Friday, November 30, 2007

Definition of Precious

There are few events in life as precious and blessed as witnessing the sparkle of wonderment in a child's eyes.

My grandson, Nathan, is in his peak years of enchantment - he is eight years old. I don't think there is another time in one's life when the world is that magical, purely unprejudiced and openly awaiting discovery. A time when spider webs and fossil-like rocks are the coolest, most awesome finds; when superman ice cream is the best food in the world; and when press credentials bearing T.rex's photo - purchased at a souvenir kiosk - can grant our entrance into worlds beyond our imaginations.

About a week and a half ago, Nathan and I took a trip back in time . . . way back . . . about 250 million years.

We picked up our tickets at the window and a couple of hot dogs at the snack bar. We sat, eating while watching the clock. At 6:00 pm, we gathered some bottles of water and snacks in preparation for the journey ahead. With travel brochures in hand and our hearts thumping a little louder, we took our seats and waited. I took a couple of flash photos before our journey took us back to a time long before digital photography was invented.

Before long, most of the seats were taken up by anxious time-travelers such as ourselves. Strobe lights began flashing and a voice came over the loud speakers: "Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, please take your seats . . . will begin in ten minutes."

Nathan's face lit even up brighter and he turned to me, "Thank you, Gammy!!!!! Thank you so much! You're the best Gammy!"

I couldn't have been any higher with bliss then in that moment.

Before long, the first dinosaur of the Triassic Period came out from behind the huge teeth that acted as a portal between our two worlds.

The sounds of these magnificent and mysterious creatures, as well as their commanding and majestic presence, swallowed our senses whole. For one night, there was nothing else except Nathan, the dinosaurs and me. I was completely immersed in the present moment of an ancient past.

That was the night of 200 million years. That was night Nathan and I walked with dinosaurs.

Walking With Dinosaurs

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Say Your Name . . . SAY YOUR NAME

Some years back, the musical group, Destiny's Child, sang a popular song, "Say My Name . . . say my name . . . " The song was about a woman telling her boyfriend to 'say her name' because she suspected him of cheating and needed him to 'say her name' to assure her that he was being faithful. She wanted to be sure that he had enough love (for he) to say her name . . . to call her by her name.

That song came to mind this morning as I was watching Suzie Orman on the local PBS station. She was speaking to an audience of women about women & money. As most of us know by now, financial problems and the way we handle our money stems from personal issues as well as from a lack of financial knowledge, so Suzie was encouraging the women to be more self-giving and self-loving; to be more assertive and confident; to build up their self-esteem.

Near the end of her show, Suzie brought up a valid point about names - especially womens' names because we acquire different names and titles throughout our lives. We start off with our 'miss' maiden names. We change our names to 'mrs. husband' when we get married. And If we get divorced, we change our names back to our maiden names. All of these changes to our original name causes us to be uncertain about
who we really are. We don't even know which of the prefixes - 'miss, mrs or ms - we will or should use anymore.

So now we have the name prefix uncertainty blended into the melting pot of the many more 'titles' we accumulate; like mother, daughter, wife, ex, etc. This causes us to be more unclear and leaves many of us incapable of saying our own name, with confidence, out loud to another person. Because we have become unclear about who we are, we cannot even say our own name.

In thinking about my many 'names' and titles over the years, I know the name that fits me perfectly and feels the best is the name I have had since birth and childhood. The day I reclaimed my name from the archives, I felt empowered. But even still, I rarely introduce myself using both my first and last name.

There is power in a name. There is a unique vibration associated to every name. There is a numeric value in each letter that makes up a name and is of great significance, especially in the system of numerology. There is historical value and ancestral knowledge and strength in every name. And for all parents who took time carefully choosing their baby's name; there is meaning in the chosen name . . .
the 'given' name.

This 'name' theme actually began last week when I heard Maya Angelou stress how relevant it is for one to ask for (and remember) another's
full name. She phrased it in terms of 'courage;' to have the courage to ask a person for his or her full name - not stopping at Staci with an 'i.' And then, to have the courage (and respect) to remember that name.

So, what's in a name? More than we know. More than we realize. More than we give attention, relevance and respect to. We are our names more than we think we are. I have always used the excuse that 'I'm not good with names.' But I am now aware that I haven't given the name nor the person in front of the name, my time, energy and respect. I can no longer use that 'I'm not good with names," excuse. God help me if there's no room in my brain for a new name. But even if that were the case, regardless of the fact that a name can be stored in a brain - it is
remembered in and recalled from one's heart.

My name is LINDY LENK.

SAY your name. Say YOUR Name. Say Your NAME.

The photo: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He and his name did not go completely unknown - "Known only to God" as inscribed. He, himself had a name and he, himself, knew his name.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Non-Members Only, Please

The Smoking Redhead Club - I am not a welcome member. Need I be sad? I am a brunette now. I'm sure there's a club for (non-smoking) brunettes out there. Or, I could apply to redhead club, after a trip to the salon or the Clairol aisle of my local drug store. But for what? Comradeship? Sounds too Communistic for me. Respect? No, respect is earned not learned. Acceptance? Friendship? Popularity? Because of the color of my hair? Sounds too conditional and inconsistent for me. Too insincere. Then why? Power in numbers? I own my own power. Protection from the blondes? The only protection I really need is from a group's group mentality. Cool by association? As for coolness - well, much like class, 'coolness' can only be achieved going solo . . . being an individual. Most guys wanted to be like the "Fonz," but the "Fonz" did not want to be like anyone else or belong to anyone but himself. Most women wanted to imitate Audry Hepburn's class and savoir faire, but Ms. Hepburn imitated no one. She was her own woman.

I dislike groups, clubs, cliques (an informal and/or restricted social group formed by people who share common interests or patterns of behavior). I am seriously scared by anything resembling mass mentality, especially when the common denominator is hatred (aka misunderstanding) towards another group or individual, which is the case with most groups (though it it well hidden - i.e. the going to heaven club versus the everyone else is going to hell club - although the fear induced latter of the two is the real glue that binds)

I remember how my children would ban together and help each other clean up as long as they had one angry thing in common: being upset with me. They appeared cooperative, helpful and productive among themselves when they formed the "mom's mean" club. They felt safe within the group - safe from being singled out or held accountable for their individual behavior by being punished or rewarded. But, the group mentality was not as strong when the commonality was based on a
positive / good goal such as a trip to the ice cream parlor if they worked together to clean up after themselves. Eventually, two of them would point fingers and blame the third for not doing his or her fair share. A sub-group was formed based on blame and the third was sold out for the 'good' of the group. Goodness and fairness seemed to segment the group while anger made them stronger.

So, it sounds like groups with a common dislike for someone/something is actually a good thing. I guess it is from the view point of society and government and religion. Think about it. As a mother, I admit, I used the
mom's mean club to my own advantage. Their bedrooms got cleaned up and no one bothered me, the mean mom, in the meantime. And, I did not need to buy any ice cream.

I suppose there are some groups that will never gain popularity, like Posers Anonymous

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Corner in Between

Standing at the corner.

One foot left of it. One foot right of it. I can't stand here forever (not in this outfit, anyway). And I can't do the splits anymore (surely, not in these jeans). I've been down each of those roads . . . the Wall Street of it . . . the Broadway of it. Occasionally, I high kicked when I should have been trading up and I traded down when I should have been kicking high. Overall, I did most things right. I played the game according to the rules.

But the lights
are still brighter on Broadway . . . that is, if I can afford to pay the increasing electric bill.

Ahhhh, the starving artist. Ahhhh, the tortured artist. I'm over it. And as for the high stakes and fast pace of the Wall Street society; that wall keeps getting higher and higher and I don't want to be anther brick in the wall.

So, basically, my left brain is watching me starve while my right brain is drawing pictures of figs and sushi and tomatoes and Gouda cheese . . . you know, healthy food for the soul.

What's next? Is this all there is? What's my third option?

PS Thank you friends and readers. Thanks for your patience. This upheaval has left me without internet for the time being.