February 27, 2012
i didn’t have any understanding just how much a big ol’ bout of cancer would knock the stuffing out of me. or maybe, it was less that i lost my stuffing (well, trust me that i gained plenty of stuffing over the past few years – then lost some – then…oy..) but that i battened down all the hatches. almost every one. i could not listen to music in any meaningful way. i shut it out because my heart ached to want more out of it – to let it touch me. i shut out big dreams and oversized wants and certainly closed the door to seeing my life too far ahead. it was too dangerous to crack that door open and get a glimpse of open sea – lest the door slam shut and you’re stuck back in the world of 1/2 drawn curtains and industrial lighting.
but…time is a funny thing. if you manage to stay in the game of time, eventually, slowly, you put some of it behind you and there is a glimmer that you might – just might – think about next year or plan for even a few years ahead. i still ‘knock on wood’ (usually my head) and sometimes take a deep breath but slowly i find some more space between now and then.
and, in a scenario i only allowed in my most private thoughts, i have allowed myself to not only dream but to do – to create and work on a life i have wanted to return to for many years – of making music and singing again and finding the discipline to be back on stage. it has almost helped that i look nothing like my old former hot curvy sassy self because i am given the gift of not trying to recreate what was but to create and shape what is now and, more importantly, what will be because i want it. that’s what i say to myself every week at each audition before i walk in through the door to face the casting folks. quietly to myself i say: ‘you are here because you want to. have a pisser of a time.’ (the first part is mine; the second told to me once upon a hot-curvy-sassy-fling with a famous irish flutist who said he said that to himself every time he was about to walk onstage.)
i now happily juggle my regular working life, my wonderful family (they might say they juggle me!); and the buds of a life of music and theater that is starting to, once again, belatedly, take shape. what shape? i’m not sure but i am determined. and i’m here because i want to be. i’m having a pisser of a time.
February 3, 2012
ALRIGHT THEN….i have rarely felt so fired up as i have the moment i heard that the susan g. komen breast cancer charity had made some politically-motivated back-room board deal/manipulation to pull funding from planned parenthood. and then listened to them spin spin spin during the vertigo-inspiring fall-out. but most people, it turns out, have an understanding about compassion and fairness and what it might mean to be a poor woman with no means to have a mammogram or treatment for any diagnosis…both of which are constantly supplied by planned parenthood. now – realizing that they were on the verge of destruction as any kind of charity with the power to garner contributions – they have reversed their decision and will continue funding planned parenthood. i sometimes curse social media but right now i bow down to the power of facebook, wordpress, blogs in general and twitter. people wouldn’t put up with the headline and social media allowed them to say what they felt – that they were offended in the most immediate way.
sadly, during all of this i learned more than a few things about komen which make me remain queasy about the organization. first of all – that right-wing witch – karen handel – has to leave. immediately. second, i learned that komen is like many uber-large charities – they start feeding off themselves and need to give more to research and less to glittery parties and such. some of their corporate partnerships are exceptionally suspect – can you cure cancer and take money from a company whose product probably contributes to cancer at the same time?? and nancy brinker should have someone counsel her that when she is talking to the general public about how komen administers to every woman – she might look a little less uptight upper east side exceptionally rich – it rings pretty false over video.
i’ll probably send my donation dollars to SHARE and DR. SUSAN LOVE ARMY OF WOMEN – SHARE does amazing reach-out to women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer (they were so kind to me – and it made a difference) and ARMY OF WOMEN – has been funded by Avon (‘meh’ as my teenager would say) but they are commited to research and finding a cure.
DR. SUSAN LOVE’S ARMY OF WOMEN: http://www.armyofwomen.org/
i don’t need to be branded pink – i just need integrity and commitment. and a cure for breast cancer.