I want to thank my pal Ces for revamping my blog. I hope I do it proud.
Sometimes I wonder if my blog is boring. Often I'm tempted to explain or apologize when I write about people like Andy or Joey: sometimes I say, "Oh, you might think I don't know what I'm talking about but I'm a business owner and I think things through and I don't wave flags or jump on soapboxes if I don't know what I'm talking about."
At points in my life I've been accused of being too touchy-feely, too emotional, too bleeding-heart-ish. That often translates to me that I am not being substantive, or logical, or well informed--and I don't think I'm paranoid in picking up the assumption that that is not a very
respected way to be.
Such is my state of believing that hearts bleed and love heals. I'm living a life of deep love and there's not much I can do about it these days, unless I'm willing to be numb, which I'm not. Except for this winded introduction, I've pretty much stopped explaining and apologizing about what I see and believe and feel, and why. I'm kind of at a "take me or leave me" stage in life. Hey--why not? I may be petty and oblivious sometimes, but I'm also kind and fun. And let it be said again: I do show up and try.
So. This Thursday 13 I am writing about "seeing". Not just staring or looking at but really noticing and well, seeing. I am honoring those around me who see:
1. Jessica: Nothing gets by this daughter of mine. Any phony, pretend, or manipulative cover-up is sniffed out and hunted down by her sincerity radar. She solves murder cases months before the police suspect the heartbroken husband is having an affair with the babysitter, and she psychs out the contestants on American Idol long before their true colors appear. Jessica can look pre-occupied, but she never is. She is an observer of human beings and their quirks like no one else I know. If sincerity could be packaged, she would be the first one to see it.
2. JB: Years ago I was driving to Maine with JB when I first noticed flowers dancing in the wind. And a time after that I was walking with JB when I first saw the brillant color of a blue sky. I had misplaced my 5th grade wonder until JB beseeched me to roll down proverbial hills with her. When she's happy, she sees a world at play. She pulls out her crayons or special wine glasses and throws a party. And she sees to it that I play right along with her.
3. Dad: You die and then you show up every year with some new flower or plant overflowing in my or mom's yard. How do you do that, Dad? You've outdone yourself this Spring. The bushes are awesome. I remember so much of your silly advice, Dad. I never thought I would, but it's so easy now to see what you meant.
4. Ces: My best friend brings vibrant words and colors to most of my days. She laughs her way through laundry, rivets me with tales of her palette knives and childhood in the Philippines, and even in the quietest moments, she sees me as I really am--even the tears and quirks and confusion. And then she welcomes and accepts me anyway.
5. Lily and Amy: these two women who live down the street offer small and steady acts of friendship: a dropped-off plate of homemade tarts, a minature rose bush in a tin can, extra mulch all packed up and ready to go. In a pinch they will feed our dog and water our grass. They see, as JB and I do, that finally we all have found the hang-out, take-care-of, trusted local friends we've longed for.
6. Janna: JB and I are trying our best to host this holiday party--we are stretched thin everywhere, and you just bring us each a plate of all the little-of-this and little-of-that food we have prepared. You don't ask: you just see we won't have time to eat on our own so you bring it to us. You are Jessica's friend, not ours, but you are also family.
7. Jane Mc: In Northern New England a psychotherapist named Jane improves and saves lives and relationships through her experience and skill and caring and competence. She sees straight to the heart of "issues" like pain and loss and defenses and pride, and she walks with you until you see all this for yourself.
8. Stella the Dog: It has now been a year since this tight, fearful, distant dog arrived. I can't say exactly when she started to fall into the safety and love surrounding her, but she now does. We have tamed eachother. We miss oneanother when we're apart. We see love.
9. Mike H: This friend of mine takes my side no matter what. Over 25 years he always defends me, listens to me, supports my point of view, and always always makes sure I understand I am doing the best I can. Mike sees unconditional love and he communicates that to me every time.
10. Melissa: There's no kidding anybody about the stamina and patience required to bring up two charmingly bright and active little girls. I know you're exhausted most of the time, and probably confused and amibivalent sometimes on top of that. None-the-less, you manage to see birds, dogs, the natural world, children, and all the little moments. You don't have to see all this, but you do.
11. Artists and Writers: I did not grow up with either anywhere near me. Now, the world is bright and deep and daring because of the artists and writers who share and show me what they see in so many different styles and ways.
12. Mom: My mother is 91 with no memory. And yet every time I'm with her she says something like "kj, look at the sky. Doesn't that cloud look like a dog?" or "kj, Don't those colors look funny together?" I only learned it recently, but my Mother sees.
13. The ducks: I am sitting in my back yard on the brick patio, drinking coffee and thinking nothing. A mother duck, walks through the side gate, just waddling in a straight line. She is followed in single file by 8 baby ducks, also waddling in a straight line. They walk right in front of me, reach the fence 4 feet ahead, make a sharp left turn, and follow the fence, still in single file, until they reach the end, where they skoot under the fence and disappear. I will never forget this moment. It is registered in technicolor in my mind. It was a moment to see.
Let's face it: it's all to easy to walk through life and not see. Demands and chores and hurts and challenges and plain old weariness make it hard to take the time to see. But the cost of not seeing is too high. At least that's my opinion.