Ainsley has been saying “Holy Crap!” quite a bit recently. And for very simple things. If she likes the images in a book, she’ll exclaim “Holy Crap! I love these pictures!” I just let it go. I read in a magazine that a mom was driving with her daughter and the girl asked “Where’s the effing pharmacy?” Mom was just about to yell at her daughter for cursing when she realized the child was asking “Where’s the F in pharmacy?” We are always so quick to jump.
So I saw you just a week and a half ago. You met my husband and daughters, and enjoyed a diner breakfast all in one fell swoop. It was lovely to see you and hear you converse with my girls. (plus you made me feel good for saying I looked great.) I enjoyed hearing about camp as well, which is a subject best left to another post. It’s very life-affirming being with you. Thank you for taking the time to come visit with us for a while.
What’s interesting on my end? Let’s see: yesterday, I met up with Inja and her parents who are visiting for a week. We went to the Fifth Element Ranch nearby in Loveland, CO. Tara, the therapist and a new friend of mine, facilitated a very interesting session. I believe Inja’s parents brought her expecting Inja to participate in traditional equine therapy. What it became was mostly some help for her parents to realize that things may not change. The extreme fears and frustrations they have regarding their daughter and what she endures in her home and life may not change. And rather than fight those feelings, to be nice to them, welcome them, to relax and say “these are my feelings.” It doesn’t mean you have to accept the situation, but accepting your feelings about them can give you an opportunity to be more grounded–or maybe just more okay with the groundlessness. It is strange to know people your whole life, but to experience something so intense where–gasp!–feelings are talked about, it’s really unusual and a little awkward, even after going through Inja’s illness together. Her dad talked about being at the hospital 3 weeks after it all began nearly a year ago and Inja was showing few signs of any awareness. He said I came in to visit and as I started talking, Inja’s eyes began to twitch. And when I left, Inja moved her mouth to say “bye.” He talked about how tremendous that was. That felt really good, to know that I was so much a part of her person that her person “came out,” even in the darkness. I’m going to carry that with me.
As we sat in a “sacred circle” together, I watched Inja’s daughter, Nona, climb up and sit on her mom’s lap. Seeing them cuddle, love and connect is such a gift. I have to remember that.
Before I go back to work, I’ll also tell you that a few weeks ago, I started working on another grant for the WOLFF foundation. Years ago, at the age of 15, I became penpals with a boy named Bill Wolff. We were the kind of creative teens who wrote long letters (on paper!), streams of consciousness last went on for dozens of pages. He was a year or two older than me and chose to go to college at Binghamton University. When I went to visit him at 16 or 17, it was totally awkward. He knew me so well, and yet not at all. I had a lot of fun, fell in love with the school, and of course, ended up at Binghamton as well. Over my 4 years there, I’d see him from time to time, but we never really connected in that same way we did through writing. As I started to write this grant, he came to mind and I decided to Google him. I was shocked to find he existed–like in real life! I’ve wondered where life took him. It turns out: all over. He is an incredible sculptor who received some sort of special “masters” in Japan. He’s a professor in Rochester and does incredible pieces of work: billwolff.net. I reached out to him and we have connected. For how long, I’ve no idea. But it’s nice to know what an interesting life he’s had. I also realized that I have often sought out situations, like this, where I can write. Where I can think, comment, pose questions and learn more about myself. I’ve kept a journal my whole life and have, over the years, found people who enjoy this type of writing exploration. I need a creative outlet in my life. And I’m so happy you are not just a part, but a contributor to that creativity.
How do these “letters” always end up so much longer than I anticipate?
Yours in creative chatter,