Scars and Second Chances

I find the most amazing life-changing thoughts and wisdom in some of the craziest places.

Remember when I told you about finding Henry Van Dyke (prolific author, clergyman, and educator) through watching a Christmas episode of Ally McBeal?  I started watching the series all over again on Netflix when Mama was in the hospital in August of 2012.  While she rested, I plugged in my headphones and zoned out, escaping the reality that I didn’t want to accept.  And revisited an old friend, Ally McBeal.

Recently I was strongly encouraged to try watching a new show.  I don’t get a lot of TV time that is unsupervised by the six to nine age group, so Netflix is a nice way, a la headphones, for me to catch a show here and there, sometimes just a few minutes at a times.

The show is “Parks and Recreation.”  I literally laugh out loud at least once during every episode.  Which makes watching it under the covers after everyone is asleep a little counterproductive–trying not to wake anyone else up while you are holding back a full snort laugh–yeah.  Hard to do.

But I digress.

Let’s see.  Parks and Rec.  Life-changing thoughts.

Ah yes.

In season three, the main character Leslie Knope quotes Mary Pickford.  I’ve heard the name, but thank you Leslie for introducing me to her and her wisdom.  Mary Pickford, born in 1892, was a silent film star known as “America’s Sweetheart.”  She felt that adding sound to film “was like putting rouge on the Venus de Milo.”  She helped establish United Artists along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith.  Amazing.  She was the first actress to get a percentage of a film’s revenue, AND she was the first to have her name in marquee lights.  This woman paved the way, didn’t she?

And she had some sense.

She once said, “If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, there is always
another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

The quote I first heard on "Parks and Recreation."  Wisdom can come from the strangest of places, if only we are ready to hear.
The quote I first heard on “Parks and Recreation.” Wisdom can come from the strangest of places, if only we are ready to hear.

What beautiful truth and grace I hear in these words.

Tonight I’m thankful for the winding down time and the goofy shows that accompany me there.  I am especially grateful that these words caught my ear, so I would look them up and learn about a very strong woman who also believed in second and third and twelfth chances.  I needed her encouraging words tonight.

Reminds me of a song from my past written over a hundred years after Miss Pickford was born.  “Get Back Up” by Toby Mac.  I think she would have recognized the message as something she once said and loved it too.  “Get up, get up, You gonna shine again.”

For those in my life who have been knocked down and are hurting, I share this song tonight.  There’s bound to be scars “when you fall that far,” but I found this quote from a character on Criminal Minds and I like it.  (No, I don’t watch that one, but the internet is a wealth of information, isn’t it?)

“Scars show us where we have been, they do not dictate where we are going.”

–David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna, Criminal Minds


Keep the faith, my friends.  Call me if you need help getting back up.  I’ve got experience.  And the scars to prove it.  Love to all.

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