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Showing posts from February, 2012

An Open Letter to Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Dearheart,
You first made an impression on me in Tomb Raider. I was 17 years old and awkwardly, painfully fumbling through existence in the womanly body that I was not yet mature enough to inhabit. You had this totally bangin', healthfully athletic figure, and even if they were rubber suit sculpted and not entirely real, girl! You had some boobies. Then you factor in the strong female lead part and you became the kind of role model that every 17 year old girl needs: ass kicking, fiercely independent, powerful, and above all else, healthy. I was so ill at ease in my skin but watching you filled me with a hope that I, too, would someday be just as strong and confidently embodied.

As the years have gone by, I've followed your work and have been particularly moved and inspired by your involvement with the UN. Even if I kind of hated the deeply disturbing Changeling, you have always held a special place in my heart for what you represented to me as an adolescent.

This week…

A Heartbreaking Act of Staggering Difficulty

He asked me for money and I said no.

I'm from a place where I'm asked for money sometimes a dozen times in a day by all manner of people raising money for all manner of causes, including but not limited to: drugs, booze, a room for the night, a Greyhound ticket back to [__________], and The Environment ("Do you have moment to talk about The Environment?" "No, no I do not."). Sometimes I'm asked if I have four quarters for a dollar. Sometimes it's just a mumble mumble shuffle shuffle incoherent. Sometimes it's the guy in the suit who got mugged and just needs $25 to get his car out of the St. Mary's parking garage before it closes for the night. This happens to him at least once a week, poor guy.

After years and years of this sort of dialogue my policy became to never give anyone money unless they were playing an instrument or otherwise performing in some way that enriches the urban environment. I acknowledge people minimally with eye contact…

What You Leave Out

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When I was younger and would, all wide-eyed-and-eager, tell my daddy that I loved him, he would say, "Thank you." The absence of that four letter word from his expression created a vacuum in my heart that knew no bounds. For years I ached a little empty all the time, consuming all kinds of unhealthy anything trying to fill this void that never would've existed if not for an apparent lack of L-O-V-E. It's so small, so simple, a single syllable that would've meant so much.

See, the things we don't say and do matter immensely- sometimes more than the things that are said and done. There is no room in the mind of the egomaniacal child to account for the foibles of their parents, so when the child doesn't receive the feedback they are looking for, of course there is something wrong with them. This child will grow into an adult who wonders, silently and aloud, if they are okay. Sugar addresses this perfectly in this quote from her beautiful forty first letter: …

Burn It Down.

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Stereotypically speaking, there is a drive for stability among women that inspires us to root deep, settle in and give birth to beautiful things...art, gardens, babies, community. Not all the women I've ever met are like this, and I must admit that I used to be baffled by their apparent ungroundedness. Those who know me know that I love cozy nesting and nurturing, and that I am very grounded and steady.

That was until about a year ago. Something happened to me and since then I am repulsed by the mere idea of staying still and growing anything. It feels so fundamentally wrong for me to be tethered to where I am that I have spent the last year resisting any attempts to stay put.

Since this is so contrary to my nature, it's been a disorienting year. I have been extremely confused by and frustrated with my own resistance. I've meditated and prayed for clarity: Where am I supposed to be? What should I be doing?? I have researched  moving to different places, applied for jobs a…