Zoe arrived six days ago.  We immediately went up to the fifth floor in our building to a seder at our friends, Barbara Glickstein and Ethan Ellenberg’s loft.  It was a great seder – filled with young people.  The food was delicious, all vegetarian – the seder was serious but also fun, we sang and played instruments and had good talks about freedom and questions in the Haggadah about language.  And then the next night, we went to Barbara and Harvey Toback’s for a nice seder dinner – with Marilyn’s delicious brisket.  Everyone was impressed with Zoe’s poise and maturity.

For the next few days, Zoe ran around and saw her friends while I worked and we grabbed time together when we could.  I got to see Zoe’s oldest friend, Willa, which was great. She looks beautiful and it was a pleasure to catch up with her.  Zoe saw some great theater “Sleep No More” and a good movie “Hanna” and I got to see “The Normal Heart” yesterday, which was excellent and also to go to NYU to a wonderful panel discussion with Patrice O’Neill, the filmmaker who creates films about communities standing up to hatred and intolerance.  Her organization is called Not In Our Town and Patrice was at the seder.  

I loved having Zoe here and seeing how much she’s changed and matured.  I miss her now that she’s left, but I think I will have to get on a plane soon and visit her again in San Francisco.  Or meet her somewhere – maybe Austin, Texas would be fun!  Who knows? 

It was a great week, she’s off to Spain to visit her dad in May.  I’m off to Miami to have a fun weekend with my Mama Gena crew, and we have another reading possibly coming up.  I am working on living a day at a time and enjoying every day. Today is 75 degrees and Lucy is here with me, Zoe’s on her way to the airport, I’m happy that I had time with my daughter and although the world and the country are in a huge mess, right now I am savoring the good feelings.  I love how the Japanese cope with their disasters – with calm fortitude and resilience. I hate the politics in our country now, it’s so divisive, but somehow we manage to get through all the challenges.  

I think everyone should read Pema Chodron’s writings and maybe we would be less angry at each other and more tolerant. 

It’s been exactly two years since we decided to separate and we have finally reached a settlement agreement.  

Just like in the book, “Crazy Time” which said that it would take approximately two years to move through all the feelings, the grief, the anger, the fear, relief, excitement, all of it – it finally feels like a huge chapter of my life is over and I’m well into the next one.  

And the next one feels abundant – Zoe is here this week, she’s seeing friends and we are enjoying our time together, the reading, the fabulous cast, the interest in the play, work, next week I go to Miami with my Mama Gena friends, all my friends who came to the reading and have given me so much support, Abigail and Karen – who literally pulled the reading together – Barbara and Lenore, Bella’s beautiful floral arrangement to a producer yesterday – it just continues every day.  I can’t be more grateful for my life right now.  And even though we had to walk Lucy twice in the middle of the night because her diabetes incipitis is causing her distress, every day feels like an adventure and I love this new life.  And just like “Crazy Time” said, it takes time for most people (especially women) to get their bearings again and move on, I feel that I have and that I continue to each day.  Not every day is easy and I wouldn’t want them to be.  I feel alive and awake.  And spring is finally here! 

The problems of the world, the economy, the country, ecological disasters, Haiti, Japan, the Congo, journalists dying in Afghanistan, the Tea Party, the budget, the national debt, bullying in schools, gay marriage, all of that remains and won’t be getting better any time soon.  I wish we could make all of that go away, but we can’t.  But as the Buddha said, suffering is everywhere, no one escapes it.  We all do the best we can.  These two years have been challenging personally, but now it’s time to move on.  And it feels good, it feels hopeful.

This past winter was not an easy one.  Not because the weather was that bad, but because so much of it was involved in caring for Lola.  I can’t say that I didn’t love every moment with her, even at the end, when I knew it was her time – and I can say that life is a bit easier now, not having that responsibility. But I still miss her and I still wish that she would bark when I walked in the door, or make me laugh when she did something silly.

Last night I saw the film “Rabbit Hole” and it was about the loss of a child.  How you deal with loss is such an interesting subject to me now, after having spent so much time learning about it, experiencing it.  The film depicted two characters I didn’t find particularly likable, but I did feel for them both, and understand their different ways of grieving.  I guess that’s what I’ve learned – everyone grieves differently, and at their own pace.  

So I’m ready for spring, a new beginning.  I’m more than ready. 

Okay, I’m not in the Bahamas, but if you recall my last post was written four days ago and the temperature was in the teens and felt like -2 and today the temperature is somewhere around 70 degrees. Fort Greene Park is filled with tennis players, frisbee players, kids, dogs, people reading books and lying on the grass. It’s practically the first day of spring!

Anyway, so in addition to the weather update, I did not have to perform the opening of my monologue the other day, which was great. Two other speakers performed – one did a soliloquy from Hamlet and someone else read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech – so I was quite happy to watch two excellent actors get coached.

This morning I woke up in a pretty terrible mood and I always wish that I was the kind of person who wasn’t depressed so much of the time. I could go back on an anti-depressant, but I’d prefer not to, so I guess I have to deal with the ups and downs. I tried meditation (not medication) this morning and that didn’t help. So once again I decided to turn to Pema Chodron and I opened up “The Places That Scare You.” I can’t seem to find what I read this morning, but it definitely lifted me up and after that I drank a big cup of coffee (my antidepressant) and felt better. This is a difficult time to be optimistic, though I can say that I am extremely glad that we have Obama in the White House and I won’t mention the former occupants, because that just makes me really mad.

And on Monday, President Obama is going to dismiss the limits on stem cell research that the former occupant of the White House put into effect and that alone is something to be cheerful about.

Also – I just started reading “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” and so far it’s really good, so I have to get back to that. I hope wherever you are, that it’s at least seventy degrees.