Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I woke up very frightened this morning, because in spite of my unwillingness to concede it, I am growing older, which, if we are lucky, we all do.  This particular bout of anxiety was due to or because of (I never understood the difference between those two grammatical choices, as I skipped a few grades and missed that day in class) the glaring fact that I had had some minor(I hope) eye surgery and wasn't sure it had been successful.  My very funny husband, and he was, though he failed to have the gift of Time, said I should put down on my Bryn Mawr alumnae questionnaire, next to religion: Quaker-Buddhist-Jew; that that would really confuse them.  But it has never really confused me, as I have benefitted greatly from the first two, and there is no way of evading the last. And, in addition to those three, I have been open to anything that uplifts and is from the heart, of which there is something in all beliefs, with the possible exception of Baptists.  (If you are a Baptist, please don't be offended-- I probably went to the wrong Church.)
   In addition to having gone to almost all kinds of services in my quest, I read the Daily Word, a very Christian publication that offers, except on certain days, a word that cheers and soothes anyone, no matter what their belief.  As friends(I may have four by now)know, I was a little(maybe more than) nervous about this procedure, because I have come back to Beverly Hills to do creative work, and for that you need to see, especially since I never learned to touch type, and wrote all those books hunting and pecking, albeit at a ferocious pace.  So I was afraid I might not be able to write anymore, and dictating just isn't the same.  So as I was going to the ophthamologist this morning to have what seemed to be wrong looked at, I read, as usual, my Daily Word. And, to my horror, the quote from the Bible at the bottom of the page was "Your eye is the lamp of your body.  If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light." That's from Luke. So my first reaction was terror, as I was afraid the universe was being ironic, and it would not go well.
    But it did.  So I can take a breath and proceed on my cheerful, uplifting, and only slightly air-headed (except for its sense of values, which is pretty solid) musical.  And ask you all to plan on coming Opening Night, whenever it may be.  Because if the eye is the lamp of the body, the thought is the beacon of light that will bring us all home, no matter how expensive the tickets are, or how unlikely this all seems.
    My friend Ginny Louloudes, who has to raise 9 million dollars for her non-profit Alliance of Resident Theaters which she is also worried about, has come up with the perfect casting for Sylvia, of Sylvia Who? It seemed, on hearing, obvious, albeit something I hadn't thought of or focussed on, because my most brilliant friend, who is also my staunchest supporter on the project had suggested someone else, and I was fixed on that, because I love and admire that friend. But this is good, so I will keep it in mind, and hope that mind is the creator.  In addition to the Creator of course, who I hope will also be at the Opening.  
    The nicest part of the morning, after I had my suture out, was stopping in to see a doctor on the 2nd floor whom I love, because he is so cheerful and darling and such a good advertisement for medicine, because his whole presence signals healing.  He told me that he had just lost his father, and at the service he quoted from The Daughter of God, "Destiny puts you where you are.  Free Will lets you determine what you will make of it."  And his roundly dimpled pink-cheeked face absolutely lit up.
      Something happened to me in that moment that never happened before: I realized that someone smart and touching had actually been touched by me.  It was a radiant moment.  All the lovelier because he is a doctor of radiology.  My friend Charlotte would probably consider that wordplay "smart-assy," but I don't think so.  I think, and probably more strongly, hope that everything in life happens for a reason, that we are all connected, and that sometimes even the words we hear and/or are given have mysterious and indefinable shapes to teach us things.  The Daughter of God itself was a gift to me, something that I wrote a long time ago, effortlessly, that my craziest and probably most intuitive publisher, Don Fine, was going to publish so he could get my next book.  At the time my ego was soaring, as opposed to the humility Charlotte would have me feel, so I didn't want to tie myself to him, as he was truly lunatic, albeit movingly so--- when Don, my husband died, he called me and said "I know YOU feel bad. But how do you think I feel?  I don't like many men."  I truly loved him, but he was dangerous, locked out of his own publishing company by those who financed him, he was that kind of crazy.  So I took back The Daughter of God,  forgot about it, and only came across it last year and decided to publish it myself, with the wondrous amelioration that came from Joel Iskowitz, the artist who did the illustrations, and the biblical print.  
    And all these years later it really moved a man who truly understands and works for healing.  There are real miracles in this life if our hearts and our minds and, in this case, our old files are open.
   Ya just never know.
   Also waiting in the doctor's office was a woman who is the daughter of I.A.L. Diamond, a collaborator of Billy Wilder's who, as you know if you read these, I visited at Westwood Memorial a day or so ago, whose tombstone, quoted in my REPORTFROMTHEFRONT, reads "I'm a writer… but then, nobody's perfect."  That was, she told me, her father's line.  
    I'm telling you, it's all connected.