Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. -Allen Ginsberg, poet (3 Jun 1926-1997)
Some of your stories are lit by the raw sun of a desert noon. Some ripple as April clouds can. Some of your stories are seen by the shifting light of the moon. Imagine under which moon light you would read your moon stories. Imagine how you would write them.
Here, in response to the May 20 Breakthrough tip , are Kate Shannon’s words: When I woke up this morning I had coffee. My cup was a little dirty so I washed it out in the kitchen sink with warm water and Ivory dish soap that I bought from Safeway many years ago and forgot about because it was in the back of the bottom cupboard and I only found it yesterday when I was cleaning out the cupboard. I cut myself on a sliver when I cleaned the cupboard out because I wasn’t watching what I was doing. My mother always told me to ‘watch what you’re doing Kate’ and now I know that she was so right. I put a band aid and some gel that I found that I had in the bathroom cupboard. Boy did it hurt but I didn’t even flinch when I put the iodine on it because I knew it was good for me.
I have always been good about taking care of my scrapes right away because my mother taught me well and she was always right. She taught me how to make white rice in a saucepan. She watched me make my first rice dinner in the kitchen of our home in Los Angeles. At first I was afraid when the water and rice began to boil and stood back and looked at my mother because i didn’t know what to do. She looked at me with her grey eyes and told me how wonderful I was to wait for her to tell me what to do next. I was always a good girl and my mother was proud of me because she told me when I was cooking my first rice how proud she was of me. She leaned down and said she could help me put the rice in this time and I was very glad that she did because this was my first time cooking rice and I wasn’t sure what to do. It came out a little sticky but we sat down at the table and ate the rice with a little butter and salt because my mother told me it would taste better with a little butter and salt. But only a little she said because too much is not good for me. What a happy memory this was, we smiled as we ate the rice.
And here is rebel grrrrrrrl, Theresa Souers: Oh lord, once again I am asked to dig deep within my soul to seek truth. Or to play with my “inner child.” Or whatever her (my youngest sister’s) most recent trendy topic of enlightenment might be. She has been on quite the bandwagon of evolvement these days. So I am not evolved. Sue me already. “Be true to yourself” has been shoved down my throat for as long as I can remember. How many times have I heard folks discuss someone who had needed to take time off to find themself. Shoot me. I never could understand that one. How the hell do you find yourself? Look in the mirror dammit – that should do the trick. Don’t get me wrong. I certainly recognize craving personal space. I can understand the need for quiet time. I applaud taking a break from routine or even starting over on a new path. But needing to discover “who you are”?
And now, my wannabe hippy little sister is quoting some dude named Bukowski and encouraging me to isolate myself to see if I can remember who I was before the world told me who I should be. WHAT?? What gummy bears are she chewing these days? Why did she get it in her head that the world, or anyone else for that matter, told me who to be? No one told me who I should be. “Hey Kathy – you should be really nice.” “Kathy, this is Mother Goddess and I think you should be a hard worker.” WTF?
I can tell her right now who I am and always have been. I am her older sister because I was born first. I am female as my private parts are tucked in and not swinging between my legs. I do what I want to do when I want to do them. Period. I was young once and now I am old. I have an AARP, Senior Park Pass and Medicare cards to prove it. I am nobody in the big picture and within a few decades, will be a distant memory to just a few. I am who I am. Sorry Popeye but I am stealing that line for sure.
I observed lots of choices as a kid and pretty early on decided it was easiest and quite beneficial to play the game. The game of People Pleaser, that is. Sucking up to teachers, completing assignments and raising my hands to questions generally resulted in rewards of one type or another. The alternative wasn’t worth the outcome. Keeping my bed made and the dishes put away resulted in privileges my stubborn and argumentative siblings did not receive. I would shake my head at their stupidity. I always knew I was a chameleon. A master of disguise. I always had the gift of being able to present a carefully crafted image to any type of audience that came my way. It was as though I was watching myself on a movie screen as I interacted with others. I always knew what I was doing. I always knew who I was. I knew how to pull the curtain aside and tap to a catchy beat, if I so chose. I knew how to disappear into the walls and float through a room completely unnoticed, if I so chose. I still do. The world did not tell me who I should be. I just let the world think I was whoever they wanted to think I was.
She’s still at it. Yapping away about self discovery. Her lips never stop moving. Her drive to help me “evolve” never wanes. I want to scream at her from the top of my lungs “I DON”T CARE!”
But I won’t. What’s the point? Her heart is kind and she means well. It is much easier to simply please her. I see myself smile, nod in agreement. I hear myself answer, “Hmmmm. I’ll think about that.” To avoid any further discussion on this ridiculous topic, I will turn the question back to her. And when she begins her elaborate discourse, I will once again sit back and watch her lips move. But I won’t listen. I will instead take a lovely mental retreat to a beach somewhere. Somewhere where the breeze is warm and the only babble comes from small waves lapping the golden sand. Ahhhh. It is so lovely here. So quiet.
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