everything but

The day after I am reminded what a good day Thanksgiving version 2016 was.

Like the old, tired phrase goes, we did have much to be thankful for, and we were, all of us. We were all very thankful here under The Big Top. In everything.

Well, in everything but text and phone conversations in the dark of night, when The Big Top is quiet in sleep. Those were the things that kept me up well past the early morning hours of the day after.

I really should just turn off my phone when I turn off the light.

I’m being vague, I know.

Trust me though, I am thankful that I am here living under The Big Top, living this circus life and loving every one who is a part of it. Everything. Everything in this life I give thanks for.

I really am fortunate.

 

help, don’t hurt

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, don’t hurt them.

` Dalai Lama

I imagine that I always knew that I was born to serve others. My younger siblings, my mother…my own family, my grand babies, my community, my country, my world. From the time that I was a young girl, I was taught one serves with humility rather than for show. Great things done in service don’t need a parade to make an impact; nor do they need to be big and bold. It’s what is in one’s heart that should drive one in service, no matter where they are. And so I have done just that. I have served in ways that I know have made a difference…in my own family, my community, my country, my world.

Point and scream at the tragedy that is a children’s hospital in Aleppo being bombed and scream at me that my outrage and heartbreak isn’t enough and I will quietly ask what are you doing? What have you been doing? Tell me I should be there or somewhere else and I will ask you again. Are you going? Are you giving?

What are YOU doing to help others…in Aleppo, in your hometown, in every corner of the globe where help is needed?

Did you vote?

Do you give generously of your money, your talents, your goods, YOUR TIME?

Do you support, educate and encourage others to serve? Or do you stand on your soap box demanding others to do more because you imagine that what they are doing is not ever enough?

You don’t know what is inside my heart. You are not living inside my heart.

Tell me that I am am not doing enough, not doing it right, not in the right place or the right time and I will likely wonder about your privilege that allows you to presume so much. And then I will put my head down in determination and continue to serve…my family, my community, people of color, LGBT, immigrants, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists. I will offer my kindness and care to millionaires, homeless, prostitutes, thieves, Assistant District Attorneys, celebrities, politicians, media personalities. I will serve with love the battered, abused, addicted, marginalized and undocumented. I have literally devoted so many years to so many of these and more. My time, my energy, my heart, my lunch and scooby snacks, my ear, my hugs, my heart…and so much more.

Tell me again that I am not doing enough and I will pause thinking of the tiny one I held and comforted for hours last night, just as I have done for years and years with countless other babies – children of all of the above and so much more. I see that sweet baby, who has survived so much already in literally the days that she has been alive and I think of that which a baby on the other side of the world in Aleppo has managed to survive as well with her own nurse, not unlike me and I will cry; I will feel outrage because we are sisters and brothers at the same isolette or thousands of miles away from each other.

Not enough, you declare.

Fine.

Not enough.

But you can’t possibly know my heart, my service, my benevolence, my impact in this world, right here, right now. Rant and rage on your little soap box while I quietly put on my scrubs and head back and do what I do…plus a helluva lot more that is really not your business and no one else except for the god I pray to and people whose lives I do impact for good…

and I will give thanks, always.

Tell me, what are you doing in your community, in Aleppo, anywhere?

seven more days

Hello November! Just seven more days…seven more days until our long, national nightmare is over.

God I hope so!

Today I have seen several smart thinking people share their early votes and, well, I’m not so sure about them anymore. Write in the name of Senator McCain, your cat, your child, Mickey Mouse or anyone for President and well you are basically writing in a vote for Donald Trump…and likely the guarantee of the Zombie Apocalypse. Thank you for wasting your vote!

Truly.

Well, at least I have my Zombie Apocalypse buddy.

Y’all are on your own.

I’m with Her because I’m for her.

Seven more days…VOTE!

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.

No.

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.

triggers

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