Tag Archives: friends

As it Exists in our Minds

They say you can’t go back. Or perhaps you shouldn’t. But sometimes it’s inevitable.

Steely Dan Radio on Pandora. That’ll do it for me. A tinge of past immediately starts flowing through the neurons and blood stream. Back to childhood days in my dad’s mustard El Camino or hunched over the Fischer-Price record player with my brother.  Back to teenage days, cycling through songs on random play from the new CD player. Back to college days, blasting out the sub woofers in my ’87 Nissan Sentra. And about a hundred other memories involving a Steely Dan song.

Whether you want it to or not, music will take you back.

There are those songs you can’t bear to hear. Either they bring back a dark memory or someone you’d rather not keep in your consciousness. Those we turn off as soon as we can, if possible. Or perhaps we need a good cry out and we let it rip.

Then there are those songs that fire up our frontal lobe like fourth of July sparklers and we are transported to a time and place no longer existing. Even if our childhood homes are still intact, or the city in which we grew up, it is never the same.

I guess that’s why they say you can never go back. Because no matter how bad we may want it to be there, it is gone.

And that is one of the many beauties of music– enabling us to hold onto a moment as if we were right there. Right there in our dad’s old car. Right there on the front porch with the Walk-man. Right there in the school parking lot with our quirky friends. Right there dancing with Grandma. Or and old friend. Or an old flame. Those that have moved on or passed away. In this moment they are alive.

And this is why I play Steely Dan on Sunday morning. So I won’t forget.

El Camino

 

 

 

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Filed under Observations, Yep I'm Becoming My Mother

The Inevitable Come-down from Christmas and that New Year’s Resolution List

OK so it happened again. There was a definite come-down two days after Christmas for me. Did it happen to you, too? This was a particularly zen holiday so that makes it worse. I didn’t Scrooge one second this year. But since I was a chubby cheeked toddler and all the Christmases in between the come-down creeps in. Like New Year’s morn when your head is pounding and the clock to punch back in at work is ticking furiously.

I know the holidays aren’t great for everyone. But can I wax mystical about mine this year? Just for a minute.

It was so peaceful. None of my perfectionism reared its ugly annoying little sharp-tongued monster head. My son said it was “The best Christmas ever!” He says that every year but for some reason I think he meant it most this time. We saw lots of family and friends and also had quiet time at home. Our usual traditions still intact (although our fave Indian restaurant was closed on Christmas Eve so we had Thai instead. And they gave me a gift of hugging hippo salt and pepper shakers!) Me and my son’s dad, or as I will now call him my co-parent, had a truly lovely time together. Like old friends again. No stress. No high expectations. And the weather was fabulous.

So I had my little come-down pity party after. I had a short cry in the shower. It would have lasted longer if “Cat’s In the Cradle” had shuffled on my iPod.

Now onto the list. There have been years where I was like, “I’m not gonna participate in making that ridiculous resolution list. They all list-fully fall away in a matter of months or even weeks anyhow.”

But in my concerted effort to continue the forward motion of zen, I shall make one this year for sure. So off the top of my clear head here it is.

  • Lower my expectations and put a pillow on top of the mouth of the perfectionism monster.
  • Give gratitude. Every day. And infiltrate this into my son’s brain as well.
  • Have more game nights.
  • Less technology. Or at least stop bringing my phone to the dinner table. And infiltrate this into my son’s brain as well.
  • Write more.
  • Balance work-life. Try to stave off exhaustion and have a dinner party once in awhile.
  • Get to the beach more. Even if just for 30 minutes to watch the sunset.
  • Let go of the things I can’t control, like my son being an almost teenager and not loving all the things I like to do.

So there it is. I’m sure I could add more but I’ll stop now. Eight is my favorite number anyway. The first and the last on the list are definitely the most difficult.

I’ll refer back to this list in times of turmoil. And look back to the zen of Christmas holiday 2016. What are your resolutions? I’d love to know.

And oh yes, I wish you a beautiful 2017. Happy New Year!

 

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Filed under A Writer's Mind, Observations

Gratitude Unbounded

 

A swollen heart
full of everything
the universe has brought

I give gratitude by the lake
by the sea
under the full harvest moon

I give gratitude unbounded
today

Immense thankfulness for

The late autumn wind
tickling worn tree branches
Glistening sunlight
highlighting the hibiscus

Ocean swells
and the pleasure it brings
to my ears
as does the morning birdsong
A delightful symphony

The comfort of a safe haven
The calm serenity of inner peace
Hands for work and art
Movement to travel and see

Forgiveness
Health
Self love and acceptance
Love within and without
Courage
Happiness
A good steward for the universe

And you

I am thankful for you
each one of you

In the way you have touched
my soul
In the way you were brought
into this world
In the way I will carry you
in my heart
forever.

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Filed under Sunday Night Sonnet

Regrets

Something happened when I was ten that I will never forget. This image has stuck with me for thirty years.

I had a brief encounter with fame if you want to call it that. I was one of three singers who recorded a local Nashville television show’s opening.

Auditions were conducted at my friend Karen’s house after a big wig heard her singing in the living room at dinner there one evening. He thought she would be perfect to accompany the intro to “Thursday’s Child,” a magazine type show highlighting the very organization helping endangered children. They asked if she had any friends who could sing.

My brother and I went to her 70’s style split-level house with the creepy animated clown head in the kitchen and sang for a couple old guys in suits and ties.

We made the cut.

Two weeks later we were excused from school and recording into a real microphone on the highest floor of a prestigious downtown Nashville building. For a one minute song we were there all day. They changed the lead adult guy twice. I liked the first one best but for whatever reason he got the shaft and they brought in a guy whose voice was more boring than 4th grade math class.

But by day’s end they had what they wanted and three weeks after that I got a real check in the mail FOR SINGING A TELEVISION THEME SONG.

Funny how I don’t tell a lot of people about this. It is one of my favorite and best accomplishments of all time. But let me tell you what happened after we finished recording and were starving.

Our parents took us to McDonald’s. That was our nutritional reward. Now if you catch me at McDonald’s I am either severely low on cash, time, or oxygen. But to us in the early 80’s it was a major reward.

While eating my skinny, salty fries I noticed a man sitting alone across from us. He looked homeless and was drinking coffee out of the quintessential McD’s coffee cup. He wasn’t so much as staring at me, my brother, my parents, Karen, and her dad, but rather glancing from time to time just enough to make me uncomfortable. At some point in our  recording after-glow conversation and fast food binge-fest I noticed the homeless guy crying. Crying. There was this look on his face of regret. And even though I was only ten I knew exactly why he was crying.

Thirty years later I can still see the remorse on his tear-stained, weathered face. He had a family somewhere. And somewhere along the way he screwed up. He saw all of us laughing together and we reminded him of what he could have had. Or perhaps did have for a time and for whatever reason did not anymore. He was regretful. I know in that moment he was sorry for whatever it was he did.

I have never forgotten that man. I have never forgotten that overflow of emotion he felt just being a bystander at a fast food restaurant.

I think I understand him now even more than I did when he was right in front of me.

We have all done things which have made us hang in the web of regret. But somewhere along the way we have to find out how to break free and ultimately forgive ourselves. I hope that man eventually found his closure, his peace.

I know through his tears he was truly sorry. I didn’t know what to do back then but now I would at least give him a nod to let him know he is not alone.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Picking Up Strays