Barb Anniversary: More to Come

Got back last night from a lovely 48 hour vacation with Nancy & Bruce in Inverness.  Before I left I swam back and forth across an estuary fed by briny sea water, surrounded by willows and hills of amber grass.  I am a Canadian. I grew up swimming in pristine Ontario lakes. I hate chlorine & swiming pools.   I  was too exhausted and too much in the moment to blog during the Barb events but this swim was left me high on endorphins and in great mood. I am still tired, but I have recovered enough to post my impressions of last week,  which I will do asap. 

Behind My Happy Face

I know I must move on emotionally from David and Stew’s deaths, even though I wake up every morning these days so depressed it’s painful. I despise the giant gap between the me who, after I have my coffee and my Chinese herbal happy meds, is ready to face her day and the other Judy – She Who Takes Possession of Me in that first hour beginning at 5:30 or 6 when I am semi-conscious. She Who Takes Possession wallows in sadness, clenches her teeth, sweats, feels nauseous; her heart beats so loudly even rational Judy hears it. SWTP cannot see the positive in her life.  Happened Monday morning and again on Tuesday, despite the fact that Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle began the article on our Berkeley Barb  50th Anniversary on the FRONT PAGE FIRST SECTION BELOW THE FOLD (!!!!!). And continues on a double spread inside.

My pic is fabulous; my bio on page 15 stellar and includes the paragraph I wrote for Yippie Girl about a confrontation I had with Max Scherr over his sexism. I was quoted 3 times in the accompanying article and my quotes were on point. My website address appears in print. Even Stew makes his presence felt from beyond the grave; he’s quoted once.  You’d think all this positiviity would leech into my subconscious and give me happier and less horrific wake-ups but nooooooo….

WTF, right?  Suggestions for moving on are greatly appreciated.


John, Diana, me & Gar

Article at:

Count Your Blessings

I have decided there is no such thing as always.  Always always changes. Never takes so long it never happens. Perhaps that’s why J.M. Barrie called it Never-Never land. It never did or could exist.

I still have horrible wake-ups, even if my day is filled. When I have a lonely evening, wake-ups are worse. Whine, whine, whine. I am an other directed person, someone who Stew used to call a talking woman, I process and feel happy when I have someone close to talk to. But that’s gone now. I have no other except myself. Let me be clear: I am privileged to have many friends but friends are not around (nor should they be) when I’m in bed watching TV at night or to say to me, as David did when I’d ask him for reassurance:  “Everything is going to be all right.” If no-one says that magic phrase to me, how can I be sure?

The book I just finished reading for my book group, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, written at the turn of the last century, tells the story of a privileged woman in New Orleans who is so bored and stifled by her life and husband she – partially deliberately, partially through just following her existential path – manages to break free. But when she finally achieves that ideal state of relaxing self-fulfillement,  she is abandoned by her lover. Her solution – not thought out, just acted upon – is to walk deep into the ocean and surrender.

I can feel a piece of that woman inside me too: sad, bored, weighed down, fatigued, energy-less.  Oppressed by lack of intimacy. My right to pursue happiness promised to me in the Declaration of Independence is distant, not inalienable.  At the same time, I am privileged. My blessings are huge. My daughter, Simon, my home and friends, just to start.  I’m supposed to be in the Pink Section of the Chronicle this coming Sunday for the Barb stuff, for chrisssake!

I have forgotten a basic tenet of both Judaism & Buddhism – count your blessings: Judaism in morning prayers, Buddhism by reminding yourself, before you go to sleep and when you wake up, of at least three things or people you are grateful for. Count your blessings Gumbo – by which I mean the positive in my life.  I must do this at night & in the morning.  For as long as always lasts.