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How Lancelot can enter any hospital tale

16 Aug

Uncle John’s Band fills the room, and I can’t look at my Father. He’s wearing a diaper and his breathing is like a death rattle emerging from deep within. He’s been this way for hours. We have said our goodbyes two days before.

“Daddy, I love you,” I say, and he goes, “I know.”

A part of me still doesn’t believe him. How can he know? How can he know that the distance between us is because I can barely stand to be around him? I don’t know this man with a cane – I don’t know this man who does 2nd grade word problems to help with his memory. How can he know?That looking at this man makes me want to take the fetal position and never get up again – that if I did that I’d be an utter disappointment, but at least he would know how much he was loved.

Though, that’s all done now. A week before I noticed that he was silent, sitting at the edge of his bed with his feet planted on the floor. The TV was on, but I could tell that he wasn’t really watching. It rang out like empty noise that was meant to distract – not entertain.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, and as he usual he responded with, “nothing,” and I didn’t believe him because despite everything he still couldn’t admit to me when he was in pain.

I wasn’t sure if he fully realized what he was doing. How long he sat there like that. I wasn’t sure if I should try to talk to him or leave him alone. Our conversations were stilted, and at times they seemed to take away all of his energy.

Months before I had witnessed his writhing body laid out before me, and while my Mother screamed at me, “tell him a story,” and I began to tell the story of Lancelot – not the knight, but the handsome, womanizing, almost-lover that I had become friends with in the North of Colombia. I had no idea what I was doing, but I went with it.

Under most circumstances, I loved telling the story a Lancelot, and it wasn’t just because of his name. He pulled me into a corner in a dark club in Taganga, infuriated with my inattention toward him and demanded, “but Samantha, who do you like? You seem to like everyone,” and I wanted to explain to him that what I liked was being free.

Outwardly calm, but deeply panicked, I couldn’t stop the story’s telling. My Father murmured, “morphine,” and I said, “Daddy, it’s coming, don’t worry. You know what’s really funny? Well, maybe not funny, but umm, when I met Lance I was traveling with another guy..who was my friend, of course. But, um, I was annoyed with him. Ever heard of helicopter Moms? He was kind of like that, and when I saw Lance what I was really seeing was an opportunity to get rid of him.”

All the while I kept thinking, “I’m a terrible person. Not only did I ditch that guy and use Lance to do it, but now I am telling the story of Lancelot to my Dad whose every nerve is tensed in excruciating pain.”

So, I paused and wracked my brain for any other story, and all I saw was nothing.

Everything was covered in this mist, and I couldn’t even see my own recent experiences. I gripped my Dad’s hand, and plowed on, moving onto the part where Lancelot bought wine and cheese, and we laid by the pool, flirting, until I slipped and hit my head on the concrete in an attempt to be both sassy and sexy. After a bottle of wine, it seemed okay to stalk off, in false indignation, on a slick surface.

When it came time for the apology behind closed doors, I paused again. I couldn’t go on with the story, even the beginning wasn’t really parent-appropriate: the nightclub, the traveling with a man who I ended up leaving. It was all in my first months of backpacking, and it was a delicious chaos that I had never permitted myself.

But, here I was, standing in an equal chaos, and in response to my Mother’s demands to distract, it was the only story that lit up in my terrified mind.

She kept screaming at me, “what’s wrong with you? Talk to him, you’re not helping – can’t you think of anything?” and I wanted to lean across the table and scream at her, “how are you making anything better?” I wanted to weep for my life, which took me far and wide, and yet always yanked me back to where I began.

Eventually, the morphine kicked in and my Dad fell asleep. I looked at the white walls and laughed to myself; it was all so absurd.

In the silent room, I took in the white: the sheets, the pillowcases, his gown and the walls, and I knew that each room contained another person who was wearing the same thing. Some had families and some didn’t, and we had been there so many times over the years that the staff knew us. That they were witnesses to our families’ story; that they probably knew us better than our closest friends because they had seen our pain.

I looked down at my Father, “my Daddy,” and again I was wordless. Overcome, I knew that nothing had come to me because everything was nothing in the face of this – that Lancelot needed to enter into this moment because I was trying to save my Dad through a story.

Through my fully lived life; that was rich in experience, many of it joyous, adventurous, and I drove myself into the ground at times with it all because when the time came I knew I wanted to grip each moment into my hands and offer them up as worthy.

Looking into the grim reaper’s eyes, and whisper, “I’ve learned.”

I’m back, at the page, and it feels good

4 Aug

I walk through the streets of New York and feel the throbbing energy pulsate up through my feet, and I smile, like a never-ending summer; like the melting heat that I can smell, and I know I’m in love.

It’s a ripping kind of love, an earned love – it’s not easy or quiet. In fact, it never shuts up.

People don’t stop talking here, and we all can hear each other. There isn’t enough space for our words to breath, so we’re all on top of one another, complaining, but we love it.

In English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi and Portuguese, we’re all here standing together on the goddamn subway – stuck underground. Eventually, though, we all emerge, streaming out into the streets, bumping into one another as we rush to our next destination.

Having lived in Illinois, Indiana, California, Colorado and New York – I am keenly aware of the different styles of living that each city and state possess. And, I’m aware how each environment both attracts a certain kind of person and shapes their perspective.

And, a fierce rooted love lights up in my heart for New York because there is a sliver of space for me to be all that I am – and, if one is willing, there is room for you too.

And I think, “Isn’t this the kind of country that we want to live in?” one that believes there is room for everyone even if we’re straining against the seams?” A country that believes we can get a little closer, squeeze together, to make more room for another soul who has the right to, “pursue their own happiness,” and whatever that looks like for them?

It is in the arid expanses of space, conforming and white-washed, that we can forget all that exists outside our own environment and perspective; we can forget that a tapestry’s beauty lives in the varied colors that are woven together.

But, I get it. I get it more than I say – and I haven’t said much, as of late. There was a silence that descended upon me after my Dad died – the words left me, and all I could think about was, “move forward.”

I had nothing then: jobless, homeless with a few thousand dollars to my name. It was January and bitter cold. There were no travels ahead, only an entire life to rebuild, and the determination to do it.

Now, a year and half later I can revisit the page, and in doing so, I’d like to champion communication, I’d like to champion bridges – not walls.

We are scared, and we have every right to be. We are divided and that makes sense to me. I don’t comment on politics because I have seen so many different perspectives – I have lived in them.

I have sat in small towns in Indiana and listened to the reasoning, I have heard spur-clad cowboys in Colorado, and I put my face to the sun in Dolores Park, in San Francisco, and heard from people all over the world commenting on our nation.

But, at the end of the day for me it is New York, it is the subway – the most efficient and obnoxious form of transportation. The great equalizer.

It is the brown child laying it’s head on what I believe to be its Mother, it’s the French couple discussing things I cannot understand, and it’s the Asian schoolchildren, giggling, and that white guy staring into his phone.

America is a dream – one made from Utopia, and for those who don’t know what that means it’s nowhere.

But, don’t we need to believe in what we cannot see; that can potentially not exist? Don’t we need to believe that we can leave our childhood homes with almost nothing to recreate our lives? Isn’t that what is “great” about the “United States,” that we, at times, have provided space for people to come onto our shores with a few dollars and a dream and believe that they can make something better for themselves – which can benefit the country as a whole?

Isn’t that the true spirit of being an entrepreneur? How can I approach this in a new way? How can I make possible something that doesn’t yet exist?

Creation is not a solitary act – bringing any being into life takes two people, two perspectives, and that is just a beginning.

The ending is where we stand alone. This I’ve seen. I watched my Dad take his last breath, and I wasn’t with him; he was by himself somewhere, a place that I might see myself one day.

That is the fear – that is the uncertainty. That is why I run down the street, knocking into others because, “I’m not going to let anyone else steal my cab,” that is the nature of the beast, and that is why I love New York.

It is a place for beasts and for compassion – the dual sides of our nature is wrapped around every mode of living. The man who carries the homeless woman’s walker up the stairs, and the person, slamming their hands down, screaming at a car, as if it will respond.

But, I don’t want to live in the screaming. Make space for it? Yes. But, I’d like to believe that at the end of the day, most of us want to be the person who’s carrying that disabled, impoverished woman’s walker up those fucking stairs.

Emerging, into the cloudless, August day – knowing that intangible, idealistic myths are the very story of creation.

A being of energy, of light, some all-powering God, spent seven days making this earth – and then we bit the Apple, we are the creation and the Fall.

(Wo)man will always bite the apple, and that’s okay – so there’s no need to reach for that tempting snake who promises you a paradise that you already live in.

The subway will arrive eventually, though never on time. And, all of us, standing together, fighting for our square to stand in will both smile at one another and push each other out of the way, struggling, hurrying, reaching towards our next destination – which ultimately will end up being our last one.

So, maybe, let’s slow down, and take some time to get there. Let’s make space for our different perspectives and modes of being – let’s create in a way that serves us. Let us believe that we have the courage to go off, with very little, and make much of it.

My Father’s Battle

21 Feb

I know that every time I walk away from my family I am leaving a Father who’s slowly dying.  I knew this when I chose to move to San Francisco in 2008, I knew this when I left for South America and I know this as I type this from my studio in Boulder.

Of course, we are all slowly dying, though we don’t like to think about it.  People, in jest, always say, “well I could get hit by a car crossing the street,” but the truth of that is it’s actually true.  Anyone’s life could end in the next five minutes, and probably somewhere in the world someone has died as I’ve typed this blog.

I first experienced loss when I was nine.  My best friend, Rebecca, got hit by a car and became mentally retarded.  She experienced a living death that I did not quite understand.   As a child, life felt like it was forever, and there I was standing across from my disfigured friend trying to be brave.

From that point on I lived with a fear that haunted me for years.  I was afraid to leave my parents because I thought that they would die if they weren’t in my sight.  I refused to be separated from them, and they began to get angry; they didn’t understand my need to be sewn together.

Eventually we went on vacation, and I began sobbing in a restaurant in Florida, “Didn’t they know a Hurricane could come and sweep us away?”

My Mother took me aside and said, “Samantha if you don’t knock it off we are going home.  And if we are going home, you are going to be locked in your room for the rest of the year.”  That’s when I began hiding my fear of loss.  I sang songs to myself, carried trinkets of comfort and wore a watch so I would always know the time.

Years began to pass and I got older.  Suddenly, I wasn’t a child anymore, but an unhappy teen who desperately wanted to life live on her own terms.  Loss slowly faded from my mind because I had so much ahead of me.  Everyone around me was focused on the/ir future, and I could not wait to get started on mine.

I did what I was told to do.  I got accepted into a good, if not prestigious University, and created a happy life for myself within my student bubble.  I made friends, volunteered with children, got a job at Hollister and maintained a high GPA.

When I turned 19 things began to change.  I was home for the summer, from University, and heard my Mother’s scream from the laundry room.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened to us.”  That is how I found out my Father had epilepsy and had lost his job because of it. Epilepsy turned into degenerative strokes turned into congestive heart failure turned into lupus anticoagulant turned into something I don’t even know the name of.  Now my Father takes 42 pills a day.

Every employer I’ve ever worked for has seen me fall apart over my Father.  Each time I was convinced that he wouldn’t live long and his Doctors agreed with me.  One of his doctors recently told him “it’s a miracle that you’re still alive,” though I think his determination to live is what’s really miraculous.

We are always faced with choices in life – both obvious and subtle.  I’ve found that the most important choices are usually the ones that are most difficult to make; these are the choices that define our lives.

This past summer I flew back to Chicago to take care of my Father and my family told me that I should, “Go LIVE!”

This is how I cultivated the courage to quit my job, with no back-up plan, and travel South America.  And I knew then, as I left, that I was completely liberated from my fear of loss; that even if I felt afraid (and I was terrified) that it wouldn’t stop me from living.

The reason I’m sharing all of this is because me living with the daily possibility of loss is no different than anyone else; it’s just my possibility is more obvious.

My Father’s suffering causes me pain, and I know that losing him will hurt more than I can imagine.  But I know he fights to live because he wants to; that’s his choice.  I support his battle to the best of my ability, but if I sacrificed my opportunities on the alter of his health he would stop fighting.

Happiness starts arriving in our lives when we make space for it; when we have the courage to be true to how we believe we should live no matter what we might lose.  After losing so much, more than I can share in this too-long blog; after living with loss since childhood, the only thing I am certain of is that we must go on.  That no matter what happiness is always possible, even in the midst of tragedy.

Bogota: Days 3-5

26 Sep

It’s raining in Bogota like it always does.  Only today it doesn’t stop.  I look down at my feet and curse the flip flops I chose to wear.  Dirt sits between the cobblestone streets and the umbrella that William is holding is barely covering me.

“Estoy estupida,” I say and he tells me that one never knows when the seasons are going to change, or something like that.  Truthfully, I don’t understand William most of the time, and when he speaks English I am bored.

I met him on, and while his messages seemed questionable, he was the only person who offered to take me exactly where I wanted to go – The Museo del Oro.

Per usual, I am running late, which is how I end up wearing the flip-flops, and I feel even more ashamed when I see William’s khakis and button-down shirt.  His formal greeting puts me at ease, but I don’t exhale until his wife calls.

On the way to the museum William tells me that he has, “three cats,” and shows me photos of them.  I feign interest and exclaim, “how adorable!”

The Museo is more than I thought it would be.  Gold (oro) doesn’t really interest me, but everyone kept telling me that it was a, “must-see.”

Each object is incredibly detailed and has a cosmological meaning.  It is impossible not to stand before the exhibits and wonder at not only the meaning, but how each item was made with few tools and such care.  Though I get my true lesson when I exclaim, “oh look at the canoes!”

“Those aren’t canoes, but coffins.  The Indians were much smaller than us, even you.”

Soon after William tells me that we have to go.  There are restrictions on cars because Bogota is so overcrowded.  He can’t drive his past 3pm.  He then tells me he’s picking me up at 9am tomorrow to go to a town outside of Bogota called Zipaqueria.  It’s there we will tour The Salt Cathedral, a Cathedral that sits 180 meters underground in a salt mine

While it bothers me that he doesn’t ask if I want to go, I can’t deny the opportunity.

Hours later,  I find myself at a brand-new hotel in a posh area of Bogota with (Damian’s friends) Roy & Deanna.  For once, I’m dressed right – my shoes are causing conversation. I meet a Medellin Chef, a Bogotan student and an actress who just arrived back from the Toronto film festival.  Everyone switches between English & Spanish, sips Cumber Gin & Tonics and pretends that they’re not having fun.

As promised, William picks me up the next day at 9a.m. The drive to Zipaqueria is about an hour and William has us stop to have sandwiches for breakfast.  He orders mine with three different types of unrecognizable meat, and I take a moment to ask God to make sure I never know what was in that sandwich.

We sign up for The Salt Cathedral tour, which is entirely in Spanish.  Quickly, I realize that William has his own tour in mind as he offers to translate.  He repeatedly has us wait until the entire group has moved on and then begins to ask me questions.

“Are you Catholic?” he asks.


“Do you know Jesus?” and I want to say not personally.

“Have you heard of Mary and Joseph?”

“Yes, of course.”

“How can you know Mary and Joseph when you’re not Catholic?”

I try to tell him it’s near impossible not to know the story, but my Spanish is limited.

“Jesus is very popular all over the world and are Mary and Joseph.  They are very popular.  Everyone in the world knows them because they know they are popular.  Hard not to know, impossible.  I can’t live, no one in the world can live, and they can’t know”

He pretends to understand and then he leads me to the tourist area where he encourages me to buy emeralds.  I tell him they’re not really in my budget.

William again needs to drop off his car, though this time I go with him because lunch is next.  This is how I get to see his apartment.

Not only does he have three cats, but his entire apartment is covered in cats: pictures, figures, stuffed animals.  He begins to tell me the origin of each figurine.  It is soon obvious that William has collected Cat memorabilia from all over the world.  It is then I decide that I am really hungry.

We go to a small restaurant where I have the most filling and amazing tamale in my life.  It comes in a banana leaf and within the maize sits large chunks of chicken and chickpeas.

As nice and friendly as William has been, I begin to lose my patience when he insists that I must learn how to take the bus, “I will show you!” and so I enjoy 40 more minutes of William.

Finally we say goodbye, and I begin to prepare for my first Friday night in South America.

It is filled with amazing conversation, Indian food and the best Rum & Cokes I’ve ever had.

Though it’s the dancing that makes me regret booking my departure flight.  Once it starts it never stops, to sit would be to miss out.  Suddenly, I am up, buzzed and dancing salsa in Colombia.  My only problem is Damian’s feet keep getting in my way, though I do apologize for stepping on them.

Then the room stops and 12 couples form a circle and perform a dance like I have never seen before.  It reminds me of a 17th century courtly dance – only salsa style.  Partners continue to salsa, clap hands and spin onto the next one at varying speeds.  I ache to join.

The next day Damian shows me how Colombians make and drink hot chocolate.  I am shocked when he gives me a slice of cheese and tells me to dump it in my mug.  I eat it as it melts.

Too soon it is time for me to board my plane, and so I finish my glass of wine, say goodbye and depart for Medellin.

My Family Story

30 May

The reality of seeing your Father having a stroke is less shocking than one would predict.  In fact, you don’t even know it at the time.  He goes silent, he gets angry and sits very still, as if some blinding light has hit him and he can’t stare into it or move.

It is very similar when he has a seizure.  In the past you thought that people shook with their tongues hanging out, but your Father goes silent.  He has Petit Mal seizures, deep glitches that occur in his brain.  The neurons don’t fire quite right, or misfire, or slam up against each other so his brain is reshaped and every time you speak to him you know this was not the Father that you were born to.

He asks questions and doesn’t remember the answers, he can’t say certain words and when he walks he uses a cane.  He is 62.

The man that you grew up with was lively and easy to access.  He had endless patience for your endless questions and would let you style his hair with big bows and hairspray.  Each night he would be the “bridge” to your bed, and would get down on all fours so you could climb across his back.  Sometimes the “bridge” would shake, or sway, or dip and you would gently tumble off, so that you could cross it again.

Now you rarely have conversations with your Father.  He’s easily agitated and at times you are frightened to upset him because when he goes past the point of no return there is no coming back.  This is how you get disowned for the first time.  On a frigid Thanksgiving night with him screaming, “fuck you,” repeatedly and your Mother threatening to burn your adoption papers.

The next morning she stands there small before you with grief pouring out of her every pore, and she says, “I’m sorry, please don’t leave,” but you do because that’s all you can.

You know that your Father takes 32 pills a day, you know that your Mother is ill in other ways, but this time for a long time you cannot forgive, and you ache for that small nuclear space that was once filled.

Days, weeks, years pass and you do not return.  They come to you.  You look at your Father leaning against a wall on Market Street, and you know that you can only hold onto anger so long because if there’s one thing you’re certain of its their imperfect love.

The next time you come home with a boy and you call him the buffer.  You can tell your parents are disappointed he’s there, but you’re too afraid to come back otherwise.  Each day they wake the two up you up with a sharp knock and a high-pitched, demanding voice saying, “we’re leaving in five minutes.”

They both look lesser to you and you feel bad that you’ve been away for so long.  The shower seems dirty and runs with rust.  The brown and tan striped couch is covered with dog hair, and when you go through their books you find one entitled, “Borderline Personality Disorder,” with your Mother’s name written in it.

This is how you discover that she’s trying, which is all you really wanted, so you decide to try too.  You sit across from a grey-haired man who you pay to listen to you.  After you pour your heart out he says, “be kind to yourself.”

You make him laugh.  Then make yourself cry and then spiral into a deep depression of your own making because you can’t bear to see all you’ve bared.

This is how you end up crying at work, to your boss, to your Associate Marketing Director, in the bathroom and at home.  You have this flood of tears that goes on.  It’s not the first time you cried this way, but you didn’t think you still had so much to grieve, “I’ve done this before,” you think, “I’m sorry,” you say again and again to yourself really because that’s the only person you still need to forgive.

So you visit again, and your Dad, who now uses a cane finally says sorry to you.

He says, ” your Mother and I pushed you away.  We scarred you, I’m glad you’re here,” and some deep thing shifts because you never thought a sorry would come your way.  You tell your Father he’s not alone, you teach him how to Skype.  The first time he does it’s from his hospital bed in tears because he feels like he failed you.

You hide yours, smile and say, “It’s not your fault,” which is a line you had used earlier to another person who left, and you wonder how you always end up alone in bed across men who are sorry.

But now, in this moment, your Father is across from you, on a screen with tubes up his nose, and you know each time this happens it’s worse because now it’s Lupus Anticollangant, Kidney Failure, Strokes and Congestive Heart Failure – before it was just epilepsy.

He says, “I just wanted to see your face for a moment,” so that’s when you truly forgive his failures, and life’s failure, and your own because that’s the only way you know how to go on.

We, the People and How We Live

6 Jan

My life cannot be lesser than what I know.  Yet, as the cliché goes, or wisdom, the more you know the more you understand how much you don’t know.  While that is true, that secondary knowledge can be a stop-plug, a barrier that prevents people from taking action.  A catalyst to the plea, “but what can I do, I am just one person.”

This is the plea that people, including myself, whisper to themselves as they move through their lives.  It is the one that allows us to ignore the fact that we’ve been at War since 2003, the one that allows us to ignore our overexerted finite resources, it is the one that doesn’t want to read about the fiscal cliff; it is the hopeless, helpless cry that makes us asleep to our society’s truths.

It is overwhelming.  Our nation’s structures have been laid on a broken foundation, a belief in the infinite, and fostered in the spirit of the individual, not the collective.  People are subconsciously afraid of the collective because Communism/Socialism has tainted the word; however, in a globalized age, I believe the word Collective should represent Community.

Social and political structures should serve, nourish and support the communities that they upload.  It is ever-obvious that the roots of our economic, social and political systems are poisoned, drawing from short-sighted wells of greed and commerce, stepping on the faces of the common-man who is enslaved with debt to maintain.

With broken fingers and broken backs they are put in chairs and fed entertainment, mind-numbing television shows based on a false reality, virtual friends and a device that can fill any empty space with angry birds.

There is no real spirit of change.  Even the Occupy movement didn’t stand for anything, only what it is against, and when an entire movement’s momentum is an opposition force what will it push against when it achieves its goals?

I call for an awakening to the problems that plague our society.  I believe that it is not an external problem but an internal one.  Our spirits are taught to glory in individualism, nationalism and to distract ourselves from problems, instead of solve them; that winning has replaced compromise.

“What is a democracy without compromise?” a government of people that tries to squash one another and rule individually through commerce or an imposed corporatacracy.  This is what we are, or have been becoming for longer than most care to admit.  It is a betrayal of the way in which the United States began.

A group of people (yes only men) sat in room and wrote documents that have withstood the test of Civil War and time.  Every citizen of the United States should be able to refer to the Constitution and Bill of Rights without a second thought; that when our nation is lost these documents should be our return.

With that I’d like to quote the Constitution’s opening words because these ideals are what our nation should stand on, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for common defense, promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

It is We, it is Union, it is Welfare, Liberty and Posterity, so let’s wake up and revisit what those words mean and how to live them.

Maybe The Mayans Were Right…

30 Oct

It’s quiet in my office this morning, and my inbox is full of emails titled ‘Today,’ as many of our New Jersey and New York colleagues write to let us San Franciscans know they are ok.  I am grateful for these messages and for texts from friends, reassuring me the same, but I can’t help but have a heavy heart today.

It’s not just the underwater photos of FDR, or the broken carousels of Cony Island, but the larger issues that our country and world face.

Too long we have denied climate change and what that means; too long we have been divided over many things, and with the approaching election I fear that these divisions will just get deeper, as our economy continues to stutter, I worry that our scars will just get uglier.

When I look backwards into our history what has come before is not reassuring.  In many ways today mirrors both the 1850s and the 1930s, a lethal combination; however, we have the added weight of a changing ecological system, and one might say that mirrors the beginning of the ice age – ours just has more heat.

It is a frightening trifecta, and even more so because natural disasters remind us how little control and power we have in our lives.

We do so much to distract ourselves from this innate truth, nature is the ultimate ruler.  We create ideologies and political systems trying to control each other, trying to bring order into an inherently chaotic and random universe, so what is more shocking than the symbol of money and power on it’s knees and under water?

What I hope for is that yesterday’s damage will remind people of how all divisions melt away when we are faced with challenges that are greater than us; that we need to reach out toward one another, not vote against each other, or condemn one another for our viewpoints.

We all begin and end the same way, so way we are so cruel to each other in the middle, why do we point fingers at one another’s stories?  These superficial divides are created by us, and we, as a person, and as a society, grant and take away power.

I’ll always remember thinking, back in the seventh grade, that the most popular girl in school was only that because we believed, we, my classmates created this myth, so why envy her?  If we didn’t like it then we didn’t have to believe.

Let’s stop being thirteen year old girls, and start by cultivating a more forgiving, loving and realistic view of the environment that we live in today.  Let’s join together and accept these fleeting, often meaningless journeys that we call life reach out and find more joyous and healthy ways to live.

Let’s not wait for natural disasters to remind us how much we need each other, how shallow our divides really are, and how we need to be one another’s friend because nature never will be.