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31 July 2008

DAY 33 :: Love as if you will be answered

Pullmyfingersmall_2 If I had only 37 days left I would...

Call everyone I know and cry about having only 37 days left
Try to figure out a way to extend the 37 days to at least 38, if not 39
Fly everyone I love in to sit on my bed with me
Touch people more—on their face, on their arm, behind their neck
Be less inhibited about laughing loud and farting
Write write write write and not spell check
Pray
Be adamant about doing anything that’s fun, dammit
Contact the man who broke my heart when I was 30 and tell him I still love him and can hear his voice whispering to me: kiss me.
Be more big and take up more space.
Be more quiet.
Nap
Find dogs I know and love to spend time with outside at the prairie
Spoon with my loved ones
Wear clothes that are comfortable even though they ‘don’t do much for my figure’
Eat and laugh and eat some more and laugh
Say all of the things in my heart that I feel and want people to know. The things that I’m usually too busy to express because I’m reading email, slicing cucumbers, paying bills, folding laundry, watching movies, buying a latte, standing in the magazine aisle at Walgreen’s reading the latest issue of People.
Be more present than ever.
Not be alone.

-Jodi Cohen

Jodi sent this wonderful list from Wisconsin, where a copy of LIFE IS A VERB will soon find its way to her.

As I read her list, I couldn't help but ask myself some questions:

Who is on the list of people I'd call, and what is keeping me from calling them now, before it's too late?
Why don't I sit on my bed more often with the people I love most?
Why are we so hesitant to express ourselves physically? Why is touch so verboten?
Why do we care about perfection?
Who doesn't fart, for god's sake, and why do we spend so much energy hiding the fact that we are farters? Or cryers. Or lusters. Or haters. Or liars. Or angels?
What keeps us from contacting and thanking the people who have enlarged or shrunk our hearts?
Why on earth do we apologize for napping?
Why do we wear clothes that itch instead of ones that don't?
What would it take to be more present? What would I have to let go of?
What would it take to not be alone?
How can I be more big, and not play so small?

I met Jodi last October at a conference in lovely, snowy Banff. I loved her immediately. Shortly after the conference, she sent me a quote from poet Tess Gallagher that has become a mantra:
"Love as if you will be answered."

Jodi_and_patti_doing_the_kichom_s_3 Jodi, you are an inspiration. Your energy and openness and vulnerability and engagement enthrall me--as you can tell, perhaps, in this photograph from the Banff conference shortly after we met. Your contribution to this community bonfire, this spark of urgent living as we number our days, is so meaningful.

Jodi and I are plotting a LIFE IS A VERB gathering (Book Reading? Farting Festival? Being More Big Party? Comfy Clothing Celebration?) in Madison, Wisconsin, in early October. Are you nearby? Let me know if you'd like more info or would like to help or if you're in a nearby state whose names I can't remember in my old age and would like to add on a stop near you (please put WISCONSIN FARTING FEST in the subject line. I dare you)!

How could you be more big and not play so small?

How can you love as if you will be answered?

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Okay, Patti...THIS is now the best image of the great and famous author, ever.

So much about what we do and who we are is abandonable (okay...someone needed to make up that word) right now, as opposed to awaiting some future day when things suddenly shift.

We can deign the shift to occur right now, and we can all have the look you and Jodi are illustrating. Or, we can wait.

Okay, enough waiting.

Take crazy photos, and publish them on that internets web thingie! (what? we are live on that web place right now??)

what an inspiring post! i ask myself why am i so afraid to just live? life is messy, dirty, smelly and real. why have i spent so much time and energy trying to make it pretty and perfect so it will look (and smell) nice? i have finally abandoned the dream of having the perfect house. the stress relief of just letting that go is amazing. one thing i have started doing is to tell the people i love that i love them. and i give more hugs than i used to. the clothes i wear are always comfortable, tho maybe not the current trend.
i do know who would be on my list to call, and i also know who would come and sit on my bed with me and cry. thanks again for making me think and feel about what i am doing in my life.

*tears*

Love as if you will be answered.

Love as if you will be answered.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this, to you and Jodi and Ms. Gallagher.

Hi--I'm a friend of Jodi's. Great posts and comments. I went to a women artists session once where we were asked, What would you do if you knew you would not fail?

That's a good thing to think about.
Let me know if you do a reading in Chicago.
--Cancer Bitch

On Wisconsin! My alma mater is UW-Madison. How I miss it!!! Even though I will not be able to attend in WI since I now live in VA, I do have a lot of friends who are still in Madison. Please keep me up to date on your trip to Madison in October! I will forward it onto everyone I know!

Jodi, don't you just love The Soap Opera?! Patti, if you have any spare time, this is where you must spend it. Or any of the state street shops, honestly. Ah...how i miss it!

I'm a champion farter, but I live in Utah and can't make Wisconsin in October. I'll fart for you in spirit!

i totally just farted. hehe.

ahem, great post. made me smile and think. a great combo. xox

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