life (wearing what i imagine is a lopsided grin) hands me a coconut and says, 'here. crack this.'


these should be, by all accounts, the most beautiful of days. spring has sprung in california - cool. bright. blue as far as the eye can see - and i'm delighted to make its acquaintance again. everything seems greener and fresher and more alive somehow.

except me.

i've been in the strangest places lately. stuck between here and there but never landing for long. no longer one thing, not yet another ... belonging to all and none and waiting for my body to register what my mind has just begun to recognize ... everything is changing.

it's got me thinking a lot about the people and places, near and far, i once loved most. it's both difficult and lovely to know that lives, relationships, even shows go on without me.

there are things i miss so much, i ache. and there are things i ache to have missed. babies and weddings and plays i would have been perfect for. a cap knitted just for me. happy hours. donna summer sing alongs. stray cats. a dog in the window.

whether separated by inches or miles, the distance is not to scale. and the question that begs (the question no one ever asks) is 'why?' and i wish there was a short and simple answer, but the truth is, the end of a relationship is rarely short or simple.

we search for reasons; work through the betrayal we feel, and still find it difficult to believe that situations, relationships, people we love could evolve past us ... we move along, caught up in the day-to-dayness until it becomes clear that something more is required. and it feels sudden and heart-stopping. i know.

it's never a sudden realization, of course. and that's what's so hard to face. even for me. especially for me.

the truth must be told among friends and so i must admit that there was nothing really wrong with the way things used to be. i've had men who loved me, jobs i've enjoyed and good, fun friends. my life has moved along on its own. simple. occasionally eventful. sweet, even.

and i wasn't unhappy. which is important to know. but 'not unhappy' is no way to go through life. and if the truth is told, simple and sweet are not enough for me. i want my life to be the way it never was. different - whatever that means, and - hopefully - better. by my own design.

which is a difficult admission for a girl people see as patient and kind, with the perfect demeanor to calm all the fuss. but i am also a girl who bruises easily ... who will go along, get along, let someone hurt her again and again and again because its not so hard to take and doesn't make anyone else feel bad.

or at least, i used to be that girl.

not that anyone would have known it. i hide things well. or maybe i don't. maybe people just didn't look closely enough. they couldn't see that the thing that seemed 'so sudden' was bubbling underneath all along.

i've been silently screaming that for 40 years. it's only now that i can hear myself. it's only now, that i'm listening.

and here i am ... creating the life i've always wanted. and no part of it is easy. for any of us. and the resulting chorus in my head is loud and painful and sometimes sends me back into my shell. i have to force myself back out into the open.

it's painful as hell, and scary, too ... nurturing this life i want to live into being ... opening up the space to find the things that better suit me, to find people i can love without feeling like i'm hurting them by loving them the way i want to. and in the midst, i make mistakes and say the wrong things and ache with the constant newness of it all.

no matter how silly and positive and carefree i may seem.

and more and more ... i find safe places to land ... the tiny cs office ... the theatre ... the steps to the beach ... disneyland ... meg and jennie and lynda and michael and brian and laurie and bj and jk ... lullabies ... pancakes ... and just about anywhere with c and the girls ... and it becomes clear to me that i can do this and i am going to be just fine.

life is too short to keep everything so well protected and unsaid. no one person is the ultimate person and no one is the smallest and weakest person. we're all the same size. some of us just choose to live our lives on our own terms and not care what anyone else thinks.

(there are times, i must admit, when i want to rush ahead and see how everything unfolds. i want to know that all the pain and uncertainty is leading to something meaningful. but then again, i don't really want that, do i? do i?)

there will still be small days and smaller minds to deal with, but they will be fewer and further between, now. i am done listening to the the voices who say, 'cruel,' and 'selfish.' the truth is, no one is harder on me than i am and i have been punishing myself more than i should have. more than i deserve. i can see that now. and i'm just about done with that.

the truth should be told among friends and so i should tell you that i am impulsive and sentimental; i am willful and sometimes, i don't listen. my responses will sometimes be hasty, the arguments poorly formed. but i am a very smart girl. and sometimes, a very sorry girl.

and if i come to you seeking comfort and instead find you repeating back to me the ugliest, most secret thing i believe about myself ... if i open up and you make fun, calling forth the most hurtful ideas of me tucked into the way-backest part of my head ... if you put me in a position where i have to choose between what's right and good and what you want ... it will not end well.

i'll have to fight hard ... against the instinct to disappear ... against the desire not to deal with you again (because if i've learned anything about choices, it's that avoidance is a bad one - possibly the worst of all) ... against my willful anaesthesia ... and i'll continue to move forward with a sense of responsibility for my own happiness.

(and i'd like you to be a part of it. really, i would.)

events of the last few years ... the last few months ... the last few days ... will leave their mark - nothing permanent, like the freckle on my hip or the tattoo on my ankle, but a mark nonetheless. and i am working my way through it.

it would be nice to know that tomorrow will be better. and easier. and happier. and brighter. but i don't know that. what i do know is that tomorrow will be.

and still, i choose to believe that everything i experience is exactly what i need for my strength in the future. i choose to believe the jolts of the last few weeks will soon subside, with no lasting effects, save for the reminder that things are not stable, linear or predictable - i am always in flux.

life, after all, is about balancing, not about being balanced. the sense is exhilarating and reminds me of the fragility of life; nudges me to appreciate each imperfect, teetering moment i am alive ... giving me a sense of my own place in this swirling universe.

and tomorrow, i'll wake up and there i'll be - one day closer to cracking open the coconut and finding that the meat is rich and the milk ... oh, so sweet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

april fool

i am a fool for april. the sun heating the pavement, the breeze, the green arriving in little bits after a sudden thunderstorm...i adore the unpredictability of it all. everything shaking off winter in its own way.

as you were hustling about - packing lunches and holding hands, i spent the day in the details of the store and then joined michael and maria for dinner at disneyland. i have two new freckles as souvenirs.

today, i have been warmed by you in many different ways. and as the moon rises outside my window, for once, i hope you're not thinking of me. i hope you are belly up to the bar, your pal by your side, losing at pool and laughing loud and long ... or walking home, looking up at the stars and enjoing the crisp april air.

simple. peaceful. present. and perfect.

there will be plenty of time to think of me tomorrow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

an apple a day ...

my friend wrote this:

I ate an apple today. I used to nibble around the edges of apples. I'd take a couple big juicy bites around the equator and a few careful snips at the north and south poles leaving a perfect outline of the seedy core. That's how you're supposed to eat an apple.

I don't do that anymore. Now I eat the whole damn apple. I twist off the stem and devour the fruit all the way to the blossom end. I grind it in my teeth like an old goat. I waste no time or meat. I enjoy the crisp sweetness of the flesh and the woody bitterness of the seed. I taste the earth and sky.

I like apples.

wow. what i wouldn't give to be that apple.

what i am afraid of

it's friday the 13th and i'm wondering ... what are you afraid of?

for me it's snakes and flying ... never getting the upper hand financially ... the governator ... writing on chalkboards ... my mother getting older ... and loving someone who will never love me back.

friday the 13th is supposed to be a day of unfortunate incidents, of difficult circumstances and even worse luck. (for me, that could just be a tuesday), but today was the most beautiful day. strong coffee, good friends, sunshine and a sky of runaway blue. (as winter made an appearance earlier in the week, spring felt compelled to do the same -the seasons are spoiled children, competing for affection. they need not worry; i love them both.).

the day i dreaded was thursday the 12th. it sounds so innocent and unassuming, but it was the day of my mother's surgery. her third in three years ... the level of difficulty increasing with each one ... the level of anxiety, too.

it's hard to watch my mother age, watch her struggle to get around, rely on a steady stream of pharmaceuticals to make it through the day, her medical team becoming her only social outlet.

you would think the experience of youth, of being a grown-up in my house before i had grown into my own skin, would ease this transition from child to caretaker. it does not. it makes it harder, somehow. i find the only thing growing faster than my fear is my resentment. and my anger.

i am angry that she hasn't taken better care of herself up to now, so that recovery would be easier, or at least less treacherous. i am angry that her plan for the future involves a motor home and my sister's driveway. i am angry that given the choice, she'd rather demand our attention and rescue than forge another road for herself. but mostly, i'm angry at myself for being so angry and ungrateful.

how do i shake this? how do i move past it into forgiveness and graciousness?

it's friday the 13th. and i'm afraid i'll never know.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


i have a confession to make. it's ugly. it will subject me to ridicule. it might even cost me some of my most important relationships. but then, life is too short to leave things so well protected and unsaid. so here goes ...

'pretty woman' is one of my favorite movies. it is. and not for the reasons you might think.

yes. i am a sucker for a happy ending. yes. i'd like to be given a shopping spree on rodeo drive and flown to another city to hear beautiful music. and yes! i'd like someone to reach inside and pull out the tiny splinter of truth and hope that hides beneath the events of my day, hungering for the meat of me. (hell. some days, all i need is someone i love to bring me flowers. i do not require he scale a fire escape to do so.)

no ...

i love 'pretty woman' because it speaks to my experiences - in broad, broad strokes, of course - and offers me an idea of things i might want in this life. and things i might not. i love 'pretty woman' because it doesn't apologize for believing in potential. or possibility. or big, big love. and i do. right down to the gooey center of me.

but mostly, i love 'pretty woman' because i am a big believer in the construction of fantasies and the breaking down to make something that is beautiful. and real.

i've never been, nor will i ever be a hooker, but i've walked that same street ... i know how it feels to be ruled by a lack of money ... i am uncomfortably familiar with the desperation and humiliation that attends. i know how it feels to have no idea of who i am, who i'll become or how i'll bridge the distance between the two. i understand that desire to reach a particular destination, even as i hold tight to the experience of the journey. and i now know the power and joy of recognizing that i determine my own worth.

i've never been, nor will i ever be a millionaire (or a man, for that matter), but i know what it is to feel i have everything i could ask for and still feel there is something, the most important thing, missing. i know how it is to stand in a room full of people and feel completely disconnected and alone. and i know that it's possible for someone to take my hand and change my entire view of the world.

it's okay with me that for some folks that sweet, silly little movie will always be about a hooker and a millionaire ... shockingly unrealistic, slightly misogynistic and yet another example of how man was put here to SAVE woman.

but for me, it all begins right there at the end and it reminds me of the way one person, one experience, can alter the course of our existence ... if we choose to heed the lesson and accept the gift. and as lovely as it is to help or 'save' someone, there is nothing wrong with being the person who is saved.

believe me. i know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

... but i really just have friends

god, i love my friend o'dell. he sends me these things and suckers me in every time. is it because he knows i like to write or is it because he likes to read? doesn't matter, here i go ...

it’s time to share tidbits about our friends. tell us 15 things about your favorite memories, their best qualities, or funny stories.

1. o'dell ... seeing as he is the inspiration for this little exercise, it only seems right and fair to start with him ... o'dell directed me to what i think is my best performance ... ever. i don't have any idea what anyone else might feel about it, but playing lenny in 'crimes of the heart' still feels like the best thing i've ever done. we hardly knew each other then, but every day, o'dell reminded me that i was funny and strong and perfect in my imperfections ... and so i took that and infused lenny with those same qualities and loved every single second of it. to this day, i still start to cry whenever i sing 'happy birthday' to anyone - partly because of that lovely memory and partly because i miss his little bald head. owe're good friends now and he still makes me feel funny and strong and practically perfect in every way. he's a good, good man, that o'dell. and he looks mighty fine in a pair of spanx.

2. elizabeth seabolt-esparza (aka: lizard) ... it took knowing liz to know that unconditional love is really, truly possible. and she is the first person who was able to make me believe it could apply to me. it doesn't matter what i do or say or how long i'm gone, i know she'll be there, having kept my spot warm and waiting to hear the tales of my travels. she'll always tell me the truth about anything - which i need - and she'll never let me beat myself up about anything - which i need more. maybe it's because so little of her life has been easy; maybe it's because i gave her warm pajamas one particularly cold winter; the why isn't what's important. when someone extends their hand, you take it. simple. true. if liz extends hers to you ... take it. hold it tight. and kiss it for me.

3. kelli haskett ... kelli has known me longer than anyone (except laurie t. - and kelli knows her, too, back when she was tiny and a nuisance. laurie t., not kelli.). we were on the pom pon squad together at longmont junior high and from there, she became my first 'best friend.' i wonder if she knows that. we did all the things best friends do. we ate lunch together. we hung out at the mall. we hid in my room, made up dance routines and dreamed about kissing rick springfield. when we got to high school, we spent the entire summer between our sophomore and junior years sitting on the hill near the school watching baseball, working on our tans and cruising around town in her white mustang. it was the first and last time i ever remember feeling 'cool.' i have a hundred silly/lovely memories of the two of us (making strawberry daquiris in her parents kitchen; conning some old guy into buying us pink champagne at the liquor store; mooning over boys; sharing the sofa with her parents' giant dogs; sitting under the tree outside her house ...) eventually, the boys and books and cheerleading vs. speech team took their toll and we were reduced to waving at one another across the cafeteria. but, as much as everyone says you never forget your first love, you ought to know, you really, really never forget your first best friend. i don't know why i let us grow apart (except that i seem to do that with everyone), but i'm particularly blessed that we've found each other again. and at the next reunion, i'm totally renting a mustang, buying some really good champagne this time, and kelli and i are gonna park at the baseball field, talk about the boys we ended up with and sing 'jessie's girl' at the top of our lungs. who says you can't go 'home' again?

4. b.j. cleveland ... b.j. and met when i first auditioned for him for 'a prelude to a kiss.' he won't remember that. he was doing about 1,000 other things and hardly gave me the time of day. a few months later, he gave me my first break, playing delightful and nadine in 'dearly departed' and over the next few years, he entrusted a dozen more or so beautiful ladies to my care ... anita in 'a small family business;' lynn in 'search for signs of intelligent life in the universe;' maggie in 'dancing at lughnasa;' helen in 'laughter on the 23rd floor' (remember that red wig and all the pencils?); yvonne in 'a flea in her ear' (open! slam!!). it's because of b.j. that i know 'funny.' he taught me that. he helped me discover timing and subtlety and art of finding the 'bit.' he showed me that i didn't have to settle for simply 'liking' acting; he showed me i could really love it, and that it might be possible to become good at it. i will never be able to repay him for that. theatre has saved my life more times than i care to count. and to have learned under such a master is a treat. a gift, even. because b.j. is, hands down (wait. not 'hands down.' i should say, 'hands up' and those hands should be 'jazz hands) ... either way, hands up or down, he is the most talented man i've ever known. he sings. he dances. he acts. he directs. he teaches. he leaps tall tales in a single bound. and as big as his talent is, his heart is about 2000 times bigger. and from the moment we met, i knew we would be friends for life (not counting the ten years where i disappeared ...) he's the sun to my moon. the horton to my whoo. he is the cheese to my macaroni ... the will to my grace ... and he just might be the love of my life.

5. lynda mcgraw ... will be surprised to find herself on this list. we're new friends. which i love. (as we get older, it's so much harder to make friends, don't you think?) lynda and i work together at crate. she is strong and smart, has the greatest smile and never shys away from calling a spade a spade, or an ass an ass. i love and respect that about her. it also makes me fiercely protective of her. bravery and honesty are not always valued in women. she gets that. and stands up to the boys anyway. she is strong and funny and isn't at all afraid to work hard. she sets the best example for all the 'girls' who work with us. the boys, too. plus, her hair is awesome!

6. megan temple ... has pretty awesome hair, too. she is another 'new' friend...and one of the 'girls' i work with at crate. i could write a hundred things i love about meg, but never as well as i managed to write for her birthday. so, go back and read the birthday 'note' i wrote for her. but, if you want a good story or two ... meg and i once got drunk at disneyland. well, technically it was california adventure where we started drinking, but then we made michael sneak rum into the park and we made dole whip and rum cocktails and watched the fireworks. it was one of those perfect moments we rarely get in this lifetime and i am so happy i got to share it with meg. i was the only person, aside from family, she invited to her graduation - i couldn't have been prouder if i had actually been a member of her family. she's worked so hard and looked so lovely and grown up. it was meg who took me on my first 'girls night out' after my split and my arrival in california and we danced until the bar closed and ate a corn dog on the sidewalk while we waited for our ride home. meg promises to kick any man's ass who might dare break my heart. i believe her. the boys do, too.

7. mike hoog ... was my first boy friend. not 'boyfriend.' boy/friend. he was the brother i always wanted. he looked after me ... sat with me at lunch, lent me his baseball jacket (seriously, was there ever a jacket warmer than those niwot baseball jackets?), gave me advice about boys. he is how i learned how to love a man without being 'in love.' a valuable lesson and one for which i am most grateful.

8. lynn ostein ... lynn was my roommate for my freshman and sophomore years in college. i remember walking into our room that first day and meeting lynn and her parents. i remember how surprised all three of them were that my mother had let me pack up my volkswagen and head for texas. all by myself. (truth? it surprised me, too.) but seeing myself the way they saw me that day changed my life. it was strange and scary to be so far from home, but lynn and i were lucky to have each other ... figuring out together what and who we wanted to be when we grew up. and, we had the most fun! ... discovering a new city, driving around in my volkswagen ... bill misch and andy crider ... dancing at calamities ... playing quarters at mama's ... free chocolate shakes at chili's ... spending every free moment with fish and john and joe ... phi mu ... the lambda chis ... winning the airband jam ... and her fear that if she took pepto bismol for a hangover she'd puke pink (we were phi mu's; weren't we SUPPOSED to puke pink?!) lynn and i were inseparable. until we weren't. i only sort of remember why, but i fully remember being miserable about it. even as i was too stubborn to change my mind. i am really sorry about that. it's one of my true regrets in this life.

9. steve hearst ... is the funniest thing on two feet. at least, that's what i thought when i was sixteen years old. we were on the speech team together - which meant lots of early mornings and late nights and never-ending bus rides to the middle-of-nowhere colorado ... and when steve was there, it meant lots and lots of laughing. he, lee reichert, marcie and i would huddle together near the back of the bus and act like idiots. there was the cheyenne tournament and the 'device' - an incredibly large dildo that was a team tradition - which steve and lee managed to pass on to me by hiding the thing in my luggage. my mother was not impressed. there was the 'm-a-r-t-i-n g-r-i-s-wold' song, sung to the tune of the 'mickey mouse club.' but my favorite memory was the tournament at the university of denver, where steve and i searched for amusement between rounds and rather than do what every other teenager in america might have done (have sex ... smoke pot ... get someone to buy us beer), instead, we went for the joke. we went in search of a copy machine and steve made photocopies of his face, which he autographed and distributed to fellow competitors. i still have one. (funny ... i kept that, but not 'the device.') oh, oh, oh ... i lied! my favorite memory was the night we were bored (at least i think we were bored, i don't think he had a crush on my the way i did on him.) and we made out in his car. i mean really MADE OUT - fogged up the windows and everything. that single, simple, innocent kissing incident is the reason i equate humor with sexiness in a man. if he can't bring the funny, he doesn't stand a chance - i don't care how hot he is. seriously. thank you for that, steve. you've saved me from what surely could have been a lot of really hot sex. and you're the reason i always, always, always go for the joke.

10. shannon matson ... i have been crazy about shannon since before i met her- 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!' he said. 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 her in a play, once. 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 say it's her unique point of view and her generous nature and her mysteriously sassy sense of style. i haven't talked to her in forever and a day. life keeps us apart and everytime i think to call or write, i think there's too much to say and not enough time and she'll be busy with the boys or traveling or doing anything other than wanting to listen to me, but maybe i'm wrong. i often am.

11. suzanne king ... if i'm the less perfect version of shannon, suzanne is the more perfect version of me. people are always confusing us - which i can't understand, because i don't think we look at ALL alike - but it's good for me. see, suzanne is the nicest person you'll ever want to meet. she is loyal and kind and good and true. she's talented and silly and works hard and keeps your secrets. she picks great karaoke songs, she can almost always hold her liquor and everyone who knows her LOVES her. i'm proud and happy to be on that list.

12. kevin pitts ... was my boyfriend when i was a senior in high school. we met at a speech tournament when our teams played 'family feud' against one another in between rounds. i can't remember which one of us gave up our phone number first, i just remember it was written on a page in a gq magazine (which, by the way, he looked as if he'd stepped out of - with his bowtie and his pouty lips). i loved kevin. my friends loved kevin. my mom LOVED, LOVED, LOVED kevin. (to this day, she asks me if i've heard from him and i think she secretly wishes i would have married him.) he was sweet and romantic and treated me better than any boy ever had (or any man has since ... until now). he cooked. he sent flowers. he made my friends his friends. he was the perfect fairytale boyfriend. but i was seventeen and not nearly as smart as i thought i was and traded the fairytale for frat parties and broke both our hearts in the process. and if i'm honest, i'm not entirely sure that the hundreds of heartbreaks i've suffered since haven't been my own way of punishing myself for that. still, time has a way of circling back upon itself and i know, now, that he is warm and safe and well-loved and happy as can be. and so i don't mind sharing what might be my favorite memory of kevin ... for our first date, we were supposed to see a play his mother was in. i had too long to think about it and i got cold feet and made up some excuse as to why i couldn't go. but something in his voice woke up something inside of me and so i got in the car and drove to loveland. it was, of course, too late to go to the show, so we bundled up and took a long walk under a perfectly clear colorado sky - the kind you only see in december. we talked about school and friends and our families, but mostly, we just leaned against one another and watched our breath crystallize in the cold night air. sweet. innocent. lovely. to this day, i still bundle up, take walks and stare up into the december sky. and when i do, i remember him and smile.

13. laurie taylor ... is not technically a friend, she's my sister. and if i'd known how cool she'd be when she grew up, i'd have been a lot nicer to her when she was younger. my niwot friends will remember her ... she was small and blonde and always around. but that's because we were the only kids i knew then who only had one parent and that one parent had to work and so laurie got to tag along with me way more than any of us would have liked. there are so many more stories i could tell about laurie t. than about anyone else ... we went on her honeymoon together (you know you're drunk if you can't get into a bar in cancun!) ... she married me (but i don't hold it against her). i married her (the second time - which ought to be the last.). we laugh until we can't breathe whenever we talk on the phone or spend time together. the last time i saw her, we went to see the police and elvis costello at the hollywood bowl. we drank what amounts to a trough of wine, sang every song at the top of our lungs, and made great friends with the ladies at the back of the bus (they thought we were really fun for 'white girls!'). and when sting walked out on stage at sunset to join elvis in 'allison,' i had a giant glass of wine in one hand and laurie t's hand in my other and i knew the stars had aligned and i was at the absolute right place at the right time. my life finally clicked into place. thank you, laurie t. i love you.

14. jenni leamon ... people think jenni and i are friends because we work together. that's not it. it's hard to say exactly why i think. to reduce it to reason would be akin to looking for the logic in gravity. or the sunrise. if i had to, maybe i'd say it's that i don't have to worry at all when i'm talking to her that she won't get it or that she'll get bored ... maybe i'd say it's the way i can act like an idiot and she'll call me 'awesome' 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 we paddle just as hard and at least sorta in the same direction. but i think the real reason we're friends is because it is the natural order of things. like gravity. or the sunrise. without jenni, the earth wouldn't turn and stuff wouldn't grow and life as i know it would have no life in it at all. oh. and we work together.

15. christopher bruinsslot ... i can say whatever i want about christopher because he'll never read it. he can't figure out facebook. he hasn't the time, nor the inclination. he has a thousand more important things in front of him. his business. his friends. his daughters. his kitchen. me. he is lovely in just about every way. he's tall and bald and has a beard and big hands and a beautiful smile. he walks with a limp. he's smart and loyal and makes a mean cocktail. and he cooks. i mean REALLY cooks - makes just about everything from scratch. which, now that i know him, makes sense. he's all about making the effort, making things better than they were before - even if it takes a little longer. he has great respect for people with passion and vision and a good sense of humor. and he loves people who can be as loud as he is. and he loves the people i love, so there's that. he is great father. and he not only likes me, he totally gets me. and there is no better feeling in the world than to know that you are gotten. i don't know how i got so lucky. still ... i am impossibly grateful for that particular brand of evolutionary magic ... for leading me here ... for holding me up ... and for landing us in one another's path. for however long it lasts.

thank you. all of you. for loving me and for letting me love you and for making me the person that i am today. i may act like i have faith and like that faith never ends ... but i really just have friends.

... me

Friday, January 30, 2009

joyeux anniversaire, cher

hello! (she says sweetly, quietly, not wishing to disturb what looks to be peaceful sleep and sweet, sweet dreams.)

what holds your mind's eye as one year ends and another one begins?

i am here, right where you left me ... stringing words together, like christmas lights, watching them shine brightly in the dark and listening to you breathe.

happy birthday to you ... the boy who says impossible things that i believe. what do you wish for? what can i give you that you don't already have? off-the-cuff compliments? adjectives? a conversation on paper? an impossible encounter that lives in the imagination and somehow becomes reality?

what will you give yourself?

the wisest of men know that real birthdays are not annual affairs ... they are the days when we experience a rebirth; so that while we may grow older in years, we are newer every day. this, i know, is not news to you. you already know this life is a constant, gradual process ... a subtle play of light and texture and shadows, measured in centuries and inches. it is about kindness and passion and potential and temperance ... extremes of temperature, folding, pounding, turning ourselves inside-out, and bringing out the gold hidden within.

my wish for you is that you'll fly free and happy ... beyond birthdays and across forever ... and that throughout our long lives, you and i will meet ... when we wish... in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.

happy birthday, darling boy. i hope you spend the day in the company of the people you love and who love you the most. and i hope the day gently breezes into your life carrying with it all the choicest of things and all that your heart holds dear.

i am ever so glad you were born.

a kiss ... and another ...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

if i could have married liz ...

it's been a few months since your wedding, but there isn't a day that goes by that i don't wish i could have been there. even as it would have been impossible for me to stand before you, seeing you both all dressed up in your love and your finery, and not get all mushy … it would not only have been an honor, it would have been a great, grand pleasure to marry you, my friend.

if i could have married you, i'd have said that anyone who knows you, knows that together you and tony are the best versions of yourselves. you can be brave and silly and sincere all at once. you try when you don't feel like it … and you say what you mean and you almost always mean something that's all about being true and right and good.

if i could have married you, i'd have said that anyone who knows you also knows that you found each other in the best way … in that delicious, heady mix of friendship and flirting and dancing around the edges until it finally all falls into place … and you have built a relationship befitting such a beginning ... a relationship that encourages creativity and irreverence and an enthusiasm for life

if i could have married you, i'd have told you that i remember the day tony first told me he had a crush on you. i can remember it as clear as i remember all the words to 'copacabana.' tony and i were rehearsing a play, in shannon's slanting kitchen, and i was sitting at the table as he leaned against the counter and shannon took something out of the refrigerator and i remember thinking, 'he is perfect for her! … and his timing couldn't be worse.'

see, that was the winter of your discontent ... the summer you spent hurtling yourself through space; living your life like a fireball … burning and fast.

if i could have married you, i'd have reminded you how difficult it was to be near you, then - even as it remained incredibly easy to love you and to wish you the greatest of happiness … and as certain as i was that tony was the perfect match for you, i knew … and you knew, too … that you needed to fall in love with yourself, long, long before you could fall for anyone else.

if i could have married you, i would have gladly admitted that 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. two of them, in fact: the love you have for tony and the love you've finally allowed for yourself.

if i could have married you, i 'd have had to confess that it's such a strange thing for me, now … marrying people … because i know so well how things can unfold. having had such a public relationship dissolve backstage so spectacularly, i might be better suited to stand up and lecture on politics or nascar ... although, i'm not a fan ...

all the running around in circles, bumping and rubbing up against one another and pretending not to notice the damage … jockeying for position and sponsors and pandering to the idiots in motor homes camped out in the middle of it all. it makes me wonder if it's possible to persuade people to embrace a sense of urgency that is not circumscribed by self-interest. it makes me wonder if there is 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. it makes me wonder if i have what it takes to undertake a new beginning. do i even know what that is?

(i hope i do. i think i must, or i wouldn't be writing tonight.)

how does it all begin? and why? is it something primal? something whispering deep in the bones or genes, 'that one.' the old darwinian shuffle showing us a few steps we haven't heard about before ... a mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensures we would come together.

whatever the reason, i am impossibly grateful for that particular brand of evolutionary magic that brings us together - in a work place … in friendship … in love.

if i could have married you, i'd have been forced to admit that marrying people does not make me an expert on love; it does not make me a fortune teller. if i could have married you, i wouldn't have been able to stand before you and tell you that you won't feel rain or cold … that you won't know pain or loneliness … that things will always (or ever) be easy, because i don't know that that's true - it's not been my experience. but i do know that happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. it must be created.

and if i could have married you, i'd have let you in on a little secret … i'd have told you that as beautiful as it feels right now, 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 kisses goodnight and passing in the hallway on your way to separate rehearsals.

it's matter of fact and magic all at once.

and, no matter what anyone tells you, the little things are the big things.

it is standing together facing the world. it is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. it is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. it is not looking for perfection in each other. it is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. it is having the capacity to forgive and to forget. it is giving each other an atmosphere in which each of you can grow. it is finding room for the things of the spirit and a common search for the good and the beautiful. it is creating a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

but this, i know, is not news to you - or you wouldn't be where you are right now. and i wouldn't be where i am, either.

nope. i'll never pretend to be an expert - on love or marriage, but there are things that i do know:

i know that when you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. that is impossible. it is a disservice to pretend it might even be an option. yet, that is what most of us demand.

we have such little faith in the ebb and flow of life and of love and of relationships. we leap forward at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb ... afraid it will never return. we insist on permanence, on duration, on continuity. but the only continuity possible in love, as in life, is in growth, in fluidity and in freedom, as partners in creating the same pattern.

it is a choice you'll make every day.

and if i could have married you, i'd have told you that my great hope for you is that the love that you have for each other continue to grow and hold you close and that i hope every one of your dreams come true. but when they don't … i hope new dreams rise up to take their place, so that long, long years from now, you will be able to look at one another, just as you did that night, and be able to say, 'because of you, i lived the life i always wanted to live. because of you, i became the person i always wanted to be.'

i love you, liz. and if i could have married you, i'd have had to thank you over and over and over again for reminding me that while i am no expert, i am still a fan … of love, of marriage and of all the stuff that comes of and from and between the two sometimes.

and that i hope upon hope that someday, you'll be able to marry me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

for meg

darling meg...

we have a tradition in my family...a race, be the first to wish the birthday child a glorious i've slipped out of bed to be sure that you'll have a note not long after the day has arrived.

i hope you'll hear today from all the people who love you and who miss you and who wish they could be with you to tell you so in person.

for my turn, let me just say that i would be a very different person if you'd never been born. you've reminded me what it is to be strong and soft all at once; you always give me a good excuse to be silly and you've shown me that it's okay to be exactly who i am at any given moment - motherly, angry, goofy, shy, sweet, smart ...

you are a good egg, meg. you illuminate the world around you and i am lucky to bask in your glow.

funny, huh? it's your birthday, but i get the gift.

if there is anything you want ... anything you need ... that i can give to you ... ask and it shall be...

i'm so very glad you were born.


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