How to pick the perfect fig — aka. how to make a decision!

roadsLike everything else in this world, the term — or definition if you will —of being lost has many different meanings. And I imagine most people’s minds can easily recall a time when they were literally “lost” — like they took a wrong turn while driving (myself, I was terribly lost one morning about eight weeks ago when road construction forced me to take the road less traveled and well, that particular road wasn’t anything at all like the serene landscape Mr. Frost’s poem depicts).

BUT. The kind of lost that seems to surround me lately is less concrete than the kind brought on by the asphalt jungle that surrounds me.

In all truthfulness I think I’ve always been this way — always stuck at a crossroad, always choosing — or not choosing, for that matter. So maybe lost isn’t the right term for me.  Because I think I’m more of a searcher … always wondering, always questioning … but sometimes, we — me, you, everyone —can spend too much time searching and we fail to make decisions. There is a passage in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar where she hints at the idea of starving to death while seated at the base of a giant fig tree only because she cannot choose which fig to pluck from above and eat. That entire idea, I find haunting.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked … I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

And so today — like so many days — I find myself seated comfortably at yet another crossroad. It’s like I’m rummaging around life and all the marvelous options that exist … ‘bout time someone comes along and knocks me off my comfortable chair and down a path. Any path. Because whether I (or you) take the road less traveled, or the one with all the stoplights and honking horns, at least we’ll be moving which is infinitely better than remaining stagnant. This post inspired by The Daily One-word Prompt: Crossroads.

Why we should heed the wisdom of the Lorax —

11873_10151626072504993_1963817740_nTwenty-seven years ago, at the UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, the well-known peace activist John McConnell suggested a single day be set aside to admire Mother Earth and the idea of peace. One year later on the first day of spring, March 21, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated. And this year, more than a quarter century later, the Paris Agreement will be signed by the United States and more than 120 other countries fulfilling the requirement of the drafted climate protection treaty embraced by the 195 nations represented at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Continue reading

How to be a good friend (bring your calculator)

gossipRemember word problems in school?  You know, ones like this: If person A drove 15 mph for 60 miles and person B drove 20 mph, who would get to mile marker 35 first … or something like that. Well I have a word problem for you. Here it goes:

Suzie is friends with Mary. Mary tolerates Suzie. Suzie thinks she is friends with Jane. Jane is friends with Mary. Jane cannot stand Suzie. Jane does not pretend to be friends with Suzie. So why is it that Suzie feels compelled to spread ill-will about Jane to Mary?  Is it because:

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I still want my tiara!

barbie_tiaraI loved high school. I mean hey, I had the world at my feet and a fully deployed umbrella over my head. What wasn’t to love? I had a lot friends, a nice house and a closet chalk full of fabulous stuff. BUT. For as much as it pains me to admit this … there is one particular thing that, whenever I think about it, still carves into my side like a frickin’ knife. A dull painful knife at that. (And no, this isn’t going to be a post about losing my virginity or attending my first kegger – what? Now you don’t want to read? Now that there’s no promise of teenage promiscuity I’ve lost your interest? Oh come on – this is better – really – because it still pisses me off and because after you read it you’ll want to throw something at my stupid little teenage self.) Continue reading

Can a fairy godmother be an old black man?

Black-man-on-suitcase-left-profileWhen I was young and considerably more impressionable than I am now (well, OK, maybe that’s not entirely true … I still have my gullible moments — come to think if it, probably more than I should admit) I used to ride on trains. I traveled up and down the west coast, visiting family, sometimes going to and from track meets when it was more economical to take Amtrak than fly. And to this day, some of my fondest memories are from those hours spent on railroad tracks … Continue reading

Does God care how I address Him?

prayerI tried to pray today. But it seems I’ve forgotten how.

When I was a little girl, right after my mother turned my bed back and I brushed my teeth and changed into my princess nightgown, I used to crouch on my knees, hands clasped together, head bent, eyes closed and repeat the words to “Jesus Tender Sheppard Hear Me …” But as I got older, my bedtime ritual changed. Continue reading