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#72201 - 01/13/05 08:47 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
I agree, TVC15.

Okay, are you ready for some more Defying Gravity wisdom? The next piece is from Wini Yunker, the woman who inspired me to write the book. Here's what she says:

"The best advice I ever had was from my mother, Ruby Glass Mastin. She was always a positive thinker and, by example, taught me to be one. Her byword was that NOTHING EVER BAD HAPPENS THAT SOMETHING GOOD DOESN'T COME FROM IT. She believed that expecting the best to happen actually helped it come true. I use her advice every day of my life. It helps me to persevere, plus it makes life more pleasant."

Let me add that Wini and I have become friends. This past summer we traveled around together doing book talks and tv shows. (Well, truthfully, we only did one tv show, but we had a blast with it. You can view a clip on my website.) Perceptive lady that she is, Wini noticed right away that I sometimes sweat the small stuff. (What? Me? [Big Grin] ) I know better, but I can't always help myself. Anyway, she said to me, "Prill, my mom always told me that 'worry' is a four-letter word." Throughout the entire trip, Wini would NOT let me worry. It became our running joke. The beauty is that she kidded me so much about it that the advice finally stuck.

#72202 - 01/13/05 08:56 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
ALL OF YOU are an inspiration to me. I needed to read your words today.

#72203 - 01/14/05 12:35 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
Lynn329, there's a history of Poet Laureate on my website, and that should answer most of your questions. Different Poets Laureate will perform different functions according to their abilities and the needs of their community.

#72204 - 01/14/05 02:16 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Princess Lenora Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hi girlfriends, I have just this one post before I pack my computer for the move. Prill: PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ; I got on my soap box about children and violence in the home) Also, Prill, I went to Barnes and Noble in North Kansas City today to get your book. I was told that it would not be available until March 2005. The sales person let me look at the screen because I had asked if your book was print-on-deman. Nope. She asked me if I wanted to advance order, but I'm moving. Now. Today. Please, if you get a chance, private email me so I can see how to get a copy. This way I can go right to your response when I get a chance instead of reading all the posts (not that I don't want to; this is strictly a time constraint for now.) Jaw Jaw, the Deseradada saved my life in 1969. No joke. I was in 9th grade, contemplating suicide, when I read that I had a right to be here, no less than the trees and the stars. You mean me? I have a right to be here? Like a tree? Saved my life. You can shop the internet for beautiful posters of this poem, which was found in a church in the 1800s. Meredith, I will check your site again. I was too fascinated by the beads to get to the poetry on my first visit. To everyone, Love and Light! Lynn

#72205 - 01/14/05 02:32 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
All these posts reminds me of things I have learned from.

First of all my Daddy always said, "Keep your eye on the donut and not on the hole." I try to remember that when things aren't perfect.

Second, when I worked for government, people teased me about being so 'enthusiastic' about whatever project I was involved in. (I volunteered for everything and they thought I was nuts for doing so, but I met some fabulous people and got some wonderful experience)
Anyway, I thought I should change and be more downcast and worried looking (A friend said looking worried was the way to the top in government..?)
Well at some point I came across an old dictionary and for no real reason at all I looked up 'enthusiasm.' It had a word origin breakdown and what an eye opener. The 'en' in enthusiam origniates from the Latin word for 'inside.' The 'iasm' part comes from the words 'to show' and the best part was the 'thus' part. It comes from 'theos' which means God. So the word "enthusiasm' literally means "Showing God inside."
WOW! I decided to ignore the nay sayers. I was DOING IT!!! So from there on if I was enthusiastic, I showed it!!

#72206 - 01/14/05 02:49 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
Lynn-- I'm posting here rather than e-mailing you personally so that everyone can read my response. (By the way, if anyone wants to contact me privately, you can reach me via e-mail at I can't thank you enough for calling my attention to the problem. The hardcover is still available and you can either find it--or order it--at various bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and Borders. (Not every store has copies in stock.) It's only the paperback edition that won't be available until March 2005. My Barnes & Noble in Connecticut just ordered and received a bunch of hardcover copies this week because a profile piece on me came out today in the local paper. Anyway, I'll call my publisher tomorrow and see what's up in North Kansas City and why it's not in the B&N computer database.The cheapest and often easiest way to buy it, however, is through Here's a link: web page .

#72207 - 01/14/05 03:36 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
Smile-- We must have been posting at the same time because I didn't see your response until now. I had no clue about the derivation of the word "enthusiasm." How interesting...and validating. (I, too, am an all-around enthusiast.) Thank you for passing it along.

Your observation reminded me of something that happened when I was a high school English teacher. I always taught Greek & Latin roots. The Latin root of the word "meticulous" is "metus," which means fear. When I shared this with my students, one of them blurted out, "So what are YOU afraid of, Mrs. Boyle?" Everyone laughed, including me. They sure had my number! [Roll Eyes] My classroom was probably the neatest in the school. It was beautiful--at least in my opinion--with jewel-toned maps, Shakespearean memorobilia, and even an arty-looking green lamp to soften the florescent lighting. But every stack of paper, every pile of books, every doo-dad (I kept a collection of 3-D puzzles & "toys" on my desk to calm fidgety ninth-graders during one-on-one conferences) was arranged just so.

Related to this, when I first started writing, I had trouble finding my voice. I kept censoring myself. I wanted every paragraph to be a work of art. Plus I was afraid of offending people. (Can you believe that now I'm giving workshops to help others find their voices?) Natalie Goldberg's book Wild Mind was a tremendous help in this regard. I did her writing exercises every morning for a while, and they slowly loosened the knots inside my head.

#72208 - 01/14/05 08:25 AM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Prill Offline

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Connecticut
After I posted my last entry on the forum last night, I had a scare. It sounds melodramatic to say I almost died, but that’s what happened.

I had put my computer to sleep and gone downstairs to turn off the lights when I decided to indulge myself and have a small piece of chocolate. As soon as I put it in my mouth, I had what I presume was an allergic reaction. Almost immediately my throat closed up. I couldn’t inhale or exhale; my breath was stuck between the two. A minute or so went by. I was standing next to my kitchen counter, and I thought to myself, “If I don’t start breathing in a few more minutes, I’m going to fall down right here and die on the floor.” I didn't have much hope that I would be able to regulate my breath before I lost consciousness, and I was pretty sure that an ambulance wouldn’t get to my house quickly enough to save me. I wasn’t afraid to die; I was just shocked that Death had come for me at that instant.

I got a piece of ziti caught in my throat a few years ago, and the feeling was similar; but I knew that if I could cough it up or drink some water to slip it down, I would be okay. Plus, there were other people in the room. Last night I was all alone because my husband is in D.C. on business.

Just as I was reconciling myself to dying, I started flashing on my loved ones. An unformed, unspoken prayer. I clumsily grabbed the phone and tried to dial 911. I couldn’t see the numbers on the headset without my glasses, so I wasn’t sure I dialed correctly. I didn’t hear any ringing. Still, I kept holding it and trying to speak so that if an operator did answer, I could tell him or her where I lived. I wasn’t able to make a sound. Another minute or so went by. No breath. Then miraculously I began to sense a miniscule pathway beginning to open in my throat, at which point I put down the phone and focused all my attention on following the subsequent wisp of air as it became an inhale. A short while later, the phone rang. (I had inadvertently turned it off, probably soon after I dialed.) It was the 911 guy asking if I needed an ambulance. He was so kind, so concerned. He stayed with me on the phone five or so minutes while my breathing returned to normal.

I’m still not sure if I had an allergic reaction, or if the episode was somehow connected to this nasty cold that’s settled in my chest. My lungs are fairly fragile right now.

This might sound strange, but I’m someone who, metaphorically speaking, lives with death on her right shoulder. I discipline myself to try and be both mentally and emotionally prepared to die. I’ve been doing this since I was a child. Ironically, it helps me live more intensely, more joyfully. I’ve brushed up against death a few other times in my life besides the ziti incident. Once when I was four, I almost drowned. Then, when I was 20, I had a serious car accident. That same year my apartment in Boston was broken into when I was home.

But, as I said above, this was different. Each of those times, I felt cradled by an angelic presence. This time I felt so alone. But in reflecting on it now, I can see that I really wasn't.


I wrote the above in a Word document in the early hours of this morning. (I couldn’t sleep.) Before going to bed, I opened my e-mail and found the following note from my dear friend Nancy. She had no idea what happened to me last night:

"I was thinking about this today: Ultimately in this life, we come alone and we leave alone. And although at times we get to walk with different travelers, in the end we take no one with us, only our true selves. When I’m not connected to God, that seems lonely and sad; and yet when I am connected, it is so amazingly beautiful, so majestic, so divine. How can it be that so much love has been poured into us, IS us, and that we are the ultimate gift given to Ourselves? And yet how magical also that on this journey of life to the ultimate destination of ourselves, others come along that prod us to question, to think about what we are doing, to try and get us to look at what motivates us, what we want, what is real and what is true? And when someone comes along on our path who sparks the fire of yearning for self knowledge, isn't that a most precious gift? In my life, you have been one of those people."

I’m in tears.

#72209 - 01/14/05 02:32 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Prill, no wonder you're in tears. This is all so freaky, yet DIVINE. I pray you experience it that way. All things happen for a reason. ALL things. The gasping for breath, THE SURVIVAL, and the lovely note.

This is very powerful. May you reflect upon why you are still with why you had the scare while alone. God is at work in miraculous ways. This is not an every day occurance. What is HE saying to you? Please take time to figure it out. You will remain blessed.

#72210 - 01/14/05 02:36 PM Re: Prill Boyle, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
While taking a class at church many years ago the teacher simply stated that life is nothing but choices and the answers to those choices lie within. We are responsible for our own lives. No one else, but us...and if we choose to let God in we're sure to make better choices that will bring us more joy.

It works for me!

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