Month: January, 2014


I have loved curse words since I was a young teenager; at least as young as twelve years old. For many years if you asked me my favorite word, my reply would have been, “F*!#”. Also in my repertoire were “a**#!¥e” “s&!*%” and “p$*#”.  My baby once said, upon dropping a toy, “Oh sit. Oh sit.” I should have stopped then and there.

Today, I’m trying to break the habit. I am looking at cursing from an outsider’s perspective and it ain’t pretty. It doesn’t look good on a woman of my age. Forgive me, will you? I AM trying.


Thinking of a Friend

I worry about my friend. She has been unhappy, angry, and lonely for such a long time–years. I wonder if she can ever be happy again. If one doesn’t flex the muscle for happiness for years at a time, does it atrophy? Does it die to such an extent that you can never be happy again?

Some of her burden has been lifted. I hear her voice again, the woman I knew before. This gives me hope. But we’re not getting an younger and I don’t know if she can get back some happiness before it is too late.


Creativity and Ambition (part one, I think)

When I log onto Facebook it asks me, “What’s on your mind?” Today, it’s the nature of creativity and ambition, thanks to my friend, Ben.

I have the urge to create, to string words together to tell a story—a real story. But what is my ambition? To be rich, famous, widely read?

I’ve asked myself for years—is it enough just to create? Or does the artist need an audience?

I once very tactlessly asked an actor—how do you deal with not being known? I didn’t mean to be cruel, I really wanted the answer to the question.

Let Me Out of this Box!!

When I was around 30 years old, long married, mother of two, my older brother said this to me: “When I think of you, I see you in your St. Raphael’s uniform (grammar school). When I think of you older, I see you in your Holy Trinity uniform (high school).”

Therein is the crux of many family issues. We grow, we change. Yet, family members won’t let us out of the box they put us in as a child. “The sensitive one.” “The quiet one.” “The difficult one.”

No human being is static. We all want to grow. Let us!


I want to say it right now: cookies have nothing to do with bodily hunger. I don’t eat a cookie (Okay, I never eat a cookie. I eat cookies.) because I’m hungry in a stomach-growling kind of way. I eat them because I’m hungry in an “I need sweets” kinda way. Or an “I need comfort” kinda way.  Never in a real hunger kind of way.

When offering someone a cookie and they say, “No thanks, I’m not hungry,” I frown inside. Who turns down a cookie? What does eating a cookie have to do with hunger? That’s just silly.

Lost: Part One

Some things in my life are simply lost. They are lost and will never come back.

I was just reading a recipe that included instructions on how to make pan gravy. I remembered all the times I watched Mom at the stove making her gravy; it was delicious. Every. Single. Time. She is gone now so I’ll never know how much of the fat she poured off. What temperature did she use? How much flour? Those tricks are lost.

My gravy is inedible, like glue. The secrets to her delicious gravy are gone from my life. Sometimes, I feel lost.


Home. It’s the other thing we humans long for. A place we can let go and feel safe. A place we feel nurtured. Some people can’t find that in their house. I always think it’s the saddest thing, to enter your house and not feel at ease, loved, embraced, cocooned. But instead to feel angry, uneasy, scared.

I assure the young ones I know who don’t have a real home that someday they will because they will make it for themselves.  I want to give them hope that there is a home in their future. A place to be safe.

Looking for a Voice

In my work with teenagers, as a mother, a friend, an observer of people I see there is something we all want in life—a voice; we want to be heard. I have a student who comes to see me. He has crappy stuff going on in his life and he tells me about it. I can’t change any of it. I don’t say anything very profound, I just listen to him. Yet, I know when he leaves my office he feels better. “Why?” I ask myself. Nothing in his life has changed—except that someone has listened to him.

A Fun Game

It’s a fun game—mentally writing stories about strangers in the airport, couples in the coffee shop, families in the mall. Are those two on a first date or second? Is that the man’s children or grandchildren?

Who are these people seated across from me? The older woman is white, the young woman and her child are black. Except for the difference in skin color, they look like a mother, daughter and granddaughter—sharing food, drink and chairs, sitting on laps. As the world becomes increasingly more brown, less race defined, how will we figure out who belongs to whom?

Getting Older

Perhaps this is what getting older looks like.  Not wrinkling or sagging, aches or pains, I’m talking about the discussions of who is in the hospital.

“Mother fell.”

“Stella had surgery and recovery is taking longer than we expected.”

“Oh, Tom is in a nursing home recovering from a fall.”

I won’t sit around and “geeze”, (that is, talking about your own health issues like an old geezer) and I try not to listen to the geezing of others.  I can’t turn away from hearing about the latest illness of my loved ones loved ones. Inevitable, this part of aging.