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.

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