Guest Blog: Esther Bradley De Tally: Having My Druthers


If I had my druthers about being another person, it wouldn’t be a mud flap girl, proud of my rear parts and body, represented as a “silhouette” on the dark, dark flaps of trucks moving Miller’s Draft Beer, stopping in a San Bernardino Truck Stop where the air hangs heavy and super-sized Cokes

Nope. I’d be like my Uncle Bill Johnson, who wasn’t really my Uncle.

Uncle Bill Johnson, visited us every week and wrote letters and wrote a poem about our dog being made of bones and meat with head and tail on either end and neatly wrapped in skin and hair.

I’d draw cartoons and miniature figures, a combination of whimsy, verse, art, causing adults to lie down on the floor and clutch their sides laughing.

I’d sort of have a James Thurber, E.B. White side of me, and whimsy would be like a mosquito netting covering my psyche.

I would eat the sun.

No, I would eat words about the sun, trillions and billions and skillions of words about the

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sun. I’d tan and shrink to a charcoal briquette, and like Icarus go splot into the ether. Icarus’ wings melted. I would briquette out. Either way is  extinction.

Was I a whisper on the stairs, conceived with a twin who said, “I’m going out first. You have to wait.” Did I begin my journey, moving towards the Unknowable Essence, metaphorically parallel to moving towards the sun? Was I hard wired to know and to love my Creator?

I know now that faith is conscious knowledge, and that knowing and loving qualities express themselves into action. I know now that words can never wrap around loving this Ancient Force, this Creator, but knowing and loving will be enhanced by recognizing the Prophets, the Divine Luminaries, the Messengers, the Manifestations, and learning the attributes of God. It’s a highly personal journey, and this Creator is closer to us than our life’s vein.

I found out the physical world has its divine counterparts. Lordy, how can an old girl who flunked Geometry and slept through 3rd Year Algebra twice, explain this? You can’t ever know the essence of the Sun. Okay, I get that, but boys and girls, I can learn the attributes of the sun. So, let me see, that means my soul receives its light from the Sun, which is the Creator, whose essence is unknowable. I can understand the attributes of my soul, and understand attributes of my Creator by learning the Word of God.

I think that boils down to, there’s no yellow brick road lit up with a straight “go here from there” sign. That’s where I am today in my understanding. I do know this. I wouldn’t choose to live in any time but now, because would I have been brave enough, strong enough to live in earlier days? Nope. I think my small contributions and large quests belong right here in the here and now. So that’s the door to another world, the world of the inner journey, the collective process, the tension of the opposites. Everything, everything, is grist for the mill.

Just out is The Courage to Write, An Anthology.  She is editor of this book, and writing teacher to those within its pages.  The Courage to Write is published by Falcon Creek Books and is a publication of the Pasadena Public Library, The La Pintoresca branch/Pasadena READS.

Her writing is whimsical, spiritual, serious, laugh out loud funny and offers themes with keen observance of what it means to be human. Someone once said her stuff was “A refreshing read that combines a depth dimension with the tragicomedy that is life.” She is a Baha’i and has a passion for making oneness a social reality, and is fascinated by ordinary people transcending their own inadequacies and limitations in homage to a vision.

She jumps out of airplanes to visit pug dogs, and her best times are with Mr. Bill, her husband, pal extraordinaire, family, friends, and communing with her inner circle of 700 friends.

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4 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Esther Bradley De Tally: Having My Druthers

  1. I love this Esther–you DO have a James Thurber, E.B. White side of you, and whimsy is absolutely like a mosquito netting covering your psyche! I recognize your writing by the light way the words dance and play with each other

  2. Just pure fun with a lot of truth in the mix. Love your way with words as you flit your way towards the Sun! Thank you and thank you again.

  3. Oh, Esther, what a wonderful post. “I think my small contributions and large quests belong right here in the here and now.” Absolutely. I’ll go back and read this one again. And again. Thanks, Mel, for bringing us Esther on your blog.

  4. Esther, so fun to see you here! Anyone that can work San Bernadino into a post is alright with me! I agree with Gerry…love that line about small contributions and large quests…wise and poetic. Thanks Esther and Mel!

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