Thank You for Do Overs

•December 31, 2015 • 5 Comments

The end draws near.

Tonight… all the mistakes you made, all those things you wish you would not have said, all the opportunities you screwed up, all the junk food you devoured, all the toys you broke, all the changes you forgot to make, and all the ugly clothes you wore in public because everything else was in the laundry, will disappear at midnight.

At precisely 12:01, in whatever time zone you live, a stranger will kiss you on the forehead and yell “Do Overs!” and run away.

You will awake in the morning, smelling of champagne, with confetti stuck to your neck, mumbling “Who slobbered on my eyebrow?”

As you shuffle your way toward the coffee pot, it will hit you like a party horn blast and angels will sing (a little too loud) and you will realize you are the recipient of a shiny new gift that no one can take away—another year of your life!

Congratulations, you get 365 more days to try it again!

Happy New Year!

Thank You for the Woman With Talking Eyes

•November 26, 2015 • 10 Comments

When I was nine years old, a woman came to our door with a large box of food the day before Thanksgiving.

She was a petite, kind looking woman in a navy blue coat. She had no idea what she was in for when she traipsed through the Michigan snow to knock on our door.

My mother, a paranoid schizophrenic, just happened to be having one of her episodes when this gentle woman came to our door on her mission to contribute to Humanity.

“What the Hell do you want?” My mother was not used to people knocking on our door.

Nor were her four children who stood in the background, peering through the doorway at the woman carrying a much needed box of food that appeared bigger than her.

“Mrs. Kelley, we were told by the school that your family might enjoy this Thanksgiving box and I’d like to leave it for you and your children.” The woman stepped back from the door a couple inches.

My mother yelled at the woman, “Who the Hell told you we needed charity? I don’t want anybody’s Goddamn charity! You can take that back where you got it and go piss up a rope!”

My three younger brothers and I remained quiet in the back ground as we had learned better than to contradict anything my mother said when she was like this. Our hearts sank as we had no food in the house for three days and this beautiful woman was being admonished for being our hero.

I stared at the woman’s face peeking through the space between the door jamb and my mother’s shoulder. She was trying to make eye contact with me.

She looked down at the box of food and then at me as my mother continued her threatening posture and paranoid rant a couple feet away from the woman’s bravery.

“You can all go to Hell! I don’t want anything from any of you! You just want me to kiss your ass! I’m not going to do it! Get the hell outta here!”

I sensed the woman was trying to tell me something as she responded to my mother’s paranoid accusations.

“Okay, Mrs. Kelley, I understand. There was probably a mistake. I’ll just take this to a family who might need it. I am so sorry to have bothered you. This is a lovely porch.”

She looked at me directly in the eyes and again at the food box and then to the porch next to the door.

I got it.

She said good bye. My mother slammed the door and went to her room mumbling about charity.

My younger brothers looked confused when I waited for a few minutes to make sure my mother was going to stay in her room and then went back to the door.

“She’s already gone, Lea. It’s too late.” one of them whispered.

I quietly opened the door and looked at the place on the porch next to it.

The box was there!

I made the best Thanksgiving dinner a nine year old can make out of canned goods and my mother came out to eat with us as though she had no idea how the food got there.

To that lovely woman in Midland, Michigan:

Who ever you are, where ever you are now, I will always remember your talking eyes.

Thank you.

and…


Thank you for Roaring Vulnerability

•November 25, 2015 • 9 Comments

There are events that can send us spiraling, without warning, back into psychological places we thought we escaped— burning buildings of anger, fantasy filled corridors of magical thinking, and self guarding mythology that no longer serves us.

The genuine affection of others can slay terrible demons we meet in those places, during such events.

Kind words can dispel ghosts which haunt the silent aloneness in a heart, defended against perceived injury from the outside world.

We learn to survive emotionally with the tools we inherit.

Sometimes those tools are broken or inadequate for the task.

Often we do not realize the tools are broken until an event or random circumstance commands action.

I am keenly aware of the limitations of my inherited tools.

I am also conscious and extremely grateful for the people who offer alternatives to my scant tool bag and support me with affection, trustworthiness, and honest feedback when I need it.

They are the dispellers of my ghosts and co-slayers of my demons—they help me climb out of burning buildings when my own ladder catches fire.

I am not easy to love.

I can be moody, aloof, and sometimes I retreat from personal questions that involve emotional discomfort for me. I may seem selfish in these instances, and I am.

I prefer to be seen in a positive light and work diligently at protecting the world around me from my own fears and the dark places I can visit.

This is one of my myths— I am just that impervious to negative thinking.

It can be as transparent to those who love me as a chiffon curtain over a broken window.

Yet they love me anyway.

There are those who risk kindness and offer their own vulnerabilities as evidence that I can do the same without fear of emotional injury.

Sometimes I am not so funny. Sometimes I am not so strong or enlightened. Sometimes I have nothing to share and sometimes I resist allowing others to share with me.

But make no mistake, I am thankful, always, for those who continue to offer new tools and are patient with my clumsy attempts at trying them.

Thank you for all the kindness and comfort that allows me to say;

I am vulnerable, hear me roar.


Thank you for Tears and La-cry-mation

•November 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

LEA KELLEY SAYING THANK YOU FOR...

Crocodiles don’t really cry.

The one in Rudyard Kipling’s story was just pretending.

Maybe elephants cry, maybe chimpanzees, maybe harp seals, or other vertebrates do cry.

I have seen some animals exercise their tear ducts. At the time, I was almost certain it was associated with more than eye washing, but I can not know because they could not tell me.

Most scientists say that humans are the only animals that cry “emotional” tears.

They probably never had a dog.

And they definitely didn’t see that documentary about elephants returning to burial grounds, probably never heard a baby mammal that was separated from it’s mother either.

Again, I can not know.

Humans definitely cry. (well, most of us)

It amazes me how that works.

Sometimes I cry for no good reason. It just sneaks up on me.

Once, I was sitting in the second row of an auditorium listening to Tibetan…

View original post 189 more words

Thank you for Dialogue vs. Diatribe and The Futilitarian Society

•October 7, 2015 • 3 Comments

Imagine going to a play where all the actors on the stage—about a hundred of them— were delivering monologues simultaneously.

No interaction between them, all concentrating on their own voices, no dialogue back and forth, just a loud drone of human voices aimed at the audience.

Which one would the audience hear?

How about if the audience participated by starting up their own individual monologues, directed at the stage?

Now, place yourself between the stage and the audience of escalating voices, face the exit door, and scream “I am all alone!”

Let’s call this exercise The Futiliarian Society game.

A society is based on cooperation. Cooperation takes communication.

Communication does not happen on a one way street.

It sometimes seems we are moving into a social neighborhood of one way streets, where very few people ever face each other and wave acknowledgment to one another.

Dialogue is becoming a lost art, replaced by a myriad of diatribes pouring from the mouths of those who are entitled to their opinions, their perceptions, their right to express whatever they see as their own personal truth—no matter the limitation of their view of the world.

I am part of this evolving neighborhood.

I think therefore I blog.

When I blog, I blog alone.

My internal dialogue is limited to a severe lack of debate, exploration external to my own existence, and any resistance to ill formed opinions based on a view from one facet of a very complex diamond—the diamond of Humanity.

I have recently been inspired by a legitimate conversation, in person, with other sentient humans, to ponder the need for authentic dialogue in my own evolution.

I fear an inevitable loneliness that will render me stupid with the advent of technologies that purport to make me more informed.

I fear an isolation that separates me from my fellow humans by replacing them with smoke filled mirrors of sound bytes, ad campaigns, and twittering chirps of waning language skills.

The irony that I am relating these fears, expressing these thoughts on a blog as opposed to running into the street and hugging someone until they speak to me is not beyond me.

I am thankful for the internet and amazed at the connections that have rescued people from a particular kind of isolation.

I am thankful for the information available to those who might otherwise remain in the dark.

And I am wondering today, how to say hello on a one way street toward a futilitarian society that will ignite a dialogue toward exploring all sides of a beautiful diamond while actually holding it in our hands.

Thank You For The Scary Cowboy Wake Up Call

•September 29, 2015 • 2 Comments

Before cell phones, I went traveling around the country, living out of my car and a little Northface tent for a while.

I was on a mission to find meaning, as a woman alone, in the vastness that is this country— and my own mind.

I pulled off a road into the middle of the Arizona desert as the sky was turning crimson, to set up for the night.

As I started to prepare for sunset, I noticed another car driving directly toward my isolated little camp.

I thought;

In all the miles of desert, why does this person need to come out to the very spot where I am trying to be alone with Nature?

 

As the car got closer, I could see it was an old Buick, leaving a dust trail across the desert floor, being driven by a cowboy hat.

Then I thought;

Of all the places in the world to be alone, why did I have to drive out into the middle of the desert where there is nowhere to hide?

The Buick pulled up next to my own vehicle.

The Cowboy got out and walked over toward me.

He was tall, with an unshaven face, and hair that poked out from under the cowboy hat, over the collar of a rumpled plaid shirt.

All my senses stood up and paid attention as he looked me up and down.

I looked him up and down back, hoping he didn’t notice my hands shaking from my senses being so awake.

He didn’t smile or waste a typical Hello…

You out here all alone?

 

Yep.

 

What do ya do when ya run across trouble?

I hoped he didn’t notice my knees were starting to knock for want to flee.

I mustered up all the false bravado I had in reserve;

Well, usually I try to avoid it… but if that doesn’t work out…

I kill it.

Without smiling, he looked me up and down again.

Then he burst into laughter.

Well, all right, I guess you’ll be okay then, huh?

 

I didn’t say anything.

My defense senses were confused, and I’m sure my face showed it.

I just saw a woman out here all by herself, and I thought I’d better check on you.

But it looks like you’re just fine.

 

After a brief conversation with me asking what the hell he was doing with such a mysterious personality, and him apologizing for not stating his intent right up front, the Cowboy said he was on his way to Mexico from Colorado and left me to my sunset.

As the sun fell asleep, I did not.

I stared at the stars and thought about all the different ways this story could have ended.

I realized I was in a place where no one would ever know the story if it had been different.

I was grateful for the wake up call and I recognized my vulnerability in my mission.

I realized why my friends kept telling me they were concerned about my adventure and they wished I would stay in better contact.

I drove into town the next morning and sent post cards.

Thank You For the Non-Zero-Sum and Getting What You Need

•August 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

LEA KELLEY SAYING THANK YOU FOR...

Game theory, the mathematical theory which can be applied to behaviors, strategic situations, economics, social sciences, and a lot of other situations that one wouldn’t consider to have anything to do with math, explains the zero-sum game concept. 

Zero sum game can be described as a situation in which one person’s gain is another person’s loss. 

No matter how much of something you start with, it all comes down to zero after you pass it around and distribute it into “Haves” and “Have Nots”.

The premise being there’s only so much to go around and it gets competitively passed back and forth in a win/lose scenario for all participants involved until there’s a zero balance left on the table, in the relationship, in the grain silo, on the cake plate, or the planet, for that matter. 

I don’t like the part about the losers.

Game theory is actually far more…

View original post 196 more words

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers