It’s OK to show your face

Acid attacks are devastating, debilitating, deadly, and yet they are often motivated by petty power plays, greed, or for no reason at all. Perhaps that’s why I wrote a play about acid attack victims – to try and honor their perseverance to live in a world when their physical identities are stolen, their faces destroyed, their skin-deep beauty obliterated.

CNN recently did a story about acid victims in India posing for a photo shoot. These women are brave & beautiful, and I’m inspired by their honesty and strength. Take a moment to let them inspire you, too.

How I Fell in Love with a Writer Named Ryszard

In his book, Travels with Herodotus, Ryszard Kapuscinski wrote about the first time he left Poland in 1958 (3 years after Stalin’s death) for his first journalistic assignment abroad:

“We flew in darkness; even inside the cabin the lights were barely shining. Suddenly, the tension which afflicts all parts of the plane when the engines are at full throttle started to lessen, the sound of the engines grew quieter and less urgent – we were approaching the end of our journey. Mario grabbed me by the arm and pointed out the window: “Look!”

I was dumbstruck.

Below me, the entire length and breadth of the blackness through which we were flying was now filled with light. It was an intense light, blinding, quivering, flickering. One had the impression of a liquid substance, like molten lava, glimmering down below, with a sparkling surface that pulsated with brightness, rising and falling, expanding and contracting. The entire luminous apparition was something alive, full of movement, vibration, energy.

It was the first time in my life I was seeing an illuminated city.”

sky-66380_640Photo by xuuxuu on Pixabay

Secret Worlds Part 4: Six Links of Separation

Like the film Six Degrees of Separation and the parlour game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, sometimes even writing a blog can be a journey that comes full circle:

1. Starting with my own blog, I wanted a quote from an author about writing about characters.

2. My search led me to Goodreads, where I found a lot of good quotes, including this one that I didn’t use: “By the end, you should be inside your character, actually operating from within somebody else, and knowing him pretty well, as that person knows himself or herself. You’re sort of a predator, an invader of people.”
William Trevor

3. The quote I did use, from John Rogers, led me to his website and blog. Since I’m a fan of TNT’s show Leverage (Mr. Rogers is a writer and exec producer for the show), I read his blog, “Leverage #509 “The Rundown Job” post-game“,  in which he writes about a scene inspired by his friend who’d recently died, which was moving and not at all maudlin.

4. Reading his recommended list of blogs, I checked out Jon Swift’s blog. The last post here was from March 19, 2009, but it had a link I could not ignore, so I followed it…

5. To Chuck Butcher’s blog, and his post about his son, Nicholas Andrew Butcher’s, suicide. Already moved by John Rogers’ blog, Chuck’s honest, tragic account brought me to tears.

6. I noticed Chuck’s “About Me” sidebar, in which he wrote: “If you think you’ve figured a niche for me, you’ve no clue.” At first, this struck me as ironic because, for the past 3 blogs, I’ve been writing about figuring people out, striving for understanding, walking in each other’s shoes, etc. And here Chuck is telling me I’ll never succeed. But then I realized that wasn’t his message – like most of us, he doesn’t want to be labeled, pigeon-holed, or limited – which is a lovely and fitting post-script to this Secret World series. Strive for understanding of your fellow human beings but, please, no niche-ing.

6.5 Bonus Discovery: Kevin Bacon took the silly parlour game with his name on it and created something worthwhile – a charitable initiative: – check it out!

Big Fat First Dates

Adrenaline and anxiety.

Sharing food. Sharing secrets. Staring into each other’s eyes.

“Sucking his lips off in a Denny’s parking lot.”

Ah, the first date. And not just any first date. The first date that leads to love.

When John Corbett (Ian) and Nia Vardalos (Toula) go out on a first date in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002 Canadian-American film written by Nia Vardalos, directed by Joel Zwick), Toula is nervous because she used to be “frump girl.”

She’s recently undergone a metamorphosis from insecure girl to confident woman – caterpillar to butterfly – and she doesn’t want Ian to remember how she used to look and act.

Too late. Ian realizes they’ve met before. “I remember you.”

It’s everyone’s nightmare – to be recognized and remembered for one’s worst moment – shy or obnoxious, thin or fat, mean, stupid, slow, or awkward. These moments/phases of our lives haunt us all like skeleton bones spilling out of overcrowded closets, ghosts of ourselves that won’t go away.

Toula holds her breath, hoping her past doesn’t ruin her future, but Ian doesn’t flinch, blink, break eye contact, or run for the door. He looks at Toula with a slow, sensual, steady smile and repeats, “I remember you.”

The gift of love – to be accepted for who we are – Frump Girl and Greek Goddess. This scene wins the prize for most romantic first date. Watch it below (the first date scene is second in the compilation) and feel free to leave a comment below with a first date story.

Beauty & the Beholder: SpongeBob SquarePants

Most people think of metamorphosis as an improvement – ugly caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies – but this episode of SpongeBob SquarePants provides a different perspective. (Strap on your seat belt: it’s a speedy video.)