Insight and Inspiration
Volume 9, Issue 9
February 15, 2009
Global Thinking Women
Clouds and Sunset Photos by Tim Trumble; Others from Google Image
Inside February’s Issue:
Tending To Our Inner Lives 2-3
From the Editor
Shavawn M Berry
Suddenly I See...
February has turned out to be a
very busy (translation: insane!)
month for me. Almost as soon as the ink dried on
Call for Presentations
the last piece I wrote for Global Thinking Women in Janu-
ary, more and more work stacked up on my desk, defying my
Choosing to Change
intention to take care of myself and put my own needs first. I
Carrying Her Memory had to complete my annual self-evaluation for my work as a
teacher, which involves reflecting on my teaching during the
Arts Center/Leadership past year, as well as assessing my contributions to the univer-
sity, and my professional development activities. This report is
usually not due until April, but with the budget crisis in Arizona
Epiphany on Aisle Six
threatening the stability of many jobs in the teaching field, we
were asked to complete it early. We are all nervously wonder-
ing what’s next.
In addition, I taught my classes, wrote papers for
coursework I am completing, read several novels (required for
my literature course), interacted with my students, mentored
the interns for GTW, prepared two detailed conference presen-
tations (one on an interactive writing wiki and one on using
creative writing prompts in a variety of settings), and volun-
Note to teered my time to help out at the Arizona State University
Desert Night, Rising Stars Writers Conference. As all of
Self this has unfolded, I watched myself working to stretch my ca-
pacity and to do all that is expected of me, both in personal and
professional terms. I felt like I was walking a tightrope over a
deep canyon, hoping to not look down, to not imagine what
would happen if I lost my footing.
I suppose what this situation has arisen to show me is
Today I pledge to take care of that I have more capacity than I sometimes realize; however,
just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should. I do
myself as well as I take care of need to limit the number of commitments I make, if for no
other reason, other than to maintain a base-level of sanity!
My insight this month, as I reflect on the topic of epiph-
I pledge to acknowledge my need any, has to do with returning again (and again) to my commit-
ment to maintain balance in my life. That way, I will have
to rest, and therefore revive, my enough of myself to fully enter into my inner life (as well as my
outer life). One cannot have one without the other. As a
own life through practicing the woman I have the ability to juggle many divergent responsibili-
ties. I am both a long-range thinker and an adept manager of
art of extreme self care. minutiae. Many people and projects and ideas and dreams call
out for my time and attention. Part of me is a people pleaser
I pledge to love myself and give (as many women are) and I long to be able to say “yes” whether
I truly have the time or capacity to do so. I don’t like to see dis-
myself time to enjoy all of my appointment on the faces of my students or those I love. At
those times, I think, perhaps, just for today I can push myself
life... for a bit longer.
Page 2 G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N
Tending To Our Inner Lives
But there are limits to my capacity. There have to be limits for all of us, in order for our gifts to be
valued as just that: gifts. If I just give and give and give without any attention to my own needs, then those
gifts of listening, and time, and effort can sometimes be taken for granted. And when that happens, I find
my spirit curling into a fist, feeling overlooked and undervalued. And who is to blame for that? I am. I am
the one who did not set any boundaries or demand that I be given the time I need to rest and reclaim my
Interestingly, it is my three cats who brought this message home for me. My three lovely beasts,
Emma, Ed, and Finn, got very lonely during the time I rushed into the thick of things, gone for twelve or
fourteen hours a day for the past couple of weeks. They whimpered and talked incessantly when I came
home. Although I was blindly tired from another long day, my cats wanted my lap, my love, and my care.
And all I wanted was to go to bed and not be “bothered” with that — because my exhaustion was so acute
that I felt myself starting to get ill. The kitties woke me repeatedly during the night, to love them and feed
them, even when it was unlikely they were actually hungry. When, in retaliation for their interruptions, I
locked them outside of my bedroom, they wailed at the door, plaintively questioning why they could not be
with me. They missed me. They needed me.
Finally, toward the end of this overbooked week, I came home from a poetry reading and went into
my office to check my email. As I sat down, I felt something slimy and cold through my trousers. One of the
cats had been sick on the chair, a chair they know I use every day. For a moment, revulsion over the fact I
was sitting in vomit, hit me.
got the message: we are
sick without you here. My
pets (just like my inner life) need my care.
They cannot live without my love and at-
tention. And so it is with me. I cannot live
without caring for myself and my needs.
In this time of crisis — both locally,
nationally, and internationally — it is easy
to feel like resting is not an option. It is
tempting to think that the world will move
ahead without us, if we do not continue to
run madly alongside the speeding train.
We want to believe that we are indispensi-
ble and indestructible. We are not. Others can, and will, take up the slack if we do not step up and volun-
teer to do more. And, if we truly want to avoid illness and resentment, we should let them. Taking time for
ourselves is not selfish. On the contrary, it is the first sane step toward self love.
I have another wild week ahead, as I am sure many of us do. Even so, I plan to take a half an hour
each morning to sit quietly and listen to my life. Some days that much time may not be possible. I may have
only ten minutes. I’ll take it. I will take it as a small slice of the day that is only for me. It is time that I will
We need to give the best of ourselves to the causes
guard as sacrosanct.
and concerns that are most meaningful to us. We do not, how-
ever, need to give all of ourselves away. At the end of the day, we have to have
something left — something warm and real — for ourselves. Otherwise, no matter how much we do for oth-
ers, we will start to hate our lives. Our gifts will not be given freely and fully. That is not the way to live even
one precious day of our most precious lives. I won’t do it anymore. I simply cannot.
More of Shavawn M. Berry’s writing can be read on her website, www.shavawnmberry.com
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9
Suddenly I See, How Therapy Set Me Free
by Sarah Maschoff
The moment I realized I needed therapy was when I broke down crying in my car over a
lost CD. For nearly six months, I had labored under the near constant weight of depres-
sion brought on by a series of unfortunate events. These events, from a family crisis to
my best friend moving away, to general stress at school, led to a consistent pattern of
headaches, sadness, and sleepless nights. These problems were even more exacerbated
by my family and friends unwillingness to admit that anything was wrong with me. So
after finding my elusive copy of the Best of the Cranberries CD, I knew it was time to
seek help. Due to the subconsciously self-imposed denial by the people around me, I
also knew that this was the first time in my life that I would have to truly take care of
myself. This realization held two very distinct emotions for me: it made me feel inde-
pendent and more like an adult; while feeling even worse in knowing that I was all
alone. However, it was under these varying and intense emotions that I finally sought
the professional help of a counselor. After the initial feeling of overt terror, it was a fairly easy process to un-
dertake. Doing a simple Internet search I found the name and phone number of a local counselor.
Looking back on this time, I now know that this choice saved my life. It saved me from not only
chronic insomnia, but also from living the sort of half-life that comes with these feelings of weakness and inse-
curity. For millions of women, my situation will feel similar to their own. We suffer from depression due to a
myriad of causes, from certain chemical imbalances to specific, sometimes life-changing, events. Ironically,
this sad fact has indeed made me feel less alone, and even more willing to continue working on my mental
well-being as well as my overall happiness. In our ever shrinking and fast paced society, mental health can go
by the wayside as many see depression as an obvious and incurable result of a hostile world. But my experi-
ences have taught me that happiness is not automatic in one’s life, but something we have to fight to achieve.
Being a woman is complicated and it requires a lot of balancing as well as immeasurable strength. For me, the
hardest thing about depression was feeling I was weak for allowing “it” to happen to me. And in today’s soci-
ety, when women constantly have to demonstrate unparallel strength in their lives, it is often hard to ask for
help. But as women, we owe it to ourselves, to live our lives to the fullest extent, and to show our strength as
human beings by making our lives better. My mother always says to take an aspirin when you have a head-
ache, “because there’s no need to suffer with a headache when you have something to fix it.” The same goes
for depression. There’s no need to suffer when you have something to fix it. Get the help you need. You will
be glad you did.
For more information on local counseling centers or hotlines, contact:
Counseling & Consultation
and Crisis Hotlines: at Arizona State University:
http://suicidehotlines.com/ Student Services Building,
P.O. Box 871012 Tempe, AZ
Mental Health America of
Hours: Monday - Friday,
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Page 4 G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N
by Maggie Flanagan
When I began to think about what to write, I found myself struggling to define epiphany, a term that is
a multifaceted, abstract idea. You can define it like a cartoon light bulb magically going off over a character’s
head, but I don’t think that it has to be defined that way. For many, that is what the idea of epiphany has come
to. Epiphanies have become our “A-ha!” moments, the moments when we realize something completely new
about ourselves or our worlds. For me, however, my changes don’t arrive through a sudden realization of
something new. Sometimes you change your stance on something gradually, without even realizing it.
As humans we grow up slowly, not suddenly. We don’t wake up one day knowing how to swim. We are
taught to swim. We experience it firsthand. Maybe at first the lesson doesn’t sink in. We have to practice
swimming a few times before we fully understand that the pressure in our lungs will continue to build and
build while we are under the surface of the water, unless we rush up for a new breath. I don’t think that all les-
sons or experiences end with this sudden understanding, but some do. However, sometimes it’s a gradual
awareness that an experience impacts us, and we learn from it or different because of it.
I have never once had a sudden conscious insight into my
life. I don’t need an idea or a realization to clobber me over the head, and sometimes even when it does I
don’t always recognize it. My epiphanies are more like ninjas, they sneak up on me and knock me out. I wake
up afterwards a little disoriented, trying to piece everything together. Like swimming, I knew I needed to sur-
face to breathe, but for a time, I felt that didn’t apply to me. See, I was going to be a mermaid. My days as a
mermaid ended quickly enough after I found myself coughing up enough water to
refill our pool twice over, but it wasn’t like I knew it right away. I kept denying it
and then eventually grew tired and wanted to spend my time in the pool just swim-
That’s how I learn things. Most of the time I realize years later that I did
something different or I changed in some way. For me, learning comes from serious
reflection about my life as I develop and grow. I don’t get clobbered over the head
by an “Ah-ha!” moment. I mature and change gradually. I make choices and I
change through those choices. Sometimes I can pinpoint what experience affected
me and other times I simply made a decision without comprehending it’s impact.
My realization, or epiphany, came years later.
Global Thinking Women Have
Something To Say!
Global Thinking Women
Kim Eagles, M.A.—Global Leadership
Tempe, AZ 85281
We’re on the Web! http://eagles-thinkingwomen.blogspot.com/
A Division of:
Organizational Leadership and Development Training System
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9
by Sarah Bramlett
There are many differ- simple act. She was the only one
ent health risks that modern who had control over her own
women face today. And while safety at that moment, and yet, she
some are large with harder to threw it all to chance. Perhaps she
find solutions, others are smaller was still too naïve at her age to real-
and therefore, curable through ize the importance of protecting
the advent of modern medicine herself; however, even at such a
when detected in time. However, young age the importance never
many women still ignore the diminishes.
signs their bodies give them as if
Too many women ignore
nothing is wrong. Too many
their most basic survival instincts,
Growing up, it was not women are dying young, because
and the price they are forced to pay
uncommon for our mothers, fa- they are not standing up and
is usually catastrophic. It is ex-
thers, and teachers to instruct us taking charge of their own
tremely important to speak up and
regarding the benefits of washing health, or even basic safety.
take charge when at the doctor’s
our hands, buckling our seatbelts,
Recently, the cousin of a office. It is important to remember
and doing a variety of other tedi-
that our health is our doctors’ num-
ous tasks. As children, we gener-
ber one priority, and their business
ally deemed these admonitions as
is to help us take care of ourselves.
useless and tiresome, while our
So speak up if there is something
guardians recognized their neces-
bothering you. As women of the
sity in basic survival. So now that
new millennium, it is up to us to
we are all grown up and the
take control of our life and our
watchful eyes of our parents have
health. No one knows our bod-
been diminished, when is it time
ies as well as we do and no one
to begin taking charge of our own
can protect it as strongly as we can.
health and safety?
After a recent health
scare, I have been forced to look
at my own health a little more
closely. I realized I have come to a
point in my life where the only
close friend of mine was killed in
person who can protect me, is me.
a horrific car accident, just days
This was a wake-up call for me.
before her nineteenth birthday.
Afterwards, I started to look at
Like a typical teenager, she be-
my life in a different manner. I
lieved she would never die, and
knew I needed to take a more ac-
as a result, lived her life reck-
tive role in looking after my basic
lessly. The most tragic part of
her death is that it could have
Taking care of easily been prevented, if she had
our own wellbeing only worn her seatbelt.
is the single most It is always a tragedy
when a life is lost, especially one
important thing we so young. But it compounds the
can do as women. tragedy when her death could
have been prevented by such a
Page 6 G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N
CALL FOR SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATIONS
Women Making a World of Difference
Discovering and Honoring Our Purpose, Path, and Passion
Zhengzhou, Henan, Province, People’s Republic of China
May 23-24, 2009
SYMPOSIUM TOPICS DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION :
March 4, 2009.
Selected presenters will be notified by March 16 and
must register with a $600.00 deposit by March 31 to
insure inclusion on the Symposium program. Se-
lected presenters must submit full papers of their
presentation for translators by April 24. Submit all
items by e-mail attachment to
Discovering Our Life Path
Expressing Our Leadership
Use Times New Roman 12 pt font. All submissions
Caring for Our Health and Environ-
will be acknowledged. Submission will not be re-
ment turned. Presenters are invited to attend the pre-
Symposium study program beginning May 13. All
Connecting Our Communities
delegates must arrive at SIAS by May20 and remain
Nurturing Our Families and Rela- through the close of the Symposium and opening of
the World Academy for the Future of Women on
Would you like to write for
Global Thinking Women ?
Do you have expertise to share with other women?
Our next three issues will cover
the following themes:
Women’s Activism For a Global Community—March 2009
Unity — Seeding and Fostering It —April 2009
Moving Forward — Advancing Toward Our Dreams—May 2009
Submit articles, article ideas, or ideas for themes for
upcoming issues to
Articles are due on 5th of the month for each monthly issue, so for
March, it is March 5; for April, April 5, for May, May 5th.
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9
Epiphany—Choosing to Change
by Kim Eagles
Epiphany - a sudden intuitive leap of under- life intelligently and competently leading them to an
standing, especially through an ordinary but striking abundant and successful life.
The purpose of this volume is to understand
Revitalization - Renewal, renaissance, new
the reality and change that requires wisdom. It is a
life and recovery.
belief that when we make a decision to change we
The human spirit is intricate, vast and can be must all come to grips with that it requires doing
described infinitely in its definition—the spirit is to most things that we are use to doing differently.
the soul as the soul is to the body. The human spirit And it is to the degree that we make an hon-
is alive and strives to gain life just as any living or- est assessment of where our hearts are, start
ganism. It is powered by the same force that orches- from that point and go forward that we truly
trates the oceans tide, fragile as Strauss Crystal of begin to experience all that our human spirit
Switzerland and resilient as tita- has for us. No matter where we are
nium steel. in our spiritual relationships, there is
always room for growth that will
The fear of changing is as
bring us to a place of greater service
complicated as the consequences if
and intimate relationship with God.
we do not change a negative habit,
Remember that God has promised to
behavior, lifestyle or mindset. In
perfect all that concerns us and He is
essence, it has the potential of kill-
the self-proclaimed author and fin-
ing the human spirit.
isher of our faith.
The epiphany is that this
Change requires action.
unique energy of the human spirit
Change requires planning including a
is at risk of diminishing if left iso-
strategy with the intention to evoke
lated and neglected. Let’s review
proactive change and new awareness
ideas from the introduction of the
in various areas of life that have com-
book entitled, Wisdom’s Rule of
plicated and/or stifled healthy
growth in your live. This series is a
In spiritual circles we often tool for an introduction to self evolu-
hear of the certain terms of formal tion of past and present beliefs, con-
words or religious phrases that are cepts, and misconceptions that may
common in conversation to only those in that cir- have caused confusion and misdirection of biblical
cle—such as: the human spirit, formal prayer, those theory. For far too long individuals have depended
heavenly tone and speech patterns or writing that on churches and teachings of others for spiritual
often can and does intimidate—and ‘we’ the average wisdom one-on-one with our heavenly Father—but,
person don’t have a clue or concept of what that per- today is that time to change.
son is even talking about—it’s as if there is a secret
Actually creating a personal blue print of
language— The Wisdom’s Rule of Change attempts
your life’s experiences, as well as exploring the the-
to break down barriers of misunderstanding to
ory that make you who you are and creates the de-
sire to find the person you wish to become, make
The Hebrew word for proverb is this an invaluable book.
quot;comparisonquot; and also refers to an aphorism (cliché
No more hiding and being
or a saying) or declaration, a principal or to a dia-
logue. Wisdom and knowledge are key words of the
fearful of the past—choose to
Proverbs, leading to right living, moral discipline for
change! Be intentional and
one's life whether good and bad, what matters most
and what does not matter at all. In the words of live!
Solomon—this leader shows the student how to live
Page 8 G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N
Carrying Her Memory With Me
by Mary Powell
tioneers on a daily basis, who her throat and still cannot talk. On
could arm wrestle me to the our visits, her index finger lures
ground for the first sixty five my husband and me to her bedside
years of her life, and mowed her with pen and paper, a twinkle in
own lawn until the age of sev- her hazel eyes. All 81 years of her
enty with a push-mower, did not is still breathing, fighting to sur-
have the strength to open her vive.
eyelids. Just two days before,
Despite all the degrees I
she babysat my autistic brother;
earn, the pats on the back from
just twenty four hours earlier
colleagues and friends, parties at-
she walked one mile to Safeway,
tended, and nights out on the
pushing a cart of groceries
town, I need to make time for the
home; her strong, sturdy Sicilian
very person who changed my dia-
body traversing the streets she
pers. The one who fed and clothed
had walked upon for the past
me, taught me how to color an ap-
fifty years with confidence.
ple tree, recited Bible verses from
When the less fortunate desired
heart, and who encouraged my
help, she bought them a loaf of
love for literature and poetry.
bread and peanut butter, always
Something’s got to give, but I will
eager to assist those who were in
not let it be her. To grandmother’s
An urgent voicemail left by my need. When others questioned
house I will go; I hope to God, she
mother resonated in my ears. her political support of the De-
can spring back to who she once
One that I did not hear until mocratic Party, she admonished
was. What remains important are
over thirty-six hours after it was them saying, “I vote for the party
all the times you say “I love you”
initially left. “Mary, your grand- that gives, not takes.” This
not “I owe you” or the “to dos” in
mother is in the hospital. She woman was stainless steel,
life. My grandmother is my heart
has pneumonia and sepsis. Get sturdy and unvarnished.
and I remain attached to her, des-
down to the hospital as soon as
Despite this tough exte- perately craving one last time to-
you can!” My husband was out
rior, she had become weak with gether-out, unhooked from the
of town in North Carolina on
a heart condition that she hid wires and tubes that attach us.
business, and I was busy with
from us for five years. Author’s Note:
my career, working full time as
I spent infinite hours in
an English teacher and doctoral My grandmother passed away on February
front of my computer writing
student. I was entrenched in 1st, 2009 at 5:45 pm. I will carry her mem-
ory with me always.
articles, grading papers, and an-
writing an article on student lit-
swering e-mails. There were so
eracy practices while my grand-
many times when I thought, I
mother was potentially dying. I
should visit her, but I am too
spent nine and a half hour days
busy, maybe tomorrow. There
at school, from dawn until dusk,
were so many lost opportunities,
writing lesson plans, checking
when she was free and I was
student papers without realizing
tied; now she is tied and I can-
someone I loved deeply was suf-
not reach her despite my need
I went to see my grand-
My grandmother is cur-
mother the next evening. She
rently recovering in a hospice
was plugged into a respirator,
near St. Joseph’s Hospital after
with tubes flowing in and out of
one week of ICU treatment. She
her and was heavily sedated.
has a trachea tube inserted into
This woman, who out spoke auc-
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9
A Jewel in the Crown: Tempe Center for the Arts
The Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA),
located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, is one
of the finest venues in Arizona – a jewel in
the crown of a city known for its support of
The strikingly magnificent TCA, De-
signed by Tempe-based Architect and award-
winning Barton Myers Associates of Los An-
geles, houses a state-of-the-art, 600-seat pro-
scenium theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a 3,500 square-foot gallery. The finely appointed Lakeside
overlooks Town Lake, with views of the Papago and Camelback mountains, and is available for meetings, ban-
quets and special events.
The TCA, located on the southwest end of Tempe Town Lake, resides in a beautifully appointed 17-
acre lakeside art park developed by Design Workshop, a Tempe landscape architecture firm. A pedestrian
bridge is scheduled for completion in 2010 that will complete a loop around Tempe Town Lake and join the
north bank with the south in front of the TCA.
Local favorites including Childsplay, Tempe Little Theatre, the Tempe Symphony Orchestra, the
Tempe Community Chorus, A. Ludwig Dance, Desert Dance and the Tempe Wind Ensemble perform on the
center’s stages. For booking information contact: Susanne Durgam-Bighorn
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway • Tempe, AZ 85281 • Box Office: 480/350-2TCA (2822) • Facsimile: 480/350-
2828 Event booking:480/350-2814 • Education/Tours: 480/350-5679
5 Messages Prepare Girls to Lead
by Shavawn M. Berry
In the 1991 book, Women Power: The Secrets of Leadership, Dr. Dorothy Cantor and Toni
Bernay outlined what they found were messages little girls needed to get in order to become leaders. Dr.
Cantor and several other psychologists interviewed 25 high-ranking female politicians in the early 90s and
found that all of them had received similar messages in their families of origin. These messages are fre-
quently given to boys, but are less likely to be given to young girls:
You are loved and special
You can set goals and do anything you want
It is permissible to take risks
You can use and enjoy “creative aggression”
You can dream of greatness
(Cantor & Bernay, Women Power).
More recently, Dr. Cantor co-authored Finding Your Voice—A Woman’s Guide to Using Self-
Talk for Fulfilling Relationships, Work and Life with seven other female psychologists. In it, she
(and her co-writers) encourage women to utilize psychological techniques to stop the self-critical and unpro-
ductive thinking that blocks them from living their best lives. It is a “highly readable and practical manual
for self-fulfillment” (http://www.finding-your-voice.com/). The information we receive in life, and the way
we “talk” to ourselves can make a tremendous difference, either positively or negatively. As women we often
buy into messages society sends us about how svelte we should be, or how we should seek perfection, be all
things to all people, or know exactly what to do in every situation. The encouragement to take risks, dream
of greatness, and set goals is crucial in fostering our ability to build lives we truly want. Empowering our-
selves (and our daughters) through messages about our value and capability is an important first step.
Page 10 G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N
Epiphany on Aisle Six
By Wendy Brunner
Epiphanies may be like dreams, much more
interesting to the teller, than the listener. But I will
take the risk. Most of you, past a certain age, will
probably recall a similar incident in your own life.
In 2003 I was living near San Francisco in a
sleepy town just over the Golden Gate Bridge with my
husband and two small children. We were renting a
nice home near the water, one we could barely afford.
And, along with the birth of my son—a son with Down
Syndrome and a slew of serious medical issues—I had
just started a new job. My husband was a pilot, which
kept him out of town more than half the time, and left
me mostly on my own with our kids. Looking back at
those days, I feel thankful they are behind me.
But even in the throes of slow moving and rou-
tine days, there can be days you remember. This one
particular afternoon I realized I needed pita bread for
and a beard. He calmly responded to my mutter-
dinner. So the kids and I went to the local Safeway. I
ings by saying, “It is right there,” pointing to the
often avoided this Safeway because it frustrated me. It
bottom shelf. I barely looked at him but did say
was old and the aisles were narrow, barely allowing
thank you, letting out a slightly embarrassed
for two carts passing. Inevitably my way would be
laugh. It was right there. I still hear his response
blocked and I would blame the other shoppers for be-
in my head today.
ing in the way even though I knew it wasn’t their fault
that grocery carts had doubled in size since the seven-
“Sometimes the thing you’re
ties and no longer fit this store’s design.
looking for is right in front of
Aisle six was the bread aisle. My thoughts
were racing as usual: Was my son breathing ok? Did
he look blue? Was my daughter staying with me and
I knelt down and took the bread, telling my
not touching everything? Had I turned off the stove?
son, “We found it!”
In between, I scanned the shelves in vain,
When I turned around the man was
looking for the round bread I was seeking. I looked up
gone. His words flashed through my mind. What
and down, back and forth growing increasingly frus-
had he said again? “Sometimes the thing you’re
trated with this simple task.
looking for is right in front of you.”
I remembered that in some stores they think it
I caught my breath. Was he talking about
logical to have pita bread in the deli instead of the
bread or was he being ironic? (Or perhaps he was
bread aisle. Who thought of this, I wondered?
just being flat out sarcastic given my impatience!)
Off we trudged to the deli, only to find no pita
I went searching for him, in the next aisle,
bread and no one to ask about its location.
and then at the checkout counter. I scanned the
My children and I headed back to aisle six to parking lot outside. I don’t know why but I wanted
stare at the packages of Orowheat and ButterTop. I a better look at him; however, he had disappeared.
began to talk to myself, saying aloud, “Why is this so Like an apparition, he was apparently ephemeral,
hard? Where is the stupid pita bread?” able to appear and disappear at will. His words
struck me to my core. They served as a reminder
Then, I noticed a man near me. In my mem-
to really look at – and see – my life. The things I
ory he is now more like an apparition. I only remem-
wanted most were right there in aisle six; my chil-
ber him as a disheveled figure in pants and a long
dren, food for my table, my life itself...they were
sleeve shirt. He was rather thin with lots of crazy hair
all right there all along.
G L O B A L T HI N K I N G W O M E N