The purpose of Sassistas!TM is to dole out sassy and stimulating perspectives on the weird and wonderful incongruities of life . . . or what we prefer to call our social soup. From the ridiculous to the sublime, from the stupid to the miraculous — we’re all swimming in it. Let’s make it easier to swallow.
A 12,500-pound decommissioned satellite that was lazily falling toward the Earth over the past two days finally came down around midnight Friday, NASA said early Saturday.
The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. Friday and 1:09 a.m. Saturday, NASA said in an update on its website. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, the agency said. It is not yet known when exactly the satellite hit Earth, and whether it ended up in water or on land, NASA said.
The Sassistas! don't think it's just a coincidence that just yesterday, Flannista discovered the object pictured below in the middle of an intersection here in Sassista!Land East.
On Wednesday, Flannista received a large package in the mail. Pictured above are the package contents: two thank-you cards, a box of incense, a "New Beginnings Intention Candle" and a bottle of Lagavulin: Single Islay Malt Whiskey, aged 16 years.
The box was from my newly reconciled blood sister, who two weekends ago, drove to Sassista!Land East with a friend to spend about 24 hours with the Sassistas! It was her way of thanking us for the hospitality. It was generous in many ways (that ain't cheap Scotch), but particularly in this way: the contents of the box were not all about my sister.
Over the decades, both of us have tended to give each other gifts that sermonize. For example, back in my born-again Christian days, I'm certain I never sent her a card without a Bible verse or two. A trained shaman, my sister never failed to send a card that didn't reference the spiritual meaning of, say, the recent sighting of a red hawk. We weren't blood sisters as much as we were competing preachers, trying to proselytize the other in our respective worldviews.
When my sister told me that she had put something in the mail to me, I was expecting to open a box filled with sacred vessels containing feathers, small stones or sea shells. I was NOT expecting a bottle of very good Scotch. I was instantly convicted of the stereotype I had of my sister; further, I was touched by the concrete ways she was reaching out to say, "Let's continue to work on our reconciliation" and "Let's share this the next time we are together".
In the book, Sisters: Shared Histories, Lifelong Ties, Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship." Mead is onto something, I think. So is my sister who continues to tell me, "Time is the great healer" while demonstrating just how much and in what ways time has healed.
Last week, Kathleen Morris, one of the artists represented in Flannista's private art collection opened a show at my favorite gallery, the Box Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One painting in the show called, "Dialog" (above, right) caught my eye because it reminded me of a painting already in my private collection by Anne St. John Hawley (above, left) called, "The Body in Mysterious Ceremony". The Hawley painting is large (40" x 29.5") and the Morris is small (16" x 13").
Is Flannista crazy to see a similarity between these two paintings? Do you see any? If so, what similarities do you see?
Admit it. Can you find better church food than at a Greek Festival? Last Thursday, the Sassistas! were determined to attend a Greek Festival in the area and luckily for us, the oldest one in the area was being held. We chowed down with neighbor, Sassley, for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and now are taking a couple of days to recover. What is it about Greek food at a Greek Festival?
Is reconciliation between two people possible without naming the ways you've hurt each other or, as some say, "dredging up the past"?
Two recent experiences evoke Flannista's question.
The first experience is with my blood sister -- the one who recently learned that her thyroid cancer was benign; the one who more than three years ago at an infamous family reunion said with eerie and calm conviction (not once, but three times): "I'm counting on an assassin for Obama". At that time, she also invited me "to do what we've always needed you to do which is to keep your mouth shut."
This past July 3, I received -- out of the blue -- the following text message from her:
I need to see you, to make amends. To speak of this after my surgery face to face. Over the phone or text will not do it justice . . . I would love to see you and talk. For now know that I am so sorry and I love you! I have been doing a life review and boy do I need to ask for forgiveness for so many things from childhood to adulthood.
I was skeptical. The morning Matissta and I left for my high school reunion in Pennsylvania, I texted this sister and said that I would be in the area, hoping that she had already made plans for the weekend so I could avoid seeing her. She immediately texted me back and said that she would drive to the B&B where we were staying the very next morning.
The next morning, we talked for more than two hours. During that time, my sister methodically recounted specific episodes of abuse from our childhood and apologized for them. With the same specificity, she then recounted the infamous family reunion and point-by-point apologized for what she said that day and how she orchestrated making me the scapegoat for a disastrous time. She explained why she did it, but in no instance, let herself off the hook. She asked me to express my anger. She sat there and listened and apologized again. She then asked for my forgiveness. She then acknowledged that we would have to talk several more times to ensure the forgiveness between us. I was impressed and left speechless. Our encounter was painful and difficult, but ultimately healing.
The second experience is with a long-time friend, one with whom I had not spoken to face to face since the middle of May though she lives in the area. Over the course of the year, we had both neglected and/or hurt the other. I felt it was time to attempt to move past this pain and a week ago, suggested we meet for lunch. After exchanging a few pleasantries at a restaurant, I said, "I am broken-hearted about our friendship." The friend said, hesitatingly, "Okay . . . ." I then continued:
FLANN: You broke my heart when you didn't call me when Gwen died.
FRIEND: I am not going to bring up the past. We are not going there.
FLANN: But how can we move forward if we don't understand how we hurt each other?
FRIEND: I am not going to sit here and listen to a recitation of mistakes. I will not look at the past.
FLANN: But I don't know how . . .
FRIEND: You can try any way you want to to get to the past, but I am not going there and if you continue, I am leaving.
We managed to stay together for the next hour and a half, and I did apologize, at one point "for being an a$$hole" about any number of things that I don't remember at the moment. She never acknowledged any mistakes and neither offered any apologies. Bottom line, I was left intimidated and confused. She suggested we get together for lunch this week, but after thinking about it, I called her and said:
I do not know how to repair a relationship without taking a hard look at how we have hurt each other which entails looking at the past which you are unwilling to do. I cannot move forward when both of us are unable to struggle to name the truth as we perceive it (however correctly or incorrectly). This does not work for me, so I think we ought to keep the "pause button" pressed a bit longer.
She said that she had been "coming to the same conclusion." I have no idea when we will speak and/or see each other again.
Two attempts at reconciliation. Two different outcomes.
Two days ago, I shared what happened with my friend with my blood sister. She replied, "I'm so sorry, Flannista, but we both know that time is the great healer, don't we?"