the great theologian and my personal adviser on all matters of faith rev. mike coglan once asked me to imagine for just one moment what it would feel like if i knew, really knew, that God loved me. exactly the way i am. even with the things i have done or, perhaps especially, the things i have considered doing. regardless of how anyone might feel about me and their criticisms or snubs of no mind because God loves me. hold that imagining for a moment. and then another moment.
stick with me here, we’re going to get through the bad news like a quick liver sausage dinner and save the good news for last like a delicate tiramasu!
i absorb all the negatives and slings and arrows of outrageous (and some spot on) circumstance and influences. maybe you do too. i’m not good enough. i’m too fat. i’m too stupid. i’m too old.* i’ve done too little to deserve to suck oxygen in the same planet as (insert anybody’s name here). i’m not good enough for any expenditure of the two greatest treasures–time and talent–that any worthy person has.**
some people i.e. the coolest of cool kids can oscillate rejection and acceptance in just the right way. third period they’re sharing their snickers with you and seventh period they boldly announce that you’re a bed wetter. the truly bad news is you’ll still think they’re cool and that you’re not. you’ll hold onto seventh period until you’re on your deathbed and you tell the story of that betrayal to a nurse who will just assume that you’re mumbling again. the baddest of all bad news is that you can’t be betrayed by a stranger. only by someone you love and trust and think you know.
are we done with the bad news yet? well, actually, not quite. just one more smidgen of liver sausage coming in for a landing on your tongue.
all this bad juju makes for bad choices, bad health, bad consequences. i’ve got more than my share. too many sleepless nights thinking of what did i do wrong. too many sleepless nights standing in front of the refrigerator sniffing through boxes of leftover Chinese carryout. too many times i have gone along with something i didn’t feel right about. but thought that if i did, i’d be liked, loved, accepted. i am invariably wrong.
how about you?
are we done yet? are we done yet? yes, stop it we are! we’re at the good news and the six month plan.
my dear friend and couturier jeweler designer susan laid down the law in a very tender but firm way after the portland airport incident. i had collapsed just after being molested in the usual but invasive way by a tsa agent. i had a seizure. a concussion. i woke up in an ambulance with a paramedic asking
“what’s your name? do you know your name?”
“i don’t remember,” i replied haughtily. well, as haughtily as one can do when one is in an ambulance and doesn’t remember one’s name. i added “lots of people do not remember their name.”
“what about your birthday?” asked another paramedic crowding into the scene. “you know your birthday?”
“a gentleman never asks that question of a lady,” i said. full throttle maggie smith vigor. “i wouldn’t presume to ask yours.”
i don’t have a primary care physician. i haven’t been to the dentist since cyndi lauper put out her best album. i don’t get my hair done or my nails did (slight reference to drake — you fancy huh?) i’ve sort of given up.
“you need to take care of yourself,” susan advised. “you’re the only one who will. you need to spend six months taking care of yourself. putting yourself first. nobody else. you’re number one for the next six months.”
she’s known me since i wore leg warmers over my jeans so i trust her.
excuse me? where is the good news here? i thought we were at the good news part.
well, there is good news. i am going to spend the next six months repairing myself. maybe you need this too. maybe we do it together. i’m starting small. but i’m going to work my way back to whatever i was before the tippy cup sprayed all over me.
number one i’m not going to buy any article of clothing that is black for the next six months.
my next project is to get myself a primary care physician. oh, and a dentist. i am taking recommendations. bon vivant and devastatingly handsome seventyish bill seymour has given me the name of one i hope will take me on. a little rough getting a primary care physician these days bur we’ll give it a shot.
*lately, i’ve been getting the “too old or otherwise invisible” message from folks. guess my age. anything less than 56 gets you a prize. i don’t know what the prize is. it might be a pony. or backstage passes to (insert name of hipster band here). or it might just be a thank you note.
**that one is not quite true. my good friend and theater impresario chris johnson is directing a play i wrote while on a thirty day road trip to canada. i did not drive and write at the same time. otherwise i’d have to insert that picture from the ohio turnpike again. the show was produced by theologian slash accountant jim masini
p.s. i managed to get an appoint august 22 with a doctor in glenview. first thing of course is getting approval from the insurance company. . …
August 5th, 2016 at 7:29 pm
So glad to see a blog post from you, ArLynn! I find the trick to dealing with those who sling verbal arrows is not to absorb them, believe them, or it all out on yourself. It’s to wonder, “How can that mean person treat other people so shabbily?” Truly, as the saying goes, you’ll never meet a “hater” doing better than you! Or at Taylor Swift advises, “Shake It Off!” 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM
August 5th, 2016 at 8:01 pm
i bow down to taylor swift she’s absolutely spot on! are you sure that you and she are not sisters?
August 9th, 2016 at 5:06 pm
Maybe she and I might have a common ancestor – you never know!
August 5th, 2016 at 7:38 pm
HOORAYYY YYYY!!!!!… FINALLY… colors !… ANYTHING I can do to help along the way, would be an honor….and it is SO good to see you out here again!…I once told you I knew I had to do the work….for myself..but YOU held the flashlight….I hope in some small way I can do the same…. Arlynn….. nobody is qualified to be anybody’s judge….you can be your own best friend…or worst enemy…life WILL reflect what you put out…Be good to yourself..and goodness will come to you. NO more darkness…be BRIGHT..be COLORFUL…. Deserve it…. because you believe you deserve it…only you can do it. And we, who are your friends will be right behind..for support. With MUCH love..Bill
August 5th, 2016 at 8:00 pm
or, as my friend susan would post, say it, see it, believe in it! thank you for your friendship and let me see if i can find something that doesn’t make me feel like a whale wrapped in tarp. bestest to tallahassee!
August 6th, 2016 at 1:56 am
August 8th, 2016 at 11:46 pm
ha ha! like i could!
August 5th, 2016 at 9:11 pm
Coincidentally I saw Steve K this morning and asked him if he had heard from you, thanks for the progress report, I know from personal experience how hard all this stuff is. Best wishes, Bob Whelan
August 5th, 2016 at 9:32 pm
wow, bob, haven’t heard about you in a while. what’s you up to?
August 7th, 2016 at 5:12 pm
I’m so glad that you still have that thought in your head. Now, have you ever imagined what it would feel like to love God exactly the way God is?
August 8th, 2016 at 11:47 pm
wow, that’s a tantalizing prospect for a theologian to dangle in front of a soul like me! i can see how that love for God might create a desire to at least one’s best effort at the ten commandments or at least the simplest one of loving one’s neighbor!
August 8th, 2016 at 5:04 pm
Great job on putting yourself first! I commend you for doing your personal work and love your writing style. Well done! Wishing you great success with your success month building a better relationship with you program.
August 8th, 2016 at 11:45 pm
thank you! and i’m hoping a positive attitude will turn this boat around! managed to find a primary care physician which is probably a nice second step (the first of course being the attention to my closet–there’s a lot of black in there!