Young

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.

Franz Kafka

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Fresh

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

Rumi

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Moody Melancholia. The name of my current alter ego. It explains a lot.

The death of my Grandma remains a delicate open wound, visible to the naked eye of passersby.

And yesterday, our little schmoo Milo, after not eating for more than a day but producing a copious amount of foul vomit, breathing rough and ragged, and barely able to walk, laid and cuddled with me on the sofa to a Gilmore Girls marathon. I was awfully torn, telling him that if he needed to leave his little earthly body, he could, and that I would love him always. But in my heart and between my sobs, I selfishly prayed for him to stay, which he did, but who knows for how long. He is sixteen-and-a-half, O L D. The thing is, I do not want to lose both of my kitties and my Grandma in four months time. I do NOT.

My Grandma, whose body was cremated today. My God, the finality of that. She is really and truly gone. And here I am in Pittsburgh, this city that fits like shoes in dire need of breaking in. They look lovely, and I do not regret the purchase, but they hurt to wear for too long. The problem is that I already left the house. Dolled up and miles from home, I must keep going. Plodding awkwardly forward, hoping the blisters don’t tear and bleed, I sulk a little, sometimes a lot, truth be told, before falling down the stairs and making the biggest raspberry known to man on my backside. Actually, not metaphorically. The hubster bearing witness, helpless and horrified.

Jeepers.

I am a hot mess.

Please send love and hot-cocoa thoughts while I search for a silver lining.

 

Have you read the blog post by Revolva (a fiery vaudevillian, literally and figuratively), relaying her experience with an Oprah producer who asked her to perform for FREE on the The Life You Want Tour? To say that I was utterly deflated and depressed by it is an understatement. I mean, jeepers, Oprah is supposed to be the one who gets it; who understands the big picture; whose magazine is chock full of thoughtful insights and well curated quotations; Oprah, whose rags to riches tale is an inspiration to women everywhere. This same Oprah wants people to work for FREE? In the name of exposure? On a tour called The Life You Want? Bummer.

As someone who considers herself to be an artist, the life I want does not consist of working for free, though something in my nature must smack of it because that is about all I am offered. A million and one great opportunities by people unwilling to pay for my talent. And they’re so enthusiastic about it, too!

“Oh my goodness, your pictures and stories are so awesome! Could we reprint them? We’d give you credit!”

“We could really use someone with your vision, enthusiasm, and skill. Have you ever considered volunteering?”

Don’t get me wrong, volunteering can be pretty awesome, and I have done an awful lot of it for some pretty terrific organizations: serving meals to the homeless, helping distribute books to youth in juvenile detention, being a Big Sister (how I met sweet Solveig!), planting trees, stuffing envelopes, organizing files.

I’d also like to mention that I am as frugal as the next person, maybe even more so, but I do know the value of good work, and it is NOT nothing. So I asked the hubster how often he is asked to volunteer. The answer? NEVER. His LinkedIn profile is not littered with job “opportunities” for unpaid positions. He is, quite to the contrary, actually asked to apply for well paid jobs, because he is a skilled software engineer and deserves some respect, but someone who dances with flaming hula hoops (Revolva), tells stories, takes pictures, draws, or paints? That person apparently doesn’t deserve anything?

It is an interesting question.

Illumination

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.

Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.

August Wilson

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