I Like to Fall Asleep With a Dildo in My Ear

I was chatting yesterday morning with one of my BFFs, Laura.

We were riffing on dating at a certain age, trust, truth and the internet.

How do you know in this day and age of cyber… well, everything—who is being straight with you and who is blowing smoke up your ass?

Do you lay all of your dirty laundry out there for people to gawk at and take selfies with or do you play your cards close to the chest?

When you meet someone you like how many of your dirty little secrets do you divulge?

Even though it’s getting to be ancient history, dating up until my forties was the catalyst I needed to decide to just lay it all on the line. I chose at a certain point, probably moved along by a profound sense of desperation, not to give a flying fuck.
I knew that nothing I could be, do or say, was the least bit provocative or shocking. To anyone.

Sad, but true.

After writing this blog for coming up to five years now, that theory had been cemented into stone for me.
As I told Laura, “I could write that I fall asleep with a dildo in my ear and people would IM, text, or email me, “Me Too!“

There were sounds on the other end of the phone. I thought she might be choking, but it was laughter.
“Oh my gawd, Janet! Stop!’

“Honey, it’s true! They would write and tell me about a support group they’ve put together, or a Dildo In The Ear Facebook Page.

“Stop”, she gasped.

“I’m serious!” I continued. “There is no secret about ourselves that is too perverse or previously unexplored that it would keep that one voice (who btw speaks for thousands), from shouting out from the darkness, Me too!

Humanity is joined in so many ways. There is so, so, so much more about us that is shared than different.

Don’t you love knowing that? I do! There is so much freedom in that knowledge!

I’ve farted in yoga class.
And my vagina has made loud farty sounds during sex. I think it once inhaled a school bus. Oh, wait. You too?

So there! Fly your freak flags, my dears. Why the hell not?
Stop being ashamed. Tell the truth. No more secrets.

So, you like to sleep with a dildo in your ear. Big deal. You’re not that special. I hear there’s a march for that up in Portland in May.

Carry on,


When Brave Looks Like Stupid

This morning. Interior — My house — Husband’s office.

Janet enters the room dressed in workout gear. She sits down on the step for the first time in three weeks without wincing and puts on her shoes. Her husband is at his desk distractedly looking at car porn on the computer.

Janet: I’m going to try the hike today.

Husband: Do you think that’s a good idea?

Janet: I’m feeling better. Besides, I’m tired of sitting on my ass. I need some fresh air.

Husband: But the hike? We have air here.

Janet: Sally will be with me…

Husband: That’s what worries me.

Janet: I told her I would only do the first half. (Beat) I’m walking toward the pain.(Beat) Hey, tell me I’m brave.

Husband: Are you? Is it? Is it brave or is it stupid?

She stands up, gives him a kiss on the back of his neck and leaves.

So, yeah, that happened this morning and it got me thinking.
What is bravery anyway? Doing something IN SPITE of the fear, right? Marching ahead. Not being swayed by the voices in your head who’ve cautioned you, and warned you, and have now called a special session in order to intercede on your behalf.

But wait. Doesn’t brave always look like stupid first?

Half a hike is all the brave I’m capable of these days. A tiny shot glass full of bravery.
I’m not out there slaying dragons, raising kids or starting organizations that curb the spread of human trafficking.
I’m putting one tennis shoe’d foot in front of the other—on a dirt hill—three weeks after surgery.

The repercussions of this simple act could be terrific—or horrifyingly stupid.

But isn’t that the way you walk that kind of tightrope (literally and figuratively?) You cross your fingers (Dear God not your toes) and you hope if you fall that you have panties on when your skirt flies up and over your face, that you don’t scream something you’ll regret, and all the way down —you pray for a net .

You want to change jobs. The voices all yell “That sounds stupid”, as they hand you the fourteen-page manifesto on why that’s such a bad idea.

The same goes for changing spouses, hair color, sexes, or your mind.

“Isn’t that stupid?” they ask with concern, and they are genuinely concerned about the really bad choice it looks like you’re about to make.

But I say it’s brave.

It’s scary as shit—but you’re doing it anyway. Walking straight into pain. Yep, brave always looks like stupid first. Mostly to the cautious and uninitiated.
Or to the husbands who have to pick your sobbing ass up off the floor when you “overdue it.”

Anyhow, that’s my belief and I’m sticking to it.

And just so I don’t feel bad, let’s say, for now anyway, that it’s okay to take our bravery one tiny shot glass at a time.

Carry on,


Venus, Mercury and Saturn Walk Into A Bar…

I look for any excuse to blame others for my wonky energy. You may have seen a few on this very blog.

Solar flares.
Too many bad hair days in a row.
Not enough sleep.

So I will NOT let astrology off the hook.

Mercury retrograde we all understand. Right?
I mean, don’t sign any contracts, talk slowly and sweetly to all of your technology, don’t expect both your phone AND your TV to work simultaneously, and whatever you do, don’t marry Chad the Cad who just crawled back into your life.

Mercury doesn’t look in the rearview mirror as it speeds backwards through our lives. Nope. It’s a paper bag on wheels—filled with dog shit and everything we regret—and it’s on fire.

It emerges from retrograde on May 3rd. We can look forward to life after retrograde if North Korea hasn’t blown those of us on the west coast to Kingdom come before that. My guess is that Mercury retrograde would not facilitate a smooth missile launch so we can thank God (or astrology) for small favours.

Venus acting retrogradely is about re-visiting relationships. And not the good ones.

Saturn reminds us that old wounds sustained when we were most vulnerable can be the toughest to heal.

Uh, duh. Are you fucking kidding me? No one needs to be reminded of that!

Sheesh. I can’t even.

Anyhow, if it feels like cray-cray time out there right now—you are extremely perceptive—now go back under the bed until the middle of May.

Here is a site which can explain it all to you in a cohesive way and with an admirable lack of cursing.

I hear you. I care.
Carry on,


Change and Goo ~ They’re Both An Inside Job

“Dear God, please change this person/place/thing so that I can feel better.”

What kind of prayer is that? If you said disempowering, you get a pony!

We all know that change is an inside job, goddamnit! 

The patron saint of that prayer is the caterpillar, but can you blame her? She has eaten herself silly only to find herself inside of the equivalent of a deprivation tank. You can call it a chrysalis if it makes you feel better. That’s such a pretty word for a device of torture. Or a coffin. Or the box magicians use to cut ladies in half or turn rabbits into a Maserati’s.

Metamorphosis — A change in form or nature of a thing or person onto a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.

That sounds magical, right? Death…rebirth…

(Screech) Not so fast.

Let’s check back with the caterpillar.
The guy on the corner in the dark glasses and the trench coat, otherwise known as The Big Guy—or God—he promised her wings. To fly and shit.
But first she had to part with all of her worldly possessions; her BMW, her westside condo— her ravenous appetite—and her wallet.

It all sounded too good to be true to her. No more black back fuzz. No more Spanx. Just color and beauty and flight.
What could go wrong?

What she wasn’t aware of, what no one had told her, what wasn’t even listed in the small print—was the goo part.

In between caterpillar and butterfly, the poor thing is…simply put…well, she is goo. A gelatinous mixture of arms and legs, fuzz and butt cheeks, heart, soul, hopes and dreams. It’s ugly AF but this stage cannot be skipped. This is where the magic happens. The change.
And where the fervent prayers began.
The bargaining.
The begging.
The looking for every loophole.

The nearest exit. The thingy to break the glass on the fire alarm. The cord that stops this runaway train of pain.

If you had the ability (which, thank god you don’t) to hear her muffled cries for help and you, in all of your misguided frenzy to free her, cut the chrysalis open at this stage to hand her a lifeline or her cell phone—she would ooze all over the place like so much snot.

The goo stage. We’ve all been there and unfortunately, there is no short cut.
If there was I’d have found it and sold the patent to some twenty-two-year-old silicon valley wunderkind for a bazillion dollars. I would be sipping a Pina Colada, sucking the toes of the cabana boy on my own private island and I most certainly would NOT be writing to you about goo.

Anyway… back to metamorphosis.
If there was a handbook it would be titled “On Your Way to Better—Via Hell.”
Using alchemy. And magic. All of that eye of Knut and horn of toad kind of stuff.

Who said this was going to be fun? Oh, that’s right. no one!

Listen, nobody wants to be goo. We may want change but we sure as hell don’t want to go through the really messy part in the middle. The part where we’re not quite a butterfly but we can’t go back to being a caterpillar. The point of no return.
In other words the goo part.

I have written more goo related notes to myself and my friends these past few months than I have my entire life.

Everyone seems a little gelatinous lately. It appears we all prayed to feel better and now we’re stuck between a rock and a wet place.

If you can relate take solace in the fact that you are not hanging upside down from that branch alone. There are a whole bunch of us here and you know the old saying “Goo loves company”, well it’s true. We do.

Here’s my theory and I’m convinced it’s true. Only the bravest of caterpillars take the dare to metamorphose into butterflies. The others opt for the cash and free passes to the all-you-can-eat buffet and never look back.

Wings don’t come cheap y’all. There’s always some sacrifice involved.

“If you were born without wings do nothing to prevent them from growing” ~ Coco Chanel

Hang in there (pun intended) you courageous ones.
Carry on,

You guys! I wanted to let you know that we did it! As per my post on Tuesday, my dear friend got her test results back and lo and behold, she’s fine! The cat was alive you guys! Thank you to everyone who helped us out with this thought experiment. We are SO fing powerful!  She is out of the goo and has her wings!

xox Love you!



My Kind of Fame

Hello tribe,
Anne Lamott starts her new book “Hallelujah Anyway” with this poem and I just love it.
In a world where you can be famous for nothing more than your sex tape, your secretly scripted reality show, or for lying with a straight face—this puts everything back into perspective for me.
Carry on,


The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
Naomi  Shihab Nye, “Famous” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, copyright © 1995.  Used with permission of Far Corner Books.


Not The Cat In The Hat—The Other Cat—The One In The Box

“I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.’” ~ Louis C.K.

Once upon a time, there was a theoretical physicist named Erwin Schrödinger.

I know. Yaaaaawn. Don’t nod off. Stay with me here because this is about cats—and it’s going to get interesting, I promise. Plus I just quoted Louis C.K. to you for crying’ out loud!

He, not Louis C.K., that other guy, Schrödinger. He developed a theory way back in 1935 that even had Einstein scratching his head and with that flyaway white hair of his that was no easy task. Plus he had a big brain and big brains have a hard time making u-turns when it comes to rules of the universe, reality, and cats. In that order.

Schrödinger’s theory went something like this (and I’m simplifying it DRAMATICALLY so that even I can understand it):

If you put a cat in a box with poison and close the lid, the reality that the cat is alive AND the reality that the cat is dead exist at THE SAME TIME. Only when you, as the observer, open the lid does one outcome become a reality.

Wait. What?

He went further. The cat and the observer are linked by something called entanglement (which is the theory that all of our atoms are mixed together so they affect each other) so that makes the outcome affected by the observer’s expectations.

Expect the cat to be dead—open the lid—the kitty is muerto.
Expect a live cat—open the lid—your have a very alive, very pissed off cat who climbs up your arms with its claws and eats your eyebrows.

Both realities exist until you open the lid. The one with the dead cat and the one with no eyebrows.

Don’t you fucking love science? And theoretical physics? See why Einstein was head scratching?

By-the-way, I can hear you and no cat was ever hurt during these experiments. They are theoretical so I’m guessing migraines were the only casualty of this big thinking theory.

I heard about this for the first time about a month ago.
Then I read about it.
Then it was on a podcast.
Then it was mentioned by Monroe (because he’s the smart, sciencey one) on the Grimm T.V. show finale.
So, apparently, it has become part of the popular zeitgeist.

What does this have to do with me and my life you ask?


Listen, if we have the power to entangle our way out of shitty results, well, why wouldn’t we?

So, like you do when a quantum theory crosses your path—I decided to test it. On a friend.

I was talking to a dear friend the other day about some test results she’s waiting for. Actually, she’s dreading them. Like we all do with something that could our take our life in a direction we’d rather not go.

So of course, I mentioned the cat!

“There are both good and not-so-good outcomes for the test results UNTIL they open the envelope and you read them,” I assured her.


“Seriously. You have the power here. What are your expectations?”

“Well, the doctor said to be prepared for the worst…”

“Okay, well, I fucking HATE your doctor! You might want to mention to her that her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. Just so you know—HER cat died. Because it was a cat—and it listened to her—and she’s a morbid bitch in a white coat.

YOU, on the other hand are a human being. YOU can change your expectations.”

“I can?”

“Sure! You can expect one of two results, Right? Why not steer yourself toward the one you want? The positive outcome. Entangle all of your atoms over THERE. The universe is waiting for you to decide!”

She gets her test results at the end of the week and regardless of what happens—she’ll get through it, she’ll regroup—and ultimately—she’ll be fine. 

But today. Right now, right this very minute WE have the power to help her because science has proved that our atoms are all entangled. Let’s expect a happy ending. Let’s expect the cat to live.

Will you do that with me?


(Two days later)

**You guys! I wanted to let you know that we did it! My dear friend got her test results back and lo and behold, she’s fine! The cat was alive you guys! Thank you to everyone who helped us out with this thought experiment. We are SO f*ing powerful!

xox Love you!


Thank You, Giant Easter Bonnet Lady In Ralphs Market

*This pales in comparison to what I saw.

I wanted to give a shout-out to the woman wearing the largest Easter bonnet I have ever seen outside of an Easter parade. As a matter of fact, it was an Easter parade float—on her head.

I was with Sally (the hike Nazi), and we weren’t in a church where you might expect to see a giant bonnet or two.

Nope, we were shopping. Or better said, she had taken pity on me, her bent-over, cut-open friend, and had offered to drive me to the market for macaroni and cheese. You know the shitty kind they have at the service deli that doesn’t contain one single natural ingredient. I’m sure the noodles are plastic and the orange dye is toxic but I was craving it—what can I say?

The fact that this woman was wearing a ginormous bonnet loaded up with colored eggs, fuzzy yellow chicks and assorted foliage inside of  Ralph’s supermarket didn’t seem to faze her in the least.

She was bipping cheerfully across the front end of the market seemingly unaware of the fact the everyone was staring at the float on her head. You couldn’t help it. First of all, this spectacle happened last Tuesday, a full five days ahead of the Sunday holiday.

Even in my debilitated state I couldn’t help but smile. And point and stare. I’m a sucker for a funny hat.

“Sally!” I yelled feebly not wanting to use my diaphragm muscles for volume lest I pass out from pain right there in the self check-out line. “Get a load of that!” I grabbed her shoulders and pointed her entire body in the direction of the float wearing lady because that’s what good friends do—we point shit out to our besties so they don’t miss it.

Especially funny shit.

She looked up distractedly, (do you blame her? She was at the market—with an invalid—on her day off), broke a smile, nodded her approval, and went back to slamming the groceries against the glass to get them to scan. Clearly, my Good Samaritan friend had lost her patience with life, me, questionable mac-n-cheese, supermarket scanners, grapes with no code, and women who wear costumes to shop.

I, on the other hand, was totally enthralled with this woman. I was dying to take a picture with her but my phone was in my back pocket and that day I was completely incapable of the contortions that would require me to perform.

I had been marinating in post-surgical moroseness (or morosity as I like to call it), and THE PURE JOY emanating from this happy-go-lucky, completely un-selfconscious, float wearing woman was like a beam of sunlight parting the black clouds that had gathered around my head. I couldn’t help but stare. And laugh.

But not AT her—WITH her.

She was delightful.
I wanted to BE her.
I wanted to crawl up inside of her bonnet which was the size of an extra-large pizza box—suck my thumb—and see the world from that vantage point.

God! It must be great to be her!

So thank you, giant Easter bonnet wearing lady. Just the memory of you has made me smile this entire week and I can’t ask more from another human being than to make me that happy.

Can you?

Carry on,


Monkey Love ~ A Cautionary Tale

Monkey: I LOVE you! You’re so cute!

Cat: Ugh

Monkey: You feel so good, I think I’ll sit on top of you.

Cat: Must you?

Monkey: I need to feel closer to you. I wish I could just crawl inside of your soft, furry little cat skin.

Cat: I already feel crowded…

Monkey: I want to kiss your face. No, that’s not even enough, I want to breathe your breath. Kiss, kiss, ohhh, your face! I squeeze that cute face!

Cat: Is it hot in here? Uh, I can’t breathe…

You guys,
Sure, this is adorable. Unless you’re the cat.

See the monkey? I used to be the monkey. I used to “love” just like the monkey you guys.
And it’s adorable for like, five minutes.

Five MONTHS later? Not so much.
The cat ends up hairless with a twitch and a bad case PTSD.
The cat hides from the monkey and eventually stops returning her calls.

Mauling someone is not “being affectionate”.

“Janet, you don’t love, you take hostages.”

My therapist at the time dropped this pearl of wisdom one day in the middle of her office. It landed with a thud and then rolled underneath the couch where I was sitting, and once I was done being offended, I got down on my hands and knees, pulled it out into the light of day, tried it on—and it marked me for life.

I’ve never forgotten it.

You guys! Don’t love like the monkey.

By-the-way, that’s not love, that’s a bottomless pit of neediness and thank god there was no YouTube or cellphone video back in the day because I swear to you. I was the monkey.

Carry on,


Devotion With A Side of Emotion ~ Smoke, Incense, and My Dead Dad


Hello my fellow seekers,
This is a post from back in 2015.

It is my one and only Good Friday post so I trot it out every year on this day only this year it holds a bit more significance than the previous two since my deceased father has been around a lot more than normal.

As I wrote that I wondered about what constitutes “normal” when it comes to visits from dead relatives, but I have to say, in this instance, it has gone from almost never, to several times a week.

He arrives as cigarette smoke. Day, middle of the night, in my car, when I smell smoke—I know it’s him.
He hadn’t smoked in over twenty years when he died (of lung cancer) but he did my entire childhood and he LOVED it so I’m certain when he crossed over, as he stood at the Pearly Gates, they handed him the rule book, a white robe with M & M’s in the pockets, and an endless supply of Lucky Strikes.

We don’t chat like I do with the other disembodied ones. Apparently, he’s still not a chatty guy. But I will continue to ask him why he’s around and congratulate him on the use of cigarette smoke as his signal—it’s genius.

I hope this finds you all practicing devotion wherever you find it.

love you & Carry on,


1.) Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity
synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, constancy, commitment, adherence,allegiance, dedication.

2.) Religious worship or observance.
synonyms: devoutness, piety, religiousness, spirituality, godliness, holiness, sanctity
“a life of devotion”

3.) Prayers or religious observances.

Devotion. What does that mean to me? What does it mean to you?

As a Catholic, I thought I had an idea, but the edges have blurred and I’ve been left to define it for myself.

This is an interesting time of year.
It’s ripe with the energy of endings; and new beginnings.
Deaths and re-births —— figuratively and literally.

We can practice our devotion inside this energy of change with Easter, Passover, the full moon, eclipses, and all other assortments of ancient and new age cosmic rites of passage.

Take me for instance; I am sitting as I write this, in a pew, basking in the warm glow of stained glass, inside of St. John The Baptist De La Salle Catholic Church— the church I grew up in — the church of my youth.

The one where I whiled away hour after hour of my childhood.
Some in innocent devotion, kneeling with sweaty little girl hands piously folded together, fervently praying my little girl prayers and later, in a pre-pubescent stupor, stifling yawns during my eight years there in the late sixties, early seventies.

Now, I’ve gotta tell ya, this retired Catholic is finding it…surreal to be back here, and I have to make this snappy.

I could spontaneously combust if the powers-that-be realize that I’m here, or the light from that stained glass baby Jesus hits me just right.

All kidding aside, recently my Catholic roots have been calling me. Their Siren’s song running lightly in the background of my life.

It all started when I began burning Frankincense incense in the mornings. I attempted subconsciously to counteract its effects on me by simultaneously playing a Buddhist chant with mixed results — that smell to me—still to this day–signals Lent.

Then I noticed, lo and behold it is exactly that time of year. Hmmmm…

That smell transports me back to Stations Of The Cross, a ritual of remembrance of the absolute worst day in the life of Jesus Christ.

As a little girl I loved rituals.
The smells, the cool, dimly lit ambiance, the notes played on the organ that resonated inside my chest and head, and the drone of the priest’s voice. They all conspired to “send me” to another place and time. They still do.

As I write this there is an actual organ rehearsal happening right this minute. Sending me…

Yet, even as that devout little girl, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around commemorating the days leading up to someone’s horrible, torturous, barbaric death and THAT little kernel of doubt, that one right there, started my life as a seeker.

Devotion as a religious observance.
I sat with my dearly departed father Friday in another church much closer to my home, (that now makes my church sitiing twice in one week, a personal record as an adult).

We sat together devoutly, he with his invisible hand on my knee to keep me from bolting during Stations Of The Cross, the first one I’ve sat throughout since eighth grade. It was faster and much…dryer than I remembered.

And no fragrance of frankincense — a crushing disappointment.

Still, I sat with my dad on the tenth anniversary of his passing… in a church…during Lent. And only one of us made it out alive…barely.

I’ll tell anyone I did it for him, but truth be told, that experience was calling ME.


To others?  To a practice?  To a cause? 

I think we can all relate to that.

How about…

Devotion as Love and loyalty, enthusiasm for a person or an activity.

To tradition.

To family, friends, and matters of the heart.

To times past.

To ritual.

To the planet.

To sacred places; temples, sanctuaries, churches, nature, Sephora, the bakery.

To whatever sends you and floats your boat.

To kindness and courage.

To mala beads, crystals, chanting, yoga and meditation.

To ancient childhood memories resurfacing.

To triggers; Smells. Sounds. People.

I’m getting a bit misty-eyed over here.
It must be a combination of the lousy organ music (he just needs more practice), and the fact that my fifty-seven-year-old butt is currently seated on the same hard wooden bench that my innocently sweet, but always questioning, seven-year-old butt sat.

Devotion to change.
I used to believe that religion and spirituality were mutually exclusive.
One told you no, the other said… perhaps.

Call it old age, or just a general unclenching of the fists that happens naturally over time, but I’m finding myself more and more belonging to Team Meh where our motto is: “Well, that’s not my thing — but good for you!”

Devotion to Neutrality or I’m in a Switzerland State of Mind
Daily I struggle with judgment. I know, it’s just me.
I’m striving to be for more things than I’m against.

I feel like after this week I can move the Catholic religion to my neutral list. At last!

Some people hang out in groovy cafes and write. I sit weeping in Catholic Churches.

Who knows what’s next?

Can you explain devotion? What are you devoted to, I’d love to know.

Happy Easter & Passover my loves,


Mango Margaritas, Grace, and Anne Lamott


I was going to write about what a very alright, really great day I’m having.

How last night I dreamt of witches and Donald Sutherland and the vague memory of my dog offering me a pork chop and donut smoothie.

About how I had the stamina, not just the stamina, the desire to put on the false eyelashes and leave the house. (If you know me at all you know that if I’m rocking the eyelashes I’m firing on all cylinders.)

That fact that I drove myself somewhere BY MYSELF for the first time in ten days without falling asleep at the wheel, ricocheting off other cars or hitting puppies and babies in crosswalks.

Then I got a parking space right in front of my destination (which came in handy because I’m still walking like a toddler with a full diaper.) Not only that, the meter still had and hour and fifteen minutes of time left on it which always leaves me in a state of awe and wonder when I see it—like someone has just pulled a diamond out of their ear.

That’s all good and well but while I was sitting and waiting in a bright blue linen chair that was too deep for me to dismount in any kind of elegant way, I read this.


This beautiful essay by Anne Lamott that sums things up. Big things. Little things. All things. Government, hopelessness, getting gutted by a well-meaning doctor…Every damn thing.

“I think they are a tiny tiny bit tired of hearing me say that grace bats last, and that in the meantime, we practice radical self-care, pick up litter, flirt with old people. They’re probably sick of hearing my secular father’s Golden Rule: Don’t be an asshat. And above all, listen. Listen. Listen. Hear each other.”

I’m not tired of hearing it, Anne. I needed it. Like a mango margarita on Taco Tuesday.

I Love you, Anne. I Love you guys. xox

“I have been traveling around the country for nearly two weeks on book tour, and without exception, my audiences have been filled with lovely bright people who feel doomed. In New York City they were too sad to be ironic, just devastated, and in the Deep South, where they pet me and give me home baked cookies and pocket crosses, and where I develop an accent, their eyes tear up.

People do not feel “anxious” or “frustrated,” or doomed-ish, in a mopey Eeyore kind of way.

They feel cursed, cut down, scared to death, like during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s as if we’re all waiting for biopsy results for someone we love. We try to be brave.

No one has a clue how we are going to come through this fever dream. They come to my events because I am usually a cranky optimist who believes that if it seems like a bad ending, it’s not the ending. They hope I have found some spiritual, political or psychological tools to cope and transcend.

Yeah, right.

I think they are a tiny tiny bit tired of hearing me say that grace bats last, and that in the meantime, we practice radical self-care, pick up litter, flirt with old people. They’re probably sick of hearing my secular father’s Golden Rule: Don’t be an asshat. And above all, listen. Listen. Listen. Hear each other.

I think they are tired of me repeating that the only things that ever help are Left, Right, Left, Breathe.

I think they are tired of me saying around Easter that the crucifixion looked like a big win for the Romans. The following Monday, Caesar, and Herod were still in power. The chief priests were still the chief priests. (And meanwhile, in a tucked-away corner, the 12 were transformed. And some women, too.)

It’s amazing to stop pretending that things are not as bizarre and dire or hard as they are, in the marriage, for your grown child, in the nation. To be where your feet are, and to feel it all: the swirl of doom, of gratitude, of incredulous fear, of wonder, of hate, judgment, love.

Doctorow nailed it when he said writing fiction is like driving at night with the headlights on–you can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make it through the whole journey that way. That is true about every single aspect of life. Maybe people are sick of me quoting that, too, but it’s true.

It doesn’t make sense to stay fixated on what we don’t know–say, hypothetically, whether we will nuke North Korea over our special friend’s feelings getting hurt, or who turns state’s evidence first, or what crazy scheme might save the mountain gorillas from extinction. We only know now. We have all been through long stretches of feeling truly doomed–deaths, divorces, breakdown, failure. They call it the abyss because it’s pretty abysmal.

Maybe the Obama years were like this for you. Whatever.

But we know the precious community that kept us company. We know sacrifice, mercy, the arc toward justice. We know that the love and solidarity were real and profoundly, eternally true; and it is now, where your feet are, abundantly.

And hey, Hallelujah, y’all.”

~Anne Lamott

One woman's sassy, messy, journey through life
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