In creativity, Life, UNCABARET, Writing by Beth Lapides

We were driving from Mitch’s parents
Out in the desert
Back into town.
On Thanksgiving.
Low clouds hung around the mountains.
Snow on the peaks.
A kind of desert winter beauty
Magical in its rareness and rawness.

We were enmeshed in a series of look, look at thats.
Then there was snow.
Snow on the ground
On the side of the road.
On the cars.
On the roofs.
And then I looked up.
Snow on the palm trees.
Oh my god.
Snow on the palm trees.

I tried half heartedly to take a picture.
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to get it.
Why bother?
Snow on the palm trees.

We wondered about the fires.
If this would help.
We passed cars with New England level snow coats.
Snow on the palm trees
I kept thinking.
If there’s snow on the palm trees.
Anything is possible.
Well maybe not anything.
But unlikely things can happen.
Lovely and picturesque things.
Not just fresh hells.
Hope and the feeling of possibility.
These are things to be grateful for.

My first husband used to say
It’s the hope that will kill you.
And I somehow came to believe it too.
It was this sentence
As much as any other one thing
That did us in.

I hardened to hope.

And at the same time
I was learning to be here now.
So from a yogic perspective
I saw hope as a focus on the future.
A way of not being in the present.

I distanced myself from hope.

But a little piece of me
Longed to soften to hope.
And get up close to it again.
To remember at least
That particular when.

And I woke up one day
Meaning a little bit more every day
For a long series of days
To an understanding that
It’s actually the hopelessness that will kill you.
Those series of days is a longer story.
But for now just to say
Snow on the palm trees.

It did feel hopeful.

Hope is not about the future.
It’s a way of being in the present
A feeling that the present includes a better future
That there is a coherence
That the center is holding
Not later
But now
That’s hope.

And as we drove through that storm on Thanksgiving
I was feeling it.
Although it was a hard holiday.
The first with my mom gone from here.
And with all the tenderheartedness
Of helping with Mitch’s two 96 year olds.

Snow on the palm trees.
A hat of snow.
Melting on my head
Cold tears down my cheeks.
A winter of cozy beds.

Snow on palm trees.
Will never get slushy.
But a little ironic.
Snow on the palm trees
I texted my Dad who’d gone back east for the week.

And I was in this reverie when
The car made an alert noise.
Uh oh.
Then the warning light.
Uh oh. What?
Low temperature alert Mitch said.
Possibility of freezing roads alert.
Who even knew my car had that capability?

Now with the possibility of skidding.
I’m watching the car thermometer.
Instead of the snow on the palm trees.
The temperature is falling.
37. 36. 35. Uh oh.
37. Oh good.
35. Uh oh.

Now dread.
The hope and the dread
The speedball of now.
And I had to feel grateful for the clarity.
This is now.

Holding tight to the wheel
Altert to skidding
A storm of a paradigm shift
I have to believe that.

The temperature inched up.
By the time we arrived
For dinner in Pasadena it was at 46.
Grateful for a safe arrival.
Grateful to be traveling with Mitch
On this day and so many days.
For so many reasons.

We sat for a minute in the parked car.
Relishing the feeling of being here now.
I imagine feeling that way next November.
I hope we will feel that way next November.
A sense of relief.
Having passed through the storm.
But if that’s not the timeline….
We will deal with that then.

Until then we have a 2020 season to embrace.
Getting clear on the vision now.
Keeping our eyes on the alerts.
Watching for miracles.
The shifts in perspective.
The possibilities.

And starting to calendar.
Calendars are the freeways through.
Markers of what’s known as we head into the unknown future.
And first up!
And up indeed…

Jan 12 is my birthday show and the launch to our 2020 Season.
Mark your calendars!
Get your tickets here!

And don’t forget to start thinking about next year this year.
My 10 Simple Ways To Start The Thing You’ve Struggled To Start 
Now up on Medium, might help.

Sending sparkles of gratitude.

xo Your Sunday Girl xo Beth