Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Saying something nice

Yesterday I had the chance to say THANK YOU to two people who had really helped me out. One was a woman who had shaped my life--thanks to her, I found a love of children's and YA books and libraries, all of which made me a reader, a writer, and a librarian. She and her family became my family, and I love her and her family dearly.

The other was a woman who had helped me through my recent surgery. I could have done it myself (well, not the surgery! HA!) but it would have been a frustrating, worrisome process. Thanks to her, it was smooth sailing through paperwork and phone calls. She encouraged me, and I am grateful for her support.

It felt extremely good to say, "Thank you," to these wonderful women. And I hope it made them feel good too.

When I lived in Albuquerque, I had a poster that said something along the lines of: "Not only to love, but to be told that I am loved. The realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave." The poster didn't make it through many moves (it was beautiful though--a true hippie poster) but I still carry it in my heart.

Monday, June 14, 2010

If you can't say something nice

My mom used to say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

That's not the reason I haven't posted for a month. Blame a book deadline and a second round of orthoscopy for that.

No, my mom was probably right. In the way of all moms, she usually was.

BUT--here's the deal.

We're talking about ME. I talk. A lot. And if something really cranks my cord, I'll say something to someone. My problem is that I tend not to tell the person who has me upset.

I'm nonconfrontational. Always have been. I'm a pacificist. A vegetarian (for the most part). A nod-and-smiler. If you disagree with me, I might state my case and move on, because I have never found that arguments in a bar or a living room or at work have produced effective change.

Yeah. In other words, I'm a wuss.

But I will talk to someone else about it. My poor friends, they've heard it all. One in particular has been getting emails from me, probably 10 a day, regarding something that has my knickers in a knot. It has nothing to do with her, mind you, except that she's my friend and, as such, is forced to listen to me.

So I try to keep it entertaining. I figure I owe it to her. And I've found that the angrier I am, the more hurt I am, the more frustrated I am, the funnier I am.

Who knew? Yes, out of these negative emotions come the redeeming quality of FUNNY. And she gets into it too, so that our emails are, honestly, going to be in a book of their own one day. She and I together are snort-your-white-zin-out-your-nose funny.

It heals, laughter does. It eases the fact that someone has dug in and injured your soul in a way that is desperately painful. It takes those slights and makes them slight. It forces ignorance and rudeness out into the light and pokes them with a stick.

If you can't say something nice, say something funny.

Go figure, huh, Mom?