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Judy Atchinson's A Stubborn Woman
by Judy Atchinson

A Stubborn Woman

A Daily Gazette community blog
QUEST leader's wanderings and musings

Thinking of people and animals dear to my heart

Lest auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Lest auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne

These folk so dear to my heart and life

Gail - I speak to you daily. I have your old jacket hanging in my cellar to remind me to check what I say in haste.

Helen - Tireless Worker and everlasting friend, when I have pain I tell myself if you can do it so can I. I remember Izzy reminding me that you worked till you literally dropped - in your late 80’s. And that I was a mere 70 year old.

Vaugan -- folk singer extraordinaire. Bringing so much love and blessings to all my children. And even as you were aging asking, “Hows QUEST? Tell me a story."

And yes Vaugan I am telling that story. Gert - my mother in waiting -- offering me hope and encouragement and succor. Giving QUEST its first donation of $10,000 in Microsoft stock.

Pat C. -- dancer and teacher. We went to see Lori Anderson together, and your patience and dignity through your husband's death and then your own final lessons teaching me a lesson about life's lessons. I miss you and your elegance much.

Albie - Composer and gentleman. Lived a life of genteel poverty so everything could be about music. Both yours and others. You had the largest of hearts and helped so many other composers on their way, myself among them. Your quiet insights and gentleness were a beacon in my life.

Fred and Katie Kindle - Katie still shoulders on but I know it is Fred's joy in life she remembers daily. What a pair - they taught me that relationships can last and last and last some more. They shared their time and treasure with so many. QUEST would not be here today without you two outstanding people. Katie you are an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank-you

Zachary Zolav - You may have taught me one of the best lessons of art -- do not take yourself too seriously.
You used to dance down the main street (Broadway) in Saratoga in the afternoon in the summer. Strewing
joy and mischief every where.

Jose Limon - The first major modern dance company I ever worked for. You gave me confidence. Carla is running things now - but I still remember all I learned from you. “Heavy thumb” rings in my ears today. And all those free classes. You were an absolutely gorgeous man.

Kuanna - the first of the four. Oh little girl-I have your picture on the wall at QUEST and we have you on video tape too. I remember you best arguing with Coey at our Thanksgiving Dinner and the two of you
having a bang-up mashed potato fight. You had so much strength-so much charisma. We all long to see you again.

My parents - both of you - died so young and were such scrappers. But my mother taught me that women should and could work. A lesson I carry with me today. And my Dad working so hard and so long for so many years. You are part of the unsung heros of the middle class, though mostly we were the poorer people of that era. My mom canned and baked and dad you taught me to swim. You both were so proud of me, I keep on going on because of the examples you laid down for me.

And the one thing my mother said which still rings in my ears, is your response to a nurse in the hospital as you lay dying of kidney disease. “We may fight but we love each other very much." Thank-you for that, it was the only time you ever said I love you. Times were different then.

Life is strange --- all my dogs and cats, and birds, and bunnies, and hamsters, and gerbils meld together into something called Animal. There were so many of you and you helped me move on and be strong and loving and responsible. You are a constant presence in my minds eye.

And to the baby I gave up for adoption. I was 19 and the best present I could give you was a better chance at life than I could offer. You left an enormous void in my life and heart which still exists today. I hope you are well and happy and are living a gracious and giving life. It is in missing you so so much that I turned to those children I see now daily. If you read this please think of me with love for I surely love you.

We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne

All these lives flickering in my minds eye, like candle lit shadows on a white screen. I have had many riches and many more sorrows in my 70 years. All the twists and turnings of the road have brought me here standing on the threshhold of hopefully an other decade of life. I see a long line of Questors (a name that Gert coined) streaming out the door and into the world at large and all I can do is give them a little push forward and pray to what ever higher power I trust, to watch over them and all those who care. Give them joy, give them responsibility (that they can handle) give them love of life and learning. Moomah said yesterday when we were talking over the Emmett St. shooting. “I hope no one's stupid enough to think about revenge, unless they really want to die.” Out of the mouths of babes. (She is 11) Death is so final, so over. And those of us left behind are so lonely. When Bertie died, I wept crying, “you left me behind, you went on without me” I like to think everyone is up there - out there somewhere and I will see them yet again.

I know this is not scientific but the return of the light Is here, the solstice is upon us. I like to think of all of us
on this dusty planet joining hands and lifting our eyes and voices In joyous salute to the return of the light. At this time of year there is plethora of religions and beliefs about the rebirth or continuation of light. From Kwaanza, to Ramadam to Hanukah to Christmas, to Wiccans Saturnaliia. This time is about the Death and darkness and the rebirth of lighted vision, for it is sufficient to live by experience without subscribing to beliefs.

Sextus Empiricus

On the other side of the world Australia and the Antarctica are preparing for the days to lessen and the moon to grow stronger but it is still that great spiral the spirit of life and light and continuance, of seeking and wonderment and change. On the 21 of December I listened with quiet acknowledgement to the solstice
celebration coming from St John the Divine Cathedral in New York. They spoke about solstice and renewal
and the animals came into the church and those who made flying their very existence swung from the ceiling and walked tightrope in the sky and it was totally wondrous.

The common error of ordinary religious practice is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then suck it for comfort rather that follow It.

Alan Watts

Now listen ---- For if there is a sin against life, It consists in perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.

Albert Camus

For I have tasted in all manner of things this strange life I have lived. And never once did I find it lacking in flavor and mysteriousness.

Read your physics. Then pretend you can define the world. Forget the universe because even now as I speak
the possibility of multiply worlds and another cosmo exists. We have become so smug we actually feel we are
the center of all.

Remember, nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets no where. The moment is the only thing that counts.

Jean Cocteau

Live in the now. How many of you can stand still and be completely in the moment.

Close Your Eyes

Open Your Mind

The wind shows us how

close to the edge we are.

Joan Didion

Blessings on you as you step

with confidence into the future.

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