Wednesday, March 30, 2011


"Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism."

- Anonymous

Monday, March 28, 2011

"When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet. You force what is meant to be open, trusting, nurturing, creative, and alive to be bent, infertile and broken."

- Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues

Sunday, March 27, 2011


"Tenderness is what love feels like in private and justice is what loves looks like in public." - Dr. Cornell West

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loss of Courage

"One of the great American myths is that we are all a bunch of rugged individualists. We would like to think that, but it simply is not true. There are some exceptions, of course, but for the majority it is not that way at all. Deep within, we imagine ourselves as a mixture of Patrick Henry, Davy Crockett, John Wayne, and the prophet Daniel! But the truth of the matter is that most of us would do anything to keep from being different. We'd much rather blend into the woodwork. One of our greatest fears is being ostracized, rejected by 'the group'. Ridicule is a pain too great for most to bear. There are other fears - fear of being made to look foolish, fear of standing out in a crowd, fear of being talked about and misunderstood. Rather than rugged individualists, we are more like Gulliver of old, tied down and immobilized by tiny strands of fear, real or imagined. The result is both predictable and tragic: loss of courage."

- Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Study: Family History Of Alcoholism Raises Risk Of One-Man Show

CHICAGO—According to an alarming new study released Monday by the University of Chicago, children raised in households where alcoholism is present are at a significantly greater risk of writing and performing a one-man show than those who grow up in a more stable environment.

The study found that males raised by alcoholic parents are 40 percent more likely to someday force their friends to attend a self-penned theatrical production about their life experiences, and the same painful behavior is eight times more prevalent in women over the age of 30 who have alcoholic fathers than those who do not.

According to the report, of the 250 one-man shows that premiered last month, three quarters of them, including Pops, A Life, and Youngstown, Ohio 1976, were directly linked to a relative who abused alcohol.

"Children who have an alcoholic parent or grandparent can start displaying one-man show warning signs as early as 12," the study's lead author, Dr. Richard Lowden, told reporters. "And once these kids develop an interest in theater and start working on impressions of their alcoholic family members, it's a path to disaster."

"To see them throw their lives away by performing an hour-and-a-half-long monologue for 15 people in a tiny black-box theater is just plain sad," he added. "Tragic even."

The study, which asserted that every six seconds an individual from an alcoholic household comes up with the idea to open his one-man show by lighting a cigarette, found that if the urge to incorporate a collage of baby photos into the performance isn't addressed immediately, a young adult may begin experimenting with dangerously melodramatic lines of dialogue, such as, "You don't really know rock bottom until you hit it," or, "People are funny, aren't they?"

Soon, the report said, these performers become addicted to the thought of directly quoting a Shel Silverstein poem at the conclusion of their show, and are heavily predisposed toward wearing a baseball cap for the sequence in which they portray their father showing up drunk to little-league practice.

"By the time they realize how pathetic they look reenacting a family dinner scene by themselves, it's already too late," Lowden said. "Before you know it, they're caught in the self- destructive pattern of doing the show every other Friday. It's really tough to watch."

"The worst part is they are completely oblivious as to how much they are hurting not just themselves, but everyone around them," Lowden said. "Especially their loved ones, the people who feel obligated to attend the show more than once and then awkwardly tell them how good it was afterwards."

According to the study, the magnitude of the family's bout with alcoholism is directly related to the length of the production, the number of accents performed, and how much screaming the actor is likely to do on stage. A performer who grew up with two alcoholic parents is at a much greater risk of wearing a wig during the show.

"Kids who come from households where alcoholism led to violence or sexual abuse are in danger of having the absolute worst one-man shows," Lowden said. "Ones where the performer puts his own clever little spin on the pre-show turn-off-your-cell-phone announcement. Or ones where the actor plays his guitar. Ugh, just the absolute worst."

A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that alcoholism is the third leading contributor to one-man shows, outpacing having immigrant parents, surviving cancer, and having an ex-girlfriend.

A desire to be the center of attention paired with a delusional belief in one's talent remain the leading causes of one-man shows.

"These kids need to know that having an alcoholic parent doesn't mean they are predetermined to perform a one-man show," University of Virginia psychologist Harriet Courtly said. "They have a choice. They can engage in this embarrassing, hurtful behavior, or they can drink themselves to death and keep it to themselves like everyone else."

-The Onion, January 22, 2011 | ISSUE 47•03

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pain and Pleasure

"...pain and pleasure go together; they ae inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary. Bith is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward."

-Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart p 79

Sunday, March 20, 2011


"Everybody loves to talk about calmness and peace, whether in family, national or international context, but without inner peace, how can we make real peace?"

- The Dalai Lama

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"Grief is a conflicting mass of human emotion that we experience following any major change in a familiar pattern of behavior. Grieving is the most misunderstood and neglected growth process a person can go through. While we commonly think of education and relationship-building as growth processes, and we've all heard that we should 'learn from our mistakes,' when we hear the words 'grieving' and 'growth' in the same sentence, we are likely to be surprised. Religious and spiritual leaders for centuries have pointed out that we should look at loss as an opportunity for personal spiritual development. Yet in modern life, the process of moving through intense emotional pain has become so private and misunderstood that most of us have very little idea of what the process is or how to deal with it. Simply put, grief is a normal and natural response to loss."

-John W. James & Frank Cherry, The Grief Recovery Handbook

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Broken Heart

"This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something."

-Elizabeth Gilbert

I'm Sorry

"...the ever-present litany of "I'm sorry" that seasons women's writing and conversations. Women are much moer experienced at using the words "I'm sorry" than men are. These words are not a mere perfunctory bow to politeness when uttered by most women. They contain a self-depreciateing quality as if we are apologizing for our very existence - as if the answer to the "What's wrong with me" is in embedded in our femaleness."

- Patricia Lynn Reilly, Be Full of Yourself p 12

Friday, March 11, 2011

We Kill Them

"I hate it when they say, 'He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them. "

— Admiral Gene La Rocque


Every star above
Shines for a woman

And every woman on earth
Shines for a man

And every man in the world
Shines for himself

So hear my words woman
Love me for what I was
And forget me tomorrow.

- Mustafa Sadek

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To fill the emptiness with joy,
is exercise left for the heart.
For only when the hunger's felt,
Is when the healing starts.

When I was young I valued age,
And now I value youth.
I used to value poignancy.
Yet now I value truth.

I change just like the river,
Yet water it will always be.
It winds at time and then sits still.
It's free like you and me.

- An Untitled Poem by Deborah Chaskin

Saturday, March 5, 2011


"The problems we have created cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them."

- Albert Einstein

Friday, March 4, 2011


"Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth."

-Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

Thursday, March 3, 2011

End of Life

"I don't want to get to the end of my life
and find that I lived just the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well."

- Diane Ackerman

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What’s Wrong with Me?

We frequent the therapist’s office, hoping the past holds an answer within it. We fill the churches, maybe God knows the answer. We attend self-help meetings, assured an answer is encoded within the Twelve Steps. We write “Dear Abby” and every other expert, Certain that they must know the answer. We sit at the feet of spirituality gurus, believing they will show us the way to an answer. We buy every self-help book that hits the market, confident that a new project will quiet the question. We consent to outrageous measures to guarantee our fertility or our attractability, convinced that the presence of a child or a love in our arms will dissolve the question. We sign up for diet clubs and plans and spas, convinced that our bodies are at the core of the answer, whatever it turns out to be. We spend hundreds of dollars On new outfits to hide the question and on new body parts to eradicate the question.

And then at night after the day’s search is over,
We binge on a quart of ice cream or a bottle of wine,
Or we spend hours on the Internet or telephone
In tormented conversations trying to figure out
Why the relationship isn’t working,
Hoping that when we reach the bottom of the quart or bottle,
Or the far reaches of the internet or conversation,
Things will have shifted deep within us
And once and for all we will know the answer
And what to do about it.

Yet no matter what we do in search of an answer:
No matter how much we lose or how slimming the dress,
No matter how expensive or authoritative the expert,
No matter how many babies, relationships,
Possessions we have or don’t’ have,
No matter how spiritual, therapeutic, or recovered we become
We are left with the same question over and over again
As we look into the mirror horrified
That the restructuring of our relationship, our womb,
Or our breasts did not quiet the question
There it is in the morning whispering from the mirror,
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?’
A mantra that accompanies us the length of our days.

- Patricia Lynn Reilly, Be Full of Yourself pp 13-14

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Woman with Flower

I wouldn't coax the plant if I were you.
Such watchful nurturing may do it harm.
Let the soil rest from so much digging
And wait until it's dry before you water it.
The leaf's inclined to find its own direction;
Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.

Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding,
Too eager tenderness.
The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.

- Naomi Long Madgett