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To Mothers & Fathers Everywhere--Past, Present, and Future 

Wishing you all the happiest, most beautiful Mother's Day, and early Father's Day, full of new experiences and sweet memories past, present, and future. So many of us who have lost our parents say the same words - that we think of them every day - that they'll always be a part of us - and that we wish they were physically with us now.

There are shelves of books devoted to parent-child relationship because even the best ones have rocky times. Still, some say that we choose our parents before we are born. If that is true, then I unequivocally made the right choice. And would unequivocally choose mine all over again!!

Even In My Dreams! 

Last night, I dreamed that a group of people looked at me with total disdain, and nodded in agreement as one woman sneered, "You didn't even cook - you made instant potatoes out of a box! And now the whole house smells terrible, and everyone will know!"

"But you don't understand!" I answered, as I tried to keep my rising hysteria down. "I'd rather write a chapter!"

Learning To Fly 

Sometimes I feel like a square peg without even a round hole. So I keep on carving my own. Sometimes it feels pioneering, liberating, and very, very brave. But other times? The loneliness inside rears its head, and makes me feel like I'm free falling, without a safe harbor in sight. And then I remember - that I'll always choose to risk falling - over risking not learning to fly!


When I was growing up, I felt that I was like frosting without the cake - and not great frosting at that! I knew that I was pretty because I saw it in the mirror sometimes. (Although I felt that the image stayed in the mirror every time I walked away.) And I knew that I wasn't stupid.

But I also knew that I was different than most of my peers, and never really fit in. Most of them saw it, too. How could they not when, even as a four year old, I looked polished and sophisticated while everyone else looked cute and adorable? And when they knew how to play, while I was more comfortable around adults?

I thought there was something wrong with me. I just didn't know what. So I went to the arts - writing, painting, music - all of the arts, to find out, and to make whatever it was better. In the meantime, I tried to wear my insecurities on the inside where, hopefully, no one could see them. And hung onto my privacy like a life raft until some day when, hopefully, I would emerge fully, and perfectly "formed".

Seeing that my most heinous act was stealing rhubarb from a neighbor's garden when I was five years old, I've gradually moved away from caring too much about what others think of me. And to moving into who I am.

I'm still "moving in". And always will. But now? I'm also taking time to play!


A White Light Drip 

Sometimes I joke that - if I could - I would hook myself up to a White Light drip! A drip that would fill the space where negativity once lived; fill it with the best of energy, and the best of calm; and make room for the best of who I am, and who I am meant to be. And then? It would free me to accomplish what I'm meant to on this Earth.

Truth be known, I'm really not joking. But, just receiving all of this would be too easy, right? So, I'm going to have to free myself. And since I have to work to do it? I'm going to do so from an artistic point of view.

Which is why I've decided to, "become"...ta architect of White Light!! Is there such a category? If there wasn't before, there is now! Because my imagination just ran away with my pen! And do you know what they built? A Sanctuary to White Light! A tunnel where the purest of rock crystal encrusts walls that arch from floor to ceiling, and down again...and whose White Light rivals the light of the sun!

Someday I'll take you there with me. But right now, I need to go inside to lose myself, to find myself...and to come out the other side.


My Weekly Reader 

Every time I find a bulletin from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in my mailbox, the little girl inside me lights up! The little girl who waited by my front door, with a mixture of anticipation, and awe, for the mailman to bring My Weekly Reader. The little girl who carried it proudly - reverently - then read it, and reread it, until it practically shredded in my hands; and the only thing that saved it, was the arrival of a new copy, the following week!

My Weekly Reader "understood" that I wasn't just a child. I was a writer who was going to be published someday. It believed in who I was, and what I felt, even when I was searching to find out. It always nurtured me, and mentored me, just by being itself.

And the SCBWI bulletin? It is a reminder of what was, what is - and what can be!


Sophistication at Its Finest 

The first time that I went to the Chicago Merchandise Mart - shortly before becoming an interior design consultant - I was so mesmerized by the brilliance of the showrooms on my left, that I didn't pay attention to what was on my right. And gracefully walked into a wall - with my face!

How I Survived Quicksand 

Okay. You know that it was quicksand. But when I was about ten years old, no one else knew. I only found out because I was walking across the lot behind my home - and suddenly began to sink into the ground! I can still see myself slipping out of my favorite penny loafers, seconds before they disappeared from sight! And can still feel myself tiptoeing across the "mud" to the green, green grass beside it!

I remember thanking G-d that my parents took me seriously when I told them I'd walked across quicksand; and that they verified it, and told our neighbors-to-be who were just about to break that very ground for their new home. The couple who had to have their lot filled with logs first, instead!

Oh, and my penny loafers? The ones I adored so much that I picked them out of the trash every time my mother tried to throw them away? Like historical mementos in a time capsule, they are "planted" below the foundation of that house!


Copyright © 2018 Joanie Strulowitz. All rights reserved. (Photography courtesy of Megan Conrad.)