Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3-25-13 RMB You Amaze Me
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today is one of those days when I question myself. One of those “What the heck are you thinking? ” days. 
Yesterday’s letter prompted this response from my enlightened friend “Great probably don't even remember when you stopped on the freeway when I was with you, to help some girl...I was stunned. amaze me.”
It left me at a loss for words. I still feel that weight of needing to find peace, making everything better. It is not the crushing weight of my childhood, but it is present. It forces me to look at every situation, every person, to find the best in them. It forces me to find and offer only the best in myself. Sometimes I wonder who I would be if I were not so “blessed”. I know this has made me a better person, despite the cost.
I am near the end of A Plain Brown Rapper. It awakened thoughts , expanded others, great…just what I need, something else to think about! I jest, but I do bury some thoughts, avoid looking at them, hearing what would give them voice. I know I am talking in circles, sorry. It is late. I just dropped boys off and I’m tired.
For example, I listen to our San Diego NPR (National Public Radio) station, not to be informed, but to hear accents from around the world, music to my ears. I switch the station when things get too deep, too dark.
Today I did not change the channel quickly enough. I heard something I can’t get out of my head or heart. What I hear, it has a strong affect, transports me; puts me in the place of those that suffer. I struggle with this, yet wish more people were affected so strongly. How could they possibly hurt each other, if they felt the hurt too?
I know cruelty exists, feel it even when I don’t hear the atrocities. To make someone’s day better, to lend a hand, it seems so minor compared to the gaping wounds in our universe. I feel far from amazing.  
I see your work in the Plain Brown Rapper days as an effort to heal wounds, to build a better future. I see how others took offense, retaliated. You struggled to find a better way, tried different approaches, sought support, ventured forth over and over, meeting backlash at every turn. You saw that things could only get better for others, if you were willing to allow things to be worse for yourself first. Are you still struggling?
We all do what we are capable of doing, some push their own limits; others skate by. Maybe lending a hand now and then is my best contribution. Or maybe my best lay ahead of me. One thing I’ve learned is that we must appreciate our own accomplishments, however meager, however great.
What did you learn that settled your fire within, or does it still burn? I swallow my own flames to accept my friend’s praise.
And from me to you Rita Mae amaze me.  
Good night,
One sleepy Loraine

“You do not free yourself from polishing your chains…” ~Rita Mae Brown

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