Saturday, January 16, 2016


So many things, too many things that are going on in the world scare me.

I never really recovered from one of my tours  as a dancer --  my luggage was lost before my performance in Mediellin, Colombia. I had to beg, weep, and bribe a guy to get it. I was booed in Argentina; I had to beg and weep to get my fee from the producer. The Consul, whom I'd turned down when he tried to date me, had given me a work visa so I couldn't board the plane back to the U.S. until I paid taxes -- I had to beg, weep, plead with the guard at the airport gate.

Finally arriving, heading down the the long ramp to U.S. Customs, I wanted to kneel, and kiss the soil of America the beautiful, where I knew how to ask questions, make friends, ignore wrong guys, order food, shop in a supermarket, and pay with money that I knew how to count.

That experience still haunts me -- makes me fearful of the troubles in the air, aware that I'm utterly American, gullible, mostly optimistic and hopeful, but gee-golly -- terrorism scares me,  global warming and those folks who say it doesn't exist, the guys who passionately oppose government supporting needy people, folks with weapons, racist cops, super pacs, voter restrictions, media's distortions of realities, and ads, ads -- more-and-more ads infecting us with fear, anger, hate.

Golly-gee-wow, despite my pacifistic nature, my fists clench -- I feel as if I'm being bonked on the head with the political ranting, the polls, the opinions -- the sly lies leading listeners astray. Yowie, it's nutty nuts, acorns that got me -- chicken little me -- to beg, weep, plead, and hammer at my friends.  

Howling get your friends, gathering more friends, we hurry off and tell the King to look out for sly foxy-woxie trumperations that lead you nowhere -- but hey, the king laughs (and weeps on TV over gun violence),  plucks the acorns off my noggin and says happy new year guys, God bless, the sky is blue. 

Hey folksy-wolksies -- beware of Trumpies and gullible friends and question everything -- it's just a new year, and lots of things aren't clear yet, but the sky is not falling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


This tennis guy inspires me, moves me, touches me.

The finals in Forest Hills is old news, but strong in my mind as if it happened yesterday, is the vision of Federer's expression -- his friendly, kind manner that said I'm happy for you, as he shook hands with the winner, Novak Djkovic.

A camera caught his wife's face as the match ended -- her fully knowing and feeling what the loss meant. Have they absorbed the pain, and moved on to the other matches, the touring, teaching, lecturing -- all the things that a tennis star does before next season's major tournaments start again?

Because Roger Federer is what he is -- a winner, a man who thoroughly, truly loves, respects, understands the history, the traditions, as well as the playing of the sport, I think they are both doing what they need to be doing.

This schedule is on his website:
Australian Open:Melbourne, Australia:  Dates: 18-31 Jan 2016
Roland Garros, Paris, France. Dates: 22 May - 5 Jun 2016
Wimbledon, Wimbledon, London England: Dates: 27 Jun - 10 Jul 2016
US Open, Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY: Dates: 29 Aug - 11 Sep 2016

I know how it feels to be told by the numbers, told again and again by all those words that say you are too old, you can't do what a younger person can do --   even if your inner voice is saying no, no, you've got it wrong. You know that it is a truth -- you no longer have the rebound and bounce, the inner joy, the confidence of a destined-to-win winner.

Federer has been hearing about his age for a couple of years, but doesn't discuss it. The only sentence he uttered, when he was thanking Djkovic for being such a good, talented player, was a brief, quiet sentence about being back next year.

My ears tingled. My heart sang --"Yes, be back next year. and try hard again."

Wherever he is right now -- he's not mourning or reviewing what he might have handled better in that finals game -- he's playing with his usual intense total concentration -- like MacEnroe said, "playing his usual beautiful game."

Federer's ability to be on the moment at the moment deeply inspires me. That's what I feel, learn, and want to emulate when I watch Roger Federer, with keen coordination, keen focus and grace -- playing the game he loves.


Sunday, January 10, 2016


If you could go back in time, what day, what event, would you revisit?

John Cullum and Emily Frankel, as individuals, as well as man and wife, find themselves asking this question every new year.