The Loom


“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
-Emily Dickinson
Monday, June 20, 2016 6:13 AM
Thousand Oaks, California


It isn’t that I haven’t been writing, because I have been.

It’s just that I haven’t been writing and posting my thoughts here, on thislifetomake, as I have been for nearly two months now.

First the surgery on my hand made it physically impossible.

Then, the world stepped in and upped the ante, as the world often does, with the horrifying mass murder in Orlando, Florida last Sunday.

And I simply had nothing to say beyond the sadness, rage and fear I expressed in Not What, Why? 5 Questions and A Prayer. I asked my daughters if they would post their eloquent and heartfelt sentiments and I am very thankful to La Belle and The Badass Bunny for doing so. (You Cannot Take Away Our Love – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from The Badass Bunny and Be You. Be Loud. Be Proud – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from La Belle). And then, The Dude, the girls and I were all current with one another and joined the rest of the country and the world in quietly and respectfully mourning the dancing, singing, joyous 49 who were lost and the 53 and innumerable others forever damaged by the brutality, and incomprehensible violence, hatred and intolerance of 1.

It isn’t that I am no longer sad, mad or afraid. Because I very much am.

But there are not enough words to calm, soothe or assure myself, or anybody else.

There is too much world to save.

I can only think of two things to do today.

The first is to stand up and stand with both those who can and cannot today, helping to create space for their dignity in feeling however they choose to feel.

The second is to offer hope to those who want hope and to hold the hope for those who cannot bear to carry one more thing.

Hope that it won’t always be this way. Today’s feelings and emotions will evolve into tomorrow’s. And tomorrow’s will evolve into the next day’s, then the day after that.

Just like the sun will set on today, Monday, and rise on tomorrow, Tuesday. In between, there will be a moon and stars and my mad, sad and scared.

Things will evolve. Slowly. Like the days of the week, like the mad and the sad and the scared.

Anyone who has ever told me differently has just had a different experience. Not wrong, not bad. Just different.

Over time, mad and sad and scared have become threads I’ve had to work into the story of my life, alongside the threads of happiness, sorrow, joy, bittersweet, hilarity, wisdom, regret and every single other feeling and emotion that is part of the human experience.

I did this by sitting down ( or, sometimes, by lying down on the couch in my pajamas), at the loom and spinning them into the fabric of this life I had to make. It happened as the sun went up and down, as I saw all the hours of the night, as the weeks, months and years passed.

The Crazy Quilt that is the story of my life so far was put together not piece by piece, but thread by thread and it was stitched together by me.

And I didn’t even know it.

I am at my loom this morning, at the ass-crack of dawn, like I ususally am. Coffee, smokes, pen to paper (still so painful, but it hurts more not to, so we are at “The Juice is Worth the Squeeze” part. But just barely.)

And you are at your loom too.

Even if you don’t know it.

And from me at my loom to you at yours, I am hoping, wishing, praying, and offering you love, friendship, courage, strength, wisdom and grace.




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