(Writer's note... I don't have time to edit this stuff. Please accept it in this first-draft-once-through format!)
I like money. I'm not opposed to making it -- in fact, I'd love to make a ton of it. I'm even open to falling in love with a rich man. But I just never do -- I just never fall in love with the job or man that will lead to wealth and prosperity. I'm no hippie, either. I mean let's face it, I'm typing with a gorgeous French manicure that I did myself yesterday. If I could afford salon manicures and pedicures, I'd be in there every week, maybe even twice a week just for the chatty atmosphere and trashy magazines. I'd do all the luxury stuff that I could afford -- massages, personal trainers, home gym, personal assistant (man I'd love a personal assistant; wouldn't that be AWESOME?) first-class air travel (I got bumped up to First Class from Frankfurt to Detroit once. It was just wonderful. They even gave me a rose.). I have good taste. I like to be pampered. I love travel and I'm lucky enough to have been to Paris, Italy and Greece on separate occasions. But whatever luxuries I've stumbled upon in life, I've really, really, just stumbled upon. I've never expected them or gone out looking for them. So sweetly, I've just happened upon them.
And when I'm old and gray and resting on my death bed (I am accident prone but not much of a risk taker, so I imagine I'll probably get an opportunity to lay around for a few weeks and have a nice dramatic death, receiving tearful visits from my beloved friends and family while I dose in and out of a morphine haze. That's just what I'm thinkin'. But of course, one never knows.)... So anyway, when I'm old and gray and on my death bed, recounting the moments I've enjoyed most on this earth, I'm sure I'll recall particular kisses and embraces and memories of certain cities and countries that I've been in during my meandering life. I'll remember Christmases and birthdays and holding babies in my arms. But I think I'll also recall quite vividly the memory of the rain and walking in it. I love walking in a soft, warm rain. If there are puddles, even better. Off with the shoes. I love to step in them.
I suppose the fact that I love the rain says something about my heart and its resistance to striving so hard for a new opportunity. Something I love about walking in the rain is how it puts a hush on the noise of the world and the noise in my head. It brings me to center. It brings me to now.
When I went on a date with that cute guy who was such a great storyteller a few weeks ago (I'm still crushing on him and expect there will be a third date sometime. Maybe not.) He asked me what I would prefer to do: take a time machine forward in time or future in time and what would I do? I told him I wouldn't do either because I'm all about the now. Certainly, I was enjoying his company very much. Who wouldn't? He's a total hottie! But even today, when I'm just sitting here all alone in my sweatpants typing out my little blog post with my little old homemade manicure, I'm thinking life is pretty good as it is. I like it here in the moment. It's messy. There's a heap of clothes on the floor and I should certainly clean my bathroom sink. I have some responsibilities I should be getting to. For one thing, I have to call Aflac and cancel all the policies I took out on myself when I was trying to become a rock-star insurance agent. Dang it. That will cost me some money, I'll bet. I haven't wanted to face it, exactly. But even still, with all its disappointments, with all its messes, with all my little aches and pains, this day is the most special of any other day that has ever happened or any other day that will be. It is special to me because it is where I am. I just like it. You know?
I'm excited about the people I will meet today -- once I finally get up and going. Heaven forbid, it's well past 11 'o clock already. I wonder who will be at the bank and who will be at the phone store and what new people will be trying out Clean Water Action for the first time and who will I meet on turf today.
This is the very best day. I love this day.
Yesterday I had a wonderful night canvassing in Chelsea. It was so much better than it was a few days ago when we canvassed in Chelsea. The first door I knocked on had a teenager who was willing to write a letter to President Obama. Later in the evening I went back to get his letter and he had recruited his elementary-aged brother and his mother to write letters as well. A few doors later (it was a condominium complex, so I didn't have to walk far between doors) I met a woman who was visiting her father who was very hard of hearing. I am able to talk very loud when I need to and I was able to communicate the details of our campaign to protect Michigan from the bottled water industry very effectively. He gave a very generous donation. While he was getting it together I started talking to his daughter who is very knowledgeable about water issues in our state. I asked her if she had heard about hydrofracking. She told me she had. And not only has she heard about it but a natural gas company approached her to see if they could buy the mineral rights to her property for $50 per acre. She said she did not sign on but she saved her paperwork. She said some of her neighbors signed their mineral rights away.
Sweet Jesus, I just know you have me walking out in these neighborhoods for some reason. Thank you very much for the people I meet and the stories they share with me.
I didn't think the problem was so close to home already. But it's here -- just like the Asian Carp. Our waters are in immediate peril.
The last door upon was at exactly 9 p.m. I just had to knock on one more door and this door called to me. It had those lawn lights that stick up from the grass -- but not white lights like you typically see. Each light was a different color. Seemingly someone had hand changed the bulbs. I don't think they sell them in all those colors. The house had a warm glow to it. I knocked. An older man answered. When I say he was an older man, I mean nowadays that he was only about twenty years older than me. I said my name and mentioned that I was from Clean Water Action.
"You guys just called me today!"
"Oh wow. That was our national office. Did you help them out?"
"Yes, I did."
"Well thanks so much. They do really great work, too."
"You guys are getting me from every side!" he said, pulling open his wallet a little bit dramatically and also in a way that endeared me to him. A sucker knows a fellow sucker when she meets one.
"So I'm out here tonight fighting to stop the bottled water industry from taking over our state. You want to pitch in?"
"Yes," he said. "Just a minute."
He went away from the door, leaving behind a few big dogs, seemingly a black and a yellow lab.
"They like you," he called from another room. "That one likes everybody but this other one doesn't. She usually doesn't like people. She was abused."
"All the dogs love me. I smell like a dog park. I am a dog park. I'm basically a walking dog park."
He returned to he door with $20 in his hand, not even having taken a minute yet to sign the petition. I just loved this guy.
"I'm a Vietnam veteran."
"Thank you," I said. "I wore a POW bracelet to kindergarten. I had teenage sisters who gave it to me."
"Thank you," he said.
"This is very generous of you. Please take a minute to sign your name here, too." I handed him the statement of support. He handed the clipboard back to me after signing.
I gave him a warm hug as I left. I hugged quite a few people that night. I'm pretty huggy with our supporters. The best hug came from the generous Vietnam veteran. He might have smelled like patchouli or something a little bit like that.
As I turned to leave the rose bushes that were invading his porch grabbed my legs.
"Watch out," he said. "Those roses have thorns."
For more information on hydrofracking, please see...