The Slate Is Ours To Write

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

There’s this person I know, I’ll call them Sandy since that’s not their name but I wish to be respectful of their privacy. Their journey wasn’t an easy one. Not when you consider how many people still believe the world is supposed to subscribe to the notion that humankind must abide to a uniform script. There are still too many people who are willing to get ugly and mean in order to convey their narrow minded approach to everything and everyone else.

Sandy had a tough road to get here. Born a boy in a conservative Latin family and learning a different truth by adolescence, they hid the truth until it could no longer be hidden. For some, the truth is a liberator but for others such as Sandy, it is the beginning of an arduous journey fraught with complications, betrayal and abject hate.

I took all this into account when I was getting to know them because it’s how I would like to be understood. The golden rule isn’t some bullshit antiquity, it’s a real world solution that works wonders when applied with compassion and understanding. It’s how I learned that Sandy has the kind of personality that makes everybody’s day just a little brighter just by being in the room; smart as all get out, hard working and as genuine a human being as you’re ever going to meet. Sandy isn’t just a good person. Sandy is one of the best people I know, one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. If you want my slam dunk, that’s a fack jack seal of approval last word on this? I would have enlisted Sandy as a babysitter for my kids back in the day. And that list was reserved for immediate family and a Godmother, so there’s that.

We tend to forget how easy it can be. We’re so wrapped up in the daily mayhem that we lose sight of Camus’ best idea. The one that summons us to get moving to where the getting is good. It’s a place we all have access to if we just let it do its thing. The denomination that threads us together is what should count most of all. If we stopped separating each other as if we were aisles in a grocery store, we would understand ourselves as people. Different and very much the same. Both.

Maybe we don’t ever figure this out. Maybe we drown in our insolence, captive prisoners to the hostilities that are setting perpetual fires to an unkempt world. Maybe we are just too far gone to ever really get to the place where peace matters. Where the quiet of common sense matters. Where life reads like that favorite passage in a classic piece of literature that your brain can feed on in perpetuity. And maybe none of it matters in the end if we give a damn enough to spoil the wreckage with kindness.

If I never knew Sandy, I never write this post and I never feel as hopeful as I do in the moments that come at me from every direction with words that spill over with love and peace and a genuine belief in us. All of us. And it’s a tiny little stretch of real estate with quiet understandings. But its resonance moves the holy spirits that tend to our small mercies, even in the most desperate of times.

Admittedly, I can still be clumsy with pronouns. But I’m earnest and I’m open and I’m honest to this fact. After all, it ain’t hard work. It’s how a person chooses to live because it’s their life . . it’s their choice. My part is the least meeting most in a hug, and I do understand that it’s not everything, but it’s a lot more than nothing at all. And it still counts.

A lot more than we know.

53 thoughts on “The Slate Is Ours To Write

  1. Thought provoking post. I hope Sandy knows how much you care, because I believe all of us are in the same boat. All of us are trying to figure it out and some of us who seem to have figured it out are really struggling but make it look like they aren’t. Stay well and safe. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They know all that for sure. I appreciate this person so much and I am the better for having worked with and known them. When you can say that about an individual, what else matters?

      We’re always works in progress. Progress being the operative word.

      Thank you good sir

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’d think all ‘Christians’ would be a bit more acknowledging of the Golden Rule, especially these days. We can only hope we do better…and stop exporting our most well known (but least Christian) product. We now managed to export it to Japan. 😢

    Liked by 2 people

    • You would hope so. It doesn’t always work this way as we have seen so many times before. Like, how does a true Christian stand behind a guy like Trump? You can’t.

      So sad to read about this. Shinzo Abe was the longest tenured PM in Japan’s history, not to mention the youngest post-war leader of the country. Assassinated by an individual who claims it wasn’t political. The shooter is saying his motive concerned the “group” Abe belonged to.

      Madness reigns everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the lesson here is everyone deserves a chance at happiness. Those who don’t believe that everyone does ought to get out and not let the screen door hit where the good Lord split. Excellent job with the lesson, Pilgrim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Much thanks Cincy. Yeah, it’s a big room and we have to be mindful of that fact. Those who don’t want to be respectful can stand outside and give the adults more elbow room maybe?

      Tip of the cap to you too. Gracias.

      Like

  4. B

    You know how close this one is to my heart.. Your acceptance (I refuse to use the word tolerance because for me, it has a negative connotation), nay, not acceptance your welcome of Sandy into your world says volumes about you as a person.

    We have to stop with the labels, the division, the pointing of fingers. It’s not like what they have chosen – and when I say chosen, I mean they have chosen to listen to their heart and body and soul, is going to affect you the person on the outside. Why we should attack their journey is beyond me.

    Acceptance makes the world a more beautiful place. There would be so much more peace and less angst if we just minded our own damn business and accepted all for who we are.

    Beauty of a write with a fabulous tune, to boot.

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      I know what you mean. Tolerance, that word, it’s a word we are seeing play out across the country these days. People who want their 1776 back and are willing to incite a riot to get it. Disgusting and backwards, these people are on the wrong side of history.

      It’s like the conversation I had one time with a woman of faith. She told me how faith was something she felt, and even if nobody else saw it or felt it, it still mattered most to her. To which I replied, sort of like the way gay people feel about their preference? The way transgender people feel about who they are inside? Like that?

      Well, the good news is that the people who look to own the world, will never get there. The rest of us know full well we are simply renters. With that perspective comes respect and understanding. That’s how you write tomorrow.

      Thank you so much lovely.

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tolerance means putting up with, not accepting. I can assure you, if I use that word, it means just that. And seriously, 1776 is in the past. And must remain there.

        Excellent comeback. Too many people of faith are intolerant. All in the name of their god. And while this particular woman might not have been close-minded, so many are.

        That is so true. Though damn if they don’t keep trying to. More people need to learn that.

        Alway, love.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this post. People like Sandy are rare, and to miss out on such a connection, such a gift, because someone is… different somehow? Insanity.

    I wish I knew why so many small-minded people feel compelled and justified to tell others how to live and who to be when their being themselves harms no one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is insanity. And it’s funny how people who don’t accept this will push back by saying how the LGBTQ community is trying to force their way of life on everyone. To which I always reply, nope, they’re simply providing a place for those who have been forced to be shut ins by people who don’t accept their choice. It’s actually THOSE people who are trying to force their way of life on others.

      Like

  6. Acceptance of difference seems in short supply sometimes, especially as our country bends toward fascism. That Golden Rule seems rather tarnished (What? Is it made of silver? Brass?).

    Beautiful prose to celebrate a beautiful person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The people who push back against a person’s choice are usually the ones who do everything in their power to stanch choice. Because as much as they spout their nonsense about rights? It’s THEIR rights they care about, nobody else’s.

      Thank you Eilene.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I know many Sandys. I have since I ran away from home at 17, to love the world and all in it.
    This is a lovely from the heart piece, Marc. I hope someone who needs to gain understanding reads it.

    I’m behind… not a behind, just generally behind. I have to go and take some pics of the new gown while the sun is out. I’ll be back to visit. Not leaving your blog. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay, I’m back from catching up, and finding what I wrote about Beau Bridges.

    1946-47
    He plays 1 of 3 bureaucrats who interview Gisela Perle. Should she be sent to jail, death or not allowed into the USA for performing abortions on women who got pregnant from German soldiers? You were shot on sight if they found out a woman was pregnant. The gruelling interview of her and others from the concentration camp goes on for days. It was in a room with a massive oak table and BIG imposing chairs.

    So Beau and the other men wore suits. To make it look like different days, I had several suits, many different shirts and ties for each. Well, if you know how film shoots… rather than move the camera, you change the wardrobe. The actors were running back and forth every half hour to change.
    I was in Honeyland, and Beau called me to his trailer. He said all this changing was making him crazy. Could he just wear the same pants, and just change the jacket, shirt and tie?
    I replied, what if you have to stand up, or walk around? He replied, I’ll stand and walk behind chairs.
    Okay, I say!
    You will notice in the photo his pants and jacket do not match.
    I had to leave set for a bit of shopping for the movie.
    I got back to the wardrobe truck, and asked how it was going. My assistants were a bit quiet, so I rushed to set.
    LOL. Beau, and the other 3 actors were all standing behind chairs.
    I tried not to burst out laughing, and gave them a thumbs up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buahahahaha!

      Resa strikes again with yet ANOTHER fabulous story. I tell you what, these stories are gold to my senses. I just love the quiet moments . . . those behind the scenes moments that nobody sees. It’s how the work gets done!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you!
        Please remind me to tell you about Lou Gosset Jr. It’s hilarious & I am forever humiliated! Interestingly enough, he was in a movie I did costumes for called “Strange Justice” about the Anita Hill Clarence Thomas hearings. Mandy Patinkin was in it. He would sing to me on set, and I would melt, big time!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. No one should have to live up to someone else’s version of themselves. We should all champion each other to be the best person we can be, the best version. Sandy is lucky to have you in their corner. I will stand with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I honestly think that the worst part of all the divisions we have these days is that we never get the chance to really get to know people whose story is different from ours. And that makes it all the easier to cling to our preconceived notions about how life should be. It’s easy to hate a group of people, but once you actually get to know one of them and realize they’re actually pretty wonderful, it changes the way you look at the whole group. But that can only happen when we’re willing to risk meaningful connections and stop the name calling. Thanks for this post….a very timely reminder for us all!

    Liked by 1 person

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