Friday, January 27, 2012

Thou Art the Great Cat

Diego by Shem

Why is it my cat always gets the last word?  Granted he’s getting older.  Granted I spoil him R-O-T-T-E-N.  And granted I’m a total whack job, graveling at his paws and showering him with pathetic care…getting up every time he wants out.  Sitting back down…Getting up 5 seconds later to let him back in.  Up down up down.  I tend to lose my chair on the “ups.”  Open the door. Close the door.  In.  out.  I’m at the service of his Royal Highness and he knows it.  
It’s completely over-the-top.  

When I go on holiday or small jaunts to visit friends or family, I call him every day.  My partner places the phone up to his ear, and I begin my "mama cat" rambling that goes something like this:
“Hi good boy.” (Smooch kiss smooch.  More kissing, smooching sounds)  “I love you, good boy... Diego, who’s the good boy? You! You’re the good boy!” (Smooching and kissing sounds)… “I’ll be back. I’ll be right back.  I love you good boy.” (Smooch….kiss… kiss.)
Then comes the pitiful, routine question straight from my sorry-ass mouth,
“Did he respond?”  My partner usually lies and says he did; that in fact, he rubbed his head against the phone and his purr went up several decibels in volume.  Occasionally, she tells me the truth, which is distressing to hear, “ I think he’s mad at you.  He just turned his back to the phone.”
My cat is smarter than all the rest. He's bilingual. ("?Como estas, Diego?" I say. “Meow. Meow.” He responds on cue to my question.)  He insists on my lap, even when there are 5 available chairs, 
3 hand-knitted “kikis” (The word he knows for blankets) lying around; fluffed up to his liking, a sofa and a king-size bed. (With my clothes out so he can curl up in them)  When he’s on my lap, I do not move.  I don’t get up to answer the phone.  I don’t shift my legs, though they’re aching and going numb.  And here’s the worst, I hold my urine for unthinkable amounts of time in order to not disturb him.  He’s the King of the Castle, the crowned head, majestic ruler of… 
The Muslim prophet Mohammed is said to have found a cat sleeping on his robe, so he cut a hole in his robe rather than disturb the sleeping cat.

It amazes me that I have been fearless in a classroom of 30 sixth graders, relentless as captain of a trailer park’s ship of fools, stood face to face (and held my ground) with vicious, right-wing politicians, yet, I melt like butter in a hot fry pan when it comes to Diego.  But I am far from alone in my love and adoration of the feline.   The “love affair” dates back to 6,000 BCE and in many cultures, especially Egyptian.  This is a brief, fascinating compilation of the cat’s history.  The Celts, Native Americans, Egyptians and more held the cat in high-regard, however, Christianity turned these positive traditions with cats upside-down by connecting cats with Satan, witches, evil, and other negative things that came to mind.  Cats were seen as accomplices and often hung with their masters when convicted of heresy.  The Pilgrims shared these opinions of cats when they came to the Americas, and thus our society has many superstitions about cats, for instance, that black cats are unlucky, evil or ill omens. 
Thank the Goddess, the Christians were unsuccessful at burning them all at the stake!    Otherwise, more and more plagues would have besieged us and I would not be sitting here writing to y’all with Diego curled up on my lap.

Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; thou art indeed the Great Cat. (Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes)

Diego’s independence is inspiring, to say the least.  We all should be so forthcoming with our own.  It’s something that can’t be taught from a textbook, nor measured on weekly-standardized examinations that examine absolutely nothing.  An independent thinker is the individual who is able to free himself/herself from the confines of conformity.   It is something, like magic; acquired by testing new waters, taking bold risks, experiencing chance encounters, walking through darkness; 
The capacity to show us things we haven't seen before, the knack of reopening questions.
Of course, becoming comfortable as an independent thinker requires one to think outside of the box and persistently question authority.   Many consider Einstein one the most independent thinkers of the 20th Century.  He thought of himself in that way!  When speaking of his first wife, 
a Serbian doctor, he once said,
“…a creature who is my equal and who is as string and independent as I am.”
His use of the word “creature” ruffles me a bit but light out over that 'cuz  it’s a direct quote.  

I consider Susan Sontag one of the most independent thinkers of our time. Through four decades, she was described, variously, as explosive, anticlimactic, original, derivative, naïve, sophisticated, approachable, aloof, condescending, populist, puritanical, sybaritic, sincere, posturing, ascetic, voluptuary, right-wing, left-wing, profound, superficial, ardent, bloodless, dogmatic, ambivalent, lucid, inscrutable, visceral, reasoned, chilly, effusive, relevant, passé, tenacious, ecstatic, melancholic, humorous, humorless, deadpan, rhapsodic, cantankerous and clever. No one ever called her dull.  And even if you disagree with her writing, you still hunger to read it because it’s unusually stimulating.
And look at her “cat-like” features.

Along with Einstein and Sontag, Noam Chomsky, Pablo Picasso, Ayn Rand all line my long list of independent thinkers.  And who can deny that Emma Goldman, known to her friends as “rebel woman” shouldn't have a place on that list.  Many would place Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on their lists.  Not me.  Fairly predictable, I suppose, but I wouldn't.   
Clearly, I'm weird in this way.
We all have such lists; the thinkers, the contributors, the heroes and heroines, both public figures, as well as, personal acquaintances.  Of course, one of my personal favorite, who lit my feminist fire when I was but a youngster, was Cat Woman; the only strong female character Batman ever had to face.  Sexy too.

Who can forget the "purr"-fect Eartha Kitt?

I have a need to conclude, as I'm starting to annoy Sir Diego with my fidgeting.  
I’m sure some of you are more than ready for me to do so! 
Part of me wants to write the words “the end” and be done with it;  just send today’s damn musings out for god's sake!
Aww…"the end."  Two words that can bring a pleasing feeling at the end of a movie or send shivers down your back when talking about your own life.
The end is the closest thing you can see in all of your nightmares and every haunting tale. But also, it's the comfort of knowing that green eggs and ham are truly a respectable dish when the book is done.
The End.
"Meow”~ tpg

Friday, January 20, 2012

How’s Your Moral Compass?

I work part-time at a Japanese teashop.  This is where I dust, vacuum, arrange unique gifts, greet and assist customers and the way cool thing about this job,
is I also get to read a lot, write a lot and meditate; well, my own special kind of meditating that emerges from being an open wound out in a ferocious world.  Basically, I get to turn it all off and sip Genmaicha Extra Green.

It was a slow day at the shop Monday.  I’m hoping the reason being that Americans were gathering, marching, honoring Dr Martin Luther King; whose words insisted on action; whose bold passions cost him his life.  The part of me that is optimistic accepts those possibilities and in doing so, suddenly I am able to walk a little lighter on the planet. 

January 16, 2012 was somewhat boring of a Monday and I found myself, after completing my required “shop duties," passing the time by reading, writing, sipping tea and trying, with full-force effort, to not eat the matcha shortbread cookies.
Staring out the window at the bushes and trees surrounding the closed post office,
I noticed a large man seemingly setting up tent amidst the foliage.  He wore layers upon layers of filthy rags.  His jeans were several sizes too big.  His hair was matted.
He held up his pants with one hand and drug an old sleeping bag through the dirt with the other.

Suddenly it occurred to me that he was seeking privacy to relieve himself; a simple corner of dirt where the bushes could serve as bathroom doors.
I watched the few passersby’s try not to look at him.
It’s uncomfortable to see homeless people, isn’t it?  Especially in a touristy town such as ours.  As he ducked down, I found myself hoping hard that no one would call the police.  “Just let him take a leak in peace god damnit.” I kept thinking.
And then I thought of Dr. King.  His messages that now are simply quotes to ponder.

I watched him make his way to the inside of the parking garage, where he stuffed his sleeping bag behind a set of lockers for safekeeping.  He pulled tightly on his pants and continued walking up the street.  He mumbled and scratched his head a lot.  In fact, he scratched his entire body a lot.  He needed a hot shower and a toilet.  Pretty basic stuff, eh?  Yet, it’s all uncomfortable to witness.
I went to the steaming pots and made him a cup of our finest Gyokuro; the tea that has a velvety aftertaste.  Then I grabbed a bag of shortbread and $5 from my wallet, closed up the shop and walked at a fast pace to catch up with him.
 It’s not much but it looks as if you could use a little help today.”  I said.

His hands were rough and swollen; his face gnarly; yet, I saw a glimpse of a once handsome boy.

“Thanks.  I spent last night in Salinas police station …they beat the shit out of me…I just wanted to go to church…you know, mass.  When I was an alter boy they hurt me but I still want to go…”

He may or may not have been abused by Catholic priests.  You and I know there’s a good possibility he was, but regardless if the whole interaction was fantasy or non-fiction, clearly; Timmy needs basic 411.

I wished him well which felt like an absolute sucky thing to say.  We parted; heading in opposite directions, heading to opposite worlds.

Then I went online, only to discover a quote from the smartest man on the planet and it's such a right-on a message:

Clearly, Timmy didn’t cause our deficit.   Check out this article (and don’t skip the graph) put out by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  All the stats are based on 2010 and future taxpayers will pay people these debts for years to come for sure!

Timmy gets very little.  Timmy may get a free meal, once in awhile, if he can get to a shelter on time.  But his head’s so fucked up, he doesn’t even know how to tell time anymore.  If he’s lucky, he might get a bed; suffice to say, if he’s in a town that even has a shelter.  For sure, Timmy will get taunted, harassed and possibly hit with bottles; that is, if he doesn’t get the shit beat out of him.  It’s all in a day’s work for Timmy.  And whether Timmy was molested by Catholic priests or saw Viet Nam or has a severe alcohol problem, you can rest assured that your tax dollars, are not going in great excess, to care for or enable Timmy. And if we don't give a damn about the                                   Timmys of the world, we become face-less shells;  
wig head by Bridgett Spicer
nothing short of soul-less, moral-less casings.   

Now, hold up, little buckaroos! Let’s take out our moral compasses and position them straight ahead.  I do believe, even with increasing crime, poverty, abuse, wars…we all have one.  
Dr. King had one, though he was no saint. 
Hopefully, we all have a natural feeling that makes us know what is right and wrong; guiding our actions as to how to behave.  I try to take out my moral compass everyday.  Some days, it’s out when I first open my eyes, while other days, quite honestly, I forget about it briefly.  Then some situation or some person reminds me to take it out of my pocket.  
And I do. You do too.  We have to because if we don't, our skin turns to steel, our hearts to foil and nothing matters but the paycheck, the new pair of brand name boots and The Super Bowl.  

Our moral compasses guide us to the very face of humanity, all the while, allowing for a plethora of free choice opportunities… 
To the north: a trailer park filled with lonely elderly folk on fixed incomes.  
To the south…tortured and starved greyhounds, no longer able to race, tossed by the side of the road. 
To the east…millions of homeless families whose houses were foreclosed upon.  
To the west…kids going to school in space suits in order not to breathe the radiation in their air.  Across your street…someone like Timmy.  
Under your feet…a spider to crunch or spare.

Westerners consider the Dalai Lama as a man of abiding wisdom and compassion, an inspiration and moral compass.
But, like Dr. King, Dalai is no saint. (Uh oh…stepping on Buddhist toes.)
The Beacon of Calm in a frenetic modern world and I disagree on a couple of compass directions; specifically, abortion and homosexuality.  In his 1996 book, Beyond Dogma, he was strikingly explicit in his sexual prohibitions: "A sexual act is deemed proper when the couples use the organs intended for sexual intercourse and nothing else."  Hmmm…sunset on that.  Moving right along…

Although I’m often in your faces about rednecks, some do have moral compasses.
Joke (sort of)
The out-of-state couple is camping on the shores of a creek near a tiny hamlet.
The young wife, stunningly built, decides to give the local town folk a thrill by sun bathing in the nude.
"That's OK with me, honey," says her husband. "I'll go get some wood for the fire."
About thirty minutes later, the husband returns to the campsite and finds his wife in tears. One of her breasts has been painted green, the other red and her ass is blue.
"What on earth happened to you dear?" he asks.
"Some of those rednecks from the trailer park came over and told me they don't allow any nakedness around these parts.
Then they gave me this paint job!"
"Damn those assholes! I'll fix them!" the husband shouts.
He rides into town and finds the rednecks at the local bar.
"Who is the SOB who painted my wife red, green and blue!"
he shouts.
A huge redneck, about 6'-8," steps forward, a shotgun in his hand. "I did it," he bellows. 
"What you got to say about it?"
The husband answers meekly, "I just wanted you to know the first coat of paint is dry."

In seriousness, if you don’t have moral compasses, Getchooosome!
There’s a quote by John F. Kennedy that stands out for me.  It’s what I’ll end today’s blog with and it’s one we can all hopefully chew on a bit in the days to come.

“I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.”


P.S. Oooh and if your moral compass is for the birds, make one of these from an old Slinky!  Way cool.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's a Brave Girl in a Scary World

I just saw a commercial for
It’s the site where God helps find you your perfect “mate.”
I personally didn’t use the site when I found my sweet little match back in 1994.
I was slinging lattes and toasting croissants; serving up apple pie and cinnamon twists when she walked in and ordered a cappuccino.  She had actually been eyeing my best friend at the time, but it was me that could make foam like no other barista in town and somehow that, and the fact that 
I didn’t wear undies, won her over.

My partner is as solid as The Poconos.  No.  More than that.  She can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  She’s as sturdy as the pyramids at Chichin itza and mightier than a hurricane.  She has the ability to eat nails, at a picnic, all the while, smiling at how beautiful the surroundings are.   She coaches her women’s basketball team like a tenacious barracuda; a relentless teacher and forceful presence; pushing her players to be fearless warriors in a treacherous sea.   She can take a sliver out of her own palm, never wincing.   She doesn’t crack when there’s no money in our bank account, even though it’s two weeks till the next payday.   
If the bastards at PG&E or Comcast screw us over on a bill, she calls them up, remains calm, cool, and collected throughout the entire conversation, and we get the refund.   If a tsunami were to hit our coastline, she’d not only have an excellent plan of escape; one that you and I could depend on, but she’d execute it in a composed, nonplussed manner.  
She’s like a f*cking Tibetan monk during prayers in these types of situations;
Gandhi herself.

When a situation that required muscle arose at the park, it was Ms. Barracuda that I sent to handle it.  I remember it well.  One evening right before sunset, Rafael was disturbing the peace and tranquility of our harmonious modular housing community; Ranting, raving and waving a Cesar Chavez flag.  Neighbors began phoning in with complaints.  Then there was a knock at our door.  It was the teenage son of Rafael’s next-door neighbor, saying he felt there was going to be an eruption and he feared for his father’s well being if we didn’t go down and intercede. 
My partner went down. (I pulled our blinds and turned on a good murder mystery.)
As she approached the unit, she could hear what sounded like a carport of barking dogs and screaming children, but it turned out to be none other than Rafael, 3 sheets to the wind, and falling over his fold-up lawn chair.   With the poise of a tightrope walker, she approached.

“Hey..Rafael.  Everything okay?”
“ Oh…hiiiiiii (hissing sound like a German snake with a rat caught in its windpipe) hi...there …Winn…deeee.”
“Rafael…what’s goin on?”
(More hissing and lots more stumbling) “ Wiiiinnnnndeee…do you know what Guillermo said to me?? I…I...I’…m gunna kick his…”
“Rafael…calm down.”
“Geee…Air…Mo called my daughter una...lesbiana...a lesbiana and I’m gunna kick his ass…pendejo!  Windeee, can you help me…porque he called her a…”

(A delayed pause)
“Well, Rafael, that’s actually not the worse thing your daughter could be.”
My partner, cool as a lesbian cucumber, answered calmly. 

“ you Wiiiiindee….(hiss and drunken hacking sounds) I love …the managers…”

“Thanks, Rafael.  We feel the same about you, but....”
“Do you know what my daughter said? She…(slurring, hissing and possibly slobbering) she said for me to come inside and go to bed.”
“I think you have a very smart daughter, Rafael, and you should take her advice.”
“NO!  I already called…I called the sheriff and told the sheriff...”
“You what, Rafael?  Look. Go inside and get some sleep and let’s talk in the morning.”

I’ll be damned if the sheriff pulls up, gets out of his rig, looking like Barney Fife, and greets Rafael by first and last name. (Obviously, they’d met before.)

“Mr. Anayo, you need to go inside your trailer or I’m going to have to write you up for disturbing the peace. Now get on inside.” 

There are numerous more examples of my partner’s fearless bravery:  burying dead mice, fixing technical difficulties because I hate reading the “How To” manuals, confronting residents who hate us, dealing with Jehovah Witnesses at the door…these are just a few examples of why I married her. 

But there is one exception.  There is one thing, the Queen of Composure is deathly frightened of; one situation that, just the thought of it, drains her of every damn ounce of suave and coolness and leaves, in its place, a pathetic puddle of panic.

My partner is petrified of the dentist.  

I’ve never seen a grown woman avoid something to such an extreme degree. 
I mean the sound of that drill, the smell of that drill, the guy with the mask on leaning over you while you are strapped to the chair, flat on your back (or so it feels), his big ‘ole hands down your throat, and who can forget the shot!  
Holy Mother of God!
I totally understand the yucky unpleasantness that borders violation with regard to going to the dentist.  But I go AND I suck it up with the generic Novocain. 
But not my Buttercup.  Just the mention of the “D” word sends her into a crazed frenzy and causes crocodile tears to form in the corners of her baby blues. 

This is where I stepped in; where I became the parent.  I began with a Deepak Chopra approach; gently explaining that her issues and concerns are real, universal, valid and that I am here to support her in a loving and understanding way. 
Then I took a more Margaret Cho approach and told her to get over it and woman-up because rotten teeth are unacceptable for a girl with a Master’s degree in Psychology.  
I then acted quickly and found the solution:

Sleep Dentistry.

It took the dangling of a huge carrot and some secret ‘favor-promises’ to get her to the first consultation.  (At Sleep Dentistry, they give you several consultations, in order to establish a feeling of trust and tranquilly between them and their patients.)
I sat in the waiting room through each one of her consultations, thumbing through Yogi Times, with the other parents.

Months and consultations went by before the first x-rays were taken.   The verdict was in.  
She had MAJOR dental issues to address and fix, and many appointments would be needed.    The news sent “the barracuda” straight into denial and another
6 months passed before she phoned back to schedule her first appointment.

Day of First Appointment/Misc. Examples of Future Appointments

Prior to “the day” the patient is sent a lovely card.  The front of the card had butterflies and purple irises.  The inscription inside welcomes you and assures you the path you are on is a healthy one, and that you will be pain-free through the procedures. 
The morning of the procedure, the patient takes a pill (given at the final consultation) one hour before the scheduled appointment time. The patient must have a designated driver there and back. 
She hadn’t slept at all the night before. She took her “happy pill” at 6:00 am.
I didn’t think it had any affect on her until, at about 7:00 am, when we were getting into the car.   I looked at her and happened to notice a little bit of drool and a weird smile on her face…
She says to me in an equally weird voice, “I like your ass in those jeans.”
(Okay, that’s nice, but I was wearing baggy sweats.)

The ride to the office took about 30 minutes and for the first time in 17 years, she didn’t complain about my driving.  So, I asked, “How’s my driving, babe?”
“Great.”  She answered, seeming content to just stare out the window. 
(I love the “happy pill.”)

As you enter the waiting room of Sleep Dentistry, elevator music plays softly and the air is filled with the smell of cinnamon and apples.  Everybody whispers.  The receptionist greets us in a quiet, delicate Stepford Wife voice and encourages us to relax and have a seat.  There are various healing journals throughout the room; a counter with fresh fruit, a coffee maker and hot cider with cinnamon sticks floating at the top. Everyone is smiling.
A nurse eventually comes to escort her back behind the door to the “frown-free zone” and I am instructed to keep my phone on so they can call me 15 minutes before she is ready to go home.   I leave but not before noticing my partner is chuckling it up with the nurse as if they were old college pals.

The Drive Home

So, when the dirty work was over, the nurse, who is now Wen’s bff, escorts her to the car.  They hug one another.  The nurse seems so proud of her, which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.  They are smiling and exchanging happy thoughts as happy people often do.  I am given strict orders:  She must go home, rest, drink lots of water, soft foods only, and no alcohol for 24 hours.  She assured me they’d be calling to check on her in a couple of hours. 

The drive home began pleasurable enough.  My partner put her chair all the way back, closed her eyes and appeared to be sleeping.
There’s something I neglected to mention to y’all and that is that my partner is as stubborn as she is valiant, and with eyes shut, here’s what comes out of her mouth:

“Take me to work.”  (She’s slurring like Rafael.)

“No way!  You’re not going to work!  Are you f*cking kidding me?”

“I gotta work.  It’s the last day of the semester.  Just take me there.”

You have absolutely no idea what that ride back was like but I’ll tell you this…I had zero chance in hell of winning.

“I’m going to stop by Erik’s Deli and get you some soup.”

 I did both; I got her soup and took her to work.
Several hours later, her assistant brings her home. 

Evidently, she fell asleep on her office floor for quite a long period of time.  During practice, she set up her chair in the middle of the gym floor rather than on the sidelines.  She has absolutely no recollection of eating her soup.

These types of escapades continued for several more appointments in much the same way.  I got lots of compliments the mornings of the procedure.  My driving was exemplary the mornings of the procedure.   And she had no recollection of work on those days, even though she went. 
But let me tell ya, I love Sleep Dentistry! It’s the bomb and I highly recommend it to all the babies out there who wear an exterior of Superman or Bionic Woman because it takes you in its loving arms, gases you up and sends you to La La Land, all the while, taking care of your dental problems. 
You betcha.
That’s all for today, folks.   Keep smiling and showing the world those pearly whites.
Happy, Happy, Happy to you!              


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Delicious Sip of Something New

The other evening, at a friend’s “3 Kings Celebration," I reached the state of perfect blessedness; achieving it by ridding my whole being of individual existence and simply absorbing my soul into the light of supreme spirit; extinguishing all other desires and passions, in order to be in an exact moment of great peace and bliss. 

No, it didn’t occur because of yoga, meditation or organic herbal skin products; 
Nor was it due to the following the North Star. This blissful state was not from the giving of frankincense, gold and myrrh; nor from the cheese and chili empanadas and pork in clay pot.        My perfect happiness; the ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability and joy...My own personal Nirvana was achieved through a simple little beverage 
called a White Russian. 
A taste of paradise with the medicinal, hypnotic powers of an orgasm.
How I’ve lived for decades without ever partaking in a tumbler of this heavenly liquid is beyond me.
YOWZA! I think I met Jesus, right then and there, in my friend’s kitchen.  And boy did his and my relationship grow with every sip.  When the pitcher of this delicious  “aid to stopping osteoporosis” was back in front of me; it was a second offering I couldn’t refuse. After two tumblers, I do believe I saw St. Peter and his holy tribe of angels all playing their horns beckoning me home…

This morning, I Googled the recipe, still struggling with the acceptance that I’m a White Russian Virgin.  In doing so, I learned that not only am I out of the liquid loop, I’m also out of the flora and fauna loop.

White Russian Grow with Flowering Clones

This got me thinking about the time I heard Space 27 hammering and drilling in the middle of the night.  The electric saws and pounding continued for weeks; always after midnight.  When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I decide to check out the back of his unit one afternoon when he wasn’t home.  As I climbed over buckets, tarps, hammers, nails and a few empty Corona bottles, I came across a large shed that was being built (without permits).  I snooped a bit, as trailer park managers often do, and discovered weird and oddly placed electrical wires, small vents, and huge black canvases for curtains. 
I now know that structure was a White Russian shed.

                                                         Careful man…there’s a beverage here.

There are various deviations of the original cocktail.  A simple
splash of Coke and you get a Colorado Bulldog.
and then there’s all of these…

Now, although White Russians hold the obvious medicinal healing properties and health benefits, 
I can’t drink them too often. No. No. No!  But life without one every now and then might bring tears to your eyes in much the same way had you been seeing a psychiatrist for several months and one day he/she looks at you and says in a very quiet, professional voice, “No hablo ingles.”
That would suck.   But I figure we’re starting a new year and we need to start off on a positive, adventurous foot. Try new things.  Focus on each day.  Practice living without regrets.  
Reinvent ourselves.

Reinvention is a much-discussed theme in women's literature and women's lives, and the New Year is a particularly appropriate time to discuss creating a new you!  We have such a plethora of great writers, from Jane Eyre to Anne Tyler to Doris Lessing to Maya Angelo…women’s literature and poetry have long proved so; 
that reinventing, rediscovering, replenishing one’s self, right down to our little bitty souls, is a common thread-theme that keeps us filled with self-discovery, united and I suppose, whole.  Women find ways to do this through various art forms in which we are passionate about, through our everyday actions within our communities, through educating and reeducating ourselves in order to reach our potentials; to reach beyond what is at our immediate grasp and into the realm of the unknown, the surprise; that which in intangible at first attempt.  
Reinvention can even find us while standing in a friend’s tiny kitchen sipping 
a White Russian for the first time at the age of 53. 

When I think of reinventing or recreating, my head swirls around from shedding a pound or two or volunteering for a noble organization, to attempting yoga, or completing that writing or art project that’s been sitting for months…I also think of friendships and the nurturing of those relationships.  I never thought I’d type these words, but I think Facebook is one tool we have to do just that; 
Begin dialogs, worthy or unworthy conversations, with folks we see not so often.
I have reconnected with wonderful pals who I haven’t interacted with for ions, and though I can’t say I’d spend 24/7 with them (or them me), it’s been good.  Real good.  And it happens so randomly.  Take the following Facebook interaction, for instance…

Tray:  “Wow, butternut squash is pretty darn sweet. 
I feel like I've returned to my 20's when Tam used to do all the cooking! Tahini, broccoli, sesame seeds....” 

Vee: “Ahh...your 20's. Were they easier than these days of giving up caffeine, booze, meat, and addictive relationships? lol...maybe we should all eat butternut and return!”

Vee (again b/c she can’t shut up): “…or maybe you and Tam just belong together! lol. I'll stop now. Xo”

Tray: “Are you drinking a cocktail right now?”

Vee: “Just finished one (pinkie promise) and am munching on green beans and tofu (organic!) xxoo”

Tray: “I'm jealous. Not about the green beans and tofu, mind you.”

Kel: “That's how i eat all the time...”

Tray: “rolling my eyes icon inserted here. Lol”

Sche: “Hippie. Xxo”

Pyl: “Hey!! “S!”! How do you know “T”?!  And vice versa ?! I love small worlds! Two of the coolest women ever. YAY!! :)”

Tray: “We used to be neighbors. Shared a duplex of sorts in Sebastopol.”

Tray: “How do you both know each other?!”

Pyl: “I met “S” at the Ren Faire in like '84 I think. She and her boyfriend worked with my boyfriend and me at the Roast Beef booth. We were like family :). Wow, such great memories...”

I think that initial connection was sealed at the roast beef booth. Yea, and now the reconnect which has so much possibility.   But in all seriousness, there are days when I don’t feel like writing a card or picking up the phone.  The whole phone-phobia usually hits me at night.  I’ve been out in the world all day; chatting it up, interacting with the masses, smiling till it hurts…then I get home, 
pet the little guy who purrs at me unconditionally, take off the bra, put on the sweats, walk around outside to assure myself that Nature is still my friend.  
Then I flop on the couch (BAM! Phone-phobia) for an HGTV marathon.  The last thing I want to do is pick up the telly, even though y’all are so cool and interesting to talk to.  But what I do have energy for, after a long day, is to say “hey” on Facebook.  And though I have to be careful not to get sucked into the vortex, which could lead some of us to starting our own chapter of "Facebook Anonymous," I do have some worthwhile interactions there. 

I get the politically incorrect, sterile, unspiritual aspect of FB.  Yet, I see its purpose and place in our ever-changing world.  If it serves as a way to stay connected to your peeps or reconnect with those you've lost, then that might well be plenty.  And if it gives those faithful followers a "jump start" at rediscovery, recreation, rejuvenating a part of their mind or heart that was idle prior, then so be it. And if a delicious sip of something new finds your lips, enjoy it!  
And my little chickadees, if we remain stuck within the confines of the eggshell; how the hell are we going to experience the freedom of flying? 

Na zda-rov’ye!  (To our health!)

Za schast'-ye! (To happiness!)