September 09, 2010

The grace and beauty that is JAKI SCARCELLO

With great honor, I introduce you today to Jaki Scarcello. This extraordinary and beautiful woman has written the book Fifty & Fabulous! The Best Years of a Woman's Life 

Jaki tells us how to age, how to live deeply and fully, how to find grace with age.

Early in the book Jaki quotes Joan Erickson, the wife of psychologist Eric Erickson. On her 94th birthday Joan said,
Our bodies wear out, our thoughts come more slowly. But our life cycles are our most creative effort. We can’t ever not be in them, right? The struggle is to try and obtain a sense of participation in your life the whole way through.
Jaki is a living, breathing example of this spirit. She embodies these words in the way she interacts with the world, with everyone she meets and with the word, as you will see below in her guest essay. You will be lucky to meet her. And meet her you may:

Here are two opportunities, coming up September 26 in Los Angeles and October 7 in Toronto.

Jaki is present in her life and she has become present in mine. Here is what she has written, a gift to me beyond measure. With my thanks, I offer you Jaki Scarcello:

Ode to Honesty and Friendship

This week I read (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story by Mary L Tabor.

I say that as if it were an admission of a great event in my life. Read on and judge for yourself.

I committed myself to devouring (Re)Making Love in one seating, in the middle of the night locked in my home office tower after a particularly horrid fight with my husband. Well, all fights are horrid to me. I am a marital pacifist and that is either a deep psychological dysfunction or a very good reason to want to be married to me.

I had wept upon the floor of that office for hours until I was nauseous and my arms and hips ached with tension and the resistance of the fine bamboo beneath me. Then I thought, Enough, no sleep is coming here. So I turned on the light and opened Mary’s book. Such strange, cosmically directed timing to read about love found, bruised and stretched to its limit and then . . .oops I can’t tell you the ending . . . while I am weeping from the very real possibility that I  have lost again at love. In that dark night of my marital soul I entertained the thought that perhaps I must try to begin again. I prayed for help, preferably in the form of a divine messenger, and guess what? My God sent Mary L Tabor.
Mary is the angel of honesty and I am in awe of her ability to run nude across the pages of her writing. Mary calls on us, her readers, to participate in that honesty. If you don’t want to be part of the play, go read something “safer.” This book is not safe. It is a deeply moving adventure in which you hold Mary’s hand and she holds yours but all the while she is leading you to what I described in an e-mail to her as, “a land that I entered when I read your book because I am quite sure that the honesty and vulnerability which I am displaying in this communication is not the culture of the land that I have inhabited until now.”

I wept with Mary, I laughed with her, and I cooked with her and all of these I will do again and again as her words come back to me over time.

I have never read a book quite like this. I made a friend through those artfully crafted and shaped words. Mary quotes ee cummings, a fitting mentor, as she moves us about the pages of her book in the particular rhythm of her life. I am presumptuous enough to say that I really do feel that this person, Mary L Tabor, is my friend, for I have been privileged enough to see her revealed in her writing, revealed in ways, which quite frankly women I have known for years have never revealed themselves to me.

But there is nothing off-putting about this revelation. I am not shocked or thinking, “Well, Mary dear, that perhaps is something we do not share outside the home.”

I feel privileged, honored and inspired to find a new honesty in my own writing, indeed in my own life.

As the sun came up and I had finished reading (Re)Making Love, I sat at my desk and wrote to Mary. I cannot share all the words of that email here because that would give away the ending of Mary’s book, heaven forbid, but it would not be an exaggeration to say I exposed my broken heart to the screen before me and taking Mary’s lead I held little back in the story I told my new friend.

It seemed the least I could do to thank her for (Re)Making Love.