The dictionary defines a “stopgap” as a temporary way of dealing with a problem or satisfying a need. That is the way I am getting through this time without Steve. One stopgap after another and one day at a time.
My grieving process is unpredictable. It hits when it hits. When it does, I cry. I don’t care who sees or hears. Well, that is not true. But, I don’t try to stop myself. I just hope this condo has thick walls. Weekends are the worst. That is when Steve and I would get in the car and go somewhere. In Brentwood, Westwood, Encino, Palm Desert. Then, in Monaco, Antibes, Cannes, Ventimiglia. St. Tropez, Marseille, San Remo, and Paris were overnights. It was fun.
Now, I try to stay busy by creating a project or doing work. I write – jayspeakblog, stevespeakblog, my novel, my blog book, my journal. I take photographs, walk in the park, walk to the beach, buy groceries, do taxes, update my accounts, change bios, clean-out, downsize. Reading doesn’t work. At least, not yet. And, I don’t watch that much television or go to movies. That doesn’t work, either.
After my birthday, I went into a funk. I didn’t feel like writing or walking or…. Somehow, I found myself looking for a picture of something – I don’t remember what. I pulled out the boxes of old pictures and – for some unknown reason – began looking at each one, remembering people, seeing places, and noticing things I had not noticed before.
I remembered Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” and the speech that remains indelible in my mind forever, “Let’s really look at one another!…It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed… Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute? (Emily)”― Thornton Wilder, Our Town
It was then that I decided to find and post at least one picture of something I was doing during the beginning year of each decade. The selection process was random and has nothing to do with importance. Plus, most photographs were not dated. Here are the results: (Please excuse the inconsistencies of color and spacing in this post. It was one of the ones affected by my learning curve with wordpress.com.)
1967 – AT AGE 30!
1977 – AT AGE 40!
1987 – AT AGE 50!
1997 – AT AGE 60! – IN Whittier Law School. I took a trip to the South of France that summer and stayed for two weeks in a time share, Roquebrune Cap Martins. I met a friend, Eleanne, of a U.S. friend, Phyllis Lycett. The two of them had been friends in Paris as dancers in the Follies Bergeres. What fun!! This is Monaco in 1997
2007 – AT AGE 70!
2017 – AT AGE 80!
“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” ― Robin Sharma
Jay W. MacIntosh (born Janet Tallulah Jewell) is a retired attorney, actress, and writer from the United States, living in Paris, France. She is a member of the California Bar and selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. She holds a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Georgia and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. As an actress, she is a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP, performing in film and television in the United States and France. Her published works include Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, Capturing Beauty, JAYSPEAK on the Côte d’Azur, and Janet Tallulah.
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