Not A Sonnet, But Something In Purple Satin by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

I wrote goofy sonnets for each of the other deb releases this year. I don’t know if I can do that for this book. But bear with me…

What I want, after reading Cancer is a Bitch, is to run out and live my life. I want to hurl myself into the person I am supposed to be, the person I’m still becoming but some days backsliding from, hiding from, running away from.

I want to shut down the restlessness that keeps me awake at night and drives me to haunt real estate listings looking for my dream house, my dream city (or charming country town), looking for a place in which I can finally be me and my family can be happy and safe and less stressed. Because of course I would get there and start yearning for something else; a cottage, a farmhouse, a houseboat, more happiness, more safety, less stress…

I want to look at the flaws in myself and the people around me with more patience and acceptance. At the same time I want to fix everything immediately and stop tolerating all bullshit, from any source.

I want to go to Italy and run
A marathon, or maybe just a half…
I want to accept that I hate to run.
I don’t want to, but I’ll rhyme the line with calf

And think about hospital staff
And Gail, sometimes joking
And sometimes avoiding their eyes,
And pressing pen to paper in her solitary hut,
Candle lit, mojo burning,
And waking up each day asking for more,
More life, more everything.

And praying and fighting and thinking and worrying
About thinking and worrying too much,
And looking for change and truth and
Finding everything changed and also nothing at all…

I want to not write a sonnet when a sonnet doesn’t want to be written,
To take bellydancing and kiss Michael more often,
And somehow memorize everything, say everything
And not spend a fraction of a second of my time
on people who are stupid or shallow or mean
or who want me to be less—less of anything.

I want to be brave and give freely
And dress my scars in purple satin,

And cure cancer, damn it.

Deb Danielle (who is still wearing her tiara, misses you all terribly and is so proud and honored to be part of this incredible and expanding group of damned scribbling women)

12 thoughts on “Not A Sonnet, But Something In Purple Satin by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

  1. Oh Danielle –

    That is just lovely and touching and moving and sweet and profound. And I want you to do all those things, too! You are a lovely writer and since you are still wearing your tiara (and ALWAYS should, as far as I’m concerned) I hope you’ll write a sonnet for all of this year’s Debs too!

  2. Thanks Eve! I will certainly keep the tiara on and write some sonnets for you ladies. Be warned though, they are not meant to SERIOUS poetry and some of them are therefore dubious in quality. But fun, hopefully.

  3. I’m standing up an applauding this, Danielle! Brava.

    I have to fight this impulse, too: “the restlessness that keeps me awake at night and drives me to haunt real estate listings looking for my dream house, my dream city (or charming country town), looking for a place in which I can finally be me and my family can be happy and safe and less stressed.”

  4. I love the sonnet, Danielle!

    I’m so impressed by how inspiring Gail’s memoir has been for everyone. We all need a wake-up call (especially when we’re stressed about the minutiae of normal life) and a reminder to look at the bigger picture. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Gail.

  5. Hi everyone! Up early for another radio interview after another late night. Danielle, this is so touching and I am thrilled that my book had this impact on you. Just remember, you are exactly where you should be (that’s kind of a zen thing).

  6. Someone once told me you can spend your life wishing for the next thing to come along- but at some point the only “next thing” left will be the end. Learning to love and embrace the now is huge. As always D- love your poetry.

  7. You want to LIVE BIG, Danielle, and — by knowing that — you’re well on your way! Gail gives us a wonderful recipe for that in doing rather than preaching.

  8. Kristina–you too with the real estate, huh?

    Meredith, you’re right–the book is a great wake-up call!

    Gail–yes, it had a huge impact, one still being processed.

    Eileen–that’s a fabulous quote!

    Larramie, you’re so right about Gail giving a lesson without preaching.

    Lisa–Thanks!

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