October 23, 2007

Books O' Mine by Succulent SARK

"YOU Are succulent even if you Don't Know it yet. Succulence is A process of Aliveness anD Discovery, and it Means LiVing your life in Full Color, out to the edGes, anD in celeBration of your rADiant, eccentric self. BoDAcious Means: SplenDiD, BOLD, anD reMArKABle. THAT's you!
Succulence includes All of you: PArts that May Feel lost, trapped, in hiding, or Broken, As Well As your Most FlAMBOYant, extrAVAGant, incanDescent PArts. everything in the MiDDle is succulent too. Our OrDinAry, tenDer, JeAlous, procrAstinAtinG, perfectionistic selves."
See why I own these books? I need a boost of succulence and bodaciousness. The other day, my mother, who is 64, rolled down a hill while she was on a walk in a park with my father. No one would describe her as bodacious or succulent. She normally scurries around like she doesn't have permission to be here. But I know that she has bodaciousness and succulence. I've seen it throughout my life.

She has a bodacious sense of humor. When I was young, she allowed me to lead a pretty succulent life. She actually enjoyed watching me use the rusty old sharp iron fence outside her kitchen window as a balance beam. She handed me chicken innards to carry around and show my friends. When the meat parts she wanted to cook for dinner were frozen together, she'd go out on the back porch and throw the frozen clump onto the sidewalk over and over. She played tennis like she was fighting the enemy. She wore the grooviest long brown leather coat, groovy cling dresses with swirly colorful patterns, she introduced me to Beethoven in the womb, she named me Jennifer because it meant 'white wave.' Throughout our neighborhood, her bodacious and succulent piano playing could be heard daily.

But what happened?! Sure, she recently rolled down a hill for a thrill, and good for her. But she tore down that rusty old fence when the grandchildren were born and wouldn't even think of feeding them even slightly pink meat, let alone carry it around raw in their pockets. And sports? She said she didn't want to come to my son's soccer game because she didn't want to see anyone get hurt. Do we get wiser with age, or just frightened out of our wits?

I want to get braver with age. My husband is thinking of starting his own company. This scares the pants off me. (Wait, is that why he's doing it, that scamp?) But I'm pushing back my shoulders and saying, "GO FOR IT HONEY. I WILL HELP YOU." gulp And my friend at church's business is on the verge of going under and she has three kids my kids' ages and is a single mom with two businesses and a long list of problems past and present. I've been helping her because she can't afford to hire help, but needs it. I feel like thanking HER every time I leave the place because I need to help and I need to see someone as bodacious as she is - trying to make it work her way, bravely and undauntedly. Whew, she's bodacious whether she knows it or not - and I'm taking lessons.

I remember a time when I felt quite bodacious. I lived out my succulence daily, but I have to say, I lived it through certain things. In other words, I took up certain practices, certain ways that I thought would make me more bodaciously succulent. And for a while they seemed to. But then I moved on to other ways, other beliefs, that aren't really compatible with those old paths. Now I find myself trying to figure out how to be a new kind of succulent, a new kind of bodacious, a new kind of living a daring loud life that incorporates my very seriously held beliefs.

I'm energized by the new path I'm orienteering. These books are fun and good reminders of how to incorporate LIFE into living and LIVING into life.


rosemary said...

I love Sark...I have 3 of her most famous essays hanging...the Cat, Dog and Alive ones.

You know Jennie, I am 62. I am afraid I was never one bit like your mom...I have always been a worrier. I think your mom may worry now because of all she has lived and seen. Grandchildren are such a such a precious gift....and we don't have enough time left to enjoy them so we become protective. Not too long ago I tried to play hopscotch with my granddaughter...I pulled a muscle in my thigh...good for your mom and her hill rolling....she came out of that bit of fun in one piece.

Still Not Goin Quietly said...

Hey Jennie,
Well, I know I am not nearly as "brave" as I was when I was younger. In our 20s, my dh and I piled in a van with 2 kids and about $500 and took off for California (from OK). We wouldn't even think of moving like that now. Course was that brave... or dumber than h....