My Birth

My mother’s father, Samuel Joseph Cawley, died three days before I was born and was buried in a paupers grave in Van Nys, California, alone and still drunk so the embalmer had it easy. My mother went into labor etherized and alone, and, hearing “ it’s a girl”, sighed into her peignoir and turned her back on it all: the dead first boy, the second, another boy, then two girls and then me. A brood mare. She struck a match for her L&M and flicked the ashes in the nightstand drawer it’s white metal smooth and cold. Loyal to her. She slammed it shut when she heard my grandfather’s voice in the hallway. The most important post birth attendant. Bearer of the name and the cash envelope labeled “Olive”. He always wanted her to be free of his son.Telling my father to be kind to her, grandfather gave her money. He said it was so she could leave but really it was so she would stay.
Lucinda Watson

Academy Awards

This year I find the Academy awards to be so moving that I am constantly in tears. As a matter of fact, I can’t believe I have the capacity to cry for so many hours. There’s so many things that people have said that have been so hopeful to me that I can’t believe and feel like there may be a good tomorrow. Thank God. God bless all of them.

Marla Ruzicka

Let’s talk about war. It’s so cold here that the moon withdrew itself last night. The fur on people’s dogs stopped  shedding for the day. I heard the word “honor” in connection with the memorial I saw from the second world war and I thought why is it honorable to be in a war or to create a war? Why is it considered honorable to be a hero when you kill people. Or why is it considered honorable to be a hero when you’re a leader and you decide to kill even more people? I am going to write this in the simplest way I possibly can. I don’t see any heroism in war. I think this concept should end But what really frightens me is that I think it’s a basic part of human nature. It seems to me it all boils down to the territorial imperative. Even if the  territorial imperative is 1 inch of space somewhere. I’m not a historian and ,in fact, I hated history because I hate precision in any form. I am an artist and a creative person so I don’t like squares, I like circles. I don’t like wars. I don’t like it when leaders stamp their foot and turn on their heel and walk away and send in their giant killing machines.

One of my heroes was a young woman who on her own counted the civilian victims of war in Afghanistan and Irac. Her name was Marla Ruzicka and Senator Patrick Leahy passed a bill in her honor stating that civilian victims of war would now be counted. Why in her honor? Because she was killed before she was 30 by a car bomb.

I had met her in New York one warm night at a friends reception for the Ploughshares Fund. Her blonde hair fell around her face in a kind of charmingly messy mop and she was wearing a tank top and some old pair of jeans and we spent 20 minutes talking about what she did. It was so inspiring to me and a few weeks later when I read on the front page of the Times that she had been killed my heart broke for her. I couldn’t stop crying. In my mind I kept seeing that wonderful, youthful face with her wide smile and a great soft glow about her. She was my hero and always will be.

It’s time for the world to wake up and realize who the real heroes are. It’s not the territorial imperative and the machines of war that are the brave things. It’s a single person who will dare stand up and make a point and risk their life doing so.

Last Night

Kissed in a restaurant

 

I met you in a restaurant outside and I wore a coat the color of dried blood and when I saw you I knew I had already known you. Sometimes when that happens there’s no denying it. I love this restaurant. All the waiters know my name and they think I’m a lovely lady. But that night when I met you and I was so close to your eyes while we were eating I just felt like I was on a roller coaster and I could shoot down that track right down into your soul. I couldn’t help it when you kissed me there even though I knew Megan, the maître d’, could see the whole thing. I don’t think she could see the depth of it all and may be that’s why I let myself be carried away by a pyre of woodchucks laughing as only they do at my willingness to be carried away. You and I were meant to have a dance. I don’t remember being carried away before but I do remember dreaming about it. There’s something magic that happens when you meet a person and everything about you and that person is the same size. And I’m not talking about our bodies because our bodies are really meaningless but I am talking about something I don’t have to talk about. Self! you think to yourself what in the world is going on? It’s like diving into a pool at night and you have no idea how deep the deep end is but you keep your fingers crossed and go for the gold.But in the end you know you can take care of yourself and that’s the most important thing there is. I’m always tempted to really look into abandonment because I think that’s the real issue in life. It’s like Dr. Dolittle in the push me pull you. Everyone wants to feel safe and in control but if everyone wants that then it’s never gonna happen. Somebody has to just dig in their heels and make a statement. That’s it.

Anger Management

Last night my friends and I went to a very low-key restaurant in Stinson Beach to have an early supper. We were hoping to eat at outdoor tables but they were all filled so we went inside and eventually chose a table right next to a window we could open up. We opened both windows next to us because we are older and we are concerned about the virus and most people in the restaurant sat next to open windows. I was a bit concerned because the couple next to us had a very young child there with them who couldn’t possibly have been vaccinated.I guess some people are willing to take risks.

The most interesting thing to me that happened during the evening was a large group of men probably in their 30s arrived wearing biker clothes and sat quite close to us. They were not masked entering the restaurant and they seem to have no hesitancy in walking close to everyone else’s tables. They sat down and started ordering drinks and became louder and louder.

I never object to people having a good time because I think life is short and particularly now people need to get out and have fun. What I do object to is when that fun interferes with my fun.

At one point a man from the table got up and walked over to us standing too closely without a mask and asked if it was all right with us if he closed our window. We explained that we were keeping it open because we were worried about the virus. That should’ve been enough of an explanation to him.

He went back to the table and I could hear him explaining to his friends that we were worried about the virus and one of the young men yelled out to us two of us just tested positive today. And they all laughed.

What was rather hard to believe to my friends and me was that this group of young men were so disrespectful to us.

We were simply sitting there enjoying our dinner not interfering with them in anyway. They, on the other hand, interfered with our safety and attempted to force us to close the window and then made fun of us and frightened us with their statements.

They also frightened the family with the one child.

The group got louder and louder which made it almost impossible for the rest of the people that were nearby to have any kind of conversation and finally left.

My friends and I were talking about why there are quite a few people in this generation of 30 somethings that are disrespectful and unmannered? Did their parents allow them to be the boss in the household? Were they never taught respect for older people? Were they never taught respect for anyone?

 

This virus creates an interesting dynamic among our generations. I would say that throughout these past two years I have seen people my own age be very cautious and careful and respectful of others but the younger generation seems to feel that they’re invincible and they are not careful about themselves nor about others.

The tragedy to me is that many of them are now getting very sick and have been hospitalized. I think that many are vaccinated but their behavior puts others at risk. I’m wondering if this is something new or this disrespect has been present in other generations as well.

I’m certain that I behaved recklessly from time to time in my 20s but once I had children that behavior stopped so maybe it’s having children that teaches you respect and responsibility.

There was something else present in this group of young men. It was a kind of rage. There was a super feeling of anger towards us because we were daring to make them uncomfortable. Even though all the other people in the restaurant preferred having the windows open they wanted them closed.

 

It’s a known fact that anger and rage are based on fear so that takes me to the place of why are they fearful? I guess the answer to that is obvious. Our generation has failed to protect them from having to live on a planet where we have viruses, climate change, pollution, and dramatic  weather incidents, and whether or not they think about this in a logical progression it must occur to them this world isn’t safe.

They are correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imprinting

I am working on an imprinting machine and it’s kind of like Konrad Lorenz did with his ducks. Only this time everyone that wants to feel better about themselves can go through my machine and be imprinted with a more powerful, confident personality. It’s slightly painful but you forget that immediately because you take steps out of this machine into what is now sunshine and everything about you is more powerful: your arms your legs your heart your brain the way you look the way you feel the way you move. People pay a lot of money to go through my machine but I don’t take it. Actually that’s a lie. I am like Robin Hood. I take the money from the very rich people but I don’t give them as much boosting as I give to the people who have no money but are just very fragile and need it. The boost. The key measurement is compassion. No compassion, no boost. I don’t think I’m God I’m just very smart and the machine has been extraordinarily successful. In my old age I’ve decided that I am only going to allow women to use it. I just think it’s a better bet in the long run. Frankly, testosterone gets in the way some of the time in allowing people to be compassionate, humble, and kind. Life is too short. I want to be prudent in using my machine.

My House

Flash 2 My House

 

 

 

I live alone people think but in fact my house has so many inhabitants I have to be careful when moving through it. There are many men lurking about in my closets and bedroom all of whom seem angry and hungry. The kitchen contains some young ones with damp, slightly curled hair who cook gravy. I happen to hate gravy unless it’s on turkey which is tasteless without it. So many things are. I walk slowly through the detritus of my life so as not to stumble over hillocks of bodies and chirping young friends who think I am hopeful so I am. To them. I need young friends. The doors are unlocked and the flowers wander in and out flagrantly fragrancing the hours and the hallways making memories melt into the cracks and settlings of bones and earthquake reinforcement. People ask don’t I want an elevator but why would I when I can wander in an elevated state up and down and sideways into the dining room where the chairs are always filled with brilliance and I can sit with the thoughts of so many nights, so much laughter, the best wine, and no gravy.