CONVERSATION WITH…An older door

As I travel Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I have to remind myself to look upward every once in a while.  I never know if a house will fall from the sky and crash on top of me. Today, an actual school building fell from the heavens. Thankfully, it landed along the side of the road.  Believe it or not, it was the building where my two children went to preschool!  I rushed inside and found their old classroom!  Though the room had been turned into a library, the old door was still there.  We chatted…

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Hey door?  Do you remember when I used to drop my kids off in your room a million years ago?

OLD DOOR:  Of course. I remember everyone who comes in and out of this place. I don’t have a lot else to do. I remember your son cried a lot when you dropped him off here at preschool.

Yeah. I remember leaving the room and then peeking through the window at the top of you to see how he was doing.

DOOR:  If memory serves, he was so upset he actually had to drop out and come back the next year.  He missed you terribly.

I know. Back then, I thought he would have fun in the classroom with the other kids as soon as I left. I also needed a little space for myself to live my own life.  So, I played with my son in the classroom for a while…and when I thought he’d be fine without me, I’d whisper, “I have to go now.”

DOOR:  And he’d wail.

Looking back, I guess he didn’t understand. It probably made no sense to him.  He was probably very hurt. But eventually he dried his tears and moved on.

DOOR: On the other hand…I remember your daughter didn’t mind being dropped off here at preschool.

I know!  Before I could finish saying, “I have to go now,” she was bopping over to the other kids. 

DOOR:  So you left, closed me behind you, and scrunched your nose up against my little window to see how your daughter was doing.

She was always having a good time. That made me very happy because I needed a little space for myself.  I needed to live my own life.

DOOR:  But! Your daughter always insisted on coming home for lunch.  She only wanted to stay in preschool for a few hours. That was her limit.

I remember sometimes she had to stay longer because I had to work. She cried.  She probably didn’t understand.  I probably hurt her feelings.

DOOR: But eventually she dried her tears and moved on.

And now the tables have turned.  My kids are young adults. When my daughter travels from the other side of the country for a visit, I always want her to stay longer and spend more time with me.  But, at a certain point, she says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: And your son?

He lives about an hour away. When he comes home for a visit, I soooo enjoy his company!  But at a certain point, he gets up and says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: That must be hard.

 I don’t always understand.  Sometimes it hurts my feelings. I miss my children terribly.

DOOR: But you dry your tears and move on.

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CONVERSATION WITH…MY OLDEST DOLL…Because I Still Love to Play

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I couldn’t believe it!  My oldest childhood doll, Chatty Cathy, was waddling toward me!  I rushed over and gave her the biggest hug!

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Chatty Cathy!  What are you doing here?

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  I heard you were visiting these parts and I had to see you!

OMG!  You look great!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Well, I’d look better if you hadn’t given me a bad haircut back when you were a little girl. I still don’t appreciate the bald spot in the back of my head.

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I’m so sorry.  My sister and I were playing barber.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: I guess you felt you had to wash my hair with Ajax, too?

It probably didn’t help the texture.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: But I loved you anyway!  You were the best little girl!  We had the silliest imaginary tea parties!  And the craziest times playing house!  And I loved when you shoved me on the make believe school bus with all the rest of the dolls and your sister pushed us all around the room in a giant chair.

Yeah, you just went around and around and around the room and never made it to school.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Good times!

Yes, they were. And I’ll let you in on a secret.  I’m still a little girl.  I still love to play and play and play and play.  It’s just harder to find someone to play with as I get older.

CHATTY CATHY: I’ll  play with you!

You will??  I would love that!  What should we play?  I mean, I’m not into having an imaginary tea party or playing house anymore. How can we play with each other now that we’re both older?  What can we play?

CHATTY CATHY: Hmmm…I’m not sure.  I should tell you the “talking ring” on the back of my neck doesn’t work anymore.  When you pull it out, the spring is broken so it just snaps back.

It doesn’t matter, I don’t work as well as I used to either. I guess if we’re going to play, we should play about something that matters in our lives right now. 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Like what?

I know! 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Uh oh.

Hear me out. I’ve been thinking about adding a little pink or purple in my hair for the past few years. But, I don’t want to bleach my hair to do it. Also, I’m wondering if I’m too old to walk around with that look.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: So, what made you think of it now?

I just noticed L’Oreal came out with a new one-day color spray product.  You can spray pink or purple in your hair and it will wash out after one shampoo!  So if you don’t like it or feel foolish, one hair wash and it’s gone.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  So do it!

Well, I’m still kind of afraid, so…

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: You want me to do it.

Pleeeease????

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Actually, I could use a change.

I’ll tell you what.  I’ll just do your bangs.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Deal.

Here I go…

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Wow!!!! You look amazing!!!!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Thanks. You know what?  I love it!  This is really uplifting and fun!

It was fun for me to spray you, too!  Like when we used to play barber, but better. Because this time you actually look good.

Did you notice you got some on my dress?

Oh. I’m sorry.  I’ll wash it.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Now spray some pink in YOUR hair.

Um…I’m still afraid. I don’t know…Should I do it???

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Who still plays with their old toys?  Come on.  You can say it.

CONVERSATION WITH…The End.

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I came to an Amusement Park with a Horror House.  I went inside, but instead of encountering a ghost or skeleton, I came across something much more frightening: the word “The End.”  Of course, I had to begin a conversation…

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Uh, so, you’re “the end?”

THE END:  Yes.  But I’m a complete failure. I hate my life.

What?

THE END: You know, I think maybe I was a really horrible person in another life, so I came back as the word “the end.”  Everyone hates me. It’s ongoing torture.

I can see how people wouldn’t like the sight of you because you represent “the end” of a great book…or “the end” of a fantastic movie.

THE END: Not to mention, “the end” of a vacation, “the end” of a romantic date, “the end” of an era…

But that’s assuming all those experiences are good ones.  If you’re “the end” of a bad movie, everyone will welcome you.  If you’re “the end” of a terrible vacation, people will be happy you show up.  Know what I mean?

THE END: Yes. But no matter what, I represent change.  Transition.  People are always intimidated by me. It’s so horrible.

Listen, in my older age, I’ve given a lot of thought to the meaning of “the end.”  One thing that seems to be true is, when something ends, something else always begins. So it’s not like “the end” represents total nothingness.

THE END: You mean, like…when a beautiful day ends, a starry night begins?

Yes. Or…when a pregnancy ends, a child enters the world.  When a caterpillar’s stage of life ends, its life as a butterfly begins. When the rain ends, the sun comes out.  When  you come to “the end” of a beautiful hiking trail, you might be at the top of an amazing mountain.  

THE END: Or…when graduation ends, you get to have a party.

Something like that.

THE END: Okay, but let’s stop beating around the bush. Let’s get to what’s most frightening about “the end.”

Which is?

THE END: Death.  What happens after you die?  No one knows if that’s “the end.” And since I’m so incompetent, I can’t answer that either.

Maybe we can look at it this way… When something ends, something new always begins.  So why would death be the one and only exception?

THE END:  I don’t know.

And,…when we pass on, others remember us.  Thoughts and messages we share seem to live on with those who are still on the earth.  In that way, we don’t end.

THE END: Hmmm…

So, maybe the answer is…as long as we’re fortunate enough to be here, we can just go on trying to make the world a better place.  We can keep searching for ways to make our lives meaningful to others.

THE END: You’re pretty good at this.  Do you want to switch places?  I’ll be a human and you be “the end?”

No thank you. But I’m glad we had this conversation. Are you feeling a little better?

THE END: Yes.  I mean, no.

No? Why not?

THE END: Because, once again, “the end” is coming.

“The end” of what?

THE END: The end of this post!!!!!  We have nothing else to say to each other, so it’s over!  “The End!”  Oh!  I hate my life!!!!

Hang on. Maybe the post is ending, but the comment section is beginning.

THE END: So?

So maybe others who are reading this post will have something to say.  Or maybe they’ll click the “like” button. In that way, a new part of this post is beginning.

THE END: But what if no one comments?  Then it will really be “the end!”  What if everyone forgets?  Or what if everybody hated the post?  Or what if they’re too busy to write a comment?  Or what if they can’t think of anything to say?  Or what if….

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Dear Blogger friends, please write SOMETHING in the comment box or click the “like” button.  Save my sanity!     🙂                            —Cathi  

 

CONVERSATION WITH…An Elderly Shark…Reflecting on the shark inside her

On a hot day Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean.  Suddenly, a shark swam over!   Aaaah!!!!!

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Shark! Don’t eat me!  I’m older!  But I’m too young to die!

SHARK:  Calm down. I have no intention of eating you.

I thought sharks ate people.

SHARK: If you confuse us, we’ll take a nibble.  Otherwise, we prefer other delicacies.  Just don’t confuse me.

 I won’t confuse you.

SHARK: But I should tell you, I do have one other eating related issue. Many years ago, I ate another shark.  I mean, some sharks do eat other sharks, but that doesn’t make it right.  I feel bad knowing I have a shark inside me.  I still have nightmares about it.

If it makes you feel better, I have a shark inside me, too.

SHARK:  Should I be swimming away from you?

No. Not that kind of shark.  It’s a metaphor for a really aggressive side of myself. But it’s strange.  I’ve noticed as I grow older, I don’t feel the shark inside me as much as I used to.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.  Am I settling for less?  Am I depressed?

SHARK:  I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

Well, when I was younger, if there was a job opportunity I was passionate about, or I had a creative goal that meant the world to me, I felt a “shark” inside me that drove me toward what I wanted with incredible force. 

SHARK: Ooooh.

And when that “shark” inside me took over, I didn’t hurt anyone physically, but I might have hurt others emotionally along the way without realizing it.  I was so focused on what I was going for, I’m not sure I was completely aware of my behavior.

SHARK: Ugh. What about now?

Now I feel more like a tuna fish. When I’m passionate about something I want to do, I meander steadily toward it, but I look from side to side and take in what’s around me.  If something doesn’t feel quite right or off balance, I stop, think about it, and make changes till I’m in sync with the universe.

SHARK:  If you don’t mind that I’m adding my two cents, it sounds like what you’re doing now might make you feel more grounded. And when you get where you’re going, you’ll arrive with perspective and wisdom.

Is it possible this is actually a good thing about growing older?

SHARK: Who knew?

Oh wow!  Thank you so much for your help!

SHARK: Hold it! What about me?  I still feel bad about eating that shark years ago. Any words of wisdom to help me through it?

Well…on one hand, I guess you shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, lots of sharks have eaten other sharks, so it probably felt like a natural thing to do.  On the other hand, at that time, there were probably other things to eat in the ocean, so choosing that shark was a bad idea. On the other hand, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.  On the other hand–

SHARK:  Aaaah!  You’re confusing me!  I told you not to confuse me!

 I’m outa here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?