Friday, February 12, 2010

One chance

I've been watching the American Idol auditions again. Look, it's winter, there isn't a lot to do. Anyway, they are somewhat amusing, somewhat excruciating. The producers manage to find the requisite heart-rending stories of contestants with sick kids, former inmates, people who've never been out of their small town, etc. etc. There are the requisite tears, fights, tantrums. Occasionally, the singing is good.

Anyway, what's been driving me crazy this year is this line, said over and over by the contestants who are eliminated: "This was my one big chance, and I blew it." These are young people, in their teens or twenties. I keep thinking: there are very few things in life -- maybe nothing -- for which you have just one chance. Most of the time, you have a lot of chances. You will go on, and if you are supposed to become a singer, you will become a singer. If you are good enough to be a star, you will be a star. This isn't your only chance.

I realize that they are trying to amp up the drama factor, but I feel that this show is sending a bad message. You only have once chance, and if you blow it, that's it. That's not really how life works. Real life isn't like TV. In real life, you make decisions, you re-visit them, you leave, you go back, you try to work it out. In real life, there are second chances. At least, that's my opinion.

Maybe they should put me on American Idol as the counter-point.

Friday, February 05, 2010


One day I am a person
The next day
After knowing fingers find a
I am a patient.
Doctors examine the lump
First with x-rays, then sound-waves
Then they take a piece of it
Test the lump
The lump is bad.
Now I am neither a person or a patient
But instead someone with cancer.
Transformed by a lump.
Surgeon cuts the lump out.
Someone tests the lump: not enough.
Surgeon takes out a bit more.
Everyone is satisfied
As far as the lump goes.
But for me, the story has just begun.

Someone recently sent me some poetry that they wrote while dealing with their own breast cancer, and I was inspired to try to write some of my own. This is my first attempt.