Maybe when my husband and I get old, memories of his life with Robin will become even more vivid than our years together. If so, I hope I’ll welcome those memories. I’m grateful to Robin, not jealous (even if she left it to me to convince our joint husband that the laundry hamper was invented for a reason). I knew my husband for only four months before we got married. But I heard from others how protective, tender, and devoted he was to her. Because of their relationship, I knew that this was a man who could be trusted, who stayed, for better or worse. I also knew that it’s possible to have more than one love of your life. I am the love of his, and so was she.
The shooting of nineteen innocent people, including two children, at a Mother’s Day celebration in New Orleans yesterday was an act of violence only gaudy enough to hold the nation’s attention momentarily. Shortly after the bodies were cleared, the FBI said they “have no indication the shooting was an act of terrorism. ‘It’s strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans.’” At that, we were free to let our attention drift. In America, all villainy is not created equal.
Veni sancte Spiritus.
A Pentecost Poem
by Cheryl Lawrie
come to think of it…
actually, your spirit is not really like a flickering candle sitting on the altar, which we’ve protected from scorching with a heat proof mat
you burn with irrepressible, ferocious passion.
in truth, your spirit has little in common with the gentle breeze from the fan fluttering the bulletins as it rotates from the front pews during the children’s talk
we can barely stand upright in the face of your love.
luckily, your spirit barely resembles a helium filled red balloon, rising, just out of reach, to taunt us as it rests against the church ceiling
you would subsume us in the unrelenting hold of your peace.
we think we have you nailed
in our fire resistant,
red cloth swathed metaphors
thank god our inadequacy defining you has never stopped you yet.
In this age when the “spiritual but not religious” seem to have more relevance than churchgoers, it’s easy to wonder why church attendance matters at all. But I believe that we need common spaces, more grounded than the corner Starbucks, to discern right actions in a world faced with crises like climate change and stark economic disparities.
How much (and in what currency) do they have to pay you?
The Schmuel Song - The Last Five Years
Then the clock upon the wall began to glow…
Plenty have hoped and dreamed and prayed
But they can’t get out of Klimovich
If Schmuel had been a cute goyishe maid
He’d’ve looked a lot like you
Maybe it’s just that you’re afraid to go out on to a limb-ovich
Maybe your heart’s completely swayed
But your head can’t follow through
But shouldn’t I want the world to see
The brilliant girl who inspires me?
Don’t you think that now’s a good time to be
The ambitious freak you are?
Say goodbye to wiping ashtrays at the bar
Say hello to Cathy Hiatt, big-time star!
‘Cause I say:
Na na na na na na na na
Cathy, you get to be happy!
Na na na na na na na
I give you unlimited time!
Na na na na na na na
Stop temping and go and be happy!
Here’s a headshot guy and a new BackStage
Where you’re right for something on every page
Take a breath
Take a step
Take a chance
Take your time
..Have I mentioned today
How lucky I am
To be in love with you?
Stop avoiding tough tasks and start cultivating your resilience
What really struck me though, was what they had in common. No matter how good, how experienced, how graceful they were on the wave, every surfer ended their ride in precisely the same way: By falling.
Some had fun with their fall, while others tried desperately to avoid it. And not all falls were failures — some fell into the water only when their wave fizzled and their ride ended.
But here’s what I found most interesting: The only difference between a failure and a fizzle was the element of surprise. In all cases, the surfer ends up in the water. There’s no other possible way to wrap up a ride.
That got me thinking: What if we all lived life like a surfer on a wave?
The answer that kept coming to me was that we would take more risks.
That difficult conversation with your boss (or employee, or colleague, or partner, or spouse) that you’ve been avoiding? You’d initiate it.
That proposal (or article, or book, or email) you’ve been putting off? You’d start it.
That new business (or product, or sales strategy, or investment) you’ve been overanalyzing? You’d follow through.
And when you fell — because if you take risks, you will fall — you’d get back on the board and paddle back into the surf. That’s what every single one of the surfers did.
So why don’t we live life that way? Why don’t we accept falling — even if it’s a failure — as part of the ride?
Because we’re afraid of feeling.
Think about it: In all those situations, our greatest fear is that we will feel something unpleasant.
What if you have that scary conversation you’ve been avoiding and it ends the relationship? It would hurt.
What if you follow through on the business idea and lose money? It would feel terrible.
What if you submitted the proposal and you were rejected? It would feel awful.
Here’s the thing: More often than not, our fear doesn’t help us avoid the feelings; it simply subjects us to them for an agonizingly long time. We feel the suffering of procrastination, or the frustration of a stuck relationship. I know partnerships that drag along painfully for years because no one is willing to speak about the elephant in the room. Taking risks, and falling, is not something to avoid. It’s something to cultivate.
And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn’t even something — it’s nothing. And you can’t combat nothing. You can’t fill it up. You can’t cover it. It’s just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.
It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.
The problem might not even have a solution. But you aren’t necessarily looking for solutions. You’re maybe just looking for someone to say “sorry about how dead your fish are” or “wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though.”