If you’re in the market for something to watch on television I have the ultimate hold your breath, edge-of-your-seat thriller about a man who meets a maiden under the sea. The man is Cape Town, South Africa filmmaker, Craig Foster, and the maiden is not a mermaid, but a female octopus Foster forged a relationship with over the period of a year. In many ways this Academy Award-winning documentary is an unexpected love story, a tale of survival and a meaningful bond between two different, but highly intelligent species.
I watched My Octopus Teacher the same day I rescued a baby bird who’d wound-up in the mouth of my dog, Annie. Like Craig Foster, I was struck by the resiliency and the fragility of nature, but it also gave me another pause for thought.
Hi Friends. I finished the memoir I’ve been writing, and it has been the experience of a lifetime. One I wouldn’t have missed for anything, and I have you to thank, because you are the ones who asked me to write it. I am grateful to all of you for reading what I write and leaving me such supportive comments, and in the prologue of my book I have given you the credit.
When it comes time for you to read it you may find it shocking––it will be something you didn’t expect––but it is my truth, and I needed to get it out on the page.
Christmas Cactus by Brad Braune, 1981
This year has taken many of us down the rabbit hole, and we are wondering when it will be safe to poke our heads above ground and get our lives back. I wave to neighbors, text and zoom with friends and attend church online, but the only living being I see face-to-face is Annie, and she can be a handful. Adorable but a handful.
I have missed all of you. Every day I work on my memoir, and it leaves little time for anything else, but I wanted to touch base, today, and wish all of you love and good health this holiday season.
I have also included a passage from my memoir and some holiday gifts you might enjoy.
Photograph by Jennifer Denton
I don’t know about you, but I have been taking self-quarantine seriously: I get together with friends on Zoom, have my groceries delivered, and I haven’t seen the inside of a hair salon since February. While I have adjusted to visiting with friends online, and I’ve never been crazy about grocery shopping… My long, thin grey hair had to go, so a couple of weeks ago I studied some YouTube videos and decided to cut and color my own hair.
If it didn’t turn out well I was going to say my hair had been gnawed off by woodchucks.
Le Mythe Dior
I have often thought about writing you but after months of self-imposed Covid lockdown, followed by George Floyd’s senseless and tragic murder and the upheaval in our nation, I hit a bit of a brick wall. The memoir I’m writing revisits a dark period in my life, and for a time, it became difficult for me to write or even think about blogging. I needed to find a way to change that, so in addition to beginning each day with a prayer and taking care of the plants in my courtyard, I put my writing aside and started mainlining lighthearted feelgood films, documentaries and YouTube videos. They were my cinematic macaroni and cheese.
Like a young child, I would plop myself down in front of the television and watch the same beloved films over and over again.
Other than a masked visit to Whole Foods during senior hour and the drive through at the pharmacy, my post Covid schedule revolves around working out, writing a memoir and keeping Annie entertained, or maybe it’s the other way around. Annie is keeping me entertained.
Each time I take Annie for a walk, I feel like I’m putting my ever-thinning bones at risk.
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Somehow all the trips I took last year, the wonderful people I met and the pretty pink tulle skirt and my silver shoes don’t feel important anymore, but my grandmother’s pin I wore will always be one of my most cherished possessions. The last few days I’ve been aware of my mother and my grandmother, my father’s mother, surrounding me.
All I have to do is look around my house. Their things are with me everywhere like my grandmother’s big chair in my living room.
The other night I watched the classic 1959, film, The Diary of Anne Frank, the true story of seven people who went into hiding for two and a half years, hoping to save themselves from the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. They lived in a tiny space, on top of one another, and were forced to be silent for nine hours a day. The film had a number of takeaways applicable to the current Corona Virus crisis, but for me, the most important one is the need to get ourselves into a survivorship mentality. I’ve found myself there more times than I’d like to count.
While we can’t change the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we can change how we look at, and deal with, them.
Photograph by Brenda Coffee, ©2020
Laura Munson’s new book, Willa’s Grove, is much more than a novel. It’s a map, a template with the potential to show each one of us how to find a life-changing sense of community. It’s where we can start to answer the question, “So now what?” and it begins with an invitation we send to ourselves and to other women.
“You are invited to the rest of your life.”