25 slightly ridiculous but possibly insightful things about me

Janet ConnerI wasn’t going to do this 25 things thing, until I saw Denis Gaston’s and then I thought, if Denis can do it and do it so well, well, I can, too. So here goes.

1. I adore opera. It snuck into my life in Atlanta in the ’80s and I’ve been smitten since the first note. Life without opera is a dry barren thing. Just remember that it has to be live or loud. (Renee Fleming, if you’re asking.)

2. I completely and totally forgave my ex-husband and I have proof that the moment of forgiveness changed us both. I may not be able to explain it but forgiveness is THE miracle–and I know it.

3. I had the greatest mother-in-law who ever lived. In her eighties, she got on the plane for the first time in her life to see her fifth and last grandchild. She would pick up his toys after I begged her not to. But you couldn’t stop her. Emily Koch embodied unconditional love. We should all have such a perfect grandmother.

4. I can’t balance my checking account. Yet I adore numerology. I notice numbers. I love numbers. Just not in columns that have to be balanced. God really needs to send me a bookkeeper.

5. I have to take a hot bubble bath every night. Non negotiable. Can’t go to sleep.

6. I do a crossword puzzle every day. Slightly crazy, but what can I say, it makes me feel better. Don’t even ask me about Sudoko. I came up with a system and it became too easy.

7. My favorite person on the planet is my son and I tell him, even in front of his college roommates. He cringes, but he smiles. (Hey, it would be a perfect world if we were all someone’s favorite person on the planet, right?)

8. I don’t care how cheap it is, I won’t walk in a Wal Mart. It’s against my religion.

9. I know I am divinely guided. I guess that means you are, too!

10. I have real art on my walls (yes, two by Denis)–no posters, no copies. Somehow this really matters to me and I’m appalled when I walk in people’s homes and there’s no art. Huh?

11. There are twelve or more books on my nightstand. Does anyone ever catch up with their reading list? I think I never will. And if more people keep writing like Paul Auster, I NEVER will.

12. I start my day with a poem from the Writer’s Almanac and end it with a poem from Hafiz, the mystical Sufi poet. Life without poetry….dry, dead, lonely.

13. I love prayer. The idea of prayer. The concept of prayer. The reality of prayer. I walked into Inkwood, a bookstore in Tampa in 1995, and said, “show me your books on prayer,” and walked out with a grocery bag full. Still have them all.

14. I love my book. The cover, the color, the content. I love everything about it. I love it like it was a person. I am blessed to be the messenger for this sweet sweet book. When I’m sad or frightened, I look at my book and feel instantly better.

15. Michael showed up at my first booksigning at Wings Bookstore. Oh yes, he did.

16. A pair of cardinals live in my bushes and speak to me every twilight. I answer them.

17. When I teach writing down your soul, I get “high” and can’t fall asleep till 1 or 2 am. People who know me don’t even think about calling before ten am.

18. I love food. Cooking, shopping, setting the table, serving, pouring the wine…everything about food. Food is proof that we are alive.

19. White or beige walls should be against the law. (My living room is orange and yellow, my kitchen chartreuse, my bedroom parrot green, my office copper, my bathroom periwinkle)

20. Ospreys love me. They live in my tree, call to me all day, fly overhead…they are my companions and protectors.

21. I did not set out to have this life. It meandered. I meandered. I continue to meander. My daily prayer has been and continues to be “You shine the light and I will follow.” Do not write that down. It’s a dangerous prayer.

22. A red convertible came within ten feet of hitting me in downtown Tampa in 1992. I was “lifted” out of its path and onto the curb. No one seemed the least bit surprised that I had just flown through the air. This should have been a clue that my life was not going to continue to be the nice dull boring successful life of a headhunter. Perhaps I should have paid more attention. All I did was go back to my office and eat the lunch I was carrying.

23. I can’t date a republican. Shit, I’m not sure I can even talk to one. Except my brother, Jay. He’s forgiven.

24. One of my favorite possessions is a Harley Davidson Willie G jacket with four-inch fringe. After we broke up, I didn’t miss my husband, but lord, I missed the Harley. (Softail Classic and Road King, if you have to know)

25. I am a lily. You have to figure that one out for yourself.

Well, now do you think you know me a bit better? I didn’t fit in Bobby Darin or David Whyte. Rats. And I forgot to say that after 29 years, I still smile when I see the CNN logo. Or the necessity of french press coffee, but I think you get the gist.