Can I distinguish my 82-year-old self (BC) from the anxious discombobulated person I have become (DC)? I have the same need to feed, heal, and inspire others with my work. But I have been bent out of shape by the new procedures my partner Janet and I have to follow. Operating primarily in digital space with everyone else is disorienting.
On the First Day of Pride Month
On June 1, 2019, this first day of LGBTQ Pride Month, and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, my partner, Janet, and I reveled in three momentous cultural/political events honoring our past/present/future struggles for human rights through creative expression: 1.The installation reception of prolific photographer JEB (Joan E. Biren)’s Being Seen Makes a Movement… Continue reading On the First Day of Pride Month
So, what is it like, really like, to turn 80? Writing about one’s identity in a truthful and engaging manner is always challenging. Though perhaps not as anxiety producing as unveiling details of one’s sex life, revealing the delicate topic of age takes guts, especially in a culture fixated on face-lifts aping thirty-year-olds.
Journal Entry September 20, ‘22
Hey Jeri! You said “Lightness of Being” was going to lead you. I don’t see much of that in your last entries. And humor? That’s nearly extinct. Today I direct you––at least try–– to make me laugh. If we can’t laugh at ourselves… what? We’re depending upon someone else to tickle our funny bone?
Journal Entry September 12, ‘22
I want to review what life during Covid has been for me––what has sustained me, inspired me and what has grieved me and made me cry out to God, “Help me to be strong, so I can be of help to this troubled planet.” Yesterday, Sept. 11, I couldn’t write. I meditated, prayed and remembered that day of horror that brought the war home to my city––war, that had always been somewhere else, not America, not New York City, not West End Avenue, my street. I remembered and mourned again with my people, still in disbelief that so many people were killed in a few hours, 2,763 in fact, as three of the World Trade Centers collapsed. But 21 years later I am more aware then ever at how many die every day in the US from famine, poverty, drug overdose, from racist, sexist, LGBTQIA brutality––“Dear God, help me to not be overcome by these thoughts of death.”
Journal entry August 18, 2021
Life during covid has been a constant challenge. How can I invent, improvise, be fluid, open, forgiving, embracing, resilient? How can I not shrink in my spirit and body with being cut off from loved ones, friends, from freedom of movement and closeness with them. I’ll list here what has helped me stay in the moment, being grateful and even in rare moments, being happy:
Journal Entry. Monday Aug 21,’17: My Experience of the Total Eclipse in Nashville, Tennessee
I’m here with four other women to experience the total solar eclipse which last occurred in the US on February 26, 1979. Here is the Best Western Suites near Opryland on the outskirts of Nashville, researched by our organizer as an excellent location for viewing. Many who have experienced such an event have been profoundly affected. We hope to be awe struck at the very least.
How can I describe the massage Naomi gave me in the motel, the last night we were together? That was months ago. When she was done I felt I had disappeared. She was remembering my body as she stroked it. With each touch I felt myself being lifted to the canvas of her mind as a person she had once been with. Though I knew what she was doing, I did not make her stop. I was already victim to loneliness.
The Red and the Black
Only the two of us met at the Time Cafe that spring afternoon. Sure, I’d considered that the other women in her memoir-writing group would be jealous! But I wasn’t a kid kissing up to the teacher. As far as I was concerned, my request to meet only with Moira was about taking responsibility for myself. I was looking for a serious writer who wanted to exchange work. I didn’t need her clever writing exercises to get my juices going; I’d been working a long time on an impressionistic memoir about my Mother’s death and I wanted a reaction.
The Toe Ring
“It makes me feel invisible, like I’m in some kind of limbo.”
“I know who you are.”
“But--some of us need to hear our name!”
“I don't always say my patients' names at the start of the session.”
“You didn’t say my name, Dr. Stoner--not once during my last two sessions. Maybe it’s my twin stuff--if you don't say Lauren, I'll think I'm Laurel.”