The Road Less Traveled: aka Life Without a GPS


How old do you have to be before you are too old to run away?  Well, don’t ask me.  I was born with the urge to run away and I have a feeling I shall die wanting to run.  It’s in my DNA.

I think it might have something to do with my immigrant grandparentage. “The Cossacks are coming!  Everyone out of the shtetl.”  That’s another Blah Blah Blog.

With this election there has been a lot of talk,”If so and so is elected I am leaving the country”.  I sympathize.  Interesting though, wherever I run I take me with me.

My first adult run away was in 1996.  I was 63.  I was divorced.  That had happened years before.  As divorces go, it was not acrimonious.  We were married 27 years.  The “use by” date on the marriage had expired.  I am not being glib.  There was pain, disillusion, disappointment and most of all a surprising deep love.  I think most of us have learned, usually the hard way, that love is not all.

Then, I had a very intense love affair with a man for 13 years and in 1991, after a long illness in which I was his caretaker, he passed away.  Why didn’t we ever marry?  I could try to give you an answer but since I make it up as I go along my answer would depend on which day you asked the question.  Relationships… can’t live with them, can’t live without them. The last year of his life was important as I was confronted with something that most of us do our best to avoid…Death!

And my most important urge to run came in 1996, when the last of my three daughters married.  I think it is only human as long as the child is not married you are still the “Mommy”.  You have some place to go, something to do, and mostly something to say.  Empty nest? Shmempty-nest!  That too is another blog.

The divorce, the death, the last one married – it was time to run away.  With the help of friends, I rented a house for the month of August in Gascony (Southwest France) and a flat in London for September.  Did I want to be an American in France or an American in England?  Wherever I went, it was clear, I was always going to be an American.  I ask too many questions.  I am too direct.  I am emotional.  I explain how I feel.  Years of therapy can do wonders in some places and make you a pariah in others.

I loved my time in France and on August 31st as I was flying from Toulouse to London, Princess Diana’s car crashed and all in the car died.  I arrived in London as Princess Diana’s death rivaled coronations, weddings, and Edward’s giving up the throne for the woman he loved.

As an American, I watched as a country we think of as quiet and reserved, erupted into an emotional frenzy.  I began to keep a diary.

It is now 20 years later,  I am still divorced, without male accoutrement, all daughters still married with children.  And, TADA!! I’M STILL HERE!

In a recent move, I found the diary.  Moving has to be good for something.  I read it.  Don’t ask me how… yet… but the Princess Diana tragedy was strangely linked with my own journey.  I am still trying to puzzle out just what that connection was and is.

So what has this Blah-Blah to do with the title:  The Road Less Traveled aka Life Without A GPS?  Well, my dears, I am going to take the time to edit and write this story and what form it will take, I know not.  The road is unfamiliar and unknown.  I want to give it my full focus and attention.  This means I am going to step away from performing my shows, dare I say, “for now”.

I have been performing since I was in the womb.  My mother was exhausted after delivering.  It difficult for me to say this, but my performance at Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox on May 12th is my final East Coast appearance.   (There’s a Santa Fe show in early September).

Sketch crowd (2)

Please, no weeping and tearing of clothes.  As a Diva, I have the privilege of doing as many farewell performances as custom allows.

And I shall always be available for special weddings, funerals, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

In the mean time, I am waiting to hear from Donald Trump about doing a show for his final rant before he leaves the political arena….FOREVER…please!

Love ~ Sally-Jane

P.S.  CD’s and DVD’s of past shows are available at a discount rate.  They are sold out on Amazon.





Women Against Women?

Rilke QuoteFor someone who has not created any legislation concerning anything particularly economic financial issues, Bernie Sanders is “talking… and only talking”… about what he’d like to see happen.  He has been in the congress many years and has never proposed anything in terms of how he sees a more equal America.  We have all heard the “if elected President” proposals of the candidates.  He has had many chances in his years in congress to show some of that grit.  Nada.  What was the big line in Jerry McGuire?  “Show me the money.”  And by money, I mean, “Bernie, show me actions you’ve taken that tells me you know what you are talking about?”  I think he means well.  I hope he does.  But I want someone who really does know what SHE is talking about.  And yes even if she has to make the political compromises that everyone has to make (Bernie and his gun control) she really does have the domestic and international experience necessary in this globalized planet we live in now to make more considered and knowledgeable choices.  She did a pretty fantastic job as Secretary of State.  And she did it as a woman in a man’s world.  You bet she had to make compromises.  What woman doesn’t?  But in the political arena it’s not only a man’s world, it’s a women who forget they are women’s world. And I for one know she is NOT one of them.  I understand so well why the ERA was defeated by women. We are and always have been our own worst enemy. Maybe it has something to do with our being second class citizens for so long.

Her armor comes to her honestly because from the get-go of her years in the White House  to the present day she is still being battered.  And when I see it is women doing the battering, it  drives me crazy.  Because she stayed with the man she loves?  And make no mistake honey, with all his zits and warts.  She does love him.

Rilke wrote the passage below as part of a series of letters in a book called, Letters to a Young Poet and this particular letter was written in 1904.

In this one, he expresses the hopes I have for men and women in the future.  It is very relevant to this election for me because if we ever needed a female in the White House it is now…and we have one who is qualified…not just qualified, but really qualified.

The girl and the woman in their own new unfolding will only temporarily be imitators of male incivilities, of men’s ways, and repeaters of men’s careers.  After the insecurity of this transition has passed, it will be shown that women, through their wealth of (often ridiculous) disguises and many changes, have continued their quest only in order to purify their own beings of the distorting influences of the other sex.  The woman, within whom life dwells in a more direct, fruitful, and trusting way, must, after all, have become basically more mature, more human than the man.  For he is easily pulled down by the weight of the lack of physical fruitfulness, pulled down under the surface of life; he professes to love that which he arrogantly and rashly underrates.

The simple humanity of woman, brought about through pain and abasement, shall then come to light when the convention of her ultra-feminism will have been stripped off, transforming her status in the world.  The men, who today cannot yet feel it coming, shall be surprised and defeated by it.   

…It shall not bring to mind complement or limitation – only life and being:  the feminine human being.

…It shall thoroughly change the love experience… between man and woman.  …it shall resemble that love… which will be comprised of two lonelinesses protecting one another, setting limits, and acknowledging one another.

When I read this some 30 years ago, I went looking for just such a complement to my own being.  Many men paid lip service to what I was I was seeking but not one of them really understood because they were too busy being “the male”.   As well, I was too busy being “the female” that was expected.

All to say this struggle is ongoing.  My own such experience is mirrored in the title of my show, Everything Old is New Again.  The Sermon is ended… on The Mount.

Love ~ Sally-Jane

P.S. You don’t have to agree with me, even though I am right.  I will love you anyway.