Sunday, April 30, 2017
4/30/17 RMB Tarzan
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today is the last day of April. It seems important to mark the passing of time, endings and beginnings in particular.
I am reading Hotspur, your second book in the Jane Arnold fox hunting series. I’m also enjoying errands here and there listening to As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes on CD in my car. By my night stand is Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman.
This morning I watched the latest version of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan come to life in the film The Legend of Tarzan staring Alexander Skarsgard.
What is all this leading to? The puzzle of it all, words, books, why we write and the stories we tell.
We can live vicariously through characters, experiencing far more than each of us will in our own lives. Conversely, words can energize us to reach further than we might have risked on our own, or provide us the knowledge to do so.
Our match can be found in words of others, the one that mirrors what we are on the outside and the one that mirrors our insides. In discovering each other, through the imagination of our authors, or their research, we discover a bit more about ourselves, our world, and all of the possibilities breathing there.
This is a how we learn and absorb our universe, by watching the rising sun, the faces we pass, and the words we devour. We are a curious lot. Our duffle bag full of inherited traits, adjusted by what has been learned, provides us everything we possess to charter our course.
It is all an illusion, though, what we see and how we interpret it are vastly different from what another sees and the effects on that person’s life. One may face eminent danger and another reads about “those people over there” (the very ones facing danger), their worlds being worlds apart.
And, whether fiction or fact, there is this tug, internal and everlasting, connecting one being to the other. Our heart goes out to Tarzan as he rescues Jane. Our awareness expands as the scientists uncovering fossils from ancient times re-write history.
And I am convinced that words will ultimately act as the bridge from here to there, one book at a time, connecting us to our past, future, and each other, our saving grace. Words feed the depths of our hunger.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
4/16/17 RMB Siblings & Easter
Happy Easter Rita Mae Brown,
The sun is setting here in California. The day was good. Easter brings back memories of pink dresses and family pictures while we were in our Sunday finest. It’s a nice day to entertain images and sounds of yesteryear.
News from Alabama came that big brother is breathing on his own and from New Mexico that big sister is hanging in there. Two siblings hospitalized, one for pneumonia and the other for heart trouble, at the same time.
Although miles divide us, our souls remain connected. Today we rejoice in another day together, far away from one another, yet together still.
I remember washing big brother’s car, with two other sisters and another brother, on a hot Alabama summer day. It was parked on our front lawn and we played more than we washed. He took care of us all without complaint.
I remember my big sister flying to Orange County from New Mexico late one night to share our Mom’s last days with us. And later her doing the honors of speaking the words that accompanied Mom’s ashes to their final resting place.
We siblings were apart more than together, often residing in different states, the gaps in our ages, and general circumstances, made memories of us together rare and precious.
Family, from those in mine, I learned that you don’t have to be together every day, nor share or even know about each other’s daily lives, to belong to each other. Blood matters not. Distance matters not. We make our family by an unspoken vow, a determination. Young or old, whether they be friends that came into our lives late, or relatives that were here to greet us when we were born, all that matters is that they are family. Family matters.
Taking one day at a time,
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
4/12/17 RMB Helen Reddy 2017
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
There is something about a song that can transport you back decades in an instant. For a few moments, melody streams into our core so deep that its ending opens a gap in thought from there to here and all that has transpired between then and now floods forward to fill the void.
Helen Reddy and her many songs, but most especially I am Woman, provided the soundtrack of my youth. I sit now, near my mid-fifties, and hear her again, now in her mid-seventies, still performing to the crowd, this time at the Los Angeles Women’s March on January 21st, 2017. For any fan of hers, I encourage googling Helen Reddy on YouTube, treasures await there.
What hope I held there in my childhood, and the inspiration that song gave me, awakens. I was young, unaware of inequality, although already touched by it. With her words, came my awareness. The vast difference in our society between yesteryear and today reminds me of our progress, while simultaneously emphasizing the extremely slow pace at which we evolve.
Regarding peace, equality, respect, and understanding, we remain embryos, with a long, long way to go.