Some things are better forgotten than lost.
Love doesn’t change you. It reveals things you never knew.
Until she stops hating you, she’s still in love with you.
Women hunger. Men just want to be fed.
Until you escape the chatter, you can’t hear the voices.
“Why can’t we all just stop and look at each other?” cried Emily’s ghost in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” when she came back, as a spirit, on her birthday, an ordinary day like this one so chockful of beauty and poignancy she could not bear it.”
The above is from a clipping I saved from a newspaper article about 15 years ago. It’s yellowed and I don’t know who wrote it. I have it taped on the inside of the kitchen cabinet where I keep my coffee cups so I can see it every morning. I placed it there to remind myself of a very important life lesson I learned while attending a local theater production of “Our Town”. It’s a lesson I buried, but have recently dug up.
I’ll never forget that play. That sweet amateur production full of mediocre actors made me look at life differently. The first act was unbearably boring. I thought to myself that this was the worst play I had ever seen. There was barely a plot to speak of and it moved so slowly I had to fight to keep myself awake. Then it happened.
A character in the play unexpectedly dies. She spent the next act sitting on a folding chair while the entire first act was reacted. The difference though was that during the second act the audience hears her thoughts. Her “spirit” is speaking to her past self. It took but a moment to realize the significance and almost painful beauty of what I was seeing and hearing. That boring, mundane, little life of a boring, mundane, little existence was so full of unimagined joy and beauty. The problem though was that when she was living it she couldn’t see it. She had to die to realize the utter beauty and deep love that surrounded her on a daily basis.
Her spirit self is sad and frustrated with how she lived her life. She screams at herself to look at the faces of those she loved a little longer, to not let pettiness destroy friendships, to look at the flowers in the garden, not just merely tend to the surrounding weeds. I cried throughout the second act because I was that women sitting on the folding chair. It forced me see my life through different eyes. Appreciative eyes always see things differently.
Boredom only exists if we let it. Every moment has something of value if we allow ourselves to sit on that folding chair and examine our lives. I don’t want to have to die to realize I never should have stood under the night sky and not taken the time to look up at all its wonder. I don’t want to have to die to realize I should have loved the people in my life more completely. I don’t want to have to die to realize that every moment I had on earth was to be cherished not squandered. The time we lose we can never regain. Sunrises deserve to be seen not just read and written about.
The older I get the more value I find in the words, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” There’s too much beauty to see, too many hands that need to be held, too many shoulders to lend to crying eyes, too many books that need to be read, too many stars to try to count, too many birds to watch dance in the sky, too many faces to make smile. We only get one chance at this thing we call life. Why not choose to make our time on the folding chairs a satisfied one?
I’m going to stop writing now because I hear the birds calling me to join them in a dance.
Sometimes the road less traveled has the greatest view. Sometimes it’s shit, but until you take that crazy left turn… you’ll never know.
Moral of this story is don’t be afraid to get off the road you’re on and travel down another path.
It just may lead you in the right direction.
Now, if you’ll kindly excuse me, I’m off to pretend that I’m writing the next Gone With The Wind.
But, first I think I’ll go make some tea.
Then, perhaps, bake some cookies.
Then maybe organize a few closets…
Oh, dear, does anyone know where I can buy a crate of self-discipline?
Every morning I wake up to poopies all over the house. No. Not Nana’s, although she has on occasion been known to drop her fudge, but that’s another post. It’s our dog, Mr. Puddles. He pees in a litter box, so I shouldn’t complain, but I am so weary of the poop towers he leaves for me. He’s an Italian Greyhound. He’s a lunatic. He has epilepsy. He howls and moans as if he’s being gutted if I leave his eyesight. He’s 10 years old, and my little shadow. He’s wrapped in blankets (he’s always cold) and curled up on my lap right now. If I knew how to put a picture of him up on this tumblr post I would, but I’m not gifted with that kind of technical knowledge.
Why am I boring you all with this shit? Because there are so many other things I want to say but I’m too polite. I need to grow a pair, and I’m not referring to my ridiculously small breasts that never graduated from their training bra days. Which by the way, had to be a term invented by men. What the hell are they “training” for? Bigger and better days? The chance to one day become leg warmers? Nana has a pair of those leg warmers. In fact, when I sit her on the potty, I have to throw them over her shoulders so she doesn’t pee on them.
I’m going to make my coffee now and I promise to never post anything without drinking it first again. If you have read to this point, you are a nutcase, and I love you.
Top 10 Things I’ve learned from Nana
1. Aging is inevitable, but laughing while you constantly pass gas makes people much more forgiving.
2. Have sex with celebrities when you have the chance. Nana insists Cary Grant made a pass at her, and she has yet to forgive herself for not laying down and letting him plow the shit out of her.
3. Having only 14 strands of hair, and your right eyelid kept open by medical tape gives a woman an exotic look.
4. Only an idiot of the highest order refuses to wear sensible shoes.
5. Be happy if your boobs are small because as you age all you’ll have to show for having large breasts is disgusting tube-like legwarmers.
6. Nothing is more important than family. So love them even when you no longer like them.
7. Never judge other people because at the end of the day the shit you have to clean is always your own.
8. Life goes by faster than anyone can imagine, and is filled with pain and suffering. So slow down long enough to recognize the little chunks of happiness you’re gifted along the way.
9. Anyone woman can have a child, but a real mother cries a little everyday.
10. Men may be rational, but women have vaginas. There is nothing that destroys rationality like a vagina. So be aware of its power, and for the love of all that’s holy, keep that little stink box clean.