Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nine One Once Upon A Time...

The other day I was driving East on the 10 freeway here in Los Angeles when I noticed some commotion up ahead. Cars were changing lanes rapidly and suddenly, thirty, forty, fifty of them.  I moved to the farthest left lane to stay out of the melee. As I approached the area, a white car was completely stopped in the middle lane, her hazards blinking. A woman was in the driver's seat, just sitting there; her hood was dramatically dented and it was obvious she'd just been in an accident.

It was alarming seeing her there in the middle of the freeway, not even trying to pull over or get off at the nearest exit. As I drove past, I thought surely someone had called 911 already. I kept driving, and a few seconds later I thought. Wait, what if everyone assumes that someone else is calling?

I dialed my cell.
The operator picked up.
"911. What is your emergency?"

I started with, "I'm sure you've received a hundred calls about this, but..." and explained the situation. She asked for details I hadn't noticed, the make of the car, the license plate, the severity of the accident. And then I could hear typing in the background.

"Ma'am," she said. "You're our first call about this. We're sending police now."

The first call? Wow. Hundreds of cars had whizzed past her, and I'm sure hundreds more were about to. What if every single person thought someone else was surely going to call 911?

This was such a lesson on actively engaging instead of passively assuming. Hopefully the woman is okay.

I have been blogging over at my website: MelissaClarkWrites.com

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be contributing to this Connections Clark blog, there are just so many things to keep up with. Thank you for following me here for all these years. This blog started as a way to chronicle my involvement in the Obama campaign so many years ago. It's hard to believe that his Presidency is nearing its end.

Please find and follow me at my new(ish) website, and of course on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Back to Blog/Back to Boston

Seems I have been cheating on this blog with my MelissaClarkWrites website. But now that it's up and running, the affair is over and I'm back to this blog.
Emerson Building on Boylston
I had a soulful and active trip to Boston last week. It helps that my friend is a professor at my Alma Mater, Emerson College. She was able to negotiate a speaking engagement for me -- on writing and creativity. It was really fun preparing it, and even more fun delivering it. The current Emerson students are still very creative and ambitious. I loved meeting with various kids to talk about life after Emerson. I was interviewed by a bunch of them, and then filmed for a documentary. I believe when I was there the school was about 2,500 people, but it has now swelled to over 6,000. To add to the fun, thanks to Fbook, I connected with a bunch of friends from my past who were able to come to the talk as well. I can't express the joy I felt at seeing everyone - Andrea, from elementary school (she claims I marched right up to her on the first day of school, introduced myself and invited her over to play. Was I that bold as a child? I remember myself as a super shy kid - like, painfully so), Julie from my first college, Liz, from college, and Margaret from graduate school. And of course, Miranda, who hosted me and organized the whole event.

Had a blast later in the week, visiting the studios of WGBH and meeting Marco Werman, host of The World (Produced by friend Andrea Crossan), eating a great meal with Miranda at Alden & Harlow, discovering a fantastic art show at a gallery at Harvard, breakfasting with old friend Leslie-Anne Copes, seeing Howard Jones in concert in Natick, MA in a hotel lobby, and marveling at the fluffy, white snowflakes as they fell from the sky.
It meant the world to visit The World

Lovely ladies of Boston

Boston will always have my heart.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Practice Makes...Practice

I learned a new word in yoga over the weekend: Santosha. Maybe I'd heard it before, but I never connected with it the way I did the other night. Santosha is Sanskrit for  contentment.  I have been experiencing santosha on a deep level lately. Perhaps it is knowing that practice doesn't make perfect - that 'perfect' is an illusion - practice breeds practice - in all disciplines - for me, in yoga, and writing, and keeping gratitude lists, and valued time spent in therapy. These practices have slowly, but certainly, lead me to a place of santosha. It is a place "between effort and ease", as the yogi's say - a sweet spot. Not joy, not elation, certainly not sadness or depression. Whatever it is, however one explains it, I am there - breathing in, breathing out, in the moment, and open to all possibilities.