Category Archives: thoughts

He Said, She Said.

He said God didn’t interact in the lives of humans.

She was sure that God did, though she wasn’t clear on exactly how, or when, or what God was doing.

He was a Democrat, but didn’t vote. She was a registered Independent, voting whenever she could choose a viable candidate.

He believed in abortion as part of a woman’s right to choose, and had encouraged women he knew to have them in the past.

She was fervently pro-life, and considered the right to choose a foil for the right to abort.

He had chosen vasectomy as his means of birth control. She’d used the sympto-thermal method, which had included periodic abstinence.

She loved to walk outdoors, but her profession kept her inside 90% of the time. When he wasn’t cooking, he was outside.

He loved dogs, cats, and birds. Her cat allergy was prohibitive and, though she’d always wanted a dog, both her neighborhood and property were not amenable.

He was built of short, bulk muscle, and preferred large motor activities like weight lifting, sailing, and heavy land maintenance. Hers was a small motor gift, expressed on musical instruments and utilizing the tools of visual art.

He was open ended, preferring to go with the flow. She needed closure, almost obsessively so, not resting until achieved.

He enjoyed hip hop and other contemporary music styles. She would choose country over hip hop, every time, but preferred everything from the classical masterworks to ballads to blues.

He was a medical professional. She was a creative and educator.

Her love expressions were gifting, problem solving, and verbal encouragement. While his love language included gifting his was almost exclusively physical release, and she could count on one hand after six years the number of times he complimented her even if strangers lavished praise.

He liked the house cool to cold, often complaining of feeling hot. She had a bit of Reynaud’s, and required a warm indoor environment to keep her fingers fully functioning.

He was a recreational alcohol and drug user, and self medicated regularly. She took prescriptions to treat migraines, one of them with a history of altering mood.

He was an introvert. She was an ambivert.

He regarded talking as a one sided means to vent. She preferred productive conversation and active dialogue.

He enjoyed reading about history and the care of animals. She preferred reading about the current states of society, health, and the cosmos.

He addressed multiple tasks as they came to mind. She made lists, and crossed off tasks as they were completed.

He preferred keeping his personal life details private. Her imagination led her to question the veracity of his disclosures.

He was fiercely in need of making all decisions on his own, including those which she believed were her exclusive domain. She was the most independent woman she knew.

He preferred to live within a small sphere of his own influence, rarely seeking answers. She was constantly curious, attracted to the speculative universe of unexplored possibility.

He resisted all forms of perceived control. She perceived his resistance as a stubborn need for absolute power.

His behavioral standards were focused on self comfort and sustenance. Hers were built around self protection and preservation.

His, from early childhood; hers, from every aspect of her social realm, theirs was a trauma bond.

He said. She said.

In spite of everything and against overwhelming odds, they had found themselves unable to break free of that which had kept them intersecting in each other’s lives.

To call this a relationship was to stretch the limits of human definition. Only God could name it.

He said God wouldn’t. She was still waiting.

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Copyright 1/21/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo . All rights those of the author, whose personal story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole, or part, or by translation. Sharing by blog link exclusively, and not via RSS feed. Thank you for valuing the rights of original material.

littlebarefeetblog.com

Do I Want To Live Forever?

Do you want to live forever?

*Author’s Note: After 800+ essays and poems, WordPress asks this old girl the question – to prompt her reply, we assume. As if, after 800……but, you know the tune.

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Last Sunday, in the second row of the Unitarian congregation of Girard, Blossom McBrier announced her latest impending venture: she, having just turned 99, would celebrate her 100th year by traveling to the North Pole. Seems there had always been thousands of tiny lights in her firmament, and Blossom would seek their source in the Aurora Borealis – even if, as she declared, she froze to death en route.

When I was a kid we, in our family, were raised to face eternity. The sectarian fundamentalists, Christian variety, were into that. Still are, in fact. Life everlasting, after all.

Not to sound glib, the reality was: from birth, the dogma were clear; know that your soul was infinite, and the direction of its path open to the power of free will.

The Bible taught us that God the Father had provided, for lost mankind – gripped by original sin and enmity from its Creator – a way, toward redemption. The source was Jesus the Son, Christ, whose sacrifice on Calvary’s cross paved the way for total forgiveness. Just by confession and acceptance: personal absolution.

And, beyond mere verdict, the reward: eternal life – with God, and the Saviour Jesus, in the Heaven of holy provision. The body would return to the dust whence it had arisen but the soul would continue, forever. World, without end. Amen.

I remember trying to wrap my head around this inaccessible phenomenon, as a toddler. The concept, and my attempt at grasping it, actually made me nauseous. Physically discomfited, I became acutely disturbed by the idea. Comprehending endlessness left me frightened by something even more foreboding: utter powerlessness. Things which had a beginning, a middle, and an end were familiar and comforting and, to a degree, subject to control. Beyond end was a chasm, a black void. I was averted.

Yes. At that particular stage of, for lack of a better word, growth…from that which had no end, I recoiled.

Perhaps growth, mental/emotional let alone physical, would account for a shift in the affect of that perspective. Now, in the “twilight years” or, if the psychics are both real and accurate, the final third of my presence on this planet I can say that my sense and view of eternity has definitely evolved. Everlasting life? Yeah. I can dig it.

Why?

Always driven by creative curiosity, this spirit derives joy from seeking out and finding the new and different. New ideas. New flavors. New places. New experiences. If left to the familiar, I quickly stagnate, even regress. Decompensation, swiftly enacted by the body, even attacks the mind; soon, I am but a slug, repeating tasks like a robot with an excretory system just because it’s handy. Being alive becomes redundant.

But, moving forward allows me reach. Searching yields a banquet of possibility; and, possibilities, they say, are endless. So, why not? Like Blossom McBrier, driven by her teeming need to know, turning in the direction of the North Pole and thermally clad I press on. If life is the absence of decay, or decay just a phase on the brink of rebirth, then being born again – and, again – sounds like a plan.

Yeah. Live forever. Ever, something new, right around the next corner.

Can you dig it? Then, everybody sing!

Hallelujah!

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Copyright 1/10/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose thoughts appear and whose name likewise, above this line. No copying, in part or whole including translation, permitted. Sharing by blog link, exclusively, and not by RSS. Thank you for accepting and respecting original material.

littlebarefeetblog.com

Amber Heard.

When Katrina died, I hit my first writer’s block.

Having read about this affliction, I would smirk at the thought; how could a true writer find no words?

In my case, there was little warning; I’d typed her name, in the title of what was to be another of many tribute pieces, only to find myself staring at the white screen. I could not begin.

But, after spending several hours this weekend viewing reruns of the Depp/Heard defamation hearings, I woke up this morning thinking of Katrina.

We’d first met when she was a piano student of Sam Rotman at Mercyhurst College, myself on staff playing for the students of vocal and instrumental performance. Forty years old, I was teeming with climaxing hormonal energy, overjoyed to be in such close proximity to fresh, anticipating youth. Katrina was a bubbling post-adolescent with residual acne and raw authenticity. Bearing a gift for theater show tunes, she brought cheerful joy into the room and loved everyone she met.

The tenor, to whom I’d been assigned, was her boyfriend. I played his senior recital, and we became well acquainted. At the time, he called Katrina his good friend and it wouldn’t be until I happened to catch them in the library after the recital exchanging a quick kiss on the lips that her actual status would emerge. I would learn, years later, that many men often categorized the women in their lives differently than the women who regarded such men.

Katrina was generous with praise. She was specific, for example, in acknowledging the thumb technique required in the piano accompaniment for the Britten after that recital. Vivid, to me, was the smile on her face and the light in her eyes. Knowing the part, she showed genuine collegiality and deference toward me, an act of humility.

Years passed. I would next see Katrina at a music faculty meeting, within the district. Myself having been at the high schools, I’d bid down to primary level and she appeared as a newest hire among them.

Katrina had changed. Now, she sat silently, her deference manifesting minus the characteristic extroversion, watchful and attentive. Her skin was smoothe and clear, her countenance thoughtful.

But, her reputation as a music teacher and theater pit pianist had spread quickly. The kids loved her. The staff loved her. The casts adored her. Everywhere she went, she still brought the light of her spirit and a selfless enthusiasm devoted to the successes of her charges. Silent at faculty meetings, Katrina conserved her energy for use where it mattered most.

Amber Heard sits in court, silence enforced. Her presentation is physically flawless. Perfectly tailored clothing, expertly fit; hair professionally set; complexion that of painted porcelain. Structurally, her face is enviably beautiful, its profile completely balanced, its angles bearing not a single weakness. One can marvel looking at her as if viewing one of the Creator’s most outstanding moments.

But, like the many masterworks of Rodin or Michelangelo, she appears as any stone sculpture. One searches to find the soul in her eyes. One notes the fleeting curl at the left corner of a petulant lip. One, as a member of her audience, contemplates what if any nourishing life might be found there.

Among contrasts this, the most stark, I think of Katrina. Cancer ravaged her neck and throat, seizing her ability to swallow. Still, she smiled, directing whatever ounce of remaining energy she had toward her daughter, Amelia, and her husband, Mark. To the end, she was ever focused on the needs of those to whom she was devoted, almost as sacrifice. Their world without her is a gaping and grasping testament to being loved entirely.

What the price of a selfish life?

To what end?

About that, I have no more words to say.

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© 5/1/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in part or whole (including translation) permitted without direct, written, signed permission of the author. Thank you for being the better person.

littlebarefeetblog.com