surviving with deep roots

Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.

~ George Herbert

As a survivor I know why I have survived and why I thrive. It’s my roots. So many storms weathered through. Too many, much too many when I was at my most vulnerable and defenseless as a child. The fact that I am a alive it’s a miracle!

Yeah, I still sometimes quote Hamilton with no apology whatsoever!

It’s true though. How did I manage to survive and thrive when others have not?

That is not for me to figure out.


Instead I will continue to survive and thrive. I will because I am stubborn. I am loved. I also continue on because I know when I must fight and when I must retreat. I don’t retreat because I am letting you who attack me win. I retreat because I am working on me which means that I win. I win because I know for a fact you (who belligerently raged at me trying to rip open wide horribly scarred wounds in reminding me what a useless, worthless shitbag fuck I am) are apoplectic right now in that I walked away from your very public meltdown directed at me. And while you raged on like a storm, I retreated into words…words that heal, that strengthen and remind me how much stronger and better I am than you. Three thousand-six hundred-fifty eight words, words filed away for now. Filed away with your words that I have boxed up for no other reason than I can. Perhaps someday you might read those words, all directed at you. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter either way. In all these words I have strength and power in me and over anything and everything you have and continue to try to throw my way.

My roots are deep and I am stronger because of and in spite of you.


Continuing with our at play in our own backyard Fall Break Daniel I spent the day in San Francisco. We were considering exploring the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or perhaps the Contemporary Jewish Museum along with a bit of shopping at the new Lego Store but Yom Kippur and Wednesday changed the plans a little. No big deal. San Francisco is a big place with so much to see. Taking Abby’s and her roommate’s advice, we decided to explore Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium complete with all the kitschy oddities including lasers, lights and mirrors that come with trigger warnings for those with certain physical health conditions.

For us, it triggered perhaps a little vertigo at first but we got through it dancing and dabbing along the way.

Daniel dabbing and laughing because Mom dabbing.

Making our way through the mazes, we were cocooned for but a couple hours from so much going on in the world and it was a good thing.

Soon enough, back out into the light of day, there was the news of the World, the Nation, the Election to contend with. Twenty six more days…or is it perhaps forty six more days?  Regardless, those of us struggling to some degree or another just have to hang in there in the best way for us because the struggle is getting too real right now. Like so many, I’m taking care of me in the best way that I can right now which might include a little writing, a little venting on my ever-patient darling husband and a lot of muting, unfriending and blocking of especially those who are directly responsible for so much of the anxiety and post-traumatic stress that is what I live with.

Perhaps we are connected by family and love but to be brutally honest with you, who blew up my phone in early hours of this morning detailing just how worthless and fucked I am with my higher than thou shit as you describe it in your hate-filled meandering stream of consciousness that kept me awake through the night overwhelmed with anxiety, restlessness and palpitations, I don’t want or need that brand of crazy love in my life. Yes, I know, it’s all in my head just as it has been there for literally decades as I have tried to process terror, fear and pain that no person ever deserves to live through…terror, fear and pain that you were a party to. It is indeed all in my head. But thankfully, in the light of day, I can calm the anxiety and panic and I can block you out…at least for now…and I will because what you tell me is love for me is nothing but. It never was and it never will be.

I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong.  And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.

Because consider this: If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children? What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act? What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations? And how is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And I know that my family is not unusual.

~ Michelle Obama, October 13, 2016

mourning, but with all the hope

I know that I am not the only one crying and screaming on the inside what the actual fuck right now.

Baton Rouge…Alton Sterling…”he should have just complied”…Falcon Heights…Philando Castile…”but he complied; he followed the officer’s orders”…Black Lives Matter…Dallas…Dallas PD…Ballwin…Ballwin PD…Blue Lives Matter…“All Lives Matter”…

I can’t. I just can’t.

Moments that words don’t reach; suffering too terrible to name. And in these moments this week I just want to hold the ones I love the most as tight as I can and push away the unimaginable. All of it. But I can’t. I just can’t.

I am at work and I distract myself with work. I walk into the break room and one of the news channels is on. It’s not Fox News…THANK YOU…but I just can’t. I distract myself with work, with my patients’ conditions and parents’ bedside vigils because I just can’t imagine.

Coffee is delivered by my current favorite child, and I give thanks for the happy distraction it brings.

It’s the little things. Acts of kindness. Warm hugs. Parents holding their precious new babies as close as they can taking in all the promises of future hope that they represent. Moments that words don’t reach; grace too powerful to understand. My heart hurts right now. The hearts of most everyone else I know hurt right now. Sad, mad, all the outrage, all the helplessness, all the tears and fears are happening right now and I know that I am not alone. But through the night at work last night there was for me a promise of hope that no matter how small is potentially powerful enough to rise above the unimaginable. I’m keeping that hope close to my heart and last night, all night, and today, right now I am happy for the tiny warmth it radiates deep within my broken heart.

A baby is god’s opinion that the world should go on.

Carl Sandburg

outside the formation

So just as there apparently was a big football game this past Sunday, there was a halftime show. A halftime show that like other halftime shows during some big, kind of important to some, football game had fans, lovers and haters galore. But the day before the big football game, with the halftime show one either loved or hated, there was a video that was dropped.

And as predicted, so much conversation caused because so much is here, so many layers of so many things that we can talk about.

Doncha love it when music, words, performance, art makes you think and then speak because you have just been provoked to think and speak.

I sure do! Formation does just that and I love it all…all the layers of provocation happening here.

But before we really could have a decent conversation about the music, the lyrics, the visuals, and all the layers that is Beyoncé’s Formation, it was the big football game and the halftime show.

Provoked again we were because one thing Super Bowl halftime shows always promise is controversy. Whether it is old, why-is-this-artist-still-relevant performances or deluges or power outages or breasts bared or left sharks, we are provoked and compelled to share that which we loved and hated about the Super Bowl halftime show.

This one?

This one, I loved in its rich homage to not only past Super Bowl halftime shows, but also to the rich, layered tapestry that is the Bay Area and some of it’s history in the last 50 years. Like the Super Bowls over the past 50 years, so much to try to cover…impossible to cover. Still honored all the same…San Francisco’s Summer of Love, a little bit of M.C. Hammer and Tower of Power uptown funk…oh and a little bit of the Black Panther Party because it’s not just the Super Bowl’s 50th birthday party.

And, yeah, we were provoked!

I don’t know about you but my social media timeline is literally flooded with so much discussion and proclamations about Beyoncé, Formation, the Black Panther Party, black women, black women’s hair…color, Right Wing pundits’ wish for more wholesome entertainment for a Super Bowl Halftime show …like I imagine The Rolling Stones, Prince or Justin Timberlake accidentally exposing Janet Jackson’s breast were…oh, and the truth that unless you are a woman of color, you have no right to any opinion on any of this.


I get it because, yeah, I don’t get it.

Still all that this social media shit storm has stirred up and provoked, I can’t help but have a thought or two or more…not that you care but now you know. I also appreciate the fact that while sitting down with my 14 year old and helping him work on research for his Black History Month biography, we both dug deeper trying at the very least to learn more about Jim Crow laws, Brown v. The Board of Education, Selma, voting rights, The Black Panther Party, post Katrina New Orleans because although none of this is our personal history, our personal legacy, our personal reality it is a part of our country’s history, legacy and citizens like us reality, and why shouldn’t we be provoked and compelled to try to learn more, try to understand and begin to have a conversation about?

Pop star that she is, Queen Bey, diagnosed the current moment and caused an amazing, still divisive, but necessary conversation and a need to know and try to understand more…as artists often do.

Well done, Bey!

press pause

Practically a week into 2016 and when am I going to take the time to post something, some picture, some thought, some moment of navel gazing…because people are waiting.



Life distracts.

Taking time to consider my #oneword for 2016 as I have last year, the year before, and the year before that, I found myself anxious to sit down and share with you the right word for my 2016…again, because you all are waiting (in my imagination) it struck me that I had the right word for this year because whether you have been waiting and wondering, Big Top life has distracted…or perhaps readjusted the focus. So let me share with you…as soon as I pause this video.

What can I say, I love me a good riff-off.


Pause is my #oneword2016.

2015 ended up being what I would call a fortuitous year. Actually I did refer to it that way when a friend asked to describe 2015 in one word. There were so many other potential words describing good, bad, anxiety, tears, fears, grief, happiness, joy…and on and on. 2015 wasn’t a stellar year but it certainly did not suck…mostly.Perhaps because (most of the time) I tried to deal as I said I would around this time last year.

Dealing, as I tried to do, I learned sometimes to just pause…take a deep breath…perhaps close my eyes…open my eyes…take another breath if needed…and in that way I would try to deal. There wasn’t always a fix or a solution or an ability to change but there was a moment, a break to realize the positive and where my strength lies.

So 2016, this year I will press pause…as needed…when needed.

Like today while running errands in the rain.