EMMA and CATHY

Dear all,

Please click HERE.

xxxxxx

.

A Little Civility

.

In my previous life as an artist

I felt very good about my ability to create and spread beauty; one painting or sculpture at a time.

Rolling around in a wheelchair with marked loss of physical function prevents me from the creation of art-in-form.

I used to have so many dramas roiling around in my tired brain.

Things like deadlines and marketing and my presence in the community; an unrelenting barrage of “to-do’s”.

Without all that riff-raff I have learned to luxuriate in empty.

It scares me sometimes- that very emptiness can feel like obscurity or lack-of-potency or laziness or even disinterest.

This morning as Emma and I adventured downtown earlier than most

I passed by a number of landscape maintenance workers.

I said “Hola” or “Good Morning” or paused to chat about the fine weather.

I tipped my hat brim in acknowledgement of a hungry man rifling through cigarette butts.

The plaza sprinkler system came to life and it was quite a sight to see the pigeons fluttering in the mist.

My heart felt full to bursting from the salve of the tiny connections I had just made.

Tiny waves we are..each a part of but not separate from

the Ocean.

Good Morning.

Sovereign

When I married late in life I changed my name to his.

This unconscious soul-death move (for me)

Was just one in a lifetime of gripping the arm of the culture hard enough

To prevent my ignorant, fledgling identity jello-legs

From collapsing beneath me.

In my defense-

It was just part of the deal then and sometimes still; marry, surrender, serve.

Same thing in other arenas too:

Get hired, work too hard, shut up, be soft and supportive, let your boss’ hand rest on your butt and smile and smile and smile..

Have a child, don’t tell anyone how hard it is, try to find something exciting about diapers, have dinner ready when he comes home and smile and smile…on your way to the bedroom.

Go to church in a pretty flowerey dress when a button-down and khakis are your thing, listen to the fancy- robed man rail on about God and homosexuals and smile.. smile as your Dad in the pew next to you nods emphatically to himself…

Lately, when I speak my truth instead of remaining silent to avoid conflict

My voice arrives somehow fierce.

It can startle me and others

But if I take a minute to pause and acclimate myself to the authentic me I find that I love my true voice; a very different substance and gravitas mixed with dignity and self- appreciation.

The woman pictured in the photos above is a very good friend; Barbara.

We did not communicate regularly during the past few years.

She came to visit recently and drove up in this steely RV with impossibly elegant lines.

Her laundry list of shitty life-happenings included (she told me) divorce, breast cancer, career ennui, identity questioning.

When we lose ourselves how to we get Her back?

If we were performing in the costume of “GOOD WOMAN” too often in our life

Did we ever REALLY know ourselves at all?

My beloved friend Barbara, took her savings and invested heavily in her precious self;

Bought the van, carved out a month, taught herself all the stuff she needed to know about generators and driving a big rig

And she hit the road to feel who she is

Without any one else around to be accountable to.

When we sat together at a bar in Santa Fe she was strong! and funny! and smart! and vulnerable! and gorgeous! and curious! and very, very, VERY alive.

When I take myself out for dinner..just me and Emma,

The experiences I have build on themselves.

Over time I now understand myself as authentically Cathy.

Now I can choose more accurately who and what I am willing to give my life energy to.

This is my highest accomplishment.