Farewell, Miracle, Our Miracle

Today I celebrate the extraordinary life of our sweet Miracle.

We helped her leave her weak body yesterday afternoon after an agonizing early day. We’d had the gift of 8 extra months with her thanks to fluids and meds; last June at the vet’s she was diagnosed with kidney failure and either IBD or lymphoma.

I swore three things that awful day: that I would not keep her around just for my sake if it was no longer good for her; I’d not take her to the vet’s again if I could help it. (Of all my cats, she truly hated it and it took years off of her life each time when she was healthy, no way I was going to do that with her remaining time. They gave her 3-5 months. We got 8.)

And above all, I hoped when it was time, I’d know, and we’d get someone to come to our apartment to help her pass. (Well, actually, to Miracle’s apartment. She just let us live there.)

Well, I never took her in to the vet’s again. I gave her fluids and meds at home each day. We had a great 8 months, give or take some bumps in the road and difficult, challenging times of questioning “Is it time?” (Anyone who’s gone through this knows how it is: awful at times. Wonderful at others.)

And when it was no longer gonna be good for her, she and I both knew. And miraculously, thanks to an angel vet, we were able to hold her as she slept between us (her favorite spot) as she peacefully left her very sick body. I hated letting her go, and I knew it was right. And because I love her so, I helped her leave.

Thank you, Miracle, for your magic. I will see you in the moon and feel your spirit in our home and in my heart always. You inspired a poem https://lifeontheskinnybranches.com/2018/05/15/ode-to-miracle/ and a blog post https://lifeontheskinnybranches.com/2017/07/02/miracle-of-miracles/ and so much more. (Miracle’s story is amazing – read it . I was darn lucky she deigned to love me.)

Thank you angel vet for helping me see through my promises to her. (Thank you Instavet.com.) The angel vet was so caring, respectful of our process, humane and supportive.

Thank you Mary Oliver for putting into words, this part of love.

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

Mary Oliver

To the Center

I wrote a roadmap to true north in invisible ink

A child’s game that became a whole life

I secreted it from even my own true self

Tucked it away in my heart’s deepest strife

Countless skeins of yarn winding backwards in time

I followed a thousand strings

All leading to those who stood behind me, before me

The lost and the found, trapped in wounded wings

One by one, I unwound, to lead back to my self

I righted the order, helped past lives align

Until at last I discovered that all along, all this time

The heart missing from the system was mine

Daring to break silent vows – ejected and lost

I’m a lone wolf whose pack’s long since left

I must find my map to the center or else I’ll remain

A family-less soul, all alone and bereft

#DayTwentySix #TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge

The Wall Within

Well, I hit a wall of resistance. (And I lost.)

I had planned last Friday to post a video I made for an audition submission, and then, promptly got “too busy” to post it…

Monday came and went…Tuesday came and went…

I could have posted some other content, but some part of me knew I was rat-finking on myself by doing so, so what did I do instead? NOTHING.

Well, that is exactly the sort of behavior that will keep me stuck in my room with my own creations. And that is not where I want to be, ultimately.

So here I am, today. Here is the video I intended to post Friday. Day twenty-five.

Not sure why it is so scary. Fear of judgment? Certainly. But life is filled with judgement. Judgement need not be a four letter word. Judgement is preference, choice. I am all for those.

Fear of criticism. OK, now we are getting closer. Ahhhhh. Sensitivity to being criticized. That is where I need to work up a callus. Develop a thicker skin over the tenderness of my own creations.

Be with the tender and raw vulnerability of sharing creations and yet stay on my own side around whatever chips may fall as they may.

I am good with constructive criticism until I am not…I mean I say I welcome it, and the artist and professional in me do, but deep down inside another part of me dreads it.

So here I am, holding that part’s hand as I share something I made for a general submission for theatre representation. I am resisting pointing out the flaws that I know are in it so as to pseudo-cushion any “blows” that I imagine coming my way.

Today’s post is about being more interested in sharing it than of my fear of doing so.

To be more curious about sharing something and then moving on to create the next thing than of holding on to something and never letting it see the light of day.

What are you keeping in the safe space of your own home that needs to be put into the world?

Do you want to stay with fear or go with curiosity this time?

#DayTwentyFive #TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #facedownresistance #thecreativeprocess #creativityiscollaboration

Flower Dances, Magic and Mermaids

In the Mykonos Wind, Paradise Found
Luxury Indeed: A Magical Spot that Transforms You into a Goddess
A Perfect Moment Captured in Time spent with Amazing Women

I know this post is mysterious…a story without words. But it was that kind of magical afternoon, in the magical island of Mykonos, and words just don’t do it justice. So there.

#theGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #DayTwenty-Four #flora #nature #magic #mermaids #mykonos

Falling Off the Wagon

I got very caught up in getting my work out there yesterday and did not post.

I am tempted to say that I “fell off the wagon.”

But the fact is, I put my attention elsewhere. And as one of my mentors, Erin Stutland recently posted about, there is no wagon! I was just living my life. Sometimes I get to everything I plan to, sometimes I do other things.

So here I am today, taking the time to post. I had a casting this AM and am now in the midst of preparing scenes for classes and for auditions. I am also finishing the first draft of the teaser for the web series I am co-creating with my production company collaborators.

I can see that there’s a steady flow of getting my work out there going on this week.

But it doesn’t really feel like it.

That, I think, is one of the tough things about being your own boss. Running your own business. There’s very little tangible feedback the way there is when you work in a division, under a manager. You have to remember to give that to yourself. To inventory and acknowledge accomplishments (however small). To take time to make an honest appraisal of where your time and energy are going.

There’s no wagon to fall off, but there is a plan, after all. And there is a living to make…

And there is life to be lived. Today, I am choosing to live it with joy and grace and ease. And some sweat. And laughter. And maybe some dancing. Lots of creating.

What about you? How are you choosing to live today?

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #daytwenty-two #keepgoing

Step Forward – Fall Back?

I had a fairly significant business “event” occur last week. Some might call it a failure. A loss.

This “event” was disappointing, upsetting.

But beyond the momentary punch-to-the gut of it, I knew as this event happened that as a result, there were two paths I could go down as a result.

I could see it as a “setback“ and feel like a piece of shit. I could feel like a failure, slide into depression. Use it as evidence to feed the very familiar monster inside that is always looking for proof of my being a Loser incapable of keeping good things and making use of good opportunities.

Or I could use it as a stepping stone. I could take a beat to be upset, then take what lessons and information I needed to take out of it and keep it moving.

I allowed myself about a half hour to feel all the things I felt, and when I could, got very clear and honest with myself about my part in the equation.

I reflected. And then I regrouped. And then, as soon as I could, I took a positive action in the direction of my Big Picture.

Because I am in charge of my choices. Not the “powers that be.” They can make their choices. Those choices may affect me.

But I get to choose what happens next.

In this case, I rolled up my sleeves and made a new plan. Reached out to supports for ideas (and also to “normalize” the news – keep it out of a space of shame.)

I soon had a clear plan of action. And some pats on the shoulder that let me know I was not alone.

No means “not now,” “not yet” or “not me.” That’s all. This or something better.

I don’t believe in things setting me back. Things happen, and I can either allow them to be a reason I fall back, or a reason I step forward.

I know what I am choosing today. How about you?

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallemge #DayTwentyOne #resilience #reaction #empowerment

Holding On

I let go today

Fingers furled and frozen

From years of tightened grip

Heart wound tight

Around memories yellowed

With time and wear

I let go today

Of all that’s been my home

For more than forty years

Stories I’ve existed in

Wrapped my breath around

My world within the world

After free-falling through

Years of numbed experience

And manufactured bliss

Upon landing in reality

I look and realize all that time

I’d been holding on to nothing

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #DayNineteen #seasons #leaves #holdingon #lettinggo

Somersault

Voltereta (aka Somersault) is an award-winning, wonderful short film I was cast in some years ago. The director was Alexis Morante, just out of film school. But it was clear to me from the audition that he had talent and would be going places.

At the time, I would not normally have agreed to a role that had no lines, but after meeting him and reading the terrific script, I knew I had to be a part of the film. (It was, after all, about an underdog. You know my fondness for underdogs!)

His attention to detail and passion for the script coupled with his respect for actors and crew had me at hello.

It was a great experience, and best of all was watching the seasoned Spanish film actress Maria Alfonsa Rosso at work. As well as Alexis and his cinematographer, Daniel Sosa Segura. The film was produced through 700G Films.

Movie magic.

Lolo is an Andalusian 10-year-old kid who moves to New York City with all his family. The film is set in 1985, and Lolo only knows about America from the movies he watches in his neighborhood cinema: Back to the Future, The Goonies or Karate Kid. Lolo and his grandma decide to go down to their communal swimming pool in New York. But something unexpected will make Lolo, as young as 10 years old, to confront all his fears at a time. Because sometimes a simple decision can change the rest of your life.

I played mom to Mary, a little girl who Lolo finds pretty. I was one of a cast of characters who created the foreign world that Lolo found himself in.

The film won multitudes of awards on the film festival circuit. It really is very special. You can watch it here.

On set in Hoboken.

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #DaySeventeen #shortfilm #independentfilm #filmdirector