Setting: Not quite the standard nursing-home bedroom.
One of the decorations reads, "War Is Not The Answer."
KAREN: Hello, Ferne! It's Karen.
Ferne (at nearly 100 years old) lifts her chin from her chest.
Karen improvises a weather report, giving the shapes of clouds, the progress of the birds. Soon, Karen will read to Ferne from progressive magazines. But first, they chat about peace. An idea --
KAREN: I wonder if you have any words of wisdom to pass along to the next generations of peacemakers...?
FERNE: I doubt it.
After a thoughtful pause -
FERNE: I think peace has to start within oneself.
Ferne's roommate, Marilyn, makes a giggling sound. Karen turns and smiles.
Marilyn says to Karen --
MARILYN: You have...real...nice...teeth.
End of SceneMarilyn has a knack for this kind of humor.
Her impression of daytime soap operas:
"Do you love me? Yes, I love you. No, I don't love you! Is anybody dead? No, nobody's dead. But let's talk about it first!"
Not as comedic as Marilyn, Ferne's wit tends toward the profound:
"We always prepare for war, when we should prepare for peace."
I gather their words of wisdom.
And (I confess) I gather yours. For instance...
"My wish for you is to see wild horses."
Julie Huwe, peacemaker
"I'd rather sit down and talk with a pig than eat one."
William Glen Van Fossan, my grandpa
"Let your life speak."
Tim Mathern, North Dakota Senator (adapted from the Quaker saying)
“We aren't the best looking, the richest, or the smartest – but we're the ones who live here.”
Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth
"I like crocodiles!"
Student, Head Start
"I like snakes!"
Harley, my young cousin
"I eat until I'm full."
Connor, first-grade friend
"Through my moving body I discover my multiple names."
Louise M. Pare', women's spirituality author
"It's not a haircut unless you regret it. And maybe cry."
Ramona Redding Lopez, artist
"Love delights to surprise you."
Lisa Bassett, poet
Setting: True Life