Thursday, June 28, 2018

i don't want to

There was a rally in downtown los angeles tonight for the kids separated from their parents at the border. The depth of the wrongness of this separation situation is staggering. I didn't really want to go, but in these situations I always ask myself, if not me, who? If I am not happy with things, I need to make my voice heard through all possible channels to the best of my ability. I need to do my small part- that is my civic responsibility.

I was raised with the understanding that you help to people less fortunate than you. My parents both grew up poor and I grew up working class, 4 people in a one bedroom, etc. We certainly did not have a lot  but we never went hungry or wore shoes that didn't fit and we still had enough to give here and there when asked, when needed, when we saw injustice or pain or need.

Some people don't share that value and it is baffling to me. I have no clue how to make a person care about others, but i digress...

So, i was heading off to the rally when both of the people going with me canceled. Its a lot more fun to go with other people and a lot more doable. Now I really didn't want to go but I found out that the Woman's March Group, who were behind the rally, were collecting supplies and that they were one of the few agencies allowed direct contact with the kids being held prisoners.

Jut a note on that last sentence. Holding children in cages is terrorism, condoned by our government, war crimes, crimes against humanity, all of the above. It is Fascist. It is the lowest point thus far. There are pre verbal babies in diapers who may have never drank from a bottle before, alone in cages. If that is not enough to make someone care ...that is the wall I come up against. The brick wall of hopelessness and despair. And the only tool I have against it is action, small acts of kindness and resistance. Thats all we have, people.

So I texted a few numbers in my phone and asked if anyone wanted to join me or give cash towards the supplies that I would bring. No one joined me but people gave me donations totaling $255 which I spent on things from the list of things needed: diapers, wipes, tampons, toothpaste and tooth brushes, crayons, pens and notebooks, stuffed animals, bars of soap, and boxes of snack bars. The supplies filled 7 big bags, which I realized as I was paying that I would have to carry by myself, and i wasn't sure if that was doable. My brain works that way, doesn't think ahead. I asked the store if they would give me a discount because of the purpose, but they said no, but they helped me put the bags in my car.

I drove downtown and parked 3 big los angeles blocks away and held 3 bags in one hand and 4 in the other. they were really heavy and it was incredibly uncomfortable and I thought about people walking through the dessert trying to cross the border and, based on a buddhist prayer that someone once told me about, I hoped that my tiny suffering could lessen someone else's.

When I got closer I saw lady with a sign under her armed and I asked her if she was going to the rally and I asked her for help. She thanked me for allowing her to help and together we dropped the bags at the rally. The women working it were so grateful and I saw that there were lots of spanish books for kids and lots of great supplies.

Then I unrolled my little sign that said: children belong with their parents, not in cages- end the terror- abolish ICE.  Then I made 10 cards for kids at the art table along with a bunch of other people. We wrote little notes in spanish and helped each other translate and shared each other's ideas and drew hearts and smiles. It felt so tiny, but it was great to know that by tomorrow, all of this stuff will have reached the detained people and hopefully it will give them some comfort.

I haven't written in a while because there is so much to say on so many subjects and I just don't feel qualified. I don't feel like I can handle the extent of it all, the vastness in addition to choosing the right words, having the right insights, having no answers, etc. A big part of adjusting to the brutality of the leadership of this country is an inside job, it is a private journey that everyone has to take, in addition to the public one. I am still finding my way, brewing. I only wrote this because I needed to get back to everyone that gave me money and this was the easiest way to reach everyone. Thank you everyone. I hope that enough people want to do better and keep showing up and I hope that things change. It's important to fight, even if we lose.

I hope that you all can get to the protest on saturday, they are happening all around the country. xh

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Don’t talk -Don’t trust-Don’t feel- Pretend nothing is happening.

It has been a while my friends...i have been standing on the side of the pool sticking my toe in for a month or so, hesitating and not ready and then Wow! I am blogging again. I came across this video and it inspired me to put the pen to the paper so to speak.

the video is by a preacher, posted below. i am not religious and i do not believe in the same path as this guy, but he says so many things i agree with. i just use a different means to get there. he talks about the path from deep damage to being healed and of service, and that all it takes is one person caring enough to show you the way (via bible and god's word). actually it was a few different people who gave me the my tools (not a bible) to manifest a better life. I'll add that it was my choice to use the tools.

there is one part of the clip that is BRILLIANT because he says that:
"When you are 'tortured' you learn 4 things:
Don’t talk
Don’t trust
Don’t feel
Pretend nothing is happening"

i can't recall anyone else saying that so clearly. Embracing that information is the very essence of learning to have empathy for people, (like if you judge the "me too" people or want to fight about how victims of abuse 'should" act). But more importantly, understanding that and reversing it is the way you heal/change yourself: you find you  voice, you learn to feel your feelings, find your peeps or you community-people you actually can trust, and you recognize that yes a lot of bad shit happened. (all that takes time. that is why some people take a while before they can come forward). 

i also really like-
"god uses greatly those have been wounded very deeply. He will turn your pain into power, your wounds into wisdom" (his version). My version is more that you can use the depth of your roundedness to have great empathy for others, and you can use your experience to help others.

anyway it is really is actually inspiring to listen to him speak if you are able to relate to message, I had to substitute the whole "god-bible-devil" part for "unconditional love and support".

my very best wishes to all you cats out there in blog land. big love!

(i saw it posted on fb from a conservative website but posted by a smart pal.
you can watch it or skip it here...)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Life at the speed of sound

So much happens every sec, no time to write it down, but I try...

So I wasn't allowed to drive in Los Angeles these last 3 months. My license expired in ny and I needed to renew it in person in Los Angels. I was able to get an extension, but it only permitted me to drive outside of California. I can be a real hustler, but I tend to be a goody goody when the stakes are high. I got back into town last week and I did not drive for a few days until I could take a cab to the dmv. A day later I drove my husband to the dmv because he was in the same situation.  I planned to get my car to my mechanic for an issue the next day. On the drive back from the dmv my car died on Santa Monica blvd as I was driving along alone and in the fast lane. The accelerator stopped working and some lights came on the dash and the truck behind me was honking away as I slowed to a crawl. I was able to coast as two cars passed me and then I pulled over and rolled into an illegal spot. Within minutes triple a was there.

The issue is expensive to fix and probably not worth it and I probably need to get a new car.

But I feel so much gratitude because I had an up to date license, no one was hurt, my kids were not in the car and I have triple a, Super easy tow to my mechanic. if I had driven to the mechanic on this day this incident would have taken place on the 101 and I am not sure it would have ended so tidy. I am in such a great place. I have the most amazing life with the most comfortable bed in the world, an amazing family, the best friends anyone could want, and as I sip my homemade lime basil elixir I understand the enormity of my luck and I feel so thankful to be alive and carless in l.a.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The two things I didn't tell you

Lice are icky, but a part of having kids. You just deal with them. Even most of the most squeamish parents learn to accept them.  They are not as bad as fleas and certainly not as bad as bed bugs. They don't infest your place. They are drag because you have to do a bunch of loads of wash- clothes, outer wear and bedding- and you have to treat everyone in the household to a serious hair treatment but they go away pretty fast. You just have to be diligent and follow up to make sure that each and every microscopic egg got removed. Still the general public can get really horrified by them... That is why I did not mention that during the whole awards season lead up me and my family and lice.

I found it to be brilliant that while I was shopping for my Gucci and having cocktail dresses sent over from a really cool and generous shop that I was in the wake of a lice outbreak. My kids both got it and gave it to me. That was the first time I actually got lice as an adult. I thought I was immune, but no. I wanted to share the hilarity of my contrasting lives- Kensington Palace invites and lice follow ups- but I didn't want to scare off my generous sponsor. (Never mind, we won't be sending anything over). I had my final follow up check up a day before flying first class to the BAFTAs. I was clear. Thankfully. But I had to keep my little secret because of the delicate nature of everything. I didn't want people to shy away from congratulatory or consolatory hugs at the big events. We didn't have lice by the time we got there. But I could understand if people felt apprehensive. I don't blame them, that's why I didn't tell them. Ah the glamourous life...

The other secret ...oh you'll have to wait till next time.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

death and resurrection as Metaphors

i love the metaphor of Easter, how we suffer and "die" and then come back, rise again, resurrect. When I go through extremely painful challenges a part of me does die and then when I come out the other side I am a different person, stronger, smarter, more empathetic. It is not easy to "let go" of things that are not good for us- parts of ourselves, beliefs, habits, people, etc- it can feel like we are dying when we try, it can feel undoable, and then some outside force pushes us through and we curl into the fetal position barely making it, but making it out the other side, new and different. Or external circumstances happen, it is not even a choice- someone dies, or we are taken to court, or we lose someone/something, or some other calamity happens that affects our core, our family, something gets threatened and we have to fight with every bit of strength we have and we can't go on, we are done, but some how we do, we go on, we get through, and in time we are different, smarter, stronger, kinder. Easter happens all the time. Don't fight it, feel it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My hot unavailable boyfriend

New York is my hot unavailable boyfriend who causes me pain and heartbreak, who is so very gorgeous and fun and really couldn't care less about my human needs; when its fun it's great and when it's not, I pay. We just had a really good run. I ignored a bunch of my needs and just dug it.  Los Angeles, my dear good old friend who is there for me, solid and kind, provides me with ease and warmth, welcomes me with loving arms.
I left my hometown today, my greenwich village apartment with its beautiful view and its fireplace. It is impossible to be here without all of you. What will I do when I wake up tomorrow?

I can't move my body. I just got home. "Home" as in west coast home. I have two homes, east and west. It was impossible to say goodbye to my New York family, my family, the people I grew up with, as much brothers and sisters as my blood sister. I am back in the loving arms of the most wonderful people here, but the ties to my old old self are so very strong. This is glorious and hard.
I am too overwhelmed and wiped out to really write and find the words, but I am experiencing so many big feeling and I am going with it, and it is serious. I know all you dear friends here will kick in and snap me out of it, but the culture shock is so vey real and glittery golden idols can be so alluring.

I spent the morning in Washington square park with my kids and my mother and her significant other chasing giant bubbles while a New Orleans style funeral band played some serious instrumental versions of funk classics. The night before we did two boots pizza and ice cream from the truck in the same special place with amazing friends. That same week I did a photo shoot with super legend Guy Vanvoores. How lovely and lucky. Every minute life was dazzling, beautiful, exhausting, and magic.

On the aero plane today, some random guy was wearing a t shirt with a picture of an ex boyfriend of mine. Oddly, it wasn't a music related thing, just artwork of an ex. Really?

I suspect this blog is hard to follow. I get it. Now I have to hustle and get my kids started in their schools and then I will sleep every day for a month and then I will start my life again. My band, my friends, nature, great food....Talk to you then....
Kind of kidding....

Friday, April 7, 2017

I love ny part 2

we got off the metro north at grand central around 6 pm. The kids were melty. It was a long day in the country. We had come from a memorial. We were a little out of it. we got on line for a cab ( there is a cab stand there, like at the airport). the dispatcher was sending volunteers across the street to more cabs. I volunteered but it was a little unorganized and I didn't want to cross with the stroller and the kids and everything and find out that someone else had hopped in the cab. I didn't want to lose our spot. We needed to get home.

Then a cabbie comes along and seems to be interacting with the dispatcher and he asks how many we are. 4. He says, "Great, come with me I am parked over here". We follow. And then I see we have been suckered like dumb tourists- The guy is taking us to his town car a few feet from the cab stand. Not a reallybig deal, but a little deal, as we have kids, he may or may not have insurance, etc.

Harmless enough, I take it as a lesson learned and since we lost our place on the line, we go for it. He asks us where we are from, feeling us out. Hmmmm. We are going down 5th ave and I ask if it goes straight through, wondering if there is any construction today. He  says it ends at "union square, nyu". Hmmmm. We are flying down 5th ave and He turns on 19th, which will take us out of the way and add time to the trip. I ask him why he turned because I can see that traffic is running all the way to Washington square. And he says "traffic". Ok.

So I go into my coat pocket where I remember have the receipt for the same trip, opposite direction, when we left our place the day before. The only difference is that the first trip was during rush hour. $14 and change including the 20% tip. Cool.

I show him how to get to our building and I ask the price. $60 he says. Say what? $40. My husband gets out knowing to let me handle this one. I ask the guy to pop the trunk. My husband gets our stuff as I explain that we were on line for a yellow cab, which would have cost 12 bucks, and I ask if he has a meter. He doesn't. Ok then I am going to give you $14, which includes the tip. He tells me that it costs $20, which is a good price. I make sure the kids are on the sidewalk and all of our stuff is out of the cab. I give him the $14. He yells that I am "hungry", I guess he meant greedy. I don't want to rip off anyone. I want to support the greater good and bring everyone up along with me. I didn't take back the tip. I told him he picked the wrong people. He drives away yelling "Hungry". Whatever.

On a side note, he reminded me of what my lawyer told me in court. She said, " If someone answers a question starting with the word 'honestly," or "honestly?" They are probably lying." People in the wrong often  see or feel the opposite in their head. # 45 uses that word a lot. He also accuses others of all of the things he is guilt of- liar, fake news, the swamp, illegal, etc. it's the same when you or I attack someone, point a finger and there are 3 fingers pointed back.

Anyway, I couldn't believe I had fallen for such a lame tourist trick. I didn't pay his outrageous fee but I followed him to his fake cab. There were reasons, as the dispatcher was indeed sending people to different places, ( clearly still defending myself to prove I am not lame), but still, I got suckered. I guess I got a little soft these last 15 years. Not too soft, but a little. I guess it really is time to go back to LA.