Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bearing the Unbearable

This week we have witnessed another unexplainable tragedy. How do we begin to understand such random violence? When life suddenly hurls a thunderbolt of unspeakable pain into our path, our challenge becomes learning how to bear the unbearable. Whatever our belief system, at our core as human beings is the will to survive, to overcome anger and grief and to do each day the things that will help us make it to the next day, and the next and the next. The choice we make is hope. Hope is not knowing exactly how or when the pain will cease to immobilize us and instead get us on our feet to step into the unknown, but knowing that we must do it. It is trusting that, in time, we will come to terms with the pain and will be able to function in a new way, changed by suffering certainly, but not destroyed.

Vital to recovering from an extreme tragedy or personal loss is letting in the love and concern of those who care for us. Even when the most that someone else can do for us is to mingle their tears with ours, it is healing in a way not always apparent. We need each other most in times of deep sorrow. Hope, love and patience, patience to allow time to soothe if not eradicate our pain, and slowly our hearts begin to mend and begin to allow joy to return.

Nothing is ever the same again. There is a new normal, this one tested by fire and tempered to make us stronger and more resilient. And perhaps, at the very least, some lessons will have been learned.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Reflections

These summer evenings remind me again of how special this place is. It's not just the scenery. It is the utter tranquility that rolls in with the lavender and apricot clouds, often painting the sky a color that I would not believe on an artist's canvas. And occasionally we are treated to nature flaunting herself in a technicolor display right in our front yard, the arc of a perfect, brilliant rainbow. Whether it has been an extremely positive day or one I would be happy to forget, those sunset moments seem to close the day with a reminder of my gratitude for this place and for all it means to us.

In case you missed it last month, here's a link to my article on Maria Shriver's blog. I've gotten some lovely comments and responses and I'm most appreciative.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'll Have What She's Having!

The tributes to Nora Ephron on most major TV stations following her death this week left me quite touched. I've always been a huge fan of her work and often imagined how great it would be to have her as a girlfriend! At the very least, I would have loved to be seated next to her at a dinner party. In my fantasy, I convince her of what a great girlfriend I would be!

Her movies are among the ones we watch over and over and recite the dialogue as it happens...annoying to anyone but us! (Sleepless, Harry/Sally, Heartburn) I don't know of anything she ever did that didn't seem brilliant and inspired to me, such as romantic comedies that were never cloying and memoirs that had me talking to the page, saying things like "I know, I know. I feel that way, too!" I felt exactly this way when I had teenagers: "When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you." (From "I Feel Bad About My Neck") There is a list of "firsts" that Nora contributed not just to Hollywood but for women in general. She was a breakthrough artist in a town where women were rarely in the forefront of writing and directing.

Most of all, I'd like to tell her that her neck is just fine. It held up that wondrous headfull of bright, witty and translucent characters that she created in her books and films. Perhaps there is a young Nora out there who will someday emerge as the obvious heir apparent. I just can't think who it might be. And part of me hopes there isn't. Some people are meant to be one of a kind, not one of a genre.