Archive for the ‘Memoirs I love’ Category

Life by the Cup

July 27, 2014

10333633_10152584502399703_825554252818511256_oJune 28, 2014

An enchanting Ojai evening with  humanitarian entrepreneur, the totally unique, extraordinary Zhena Muzyka —author of Life by the Cup   looking forward to curling up with her memoir . . . review to follow.
Photo Credit: Sage Tate — with Zhena Muzyka.

June 29, 2014
Deep into Zhena‘s memoir. Set in Ojai, I recognize almost every person and place in the book, which make her broke single mother challenge to succeed as an ethical, humanitarian entrepreneur even more riveting . . .

June 30, 2014
I think I just hit the two chapters in Zhena‘s book that I need the most–chapter 13 on keeping one’s perspective when you find yourself in hot water and chapter 14 on self-validation.

Zhena writes: “The thing I’d been living for–my dad’s approval–was never coming. I vowed to stop calling. It was just too painful to keep reaching for something he couldn’t give me. But not calling didn’t help the hurt.”

Can you relate? I sure can!

And then she says: “A local businessman who mentored me told me what I needed to do. ‘Nothing outside of you can make the inside feel better . . . Self-validating people do not look to others for their worth because they know who they are without external confirmation.'”

I think what burns me up the most about my own father is his lifelong insistence that “I treat all my daughters equally,” when nothing could be further from the truth!

It’s all so ironic!
* * *

On my 65th birthday I wrote . . .

June 14, 2014

Posted on the full moon of  Friday, June 13th, 2014—a month has flown by since I posted anything here on my Suzaji blog

Written May 24, 2014 (65th birthday)

I’m not going to fret that my second writing yoga memoir is still baking in the ethers!
“The power of persistence. Harry Bernstein wrote 40 books but destroyed the manuscripts after they were all rejected by publishers. Bernstein was 93 when his wife of 67 years died and started writing to help deal with his grief. He spent 3 years writing his memoir “The Invisible Wall.”

He sent the manuscript to many New York publishers, all of whom turned it down. Then he sent it to an editor at Random House in the UK, where it sat in a pile of unsolicited manuscripts for a year before it was read by a stunned publishing director who immediately recognized it as inspired writing. It was published in 2007 when Mr. Bernstein was 98. He would write three more acclaimed books, all of which were published, up until his death at 101. Bernstein called his 90s, “the most productive years of my life.” ”

Casting out demons

May 14, 2014
May 12, 2014
During my yoga practice this morning, my mind kept flitting back to the film I saw last night, Philomena. It hit close to home on so many levels. The deep sense of shame and guilt when, at age eighteen, I had to break the terrible news to my Pentecostal Christian father that I was pregnant. At least I didn’t get sent to a convent to work in the laundry and have my child snatched away. But I felt the blow of my father’s rage, and, like untold women before me, tried to escape his wrath by getting married.
Some years ago he apologized to me, his firstborn, for his extreme strictness and failures as a father. I’ve long since forgiven him. Yet the feelings we experience growing up seem to be embedded in our psyche, in our cells.
As I write this, I remember the first time I ever felt deeply ashamed. It was in Holland, and I was probably around age five or six because the memory is very clear. I had been playing with one of my neighborhood friends, and we had either gotten into her mother’s makeup or maybe she had one of those play makeup kits; in any case, I had smeared red lipstick on my lips. And, as luck would have it, I was told that I had to come home. The pastor of our church was visiting, and my dad wanted to show off his beautiful daughters. Back then wearing makeup was against church rules—a serious sin. I still remember my dad furiously scrubbing my mouth with a hot washcloth until my lips burned, trying to get that red lipstick off before the minister saw me. No wonder that, when I’m opening the front of the body in backbends, sometimes it feels like I’m casting out demons!

We are thrown willy nilly into the stream of life

April 8, 2014

The universe keeps dropping the most illuminating memoirs in my lap, reminding me time and time again that for the most part, we are thrown willy nilly into the stream of life and the only thing in our control is our perspective. As the Foreword of The Life of an Ordinary Woman points out, “Anne Ellis was the perfect taker for Plato’s wonderful maxim that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.'” If you love memoirs like I do, then this author’s clear-sightedness and unique voice as she recalls the unrelenting challenges of her daily life is not to be missed!

The Life of an Ordinary Woman

%d bloggers like this: