The Silly String Saga

Junky, junky, junky stringy stuff invades my thoughts, my days, like a wild river that steals innocent trees and summer’s lawn chairs.

Minding my own business, doing my thing, wading through a different kind of Christmas, the volatility of a California New Year like no other, when suddenly a ferocious bolt of thunder shatters my clan’s full-length mirror. 

This time it’s not politics or COVID. It’s relationship, the kind that churns and stirs until a final, pivotal, can’t-take-it-back explosion. Wounded bodies from both sides of the firing line lay bloodied in the field. No one wins. No one ever wins when you bring out the machine gun and seek to destroy and conquer. What you’re left with is a royal sense of righteousness. Does it feel good when you pummel someone else? Someone who is clearly, prior to the attack, wounded? Vulnerable. Imperfect. But trying her best to climb over years of disappointment and loss, a life filled with so much stress it seethed behind her beautiful Slavic locks, behind her right ear causing deafness, triggering a brain tumor, which remains a tattoo of a turbulent past, a volcano waiting to erupt.

Step outside yourself, I want to say. See the scene, the circumstances, from above. Next to God. Ask Him, “Do my words, my actions, make you proud?” 

She doesn’t have decades to live, I want to tell her, can’t you see that? Your grief. Your pain. They’re blinding you, separating you from the person you really are; the woman who is kind and loving, fun, and creative. 

You don’t have to be “right”. Someone else doesn’t have to be “wrong”. 

Love her for her clumsy, imperfect self. She’s trying her best, as are you

At the end of the day, at the end of a life, is it worth hanging onto all this anger, all this pain? 




Focus on health. Mental health. Physical health. Joy. Love. And the hope this New Year promises. Get help, if you need it. Be the person you wish to see in the world. Be an example you can be proud of. Lift up and fly. You are so beautiful, as is she. Shine. Glow. Use your radiance to uplift and illuminate others’.

Life IZ Good, but so often it’s filled with heart-breaking silliness, tempting us to stray from our core values and beliefs. 

Sometimes, even though I know better, I allow The Yuck to suck me in. Maybe you can relate. Foolish me, I think I have the power and influence to be a conduit of reconciliatory peace. Rarely, as in never, has it ever worked. But I keep trying.

Recently, having shifted my travel plans, instead of pausing, contemplating life and all its winter storm wonder, I got wrapped up in The Silly Sting Saga; that, and the rain and the rain and the rain, flooded my soul, stripping me of the giddiness I feel when adventuring. It’s been hard to sleep, hard to read, hard to write; for when people I love are upset, it has an all-consuming effect on me, until, exhausted, I hold out my hand out and shout, “Stop. No more!”

Which I did today thanks to yoga stretches, a drizzly walk around the salty block, Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly”, and a Mary Oliver poem I re-discovered in the anthology “Devotions”. Once again, I am re-aligned, my feet rooted in wisdom beyond myself and current circumstances. I needed this poem, perhaps you do too. It’s called “The World I Live In” by Miss Oliver.

I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

           reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

is wider than that. And anyway,

          what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I have seen. I’ll just

          tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

         ever possibly, see one. 

I’ll end today’s musings with a quote from Elizabeth Lesser’s “The Seeker’s Guide” which reminded me of The Bigger Picture: “Everything that happens to you also happens for you. So you take the thing that has caused you the most pain and you use it to create your greatest power.” 

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