Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A week of reconnection--old voices out of the past, people I hadn't seen or heard from in a while, some weeks, others years. I wonder who will pop up next?

November is the month when the veil is very thin. The veil between past and present, between the living and the dead, between what might be, what could have been and what is. I feel it. I walk in the hills and there's the death and dying all around me at the same time new green is pushing through everywhere. Fall and winter in California are as much a time of renewal and birth as spring and summer are. the rains bring green immediately; the land never sleeps, it doesn't even doze.

I went over to Carla's house and found her busy at work on several projects. She's getting out a calendar of sexy photos of people with ALS dressed as their favorite Hollywood fantasy characters, but complete with wheelchairs, respiratory equipment and feeding tubes. There's a picture of Carla in fishnet stockings and stiletto heels, there's someone lying in a bathtub full of rose petals a la American beauty, there's a stripped-to-the-waist Harley davidson-looking guy with a feeding tube, etc. It actually needs to be experienced to be understood.

Anyway, she greeted me in the midst of explaining that she's working on this project, she's overseeing the production of her third CD of original songs, all recorded before her voice started to go, and she's getting ready for the premiere of the documentary film about her, Leave 'Em Laughing, which will show at College of Marin on November 20th. Which would be quite enough for an able-bodied person, but oh yeah, she's also maybe got a nibble from a book publisher about her blog. As Gerry said about her, "The busiest dying woman in show business," or as she says about herself, "I can't die. I'm too busy!"

What can I do but take my hat off and salute? We are who we are, and we fight and deserve the right to be ourselves our whole lives, up to our very last breath. For what other purpose could we possibly have been born?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

we are born to live
and die
it's that simple

Lynn said...

What a beautiful description of November. I love this time of year, and how beautifully you articulate the effects of this month "when the veil is very thin." You validate my thoughts. Thanks.

A tiny piece of shameless self promotion: I'm featured at the National Association of Baby Boomer Women today, http://www.nabbw.com/blog/. Woo hoo! Take a look if you have the time.

Lynn
www.writeradvice.com
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT?
Journaling for Caregivers

Alison said...

Nice interview, Lynn! Thanks for the comment.

Best,
Alison

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Anonymous said...

To fill every moment with beauty, love, truth and passion is what Carla is doing, setting the bar high now for all the rest of us...asking us to commit to our own very precious lives. We will all do the best we can ultimately and we will fall short and that perhaps is the point. How much more human can we be to reach for the stars while playing in the mud?