Practicing the Art of Nothing

When I was a little girl, I loved car rides. This was before I met Motion Sickness. My family used to take vacations in the summer, and we drove to our destination whether that be the six-hour ride to Smoky Mountains or the 14-hour trek to Disney World.

My dad played Golden Oldie’s from the radio or Disney tunes on cassette. My mom would drive, my dad would film, and my brother and I would be content in the backseat. I was overwhelmed by the imagery. I loved following the different shapes and colors of the trees, watching the yellow lines on the road become one and taking in all the makes and models of other vehicles on the highway.

I could sit for hours in silence, feeling the fresh air and letting the music provide a backdrop for whatever story I dreamed up. I gave those trees a soul, and while I didn’t know who else traveled on the roads with us, I somehow felt connected to them. I used my imagination to give them their own stories. It was where my creative spirit was born.

So why, as an adult, is it so hard for me to sit back and do nothing? Why can’t I just remain still for a moment and relish the world going by? Continue reading


Life Lessons From ‘The Thief and the Cobbler’

The ThiefIn 1993, Miramax came out with the animated film, The Thief and the Cobbler, with character voices by such notable names as Vincent Price, Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Winters. A few years later when my dad found this hidden gem, little did my brothers and I know the controversary surrounding its production.

Sheltered from the criticism of the masses, my brothers and I merely loved this movie not for the animation and the storyline, but solely for the presence of the thief. I was recently reminded of the film a few weeks ago when my brother texted me at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday with this: Finally, something easy. Just walk up the stairs, grab the balls, and go home; I’ll be in bed by 8!

There was no context, but I immediately recognized the origin and voice of this quote. For the next 12 hours, we continued to text back and forth only quotes from the character of the thief. I admit towards the end I had to look some up, but my brother shelled these out straight from memory.

How does a film, most notably recognized for its botched up rendition of one of the most acclaimed animations in history, stay in the minds of a brother and sister? And why? Continue reading

Looking Back From 1993

I’ve never seen anyone jump in front of a Metro train, but it seems to happen more frequently in the DC area than I would like to admit. And most times when it does, people grumble about the delays and inconvenience, myself included.

Sometimes, I think of what was going through that person’s mind. And when I walk down the stairs to the platform, and then along the raised, bumped edge to get through the crowd, I think how easy it would be to just fall or jump to my right. In a split second, I would be no more.

But then I think about the train driver – how they can see the entire scene play out, and there’s nothing they can do about it. If they try to brake, it may only put the passengers at risk, whereas the jumper knew the consequence of their actions. And even though the driver is not responsible, that is something they must take with them for the rest of their life.

Mental health, an often overlooked sector of health care, is so important to surviving the daily grind. It is why we shouldn’t take for granted that someone won’t jump in front of that train. And we should always ask why. When the mind starts to reason ending life, then it can reason a lot of things. Continue reading