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In The Beginning…

What a great opening line. In three simple words you know just where you are. Knowing where you are is highly under rated these days. Over emphasized but still under rated. Four Square and Hoot and Whrrl may let the world know where your cell phone is but where are you? Are you at the beginning? Do you find yourself stuck somewhere in the middle wondering how you got there? Or has something come to an end? As one chapter comes to a close is it a set up for the next chapter or do the words “they lived happily ever after” hover somewhere close by?

Today I find myself in all three places simultaneously. A year long project has just wrapped up with a very successful event bringing women together from around the country. Hence the ending. I am approaching yet another birthday putting me firmly in the middle of my own story and with this post a new beginning has indeed begun.

A wise man taught me to ask three questions: Where are you going? How will you get there? How will you know when you are there?

Tonight I have answers to not one of the three. I just know where I am.

In the beginning….

Apologies without apology

Something very rare happened about a month ago. A young woman apologized to me. What was rare was that it was, as far as I can remember, the first time a woman apologized to me without adding the backhanded zing. You know the one…”I’m sorry if your feelings….”,”I’m sorry if you misunderstood…”, “I’m sorry if…”

The close relation of “I’m sorry if…” is “I’m sorry but…” You know this one. It’s saying sorry and turning it around to either put the onus back on you or pass it to a third party. I have heard this one enough times to translate it “I’m sorry now duck because this is coming around to smack you upside the head!”

This time the apology was without any backlash. It was humble and heartfelt and genuinely offered in the process of restoration and healing. I had long ago forgiven this woman. But didn’t realize just how much healing in my own heart was released by the gentle act of this dear heart toward me.

So, without apology, I apologize. There are many times I have been straight up wrong. And I am sorry. I am sorry I have hurt people I love. I am sorry I have spoken words in anger and ignorance and especially haste. I am sorry for making decision and judgments that were wrong and unfair. I am sorry that this apology applies to so many people. I am sorry I haven’t apologized to more of you sooner.

In 500 Words or Less

I really love writing. There is something soothing about getting my wildly rambling thoughts in some kind of order on the screen in front of me. My fingers like the rhythmic motion of typing. Many times I find myself considering the writings of great authors of history and finding my feeble attempts fall short of conveying the message and evoking the action or feeling I’m going for. Just the craftsmanship of a well turned phrase or a character that comes to life, are things that make me more than a little reluctant to add my simplicity to the volumes of printed material reflecting the human story.

Today is the birthday of one of the most influential authors of the last century. He is loved by fans of all ages. His work spans decades and covers a myriad of topics. He has taken on interpersonal relationships, environmental issues, discrimination, self esteem, greed, politics, economics, international and domestic affairs years before it was fashionable or the evening news. His opinions are very pronounced even if some of the words he has used are tongue twisters. His philosophy has influenced generations and expanded the possibility thinking capacity of some of the best minds of today. He perfected taking the new and unknown and making it fun and easy to master. His sense of whimsy and wisdom are so smoothly intertwined that moving from one to the other is child’s play.

As a young child I had great difficulty reading. First grade was a nightmare. I don’t remember much but do remember what seemed like hours crying and struggling to read. Then came my hero, the man who opened the door to the wonder of the written word and the unlimited imagination waiting to be expressed and enjoyed just beyond the door. There were Tweedle Beetle Battles and Three Cheese Trees. There was a very persistent culinary advocate, Bartholomew’s hats and Horton and a cat and a fox. Slow Joe Crow and the socks Sue sews and Ooblick. There was Mulberry Street and McElliott’s Pool. Places and people who became familiar and made reading something to look forward to, something to delight in, something to bring laughter and joy with learning.

So for all the wonderful hours spent reading since I first picked up Hop On Pop and Fox In Sox and Cat In The Hat, thank you, Dr. Seuss. You are my hero. You are the man who opened the door for me and for literally millions of others. You are the one who made reading fun. Though you are gone now, you have left what all authors aspire to. You have changed the world with your words.

Looking at the word count at the bottom of the screen, my little trip down memory lane and thank you note have taken more words that many of his books and will have far less impact and far shorter shelf life. I still have so much to learn from the writings of the good Dr.

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