I just buffed this piece, written a year ago; still relevant and holding, Oh Lord, be still my heart-esther
Point of View
Get this, you can look thin. Forget all about that hogwash of dieting, food plan, thinking yourself thin, eating rooted tarrow weed, boiling gargoyles in your kitchen on the night of a full moon; or eating the worms in the garden before the sun emerges over its rosy neighborhood, or cooking aubades for that matter; now get this, there’s a good one; and you too can be thin; and I think, I too can be thin. I look at my wrists, which have expanded since I’ve been a 4-pound baby; matter of fact, if I’m lying I’m dying, I was a four pounder, and get this, if I’m lying, I’m dying, I am 4 pounds cubed or undehydrated to the Einstein theory of relatively to the max, but if
I’m lying, I’m dying, my wrists are still thin.
So there is a simple explanation for why I feel pencil thin in my new expanded billowing by the hips, caught-in the wind-gossamer
black pants, and reasonably fitted wide waist; too wide to fit a Scarlett O-Hara waist. and wide enough for a beer truck but not as
wide as a bread truck parked at Peets Coffee.Are you with me? Are you listening? Heavy women of the world unite, because I have a new idea. I am always thin if I look at my wrists, and I am sorry God. Forgive me for living in California, make that Los Angeles. I am not thin in other parts of my body. Are you with me?
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, bless me father for I have sinned. I have eaten, last night after I resolved to eat only oatmeal and apples
and vegetables of the cruciferous kind, crunchy on the tongue, the palate, I ate a beguiling, smooth, small, come and get me, violate
me in the vilest way possible, white cake, trembling under the florescent lights, lined up in serried rank with all the other
little cakes. This little cake, are you with me, this little cake, whom I immediately bonded with and became best friends, let’s call
her Cuppy, well, Cuppy said to me, “Come, let us be one, pick me, pick me, let me slide down your throat, go by your epiglottal stops,
let’s stop your epiglottal ways and come with me, and that’s when the song, “Come with me, come with me,” overcame me and I knew I
would no longer have thin wrists, because can you get this, Cuppy and I became one, a sybaritic experience, and now, instead of food
plans, meetings; mea culpa banged upon my breasts which until I expanded I called chest, now, now, now, I will put long floor t
ceiling mirrors at a tilt, and gaze at my rolling hills of a body, and get this, I will awaken and throw my long legs into the air, and
in the widened room, they look thin and tall, oh so thin and tall.
God, I am ready to live in California, silhouette thin, depending upon your point of view, and God, I’m off for the day to find
another Cuppy. Let us rejoice for the Cuppies of the world.
Thinking of calling this “Before the golden Age”
Elizabeth Vargas bids goodbye from the news
Wait How is Peter Jennings?
Now I know
Of his kind heart, his last days
His frailty-but what of his regrets
About those last cigarettes?
Nine eleven – my fingers
Probe memory’s silt
Braille the reality of those days
Find terror’s dullard cousin Disbelief
Our earth stood still on nine eleven.
Together in cylindrical need
We lurched towards one another
A oneness prayer
No words or syllables or sounds
United, until the politicians
Like Crows form New Jersey,
Fat cigars hanging from their mouths
Carped, scavenged and hawked
Their way up ladders of
Avarice and greed.
“The necks of men are stretched out in malice,”*
Crows cavorted long back halls
Of politically elite and Power’s salacious divide.
Language used for Dark reptilian thoughts
Separate, the enemy, the other
The Crows, did I say crows?
I meant Boys, Boys at play
Like Gargoyles in a game
Crocodiles shopping for dental twine.>
This image of the donkey says “Esther likes cake,” and yes indeedy, a little downfall of mine – Violetta had said, look for images under Google, press it and then type in your name, and a plethora of images came up. At the moment, I like the donkey the best, but it’s time to pull away from computer play and hit the road for a big walk and try to simplify life and get Bill better! love to all e
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” – James M. Barrie
Taking a course through Wilmette Institute. I was hesitant, but it’s great as they encourage comments re imagry in the Writings. Reading Tablets of the Divine Plan, and various letters from the Universal House of Justice. Bill has hepatitis, we think caused by a bad sandwich, obtained unbelievably from a hospital cafeteria where he went to grab a bite as Sue and Ralph and I sat upstairs in an emergency room to get Sue admitted and also people had square plastic buckets to urp in and it was unbelievable; but we are relieved, it is not a blood disease.
Just finished Wake-Up Call Kirstren Breitweiser, one of the 9/11 widows. she had been Republican and the book details the journey and struggle a small group of 911 widows incurred. The writing is intelligent, honest, and very good. It was quite insightful.
John called from Haifa; he said a prayer for Bill at Bahji; had coffee with Amelia and then violetta joined us; i went home to check on bill. I walked two miles today; hooray; violetta came by; now have to stop nd study and hopefully get a netflix dvd to view in an hour or so. Soccer game of Jessica’s tomorrow; Nick came by with Border’s card gift and a card for Bill on his birthday; wow, so sweet!
He will pick me up at 8.15 so I can go see Jessica play soccer! hooray
Esther Bradley-DeTally 10/25/06
Why do I Write
Like now when the dishes sit orphaned in the kitchen sink because its washer is out here typing, sharing, breathing, living, putting off the inevitable, because once a long time ago, I was so hurt, I couldn’t breathe, and I carried that intake of hurt with me forever, until I found out that sensitivity is the price and the prize for being able to write, for being able to read people, to Braille the unsaid about them, to have a prisoner falsely imprisoned for defending herself against her stepfather rapist, say, she liked a phrase I wrote, “The language of God is a tear running down someone’s cheek.”
I write because I read, insatiably, gobbling, inhaling, filling myself with the human condition; splat on the floor some days, like a big old squishy bug, flattened, dead, its body swept up by old straws on a broom; and then I write to show the magic of St. Theresa’s Snow Queen Altar when I was young, and how everything looked like a fairy cake or wedding cake, and then I write to tell how when I was a young woman, and so needy I could have impaled myself on a stake wide and big, sort of like a meta-letter holder, except the stake would run through my insatiably needy heart, and a note on my back would read “loves too much,” and that was before the book Women Who Love Too Much.
I write because I have gone beyond Medieval Posts puncturing my despair and loneliness and have decided Men Who Love too Much is here too; we all love too much but is it politically correct to love so hard, and yet tension of the opposites, I write becauseat times none of us love too much, but we are told by images in advertising, that we should be thin, jaded in the eyes, like the look of models for Vogue or whatever, who probably could shoot up heroin on their lunch hours, and because despair is trendy and nihilism and materialism and not giving a damn might be the language of the hour for some, but then there is the lonely, little, big, young, old, trembling, brassy, you catch my drift writer who writes because he or she must and words have a visceral effect upon her, him, the dog, the surrounding room, hopes for the world, and a good ham sandwich or description thereof on a sour dough roll, with slabs of mayo, and a bed of lettuce, and curled pink ham, ready to go into someone’s mouth which is opened to the size of half a ladder, is a good thing, a good description.
What this nation needs is a good ham sandwich and a Pepsi without the aspartame and some down to honest to goodness honesty that is the natural condition to communicate, to be real, to be afraid of bugs in knotty pine walls when the walls come alive at night; to watch an elderly blind woman, clutch the corners of her walker, take a breath and remain a sweet sweet spirit, knowing that her condition, her tests are of the divinely calibrated kind, even though trucks have run over her emotionally, and I write to tell of the anonymous amongst us, the bravery, the small acts of courage, kindness in this nation where the world is narcissistically checking its derriere in the mirror, and no one or precious few are listening to the “midnight sighing of the poor,” and where we must have immense courage and speak up; talk, yeah, walk the talk, be it; speak up; tell future generations who we were, wanted to be, became anyhow and our hopes for the future; because someday we will all be sensitive, spiritually inclined, aware of our oneness and otherness will go on a back shelf like Twinkies, no longer approved of by the American Heart Association, and writing will be celebrated by hoots and hollers and a piping or two from a medieval horn or Siberian throat, and the arts will have a way of grabbing our soul’s innards and carrying us through the day. These are some of the reasons I write, but there are others, but today is Wednesday and those are my Wednesday’s writing reasons.
Quotation of the Day for September 3, 2006
“It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of the world.
“For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small imperfect stones to the pile.
“I have learned other things: One is the futility of expecting anyone, including ourselves to be perfect. People who go about seeking to change the world, to diminish suffering, to demonstrate any kind of enlightenment, are often as flawed as anybody else. Sometimes more so. But it is the awareness of having faults, I think, and the knowledge that this links us to everyone on Earth, that opens us to courage and compassion. It occurs to me that often many of those I deeply love are flawed. They might actually have said or done some of the mean things I?ve felt, heard, read about, or feared. But it is the struggle with the flaw, surprisingly endearing, and the going on anyhow, that is what I cherish about them. Sometimes our stones are, to us, misshapen, odd. Their color seems off. Their singing ? comical and strange. Presenting them, we perceive our own imperfect nakedness, but also, paradoxically, the wholeness, the rightness, of it. In the collective vulnerability of presence, we learn not to be afraid.”
– Alice Walker, from Anything We Love Can Be Saved
May have put this up before; back in Pasadena, relief;Bill’s temp normal tonight; hard week; but good to see our dear friends; valient with challenges of age; great family; i have been downloading course from Wilmette Institute; guaranteed to sharpen this blunted brain. I am grateful to be back; Edla missed us; we missed her; and so it goes.
Still at Ralph and Sue’s. Sue is out of the hospital, but Bill has had fever and touch of tummy flu so he is in bed. Hope to leave her Monday, and i will drive. we rented a PT Cruiser, not the most comfortable but quite zippy, and zippy is what we need.
Saw an interesting interview of Elizabeth Edwards last nite on PBS; genuince, intelligent, heart felt. She has recently published a book about her experience with breast cancer. She’s coming to Pasadena, but I don’t know when.
In Caldwell, at my sister’s in March or so, I discovered black pugs, and had one particular one who was needy (i loved her) and now like them as much as white and black or fawn and black pugs. Jezebel that I am. Bidwell Park is beautiful this time of year as is the neighborhood; hoofing around a bit. Ralph and Sue’s family is terrific and loving, so that’s good. Want to get to Pasadena before John goes to Haifa. okay love to all, esther
… Thus shall a sorry gnat become an eagle in the fulness of his strength, and a feeble sparrow change to a royal falcon in …
I fell in love with that quote years ago, and in fact, I laughed out loud when I read it, and said to myself, “That’s it! I’m a sorry gnat,” and today I can say I am the happiest Sorry Gnat. email from David re Melanie who is on second part of presenting modules of her curriculum in Africa, and then she goes to Haifa for a brief visit. It turns out Johnnie will be leaving for Haifa next Wednesday and I gave Dave his information to tell Melanie and will tell Johnnie also. Two of my soul friends will meet. Hooray!
We walked second day in a row along the paths of Bidwell Park. Some days you see deer, not today, tho Bill said he saw 2 vultures. Some trees knocked down, huge ones, and there’s a feathery lack of care over the whole scene so we can appreciate it in its blowsy nature look, not like the clipped manicured paths and surroundings in urban areas. It fills us, me and Bill, and we have to get back in shape. Walking with very low blood pressure mine (so as not to stress my aortic valve) feels somewhat like moving a truck up hill slowly, but i am sure things will get better. we are with sue and ralph, our dear dear friends, frail and into the final frontier of agedom, and valient; a good example. We will toot downtown and go to one of the best used bookstores around! If i find any good images, I’ll put em up.
Rahel loves pugs; in honor of this new discovery, back is the pug poster!
Tonight was feast; so many wonderful young people;
Must be pug day in my heart. I notice when I’m feeling blue or undefined and I am on my computer, I lallygag my way into pug photos. The group of pugs is from a picture from Maryland pug Rescue and the other one is from Obey the Pug website; nothing is sacred to a pug lover!
Our days are beautiful, and our friends and family run the spectrum of happenings and challenges, making this writer very greatful for friends, a clear sunshiny day in Pasadena, a great 50 year reunion with one old friend and his wife and Bill and I, dinner that lies ahead at a friend’s place cuz her mom is in from Trinidad. We go to Chico Monday to see Ralph and Sue; long drive but worth it.
more later e
A week of intensity. A writing group member experiences loss, someone dear or more than someone dear struggles. It seemed as if 90% of my hang-out-love-em-to-pieces was experiencing struggles of the push-a-rock-up-the-mountain kind last week. Sunday, today, air clear, we are off to see Jan from New York, with whom we rendezvous once a year in some coffee house and motor mouth about life. Then we go to a reptile place in Huntington Beach for Jessica, our granddaughter’s birthday,” oh be still my heart. My heart skips rope at the thought of doing so.
Friday night, we went to Kathy’s house, and she deals with conflict resolution and arbitration in her work world at the Western Justice Center. She hosted a Devotional for Racial Unity, and her oak floored apartment, was lit with small candles; two gemoetric clear vases filled with flowers sat like bookends on the coffee table, and across the back of her white couch were stewn tiny little red petals of Chrysanthenums, and there was more. We had a great group, all younger than Bill and I. Konjit is from Ethiopia, Kathy from Trinidad, Violetta from the Congo, and recently from Paris, Laura, also from Western Justice, Latino, said a prayer in Spanish, David, from China, me from Boston, Bill from western New York. Did I miss anyone, yes, John, born here, first generation Persian-American. Laughter and intense conversations vaulted the walls, and I thought, “If we all held race unity devotionals around the city, wouldn’t it be a different city, a beginning, a tilling of the hard earth of hurt and misinformation.” Oops; news from Cardiologist; heart valve good for another 25 years on Earth’s great big track; I have to adjust to new meds which keep my blood pressure slightly above lying still moth, barely breathing, but that’s nothin!
Kathy and Laura are friends of the Faith, and I was so touched by Kathy’s offering. We have begun walking together and as soon as I can really hoof 3 miles, will be back on soon.
Saw a friend in the hospital; older, soo beautiful, the way her white hair swept off her face, a tiny little thing, needs someone to stay with her at home, day and night, but she’ll recover!
Piece de resistance, Jim took Bill, myself out to dinner to join John at Parkside Grill, and I had a wonderful fish, as did Bill, topped with flowers, and felt, if i were to have a last meal, “I’d choose this.”
The theme of Children of the Half Light played out a lot this week, and it first came up when we were fortunate to hang out with Rod, and we really are on the crust of change. “The world’s equilibrium” has been “upset” by the emergence of this new order, and I think, “you bet your sweet bippy it has,” and I am also on the theme of our tests, personal, perhaps collective (if it works on one level…) are divine calibrated, not from a punitive God. I have found that whatever darkness i have to face and go through, there is some light or blessing, or insight at the end, and I emerge, deeper, more carved out; a barnacle or two off my soul, and so it is i suspect for a lot of us.
okay enough for now; did I mention that Kathy has mud pie and i ate a hefty piece?
oh dear….tomorrow is another day!
A MUST READ; read BassiBabba’s post; re Anderson Cooper
Don’t think political position; just read the story about the little girl and then continue, even though your heart may break!