I Want My Dada…

NOTE: This is Part II of a two-part series. Please check out Part I.

Dearest Reader!

As I stated in Part I, a dear friend asked, “If you could spend 24 hours with anyone doing exactly what you want, who would it be and what would you do?”

Answering this question has uncovered longings in me that I did not even know I had. It seems that I am famished for connection, family history, and continuity.

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I Want My Grandma…

Dearest Reader!

Last week, a dear friend asked me a most ordinary but meaningful question. He asked:

If you could spend 24 hours with anyone doing exactly what you want, who would it be and what would you do?

Her name was Mary Mathilda Lavinia.

And when she fell into her final sleep on April 25, 1990, I was at work. I was wearing a two-piece, purple floral peplum dress from Lord & Taylor and my favorite slingbacks.

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All I Want for Christmas…

a white gift box with red hearts on it tied up with a red ribbon admist a scattering of sparkly red bark

Dear Reader!

The day designated to celebrate the birth of Christ, the greatest gift of all time, is mere days away.

And although it is NOT my birthday, who doesn’t love getting gifts. So here is a list of all I want for Christmas this year:

  • a warm, cozy hug that lasts and lasts and lasts without agenda…
  • a l-o-o-o-n-g stretch of time with no dull, trifling busyness that must be done…
  • a hearty, savory, steaming bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup on an icy winter evening..
  • the sound of absolute quietness (does anyone else remember that sound?!)…
  • a kinder, gentler, slower world so that I can E-X-H-A-L-E…
  • peace of mind and spirit…
  • all the true love I can stand…
  • the sweetest kiss to seal the deal…

Really, that is all I want for Christmas.

Call to action: What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Enjoy the very FIRST post I wrote one year ago: Today, I made my mommy cry…

Let’s Live Romantically

a quote on living romantically

Dear Reader!

Little acts of romance can happen every day if we expand the definition by making it more inclusive of all the people we love–mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, lovers–and then finding ways to weave it through the everyday fabric of our lives and the lives of our beloveds.

And here’s a thought: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day we also chose to embrace a complete stranger with a romantic spirit–to truly consider and appreciate, to really care for, to deeply treasure?!

Seriously, if enough of us did this, we could probably affect the world.

Call to action: Think about it. And ask yourself how can you infuse your life and the life of someone else with romance today and every day.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

toddler running through a field of American flags

Dear Reader!

Here are some wise words from actor Tom Hanks: “I’m glad I didn’t have to fight in any war. I’m glad I didn’t have to pick up a gun. I’m glad I didn’t get killed or kill somebody. I hope my kids enjoy the same lack of manhood.”

Today is Veteran’s Day. It is the day we celebrate both our living and our fallen heroes of our armed forces.

I beg you to let us never forget those that have fallen, their courage and their sacrifice, and to let us keep in our hearts and hopes — always — those who are still serving us!

If this dream is to be a reality, we must all dream — and ACT — together towards its achievement!

Finally, I have a dream that one day the only courage our young will need to be heroes is: To every day choose to express loving-kindness to themselves and to others.

Call to action: Remember and hope… And if there is a hero in your life that you would love to pay tribute to, I urge you to leave a comment in their honor.

I’m pretty proud of this post, so check it out: Memorial Day: It’s a Sad Day.

When a Woman Wants to Leave…

open bird cage with birds leaving

Dear Reader!

Good art starts a lively conversation in your heart and/or in your head.

The French film Leaving (2009) directed by Catherine Corsini and starring Kristin Scott Thomas is good art if the comments on Netflix are any indication.

On Netflix, this film got viewers more hot and bothered than Suzanne, our heroine, was over Ivan, her Latin lover. And that, my dear reader, is quite a feat as Suzanne was both deliriously mad and deliciously hot and bothered over Ivan.

So let us have a chat about Leaving culled from the rich commentary on Netflix. Because there is so many subtle layers to this film, it will be difficult, but I will try to be brief.

Why would a well-do woman leave her husband to be with the hired help?

Apparently, many of the viewers are snobs. Who knew?! But hear ye: A palatial cage is still a cage. And the human desire to feel fully alive can be a powerful one, especially if your husband is…

How could she do this to a husband who loved her?

Disparaging your aspirations openly in front of the “hired help;” dismissing your aspirations in front of your kids and your mutual friends; forbidding you to have your own feelings; locking you in your room; blacklisting you so you could not support yourself; raping you—someone, anyone, how is this love?

He couldn’t stand to lose, so he…

Whatever is she going to talk to the hired help about?

Snobbery, again! It is ridiculous to assume that “higher education” naturally implies general intelligence. Conversely, being the “hired help” does not mean one is unable to have meaningful conversations or is uneducated.

And I have a question: What is Suzanne talking to her boorish, disrespectful, abusive husband about?! What?!

There is no way a well-to-do woman would throw away a 20-year marriage and her “easy” life for poverty with the “hired help.”

Mm, she might if she was married to an abusive, controlling husband and finally had enough!

Clearly, for Suzanne the grand adornments of her upper class cage were no longer enticing.

And why do so many of us believe that feeling deader than King Tut inside but being financial secure is a worthier choice than choosing love or the desire to feel fully alive?!

Furthermore, who said anything about poverty?! She was willing return to the work force…

Bottom line

This is a wonderful film about the internal incitements that can drive us to behave in ways that are as surprising to ourselves as they are to others.

The director did a great job of drawing the viewer into Suzanne’s “madness” by never explicitly revealing Suzanne’s why. Like Suzanne said, “I didn’t expect to fall in love. It just hit me.”

It just hit us too. It didn’t make sense to her. Maybe, it doesn’t make sense to us…

As for the ending, which is also the beginning, of the film, it will have a visceral effect on anyone with a pulse or a heart.

Call to action: Do you understand the desperate drive to feel alive? Have you ever gone “mad” for love?

Other film posts: Remembrance: Deep, Meaningful, True; Fall in Love, the 11th Commandment; and Do You Want to Live Forever?

Happy Labor Day

construction workers laboring

Dear Reader!

Today, those of you that have labored over the last year to provide a roof over your family’s (your) head, clothes on their (your) back, and a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator, please take this day to slow down to a snail’s pace, relax, and enjoy your leisure.

You’ve earned it!

Call to action: What do you think of the idea of a four-hour work day? How would you use those extra hours to enjoy your loved ones and your life?

She Was Here

Joseyann

Dear Reader!

This is my sister. Isn’t she just darling?!

She died when she was just 17 months old. Today, July 22, would have been her 49th birthday.

My parents, me, Joseyann, and Alexi

I’ve always wondered so many things about her like:

  • Would she look like me?
  • Would we be close, inseparable even?
  • How would my life been better for having her in it?
  • Why her, not me?

Today, I just wanted to make a small footnote in the continuum of life that Joseyann Elizabeth was here.

I wish she still was…

Happy Birthday, Joseyann Elizabeth!

Call to action: Is there anyone you need to remember?

It Was So Deep

cold, early morning scene with a giant heart-shaped light

Dear Reader!

Last night as I lay in the black of night, away from the collective consciousness of the world, deep in slumber, I had a dream:

We danced with our hearts close,
rather than separated by oceans of defenses,
of pretenses, of fears,
of towering walls of mistrust.
So afraid of the other’s truth.

Rather we pulled each other in close.
And placed our warm hand on the thumping heart of the other
and talked and shared,
and trusted and cared.

I deep into you. You deep into me

We stripped “naked.”
Dropped our defenses;
forgot our pretenses;
lay waste to our fears and flattened those towering walls.

Our souls bare and defenseless to each other,
exposed to the gaze of the other for just a moment…
or an eternity.
Protective of one another.

You deep into me. I deep into you

Our eyes were open like those of a newborn babe
gazing on the world for the first time;
our ears waited patiently;
our arms open, beckoning, eager to be filled;
our hearts already full.

I deep into you. And you deep into me.

Mmm…

Then, I turned to go deeper into my dream, but instead I blinked and squinted at the bright light of a new day peeking through my bedroom window. It was already morning.

And I realized, oh, it was just a dream… and I was very sad — for it was a sweet, sweet dream while it lasted.

Call to action: What do you think is the meaning of my dream?

It’s July 4th… It Was Independence for Some

The Aerican Flag

Dear Reader!

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice will not sleep forever.” ~ THOMAS JEFFERSON, a Founding Father and 3rd President of the United States of America

The 4th of July, Independence Day, is the United States’ federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the original 13 colonies from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.

The “gift” of independence for some… but definitely not for all.

It wasn’t until December 18, 1865 — 89 years later — that the last 45,000 black slaves were freed in the last two slave states of Kentucky and Delaware when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States, was finally ratified.

And it wasn’t until 1924 that Congress passed the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, which finally granted Native American Indians legal U.S. citizenship. Hmm, Native Americans who were indigenous — that is, originating and living or occurring naturally in an area — are graciously granted citizenship to their lands.

Ha. Crazy, right?!

So today as you laugh among friends and family, fill up on burgers and fries, and set off fireworks, please pause and consider this country’s history of oppression, injustice, “independence,” and privilege.

Call to action: Read President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation proclaimed and issued on January 1, 1863.

Other related post: Memorial Day: It’s a Sad Day

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Picture of a father with his little girl

Dear Daddy,

Your phone calls,
Your attention,
Your concern,
Your understanding and support,
Your unwavering, fatherly love
Has meant everything to the woman and the little girl that I am.
I’ve always needed you and your love.
I love you!

Happy Father’s Day to you — and to all the other great dads out there too.