“Oh, please don’t go—we’ll eat you up—we love you so!” might be the best line in a children’s book ever. But Maurice Sendak created so many great lines and images and moments, it would be impossible to pick just one. Sendak would have been 85-years-old today (if you haven’t checked out the Google Doodle in honor of Sendak, please do so now) and his legacy is a profound one on me. I remember reading and rereading Where the Wild Things Are over and over again as a kid. It scared me. It sadden me. It made me laugh. Where the Wild Things Are was passed through our family with its ripped pages, torn cover and scribbled on backside. Books like this one along with Where the Sidewalk Ends and everything Jim Henson touched on television were the things that made me want to tell stories of my own. My appreciation for Sendak certainly grew as I got older. When I worked at my parent’s bookstore in high school, I saw firsthand how kids were still in love with his books. It’s a special artist whose works endures and touches so many generations and Sendak was certainly that.
Last year, I watched the incredible Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak and again my love for the guy exploded. So brilliant, honest and open Sendak isn’t shy about who he is and what he believes. As a gay man, Sendak had to hide his 50-year relationship in fear that it would ruin his career as a children’s book author. Also incredibly moving are Sendak’s stories of his much loved siblings. Being a person who loves their brothers and sister, I related big time. And he was also very, very funny. For proof, please watch his hysterical, no-holds-barred interview on The Colbert Report.
So Happy Birthday, Maurice Sendak! Thanks for teaching me how to be a wild thing.
Not much to report here on day five. I ran a bunch of errands, did some writing and oh just had my faith in humanity restored. Scratch that. Turns out it was a bigger news day than I initially thought.
I guess I should clear up my dramatic statement since I sort of sounded like everyone on planet Earth has been yelling at me and throwing things at me for the last forty years until this random stranger was nice to me today. No, I do actually believe that if I’m kind and friendly to people, I’ll get it back. Time after time, this theory usually delivers. Today it just happened to deliver at my new HIV healthcare providers, a place I so desperately needed it. Being as I work freelance, the offices of Sean INC. don’t exactly provide CEO-type of healthcare and I have to rely on the cheap/free stuff. Thankfully, Denver takes great care of HIV positive peeps wtih its system. After some chronic fatigue and blood sugar level funkiness for the last six months, I finally kicked myself in the ass, made phone calls and sought new medical help. Yeah, HIV is a manageable condition that doesn’t kill us anymore but you still have to, like, actually manage it. Nevertheless, the minute I don’t feel well I still naturally think I’m headed for this inevitable future:
I told you I was dramatic. Once I calmed the hell down and talked to other positive friends, I was able to get into action and get into a clinic. Today was first appointment of the drop off paper work variety and my case worker turned out to be angel. I mean really. Terrific guy, super friendly, organized, compassionate and even gave me a hug and said, “We’ll get to the bottom of what’s going on. Don’t worry.”Wow! I bet they don’t do that in CEO-type of doctor’s offices! I suddenly was able to exhale and already physically felt a little better knowing I had someone this awesome working for me. It was 15 minutes that truly changed my day. It made me realize how just being compassionate and kind and authentic can really transform the lives of others. So nice people everywhere, thanks for just being your nice selves and keep doing your thang. And I’ll try to return the favor whenever I can.
Happy Holidays! That disenchanted child with the bowl cut, groovy parka and look of “I gotta get the hell out of here” is me. The poor tortured young boy trying desperately to make an escape is my little brother. Ain’t Christmas grand? Mild trauma aside, I sincerely do love the holidays. I like flashing lights and glitter and candy. I’m a former raver so sue me. I love the holidays so much I’ve written a brand new short story about Christmas which is being published this week. (more on that later) Plus, I love using the holidays as a time to reflect and be grateful. Speaking of reflection, UrtheInspiration is taking the next twelve days to reflect back on some of my favorite blog posts of 2012. Sure, a greatest hits is a lazy way to post new content without having to actually write anything new and that’s part of it. But on the 12th day, December 23rd, this here little old blog will celebrate one year in BlogLand. Hooray!
So to get things started why not start at the beginning? My first post, You’re the Inspiration, tells what I’m all about and what the blog hopes to accomplish. This inaugural post tells my story how I wound up blogging. At the time I wrote:
“Oddly enough it was admitting that everything was supremely fucked up and having the courage to laugh about it, that made everything okay. So that in short, is why this blog exists. Sharing a laugh or talking about uncomfortable things makes me feel better. And maybe I can do that for you too. Hopefully others who are addicted or positive or heartbroken will read this and believe me from the bottom of my heart that everything, will in fact, be okay.”
Almost a year into this wonderful journey, this mission statement remains the same. But I now get inspired and laugh and love all of the people who read my stuff and whom I read too. We’ve created a little circle of support and I’m so grateful. On December 23, 2011, writing all of this personal, emotional stuff down seemed like a terrifying thing to do and it still is. But now I know it was absolutely the right thing to do too. Without any further hubbub, please enjoy the first day of Blogmas with You’re the Inspiration.
Everybody needs a cheer or a chant or a mantra. Everybody needs a theme song. And everybody needs a little push. More often than not, my theme songs are from the 80’s and in my mind they look like a montage from Can’t Buy Me Love. But that’s just me. As many of my writing and creative cohorts are tackling National Novel Writing Month this November, I am taking on two giant creative projects– editing this very blog into a witty, glittery touching collection of essays and getting my second play ready for rehearsals which start this winter. So I felt like I needed a new mantra/chant/cheer (cherranta?) to give me a little push during this busy and creative month. So here it goes!
now? there’s no way I mean I have all these things I need to do and
No, right now!
now? but the time isn’t right. I’m not ready. It will be crap.
I don’t care. Write now!
Okay but first I need to nap, pretend like I’m going to clean something, call somebody I don’t really wanna talk to, eat something, feel sorry for someone (mainly myself), and then maybe I’ll be ready
How about now?
Okay but what I am a gonna write about? You know I should think about that first.
Not “think” now. Write now.
Sure but it’s going to have to be amazing and life-changing and award-winning, okay?
No, not “write well”.
But why now?
because if not you,
because if you don’t write,
somebody else will.
and if not now,