Thursday, October 26, 2017

Habitual Hello's

I'm a habitual hi-er.

Hi There.
Hows it going?
Oh, hey.
Oh, hi!

This "hi" habit has led to the following short-list:

1.  Some amazing stories.

2.  Some exhausting exchanges.

But, I can't HELP it.  Truly!  I'm sure this habit is heavily influenced by my parents who can barely walk by a human, let alone a common, domestic animal and not stop to recognize it as living being, acknowledge it profusely, and get into a conversation of some sort.

It's our way of saying, "I see you."  Each and every one of you living beings in this animal kingdom.  We are people-people.  We love people!  What we're really talking about is humans being positive and all inclusive with one another.  This is what my parents instilled in me:  It should be the norm to look at each person and think, "I see you, you are important, you are noticed.  You. Are. Here. Too."

I happen to be in Downtown LA most days, my studio is right off skid row, and I can't ignore even the most intense person walking by me:  They're clearly down on their luck and not at all in the same headspace as me, yet I can't help but look at them as I am walking by and if eye contact is made, my mouth instantly forms and emits the sound for "Hi!"  Often, a "how's it going?" tagged on the end of that, as well.  It doesn't always go over well, but it also rarely goes bad and it usually just lifts someone's spirits, which is my aim.  For those rare times it does go bad, I am always surprised.  RK, as my loving partner and protector, is always surprised at my surprise and usually has to talk me down from this as he continues to wonder why I do it so often.

Apparently, I actually invite further engagement when I make eye contact...
I suppose I do.
I didn't even know I was doing it.
It's automatic.
It's almost impossible for me to walk by people and dogs and babies and look down or look the other way.  I have to acknowledge each being.  I actually feel as if I'm being rude if I don't say hello to every single person I pass.  I am working on this.

But there is an ultimate reward: 
Many, many times that "hi" leads to things I'd never expected. 
I have had incredibly interesting conversations with people from all walks of life. 
It's gotten me into trouble almost never. 
It's gotten me numerous invites to places I might never have gone.
It's also gotten my phone number into some pretty random phones and filled my own contact list with a list of first names that just don't ring a bell anymore...
but, most definitely, the pros outweigh the cons.

Just now, as I walked back to my studio from the bathroom, I said "hi" to a complete stranger in the hallway and, right after that walked by someone's studio with the door wide open and I had to firmly tell myself not to look in:  Molly, You do NOT need to say "hi" to the people inside that room!  Yes, the door is open but open does not always mean an invitation to acknowledgement! Get ahold of yourself!

Yeah, Hi, I'm working on this... 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Even Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown have had enough

I grew up in the 70's-80's, reading the Peanuts comics.  I went to the library every week and checked out all the books they had.  And then my mom started buying them for me and I read them over and over.

When I say "in the 70's & 80's" this in the same way that people like Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein claim about the "times" they grew up in.  Yet, they were raised (I can't say "grew up", that seems like a contradiction) within a few decades of me, a certain time, not that long ago...

When I was growing up, I believed in Peanuts comic books, I believed in the power and beauty of the library, I completely believed books could change your life, and I believed that Catholic priests were a certain type of person who would never purposely hurt anyone, and I believed as humans we all had a right to be ourselves as long as we didn't hurt someone else.  Never in that time, or in the years since then have I ever believed a man was supposed to sexually molest a child; I never believed that sexual assault was okay or the suggestion of violent sexual conduct was "locker room talk".

Even in the 70's and 80's when, I believe, the men and women alive then, including Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein (and Archbishop Bernard Francis Law and Woody Allen and Representative Mel Reynolds [D-IL],  and Senator Robert Packwood, and Bill O'Reilly, etc) were also alive, participating in society and seeing times a-changing, there were always some basics:  Treat people with respect, give everyone a chance, women are not there for your entertainment (unless they chose to get paid in entertainment, and then they are at their freaking job, so leave them the hell alone), adults should not harm children, men shouldn't grab any part of a woman's body, period.  You know, the obvious human kindness factor.

Now, 2017, this dumpster fire of current society, this crazy round of excuses, for any of them, is just that:  CRAZY.  We ALL know right from wrong, especially the men with a shit-ton of power, men who run massive companies, a major congregation, or the friggin free world!  ESPECIALLY the friggin free world.  And if they don't then why the hell do we keep giving them these positions of power?!

Now I'm slightly more grown-up in the 2000's, and I'm still going to the library every week and checking out lots and lots of books, though, seemingly, more reflective of the time...


or, so I thought, until I found that sticker above and realized the Peanuts have understood it all along...

*this particular book was sent to me by a good friend who knows me well, but it rides along with my library books, next to my bed, on my reading table, so it's included!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stella Marie: Her heart, Our heart

This week we took Stella Marie in for a check-up and found that she has chronic degenerative valve disease.  It's done a number on her heart, which is now severely enlarged.  We start her on medication immediately and indefinitely.

For months now, Stella has been breathing heavily and scratching incessantly at her chest.  I thought it was the heat of summer, then I thought it was the humidity, then fleas, then dermatitis, then allergies, then anxiety.  I never once thought it was one of her very important valves not working properly and therefore allowing blood to engorge her heart and make her struggle at every turn. 

The interesting part of it is the way she seems to have relaxed, her breathing regulated, and her chest itching almost stopped, all since we took her to the cardiologist.  It's as if she knows we now know.  She no longer has to send us dramatic signals to get our attention.  She has finally been heard.