Flip Phone Fantasy

by sandra on July 22, 2017

It was only 2 1/2 years ago that I entered the arena of smartphone technology. A lifelong late bloomer, I had clung tenaciously to my flip phone and, truth told, I only had had one of those under protest. I would have been perfectly happy living out the rest of my days with a land line.

My philosophy has always been, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you”, so what did it matter if I missed a call? My experience growing up with a landline was that, if a person called you and you weren’t there, they always called back. My entire childhood, neither I nor anyone in my family ever missed a call we were meant to have.

In those halcyon Flip Phone Days, when I wanted to be unencumbered by my purse in the summertime, I popped the fliphone into my bra (I dressed to the left), making me a modern-day Mae West/Maxwell Smart. Read the rest of this entry »

Chester Bennington, The Catholic Church, and The Entrenched Scourge of Child Sexual Abuse

by sandra on July 21, 2017

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, who committed suicide on July 20, once revealed in an interview that he had been sexually assaulted by an older male “friend” for much of his adolescence, and that, that, combined with his parents’ divorce and his working father’s absence,  had left him feeling alone and helpless.

Meanwhile, back at the Catholic Church… yet another criminal report surfaced on Tuesday involving the Domspatzen choirboys in Germany, 547 of whom were physically or sexually abused by Catholic clergy between 1945 and 1992.

I wrote the following story in 2010 and posted it in response to Jerry Sandusky’s 30-60 year prison sentence in 2012 for having sexually abused countless young boys who entrusted them as their father figure and mentor.

Who among us can say that we truly understand this darkest of crimes – pedophilia – which decimates the human soul and shatters the spirit of its victims,  leaving them clamoring –  usually lifelong – for redemption and understanding? Chester Bennington’s gruesome tale pretty much sums up how a child becomes magnetized to these demon-predators among us. Any child who is abandoned, neglected, disrespected, abused, or feels unseen can become fair game for a marauding pedophile. 

 I offer to you the following, fictional possibility for how a child might be set up for this particular type of victimization. Read the rest of this entry »

Tomato Sandwich

by sandra on July 20, 2017

The Tomato At-Large

One of my fondest memories of my childhood growing up in Buffalo, New York, centers around The Summer Tomato. Yes, a true Summer Tomato is worthy of capital letters – a proper noun, indeed.

With 7 children in the house, we bought them by the bushel.  A plateful of sliced tomatoes sprinkled with sugar and salt was part of every supper, every day, throughout those three, precious months that we lived for – after a long, harsh winter – and a spring that (eventually) showed up like a savior.

Throughout the summer, a tomato sandwich was the go-to snack.  It filled in all the spaces between morning cereal and supper, the spaces between bike riding and swimming and hopscotching.

Simple ingredients: toasted white bread, lots of salad dressing (we didn’t use “mayonnaise”), thick tomato slices, and a few leaves of iceberg lettuce was all it took to sate summer’s demand for light sustenance heavy on the hydration.

Last Sunday, I stopped at a farm market in the North Georgia mountains, where I purchased three tomatoes – one, a gigantic beauty reminiscent of those childhood, round-the-summer bushelsfull.

This morning, I made a sandwich with that monolith.

Today, I share the  experience with you.

What about you? What’s one of your favorite summer memories?

 

 

Pursuing Thin

by sandra on July 19, 2017

Coming across my Facebook feed this morning was a pic of a woman, a coach in one of those beachbody programs or some such bullshit.

“Are you frustrated with those extra pounds around your middle, sick of those no carb, no sugar diets and feeling deprived of your favorite foods? Want to learn the secrets to a flat belly and dumping that extra weight for good? Request access to my private FB live event tonight.”

No, Miss Anorexia, I’m frustrated because you think that you’re the ideal of what a woman should look like.

Standing at a 45-degree angle to make herself look even skinnier, with her long, wavy brown hair and prominent proboscis, she reminded me of Tiny Tim (the eccentric singer/banjoist from the 60s, not the one from A CHRISTMAS CAROL). No breasts, no hips, all bones and sinew.

“What woman in her right mind would even want to look like that?” I spat. “She’s at least 50 and when you’re 50 or older and that skinny, you just look gross.”

Because she posted a pic of herself, obviously desirous of positive comments on how stupendous she looked (and I, riding the wave of a sugar high from last night’s debauched partaking of 1, 2, THREE! MAGNUM ice cream bars (finally! – a product aptly-named!), decided to post a comment of my own:

TOO SKINNY. NOT ATTRACTIVE.

But we women (and men, too… Shhhh…..eating disorders among men are a big secret) continue to pursue that ideal of thin – like it means something. Like it’s going to change our lives. Christ Almighty, the time I’ve wasted pursuing thin. And I was there once – almost 20 years ago – for about 15 minutes. I recall that moment when I stood on the scale, after a hiatus from weighing in: 142 pounds on my 5′ 7″ frame.

That was THIN, People!

This was my exact, first thought, “Hmmm….that’s a pretty low number.”

My next thought was, “Hmmm, but my life still isn’t perfect.”

Shortly thereafter, I became aware that I felt puny being so small, that I was cold all the time, but mostly, that being thin didn’t make any difference in relation to the rest of my life. I finally realized that happy didn’t equal thin. Thin is an adjective. And so is happy. And you can be thin and unhappy, thin and happy, overweight and happy or overweight and unhappy.

But I think it’s time we stopped equating being happy with being thin.

What do you think?

 

Carpe Silentium

by sandra on July 18, 2017

“IN THE SILENCE OF THE SPIRIT LIES THE ANSWER TO EVERY QUESTION”

Our lives on this Earth are short and fleeting.

A life spent in endless, looping activity – “busyness” ( as people like to brag…”I’m just SO BUSY!”) is a life of lost opportunites to know oneself, develop sensitivity, intuition and compassion.

We see and hear about it all the time now – people coming unglued at the drop of a hat, their hair-trigger rage barely contained beneath the surface. All people need solitude and silence, but especially the creative and highly-sensitive ones.

Although I do enjoy a formal meditation practice, it’s not required. All that’s necessary is time set aside daily to SIT STILL,  BE QUIET, TUNE INTO YOUR BREATH and FEEL YOUR LIFE.