Defending Your Life

Op-Ed

What does living life, really living life, look like? In the film “Defending Your Life,” when a person dies the universe looks back on scenes from that life, to see if they have really lived. They judge this by whether the person had overcome fear… If the universe looked at moments of your life, what would it look like?

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Denial Ain’t Just A River In Egypt

Editor’s Letter

Stuart_Smalley

There are some labels for myself I find hard to apply. Like “Runner.” Or “Woman.” Because it feels like I should be more accomplished or have more talent to use these terms, it’s at the point where in conversation, I will actually use air quotes to qualify them.

And an obvious one, and perhaps most loaded of all: “Writer.”

What does it mean to be a Writer? How does one become qualified, or display talent in writing?

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Me Write Pretty One Day

Op-Ed

By Woman

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Perhaps I am at the disadvantage of having not been born with an interesting voice or a gay man, but my diaries, if ever read aloud, would not nearly be as interesting at those of David Sedaris. Perhaps that’s an unfair burden to put on myself, for I also do little and go nowhere nearly as interesting as the best-selling author, but still… I do feel at times I should at least try.

For example, recently on my way to his show (though I wasn’t quite thinking in those terms as I’m now writing from the future. And future me says, also don’t forget to bring your rain boots home from work), I thought to myself: ‘There must be something interesting about this trip to share… Like the rows of bare trees creating a stenciled sky. Or the gray horizon gently cradled between clouds and sea. And how the traffic was so bearable, and even lovely, with a catchy tune and an empty bladder.’

And yet, my diary entries continue with the sad tired bit about my frustrations and my worries and my general self-absorption. How I must resolve to change. And how I lament when I fail. And perhaps, most insidiously, when I tell myself it’s because I’m not good enough.

But I suppose, in the immortal words of Bridget Jones, “everyone knows that diaries are just full of crap.”

And so while my diary to date remains filled with inane complaints and juvenile drama, I can also still long to write wryly of funny encounters and ironic situations. I can write of the joys of accomplishment small and large, seen and unseen.

Most of all I can write of the quiet moments in human connection, when I forget about me and remember to love the person in front of me. Even if it’s only with a small secret hope that they love me back, just as I am.

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