Archives for: August 2011


08/22/11 | by Shareen [mail] | Categories: downtown girls

13 with braces.
Trying hard to be grown up.

We took off from Logan.

I asked him if he was alone.

Yup¯, he said, my first flight without my mom and dad¯, he said.

I asked if he was ok and he nodded his head like a tough guy, in spite of his turned up nose, bangs and braces, he said, ¯Oh yea, it’s cool. I’ve flown a lot.¯

Oh. Ok . I said, nodding. Impressed.

And when we were up in the air, I had trouble with my wifi and he helped me, and he had trouble using his gift card and I helped him.

He offered me his Pringles and I declined. I said, ¯Oh, you don’t want to go down that road¯, I said. ¯Those things are dangerous for me. I can’t have just one, I’ll go through your whole box.¯ I smiled.

When we were almost in New Mexico, he asked me if that was the Grand Canyon. ¯Oh no¯, I said, No, when you are over the Grand Canyon you know it.¯ And we spoke on the canyon and did some research on my ipad and we found out it was in Arizona.

And just past Arizona, where we did not see the Canyon, he passed me the Pringles box and said ¯ Do you want them?¯ I peered into the box as he said, ( this is a 13 year old boy. OK?) ¯there are only three left. You can have them now, because, you know, there are only three left. It won’t be dangerous.

And I took them and thanked him and told him that I had been hungry.

And when we were in the base of California he said, ¯I guess were going to make it.¯ And I, surprised by the remark said, Oh yeah, were going to make it. We’re safe.¯ ¯Uh, huh,¯ he said, nodding like a cool dude, looking out the window, all casual. And then, he said, You know, I admit that when we left I had butterflies in my stomach a little. ¯ he said.

Oh, Yeah.. that’s normal ¯ I said. ¯ See, if everything goes well, it’s easy to be relaxed, but we think about what if some thing goes wrong, and then, you know, it’s scary being without the people we love.¯

Yea. he said, and he looked at me as if he was surprised that I might admit that.

I looked away, and back to my work, just to be casual about it, you know, and then I said So .. just so you know.¯. I told him, ¯If anything goes wrong, I have your back, OK? I got you covered.¯

He looked at me, his little haircut, his braces, just barely past his moms lap, you know?¯ Cool, Yea. Ok.¯ He said. And then after a moment he added. looking out the window and across the blue sky¯ Well, just so you know. I got your back too¯, He said. And he looked at me as if he was climbing a mountain. ¯Oh. wow. thank you¯, I said, I appreciate that very much, because, you know. I’m flying alone too.¯

And we sat back in silence, flying over Baja on our way home.

And I thought, right there, that is God.

I loved that boy. I would have died for him.


08/09/11 | by Shareen [mail] | Categories: downtown girls

I received a letter this week from a young woman.

As I read her story I found myself moved to tears by her love for me.

She has been reading my blog, the many saved letters there, and it seems my words have supported her. She speaks in her letter of abuse and loss, violations that left her numb.

She wrote to honor me for reaching her heart with my truth.

She feels that I have helped her back to life and love.

I am weeping as I write this.

My heart is so full for her and me and us really, all of us, struggling for growth and healing and just doing our best to be good, to get it right, falling so often and needing hands and forgiveness and inspiration.

I lift my chin up to heaven and say thank you.

Thank you for filling my life with pain that you took from me and turned to love.

Thank you for letting me fall so I could know the strength of your hand. Thank you for placing me in darkness that I might fight for the light.

Thank you. Thank you for helping me share the story of your great inspiration in my life so that I may be of such good use to one who is my sister, my friend, my breath just there, just there.

No amount of dresses sold, no amount of dollars earned, exceed the value of the gift to me in this letter.

It’s never for nothing, not if you can share it honestly with another.

Yes, I admit my mistakes, my losses, my faithlessness and my return. I admit I get it wrong and I get right and I am just human. I am flawed and fragile and I have tried to die and I have fought for my life and I will tell you that the most dangerous thing is the lie and the next is the secret.

Listen for the lies and say no. And take the secrets, all of them into the light. Find one person to whom you can deliver your secrets. Begin a life without shame. There is nothing you have done that another human being couldn’t understand. Everything, all of it, is just the struggle to know love and in that, all is always forgiven.

I love you dear girl that wrote to me.

I honor you in return.

Carry on beauty. Take your stories and share them. Your triumph is my inspiration today.

August 2011
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