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Hearing Bill

A couple of nights ago, my husband linked me something he said had made him cry. I listened to the tear-prompting audio and understood why he’d cried.

“Pst. Love you!” I texted the speaker captured in the audio.

“I’m guessing you listened?” he replied.

“Yes indeed.”

The audio reminded me of an early conversation I’d had with my now-husband. When he asked me to describe a person, I debated mentioning the color of the person’s skin. If I mentioned it, would the earth open up and swallow Anthony’s car whole? Would he kick me out of his car? I decided these outcomes weren’t too likely, and so awkwardly included a reference to skin color.

“Thank you!!!” he said, emphatically, before expressing how weird it is that people so often omit a piece of information that’s useful helping someone else distinguish between two people.

(Without knowing it then, I’d begun building my racial stamina then and there.)

In the audio here, I heard a friend describe a similar situation. And I felt a surge of gratitude for that friend, Bill, who sees some of the hardships my sons will face and is on fire with the knowledge.

The world is better with Bill in it, y’all.

I hope you’ll hear his words (and love), instead of taking my word for it.

Thanks. ❤️

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less a nightmare, more a dream

Yesterday, I had a short but inspiring conversation with my colleague and good friend, C. At the end of our call, I told him that (1) I no longer consider “perspective” a noun, but a verb, (2) I so appreciate his skill at perspectiving, and (3) my life and perspectiving skills are both greatly improved because of how he models perspectiving.

I have the feeling our conversation shaped a dream I had last night.

In my dream, I awakened. I was in a world much like this one, but I couldn’t find my husband or sons. This world is so much like mine, there have to be versions of them here, too! I thought. I frantically searched for them, eventually falling into a weary sleep. Read more…

Categories: Dreams, Family, Friends Tags: , ,

fighting for change

when i was in law school,
my brother-in-law
would sometimes
visit

when we’d go to
the grocery store,
i’d pay and then,
four times out of five,
the cashier (female
or male) would
reach to hand him
the change

“um, that’s hers,”
he’d say, routing
the change
back to me

more than a decade later,
i continue to get
the change consistently
when there’s no man around,
but often have to work for it
when there is

so, yesterday,
when i made a kind of payment
and the change was directed to
a male friend instead,
i went ugh, gah,
still?!

but i
was silent.
i just
did not
have it in me
to fight for change
right then

having never been
in a like situation
with this friend,
i wasn’t sure
what he’d do

and thus was glad
when he said,
“you should
give the change
to her”

it shouldn’t take a man to say it
for someone else to hear it,
but in those cases
where it does,
i am thankful
for the men
who will
and do say,
“i’m not
taking
her
change”

in the fold

These days, I understand so many things without (hope of) words.

When I do finally find the words to express something I’ve recently understood, I learn even more. My understanding changes, so that my newfound words are rendered useless before even uttered.

This might sound maddening, or at least frustrating, but it’s far from that.

It’s cause for celebration.

‘Cause, among the vocabulary I’ve learned the last year, I learned one especially important phrase: “the Platonic fold.” This is the vast gap between what humans know (precious little) and what we think we know. Many people seem unaware such a gap exists, so that even finding the words brought me such joy: This is something other people have noticed!

In the fold, there’s the prospect of all kinds of wondrous discoveries ahead. Adventures I can’t yet fathom. New understandings yet to dawn.

It’s so thrilling, I can’t hope to express it.

So, instead, I will tell you this: for all I don’t (and may never) know, there are a couple of things I do. Foremost among these is that friends and family make the journey.

I don’t know what’s ahead, or even now, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the company.

How could I not?

Halloween 2017

Birthday brunch. Please read Ra’s newest post here: https://rarasaur.com/2017/10/31/the-sacrificial-post/

Buddy & BIL

Silver Star & Dark Moon 4EVA

the humanity in you

“it would probably
sound weird saying this
to just about anyone else,
but … i think we were
profoundly lucky
to have the mom
and childhood
we did”

i told my sister
this last month,
and she agreed

but how,
with all that trauma,
could we be lucky?

i understood it,
but not in a way
words could touch

on saturday,
i read a passage
in a book that made me
go, “oh. oh.”

i got closer
to finding words

on sunday,
i joined two friends
(and others) for their
birthday brunch; as
brunch ended,
bill friday brought
tears to my eyes
with what he
said in farewell,
and how he
said it

and then
my brother-in-law
emailed me his draft
residency application
essay, and it was full of
both recognition of
the traumas of
poverty he
witnessed
with my–
no, OUR–
family,
and of
love

with his
just-the-right-words,
i was closer still
to unearthing
my own

and then,
back home,
my husband
and i talked
about our long beach
family, and i was
THIS close to
getting it where
words can reach

on monday,
a friend presented
on a book she’d read
and i finally, deeply
got the ways my siblings
and i are rich in ways
others probably wish
they were, or
would if they
understood
such riches
are even
possible

so now, i
get it. i have
the words for this born-from-pain
kind of blessedness …
and i may someday
share them here,
when i have a
bunch of hours
to spare

but for now,
i just want to say
sorry
for being so focused
on one kind of suffering
i know intimately,
and which i know so many people
endure today,
that i stopped
seeing other sufferings
and all the things
all this suffering has
in common

i see the
humanity in you,
including the love
and the suffering,
and i wish you
so very
much
peace

Categories: Family, Friends, Love Tags: , , , ,

seeds

sometimes
people give me
seeds of wisdom
that make no sense
to me
(yet).

i (try to)
tend them
while seeking
the right place
to plant them
so they
grow
well.

usually i hold
each seed
for months,
even years,
before i know
where (and
how) to
plant
it.

last wednesday,
someone handed me
a seed, and i thought,
“huh. i think i know
what to do
with this.”

(spoiler:
nope!)

then, on friday,
only two days
later,

i found
exactly
where to
plant
that
seed,
and i was
grateful.

without that seed,
i might have
breathed fire
instead of planting
what may
someday
become
a flower

sometimes,
maybe, i ought
consider not
breathing fire,
instead
setting aside
space in my garden
until i’ve found
just the right
seed for
planting
there

the love

Monday was a special day for Ra, a family friend. She had lunch with my husband and our sons (among others). She and I met for dinner.

Later, she sent me pictures from the day. I giggled at one particular picture; my 7yo, Li’l D, was tickled how one letter made the difference between “your earwax” and “our earwax.”

But the other picture? It choked me right up. 

A few months ago, I wrote about an exchange with Li’l D’s first grade teacher. I explained how I wanted him to grow in two areas: critical thinking and compassion.

When I saw Ra’s second picture, I saw–blazing!–the one of those two qualities harder to measure on a report card.

Look in those eyes and tell me you don’t see it, too–the love, and the believing that whatever someone is doing, it’s all the very best they can do now.

Categories: Friends, Love Tags: , , ,
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