Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘All’ Category

The Fig Tree

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Below is a passage from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. She poetically describes the stress of choice and how gaining one experience means losing another. The good news is, in the 21st century, choosing one fig doesn’t mean saying no the ALL the others but it still means saying no to many of the others. As people live longer and hit milestones (such as marriage and children) later, there is more time to take the road less traveled. For a woman in the 1960s, however, choices were limited and there was less time to indulge unique life experiences, as Sylvia brilliantly expresses.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

When the Church Goes to Confession

Monday, August 20th, 2018

In 2006, The Episcopal Church issued a comprehensive, formal apology (a resolution) for its participation in the institution of slavery. They accepted full responsibility for past actions and admitted they used scripture to justify their actions. “…we express our most profound regret that (a) The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and (b) after slavery was formally abolished, The Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination…”

Instead of saying, “Now that we’ve discussed it and apologized, let’s never discuss it again,” they said something like, Let’s continue to uncover our transgressions (past and present) and continue to repent in order “to make a full, faithful and informed accounting of our history” and “be ‘the repairer of the breach'” (full quote below). (more…)

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Heard…Is True

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Twas December 2013 when I submitted the following essay to a website called Indie Book Week. Recently I clicked on the link and IBW was no more. Websites come and they go. C’est la vie. I’d like the essay to live somewhere, so I post it here.

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Heard…Is True

In early 2010 I attended an event called “Eat, Love, Write.” It was a fundraiser featuring bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert and her sister Catherine Gilbert Murdock as the keynote speakers. Catherine is a successful author in her own right—specializing in young adult novels. During the question and answer session, someone asked, “How do I get an agent?” Catherine began to respond practically but then she interrupted herself and said, “Focus on the writing. If a book is meant to be published it will find a way.” I rolled my eyes. If a book is meant to be published it will find a way. Don’t get me wrong; I am an advocate of everything happening for a reason, but come on! Agents don’t go knocking on doors asking if you happen to have a manuscript hanging around. You have to take your written work to the world. At the time, I dismissed it as one of the dumbest things I’d ever heard. (more…)

The Good Life

Friday, March 30th, 2018

“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.”

~ Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy

The Language of Love

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

I post this out of love for all the men and women who find themselves in toxic relationships:

“A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your servant but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. Manipulation by guilt (“If you were a good spouse, you would do this for me”) is not the language of love. Coercion by fear (“You will do this or you will be sorry”) is alien to love. No person should ever be a doormat. We may allow ourselves to be used, but we are in fact creatures of emotion, thoughts, and desires. And we have the ability to make decisions and take action. Allowing oneself to be used or manipulated by another is not an act of love. It is, in fact, an act of treason. You are allowing him or her to develop inhumane habits. Love says, “I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.”

~ Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages

There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Without ever having you…
I have lost you.
Without ever knowing you…
I know you…
There is no history…
Only a memory
that never occurred at all.
A memory…
I can never forget.
~ Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

40 days and 40 nights

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Greetings ~ I’m giving up FB and Twitter for Lent. They’ve become too anxiety inducing for me lately. That being said, it’ll still be a challenge because I am endlessly curious as what others think of the latest news. I will remain active on Instagram. I’m fairly new to Instagram and find it to be tranquil so far. Everyone have a good 40 days and 40 nights!