I know, I know. Last post (See Blog Post #19) threw everybody off, huh?
Well, deal with it.
I was driving on a back road in Lees Summit, Mo, with a possible concussion and two black eyes, to see my 87-year-old mother who may or may not remember me. That poem was the only thing that kept me from crossing over the centerline.
(Was that TMI?)
I am tellin’ ya, this has been one of the weirdest months of my life.
About a week or so later, a dear-friend-of-mine’s mother fell down and hit her head.
In Kansas City.
About a week after that my mother fell down and hit her head.
In Kansas City.
Doesn’t that seem strange to you?
From September 11th to September 28th, three people I know all fell down and hit their heads.
In Kansas City.
And those are just the ones I know about.
So either Kansas City is experiencing minute earthquakes so delicate they are undetectable but sufficiently strong to throw some residents off balance,
I can’t even think of an alternative explanation except that clumsiness might be contagious but not necessarily hereditary.
Those falls completely changed the direction and course of my life.
Before those falls I was feeling better, stronger, like my old self again.
Before those falls I had been in contact with my agent.
Before those falls I was planning a return to a fitness regimen.
Before those falls I was reaching out to old friends.
Before those falls….
Terran says, “It’s not about the geography.”
Albert Brooks, a rapier wit with a decidedly human heart, is a remarkable filmmaker. His ability to distill the human condition down to a simple statement and keep his audience laughing at the same time is nothing beyond astonishing.
His film, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, co-starring my Saturday afternoon date, Meryl Streep, (See Blog Post #18) is a treatise on the extent to which we allow fear to play a controlling role in our lives. And what we sacrifice in the process.
Brooks’ movie shows us life after death, where individuals spend a modicum of time in ‘Judgment City’ to review their lives on Earth. Assisted by a lawyer-like counselor, decision is made if they will move forward in enlightenment or be sent back to try it again. Brooks’ character, though seemingly successful, has lived a life full of regret and fear from incidents that left him damaged. He almost misses a chance at ‘heaven’ when he is too afraid of the possible heartache that might come from taking a chance on what his soul cries out is true love with Meryl Streep.
DEFENDING YOUR LIFE is a subtly empowering film, with an outstanding score, heart-breaking performances, and deep, full, belly laughs of recognition.
Ghosts haunt and never rest. I could not withstand the onslaught. I was not strong. I fell down. I limped home after twelve days of exile from my life.
My home heals me. My husband heals me. My dogs heal me. The birds, the chimes, the view, the air I breathe, heal me.
I made a new journal. Postcards, stickers, rubber stamps, magazine tear-outs, old photos, canceled stamps. They speak to my soul, not my mind. They stir and mix until what is combined generates a common thread, whispers a single prayer.
I open my new creation, my journal, and I feel pride. It soothes my creative self. It buoys my sagging self-confidence. I look at this book I made and it makes me glad I am who I am.
When my stepson was young we got into a delightful, heated debate about happiness. Does it come to us or do we choose it? He was adamant – ‘Fate is not in our control. Bad things happen. We will not always be given happy lives.’ At that time in his young life he could not understand my suggestion that our response is what we choose.
May I always fight for courage. May I always hope to learn. May I always look for healing.
May I always choose happiness.