Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Call to Action

Love is not so much a feeling as a call to action. If you and your partner are healthy and prospering don't think you are off the hook. Love is still a call to action. A call to wake up every morning and really, really see the person you love because isn't that the first spark? To be really seen? Love the person in front of you, not the imaginary one you have decided is somehow superior.

If your partner is ill, love is a call to action. Love wakes parents up in the middle of the night. It caused a man I know to risk tenure because his mom was sick half way across the country in Cleveland. It invited my friends to discover the bottomless depths of their generosity and compassion. Yes. Yes. Love is not so much a feeling as an alarm bell, a runner's gun, a reminder that we are only as good as the good we do for one another.

Love is not so much a feeling as a call to action.

My brother’s wife lay in the ICU almost one year ago. He didn't know what to do. His wife was hours away and a huge snowstorm was due. If he went to see her, their children could be alone with neither parent should he get stranded in the storm. But his wife might die. How does someone choose? How do you live day after day with such stress and no end in sight? Love, true love, kicks your fucking ass!

If you knew you were going to die, who would you want to be with and how would you spend your time together? What are you waiting for? From my vantage point I can see that there is no time to delay -no time to deny the people we love of our time, our attention or our action.

My dad has moved here to help take care of me. I am often a big, stubborn and cranky project and there's no " World's Greatest Dad " T-shirt waiting after he returns from the third Target Store. He helps because that 's what parents do - without expectation and often without hope of rewards.

Love is not so much a feeling as a call to action.

We are all so blessed and we don't remember that as much as we should but right now I'm Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and the healthy among you are Matt Damon and I am telling you without a trace of irony: " Earn this. "


Anonymous said...

To the ramparts!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I read the first 2 paragraphs and thought to myself, "Yes, I've watched Jason heed that call for one year straight." And then you wrote about us.

I know how fortunate and blessed I am to have him as my husband and the father of my children. I got cancer, had 2 surgeries, almost died, and was stricken horribly by chemo for 9 months and not present and no fun at all to be with. And still, he loves me.

It's all very very clear...


Anonymous said...

Thank God for your Father! Another true measure of a man. Thankfully you are surrounded by Love at this time. I can't imagine what any of you are going though.....

Susan said...

It's all in the action,
not the talk, no the thinking, not the thinking of good thoughts, or the thinking worrying thoughts, or even thinking how much we love.
Our actions say everything.
May we all be undivided in our thought, word and deed.

paulina said...

thank you sweet carls. and thank god your dad taught you how to swear! god love him.

Velma said...

Dear Paulina

Actually, I taught her how to swear.

-Carla's mom

Anonymous said...

your words have helped me more than you could know. i am nurse practitioner by trade and have taken your thoughts, ideas, considerations, and curse words straight to my heart to be the best i can in all situations. thank you so very much.

with all love,

Carla Zilbersmith said...

I rarely comment on this blog, but my mother compels me to affirm that it absolutely was her who taught me how to swear. Thanks for clearing up that massive cock-up Mom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carla,
I'll be the third to verify that it was your Mom
who taught you many things -swearing was one
of them.
Planning on seeing your film in Van.
Love you,
Auntie Mo

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carla. You keep sounding the bell.
love, terre

Anonymous said...

As usual, your words are true beyond measure and straight to the heart of the matter.

Thank you so much for all you've given me and taught me through your blog. Can't wait to see you at the film screening!

Sending my LOVE,
(the BEST 4-letter word!)

Unknown said...

I have a progressive chronic disorder..but I'm fighting to keep it at bay..(succeeding)

I couldn't imagine going through this without my sons and husband unwavering support and humor.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

I love you, kindred spirit!

Cindy E.