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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everyone But Me

"Everyone but me" is the erroneous ego-position that keeps us from moving. Everyone but me knows, everyone but me sees, everyone but me can do it. I am the only one who fails.


See the corner that paints us into? (Nya, nya! You can't write! You just ended a sentence with a preposition! Poseur! Fake! Get off the page! You're taking up room that could be more profitably used by others! And besides that, you have wrinkles! As Georgia, 7, never tires of reminding you, you are old, Nana!)


Has that played itself out yet? Where were we? Oh, yes. Painting ourselves into corners with the brush of "everyone but me."


I'll come at it differently. By harnessing the energy from "everyone" (i.e., the Universe) I can move from this corner even if I have to get a little paint on the soles of my feet in the process. Follow my footprints to see where I end up!


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Climbing out of Yourself

I think it would be a relief

to exit this old self

I've been dragging along

with its accretions of shells and stones like

Gaudi's Barcelona buildings.


Shazam! is what I need:

a Captain Marvel to penetrate

the walls of my prison.


I imagine the opening

and what will emerge.

It might be a fledgling thing,

a worm-like unformed entity ready


to face it all.


Or it might be other than that.

Imagine if you will the powerful soul

that has (could have) developed in the secret dark

within the encrusted carapace

that was no prison

but a privileged private cocoon

of a growing space.


Imagine the strong radiant soul

that has (might have) grown within

and is now ready to appear.



Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Lifelong Crusade

Throughout most of my life I was on a crusade—that I'm still on, even though it is no longer even applicable.


Perhaps it's just my hearing. But I have never been able to identify a phone caller by her/his voice (their voice, which I have increasingly been aware is the new normal for a singular, gender-neutral pronoun, whether or not I approve). Anyway, I can't identify a caller who says, "Hi, Ann."


My crusade has consisted of trying to change that behaviour, one caller at a time. I am very gentle and calm and happy to take it all on myself—that is, to say, "I'm sorry. I just can't identify you by voice. When you call you really have to announce who you are." This is better than saying, "You stupid idiot! You expect me to identify you from two words? What an arrogant, self-centered person you are!" That would be even less polite than not identifying yourself on the phone.


Now surely I shouldn't have to carry on this crusade at all. Are people so self-assured and self-centered that they actually think their very voice radiates themselves? Or do they imagine I am so bereft of friends—having only three, say—that I will immediately know which of the three this person is? What is in their heads? We learned telephone manners when I was young, and one of the lessons was: identify yourself right off the bat. From the get-go. First thing. As in "Hi, Ann. This is Marla" (not the real name of anyone I know). Now, that isn't so hard, is it? And yet there are half a dozen people among my acquaintances who expect me to recognize them when all they say is simply "Hi, Ann."


But you have already, I'm sure, picked up on the fallacy of this crusade of mine as we move into the technological nightmare we call the future. Everyone and his brother now has caller ID on his telephone (everyone except me, that is). So they know even before they pick up who is on the other end of the line. (I say "line" even though it's no longer a line.) And they expect me—and all curmudgeons like me—to have a similar caller ID, so why should they identify themselves? They expect me to know, just as they know.


Thus, my crusade is superannuated. Past its prime. No longer relevant. I will have to give up on the goal of educating the world about phone manners. But that doesn't mean I'll give up on the more personal level.


If you call me and I answer, saying, "Hello." And you say "Hi, Ann", then I'm telling you to expect a long silence (a disapproving one) and then a frosty "I'm sorry. You'll have to tell me who you are." And then you can identify yourself and perhaps tuck this piece of information away so the next time you call me you'll be ready with a very simple, "Hi, Ann. This is Carol." (Please use your own name here, not Carol's.)


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Big Questions, Little Answers

I walk a fine line--

a razor's edge, in fact--

between the open and seeking beginner's mind

where I have lived all my life

and the certainty that sustains me now.


I temper that certainty, of course,

when speaking to others.

A sense of self-preservation

protects me.

I don't announce to just anyone

that I have found the answer.

AN answer.

The answer that satisfies my own questing.


That's the silicone coating on the razor's edge:

to acknowledge

(to remember to acknowledge)

that this is not a scavenger hunt

for a one-size-fits-all solution

(though god knows that might not be a bad thing:

a little harmony could go a long way

in this fractious world).


No, the only answer I needed to find

was a small one—but mine own.


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor