Saturday, March 22, 2008


I have a cool idea, which is for everyone who reads this blog to write a comment with one or more things that make life worth living for them. It can be something as simple as your morning walk, key lime pie or an episode of the Sopranos. I don’t know what to do with them beyond recording them and putting them all together, but I think it would be fun.

My list is infinite and grows every day. Maclen, soy chai lattes, moments turned into snapshots because they’ve yanked me into now, little kids, immature people who behave like kids, stupid stuff on youtube, my ever expanding circle of beloveds, music, tears, being silly, being really silly, my deck, the color orange, being loved, making something, Maclen’s singing, yoga, walking, singing, Gina selling her bra on the golden gate bridge, listening to great singers, AWOL – past and present, the LK travel agency, the magic that happens when a group of women get together to help someone, the magic that happens when a man and a woman get together with no benevolent purpose in mind, run and gun basketball, some of the magic moments of Bird, Magic, Kareem in their heyday and recent heartbreakers with folks like Nash and Amare, poems, emails from my dad, El Ninjo Tarantula, Maclen’s laugh, funny people, the moment you get an idea, sleepovers, fat babies, Annabel saying “Auntie Cawla”, shufflin’ the IPOD, lavender oil, middle-aged women who aren’t afraid to play dress-up, singing improvised tavern songs in a tavern, a clear warm night, John R’s quips, green wheat-free, dairy-free baked goods, typing, Jason singing a Sinatra song, creating stuff, gerber daisies, Shakespeare in Love, foot rubs and saying a joke at the same moment Maclen makes the same joke and so much much more.

Okay, now you.


Alison said...

Love, of course, but also; having a lane all to myself as I swim laps, luxuriating in the silky feel of the water; girlfriends, especially YOU; pesto, hot coffee, tennis, great theatre, movies, special features on DVD's, ny nieces and nephews--right this moment a photo from my sister of my eight year old nephew with no front teeth; singing along with the car radio; teasing my beloved as we climb into bed at the end of the day; hearing him say, "A perfect ending to a perfect day," my Dad's voice on the phone, waking us up at 8:30 a.m.; dark dark chocolate, writing great dialogue and chuckling to myself as I do it; the reassurance of someone who loves you unconditionally and gets you; the art of Cy Twombly, cooking an amazing meal with polenta, mushrooms, pine nuts, feta, tomatoes and garlic, the moment when the pain lifts (headache, emotional pain, any pain,) filling up the green bin by trimming bushes in the yard. For starters.

Anonymous said...

one or more things that make life worth living:

yard view from second floor bedroom window; forgiveness; water lapping over my arms, face, back; virginal status until it breaks open to the encore; a nice fat tip; faded jeans that fit like faded jeans; a black silk scarf; a divorce that turned out well--moved us to the next phase of loving appreciation; a mother with love of easter; a mother with love of x-mas; a mother uniquely funny, daily; Bay Bridge free of rush hour; female friends who understand me, male friends who try to; exposing grief and having it accepted, held, respected. and...sleep.

Anonymous said...

the ocean, how an anenome feels, the feel of water sluicing down my throat & along my skin, saunas, touch, real hugs, laughter, blue, color, art--all art that touches each sense, the feel of sound in my body, sun on my skin, love--always that sacred love in all its miraculous forms, organic food, yoga, breath, play, creative expression, the inherent connection & play of improv, compassionate response & presence, massage, foods that heal, deep restorative sleep, walking, all that music that expresses with or without lyrics but can bring me to tears for the joy of its existence, trust, horses & birds & lemurs & all those other animals that take my breath, how you can see all humanity in another's eyes and breathe another in as they breathe you in, kindness, and so much more that I wish I could hold in the moments that make all of these even more precious.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, for starters . . . Balanchine. Purring cats. My niece looking at a picture of Audrey Hepburn and saying "Is that you, Aunt Moira?" Big plates of pasta. A long novel and a lazy afternoon. My husband of 20 years suddenly looking at me as if he's seeing me anew. People who say that something I wrote made them laugh, or made them cry. Virginia Woolf. Lifelong friends. Believing in miracles, and in love.

Anonymous said...

Where to start… Yes love. Yes forgiveness. Yes dark chocolate. ....The arrival of spring, so hopeful after the long Michigan Winter. Watching my son play baseball on a lazy summer night. Listening to him star gaze on the way home. Hearing my husband sing. Laughing out loud at his drop of a hat schtick. Deep unconditional love from girl friends. A long, leisurely day in the studio with ample day dreaming time. Moments of profound acceptance. Cooking and eating with dear friends. Discovering and picking vegetables in the community garden plot that my son and I tend. Discovering a new entry on Carla’s blog and tuning in to the breathtaking expanse of love around her.

xoxoxo Stephanie

Anonymous said...

The desert with its clear light, stark brilliance, and inky black nights. The smell of pinon, red rocks against azure skies, the sound of coyotes down the canyon at night. My girlfriends, all so different, each one a jewel. My crazy family, flawed and wonderful, so loving and fiercely loyal (and did I mention crazy??) Guilty pleasures--Diet Pepsi, mystery novels, General Hospital, Quarterpounders with cheese, Project Runway, Crown Royal, Red Vines, and Taco Bell. Halloween. The Grateful Dead. Kurt Cobain. Cinnabar perfume. Tenth week at the Lair. Hydrangeas. Incense and Latin at mass. Hiking to Cleo's Baths (once). New Year's Day hikes in Sedona (repeatedly). Beau's poetry and his laugh. Watching him outside with his childhood friends when they don't know I'm at the window (and they seem just like little boys again). Listening to Beau sing, and watching him play baseball and soccer. Snuggling with Anna on the couch, listening to her secrets. The fact that she shares her secrets with me. Shopping trips together, and her little notes left on my pillow when I've been out for the evening. Picasso in bed with us at night, purveyor of unconditional puppy love. Above everything, Chas, who makes me laugh, cry, and feel safe, and who has brought me more happiness than any one life deserves.

Anonymous said...

Reading in bed in the morning with the elm trees rustling. Dry warm golden hills, mourning dove sounds, how sadness brings out courage and generosity in women, A Chekhov play done outside,crashing into love making in unheard of venues, riding on a motorcycle in Bodega, my daughter's profile when she is looking out a window, theatre, theatre, theatre in all its; forms, London, yoga, you, funny people, warm lavender scented baths, running around the lake, my son's cool cat stone face when it breaks into a shy smile that you only earn once every blue moon.

Anonymous said...

The people, dog, and books I love make life precious. Everything else is gravy, and lucky for me, there's plenty of it: redwoods, rain, flannel sheets, roasted marshmallows, creeks, yoga, Scrabble, wisteria, banana slugs, banana cream pie, picnics, harbors, theatre, the Lair, British television, movies, cobbled streets, morning dew... These things, and so much more, are lovely to me, but I'm truly overwhelmed when I contemplate how blessed I am with family and friends -- including that remarkable friend who nudges me into a place of gratitude. Thank you, dear Carla.


Anonymous said...

the 300 year old oak in my backyard; a cold glass of water after I work out for an hour; hearing people sing a song I wrote and then hearing their laughter and applause; a note from a friend reminding me I am an artist and I should honor that gift and realizing he is telling me that because he cares; my dog still alive 9 months after being diagnosed with 6 months left; the trust in my dog's eyes when I call him for his "meds"; my housesitters who have become part of my family and who I love even though they are gonna vote for Hillary; memories, all of them, good and bad; finishing something, anything: Graham's kiss on the back of my neck; Internet dates even though I fear them because I have to make an effort and I care enough to make an effort; cinammon; free stuff; stuff I give away; rain soaked sidewalks with glistening oil, the taste of baked potatoes and broccoli with olive oil; my Pilates teacher when she forces me to face pain; Marlena's loving glance and the way her eyes fill up when I tell my funny, sad stories; struggle; the lines around my eyes and the lines around all the Baby Boomers eyes; generosity; and on and on and on

Anonymous said...

Today my second-grade daughter, Colette, told me a story about a fight she had with her friend and classmate, Miles over a tiny figurine she'd given him which he had inadvertently given to someone else. After the fight Miles went to retrieve the figurine from the other kid who was reluctant to return it. My daughter overheard her friend Miles say, "I don't care if you do get mad at me, Colette is my best friend in the whole wide world, and I'd never do anything to hurt her."

Colette said to me. "I just love hearing that!It made me feel so good. Even knowing that I'd been mad at him and he still said I was his best friend. Nobody ever called me their best friend before."

I realized that Colette has been longing for a real friend for several years now, since we moved to Arizona.

Today my daughter, for the very first time, became somebody's
BEST FRIEND, and I was lucky enough to hear about it.

That is what makes me happy.

Anonymous said...

Morning glories. Black-eyed Susans. Blueberry picking. Farmer's markets. The beach on a hot hot summer's day. Opening a new gallon of happy-colored paint. The songs "Low Rider" and "Lovely Day."

The moment of creative inspiration -- when I think, "this is going to be the best ever!" -- before I get bogged down in the challenge and insecurity of actually executing my great idea. A really really good bite of food in the middle of a normal meal, even one that I cook.

Really playing with my kids -- being present with them and enjoying it. When Atticus sleeptalks, "Mommy, Mommy" or calls to me from a different room or across the backyard, just checking that I'm there. When Annabel asks to snuggle and when she looks deeply into my eyes. When Jason comforts me when I feel most ashamed, embarrassed, loser-ish, and he understands. Laughing with him. Dancing with him. Being his wife.

Real connection, real conversation, the raw stuff of life. Tough moments, real moments, like that conversation we had at your house, Carla, when Atticus was asleep on me -- and you came across the room to comfort me. Being with you on this journey, which is helping me be all the more alive in my life.

I've loved thinking about this Particiblog these last few days, sharing ideas with Jason as they arise, and now, putting them down -- the sweet moments of life really are everywhere, aren't they? Thanks for the reminder. Love you. Allison

Anonymous said...

a poem to share in partici-blog:


the moon shone in a crescent tonight
and venus was nearby
a typical change for the moon

i asked the sky for little
and hoped for much
letting go, just letting go
of a love that sticks to me like brittle peace
a little piece left inside

when it was time to cry, i did
but the tears came and went quickly
as they tend to do nowadays
and i don't question why

Anonymous said...

You see my daughter isn't well. I need to look at every moment as a special moment. So I do. My days have far more joys and deep feelings then before someone said to Carla "I'm afraid you have ALS." The days also have deep searing pain and many many tears. But the days have much more meaning and feeling.
But there are some moments more special then others. Thinking of the many many moments when my daughter has brought me shear joy and pride. The amazing qualities that my grandson brings to his life and others lifes including mine. The joy of time spent in person or by phone or by video with my granddaughter and grandson living many thousands of miles away. Walking the beach with my wife and dog. Listening to the surf as we go. Watching the ducks and the eagles and seagulls and the kingfishers. Its spring and the joy of watching daily as the daffodils and tulips and the new buds on the trees grow and flourish. Every day I smile as I think of my children,step children and grandchildren and revisit all the laughs and little joys they have brought me. My wife saying to me "Carla is so important I need you to think of her, go see her and just do what you have to do because your enormous love for her has allowed you to love me and all our family as completely as you do." How wonderful it is to see and feel the complete and absolute love that a bunch of women show by there actions every day as they "help" out Carla. The acronym DMC surely will go down as a synonym for love.
Watching my little dog sleep. Seeing the smiles she brings as I walk her.
Playing some golf with friends who first concern is to have fun from the game and second to obtain bragging rights because they won
50 cents. Watching the children laugh and play as I pass a playground. Sitting at my window having coffee in the morning as I watch the ocean change as the sun comes to visit for awhile.

Anonymous said...

So…Rilke and David Whyte. Bookstores, chocolate, and (I admit) little electronic gadgets.
Sinatra singing "The Gal That Got Away" circa 1982, when The Voice is mostly a growl, but his sense of drama is intact and the mixture of hurt, anger, and sorrow is so honest and raw, it's healing.
Looking at my books -- just looking at them -- especially the one's I haven't read yet, arranged just so on their shelves. I love their promise and their patience. They'll still be there waiting for me when I'm ready finally to peek inside.
That moment at 1 or 3 or 4:30 in the morning when Annabel comes padding down the hall to my side of the bed and says, "Daddy, do you want to snuggle with me?" And no matter how tired I am I say yes and I mean it, even when I thought I wouldn't.
Atticus, when I say, "I'm going to get you" and he squeals and tries to run, but he doesn't know how to run yet so he just kind of shakes and dances on the spot and his smile is so big and so happy and I'm surprised that his smile is already as wide as his mom's.
Quietly reading or watching TV with Allison and I get a rush that makes me catch my breath and reminds that I'm really happy and I blurt out "I love you" and she smiles her wide, beautiful smile.
The first time I play one of Carla's songs that she's attached to an email and the four of us stop our "night-night" routine and listen, silent, still, happy and sad.
love, Jason

Anonymous said...

Pink peonies, the luster of pearls, words that are perfect such as “dumb” and “felicitous”, the “stink-eye” from any teenager I know, caramel, the sweet kindness of Carla's band, gnomes, 15-year-old writers wiser than their adult readers, cocktails, the view of the bay when driving over the Richmond bridge, looking at my sleeping babies (I mean teenagers), red pepper flakes, evil humor, the gentler sound of my husband's snoring through my ear plugs, teal, hummingbirds, and coconut cream pie. Every second, every minute, because even the incredibly tedious and truly difficult moments are important.-Edith

Anonymous said...

how love makes colors deeper, richer and lines - in words, in branches - more amazing quirky and funny. twilight time, the witching hour between moon and sun. alan's chuckle, and my answering chuckle. sometimes just my answering chuckle imagining his. tulips and iceland poppies, outrageous on skinny stems. time with girlfriends, roaring with laughter or crying or listening. electric blankets...mmmmm. great stories, great poems - reading them, writing them. mozart trills, tom waits thrills, unpaid bills that don't scare me. blue m&ms. the incredible dance with a horse, while hills roll away like grassy waves. screwball romances in movies and in life. oops did I say that moments, and the laughter after. the trust in a touch, a look - that melts doubt. bodysurfing-the moment that you know you caught the wave and feel its power. those kind of moments in yoga. laptime. laptops. swimming laps while learning shakespeare - did you know iambic pentameter fits a crawl and horse trotting? delicious lemon meringue pie from the lemons on the tree outside. the leaves catching on fire in autumn. loving. movies. murder mysteries on long commutes that are so engrossing you miss the
offramp. painting. poeming. homing into the heart of it all like a pigeontiger. cool air. breath. kiss.

Carla Zilbersmith said...

I post my blog on myspace too and these were there from Laura, Rae, Anna and Regina:

Here's me - and boy it's been a rough couple of days so I had to wait until life was shiny again - __Morning coffee, my cats sniffing my eyelids when I get home or jumping in a box to be towed around the house in, the ocean, the sky, the sun, the moon, the smell of the air, Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, technology (my iPod, my laptop, my digital camera), the thunder of my horse's hooves as we canter around, the calmer clip clop as we walk up into the mountains away from the rest of the world, the laughter in an improv class, the sense of completion and wildness I get when I get to hang next to a wolf pack (and when they sing? best thing ever). A friend calling when I need one, the keyboard keys beneath my fingers surprising me with a new melody, getting fresh carrots for the horsie, talking to my nephews about nothing but so happy to hear their voices, feeling my strength and purpose, allowing myself to be lazy and relax. Karaoke singing, cinnamon rolls, Trader Joe's, Mendocino, breathing, loving, hoping, dreaming, shouting, laughing, being quiet. Pirates, anything seaworthy, Star Trek, feeling your heart mend when it felt irretrievably broken. And so much more.

This is great, Carla. You really got my mind racing. Here it goes in no particular order:_Heather, visiting mom and dad in Salt Lake City, my mom's natural smell, my dad's hugs, my dad's corny jokes, mom's cooking, rain, snow, venti soy chai latte, blueberry muffins, Heather's singing, Heather's cuddling, I Love Lucy, Charlie Chaplin, Jazz, Big Band, antiques, old cars, film noir, when Heather and I say the exact same thing at the exact same time, naps, our cat Passion, Heather's fried chicken, my chicken adobo, my special cabbage, hugging Miles, getting drunk with Miles, getting high, driving 80 to 90 MPH on I-5 in SoCal, when friends say "I love you" and mean it," Playstation 2, YouTube, MySpace, pink clouds, the blue waters beneath me while on Royal Caribbean, a vanilla cigar, Saburo's Unagi sushi, mom's emails everyday, Heather's kisses, playing footsie while on the couch watching a movie, Netflix, praying to say "thank you" instead of "help me I need money," waking up in the morning to see Heather passed out next to me, Josh's grumpiness, Nicole's stories, Mochi ice cream, gnocci, perogi, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Nacho Libre, Star Trek, Star Wars, view of the Golden Gate Bridge, walking in the rain, getting from one end to the other in a swimming pool (I don't know how to swim), trying to learn how to ride a bike, pictures from the wedding, pictures of my deceased family members, comic books, Looney Tunes, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Superman, old movies (older than the 70's), silent films, Reefer Madness, blogging, watering plants and talking to them, pillows, Wyder's Pear Cyder, Buttery Nipple, freshly cleaned laundry right out of the dryer, Whole Foods, butter cake, Harry Potter, acupuncture, Xiao Yao Wan, back and foot massages, being goofy, doing impersonations, and Carla's blogs.

This is a great thread Carla. Positive thinking is good for us all isn't it? I love sunsets & sunrises, especially when I'm on the beach looking at it over the ocean. Spending time with my son and husband. Learning something new about myself, learning something new about friends and people I care about. Watching a good movie, working on stage, working off stage, reading, writing, games of all kinds. Seeing my nephew and spending time with him. A nice hot bath.. Fresh air after a rain. The forest, especially Muir Woods. Muir beach. Theater, actors, directors, techies, bless your hearts :) worth living is a good question....and just a few things that make it so are my daughter's smile, remembering in full detail my husband and my father because they were so great in life...and music, dancing, singing, the ability to move and groove, sex!!!! (what's that?) Of course much more, but I'll have to get back to you!_Luvya lots, Lovely Lady...._Peace, G

Anonymous said...

I loved your partici-blog idea when I first read it, but today is the day I can finally open my mind and heart to even begin to think about posting a comment.

Today is the day I found out my son will not be pulled into a serious legal situation. Something that has been a possibility since early Dec. Something stupid he and his friend were doing that his friend got caught for.

Today is the day I found out his friend (who I've known since they were in kindergarten) is likely to qualify for a program which means no jail time and the charge will come off his record when he completes the program.

Today is the day the weight is lifting off my shoulders and I feel like the sun is breaking through the dark cloud I've been under.

Today is the day my son is enlisting in the Marines and I actually think it's a good thing.

And while the last few months have been the most stressful I can remember, I've also been following your story Carla and learning to think about the bittersweet and the preciousness of the time we have.

Laughing along the way and shedding some tears, awed by your strength, blown away by your honesty, being reminded about the gift of friendship and the power and joy that comes from having loving, loyal women friends (and yours seem to be an amazing bunch!)and most of all learning to be grateful, even when things look dark, to find the light if only for a moment.

What makes life worth living? It's all those precious moments that I can hold in my heart, pause a moment and be grateful for -- a beautiful day, cherry blossoms in bloom, daylight savings time, cherished friends, singing, the beauty of nature, the humanity in the eyes of a stranger, the coziness of snuggling up in my own bed, earl grey tea, the audacity of hope, the fact that we've come far enough that the skinny one may well be our next president, living in a time when the internet can be used to extend our reach to create the kind of community your blog is creating full of known and unknown readers and YOU opening your heart to all of us.

How many people are you touching and will you touch by choosing to share yourself here?

There's no way to ever know, but I know you're touching me and I'm grateful.

Carla Zilbersmith said...

It's 4:30 am and I just read this and feel like someone reached out through cyberspace in my dark hour to offer a hand. your comment blew me away. thank you so much. I picture you with your son and think about how dearly I love my son and know that I now will add your family to my secular prayers. I pray he stays safe in the Marines and that this weight that has been lifted lightens your load so that you two are free to just enjoy one another. It moves me to have read your entry. Thank you!

Ezra Fox said...

The bar of dark chocolate my parents sent Sarah and me from California to Malaysia that we just destroyed. Also the jar of peanut butter that I ate with the chocolate. Getting my rented motorcycle up to 100 kph on straight-aways of deserted Malaysian highway with jungle on either side. The night market with the good satay seller, the fat one. Having cold water in the fridge when I come home. Sending off a letter. Flossing. Having a longform end well. Holding my camera and seeing something incredible that I know I can capture. Having someone to trek through new countries with. Having people back home that miss you.

Laughing out loud at your jokes that no one else could get away with writing.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

found your site today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..

Anonymous said...

most mornings the first thing I do is look out my bedroom window, which is almost the full length of the wall so I see straight out while still reclining and I love the sunlight on the wall of my apartment building across from my window and it is like a sundial, so I guess the time and now, after a year of doing this, I am always right, and I note the color of the brown stucco -- there are endless different shades depending on what the sun is doing and I love the tint in the windows and I love how the sunlight colors that tint. . . it is more green when it is bright/early in the day, the tint is more blue when the sun is less bright and the sky is there to be love and I note the endless shades of blue and the clouds and on my very best days, seeing this same view with the light always different, I do my best to love this simple, humble view. I got this idea, about a year ago, that I would do my best to love everything and I start each day practicing loving everything by loving the view out my window. And then, always, so far anyway, I get up and all kinds of wonderful things happen that I also love. I love the dust on my windowsill. I love myself for noting it and not berating myself for not dusting. I love the clutter on the kitchen table and I love it when the table is clear. I love my first sip of coffee: it is awesome every single day. I love the sunlight. Gosh I love sunlight. I also love starry nights. I love breathing, feeling my breath go in and out and sometimes I think I feel some of my breath as it moves around inside my body and sometimes I think I feel how my breath moves the air outside me. Look. I try to see every detail and to love any and every detail. It can be like being on acid, and yes, I really do know that it is like to be on acid, it is like love, like bliss, like holding my newborn (who is now 27) and seeing my lover eyes or a wrinkle on his right cheek or a gray hair. Sometimes beholding a few of his whiskers is enough, is everything, is pure ecstasy love and it feels so good to feel that love. Sometimes esp. when outside of cities, in a meadow, I feel the earth breathing and I hear it breathing. Once I saw four rainbows all in a row, one after another, and all colors were very vibrant, again like acid but there was no acid, just me loving this beautiful world. I am lonely. I love my loneliness. Sometimes when I expect to talk to no one for days I try to love my loneliness: it is easier to love the brown side of my building than to love my loneliness but loving the stucco on my building has helped me love my loneliness. Poor dear me I am lonely but I won't be forever because everything changes, change is the one thing we know for sure, ch-ch-ch-change will emerge. I love loving people. I love knowing others love me. I love my kid. I love the stars that shine, red roses too, a blade of grass, a cheap tin spoon. I love it all. And I love you Carla and you Maclen and I love all the people who have loved and cared for your Carla. It's a beautiful world, even with the fact of dying, dying has to be a beautiful thing, how could it not be.