Hello &

Hello &

Wentworth Earl Miller III

Wentworth Earl Miller III

V.I.P.

V.I.P.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mailbag (7.2)


WENTWORTH MILLER·WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

Q: I was wondering what is your starting point when writing a script?

A: First, I set the scene. A comfy chair. A cup of coffee. The right soundtrack. A flat surface on which to place my laptop. A view that's pleasant but not distracting. A few hours (ideally a whole day) before the next scheduled commitment. Then, once I've made sure my needs are met, I take a seat, a sip, and start.

Q: Have you ever regretted having done something in life or not?

A: Not. I don't believe in regrets. I believe in mistakes. I choose to believe (and it is a choice) mistakes are useful, providing opportunities for reflection. Growth. Change. Sometimes at great cost. So while there are many things I would do differently if I had the chance ("If I knew then what I know now" etc.), no, I have no regrets.

Q: Is it worth starting to move in a completely new direction (in terms of career) at a fairly conscious age? Would you be able to decide on it?

A: Of course. Which is easy for me to say. I have more room to maneuver (in some respects) and less to lose (in some respects) than your Average Joe.

Movement - in various ways/directions - is essential (IMO). Especially as we age (consciously or not). My dentist says, about my teeth, "Only clean the ones you want to keep." My tai chi coach says, about my body, "Only move what you want to keep using." I'd prefer to keep using all of it, please. All of me. Arms, hands, legs, knees, neck, toes... For as long as possible.

But you're asking about career moves. Specifically. I have no idea if, for you, a career move is "worth" it. (How could I? I don't know you.)

I will share that a friend of mine entered into a brand-new career (almost) entirely unrelated to anything she'd done previously... at 46. When she finished (what she deemed to be) the necessary amount of education/preparation, she was... 56. The people sitting next to her at graduation are/were in their late 20s/early 30s. My friend (IMO) has heroic qualities. She Takes Risks. Dares To Dream. Has become a master of reinvention/transformation. And is a model for me. When I look at her I am reminded that I, at 45 (a baby!), could conceivably launch into, well, if not a brand-new career, then a brand-new form of self-expression. I can (still) become someone/something else. In addition to who/what I already am. It's possible. Many things are (still) possible.*

It's that - the belief in the possibility of change, in various ways/directions - that keeps the demons (and there be demons!) of the mental/emotional/spiritual sort - in their cages, no?
* This friend also told me she saw me writing long before I did. "I see you writing," she'd say. "No," I'd say, confidently shutting down the possibility of change/growth/shift. "I see it," she'd say. "No," I'd say. "Stop saying that." CUT TO:

Q: How do you make a difficult choice when there are many options in front of you?

A: Great question. Also broad. We could be talking about anything. But, as a general rule, if I have a difficult decision to make, regardless of the situation, it comes down to this: "What will allow me to sleep at night?"

When I duck, dodge, hedge, lie, fake, flinch, pass the buck, roll over, sellout, con and/or take sh-t I don't need to take (it happens), I don't/won't sleep that night. So I do my daily best to stay in alignment with who I am. Or aspire to be. And, in the event I do happen to duck, dodge, hedge, lie, fake, flinch, pass the buck, roll over, sellout, con and/or take sh-t I don't need to take, I get out of bed the next morning and do what's necessary to make it right.

Q: have you every considered becoming a father? What are your views on having kids?

A: I have no plans to become a father. Which isn't to say I won't. Or can't. And if the universe does drop some little ones in my lap, I'll make sure it's a comfortable seat.

Also, I'm a father already. I've fathered scripts. Homes. Communities. Also myself. I choose to do the work of reinstructing myself.* Of unlearning earlier, unhelpful lessons (about me, about the world, about me and the world) and replacing them with ones that nourish, guide, and sustain. Resulting (hopefully) in what I like to think of as "a lighter footprint." That kind of fathering - or mothering (which I choose to do as well) - is a full-time job.** Critical work. Enormously difficult but critical work. Which will not end. Until I do.

* (And it is a choice.)

** I don't really distinguish, in my mind, between "fathering" myself and "mothering" myself. I'm not convinced that kind of gendering is useful/helpful. I honor what is Masculine in me, I honor what is Feminine in me, and I feel like I honor both by not constantly labeling which is which.

Q: I took up knitting to help with my mental health and love it. Have you ever tried knitting?

A: Sure did. I enjoyed the communal part - going to class, sitting around a table with other beginners, all of us equally awkward. The rest... I did not enjoy. Thousands of knots means thousands of opportunities to f-ck up... Then those f-ck-ups are immortalized because you didn't realize you f-cked up and now it's 10 rows later and it's too late to go back so the whole scarf is ruined and why did I pick this sh-tty color anyway? For a dyed-in-the-wool (wink) perfectionist like myself? This did not help with my mental health. See: "the opposite."

Q: when you feel the cloud cloud of depression darkening how do you tell the people who care about you what is really going on inside? I struggle to do that and a mask goes on then I crash.

A: I'd try writing it down. On paper or in an email. (Whatever's comfortable.) Everything I want to say. Everything I want the people who care about me to know about what's up with me. Where I'm at. Including how hard it is/has been to say these things in person, start the conversation. Then I'd give/send it to them before I could change my mind.

I might also consider writing to my mask as if it were a real person, an overly protective friend who thinks it's keeping me safe, helping me keep my sh-t together (at least in public). I'd explain to my mask why its services are no longer required. If I feel it has helped me, in certain situations, I'd thank it. ("Thank you for helping me keep my sh-t together around so-and-so, who I know from experience to be completely unsafe.") Then I'd fire it.* Or else agree to keep it on part-time. ("I need you with this person... I do not need you with that person...") But I would establish - hypothetically, which is the first step toward actuality - that I am the boss. I do not work for the mask. The mask works for me. I decide when to wear it and when to set it aside. (This might not be or feel true... yet. But it's my letter/email. I can say whatever the f-ck I want.)

* When I was doing men's work we called this "firing your rep," as in your "representative," your personal PR person whose job it is to spin spin spin you, serving up your spiffiest, shiniest, most polished (and likely most false) self for public consumption.

Q: There is a fake online claiming to be Wentworth Miller and trying to get money from his fans. Claiming he has some tax problems and was cheated by his management. Lots of his fans did already send money! We try to warn his fans via internet not to send money! But please Wentworth - if you are reading this - give a short Message to your fans not to give away money etc.

A: What a sh-tty thing. What a sh-tty sh-tty thing. It (still) amazes me what some people get up to. I'm sorry this happened/is happening. For the record, yes, please - do not send money to anyone claiming to be me.

Does that help? Will it make a difference? Doubtful. Unfortunately, I am not able to make the world safe for the naive, the trusting, and the eager to believe (I count myself among their number). I can't even make this page safe. Unfortunately. My feeling is, if you choose to engage with me (or "me") or anyone else online,* ultimately you are responsible for what happens next. You are responsible for your experience on this page, just as you are responsible for your experience on any other page. Real or not so real. If you are someone who chooses to believe I am texting you,* sliding into your DMs (as the kids say), soliciting you for money and/or trying to sell you t-shirts for Mother's Day on a transparently bogus FB page... What can I say? "You buy the ticket, you take the ride." - Hunter S. Thompson

* (And it is a choice.)

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who feels like he's drowning with no hope?

A: Yes. For 3 years this page was wall-to-wall with essays/posts/videos/links/lists/tips touching on many subjects, mental health/depression consistently front and center. For a collection of Q & A's specific to mental health from previous Mailbags etc., click here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/wentworth-miller/mailbag-mental-health-remix/1717037448509190/


Q: I'd like to know your thoughts on healing through animals and pet therapy if you've looked into it at all. Do you feel connected to animals?

A: I've heard positive things about pet therapy and emotional support animals. I do, however, draw the line at peacocks flying coach. (Surely they deserve first class?)

Pets are/were woven into the fabric of my childhood. I grew up with a procession of dogs, rabbits, birds, goldfish, the occasional Russian hamster... None of which were "mine." Technically. (Aside from the goldfish.) They belonged to the family in general. I loved some, enjoyed most, tolerated the rest. Now, because of allergies, I don't have pets. Also, it's hard to keep a dog etc. when you travel for work. That said, I do have virtual pets. Dozens of animals - drawn, painted, sculpted - line the walls and shelves of my home. They provide excellent company, are extremely well-behaved and incredibly low-maintenance, requiring nothing more than the occasional pass with a duster.
I'm also open to the idea of "spirit" or "power" animals... I'll go through periods when I’ll see a certain animal over and over again, like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see it everywhere... Except I didn't buy an owl. I'll google the animal in question, read up on its significance in the world of dreams and symbols, imagine what its presence in my life at this particular moment in time might signify... No way to prove any of it's true, obviously, but it does fuel the imagination. Like reading your daily horoscope.

I'm also open to the idea that animals are better connected to things "beyond the beyond," things we humans can't always sense or see... Dogs who Don't Like Your New Boyfriend. Cats who stare fixedly at something over your shoulder... then you turn to look and there's nothing there (babies do this too). In my family, a certain bird has come to represent a loved one that passed away. When we see this bird* we say, "Oh! There's so-and-so come to visit. They're watching over us." Obviously that can't be proved either, but, now that a specific meaning has been assigned to that specific bird, when we see the bird we think of the loved one. And we feel things, and are reminded of things, we might not have felt or remembered otherwise. And for this, we are grateful.

* In the wild. Not the oven. Just to clarify.



https://www.facebook.com/wentworthmilleractorwriter/




❤️❤️❤️ ~~ From The Bottom of my HEART ~~ Thank You all for your amazing work on the ' ♠♦MARCH 8♦♠️' Week ~~ I'm Very Blessed to have you on this board ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018




Wishing Wentworth’s mother and all the mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!  God bless each one of you.  You are God’s love to the world.




“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
~Washington Irving~



For a mother’s love is fashioned
After God’s enduring love,
It is endless and unfailing,
Like the love of Him above.
~Helen Steiner Rice~








Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mailbag (7.1)







WENTWORTH MILLER·TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2018

Thanks for the questions, guys. Time/energy/resources permitting, there may be one or two more of these. Until next time. - W.M.

* * * * * *

Q: Will smart return at some point again or is he done for

A: Smart/Snart has no plans to return to either THE FLASH or LEGENDS. (Which isn't to say he won't. You never know.)

Q: I am very interested in the subject of the unconscious and in particular I am fascinated by dreams so I would like to ask you if you remember the dreams you do while you sleep and if you have (or had) recurring dreams.

A: I've only had 1 or 2 recurring dreams and I tend to forget the others (the ones I remember upon waking) relatively quickly. Unless I write them down. Or discuss them.

I once had a "dream" (I'll use quotation marks because I'm not 100% sure it was) in which I woke up when someone sat down on the mattress, at the foot of the bed, by my feet. I could actually feel the mattress sink... And it didn't feel like a dream. It felt like I was awake. And whoever (or whatever) was sitting at the end of the bed was... Let's just say if this was, in fact, a dream, it was a bad one.
A few days later I shared the experience with someone I knew. I said, "Wouldn't that make a creepy scene? In a movie?" (At the time I was writing creepy movies.) This person, who was religious, and in the habit of framing things in a particular context, said, "That's exactly what the demon wants." I said, "Do what now?" He said, "It didn't come to you by accident. It picked you on purpose. Because you write creepy movies. It knew you'd put that moment in a script. Then that moment, crafted for you - initially, intentionally - gets put on film, and that film gets broadcast to an audience of millions... And all those people, who might never have had a demonic experience on their own, will. You'll be the demon's mouthpiece. Its loudspeaker. In effect." And I was like, "So... I should write it?" (Kidding.)

I'm not getting into what I did and did not make of his interpretation. Not in this space. I will admit from that point on, I began to think more carefully about the kinds of subjects I was writing about, the kinds of projects I was acting in, the kinds of messages being sent. By me and by Hollywood. Storytelling comes with responsibilities, especially when your audience is a wide one. I believe we all need to be a lot more careful about the stories we tell, and the messages we send. Because even when we don't think there's a message... there's a message.

P.S. It occurs to me I have, at last, via this Mailbag, become the demon's mouthpiece. (Oops.)

Q: Is there any kind of self-care that you find particularly difficult/challenging to perform though you know that, by doing it, you may get some deep relief/benefit in the long term?

A: I have a problem with sugar. And by "problem with" I mean "I'm addicted to." I know my body, and my brain, would benefit enormously if I cut back. Even a little. And I would/could consider that to be a form of "self-care." But I'm caught in a reward cycle. I get out of bed, I make it through the day, achieve some little thing... and I get a treat. Sometimes more than one. (And the idea of having dinner without dessert afterward is... completely foreign to me.)

I tell myself "It could be worse! It could be heroin!" Then I think, "Sugar IS a type of heroin." I tell myself "Someday I'll stop eating it! Definitely!" Then I think, "But then you won't have these little rewards to look forward to." I tell myself "I could have an apple as a reward!" Then I think, "Yeah - an apple dipped in sugar."

It's complicated.

Q: what book are you reading at the moment?

A: Stephen King's The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams. Before that: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. And before that was Less by Andrew Sean Greer. When I'm done with King I've got Ann Petry's The Street waiting in the wings.

Q: I know, solving mental health issues is quite a lengthy process and it will not happen over nighty, or in a month or even in a year or longer, but I was wondering, if you have any advice for some instant methods, routines or tricks, for those really really bad days, those days you wish, you were comatose, so you don’t have to handle the emotional or mental pain. Those days your thoughts go round in circles and you feel like you cant get back up again. Sometimes I try cold showers or go for a run, because it releases noradrenaline and endorphins. If I manage to do so, it is already a win for me. But there are days, when I am just not able to pull myself together for anything…

A: First, congratulations on already having a couple of tools in your toolbelt (cold showers, exercise) for those "really really bad days." That's huge. A huge advantage. Second, I don't have any "instant methods, routines or tricks" for those days you wish "you were comatose." And I'd be skeptical of anyone who said they did.

I don't know what you can do to make those days better. Because I'm not you. And because depression looks different on everyone. But I know what I can do to make those days worse (for me). I can shame myself. Refuse to forgive myself. Make me wrong for having a bad day, for not being able to pull myself together. That's a surefire way to turn a really really bad day into a really really REALLY bad day.

I make a practice of forgiving myself out loud on bad days. Even if I don't believe the words as they leave my mouth, I say them anyway, because words have power. And I trust some part of me (not the hypercritical/judgmental/fault-finding/sabotaging part) will hear me.

Q: Can you please explain some in formation about Season 6 of Prison break???

A: Sorry - I have no information about a 6th season of PB. I was active in getting the 5th season off the ground. Now I'm taking a backseat. My feeling is, "Que Sera, Sera." If a 6th season comes together in a way that seems worthwhile, and fresh, and justified, great. If it doesn't, that works too. I'm not sweating it.

Q: I loved your post about estate and yard sales, which leads me to my question... What has been your favorite find to date and why?

A: Whatever I found last. I'm always finding new favorites.

Q: Have you ever felt love for a woman?

A: That's none of your business. But I'll share with you that sophomore year of high school, I had a HUGE crush on a girl... AND a boy. At the same time. Then they started dating each other. And I really didn't know how to feel about that. Still don't. (Might make for a good YA novel/movie though. If it hasn't been made already.)

Q: I'm so lost. I know longer know if I'm coming or going. My own shadow haunts me. How do you find yourself, when you longer know who you are??

A: I'd be f-cking thrilled if my shadow was haunting me. I'd corner it, ask it a few questions. Like, "Why are you haunting me? What do you want? What do you have to teach me? About myself and the world around me?"

Even when I feel like I Don't Know Who I Am, when I find it hard to recognize myself, I'm of the opinion that I am never not "me." It's not possible. I am always me. Some version of me. It might be new, it might be unfamiliar, it might be really f-cking uncomfortable, but I am never. Not. Me. Exploring that, embracing that, celebrating that (as much as I am able) is one of my keys to self-acceptance. And self-love. Insisting there is a "me" and a "not me," by which I mean a "right" me and a "wrong" me, is the key to a self divided. And hated. IMO.

When someone says to me (or when I say to myself), "This is so unlike you!" I say, "No. You've just never seen me like this. In this light. In this situation. You had a conception of me as 'this' and now I've revealed myself to be (also) 'that.' You had me in a box and boxes can be lovely. With ribbons and all kinds of pretty paper. But they're still boxes. Now you've discovered me outside your box. And if that makes you uncomfortable, that's your work."


Q: Would you advise young people to finish college or find their dreams ?

A: I'd advise young people to finish college if their dream is to finish college.

Q: My question is, as a mental health advocate, How can you explain to people who had this stereotype thinking about people who threaten suicide are only seeking attention...

A: People who think I'm threatening suicide because I'm only seeking attention are a) lacking in empathy, b) possessed of low emotional IQs, and/or c) afraid to get involved.
Instead of trying to figure out how to convince those people I'm in crisis, I'd find new people. If I have to convince you I need help, you can't help me. You're part of the problem. Adding to my stress. I'm going to seek out people who believe me when I say, "I'm in trouble." The first time. Unfortunately, that might not be friends and family. Unfortunately, I might have to look outside my immediate circle for help. And I would. And did.

When I was in trouble - deep trouble - and looking around at the people I knew, people who I believed knew me and loved me, I found maybe 2 or 3 advocates.* On my journey back to positive mental health, the majority of my friends and family played no part. True story. Some missed the signs, some turned a blind eye, some didn't know what to say and chose to remain silent (all lethal responses, potentially). I had to go outside my circle, find support and acceptance in a community of strangers (see: The ManKind Project), to finally feel seen, heard, and acknowledged as a man in crisis. As someone who needed help. That's where my journey to positive mental health began in earnest.**

*That's 2 or 3 more than some.

**A "journey back to positive mental health" suggests I enjoyed a previous state of positive mental health. Which is incorrect. "My journey to positive mental health" is correct.

Q: My question is: Imagine that you are at home on Sunday. Maybe, it’s your birthday. You are working on something, you are a little bit tired, a little bit hungry. You hear a door bell ring. When you open the door, you see a box standing on your porch. A surprise! What would you most like to see inside this box when you open it?

A: A return label. 'Cause that's some creepy sh-t. *makes note for a movie*





🎶




Friday, April 27, 2018

No Early Birds - Written by Wentworth Miller!



WENTWORTH MILLER·WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018

Summer 2017

This morning I went to a garage sale. I parked, got out, hit the "lock" button on my car key fob. 

Whoop-Boop.

Then again for good measure.

Whoop-Boop.

Then again for excellent measure.

Whoop-Boop.

It's an old habit (compulsion). I've done it for years. And (it's safe to assume) always will. Especially since I've made no real attempt to break it.

It's comforting. Reassuring. And necessary. Frequently I arrive at my destination Out Of My Body. Not "present." My mind still musing on... Oh I don't know... All kinds of things. How bad traffic was. The a-hole who cut me off hurrying to get to the next red light. What I'd like for dinner. The relief pitcher with the beautiful calves. Anything. Everything. All at once.

It helps assuage the part of my brain that's vulnerable to fears (rational and otherwise). If I lock my car and don't pay attention to the fact that I'm locking my car, later I will wonder if I locked my car. I will doubt myself. I will say, "Excuse me" and leave you sitting alone in the restaurant while I go out to the parking lot to make sure my car is secured.

Hitting the "lock" button on my key fob, repeatedly, focusing on the sound of the attendant Whoop-Boops, calls me into focus. Invites me back to the Here And Now.

I may need to be invited more than once.

"That noise you're hearing? Yes. That one. Whoop-Boop. That's the sound of your car doors locking. 

They're locked now. The doors? They're locked. You can go about your business. In the (unlikely) event someone breaks into your car, you will remember that yes, you did lock your doors. You will know you did everything you could. Okay?"

Whoop-Boop.

Okay.

I cross the street, step up onto someone's lawn, haphazardly heaped with unwanted items. A man (the seller) approaches, says, "You looking for anything in particular? Or just making noise?" He throws a look back to my car. I look as well. There it is. My car. Locked. The man and I turn back to each other. And we look.

The man is waiting. Waiting for me to react. I don't. I am careful to keep my face neutral. To keep my surprise and (here it comes) irritation buried well below the surface.

One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.

The man smiles. Laughs. To show that he was Kidding. Of course. He's The Kidding Kind.

I understand I'm supposed to be smiling too. Laughing. In on the/his joke (me).

None of this is happening.

The laugh dies. His eyes narrow. I am not Playing Along. I am about to see something I don't want to see. Before it can ripple across his face I answer "Both" and move away quickly, eager to end our interaction. And give him some privacy. A moment to recover.

When someone puts on one of their favorite records, and asks you to dance, and you refuse, in the small space that follows, if you choose to observe closely (and you may not), they will show you (one of) their truest selves.

It can be an uncomfortable experience. For both of you.

At the next sale I buy a light fixture from an elderly woman and her daughter for a dollar. They are delightful. In good spirits. Enjoying the day and the occasional sale. As I take my leave they call out to me from their matching lawn chairs, remind me I left my to-go cup of coffee on the roof of my car, not to drive off without it. We laugh and I drive off (with my coffee) thinking, "People can be lovely. 
People can be thoughtful."

The man at the previous sale, I think, can be lovely too. Thoughtful. I'm sure of it. I don't even know him. I have no idea what kind of day he was having. I don't why he said what he said or meant when he said it. I don't know why his lawn was heaped with unwanted items. It's possible those items were wanted very much. But he was selling them anyway.

People have garage sales for all kinds of reasons. Many of them unhappy. A divorce. A job lost. 

Children grown and out of the house. Sometimes they're advertised as "moving sales" and the reasons for the move can vary (obviously). I've been to sales with a palpable sense of sadness. Bitterness. Of embarrassment that It's Come To This. Tchotchkes, collectibles, and DVDs... Great-Great-Grandma's hope chest hauled over from The Old Country... Everything spilled across the wet lawn/hot asphalt for the world and the neighbors to see.

Now and then I'll pull up to a sale and intuit, without leaving my car, that there is nothing there for me. The temptation is to roll past, keep driving. But the seller may be watching, mouth set in a line meant to pass for a smile. Not getting out feels rude. And a little... I don't know... Cruise-y? "Hey, Mister - you lookin' for a good time/toaster oven?" "You a cop?" So I get out. I look around. Go through the motions, feign interest. But not always. Sometimes I don't get out. Sometimes I keep driving. (Sorry.)

It sounds personal because it feels personal. It feels personal because it is personal. It's not just people's stuff out on the lawn/asphalt. It's them. Their tastes and fetishes. Their POVs. Their impulse-buys and past lives. Their DNA (literally). A degree of defensiveness is to be expected.

Some sellers hover, standing over your shoulder as you stand over their belongings spread out on nubby blankets, waiting for you to reach for something. "Lemme show you how that opens. It's tricky." "It's Tupperware."

Others go on the offensive. "Betcha can't guess what that is!" You turn, find them winking and pointing to some grubby bit of treen your eyes had skipped right past. They're inviting you to play a game. The game is called "Wrong!" and it requires that you a) reveal yourself to be ignorant so that b) the seller can school you, at length, on whatever it is they're pointing to. (You are not the first to play this game. The seller has been playing it all morning.) "I don't know... Some kind of folk art?" 

"Wrong! It's for sifting cranberries from the bog!" (I'm a Brooklyn boy. I don't know from bogs.)

I hate to knock my own gender, but it isn't women who invite me to play this game. It's a type of man who, unused to communicating any other way (because he was never taught), unable to ask for what he wants (connection), settles for burying his victims in data/trivia/statistics. Some of which is worth listening to. On more compassionate days, I recognize that beneath this vomiting forth of information is a heartfelt cry: "Know me. Love me. Hear me/heal me. Please." And grieve for them. On less compassionate days, these men just bore me.

Some garage sales have children present. They, too, might be selling things. On Saturday mornings at summer's height, I could easily end up buying multiple cups of sugared water, multiple Ziploc sandwich bags stuffed with sweaty, all-but-unrecognizable baked goods. (Whether these are ultimately consumed is a question I'll leave unanswered.) This, in my opinion, is a kind of litmus test: 

If I am able to walk past a lemonade stand and not buy a treat from a tiny human for a quarter, I must consider the possibility that I am a jerk. (Worth considering. And revisiting.) If a child doesn't already have a tip jar in place, I politely suggest they get one. You should see them run to Mother, eyes wide and greedy, screaming for a jar.

You do not find children, or treats, typically, at estate sales. These are a different beast entirely.

The first difference is you are no longer without but within. In the house. Moving from room to room, opening kitchen cabinets, nosing through broom closets. The people running the sale will be busy haggling and minding the cashbox, so you are likely to be left alone, totally, roaming unattended through rooms that are foreign to you, seeking treasure. (I imagine this is what breaking and entering feels like. Minus the broken glass and ears cocked for sirens.)

The second difference is the palpable sense you're sensing. It is, typically, death. (Also moneymaking.) Chances are the sellers have passed away. Recently. Look - here are their things. Laid out on folding tables. Or, when the heirs/executors can't be bothered and/or the estate sale service is cut-rate, left where they were when last used. His favorite coffee mug. A bottle of her favorite perfume (half-full). Stacks of their faded towels. Yours for the taking.

I have friends who insist on buying new, who avoid going to estate sales for exactly this reason. To peruse - to purchase - another human being's personal possessions can be an unbelievably, even excruciatingly intimate experience.

I happen to enjoy it. A lot. And I've picked up a ton of used goods over the years. I have a deep appreciation for objects with (someone else's) history. In my family, heirlooms are in short supply, and more of the emotional/mental variety. I also like to imagine (inaccurately, probably) that by buying something the next person has rejected I am "saving" it. From being thrown out or melted down. Disrespected and lost forever.

There are limits.

In a stranger's bedroom recently, poking through his dresser, I found one of those necklace chains you loop onto the ends of your sunglasses so you can take them on and off and they won't get lost. Woven leather. Vintage. Cool. I always hang my sunglasses from my top shirt button and they're always falling out, so I was tempted. But it occurred to me the sweat on the back of my neck would inevitably be mingling with the sweat of the deceased, pre-soaked into the chain. I put it back in the drawer. But I didn't leave empty-handed.

I first saw the object in images advertising the sale online. And was intrigued. But figured I had no shot. Estate sales often run 1 to 3 days, usually Friday to Sunday. Friday morning you can expect to pay full price. Sunday afternoon you're buying items in bulk because the folks in charge just Want Sh-t Outta Here. The dealers show up early on the first day, bumping into each other, and pay "asking" (or close to it) for The Good Stuff. I avoid them like the plague. (Their predatory, acquisitive energies remind me too much of my own.) I prefer to go on Friday afternoon, or Saturday, after the rush. So I can wander in peace.

I’d assumed the item that caught my eye would be long gone by the time I drove up to the low-slung house set deep in the woods, covered in vines, a secret garden around every corner. Inside, rooms painted white with wide plank floors and sloping ceilings were flooded with light, and, even post-rush, chockablock with art/furniture/knickknacks, bookcases and side tables sagging with souvenirs from trips abroad. Whoever lived here must have traveled far and wide and often, lugging back suitcases filled with intriguing, pleasing things from across the globe. They'd clearly had a bold and appreciative eye.

Now they were gone.

"He was an artist himself," someone said, of the man whose belongings we were rifling through. Then, at a lower volume, confidentially, "He lived here with his friend." Everyone in the room (myself included) understood this to be code. Still in use, sadly, in this corner of the world. I wondered where his "friend" was. Whether he'd gone there willingly.

On a windowsill in the kitchen, I found what I'd come for. Dusty but unsold. Surprisingly. A small bust. Of a boy. Who was black. Was that the reason it hadn't sold (yet)? In this corner of the world? I couldn't say. It didn't matter. He'd be coming home with me.

Online it appeared to be bronze but it was plaster. And signed. "X ." X (I later learned) was a 20th-century American sculptor of note. Black. Also gay. Perhaps he and the men who lived here had known each other. Been colleagues or even friends. Or more. Maybe X had given the bust to the seller in person. As a birthday or Christmas present. As a peace offering or parting gift. Or a challenge. The seller (an artist himself) had gazed upon the bust and felt... what? Appreciative? Beloved? Indifferent? Jealous of X's talent? Like weeping? Like throwing it against the wall? Begging God for forgiveness? Maybe he'd bought it on eBay. I'd never know.

These men and their (potential) relationship(s), with each other and the bust itself... all of that was over now. Dismantled, inventoried, stickered. Sold for parts.

I made my way to the cashier by the door and bought the bust for not a whole lot, aware it wasn't - could never really be - "mine." Not really. I would merely be its steward. Ferry it from one location to the next. Guarantee its survival across another decade or three. That's all I could hope for. All any of us can hope for.

Nothing - not things, not houses, not children (especially not children), not even our own bodies (as I age, I continue to discover this) - can ever truly be ours. It is impossible to "own" anything. We only borrow it for a short while. In the end, it seems to me, everything must (go!) be surrendered. The instant the bust entered the seller's possession, the moment it was received into his hands, the countdown began. X-number of years/weeks/seconds left until it was no longer his. Yours For A Limited Time Only.

Exiting the house, stepping down off the lawn, bust tucked carefully under my arm, it wasn't hard to imagine it tucked under someone else's arm, leaving my house. Not today maybe. Not tomorrow (I don't think). But one day. Yes. Certainly. Inevitably. Years? Yes. Years from now. (Fingers crossed.)

Whoever you are, I hope you'll be pleased to have in your (temporary) possession a nice little bust by so-and-so, owned by so-and-so, who used to be on a TV show. Or something.
I hope you keep the dust off it.

* * * * *

P.S. Everything above is filtered through privilege's filthy lens. I'm not buying Tupperware for 50 cents because I have to. I'm buying it because I want to. The Serving Center 1665-2 (in almond) makes a fine caddy for paperclips, pushpins, and assorted administralia.

P.P.S. "Administralia" may not be a word. Or if it is a word, it may not mean what I'd like it to mean. I don't care.

P.P.P.S. File the 2nd half (also the 1st) of everything above under "Projection (Pure)." Several weeks after the sale, I discovered the seller wasn't dead at all. Apparently he and his friend are alive and well and living in a lovely retirement community near the water. Mazel!






Dear Went,

Thank you honey for sharing your wonderful writing and creativity once again on your Facebook Page.  It’s so good to have you back on FB.  I’ve missed you so very much as did your fans.  We welcome you back with open arms honey!  I feel extremely blessed thanks to you. 

God bless you always.

Sending you tons and tons of love always.

Debbie x forever


♥♥♥










Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter Wentworth!



Dear Went,


This is a little note to you and your family to wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter.  May you be blessed with bountiful joy, well-being and happiness. 

Went I do trust that you’ve enjoyed this Easter with much love and warmth.  I’m quite sure that you indulged yourself with lots of yummy chocolates in all shapes, sizes and fillings.  And the “Tooth Fairy” is over the moon at the thought of your “Chocolate Affair”.  Happy hunting darling Went for more Easter Chocolate bargains tomorrow. I’m quite sure you’ll find those great bargains you’re looking for. 

God bless you and Happy Easter honey.

Sending you tons of love, hugs and kisses.

Always

Deb.

Xoxo





Art by Hsiao Lin Lee

Easter Reflections

With OUR EYES we see
The beauty of Easter
as the earth awakens once more...

With OUR EARS we hear
The birds sing sweetly
to tell us Spring again is here...

With OUR HANDS we pick
the golden daffodils
and the fragrant hyacinths...

But only with OUR HEARTS
can we feel the MIRACLE of GOD'S LOVE
which redeems all men...

And only with OUR SOUL
can we make our 'pilgrimage to God'
and inherit His Easter Gift of ETERNAL LIFE.









I thought I’d share a little bit of trivia about the Easter Bunny and its origins for those who’d be interested. 






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