|Sullygram...June 2013 newsletter
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|Author:||Thomas (Sully) Sullivan [ Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:21 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Sullygram...June 2013 newsletter|
See that house in the night spelling out its coded memo with light and dark windows? It’s like a run-on sentence merging into the neighborhood message. Come Christmas, it will be in color. It belongs. See the little girl coloring tulips in her coloring book at the dining room table? She loves sunshine, and so there is almost nothing left of her yellow crayon. She belongs. See her little brother playing with his trucks? He is worshiping power because that is how he will protect the world. He belongs. See that couple there on the sofa in the living room? He chose her, and she chose him. They belong.
You can see a lot from outside looking in. You can see it all, in fact – the little boy, the little girl, the visiting neighbors, the sanctioning aunt in the upstairs bedroom, the purring cat, the restless dog. And so much more beyond the microcosm. Like the stray mongrel across the street sidling away from humans because he has been kicked more than he has been fed. You have half a doughnut in your pocket that you were saving for later. Give it to him. And the obese lady sitting at the bus stop. No one has asked her how she feels in a long time. With a few words you could make her beautiful. Talk to her. Or the angry teenager looking to express his outrage. Smile at him. If he gives you his hostile look, smile again. Maybe he will ponder that when he is alone and it is safe for him to take off his armor. Now see the homeless trio under the bridge in the heart of the city. They are a family too, down on their luck, and perhaps a year away from recovery. But they will make it, and you will see that if you stick around. And if you are away, it’s because you are paying your respects to oceans, mountains, hidden valleys, secret lanes and horizons. White dawns and purple dusks will frame your days. You’ll catch the next eclipse of the sun, and the phases of the moon, and unheralded meteor showers. You’ll watch butterflies war with each other, and ants swarm at the edge of the sidewalk in a brown stain just before it splits in two like a cell dividing, and the soft benediction of the first snow conferring Last Rites over autumn’s radiant death. You will hug a bereft man and laugh with a child. That’s what you’ll see and do if you stand there under the trees outside that house. Just now there is a man standing there. That’s me. And I belong.
I’ve never been very good at receiving, but I’m good at giving. It’s a family thing. My father had tragedies early in life and he was a closed shop except for the one woman in his life. He didn’t want anyone else to figure him out as long as she did. Pity the person who tried to give him understanding, because he would transform, disguise himself, writhe away as if acid had been hurled at his soul. I didn’t know fully about the tragedies until he was on his deathbed. Anyway, I learned to be a closed shop from him, only I never had a reason – an excuse. And sadly, I passed the same mindset onto my son, I fear. I’ve only let a woman give to me once (not my marriage); and though I don’t regret opening up, the ironies of misperception left me astonished and convinced that my old man had it right. I don’t know why some people have to be alone, but I think they do.
Of all the wonderful people who share their stories with me, many of them feel they are alone, even if they are in relationships or have families. In one way or another they are islands aching to be explored or discovered or rediscovered. I cannot give them what I cannot give myself – bridges, a single identity, known coordinates on the map of life. But I can and do offer them what I know to be true. If you feel alone – not just the occasional mood, but deeply, naggingly alone – try giving to someone else the understanding you feel you can’t have. Because if you are a giver to the core, they will see it…they will understand that much about you. Then you won’t be alone. Amazing how that works. But you don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. Just do it.
Below are June’s photos: #1 Space alien I found at Yellowstone last month. #2 Another UFO (Unknown Female Operative) with very young Sully in this Blast-from-the-Past pix). #3 Sheriff’s posse Jackie & Lisa running down a fugitive at Crow-Hassan. #4-5 For those of you who know my adoptive family Norby Nation, this is Annaliese, their young nature photographer. We were all sitting in Arby’s one day, and I asked her if she knew who Annie Leibowitz and Leni Riefenstahl were. The normally straight-talking 12-year-old gave me a patient look and enunciated, “Oh, shurrr-e!” cracking everyone up. So to set her on a path in the footsteps of those imagery icons, I took her canoeing into nearby waterways where she snapped a dramatic photo of a goose nest that appeared to have just been ravaged – there are the remaining scattered eggs, still intact, and no goose. Annaliese notices everything and is sure to capture many more timely moments with her camera and her imagination. And rounding out Norby Nation: #6 my SoulBro Bruce (couldn’t get him to back up 2 steps, which would have made this an action photo); #7 Teri Norby on an autumn picnic at Elm Creek “drinking” CoffeeBlast ice cream; #8 nimble-footed David crossing where angels fear to tread; #9-10 Emma and Julia (The Minnesota Twins) and Peter training for Olympic gymnastics at Weaver Lake School; #11 Sully and Annaliese abt to set the record for sledding distance across Elm Creek’s frozen pool; #12 Twins/Annaliese/Peter helping beavers build a dam across Elm Creek.
Note: if this is a mirror site and you don't see photos, you can find all Sullygrams archived on my author's web page>Sullygrams & Columns. My webmaster Ed Picard in California usually has the latest one up within a day.
The title of my June column at SU is MOWING SNOW. This installment of intriguing Qs from your fertile brains and probing imaginations features wide-ranging stuff from writing endings to the biggest mistake of my life, and the fact that you can’t fake your own thoughts (though many of us try). Thanks for stirring my own thoughts on that and much more. Here’s the link: http://storytellersunplugged.com/thomas ... w/#respond
Summer’s magic is here and I’m denting the supply a little each day. Better get out there and inhale some of that vitality wafting off the fields for yourself. Rainbows are blossoming, lakes are laughing, and sunlight is dancing with dew. It’s a fleeting season of life, and it’s playing your song. And the music is never better than when the iconic Eagles fly across the USA. If your soul has been alive in the last 41 years – if it’s alive now – Glenn Frey & Company have got your anthem on tour. Hope you can catch it. See you in 30 sunsets…
Thomas “Sully” Sullivan
You can see all my books in any format here on my webpage or follow me on Facebook:
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