"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thank you Laura

I've been in a weird place lately. A little fractured. A little lost.
A lot distracted.
Uncentered. Untethered.
A lot of wine. but not a lot of whine.
I got sick of feeling out of whack and told my self I was gonna write goddammit.
I was gonna write to figure out what the fuck is my problem?
To figure out where the fuck did I go?
What the fuck am I doing?

So I started writing this on my Crackberry Thursday during my 4 hour adventure in the Land of Orthopedics getting Jack's broken finger fixed.
Lucky for me I Am Who I Am i only pull strings and drop names in an emergency otherwise it would have taken 8 hours or 2 days.
OrthoLand was immediately followed by 2 hours in Mental Health Land with Mia's awesome therapist who's a goddam Glinda the Good Witch.
Then speeding back home through torrential downpours and high winds in the dark where the fuck are those Ruby Slippers
to catch the last 7 minutes of the kids' Open House.

There was a bit of red wine later in the evening.

See? This is all over the place. Just like me lately. I'm all over the place.


So. A few Christmases ago Sister Adrienne made t-shirts for everyone in our family.
We each received a black tee with our name in white block letters on the chest.
All 16 of us were a bit confused and made typical jokes about in case we get lost or in case we forget our names.
The shirts were for our Daddy. To help him remember.
He was at the stage where he remembered his children
some of the time
but not all his grandchildren most of the time.
We would all descend on the house with our kids and significant others and he'd be completely overwhelmed.
He kinda knew the older grandkids but was confused by all the little ones.
Sometimes he forgot our spouses. Sometimes he forgot us.
Our mom said that he lamented that we didn't visit regardless of the frequency of our get togethers.
She would pull out pictures and point us out.
And our Daddy's frustration at seeing the photos and not remembering the visits would leave him in tears.
So Sister Adrienne made us all tshirts so we could take pictures of our nuclear families, groups of grandkids, siblings etc.
Orientation pictures. To reorient him. So he could remember. And not feel lost without us.
I don't think we ever got around to taking all the pictures.
Maybe we did and I just don't remember.
It was a really good idea, though.

The anniversary of our Daddy's birth and the anniversary of his death passed this week.
I came across my black t with MICHELLE in white block letters and I've been wearing it.
Like I said, I've felt a little lost and untethered and uncentered lately.
I wore the t shirt to try and remember Who I Am.

But how can I remember something that maybe I didn't forget cause maybe I never knew it in the first place?
Did I ever know it?
I don't remember.

Ok. So it's not that bad. But you know how it is.
Our identity is attached to our roles.
Mother sister partner health care provider yogini blogger artist.
That's easy.
It's all real and important and defining but who am I without the labels?
Am I without the labels?

That's the part I can't remember.
I know blah blah blah we are not what we do.
What we do does not define us.
I know a lot of you all struggle with the same thing.
We all struggle with Who We Are... Who Are We?

So who am I if I'm not all that stuff that's listable in the About Me section of my sidebar?

Oh. Right. There IS no About Me section in my sidebar.

Without the roles am I just a bunch of wants and desires?
Am I a bunch of thoughts and beliefs?
Am I a bunch of degrading connective tissue and shifting hormones and weird body hair?

Am I just a bunch of memories?
For however long they remain intact in my swiss cheese brain?

So who am I when I'm not being my labels?
Don't worry.
I'm not questioning my inherent self worth or beating myself up or anything like that.
I'm just trying to figure it out.


That's where I got stuck writing.
You know when you just wanna tell yourself to shut the fuck up?
That's where I was on Thursday jaysus michelle shut the fuck up...
Then yesterday Laura wrote this. And she helped me remember....

It's not about what we do. It's about how we do it.
And by that I don't mean being perfect. Or being the best. Or being enviable.
I remembered Angel Gail saying to me a gazillion years ago
that's what you are michelle. you are love. that's what you bring to this world.

All the labels and all the roles are opportunities to bring love to this fucked up place.
If we can allow ourselves to see past the bullshit, our roles can give us the opportunity to be conduits of love.
A Sears Repair Man once said to me if you want to save the world, it's by one act of kindness at a time.
It's not important how it looks on the outside. It can't be compared or measured.
It can be quiet. It can be private.
It can be touching one person's heart and lifting their sadness or fear or loneliness.
Each moment we bring love, no matter how brief, is gigantic.
It's enormous.
It's miraculous and healing.

We can all do it.
Yes we can.

I did know. I just got sidetracked and forgot.
Thank you Laura, for helping me remember.


  1. Michelle, you are such a shining light in an otherwise dark week. Thank you so much for writing this. Love you tons. xo

  2. "It can be touching one person's heart and lifting their sadness or fear or loneliness."

    Michelle, you did this for me today. And I am crying as I type this, but for the first time this week it is not from sadness or fear or loneliness. It is from humility and love. it is from the reminder that even when I feel I am out there on the plains, alone in the dark, that is just an illusion.

    Because there are people like you.

    I am sending you so much love. I hope you can feel it. Thank you.

  3. You are so smart and brave and honest and real. Your posts are always a revelation to me, as you shine light on things and bring them into focus. I always read them and think Yes. I know. I've felt many of the same things as you, maybe it's a phase of life thing for women, suddenly wondering who/what the hell am I? What was I? Am I at all how I've remembered or idealized or labelled myself? It's freaking existential some days, and untethered is the word I've used to describe myself since my Dad died and my world shifted in a series of aftershocks. I took too much for granted or didn't question or appreciate enough maybe. I'm still a mess, still trying to figure it out, but I'm thinking a shirt with my name on it is a great place to start. I love you. Thanks for being you, and for sharing the wisdom of the Sears repairman and the wisdom of Michelle.
    btw, I read Laura all the time. She is such an inspiration, just like you.
    And ouch to the broken finger. Glad you had strings to pull.

  4. And i hope your babies are better this weekend, you perfect mother, you.

    not being ironic, either.

  5. As long as you add sparkles, butterflies and gold bangles, no matter where and what it will be okay!(oh yeah, and maybe an extra coat to drape over your feet in case you get cold) Thanks for this post. It makes the moments when the path isn't lit so brightly seem less scary....when you know other people are on that path (whatever it may be...) too.

  6. You also need to remember my acronym for you: DAMD

    I've been feeling lonely of late, and this post made me less so. Thank you for that --

  7. I don't have any answers, Michelle but I do know this- if all we are is wiring and hormones and hair then we must all be wired approximately the same because so many of us grieve and worry and wonder about all the same things so often and here we are- we women, some of us old, some young, some with babes in the house, some with children grown up, some not mothers to anyone but still...
    here we are and we seek each other out by some sort of magical lamp-light path and we end up on each other's doorsteps and we are taken in with strong arms and you, YOU are Michelle and there is no one like you at all, but yes, we are all the same, too.

  8. See, and by writing that you brought a little love to me in my day. Truly. x

  9. You are complex, complicated, sometimes conflicted, ever-growing love.

  10. This is a beautiful post, Michelle. Thanks for the reminder. That Sears repair man must have been one hell of a guy. I never get someone like that. Damn it.

    Love you lots.

  11. Oh, Michelle. Yes. It isn't what we do, it's how we do it. Perfectly said.

    And look at the people who are doing it right for your family? Look at Glinda and you and all sorts of tiny miracles dotting your day, showing love.

    Damn, I love your writing.


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.