Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Singing in the Rain - the Best of Gene Kelly
By Various Artists
I feel bad that my last post was my confessions of dropping the f-bomb in my front yard. Not a pretty note to leave you all with. My computer has become a problem that I got too busy to address. Not enough summer hours for all on my list, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel, so all is well in the not too far off future of my postability. Yay.
My thoughts of late have been trying to shift away from the ugliness that likes to rear its head when we're skipping down the road of life. We make the choice whether or not we want to engage in the ugliness and frankly when I get in that arena, I come ill prepared because I don't play the same ugly game. The ugliness can teach us the game, but again, do I want those tools? I think not. The tools I want are the ones that give me the perspective to know that ugliness is what ugliness does. Maybe I can come up with a slogan for my quest away from it to keep me on track. Something like: "Beating a path to sanity and you're not invited."
Got any ideas for my slogan?
My point if any is that I'm back to my thought of holding the space for good stuff to grow in the dark ugly spaces. I know that sending ugly into ugly just makes ugly bigger. Have a flower Mr. Ugly!
May the rest of your week be full of good encounters. If not, find new encounters.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
I haven't written about my non neighbors in a long while. There's reasoning in it as I feel like when I give attention to negative things, it can make it more powerful that it deserves. Maybe it's a small cop out so I don't have to look at the ugliness that holds on to people. It could be my disappointment that coming together in mind will not happen here. Which ever it is or all of the above, I'm willing to move on. But first...
I had to deal with MORONS and I didn't like it! Miss A got herself into a situation and brought the MORONS to my home. Moron number one arrived and gave the door a quick, sharp sounding pound. I opened the door to see him standing in his dark glasses, and camo hat. That's what I saw. With more thought, I remember shorts and flip flops. He was hunting. In his hands was a small mini bike thing that I'd seen going up and down the street with many of the neighbor kids. Unfortunately it didn't belong to any of them. The chain was hanging off the bike.
As a parent, I've had this come up before and I have the standard lecture #5 about keeping your hands off of things that don't belong to you. I can say this: "What do you know about putting your hands on property that does not belong to you?" They all get an "A" with their response: "Don't do it!" These are the words that they must hear in a calm and exact way. In some cases they are put on limited or no access to certain things or places and they learn. I had no idea if Miss A had broken it and she was in the front, so I walked out to ask.
Unfortunately Moron number one doesn't have any updated information on parenting and starts to tell me that if I'd discipline my children... and off he went. I still was trying to get to Miss A to have a CONVERSATION and GATHER INFORMATION. He was on a roll in my face with the fact that I was the problem with society. I hid my children away and home schooled them and made everyone out to be the bad guy. I interrupted and stated that he knew nothing about me. I had home schooled one child and he had no idea of that either. It had been 7 years ago. In any of our past encounters, he had spoke at me rather than to me. He told me that he knew I talked about him behind his back. I told him I didn't think about him at all. He told me that my daughter had raised a stick to his son in the field across the street. I reminded him that his son was threatening to hit her. He told me that if his son had hit her, then she wouldn't get up. That's when my calm went away. I sent Miss A inside and told her that this was the drama that was possible when she put her hands on other's property. She was crying.
Moran number two had been standing there throwing in sarcastic moronic remarks. Info flash: When I gathered the information that no one was willing to figure out before tripping down "hater lane", it all came down to moron number two's teenage son. Moron number one was handling my responses with retreat and when I reminded moron number two that all the kids had been on the bike including his son, he started whining that I was blaming him. I looked him in the face and said: F- you, (his name) and walked away. I said it loud and strong. I walked across the street to my house with the bike and it escaped my mouth again. My lovely kind neighbor looked up from her garden and then turned away. I threw the bike in the back to be fixed and returned to the MORON, and said it again. He is now yelling an apology and I said it again. I reminded moron number two that I had been there for him and his boys for a long time. I said it again. College Dude said I said it five times. The King slept through it as he got in at 5:30am and had air traffic control type ear plugs.
I went in the house and the tears came. I was mad and totally pushed. He had accomplished his hunt and I had dropped into his trap rather easily. Hindsight of course! Miss A was sitting on the couch with tears pouring off her face too. I hugged and her and told her that she needed to look real hard into what had happen when she took part in taking what was not hers to take. I also told her that when she brought that drama into our home, she put me in the middle of dealing with MORANS! I made it clear that I didn't like that at all. I hugged her again and told her that these are the years to learn it and as she could tell, I was still learning how to not give away my calm. Always a new lesson if we're willing to see it.
I went to the neighbor and apologized for my language or lack there of and she waved me off, telling me that she understood completely. When I spoke to The King later he said that I'd probably just been venting for all the BS and stupid ass remarks and lack of being a father to his kids I'd put up with for the past 16 years with them as non neighbors. He had a grin on his face. Enough was enough. My honesty came out in a language that he could understand. Power to breaking the language barrier?
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential 70's Masters
By Elvis Presley
Zombies, dreams, bricks, wine classic and a sprinkling of love and light.
Last night I was sharing reoccurring dream stories with a couple of friends. We were talking about how our minds work out or play in our dreams. One of them said that he has one that seems like it's a view of what he calls "behind the curtain of our minds." He described the fast moving unrecognizable stuff that is coming at him or moving around him in the dream. The other friend said that maybe it was a glimpse of his mind trying to organize all that's going on. He shook his head no and said with conviction that it wasn't his mind trying to organize anything stating, "Our minds are capable of things that we have no idea of at all."
Zombies have never been characters of choice for me, but they are for my 12 year old tutoring student. We have been working on some short stories putting zombies in normal settings doing normal things. We have been laughing our heads off. I love it when I get paid to laugh. The first story takes place in a park with a youngster who has dropped a lollipop. The sound of the zombie licking it clean and losing a finger (zombies do that, you know)when he hands it back adds some interesting detail. The second story has a zombie loving young man and a zombie ending up nose to nose, then discussing how to make a better zombie movie while watching one on television. The one we're working on at present takes our readers on a cable car where a zombie waits patiently for the newspaper. Inspiration comes in many forms and my student is finishing his stories and stays engaged while we work. It's a win win situation.
My handmade bricks are turning into a business: "Brick it - Concrete your thoughts." Made to inspire, they're good for the garden or desk.
I'm getting ready for my fifth year on the hill with the Central Coast Wine Classic, Hearst Castle Dinner. As the site and volunteer coordinator I was telling a new volunteer that we have a beautiful venue that we mix with excellent people, fantastic food, wine, and a sprinkling of love and light. Okay, maybe it's a waterfall of love and light with all the positive energy that comes from this day that will raise funds for 16 local non-profits. We take that energy and propel it forward into tomorrow.
Pats heart and points to you.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
By Crosby Stills & Nash
I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. We were saying our goodbyes, but not admitting it. He was thinner than I'd ever seen him and no one was mentioning it.
"Take care of yourself honey."
"I will." There was a long silence and then I broke it with a laugh."
"What's so funny?" he asked quietly.
"I was just thinking how you'll have a better view of me. You'll be able to check in with me anytime you want." He smiled and gave me a hug. I hung on to him for a long time and let the tears come. I didn't see my father again. The damn cancer won, but I felt his presence at the funeral. Since then I call on him when I need to fix a screen door or the car isn't working right. He had that knack of getting down to the problem. I try to channel it when I have a task that feels a bit overwhelming. Something always gives out when I call on his skills. It's amazing how that works. I suppose leaving the door open for connections can do that for you.
Father's Day in a few hours and it just hit me how much I miss having a father. He's still in my heart, maybe more so as I can appreciate all of him rather than just the father aspect.
Anyway... If you're a father, go hug your children. Be the last one to let go. I don't think I got enough of those even if I did.
Thank goodness for unbreakable connections.
Friday, 17 June 2011
(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay (Piano Vocal, Sheet Music)
By Otis Redding
I use the word thought a lot. Thought a lot is what I got. It seems to seep right out my brain. Then tumbles right on back again. Nope. No poem here. (toothy smile)
As I was saying...I use the word thought in many of my titles. Can't seem to get around it and I has a way of drawing readers in. Maybe they know me well enough here on Xanga to like the idea that I'm thinking a thought. Maybe it's a new blogger who wants an idea of who I am by reading about my thoughts. No matter which one you are, you are always welcome here to share the thoughts that seem to come from strange places then lead me to interesting ideas about living my life.
So the layers came in while cleaning my stove top. The King wasn't feeling good and the rest of us were work force for our friend who's throwing a block party. My crew of three plus me can get a lot done in a short period of time. We make it fun and encourage each other to keep up the good work as we move along with our tasks. We also work together and the time is well spent. Meanwhile, The King, who wasn't feeling well in any sense of the word was cooking beets and artichokes on the stove in a large pot. Comfort food. Steaming was his method of choice. It takes a while and he sat down on the couch and dozed off. He awoke to the smell of burning beets and artichokes.
Did you know that burnt beets and artichokes smell very earthy and smokey? They do. It was overwhelming as we walked in the door, tired and hungry from our tasks. The King looked tired and very low energy. I moved the beets outside as they hadn't cooked all the way through and were permeated with the smoke flavor. The artichokes were saved and mighty tasty according to my crew of three as the leaves were the only thing burnt and they didn't have a overly smokey flavor. Go figure? Maybe being tired and hungry helps.
I looked at the stove top and grabbed a sponge. There were layers of beet juice dried and burnt on the surface. Not a pretty sight. Since it was on my stove top I didn't want to use anything abrasive, so I soaked the area and then came back to remove it. Nope, it was going to be layers of removal. I was going to be working on it over a period of time as I don't use heavy chemical in my home. It takes a bit more elbow grease and patience.
As I let my thoughts go into "I'm doing scrub labor and you can float around where ever you wish while I do." Dish washing does this for me too however I've been singing as I do dishes lately, so I guide my brain when my hands are underwater so to speak.
Anyway...I was thinking about the layers of life that need such time and patience in order to process and the thought that we tend to be impatient and want them to just GO. Layers of our hurt, fears, lost love, lack of love, family drama, or need for a change. We want to remove it quickly, hide it or dismiss it and it really just needs us to slow down and let it lift one layer at a time. We find something that helps to lift a layer and then we get frustrated and we walk away or quit. We fall back into a pattern that we never really gave a chance. I looked down at the stove top as I removed the next layer carefully and with more determination. It started to break away easily.
I don't know...burn some beets, get some insight? That's how my brain rolls. I better head for the beach to get some fresh air.
Monday, 13 June 2011
By Insideout a Cappella
There was once a wise woman traveling in the mountains who found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and she opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked if she might give it to him. She did so without hesitation.
The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime, but a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman who had given it to him.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I'm giving it back in the hope that you can give me something much more precious. I want you to give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone." — Author Unknown
Let's get out there and be good humans. Pass on your precious self. Make it a great day!
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Get Together: The Essential Youngbloods
I listened as they called his name. I heard calls from all over the stadium connecting to his celebration of graduation. It wasn't a tightly packed family group letting out an explosion of noise. It was a round of folk here and there who are in his circle. My heart was proud of those calls. Teen Dude has graduated from high school and turned 18 all within a few weeks. He is on his way.
There will be a block party next week to gather and celebrate summer, birthday, graduation and life. I asked him to invite his people. He gave me a strange look and said, "which ones?"
"How about all of them," I replied.
"Well, they just don't mix Mom, I mean I can "hang" with them, but they don't all blend as a larger group."
Teen Dude kept talking, but I was swimming in memories current and past with the same dilemma. Comfort level. I can get along with just about anyone, or at least be able to get through a situation as I stick to common ground, but there are many who will not step outside their "group thought" to open up to others. Sometimes though, they'll surprise you and be willing. The trick is to be the bridge for it to happen.
Years ago, my sister and I sat in our kitchen to plan our birthday celebration. We were born on the same day seven years apart. We both had many people in our lives, but as we sat there making our coparty invite lists we both found that most of our friendships were "one on one" type friendships, or maybe a group from work that knew nothing of our personal friendships, but they were people that we interacted with over the years as the day in and day out getting to know you in a office job. Wasn't it time to bring them together? We considered that they might not show up then tossed caution to the wind and made our lists.
During the party we thought that maybe they'd just hang out with themselves so we made it a point to be aware that we'd be "on the job" in order to go from group to group or person to person and blend them together. It's amazing what happens when you make a plan to gather people and be the bridge. The thought became energy and on the day of the party our list of people arrived. I can't tell you how many conversations we both overheard as people from different walks of life found that they had something in common. It was us, and from that starting point they found ways to have conversation among each other.
"How do you know Lyne?" I'd heard as I rounded the corner from the kitchen. I stopped and listened as they exchanged stories and I heard laughter and comments like, "Really? She's good at listening, I had no idea she was so funny." Or, "She does crafts with you?" "She sings?" The one that cracked me up was when I heard a friend telling another that I was quiet and the other one almost spit his drink across the room. Choking and sputtering I heard him say, "Are you talking about Lyne? Quiet? Let me tell you about Lyne." The same thing was happening to my sister among her peeps. We met back by my bedroom and had a quick giggle about how unnecessary it had been to think they wouldn't get along. They did it for us. We were the bridges for it to happen.
So I shared the story with Teen Dude and asked him to consider the story when inviting his people to the block party. "You are a bridge for others to see that there are common threads that connect us. You are the thread." That was the last remark I made and as I looked into his eyes I saw the flash of understanding. What a fantastic future he has in front of him.
Are you a bridge? Consider having a party and let the crossing begin.
(pats heart and points to you)
P.S. Happy Summer! Keep shining your light.
Friday, 03 June 2011
Never Die Young
By James Taylor
(slips quietly onto page) "Is anybody out there?" I feel like I've been away for a long time. It's been a good busy if I look at it through the eyes of one who has looked for space or rather more time so I could included some things I loved. I created the space, now I have to maintain it. I mean...I asked for all this, so why complain? When we want more we have to create a space for it to happen and then keep that space available.
Life in a busy lane can be tricky. I've found the biggest effort has been to my energy level. Keeping myself healthy as I swim through a full day is a conscious practice. I've become better at it, because if I don't, I feel like ....(insert your expression for the feeling) We all know how bad it can get if you run yourself down, yet it can sneak up and knock you off your feet if the balance gets that final tipping toward exhaustion. I've found the perfect place to help the balance. In my shower. Alone!
Yep. In my shower. I do yoga stretches and let me tell you, they feel so much better under that lovely hot water. I also set my breathing. So often I forget to take those deep breaths and then the energy levels start slipping away from shallow breathing. If I start off the day being aware of my breathing it makes a difference. Go figure. I suppose making plans with my breathing is a fine partnership. As I stretch and breathe I remember to be thankful because it feels so good. How could I not be thankful with all that good oxygen in my brain and parts beyond? Then when the thankfulness sets in, and it does, well... I'm lifted in more ways than one. I come out feeling flexible, calmer, more content, and I'm already having a better day.
I suppose it's rather odd to be talking about showers after being offline for so long, but I feel like I'm making a clean sweep back into the flow. Love those showers!
Catch one if you can.
Here's what it looks like on my beach. Enjoy the view.
It's good to be back. (pats heart and points to you)
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Okay folks. My student has finished his story, so we don't want to leave you hanging although you may feel like that isn't a fair statement when you reach the end. Here's the final installment of The Key To The Universe: For the last two, you can click Here and Here then come back here and read on.
Josh woke up to the smell of bacon. He yawned and got out of bed, walked slowly into the bathroom and took his morning shower. Josh lay down in the tub and let the water from the shower hit him. He was exhausted. He drifted in and out of wakefulness. He heard his mom call from the kitchen so he climbed out, dried off and got dressed, all the while turning the events of the past few days over in his mind.
“Good morning Josh,” his mom said.
“Morning,” Josh mumbled. She handed him a plate of food with a look of concern
on her face.
“Are you okay Josh?”
“Not really Mom, but don't worry I just didn't sleep well. I have a lot on my mind.”
“You know just kid stuff.”
“Is someone bothering you at school. Is it that boy down the street?”
“Don't worry about him, Mom.”
They talked a bit longer about school stuff until he convinced her not to worry, and although he wanted to tell her everything, he knew she would freak out and that wouldn't help anything.
Josh went off to school with his thoughts still spinning. He hardly paid attention in his classes, just enough to stay off the teacher's radar. As he stared off into space he made a small plan about getting over to the museum and figuring out what Pop was talking about in the note.
Right after school he went to the museum and slipped in unnoticed. Pulling the map from his pocket he spread it out on the workbench where Pops had done many repairs. The map was very simple. It was a horseshoe arch shape with a key in the middle where the arch rounded. There was a line that looked like it might be the entry to the museum, at least that was what Josh was hoping. He couldn't see how the map worked as he stood at the entry. He moved to the the middle of the room and turned in circles. He turned the map around in his hand. Nothing in the room looked like that map and he was running out of time. He thought he had just a enough time to go see what the hardware store guy had to do with the key. As he entered the store, Josh saw the familiar check out lady that had greeted him the time before.
“Is Mike here?” he asked.
“ Mike who?”
“You know, the guy that made my keys.”
“No...you mean Harry maybe?”
“Harry? No, I'm sure it was Mike. He had crazy black hair with a white stripe down the middle.”
“Nope, I'm sorry I can't help you.” She turned away and started waiting on the customer that had come up to her register. Now Josh was more confused than ever.
He was on his way back home and passed by the museum, so he decided to check it out once more. He stood there at the door taking in the room with his eyes. There were three train cars that were set at angles side by side across the room. The rainbow arch, horseshoe pattern that showed on the map wasn't visible at all. Josh was stumped so he went over to the work bench and sat down, frustrated.
He threw the map off to the side, opened the drawer of the workbench and mindlessly pull out a random piece of paper. His eyes came to a sudden focus as he realized what he was looking at: it was an aerial photo of the museum that was taken just before the roof was put in place after bringing the trains into the museum. The trains had originally been placed in a horseshoe like pattern with one on each side and one in the middle of the room. Josh could feel his heart beating. Which train car held the answer to the key?
Josh stood up slowly realizing that from here on out everything would be different. He felt scared and excited and sort of sick to his stomach as he approached the first train car. Josh opened the door. It was an 1876 Dream Classic steam engine. The car was an old fashion kind of train, but it was in mint condition. Everything was bolted down from the light fixtures to the shovel that was used for feeding the coal into engine.
He looked through the whole thing but found no key slot. His lost watch beeped from the workbench and Josh jumped. He laughed out loud, collected the watch, and looking at the time: five o'clock, Josh knew he was in trouble.
As Josh rounded to corner, he saw his mom out side his house. He was pretty sure she was taping her foot with impatience.
“Joshua Little, where have you been! You were suppose to be home an hour ago!”
“S s s s sorry Mom.”
“Go to your room. You can eat dinner alone tonight and no dessert.”
“Not another word, Joshua Little!”
He went into his room, lay down on his bed and instantly feel into a deep sleep. He woke up and the clock it was illuminating the time in red. 12:00 midnight. Josh was hungry. He hopped out of bed and walked straight to the refrigerator. He opened the door and there was a plate that had a note on it, “ In case you get hungry.” The good thing about Mom was that she got over things quickly.
Later that morning Josh woke again, got dressed quickly and quietly and slipped out the door before his mom woke up. He left a note telling her he'd be on time today and that he was sorry for worrying her. He had no intention of going to school. He was on his way back to the museum to find the slot for that key. He knew that if he spoke to his mom, he'd spill the whole story and he knew she'd think he was nuts and would try to stop him.
He arrived at the museum and slipped in unnoticed. Josh ran to the second car and opened the door slowly. His heart was pounding out of his chest again. He was pacing the whole train car with key in hand when suddenly the key slid out of his hand and dropped through a crack. It almost felt like it was pulled out like a magnet. Josh jumped out of the car, crawled underneath and the key was sticking up like it was in a key slot. Taking a deep breath to help steady himself, Josh turned the key and the tile floor dropped down with a thud.
Josh grabbed onto the ladder that appeared at the side and climbed down. As he neared the landing at the bottom, the room got brighter with no visible lighting to be seen.
The light was getting more intense as he walk down a long hall. Finally he could see where the light source was coming from. It was...a door? Josh opened it slowly and the light was so bright that it cause him temporary blindness. Everything was a blur. He stood still as his eyes adjusted to the lighting once more. The blur became clearer and he heard a gravely cough.
“Josh whipped around and there was Mike from the hardware store.
“Hey kid. I was wondering when you'd figure it out.”
“Me and your Pop were good friends. He sent me a letter before he died entrusting me to share what he'd been working on for many years under the museum. You see kid, he built this place from top to bottom. He wasn't just a railroader, he was a genius and a gentleman.”
“Wait! You knew Pop?”
“Catch up kid. Haven't you been listening to what I said? We've known each other for many years and we've share a very important secret that I will now be sharing with you. It was both your Pop's and my hope that you'll take over the work from now on. I'm not going to be around forever and you're a smart kid...”
“Uh...wait a minute...what work?”
“Everything you want to know will be answered on the other side.”
“The other...side?” Josh was looking for an escape just in case Mike was crazy.
“You probably think I'm crazy, eh kid? That's what you're thinking,right?'
“Well...I just don't get it.”
“That key you have holds the secret to the universe, kid. Are you ready for the biggest adventure you've ever imagined?”
Josh gave him a worried look, but said nothing.
“ Go ahead and run home to your folks. I'll disappear and this tunnel and door will be gone forever. You have to trust me on this one.” Mike pulled a paper from his pocket and handed it to Josh. “Your Pop wanted me to give this to you, kid.”
Josh took the note and another deep breath and opened it up. It was definitely in Pop's writing.
“Josh, if you got this far, you took my advice and found the opening that brought you to Mike. Listen to what he says Josh. He's a good man and if you're ever in a fix, he'll be the one to get you out of it. What lies before you is something you have to see to believe, so take the next step and let Mike lead the way.
Mike smiled as Josh looked up at him. “Are you ready kid.?”
For the next moment there was an eerie silence that filled the room. Josh could hear his heart pounding and the rasp of Mike's breathing. He smiled back at Mike.
Mike lead Josh to a key hole in the rock wall of the tunnel.
“You know what to do, right kid?”
Josh pulled the key from his pocket, slipped it in the keyhole and turned the lock. It snapped in reply and the light got even brighter. So bright that it encompassed them, then flashed even brighter, and the room was empty.
Note to reader: So what happened to Josh and Mike? You can take it from here or wait until we return with another story. What do you think happened next? You decide.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
The Rose: The Original Soundtrack Recording
Music brings the emotions to the surface for me. As a vocalist, I find the passion in the song and the words are wrapped in the vibration of the message as they come out of my body. With some songs, I have to work through the emotion of the message so I can sing it or rather perform it without falling apart. Bring the passion, but harness the tears so I don't choke mid lyric.
Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed
It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love, in the Spring
Becomes the rose
This song has been choking me up for days. I suppose it's my heart that starts the trouble. I think I have felt every one of the "some says" at one time or another within the same relationship. The lyrics take me through my own awakening and I may just feel too exposed as I sing this song. I start off strong and the emotion hits me with the last line of the first verse; And you, it's only seed. I have to check myself, right there. "Breathe" I think to myself. Then the next verse sets the stage as I travel through my own fears from my past. Fear of failure, so I never did this or that. Not just with love, but with life! By the time I start on the third verse, I'm locked into the emotion that has been growing, increasing, building momentum and finally bubbles up to the surface. The question of what the heck I'm doing at 52 years old singing again and trying to keep the balance between family and "what about me?" And then what about me and my man? Will we ever find a space for us again? The us that didn't feel so pushed to find yet another source of income as gas prices soar and our children's basic needs get more expensive? Are we lost in the storm of survival? Maybe The Rose is the opening for all this to come out and not be tucked away, ignored and left hidden.
This time in my live has many new beginnings and endings arriving at the same time. A college bound son looking toward his future. Another son crossing the bridge into teen years. A vibrant ten year old daughter bouncing headstrong into a upper grade dimension. A 90 year old mother. Sisters who don't know each other anymore. New friends who are becoming like sisters. I've thrown myself back into music and find that it's been waiting to show me more about myself when I thought it would be just a refresher course of sorts. I guess I never got to this point the last time around. Anyway...between the life and the music, I'm feeling sort of tender these days. Deep inside I know that when I can sing this without falling into a voice cracking expression of puddled emotions, I will be on the other side looking back at the gift of The Rose.
I apologize to all of you who I have missed reading and sharing with as I have been so busy in many aspects of my life. I'm trying to read my subs, but I'm not commenting much. This is just what it is for now. Please know that I wish a rose to each of you as you walk through the emotions of your day. Breathe deep.
(pats heart and points to you and you and, hey, I see you over there. You know this pat's for you too)
Saturday, 09 April 2011
By Bette Midler
Inside each of us is that something that wants to find its way to the surface. It's the thing that wakes us and we toss and turn as our minds can't push it away. It's the thing that sparks us to take chances and make mistakes so we can become better at it. It is there wanting to bloom. All we have to do is plant it somewhere and nurture it on.
Plant your inspiration and let it grow into your best self. Don't give up. Visualize it in the future. You'll find that you run into just the right person, or exactly the situation you need to happen. It is living in the flow that makes us grow. Get planting!
So where have I been. Flowing along. Computer crashed. It seems to have costly problems but beyond that my tutoring is going along in wonderful ways, and my catering job has added new areas of service with a smile to my life. I have found myself at parties with people I haven't seen in years. The hugs are great and the money ain't bad either. If some of you remember my birthday video where I sang...well that was a year ago in March. At that time I declared to the universe and All that Is that I was going to open myself up for the music to flow back into my life. It has lifted me in many ways. My new partner is an excellent musician and we made a CD. Through the catering work I ran into a woman who is dating the owner of a resort hotel and restaurant here on the coast. She loved it, he loved it and their manager loved it. We will be doing a paying gig there in the not too far off future. It was like the pieces just started snapping into place. I am so grateful for this music energy and the hard work of memorizing the songs is actully quite a joy. My children know the music and sing along in the car as we travel. They laugh at my mistakes and correct me when I fill in silly words when I test my memory. It's been fun for us all.
Anyway... I miss my Xanga "Buds". As soon as the computer makes it back home I will be back to write more. Teen Dude, almost College Dude has let me borrow his lap top. He is however breathing down my neck to give it back, so I'll pat my heart once more and point to you all and see you around the next corner of life. Be well, breathe deep, flow on, take chances and most of all believe in the amazing person who is YOU.
(pats heart and points to you)
Monday, 28 March 2011
Working with 12 year old students is an interesting journey. 12 year old young men takes it to a whole new level. I highly recommend it for those who want to build patience and a sense of humor. If you didn't get a chance to read his first chapter of The Key To The Universe, click the link read it first, then come back and check out the next chapter.
Hands shaking, he jammed the key into the lock, shoved open the door and slammed it behind him. With his back against the door, he slid to the ground out of breath. The key was still clutched in his hand.
Outside, Jack pounded on the door. “You can't stay in there forever kid! I'll wait here all night if I have to. You have no way out.” Josh jumped every time Jack's fist hit the door.
What Jack didn't know was that in the basement there was a ladder that was already propped up against the window and the window opened to the backyard. Josh didn't like going down to the basement. It wasn't used for anything but storage. The lighting was dim and as he moved carefully down the steps the light flicker. A chill ran up his back. He took a deep breath and his nose filled with dust and dampness. Sneezing into his shirt so Jack couldn't hear him he kept moving. He heard a quiet creaking sound as he walked across the old wooden flooring.
“Thump!” Jack jumped about a mile thinking he'd stepped on a snake but quickly recognized it was only an old rope. He was still shaking as he scaled the ladder, pushed open the window with his elbow and rolled onto the grass outside. He lay there, chest heaving and tried to calm himself down. As he lay there he realized that he still had the key clutched in his hand. He slowly let the key fall from his grip was shocked to see that it was the gold key with the M on it. How did Mom's key open Dad's house?
“Oh no!,” he thought. That strange Mike guy mixed up the keys. He could still hear Jack pounding and yelling at the front of the house, so he picked up the key, slipped out the back gate and headed home.
After catching his breath, Josh jumped his dad's fence and started home. He got to his mom's house and thought that the key that said Dad on it would work in the lock since the gold one with the M on it worked at Dads. He tried to push the key in, but it wouldn't work, so reaching in his pocket, he tried Mom's key. “Huh?” It worked. Confused, Josh opened the door.
“I'm home,” he called.
“Glad you're home on time,” she called back from the kitchen. “Dinner's almost ready.”
“Be there in five, Mom.”
Josh didn't say much at dinner. He was still going over in his head how one key opened two doors.
“How was your day Josh,” Mom inquired.
“Alright I guess. I'm not very hungry and I'm tired Mom. Thanks for dinner, but I'm going to bed.”
“Are you sure you're alright?”
Josh shook his head and left his mom at the table wondering if she should take his temperature. She'd check in on him later just to be sure.
Josh lay in his bed with the events of the evening still occupying his thoughts. About two hours later, he was still wide awake and his mom opened his door to check on him. He pretended he was sleeping as she checked his head for fever, then finding none, she whispered “goodnight Josh” and went to bed. Josh waited to hear his mom's door click shut. Five minutes later he could hear a soft snoring coming through the walls. Just then it hit him. He sprang out of bed, got Pop's box from his drawer and the gold key from his pants pocket. He turned on the lamp on over his bed and inserted the key into the slot on the back of the box. “Click” It was open. His hands were shaking a bit as pulled a note with Pop's writing from the small opening.
“Josh, If you're reading this I'm dead. I have two things to say. I miss you Bud!” Josh stopped reading. At that moment it felt as if Pop was right there next to him. A shiver ran up his spine and he returned his gaze to the note. “The second thing I have to say is follow the map and you'll find yourself in a place you'd never think possible. Trust me Josh. I know you're the one for this adventure.”
Josh put the note down and pulled the map out of the box. He unfolded it and lay it out on the bed. The paper was old and the map lines were made with what appeared to be some coal like substance. Josh sat there on his bed wondering what it all meant. The keys were somehow linked too, but how and what did the strange hardware guy have to do with it? He folded the map back up, put it in the box, and then put the keys and the box in his drawer. He tossed and turn for another few hours, then sat up in the dark of his room waiting for morning light.......
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Feed My Soul
By Holmes Brothers
Sometimes it's the smallest gesture that brings a smile to a face. A simple note that says you care. A private eye roll between two friends. Side remarks shared with strangers in a line as we wait. Eye contact that speaks volumes. Pictures that amuse the creative mind. I could go on and on, but no need...Small gestures do large good.
Monday, 21 March 2011
Almost Home / Dancing in the Dark
By Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Now what did you say we were doing?"
"And what did you say it was exactly?"
"An opportunity to be aware."
"Ha ha Mom. Really? What are we going to be doing during this hour?"
"Well, an hour goes by fast. It might just be the opportunity to see how fast an hour moves."
"What's with all the candles?"
"I'm a sucker for atmosphere."
Teen Dude gave me the look.
"It will be dark when we're in it."
Now Miss A (the 6 year old, now 9) joins us. She gets busy moving the candles around the house. She hums then bursts into song as she heads to the hall. Teen Dude (14, now 17) has the auto lighter clicker thing in hand.
"I'll light them up for you." he says in his best "pyro" voice. "arhahahaha."
Hoops, (9, now 12) appears from outside.
"What are all the candles for mom?"
"Earth Hour," Miss A and Teen Dude say in unison from different parts of the house.
"We're turning the lights out and not using any gas or electricity for an hour honey. Want to help with the candles?"
"What are we going to do?"
"What do you want to do?"
"I mean, what do you do during Earth Hour?"
"You save energy."
"Can we do shadow puppets?"
"That's a great idea."
"Can we watch a movie?"
"Do we use electricity if we watch a movie?"
"Then we aren't going to watch a movie."
"This is going to be boring."
"Only if you want it to be."
They all sink down on the couch and sigh looking less than thrilled. I smile to myself knowing this too shall pass. By 7:58 pm they are doing a count down via my cell phone until I told them we weren't going to use those either. Now the count down was finished with a final hall light going off at the call of 3,2,1, Earth Hour!
We sat quietly for about 30 seconds in the flickering candle light. I closed my eyes and said a silent "and so it is." As I opened my eyes the room was filling with conversation and shadow puppetry on the ceiling.
"Look at the butterfly. Now it's a duck," said Miss A.
Hoops puts his hand in saying, "now the dog chases the duck." More laughing. Thirty minutes later they're checking the time.
"Wow, it's already 8:38," says Hoops. "An hour does go fast."
For the remainder of the time, Teen Dude has them in hysteria with a weird alien voice renaming all of us and cracking himself up to the point that his contagious laughter gathers us all up and takes us with him.
They didn't count down to the end of Earth Hour and I was grateful for that. We didn't come back to lights on until 9:05pm. They busied themselves blowing out candles and talking about how fast that was and how they hoped others had done it to save energy. I got a grin from the fact that they sounded soooo experienced now. I kept my mouth shut. Let them experience it in their own minds now, I told myself. I lead them to the water. Now it's up to them to drink.
UPDATE: This was our Earth Hour three years ago. Time does slip by quickly and we will once again turn out the lights on Saturday night March 26, 2011 (this year from 8:30pm to 9:30pm all time zones) and honor the Earth with this simple hour of respect. No electricity attached. My children sound like wise sages now when it comes to the earth and how much we waste and use for our pleasure. Time has a way of teaching. All we have to do is provide the moments, offer information, and watch the magic of understanding set in. In these children, I see great hope and for that I'm willing to turn off the power. For more information: ABOUT EARTH HOUR
Click! (pats earthy heart in the dark and points to you)
Sunday, 20 March 2011
By Tom Rush
"We can't look back we can only look behind from where came, and go round and round and round in the circle game." - Joni Mitchell
More and more I have a reference to apply to the given situation. It's as if a moment of the past appears in my mind as something that relates to what is occurring in the present. I get this instant understanding of that past event and it benefits the current one. There's no pill or tea or self help class that lets this amazing perspective in. There is however a way of living that seems to have an influence on it.
I give up. I let go of the worry in which I have no control over others. Their opinion of me is none of my business. I surrender to that which draws me to my best self. I cry over loss then dry my tears and carry connections with me. I think with my brain and my heart. Then I'm not looking back anymore at all. I have it right when I need it. Today. This moment. Right now.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Lean on Me: Best of
By Bill Withers
You've got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish Proverb
I have an interview today. I will be meeting with a young student and his mother regarding my tutoring services. I bet you were wondering what I do when I interview a new student. We just talk. I ask direct questions about what each of them is seeking. This way they hear each other. It's a fresh start. When I work with a family I offer a way on the rocky path that they're traveling. I ask if they're interested in reaching beyond the stress that is impeding them right now. That's why they called. They are at the end of their rope right now. Something's got to give. Someone needs to ask the question, so it can be out in the open. I can tell volumes by how they respond, move, make eye contact, tone of voice as they answer this one question. I help create an opening. The interview is strictly for that opening or I won't be working with them. Sometimes it's a tiny little crack, but I see it and I hold a space for it to expand. Time will tell the rest.
Isn't that where it all begins? A small opening for new things to come in. Laughter makes it grow quickly, but that's another story another day.
Before I leave I guide the conversation to let the student tell me what he loves to do in as much detail as I can get. This way I know I will catch his attention when he starts to drift on me during our studies together. It's going to happen many many times so I gather this info as soon as possible. I can start thinking about it and be ready. Funny how that works. I let the ideas of someone's passion in life toss around in my head without a judgement and then when I bring it up later I can apply it to the lesson. I plug into his way of seeing the world. This way I know we're talking the same language while I'm teaching him a new one.
That's it. The interview is over. They can hire me or not. I can help. They have to be willing.
Gotta Fly! (pats heart and points to you)
Monday, 07 March 2011
Fly Like an Eagle: 30th Anniversary
By Steve Miller
Take a deep breath. Let the day unfold. Allow yourself the opportunity to be part of excellent interchanges with those you live and work among. That's my plan for this busy life. Into the flow we go.
Take another one of those nice deep breaths. Ahhh. Get out of here. Go play.
I think people are amazing. I am a seeker of understanding and discovery as I take each new day as my opportunity to try out the fresh me. I feel deeply, and can be laugh out loud funny. I believe that peace lives in each one of us and can be found if we are willing to look deep inside and brave enough to bring it to the surface. Perspective. Perspective. Perspective. I have a family that keeps me laughing and evolving as a person. I work among the people as a tutor, writer, and teacher of arts and living. I respect the human condition and what makes us each soooooo individual and yet so much the same.