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Thought I Was The Only One


I Thought I Was the Only One

I Thought I Was the Only One

Barbara and I have spent over thirty years working together, most recently spending years working on The Adventures of the Baker’s Daughter. Our friendship is the most valuable, priceless, thing to come out of all our work. We have talked about pretty much everything and anything, including that I never had a stuffed animal growing up, but she had many. So, Barbara bought me a stuffed animal and wrote me a poem. I painted a picture of two of her favorite stuffed animals. Here are Barbara’s poem and my painting — in which, no surprise probably, the animals are talking to each other.

If I’m talking and
you’re talking,
we are both listening,
speaking into each other’s listening,
stepping on each other’s words
because the memories, connections, eureka and what you too moments,
and forgiveness and freedom
keeps coming, Niagara Falls barreling over us, and
we are loving it because
we have been waiting so long to say
what we have to say and to understand
why we have to say it
so badly
that we can’t hold it in anymore, not for the nanosecond
it would take us to remember we have something else we have to say.

So we are talking and listening
and recording and taking notes
across the table, down the phone, on Zoom plague calls,
questioning and questioning and what if-ing and worrying and
talking and listening,
all ears, hearts, hands and heads,
splashing around like puddle-jumping kids through our
free to be a jerk,
I’m worse than you,
this may be a dumb idea, but
process of
gazing backwards and forward without any rose-colored glasses,
cave diving into the past,
remembering and resurrecting and reburying,
building monuments to angels and demons,
bucking heavy turbulence in the present,
leaving the light on for the future
and knowing in this
talking and listening
we are safe, really safe.

Bless us
fathers and mothers,
sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and husbands,
children and children-in-law and grandchildren,
extended family and friends and enemies,
employers and employees,
and every man, woman, child and animal
past or present and maybe future
who we may have ever bumped into anywhere and

Please forgive us
our histories
trespasses, obsessions, digressions and
temptations and other goof ball things we
got wrong or
may not even know offended or upset
someone somewhere sometime.

We are sorry.
But it’s time to say we think we know,
we are about 86.7 percent sure
we believe
we can love and be loved,
what we did for love was worth doing,
the scale is not our judge, jury and executioner
the mirror is our friend,
all hair is beautiful — except chin hair—
that there is always time for a story, a poem, a painting, a photograph,
another question.
So, we have to ask;
Can we never stop talking and listening and talking and listening and talking and listening?