…well I used to have one. I mean I used to write one, quite regularly; at least twice a week. I wrote over 200 posts, most of them fairly long. They are on an array of subjects, some of them are okay, some kinda good.
It was a labor of love really. I poured my heart out loud into the universe. I expressed myself. I made friends from all over the world I would chat with. I had fun and I also had lots of time on my hands, much more than I do now.
Time, that awful excuse. I doubt I lack talent, It is in there somewhere. And I do have something to say and a orgasmictorium of stories inside my crazy brain. I can blame the lack of time or place but it is I who makes my own circumstance. Time ticks away, yes that damn time always ticking in the background.
No one lives forever…even childlike creatures such as myself…
I know I must make it a priority.
And thinking,,,pondering. THAT is essential!
One of the problems with this society is that not enough thought is given, we are all much too busy wrapped up in “the drudgery of everyday existence and all that” I like many of you wonder what is the point?
Hard not to. I sit here on a rare silent Saturday. It is early morning. The sun is streaming through the window and I am on floor, sitting with my trusty white laptop. It has seen “better” days, I suppose. The O and L keys are completely worn away along with the I. Half the E is gone and the N is on the verge of disappearing altogether. To add the that the seven is coming off and it is filled with about 5 years of memories, pieces of my life encased in pixels. If anything such as this could hold a part of a person, this computer contains a part of me.
I have changed over the years. I have gone beyond my comfort zone, I have outed and declared myself and have freed myself from much which did not serve me. I have busted out of my shell and I am ready to contribute more. I have learned some lessons as I continue to do. This late bloomer is still blooming
Just one more thing, the writing part..
My ex boyfriend/partner, the man I lived with for 17 years (also known as MM to those who have been around for a while) said that my problem was that I wrote too much about myself. He told me a lot of things, much I believed, much I now know was wrong.
I told him there are a million writers in the world, all with something to say. I am a mere drop in the bucket, a soul pouring myself out into a silent universe…but I am unique. just like everyone of us. There is only one me, whatever that means. The best thing I can write is what comes from my heart, from my soul and that is what I must do. I cannot do any less.
I happen to know more about myself than anything or anyone. But I also know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. Others can and do relate. We are all connected even we we are apart.
and so…MM is in the old house with the cats. I am here with my new cat and new love. A lot has changed in the past year, but not my desire to write and as always I lament my lack of writing time as I pound these white fading keys…
Let’s see what I can come up with.
Thanks for stopping by. This blog is NOT completely dead.
Totally “unrelated” stuff I put in for the hell of it.
The wilds touch my back door. A part of them does anyway. Strangeish insects and unfamiliar Corvids enliven the “wilds”of my new backyard. Tall skinny Evergreens surrounded by persistent English ivy. Small deciduous trees that await new spring leaves dot the landscape accented by bright green moss providing splashes of color that reminds me that spring really truly here.
A tiny brook babbles on by fifteen feet below. I can hear frogs in the morning and the friendly neighbor’s cat comes to greet me in the bright but cool sunshine. I am beginning to attune to my new atmosphere.
It is different here but I find much beauty in this newness.
I am now an apartment dweller. My big yard has been replaced by this woodsy spot with two cement slabs and the before-mentioned surrounding moss which will now serve as my garden area. I have three large pots, empty for now. I will certainly get more. Out of the thousands of plants in my old yard I brought only one; the meadow rue. It lies dormant under the soil in an indigo planter awaiting warmer weather. It wasn’t a choice I wanted to make but in order to make a new life for oneself one must put aside the old.
I have done a lot of that lately; setting aside.
After a 17 year relationship I parted ways with someone who wasn’t good for me. My trusting nature and naivety paired with my wholehearted belief in redemption kept this damaging storm rolling much too long despite the, obvious to others, unhappiness it was bringing me. When living inside the eye of the hurricane; the epicenter of emotional and psychological abuse, you can’t see how bad it really is. Over time the abnormal can become the normal.
And a deep sadness can embed itself in you and you don’t realize how awful it really is in part because if you stop and do this it will break your heart and maybe you can’t go on. And so I put what I thought was a convincing happy face to the word and went on. Inside a hole grew and grew and in time, by the end of those 17 years, it was a giant gaping hole…a chunk torn out of me and beat to hell.
My yard which was in it’s entirety what I deemed my salvation would have to be left behind. My cats too. Spotsy and my Mario would stay with the house and the yard and it’s owner. I left with my two kids ( 18 and 21 ) to go live in an apartment across town. A new place of sanctuary. A place of freedom with my name on the lease.
It’s different but it is becoming home. Home is really in the people you are with not the place anyway.
I was fortunate to meet someone at work. An amazing person I knew that I knew the instant we met. I have been having the pleasure of getting to know him ever since. We all live together in this apartment that skirts the edge of this thin strip of urban woods.
There is a freeway that lies beyond it. I can hear the traffic, its steady hum sounds like the ocean to me, it is easy to drift to sleep to.
I feel free and happy and loved. I feel confident and hopeful, more than ever.
The hole in my soul is filled, love pours out and spills out into the world. I am grateful. I thank God everyday. I am blessed beyond measure. I have the opportunity to start anew and this I will do, This I am doing.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
We are born of Chaos. A singularity known as the Big Bang sent forth into being an ever expanding commencement of all things.
Clouds of dense gas and swirling universes come together and are pulled apart….Stars are born, they shine and explode and then die. Black holes devour all they touch. Galaxies collide spraying stars into eternity. Particles are continuously being created and destroyed; blinking in and out of existence akin to a ginormous Schlesinger’s Cat.
We are born of hydrogen and oxygen, of nothingness and of everything. We are truly stardust come down to Earth.
Our home this planet has had a violent past and without all that disarray and upheaval we would not be here today.
We come from chaos and someday we’ll return there too. This is how infinity perpetrates itself.
We are a part of that.
As we are a part of everything.
Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. He knew that a stirring of the waters can sometimes conger up the fish. We know from history that many a good thing can result from many a bad thing indeed and if necessity is the mother of invention then perhaps chaos can be the father of the creative thought that sparks that necessity.
Fate forces our hand and we must act, even inaction is a form of action or reaction. We can go with the flow or fight it. Life is a raging river, never standing still, always moving, never the same…change is the only constant.
The death of one can come about the birth of another
Chaos is raw violence. It rips apart what was to make room for what will be. In it’s upheaval change does not waiver. It is indifferent to fate. It just is. Change devours the status quo. In its varying degrees it can make quite an impact. Life ebbs and flows. Stability returns with the growth that follows upheaval. Life is but a dance between the two extremes seeking to find an undulating balance between them.
Music interrupts silence and color disturbs the black and white. The peanut butter in my ice cream has only increased it’s tastiness to me
Imagine a world that never changes, a river that never flows, a planet that has lost its spin. Imagine a world without the audacity of daybreak. Imagine a blank piece of paper where words will never be. Imagine the leaves never falling off the trees, or crying babies never being born, imagine the butterfly never emerging from her chrysalis and becoming the butterfly she is meant to be…
This is why we need chaos you see…
Despite the pain of upheaval. Wonderful things can be found among the ruins. Sometimes it can be oneself.
I am myself at a time in my life where I have found the courage to make some drastic life changes. I write this as I sit in my new apartment, my name on the lease. It is mostly devoid of things for now but it holds the most precious thing of all: Love. The love that this place abounds in. I am truly blessed to have people around me that love me and encourage me to be the best me I can be. An unexpected butterfly landed on my shoulder one day last February and I haven’t been the same since. I found the strength to leave a situation that was not healthy for me or my children. I have taken upon myself to change this situation that I had lived with for many years. I will continue to keep you posted. Suffice to say I am happy and excited!!
Look deeper through the telescope and do not be afraid when the stars collide towards the darkness, because sometimes the most beautiful things begin in chaos.” ― Robert M. Drake
And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Each day is a new beginning, a chance to begin again. We shed the confining skin of yesterdays troubles, concerns and “mistakes” and emerge anew full of life and with the vitality of hope and exuberance, at least I hope so. At least that is what I tell myself at 7:15 a.m. while on my way to my newest adventure.
My year and a half long foray into retail at a well known-they-have-a-parade big chain department store has ended and I am stepping right inside another and very different job with just one day in between. It was an easy decision to make. I am getting more hours at more pay with less work. It was sad to leave nonetheless. I have met so many wonderful and amazing people there and that is what makes a place; the people I work with. I also liked the quick pace and flurry of activity, and although I excelled at that job and felt comfortable there, my dissatisfaction with a lack of opportunity has made me seek it elsewhere.
It’s scary to go out of one’s comfort zone as I am doing it once again. I was just settling in which I found myself jumping. Truth be told I do feel like I need to make up for lost time, which at 46 I really do. I have been feeling more outgoing and confident in the last year and this has prompted an ambition in me which I didn’t know I possessed and this has surprised me.
It seems everything is beginning to come together and it feels great.
These thoughts race through my mind as we turn the corner and the mountain comes into view. MM is so correct when he told me about the sunrises here. The morning sky is a vibrant purple erupting with brilliant tangerine. Wow! It is an almost surreal scene and it lends an air of excitement to the morning I didn’t expect…like I needed more excitement on my first day. I choose to see it as a good sign and MM sees at as a sign that he should pull over because I will want to snap some shots and he is so right again.
I marvel at the way life can abruptly change; just like that. One day you wake up to one reality and then the next day you can be living an entirely new one. Each day has it’s own distinct sunrise, it’s own set of challenges and moments of serendipity. Some days are so bloody fantastic that you have to pinch yourself just to make sure you aren’t dreaming. While others are more akin to nightmares. Most days fall someplace in between. Every day memories are being created and etched into our minds, memories that make us who we are and what we will be. There are days that can break us but these are the days that can make us stronger. Every day is a risk. To leave your house is a risk, to never leave is one also. The uncertain is fraught with perceived risk. Whether this is entirely justified is unclear to me.
Taking on a new job is a risk. To go out of one’s comfort zone and try anything new takes a fair amount of courage. I will confess I am a bit nervous on my first day but the sky invigorates me. I take it all in. My heart pounds, my pulse races. I feel so alive! A warm surge of excitement fills and tickles my every molecule. I’m living in the moment from sunrise to sunrise, one step leads to the next and I take it all in like I do the sky; my life, the new people that I meet. This is scary but it is good…
And now two weeks have passed…
I have good days. I have had not so good ones. All in all it’s been a positive experience. I now work in an office out by the airport that has big windows so I can always see the sky. I keep regular hours and have weekends to spend with my family. During lunch I go for “nature” walks. So far I have seen a fox and a bumblebee and numerous birds. Spring will soon be here. I can feel it. I can see it in the tiny crocus erupting from the ground in my backyard, I can hear it in the song of the birds in the morning and I can see it in the glorious sunrise I see in the morning. I am happy and content. Life is good and it’s getting better all the time.
A sampling of the beauty I am fortunate to witness . My cheap little camera does not do it justice…
An elderly neighbor of mine passed away last autumn. I didn’t realize this until the following spring when I saw people pull up in front of her little green house on the corner to carry away her things. First it was the chair, then a couch and a tall lamp. This came as a surprise as change tends to do. Abrupt and unexpected. She was old and frail and we’d seen less and less of her over the years. Her son Lenny lived with her and tended to the maintenance of the house and yard. He was a shy and gentle soul who never let anyone get to know him except for the neighborhood cats, which he attracted in droves.
As neighbors go they were my favorites. I like shy and gentle people, the elderly and cats. I was a bit pissed at myself for not knowing what had happened for almost 6 months.
MM suggested we go over and take a look at the obvious to us now, estate sale that was happening at the little green house on the corner. I admit I was curious as I had never been inside. I wondered where her son was as I got on my shoes and we headed over.
Half the neighborhood was there sprinkled among the other shoppers. I was stricken at first at how cramped it was, full of people pawing through Angie’s things. I felt funny. I didn’t know her all that well but now I felt sort of protective of her stuff and her memory. I took a quick tour of the downstairs bedroom. I saw her hairbrushes and clothes for sale. It seemed all too intimate, all too strange and all too much.
Oh I had spoken to her several times over the years exchanging cards at Christmas and the like. I knew she had lived there for over 40 years and had raised a family, watched most her children move away and start lives of their own. I know her husband had died there. I know that she seemed somewhat hard and no nonsense. I know that my preconceived notions about her had allowed me to keep her at arms length like I do with most people.
But now it was so different, so final..
The rooms were tiny and jam packed with various things. It was overwhelming right away: there was so much. It was difficult to take it all in. The first thing I zeroed in on was a set of commemorative dishes priced at $650 dollars next to a tin of cocoa marked “new” and on sale for one dollar. Along with old dishes and salt and pepper shakers shaped like Minnie and Mickey, there was a package of paper towels for sale and paper napkins. Who buys this stuff? I wondered to myself and more importantly who sells this? I was tempted to open the refrigerator to see if there was some old milk for sale but decided against it.
MM beckoned me up the flight of steep creaky stairs that led to the upstairs bedrooms, all small and filled to the brim with stuff. Old holiday decorations and kids toys neatly arranged in boxes. It was hard to believe they had hung on to these items for so long.
The atmosphere was oppressive, it was thick with oldness and stagnation. I could feel the 40 years of history there. This was once a place of life and hopes and dreams and now only lost memories remained. It was as if the remains of a sweetness had stagnated and turned acrid; buried under the heaviness of the years.
It wasn’t long before I had to get out. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything, I wasn’t planning to.
Time passes so quickly. It’s too easy to just go with the flow and let circumstance carry you along. I am in the midst of that and I sensed my neighbor was too but only she had floated farther than I…and stayed too long, accumulated too many things with too many links to the past. So many that there was scant room for anything or anyone else.
So much stuff with so many memories attached to them. It’s easy to do; hang on to things. I too have that pack rat mentality. Sometimes you never know when you may need something.
More importantly, these cherished bits of happiness; intangible memories encased in tangible objects enable us to hold a piece of the past. It seems holding on to these things brings us closer to what we miss. It’s a little silly when you think about the significance we give to objects, it’s not logical. But who is logical? Especially not when we love someone. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I truly understood how important mere objects can become.
I have limited myself a few items, tokens of memory, attached to a person not so much as a time. A few items: a Buddha statue of my father’s and his namesake tree in the front yard. A tiny doll my teenage daughter played with when she was younger, The blue striped blanket my son came home from the hospital with. I have kept the odd concert ticket, a tiny figurine from when I was 4. There isn’t much.
I’ve been ruminating on this experience all summer. It’s prompted me to re think the way I’m living my life. How I hang on to needless things. The tangible and the not so tangible. Outdated stuff, old baggage, outgrown ideas and ways of thinking. How possessions can possess the possessor and how little by little all this stuff we accumulate weigh us down… keeps us from flying.
Perhaps my neighbor missed her chance to fly, maybe her son being thrown out of the nest so late is in flight now. At any rate we all must go someway, somehow. I ponder this as I watch my neighbor’s tree come down foot by foot until it’s gone and I realize it’s been blocking what I see now is a great view of the mountains.
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
42 drafts…well 43 drafts sit here waiting in my to do box like faithful canine friends patiently awaiting my return. They sit in various forms of completion and come in all shapes and sizes; some are tiny puppies of a paragraph or two, others are stately Great Danes of considerable verbiage that lack a certain something, a doneness, something beyond simple edits and rewrites. I cannot truly write anything worthy before it’s time. The moment must be right.
And so as a result…
They are an ever-growing mass, these unfinished ones. They haunt the corners of this blog walking from room to room looking for something. Some whine for attention, others howl, most just sit there. As you have probably guessed, I have a case of chronic procrastination. I have always been this way; I start a multitude of creative projects only to have them linger in some state of incompletion. I am sort of infamous around here, at least at the little red house on 79th street, for having a million and one ideas that I never follow through on.
As time goes on this weighs on me more and more. These unfinished things represent this whole tendency of mine and along with my Asperger’s has served as my excuse for my holding myself back from participating in life. I’ve always been a terrific starter but a horrible finisher.
And there is such a multitude of business…my mind comes on like a radio with a half a dozen stations all competing for my attention. At times it can be hard to pick just one. One idea will give birth to the next. And one draft can easily grow into two or more. Many cousins akin to these drafts are finished posts which haunt the “pages” of this site.
I am a little person with big ideas. Lots of silly ones but others I think may be quite viable. My dream job would be to come up with great ideas for others to implement and charge them for it. I would keep busy in a glorious garden adjacent to a greenhouse with a big lemon tree in the center. Mario, my cat would be my assistant and we would think up great ideas all day while drinking coffee and having fun.
I am over 40, my kids are almost grown. Time is passing. And the time seems right to finish something I suppose. It has been three years since I began this blog; this “great” experiment. My 200 + published posts on this blog have shown me that I can finish something and something I can be proud of. I just have to buy into the hype I been selling: I need to believe and have faith and just do it…
Update: Well..I did it I summoned up the courage and submitted my first piece for publication. I don’t expect to hear anything, it would be a miracle if I did. I had an anxiety attack. I don’t know why.
It is a beginning…
“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
― Vladimir Nabokov
Andy Warhol was famous for saying that in the future we will all have our 15 minutes of fame. Well my friends the future is now and many people are already famous inside their own heads.
I am talking about that phenomena that’s sweeping the globe:
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone, digital camera or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
I see more and more people doing this… MM calls it “selfing”.
And not just adorable little blondes with cutesy pink phones…people from all walks of life, actors, artists, men on the street, ladies of the evening, cats, babies and even presidents and leaders of people.
How did we get so obsessed with our own image?
The first selfies; born out of “necessity” for most of us. Since the advent of social media and as more and more of us are becoming social online we need a profile pic. It’s not something anyone really planned, it sort of just happened. We could blame Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook who thought of the world as one big yearbook with a sea of faces with which one could compare against each other and judge. The selfie does predate Facebook and MySpace, where the term was first generally used. Taking a photograph of oneself started with the invention of photography. It has only been lately that it has become an obsession for some, a joke to others. Whatever it is–it has become a part of our social landscape and our common global culture.
Speaking for myself; I took my first one in the Autumn of 2012. I “needed” an updated Gravatar for this very same blog. I was hesitant to ask anyone to take my picture because it sounded so weird and self-indulgent. ( Of course I am not one of those people.) I snapped a few shots myself with my webcam, it was so easy. We are humans and social media is a place of social interaction between us. Our faces convey so much to each other, so much emotion, feeling. Many of our electronic communications are littered with emoticons. Mere words cannot give the entire picture.
We have a need for each other. A need to meet others to express thoughts and ideas. To be understood. To reach out and make that connection. To share ourselves with others. Running the gambit of emotions; happiness to sadness and back again… from the amazing to the mundane. We have a need to belong and to be looked upon favorably by our peers. Selfies can be fun. Some are very inventive and creative. I don’t think they are necessarily a bad thing or a sign of the moral decay of our civilization and subsequent doom. I think they can be empowering for people and a way to boost self esteem. There are groups that embrace the idea of the selfie and encourage people to submit their own self portraits 365 days a year. I have explored some of the submitted images. Some of it is quite artistic; there are talented photographers out there snapping pics of themselves every day.
The internet has put so much of our lives on display for one another. This puts the viewer of such display in the judges seat. It is tempting for anyone to judge given some of what we see and it’s easy to assume some find themselves on the short end of the comparison. People’s opinions of each other unfortunately are swayed by appearance; the appearance of wealth, youth and good looks…the appearance of happiness….no one wants to look like a loser, or old or fat or bald or whatever. Simply put, we care what other think about us and this very human truism is being played out on a grand scale throughout the digital world.
We call them selfies, we take them of ourselves but do they truly reflect our real selves? I have seen quite a few of them and rarely are they realistic.
The selfie is a way for many to become the self they have always wanted to be. I googled “selfie fails” and found a plethora of examples of Photoshop gone wrong. Men and women with obviously unrealistic bodies and faces, freakishly thin waists, bulging chests and completely unlined faces. The pull is strong to want to doctor ones photos. I myself I am guilty of erasing a line or two here and there. Who doesn’t want to be younger; to look 25 again? Who doesn’t want the perfect body and the perfect life? We see them all the time…these people with the perfect everything.
The perfection hype we buy into is sold to us by the media. The Joneses we are struggling to keeping up with don’t even exist.
The perfect job, mate and kids, the perfect parties and friends. These people go on exciting and exotic vacations with all the other beautiful people living perfect lives. We know this because we see it in their selfies. The ones they are nice enough to share with us so we can “like” them and comment; tell them how wonderful they are and how young they really do look. All accompanied by smiley faces and hearts.
Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?
And we like them every time they put up a new one, every week even if it’s every day. Some people change theirs constantly; living a life in front of the tiny screen. Every minor event documented and accompanied by the same needy almost pleading stare. Just like anything else selfies can be addictive and perhaps that in itself is a sign of trouble–a cry for help.
I also saw some other types of selfies on my googling adventure into this odd and narcissistic world. There were the funny ones, the amazing ones, the clever and cute ones, the silly duck faces and the ones with the bizarre backgrounds. But there were some sad ones as well. I was stricken by the number of photos taken by women, apparently mothers in bathrooms and other places with big mirrors posing for suggestive selfies in front of their small children.
I am a bit naive but this shocked me. It came off as desperate, so sad and lonely. And then I began to look at all the selfies in a different light. Maybe they are not just a sign of our collective narcissism and self-obsession, maybe there is something deeper; an underlying anxiety of separation, a feeling we are losing ourselves, the dissolution of the family unit. We are spending longer hours in the office, on the road, increasingly we are spending more and more time apart from each other.
We need to be accepted and understood. We need to be connected and have others think well of us. Unfortunately this need to be liked and accepted maybe envied or idolized has become an obsession for some.
And maybe…just maybe, if we can have the perfect selfie we can get a little piece of that perfect life too…
As with everything else; nothing is all black or white…
…points to ponder…
Have yourself a wonderful day!
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”