Wordless Wednesday #wordlessWednesday
Maybe they’re more like moments. Moments we never talk about. Most of them don’t mean a thing. But others…
I was driving to work the other day when I heard the lyrics of the song below, and it zapped my emotions. It was a song that had meaning only to me. A moment in time sort of thing . But it has to do with a moment that I don’t share.
Soooo…I was wondering. Some of you must have moments you don’t tell for one reason or another that are brought back to mind every time you hear something familiar.
Is there any quote, any line from a movie, any lyrics from a song, that have a special meaning to you and only you? Something that, every time you hear it, a “ping” runs through you, reminding you of that “moment”?
Alrighty, then! Here’s your chance to share your secret moment through a song or a poem or a quote from a movie. Tell us! We don’t have any idea what the secret is, nor do we want to know. I/we just want you to get it off your chest once and for all!
If you always wanted to tell someone something…here’s your chance.
I know I feel better…
I’ll go first.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
(I have become comfortably numb)
Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
Born in 1965, Carol Long was raised on a farm in Stafford County Kansas.
.Working from a family farm studio in Kansas, Carol reproduces the beauty of her surrounding environment into her pieces using floral and insect motifs, combined with flowing lines, merging into leaf and plant details
Pieces are made by a variety of methods such as throwing, slabwork, extrusions, and hand building, along with pulled handles and attached multiple pieces that are textured with presses, slip trailing, stains and glazes.
Her work continues to evolve as she experiments with new ways of expressing the tiny beautiful intrinsic qualities of nature that we often take for granted.
Originally inspired to be an artist by her mother, she has also received inspiration from her three children, which explains the carefree whimsy evident in her pottery.More of Carol Long‘s pottery can be found at http://www.carollongpottery.com/.
Walt is a poet, and has such a way with words. I don’t have a flair for poetry but I am a writer, so for those who enjoyed yesterday’s poem, here is the story I wrote some time ago. It’s about 1,100 words, so hopefully it won’t take up too much of your time…
He woke up before the crowing of the rooster, something he hadn’t done in a long time. There was only one rooster left now, a strutting white leghorn with tan wings and black spots on his chest. Eddie didn’t feel like waiting for the bird’s morning call, though –he was wide awake. The old man stretched carefully, surprised to find the shooting pains in his legs gone. Remarkable. Last night the pain had been so bad he had to double his medication just to make it to his bed. Now — now his legs felt better than they had in years.
Sitting up in bed, his watery eyes looked out the window towards the coming sunrise. The light sparkled like a million crystal chips, shimmering at the edge of the sky, stretching the morning clouds into ribbons of pink and gold. Someone once told him that the sunrises were brighter these days because of all the pollution in the air, but he didn’t agree. Eddie had witnessed many a sunrise on his farm in Wisconsin, many a sunrise and sunset since his father plowed the land when he was a boy. Maybe they all didn’t sparkle like this one, but they were all unique, all beautiful.
Climbing out of bed and into the bathroom, Eddie noticed that all of his bodily functions were running smoothly. What an enjoyable respite from the dribbling and splashing he had been going through lately. Looking into the mirror, his blue eyes were the clearest he had seen in a while, the age splotches on his face nearly non-existent. His hands didn’t tremble as he shaved, nor did he need his glasses to comb his hair.
Donning his flannel and overalls, Eddie called his hound to come join him on a morning walk. The 84-year-old man had not wandered through his farmland in ages, and his legs felt so great, so strong, he couldn’t resist the urge to revisit fields that had seen better days. Bouncer didn’t come running, though, but merely slept in the puddle of sunlight that fell in front of the living room sofa. Fine, Eddie thought. Sleep the morning away. I have things to do.
The chill of the morning air danced around the old man as he opened the back door, invigorating his senses. The scent of hay and grass filled his nostrils, along with the earthy sweat of horses and cows. He looked down at his legs and worried for a moment they wouldn’t carry him across the porch and down the stairs to the old barn. He hadn’t been able to make that trek in quite some time, his legs having grown more useless as the years passed. But this morning — this morning was different. There wasn’t a cloud hanging over his thoughts anymore. No depression, no drugs to slow him down.
Eddie cautiously moved down the stairs and followed the dirt path that led to the empty red barn. Vivid memories of his father and mother and brothers bombarded him as he neared the dilapidated structure. His parents had moved to Wisconsin from Poland, hoping to find freedom and a new life in the rural countryside that looked so much like their native land. His father tended 25 cows in his day; Eddie almost 40 during his middle years. Adding chickens and a couple of bulls to the mix, Eddie made a decent living, enough to support a wife and three children in the heyday of the 50’s.
But the kids grew up and moved to the big city, and his wife took on a bout of cancer about ten years back and never recovered, leaving the farm and livestock to run wild with abandonment. Eddie finally allowed the neighbor to plant corn in his empty fields, providing a small but decent return that, combined with his small pension, afforded him a comfortable retirement.
The past was the past, and now all Eddie could visualize was the barn full of cows and the chickens raising a ruckus in their pen somewhere behind the milk cans and the 1952 Ford pickup truck that was down a quart of oil. His footsteps were lighter than air, quick and sure, walking the path they had carved into the earth for the past 80 years. Eddie noticed horses in the pasture and hay bales stacked up in the loft and kids playing baseball in the front yard. Yes, that was how it was supposed to be.
Past the farm equipment, through the barn and out the double doors on the other side, Eddie spotted his wife sitting on the picnic table under the huge oak tree at the bottom of the hill, laughing and talking to his mother and father.
Eddie spotted his father sitting in the wooden chair that used to sit by the fireplace and his mother on a blanket near the base of the tree. They looked so young and fresh, just as they did the day they bought the farm five miles outside of town. The kids squealed in the background, the dogs barked and the crows threatened from their perches atop the trees.
It was incredible how good it felt to be alive, to feel the earth and the farm under his feet, the sunshine on his weathered face, to hear his children laugh and scream and chase the dogs around the front yard. Eddie fleetingly wondered about his newfound energy, the firmness of his limbs, the accuracy of his eyesight. There were no more bouts with arthritis and pneumonia; there were no more regrets about the past or thoughts of suicide. It was as if he had always been this way. His wife Margaret seemed to take on a subtle glow as she beckoned him to join her under the overgrown tree.
Eddie hesitated for a moment, as a thought, a rationalization, tried to take form in his head. But it was gone as quickly as it appeared, for the world was full of enchanting sounds and sights, and no rationalization could take that away.
Just as the sun crested above the distant pines the rooster finally crowed, cracking the morning with its triumphant sound. At that moment Eddie thought he heard a jumbling of sounds: a phone ringing, a dog howling, voices and noises and the shattering of glass. But it must have been the wind playing tricks, carrying nonsense through the open fields from the farms down the way. He turned, and, smiling, went into the arms of his beautiful wife.
The reunion had begun. Eddie was home. Home on the farm.
When I read this poem this morning it reminded me so much of a short story I wrote that I had to repost it. We all hope our dreams become our reality once we move along. Thanks, Walt, for the beauty of the written word.
Often when I sleep I dream I go to a place I call Night Dream Meadow Where the moon is bright And my heart is light And I listen to the voices of the night I walk through the meadow Following the path Leading me to the Rainbow Bridge Where I’m greeted by the dogs […]
I just came back from an Evening in Paris. Walked the back streets until I came upon this little bistro. I sat outside at a little wrought iron table under an umbrella, for it was raining. The lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkled through the misty rain, a constant vigil in the Paris skyline. Down the street a door opened and the sweet strains of La Vie En Rose poured out, completing the night.
Actually, I was downloading some images for a future Eiffel Tower Gallery and kept coming across pictures of Paris at night.
I wasn’t always a dreamer of French bistros and cathedrals. My desires have always been towards the green hills of Ireland and the rolling towns of England. But the last few years have drawn me to the romantic notions of Pariee…the museums, the small restaurants, French wine, croissants, fashion, café au lait, parks, romantic side streets…I mean, I could stay for a month.
Perhaps I’ve watched “Midnight in Paris” too many times. Or “An American in Paris.” Movies always make places seem more magical than they really are.
But I don’t think it’s the same with Paris. I think there’s always been magic there. From the time of Louis XIV and Versailles to the rolling wine country of Bordeaux and Champagne, there is always something about another world that is full of mystery and atmosphere.
I don’t think I’ll ever travel to Paris — with grandkids and mortgages and who knows what else, I don’t think this is on my husband’s top 10 places to visit before he dies. And anyway, I doubt anyone would want to do the kind of wandering I’d be inclined to do (the pretzel kind).
One thing that has danced on the outside of my thoughts is to write a story about Paris. I haven’t been in the mood to finish my third novel (or anything else lately), but the thought of a middle-aged woman finding intrigue and freedom in a strange and beautiful city…
Ah, but how can I write about a place I’ve never been?
Well, I’ve never been to 1885 Claremont, Wisconsin or Veii, Etruria either. And I survived those uncharted worlds just fine.
If you want to write about something you know nothing about, write. Take a chance. Let your mind wander past the 25-mile circle you call home. You never know…
Maybe we will meet at Le Recruitement Cafe one evening. 36 boulevard la Tour Maubourg, 75007 Paris. I will have to astral travel, but hey…I’ll be there…
Philippines-based illustrator Kerby Rosanes is a master in the world of proves that doodling can be so much more than scratching unintelligible scribbles on paper.
Using Uni Pin drawing pens, Rosanes is able to transport viewers to a world of designs, characters, and drawings that present a mesmerizing view with every angle.
Rosanes admits that he gets on an “illustration high” when he merges animals with his “crazy doodle monsters”, but he loves the results of every fusion.
Rosanes is a self-taught artist, honing his talent with every design. Growing up, he could not afford to take art classes so he learned to draw himself.
Rosanes believes that artists should pursue something that is close to your heart. Breaking into the creative industry is not easy. So don’t let every negative comment pull you down.
More of Kerby Rosanes amazing designs can be found at http://kerbyrosanes.com.
Is it to inform? Entertain? Do you use it as a diary? A podium?
I started this blog in 2011 to entertain. I have a great connection to the Goddess and I wanted to share her upbeat, positive message. That we only go one way in life, so we might as well fill that way with all the positives we can.
I suppose our blogs drift one way or another as time goes by. Perhaps the two of us weren’t funny enough. Or clever enough. But as she and I got older the posts became more melancholy. More shadowed.
Everything came full circle the other day, though. Something that snapped me back into beautiful reality.
I just became a grandmother for the third time yesterday. And that in itself is all the magic, all the blessing, one could ask for.
I want to live long enough to attend my newest granddaughter’s wedding. To go fishing with the boys in the summer and build snowmen in the winter. I want three kids calling “granny granny granny!” for years and years to come.
Nothing else matters.
This is my life. I am here. Like that poster of the galaxy with “You are here” over this teeny tiny dot. And this is where I want to be.
So hug your kids, your dog, or your stuffed unicorn. You have a choice in life to be positive or negative. For yourself, for your family, for your friends, pick the positive. Even if you slip and fall you’ll still be going in the right direction.
Happy Saturday and beyond!.
Let me make this perfectly clear — I am very happy where I am. My husband, my grandkids, my own two kids. I couldn’t ask for more.
Yet here I am, asking for more.
I think I watch too many TV shows where there are actors making $20,000 an episode, the CEO of Ceasar’s Palace and the Vice President of Food and Beverage at Ceasar’s judging Hell’s Kitchen finalists, Gosford Park where the really rich do nothing but eat and languish while the servants have a world of their own, restaurants that serve exquisite meals that make unique appetizers at $30 a hit, people who vacation in Hawaii then the Alps then France and barely feel the breeze on their hair.
I am suffering from rich people envy.
I will never be in that world. Point blank. I will never have the money to stay at an exquisite resort in the Rockies or have a beach front apartment in Honolulu or have a cocktail at the top of the Eifel Tower. And in some realms that is okay.
I have taken the slow road through life. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, I have worked all my life in order to have a comfortable place to call home, send my kids to school, pay for their sports and their pizzas and some of their college. I tried starting my own business, which didn’t take off as I thought it would. So backwards the finances went, until I found a job at a catalog distributor.
I will never be able to take off for the weekend to New York City or dine at Guy Savoy’s in Caesar’s Palace. Most of those things don’t matter to most of us. And it doesn’t matter to me most of the time.
But now and then I feel a bit melancholy that I never became a money maker in life. That I never became a vice president or executive director of anything. I never became a famous author or consultant. I never have been able to live in the top third income bracket.
Yet I am okay where I am today.
Maybe it’s because the road in front of me is shorter than the road behind me, and you can’t change your past. I suppose if I were to do my life again I’d change a little bit here or there, but I would still go bowling with friends where I met my husband and driven my kids to school every day just so I could have a conversation with them.
Would you change any part of your life? Just a smidge?
Do you ever suffer from “money envy”?
Sometimes I’m ashamed that I envy the money life. Why be envious of a life you will never have? Your family never had? Would I trade anything I have today for that golden ring?
I think a lot of this insecurity comes because I’m almost old enough to retire, and my past was never on the money path. It’s easy to look back and think I should have done this or that and it would have made a difference.
But that’s not true.
I may not be an executive of a company, but I’ve worked hard and well in all my jobs, traveled to Cancun and Las Vegas with my husband, I go camping and on ski weekends and I’m blessed to have both of my kids in the same state. I may not vacation in the Bahamas but camping in Sturgeon Bay is just as rewarding.
I think we all suffer from money envy from time to time. It’s what we do with that envy that counts. Acknowledge it, thank it, and get on with your life. You can’t change your choices, so embrace the ones you’ve made.
You’ve made them for a reason.
Both a tremendous athlete and a motivated student growing up in New Hampshire, it wasn’t until later in life that Jack Storms discovered his passion for contemporary art.
It was during his junior year at PSU that he stumbled upon a nearby studio of a glass artist producing a rare style of glass artwork by combining lead crystal and dichroic glass using a cold-glass process.
Jack worked alongside this fellow artist for over a year to learn every component and facet of this incredibly challenging and unusual art form.
Jack’s first major accomplishments as an independent glass artist was to invent and design a cold-working lathe that offers him the ability to turn glass and sculpt shapes with curves and details like one would produce from a wooden medium.
Early memories of studying his fathers craftsmanship as he worked for hours in his own studio with a wooden lathe provided him with the blueprint of his vision.
His intense drive and deeply embedded passion as a glass artist combined with the inspiration that came from the idea of pioneering new trails was extremely intense, time consuming and physically demanding, but no obstacle was going to get in the way of his dreams.
More of Jack Storms fantastic work can be found at https://jackstorms.com.
Well they say things come in threes, so here is my third and last trip to the melancholy, murky side of the world.
Last time we talked I told you about the private acreage where I imagined I saw the ghost of the old man waking around in the evening. And how this personal connection was caution-taped off yesterday. (for those still curious, https://wp.me/p1pIBL-2Fi).
I found out what happened.
There was a murder here in my little Wisconsin work town.
A man went into town and shot his wife(?) in the head, causing her car to crash into a pole. He then left and pulled into a secluded spot on Freemont Street and shot himself.
It was his parked truck that I first spotted on my way to work. He was already dead by the time I drove by.
18 years they were together. Two children. Who knows what the problem was, but whatever it was made him so angry he decided to take the life of his woman and himself.
I don’t understand people. I don’t understand how someone could get pushed so far to the edge that they not only destroy themselves but everyone around them. Some may say I’ve never suffered extreme depression. I haven’t. But that doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t ache when someone does and can’t handle it.
I know nothing of the couple, of their domestic life, of their ups and downs and ins and outs or what made their lives work. Or, obviously, not work.
If ever you feel you’re at the edge, stop. And contact someone. A phone call, a text, anything to get you in touch with someone who cares about you. Even a chat with your fellow bloggers can release an overbearing burden. We do care if you live or die. Or cry. You do not have to go through this alone.
I will stop and look for the old man after work. His ghost will be relieved he had nothing to do with the tragedy that unfolded on his property. I hope he continues to wander in peace.
Last evening was one of those times.
I take the backroads to and from work. They are filled with fields and farms and a house now and then. The drive strips away all my crummy moods left over from work, and I come home a clean woman, ready for the evening.
The road itself makes three “S” turns, giving you a view of three different directions. Just after the third “S” is a huge field except for one acre that was carved out for a farmhouse. I remember when I first started working 15 years ago there was a white house on that lot and a big, dilapidated barn across the street.
I remember a kid riding a go-cart through the levels of the barn, a little old man laughing and watching him. It was a long time ago, but the memory stuck, so I wrote a short story about the old man and his ghost still walking the territory.
The house is gone now, as is the barn. The barn’s acreage has been replaced with fields of corn or soybeans, the house’s lot empty, yet mowed every year. I think about the little man every time I drive by, often giving a nod to the land he once called his.
Yesterday I made my daily morning trek past the empty parcel and there was a black truck parked on the cement triangle that used to be a driveway. I thought that odd, for there’s never anyone around that time of the morning, especially there.
Last night I was driving home from work when I was stopped by a car in the middle of the first “S”. He asked me to take an alternate route because there was a “matter” down near Freemont Street, the end of the third “S”. Dutifully I took the horseshoe around the countryside until I came to the junction of that road and the end of the last “S”.
You know how you sometimes get a feeling of foreboding out of nowhere? I looked down the end of the “S” and there was yellow caution tape wrapped all around the old man’s acreage. Flashing lights blocked the road, and there was the same black truck parked back further on the road.
Yellow caution tape. On my sacred parcel.
Had the old man come back to look for his house that wasn’t there? Did someone make a sacrifice on my sacred land? Did one of his decedents commit suicide there? Or was it merely a gas leak?
I haven’t found out what happened, and don’t know if I ever will. But I feel as if someone blasphemed on that special place where the ghost of the old man still wanders.
Maybe I don’t want to know.
Like the visit to my old homestead, time changes things. Keep the memories and the inspirations of your first experiences and hold them close. For what comes out later is never the same.
For the past becomes nothing but ghosts in the night.
Perhaps that’s not the correct quotation, but its meaning hit me this past weekend.
I have always dreampt of going back to where I spent the first 22 years of my life, the house I grew up in. Now leaving home at 22 isn’t a big deal except for the fact that it was 44 years ago. We always go back to my husband’s old stomping grounds in Chicago, but that’s because we go down there to see his brother who still lives in the house he grew up in. So we always got to experience where he grew up.
But never where I did.
So Saturday we went to pick up my brother-in-law from a physical rehab center two blocks from my old house, and I asked if I could be dropped off so I could walk around the block once more while the brother-in-law was checked out.
I remember riding my bike to the back side of the block, playing with the few friends I had. Drawing on a chalkboard in one friend’s screened-in gazebo; swinging on my friend’s swingset; Fourth of July tables in front of my house. Three brothers, three girlfriends, and my first two loves of my life lived around that block. I thought I would be swept away with memories and emotions and flashbacks to days gone by.
The only thing that hadn’t changed was my house.
The back side of the block backed up to the golf course, and all the small houses that used to be there had been torn down, huge, gawking houses replacing them. Susie’s house is gone. I don’t even recognize Lucy and Rita’s house. On my side of the block there is an apartment complex across the street from my house where houses and fields once were; even the hospital rehab center is new. The school directly across the street has grown another floor, and there’s a stoplight there, too.
The whole area has changed. The two-lane road I used to play on at 3 o’clock in the morning while my parents were packing to go camping is now a busy four lane. Further away sit new shops, gigantic houses…nothing I knew as a child.
I walked around the block, hoping, praying I’d feel that knot of nostalgia that comes with dipping into the past. The house my dad built is still there, as was Andy the old man neighbors and Lynda’s sprawling ranch.
But the thrill I thought I’d find walking through my past never came.
Oh, it was nice walking around the peaceful back of my block; I even walked past my first love’s house…if it was his house…it was so different. I walked by John’s house, the boy who never knew I existed, and his buddies the Abbotts next door.
But John and Lucy and Lynda were long gone. It was time for me to let the past go, too. I’ve walked my last walk around the block of memories.
My memories, no matter how distorted, are much better.
Welsh lovespoons are hand made wooden spoons that are made from one piece of wood and designed and decorated according to the carver’s imagination.
Originally made by young men during the long winter nights or by young men on long sea voyages, they were carved to express that young man’s intentions towards a particular girl.
A lovespoon would be given to a girl as an indication that he wished to court her. A girl may have received lovespoons from several suitors and these would be displayed on the wall of her home.
The earliest surviving lovespoon dating from around 1667 is at the National Museum of Wales at St. Fagans near Cardiff but Welsh lovespoons are known to have been made by the menfolk of Wales before this date.
Today Welsh lovespoons may be given as they were originally, to declare a suitor’s intent, for Dydd Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh equivalent to Valentine’s Day celebrated on January 25th.
They are also given for to commemorate a Wedding Day, an Engagement, the birth of a child, a wedding anniversary, a birthday, or a Christening or Baptism.
It is a marvelous tradition that entails craftmanship, heritage, and the truest of emotions — love.
Today I have a question for all of you poets out there. I follow quite a few, and am amazed at the quality of your words.
My question: are you a poet in the educated way? I don’t mean did you go to college and MAJOR in poetry, but do you understand the various types of verses — not just the usual free form, ballad, or rhyme, but a tanka, lyric, and haiku?
Or do you just write what you feel and cut it up into short words or stanzas?
I had to look up some of the poetry styles above. Each form has its own rules. That’s the beauty of the outcome. Following the rules makes you understand the difficulty of the style. And from difficulty (usually) comes understanding and appreciation.
I have a computer full of poetry. Yet I’m not comfortable calling myself a poet. When I reread some of them it feels more like the second style — writing what I feel and cutting it up into short words or stanzas.
My second question: What is your goal when you write a poem?
Is it to vent emotion? Show appreciation of something concrete? To let the ethereal run through you? Is every emotion yours? Or a pretend someone?
A lot of the poets I follow use poetry as a way of keeping a memory alive. Or an occasion. Others’ dark poetry opens a door to their own (possible) darkness. Others sound more like a story in stanza form. And I am always curious as to what prompted those poems.
I wonder if writing poetry is like writing stories/novels. Most novels are pretend people and pretend situations, yet the emotions of the writer often takes over one of the characters…maybe even two. Novels need to make sense — they need a beginning, middle, and ending.
I see poetry as more of a passing thought.
I ask these questions, not to call you out, but to understand the world of the poet. You should be proud to call yourself a poet, whether you write “by the rules” or not. Whether you’re published or not. Whether you are Poet of the Year or not.
Let me know how a poet thinks!
Today I want to show you a couple of pictures. I’d like to know what you think of them — where they’re from, what kind of people live there. Houses just down the block from you and me.
And a third.
Are these the homes of terrorists? Hostile Politicians?
Is the mother divorced? The father cheating on his wife? Are they Democrats? Republicans? Independents?
You see — you know nothing about the people who live in these houses. You have no idea of their problems, their dreams, their struggles. You have no idea if they’re African American or German or American Indian.
And you know what?
It shouldn’t matter.
I may be naive, but I tend to believe that most of the people in the world are good. They work, they love, they cry. They buy groceries, they take their kids to soccer, and stay awake at night.
We’ve got to get rid of this hatred of other people … hatred towards people we don’t know, never knew, or will never know. We have to fight the prejudices our parents and grandparents passed along to us. We don’t have to LOVE each other, but we certainly don’t need to HATE each other either.
Let them plant their flowers, mow their lawns, and wish upon a star at night. They deserve that chance free of hatred. So do we.
As for the pictures…?
The first one is from Poland, the second Greece, and the last Australia. All done with Google Earth.
Right down the road….
In 1874, Louis-François’ son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred’s sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the brand name worldwide.
Cartier created unique and individual creations for celebrities and royalty alike.
Their revolutionary ideas, such as using platinum in jewelry, earned Cartier the title of ‘Jeweler of Kings, King of Jewelers’ from King Edward VII.
Cartier is considered to be one of the top names in luxury products globally.
But. Cartier has never forgotten their history of producing custom-made or one-of-a-kind beautiful jewelry and wrist watch creations.
Back on January 4th I wrote a blog about not making New Year’s resolutions. (in case you need a refresher course, it’s https://wp.me/p1pIBL-2Cm). I still believe in not making resolutions — they are merely commitments you can’t always keep. No offense.
But I have had an altered experience that makes me redefine the word “resolution.”
I was driving home from work today and the song “Come Sail Away” by Styx came on. What did I do? Cranked up the song and sang along at the top of my lungs. It felt great. Like a release into the atmosphere.
So I started to think what it would look like to the outside world if I did the same thing in the summer. Windows wide open, through the countryside and citywide as well. This 65-year-old granny of 2-1/2, singing like there’s no tomorrow.
I have been self conscious most of my life. The reasons don’t matter, but I am not comfortable when people watch me. (Watch me, as opposed to look at me when we talk/laugh etc.). I always wonder what other people think of how I look. Do I match. Do I dress like a teenager. Do I sound stupid when I talk.
Well, I have made a decision. Besides trying to not care what others think, I’m making a point of doing this same driving stunt during the summer. This 65-year-old woman driving around with the windows down, singing with my favorite songs at the top of my lungs.
Honestly. What have I got to lose?
Will it matter to me if the college kid in the car next to me or the lady waiting for the stoplight or the kid riding his bike think I’m nuts? Will it matter 20 years from now that I gave my favorite songs my “all”?
I think all of us have wasted too much time worrying about what the “other guy” thinks. We are all unique individuals. No one else has our DNA. No one else felt the things we felt and went the places we went or cried the tears we cried.
I am going to make a point of sharing my love of music by singing along with it and cranking it up and sharing my excitement, my transformation, with anyone who listens. I will be a 65-year-old inspiration for whomever wants to be inspired, and a good joke for those who could care less.
No resolutions. No commitments. Just making a point.
Be who you always wanted to be but were afraid to be.
A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said
They said come sail away, Come sail away
Come sail away with me….
It has been five days since I made the vow to dump sensationalized social media. I am happy to report that I haven’t a clue as to what Trump is tweeting nor what Kim Kardashian is saying about her mother/sister/husband. It is refreshing.
I am watching the movie Gladiator. It is an epic production, but all the killing makes me sad. Oh, it’s only a movie, but it’s based on a truth. How many people have died in one war or another? And I’m not just talking about the United States. The Mongol Conquests took 34,641,016+; Spanish Conquest of the Aztec World, 24,300,000+, and back home, World War II, 36,696,798+. (statistics from Wikipedia.) There is no glory in war. When will the world learn this?
I have lost the buzz to write. Is it the weather? Is it that I’m tired when I get home from work? Have I given up? I would say this happens to everyone now and then, but at this moment, I don’t care. And that’s what’s not good. I’ve left my heroine on a parallel planet pregnant with the king’s child, not married, someone trying to kill her, and the edge of the world is crumbling. Why can’t I get going on this?
I love my cats and like my dog, but I have been a crazy person lately babysitting my brother-in-law’s yappy dog. And over the weekend my son’s dog, too. I am feeling so anti-pet lately…is that because I’m getting old? Tired of dogs and cats sleeping on my bed so I can’t turn over? Tired of their meowing because they’re hungry or bored? I do admit my patience is thinning the older I get. Just trying to keep my cool. .
Do you go through grandparent withdrawal? Do you pace the floor and count the days until you can next get together? My heart hurts for those of you who live far from your grandbabies. Even if they’re in high school or college, they’re still your grandbabes. What wonderful, naughty, childish things you do when you are together! Sit on the floor (and can’t get up), ride a bike (better get a helmet and shin guards), play baseball (can’t catch but, oh well..), eat ice cream cones (one scoop or two?) I’m rested and ready.
Do you like the winter? The gentle sparkle of falling flakes, the laughter of children playing in the snow, fireplaces and hot chocolate, snuggles and cuddles and crisp cold air that brings a hard blush to your face?
I don’t either. Come on Spring!
Are you sitting on the veranda, a soft, warm breeze encouraging you to watch the stars come out? Are you cuddled under a soft, velvety throw, your features softened by firelight, as you read your book? Are you dancing and laughing and making love to minds and bodies and future promises?
I am watching the 2009 version of Hamlet with Mel Gibson. Beautiful eyes aside, he has done the Bard proud.
Most people ask, “How can you understand Shakespeare? His words are so flowery!”
Oh, would today’s writing have such flowery.
I have found the longer I listen to Shakespeare the more I understand. At first the words are tilted and gilded and wraped around each other with magnificent curliques.
But the more you listen, the richer the text becomes. If the actor, the actress, truly understand exactly what William was saying, they become one with the character. And their oneness transcends all language.
I suppose you could say the same with any good writer, with any good actor. Some leave the words back in the book; Other take the beauty, the harmony, of the written word and transcend both worlds.
The purpose of this evening blog is to encourage those of you who use your words to use your words. Don’t just jot down the first rhetoric that comes to mind. Get into your characters. Feel their pain, their confusion, their undying love. And speak as if you were them.
Take a good read or watch a good video of Shakespeare. Know he is of another time, another world, another language. But learn how he says so much with such curly and sweetly scented words. And then take to heart what you learn and make it part of your writing. Perhaps you are not Mel Gibson speaking Hamlet, but you are a gifted muse speaking your own words.
Who knows — maybe one day they will make a movie out of your words!
Every day I enjoy reading the headlines of Yahoo. Well, I used to enjoy them. But it seems as the news and social media have galloped away into the madness of the sunset that never ends.
Kim Kardashian posts sexy Instagram in her underwear
Does Donald Trump know the words to the national anthem? You be the judge
People Are Convinced Angelina Jolie Dissed Jennifer Aniston At The Golden Globes
Joe Scarborough Mocks Trump Immigration Meeting: ‘Grandpa Kept Wandering’
Woman skips mom’s funeral to steal from her home: cops
What in the hell is wrong with people?
Do I come from such a whitebread background that I can’t identify with murderers and thieves? Am I so far from the bright lights of Hollywood that I can’t appreciate every wardrobe change of a nobody?
I might not have voted for the president, but I’m tired of all the nonsense that keeps filling up the news. This last week I’ve read about him not singing the entire national anthem, that he has a cheeseburger in his bed at night, he cant pronounce Nazi and he won’t let housekeeping clean his bedroom.
Who in the Hell cares?
I’m so tired of nonsense news that I’m going to do my best to stop reading Yahoo and any other headliner agencies.
Easier said than done. A big goal, seeing as I’m a social media kinda gal. But I’ve got to curb my free time and stop wasting it on things I can do nothing about. I’ve said this in other blogs. My heart breaks for mudslide victims and hurricane victims. But there is nothing I can do to change that flow. I also can’t help rich and famous people who are getting busted for everything from drugs to sexual harassment or athletes who sit for the national anthem.
I admit I do like to read the good news. The positive stuff. But you have to dig far to find it. Somewhere behind politics and nuclear relations is a story about a dog who saved a child or a mother who was reunited with her baby. But those stories are hard to find these days.
I know there is pain and evil all around us. Respectable journalists report this kind of news to the public to inform, to warn, and to reward. But it gets way out of hand when they are reporting about this starlet’s underwear or this public figure’s eating habits. It seems writing news stories has become nothing more than one-upping the story before.
So I will stick to my blogging and reading my friend’s blogs and sharing news on my Facebook account. I will write poetry and finish my fantasy fiction novel and read a few new books too. If I need gossip I will go to a site that specializes in that. But I’m done with the madness on the levels above.
My psyche takes it all too personally, and that’s not good for my heart — or soul.
Tokyo-based artist Izumi Akinobu creates amazing miniature worlds encased in tiny glass bottles.
She has been creating these wonderful bottles since 2010.
It’s Friday Night.
What are you doing? What are you watching?
Friday night is the crash point of anyone who works full time Monday through Friday. Somehow it’s become the psychological barrier between work (madness, determination, exasperation) and freedom (creativity, socialization, family and friends).
We all deal with Friday in our own way. Some go out on the town. Some go to the movies, some to the local bar. Some make a pizza and beer night (I have been known to participate in such). Some just jump into jammies and watch whatever is on TV. Others run to the book they’re reading to catch up on the next chapter.
Does Friday night mean anything to you? Is it a change from one world onto another? Is is psychological change, a metaphysical change? Do you turn from Dr. Jekyll during the day to Galileo during the night? Do you turn from data clerk or accountant to a creative entity worth mentioning?
I always have felt like a different person during the day. Methodical, calculating, creative when I need to be. It’s nothing like my science fiction, cerbrial, not-making-sense sort of person. I always thought I was the same person day in and day out. But the last few years have proven otherwise.
It doesn’t matter what your creative field. Painting, crocheting, writing, calligraphy. Rarely does your day time job allow your muse to come front and center. That’s why it’s always amazing that an accountant becomes a poet. Or a stock trader becomes an internet and Food Network sensation.
We all do what we have to do to make a living. We may be cement contractors during the day — a director or an accounts payable clerk or a cashier
But that is not who we are.
Pay attention to your inner voice. THAT is who you are. Your basic skills may be typing or graphic design but your real self is so much more.
Don’t ignore what your inner voice is saying. If it is screaming to paint a thought or moment on canvas, let it out. If it is telling you there is a poem in your daily grind or in a sunrise, let it out. Life is too short to be limited to one column, one state, one being. You all know what I mean. The way the world rolls, we usually are one singular person during the day and someone totally different afterwards.
Back to the original question — what are you doing this Friday night? Are you vegging, dreaming, writing, painting? Are you watching your favorite TV shows? Science fiction? Reality shows? Game shows? I believe we all are drawn to that secret part of our personality.
Happy Friday, everyone. Get moving with those dreams!
Those of you who read my blabber blog know that I do not make resolutions. Why put all that heart and soul into promises you might not keep?
One of my friends and followers Jane Gealy from The Planet According to Dom commented on my no resolution blog thus: ” I’ve not made a NYR for 30 or more years, but from this point on I will make an exception: to reduce the amount of plastic I buy/use and to be more ‘earth conscious.'” And I replied thus: “It doesn’t have to be “NY resolution” — let it be a lifestyle change! ”
And that got me thinking. Resolutions are made for shorter periods of time. Six months. A Year. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything say they were making resolutions that would last five years.
But I have heard of people making life style changes that lasted five years — or more.
People with diabetes (my husband) or high blood pressure (my friend) have to change their way of life — eating and drinking and exercising — if they want to live. Period. They have to make a lifestyle change. Maybe it’s not eating a hot fudge sundae every day. Maybe it’s learning meditation. Maybe it’s taking a walk after a busy day.
I wanted to lose weight. That was all health-related, of course, but one day I just decided not to eat every treat that was brought into the office. Not to eat potato chips while I watched TV. Not to have cookies and ice cream before bed. I might have “resolved” to change my eating habits, but I didn’t NYEve them. It was a day to day thing.
Of course, I’m 65 and have this thing about premature death. I believe I should live until at least 96. The thought of not growing up with my grandkids kicks me in the chest harder than any football tackle. So one step at a time I’m doing something about it.
Another source of stress is my daily job. It’s not what it used to be, and I’m ready to retire. But I need to get my finances in shape first. So I don’t have a NYEve resolution to retire in a year — I have a lifestyle goal.
Your lifestyle goal can work for anything. You want to get published? Put it on the lifestyle list. Want to move to a different neighborhood? Visit Paris? Be able to jog around the block? New job? Don’t resolve to do it — just work every day towards those goals.
Jane hit it on the head when she said: “I will make an exception: to reduce the amount of plastic I buy/use and to be more ‘earth conscious.” To be more of something. More aware. More active. More inquisitive.
Anybody can make a conscientious effort to change their life. Don’t draw the line in the sand and say all or nothing. Do what you want to do — need to do — one day at a time.
You’ll be surprised how far you will go in a year.
The weather is evilly cold in Wisconsin. Whipping winds, below freezing temperatures, all make for long nights under the blanket.
It also is a marvelous time for ice sculptures. So this fine winter’s evening I thought I would share a couple of images from my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog — Ice Sculptures. (https://wp.me/p5LGaO-zg)
Randall Riemer is an award winning metal artist from Wisconsin.
I found this marvelous artist at the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, Wisconsin. What a marvelous vendor.
More of Randall Henry Riemer‘s amazing work can be found at www.rhenrydesign.com
A few blogs ago I stated that in My Next Life I was “going to be very smart…high IQ and all, tall, thin, pretty, funny, bright, popular yet grounded, excelling in Math, Science and Witchcraft. I will cook like Bobby Flay, dance like Ginger Rogers, and chat like Ellen DeGeneres. I will work out, travel around the world, and be a best selling writer.”
Scratch most of that. I’ll keep the smart and thin and pretty, but I’ve decided I want to be a mixing engineer for concerts.
Let me backtrack.
Last night I took my grandbaby and son and husband to see the Transiberian Orchestra. Their website categorizes them as an American Progressive Rock Band. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard of them, but they are amazing musicians that put flash and fire and laser beams in with their rock-style Christmas (and other themes) show. This year they were a little more high tech than in previous years, and I sat in Section 315 row 2 with my mouth wide open throughout the whole concert.
Maybe it’s an old person’s lament, but I look back at my life and, removing family and friends, see boredom most of the time. I’ve had vanilla jobs all my life. File Clerk. Secretary. Internet Data Analyst Specialist. Safe, boring jobs that didn’t take a lot of creative brain power.
Whenever I attend a live performance, I can’t help but be amazed at the amount of talent that it takes to pull a gig like that off. Forget being the star of the show — that’s first row talent. But you stop and think about all it takes to make Mr. Star Mr. Star, and it’s amazing. No linofilm typists there. No dictaphones or typewriters there.
The people who create the magic that the average Joe-sephine sees are experts in their fields. I mean experts. Mixing engineers. Sound engineers. Someone has to come up with lighting maneuvers that are programmed into a computer. Someone has to mix the live audio so that every piece of sound-creating equipment onstage comes through loud and clear and perfect. How do they do that? What kind of training did they have?
The person who created the graphics on the three screens behind the musicians were amazing. Where did they come up with such a mixture of snow and trains driving through snow and clocks and marching nutcrackers and photos of deep space and castles and dragons and fireplaces?
I have no idea how those people landed those jobs. I don’t know what their childhood was like, if they were a genius in third grade or if they lost a mother or father or if they did drugs. I DO know that they found they were very good at something and worked their a$$es off to get where they are today.
I suppose a lot of us suffer from cool-job-syndrome. Some of us managed to have cool jobs somewhere in our past….maybe some of you still do. I took the path my personality set out for me. It wasn’t bright lights or screaming guitar solos or graphic magic. I’m okay with where I am, with what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with.
But sometimes the thought of having become an astronaut or a famous painter or the head of a movie studio because of my God-given talent brings a soft sigh from my lips.
My only hope it to write one kick-ass story about it all…..
Hopefully you all had a great holiday with all you did and did not do. If you wanted to be alone, I hope everyone left you alone. If you wanted to be with family and friends, I hope you pushed your way into their Christmas parties.
But now comes that tenuous time of the year. That week between celebrations when you know you’ve eaten too much and drank too much and talked too much and the only salvation left for you is….New Year’s Resolutions.
Everybody makes them. Everybody breaks them.
I myself don’t make them.
Too many years of disappointment breaking the vows I swore I would keep. Lose weight. Exercise. Get organized. All that nonsense that pumps you up one minute and bums you out the next.
I started re-adjusting my eating the beginning of 2017. No more half pies, no more packages of Oreos. No half pound of spaghetti noodles on my plate. It has worked nicely, but slowly. So no need to vow to lose. It’s working all by itself.
Exercise? Too much snow to walk the dog that I can’t control and never walk anyway. There are two pieces of exercise equipment downstairs…now that we have a bigger TV there’s no excuse. We’ll see.
That’s why I don’t vow to change my ways every December 31st. It’s taken me 65 years to get this way, and if I’m not smart enough to get out of my own way that’s my own problem. I knew I needed to lose weight for my health, not for a bikini. I knew I needed to clean out the hoarder’s stuff in my downstairs, not for seeing what I had but so that I could walk to the bedroom without falling over something. Exercise is now on my list of to-dos, because the other day I knelt down and couldn’t stand up on my own. I am starting to have problems with tall steps, and walking to the bathroom and back at work isn’t on the list of exercise options.
So don’t promise yourself to do something for the New Year. Don’t feel you have to start on January 1st. If your goal is too far you’ll never reach it. Too high and you’ll never see it. Plan one thing one step of the time.
This is for your creative projects, too. Don’t say, “I”m going to write three novels this year.” Say, “I’ve got an idea for my first novel…let’s give it a go.” Don’t plan on painting your whole house…buy two gallons of paint and start with one room. And when A is met, you go to B. And on and on adnausium. Because that’s what we creative, tired, stiff human beings do. Just take one day at a time and give it all you’ve got.
Eventually you’ll be giving back the pounds you put on at Christmas.
This was written by one of my blogging friends…it rings so true in my heart…it will ring true in yours too. Please take a minute to read her post.
As I wrapped presents yesterday, my first thought was “Did I buy my daughter enough?” Seriously. Pile of boxes and gift bags, and I thought, is it enough? My Mom left me a voicemail the other day. Christmas is at my house this year, which means I’ll be cooking. You know- cooking a meal, like […]
One of Christmas’s favorite songs is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a light-hearted attempt to give the one you love extraordinary gifts. But what if you wanted to buy each of the 12 days for your own loved one?
For more than 30 years, PNC has calculated the prices of the twelve gifts from the classic carol. The result is the PNC Christmas Price Index, a unique and whimsical holiday tradition that makes learning about the economy fun.
Here is what they had to say:
A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE
This gift’s spike in price can be fully attributed to the Pear Tree’s increase (+5.2% from $189.99 to $199.95), while the Partridge remained flat. The Pear Tree spiked due to increased cost of living for workers and limited supply of larger, more mature trees.
TWO TURTLE DOVES
These birds had no love lost, as prices remained steady, after a hefty increase of 29.3% in 2016.
THREE FRENCH HENS
It’s been a quiet year for the French Hens. There was no change in their price or pecking order, due to steady supply and demand in the past year.
FOUR CALLING BIRDS
It was business as usual this year for these feathered friends. Their price was unchanged, selling right at market value. No need to call for a discount to stimulate sales.
FIVE GOLD RINGS
After five years with unchanged pricing, Gold Rings are shining bright, jumping up 10% since last year due to increased demand and popularity.
Despite a slight increase in food prices, geese just laid back this year as the goose market remained stable and their pricing, unaffected. In years past, the goose market had fluctuated due to the avian flu.
Although historically the most unpredictable gift of the bunch, the swans swam in a straight line in 2017, staying the same price as last year.
The Maids-A-Milking are chugging along at the same price as last year, reflecting the stagnant federal minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.
NINE LADIES DANCING
Despite a growing economy and rising demand for dancers, dance companies did not raise wages (and thus, prices) for the fifth year in a row.
The price to hire high-flying men to entertain your true love rose after two years of stagnant growth.
ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING
No price increase in the pipeline for these musicians. After their wage increase last year for the first time since 2013, the cost to hire Pipers in 2017 remained the same.
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING
The Drummers kept the beat steady with unchanged pricing after a much-anticipated wage and price increase last year.
TOTAL CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX (CPI)
The cost of this year’s CPI rose ever so slightly, driven by the cost increases for the Pear Tree, the increased demand for Golden Rings, and wage increases for the Lords-a-Leaping.
So as you can see, the price of true love just might cost you a pretty penny or two.
I got a notice on Facebook today about this past post from a couple of years ago — and it’s fun! Here it is again…
It was the week before Christmas
And all through the house
The kitties were running
In search of their mouse.
They tore through the kitchen
And under the chair
Then disappeared down the hallway
As if never there
The stockings weren’t hung
I’m nobody’s fool
For all that’d be left
Would be shredded in drool
The doggies were eyeballing
The goodies I baked
They had full intention
of sharing my cake
The tree stood by waiting
for garland and lights
The statues and santas
Were stacked way up tight
Christmas cards were patient
For pen and for stamp
My list just kept growing
There under the lamp
I was cooking, I was cleaning
I was staying up late
Worrying about strudel
And empty Christmas plates
The kitties were wrestling
And howling at night
They were drinking milk from glasses
And causing a fright
Then what to my wondering
eyes should appear
But a Food Network magazine
And a bottle of beer
The recipes flowed
Like snow in the hills
With last minute tips
For stove and for grill
On Candy! On Cookies!
On chocolate pecans!
The holiday planning
Had only begun!
Another beer or two
And I was planning gourmet
Pot-au-feu and remoulades
And salmon pate
After the six pack
The tree decorated itself
The dogs baked a meatloaf
With the elf on the shelf
The cats were all dancing
To Jinglebell Rock
The ornaments were hung
On the dining room clock
The beauty of Christmas
Shown brightly that night
My head did a spinneroonie
But that was all right
The turkey and stuffing
Could wait one more day
I took two more aspirins
And called it a day.
Remedios Varo (1908-1963) was born in Spain. Remedios always struggled to combine the mythic with the scientific, the sacred with the profane.
Remedios decided to evade the civil war that was going on in Spain and moved instead to Paris where the art movements were in vogue.
In Europe she was influenced by the surrealist movement and metaphysics studies. She was motivated by ancient studies and literature, but also by physics, mathematics, engineering, biology and psychoanalysis.
After some years, she decided to move to Mexico with a friend she met in Europe. In Mexico, her real journey as an artist started.
Her characters are mystical and solitary; most of the times involved in scientifical activities. They often have almond-shaped eyes, and androgynous features.
Diverse characters emerge in her painting with unusual attitudes: contemplative, passive, highly symbolic; reflection of the instability which can be overcome or changed.
All of them are part of a unique world which involves developed concepts of magic and imagination.
More of Remedios Varo‘s fantastic works can be found at http://www.remediosvaro.org/ and http://www.angelfire.com/hiphop/diablo4u/remedios.html
In my next life I’m going to very smart…high IQ and all, tall, thin, pretty, funny, bright, popular yet grounded, excelling in Math, Science and Witchcraft. I will cook like Bobby Flay, dance like Ginger Rogers, and chat like Ellen DeGeneres. I will work out, travel around the world, and be a best selling writer.
Oh — and I will make pigs fly.
I think it would be fun to see how the other life lives. Not that my life is bad — no way, But I think it would be a little easier if I were all of the above, instead of short, pudgy, flat hair, boring job, achy body, the only one to think I’m funny, and a non-published author who is not the sharpest tool in the shed. I cook like the Swedish Chef, dance like a bowl of jelly, and I suffer from Italktoomuchitis.
I’d give anything to flow gracefully into a room, know the answers to all the Jeopardy questions, or whip up Coquilles Saint-Jacques on whim. I’d do anything to be taller so I can reach the things on the second shelf of my kitchen cabinets. And as for coming back being smarter — well, I’ve never been top in my class, let’s put it that way. And the older I get, the more I forget. Sometimes it’s something important like filling the car with gas or calling the insurance people, but more likely it’s where I put my phone, did I turn on the porch light, or did I put salt or sugar in the cookies.
The memory thing bugs me the most. Although I’m still young and can remember how to get to work or grocery shopping, finding my car afterwards can be challenging. Think of how much better grocery shopping would be if I were tall and thin and beautiful while picking Cheerios off the top shelf?
I think it’s my cold that’s making me stressed. I mean, how many times can one blow their nose before it turns red and falls off? I’m clogged and stuffed, sitting on the sofa, wanting to be anywhere but.
Of course you all know that I wouldn’t really trade where I am and who I am. If I would have been tall and lanky with hair that flows sensually down my shoulders I wouldn’t have met my husband and had two great kids and a great daughter in law and grandkids.
I guess I will just have to live that kind of life in my stories. And I admit I do. What knockout women I have! They are strong, independent, not bad looking, and sharp as a tack. They hold their own against kings and matriarchs, and are sexy in their own way. What more could a girl want?
But still — come on — don’t you once in a teeny weeny while wish your person was a little smarter, more agile, or thinner?
And wouldn’t you like to see pigs fly?
I myself am not yet “into” them. I feel like Ebeneezer Scrouge bah-humbuging everything. Not that I don’t make the birth of Christ a big deal — it’s just that his birthday has become so commercialized. You wind up feeling like a loser if you don’t buy kids the hottest and most expensive things TV can offer. Ok, I’m really not that bad — but I do think the pressure to perform over the holidays is too much.
You see, I would give my grandson that Nerf gun next week. I’d give my cousin that movie tomorrow. I don’t need a reason or time frame to give gifts.
I guess that’s built up on my ramjam belief that Christmas is every day to me. I see my youngest grandson smile up at me and feel that is a gift. I watch my deskmate conquer a tough project and that’s tinsel on my tree. I go to the doctor and get a good checkup and that is every gift anyone could put under my tree.
I don’t like that there is a special day set aside for eating together as a family or singing songs together or wrapping and opening presents. Christmas is a celebration of new life. Of new hope. It’s about a baby and a mother who had a hard time finding a place to stay and an ethereal figure who made her with child.
The problem with celebrating this or that religious holiday is that none of them match. Was He Jewish? Muslim? Anglo-Saxon?
Celebrate Christmas every day. Thank God, the Goddess, Allah, anyone you want that you have been given another day to make someone smile. Give the gift of yourself. Help those who need your help. If you have the means, buy gifts for your loved ones on December 25 and August 14 and February 2 and July 23. Don’t save your love and family dinners and presents for one day a year.
Because that “day” is every day.
I have a hard time saying I’m 65…there are so many memories strung out behind me, three-quarters worth I can’t remember. I am in the second half of my life, making memories every day, forgetting memories every day.
You can say 65 is just a number, but so is 21. 49. 1,204. In theory, that is correct. But that’s over 520 million breaths. 65 birthday parties. Over 268,000 hugs. 500,000 bites of chocolate. Its that and so much more.
I threw myself a party because I wanted to…dare I say I was afraid that no one would remember this momentous occasion? That my day of turning old enough to retire would be brushed over like an ant on the table?
It’s hard to admit your own insecurities…especially when they sound stupid in your ears.
I wanted to celebrate making 65 years of life. Good and bad. Up and Down. Two kids, 2-1/2 grandkids. Friends. Traveling. Camping. Working. So much has been packed into these 65 years — how I wish I could remember them all. My kids as babies. My kids as teens. My mindset at 30. 40. 50. Different from where I am today, no doubt different from where I’m going.
I’ve outlived my mother by 11 years, and am aiming at my father’s ripe old age of 86, and adding 10 to that. I don’t want the memories to end. The friendships to end. The dreams to end. I’ve got so much to do that there’s no time to feel bad about what has been.
So throw your own party. Celebrate your life. Every day of it. Don’t wait for someone to come along and validate all the years you’ve given to mother earth. Do it yourself.
Even if you can’t remember half of it.
Chrissy Angliker is a Brooklyn-based Swiss/American artist who was born in Zurich and raised in Greifensee and Winterthur, Working from controlled subject matter, she quickly loses herself in the chaotic magic of the process.
Her first painting did not go as planned. “I thought I would begin with a self portrait,” she explains. “I began to paint the eyebrows, and the paint began to drip unexpectedly. It was beyond my control, and I had a very strong emotional reaction.”
The beauty of her method of drips is a connection to the chaos she finds in her art.
More of Chrissy Angliker‘s art can be found at https://www.chrissy.ch/.,
Tonight is autumn’s final dance. The temperature here in Wisconsin is a balmy 55, the night is cloudy, the wind is making my windchimes dance the tarantella. It is a night for dreams, for wishes. The last full moon was rising at 5:48 p.m. It was to be a spectacular ending to an enchanting night. It was cloudy, but I was going to go to the back fence and watch it rise.
But I didn’t.
I hate when I don’t follow through on what I dream about. There were excuses, of course. It was very dark. It was very overcast. And I had to walk through this little path through my back woods. My property is half woods, half open fields. It’s all actually “fenced in”, but the fences are so far spaced it seems like its all free around me.
I can brush off most of the excuses as lame. The moonrise may be bright enough to burn through the clouds. I could use my phone as a flashlight. The one excuse I could not get over was walking through the woods. At night. In the dark.
I’ve written blogs before about this (some say irrational) fear of walking through the woods at night. My husband and boys are hunters and walk through strange woods all the time. And besides — this is my property! Not in the middle of nowhere — there are families on either side, barbed wire in the distance.
I know mother nature is with me. Faeries protect me. Elves watch over me.
Blah Blah Blah.
It’s still dark, you can’t see three feet in front of you, and I’m a short, wimpy granny. I’m not a match for deer, dog, or demon, or a wayward creep hiding by the back gate. My imagination takes me all over the place. You can imagine where it takes me when I’m by myself.
If I can imagine creepy crawlies and djinns and spirits in my stories, you can imagine what awaits in my own backyard. I envy those free spirits that walk the fields and valleys and watersides all alone, one with the Earth, the stars and the mysteries of life. I have to do all of that looking off the deck.
So I pass on the things that creep me out, especially when I’m all alone. I’ll wait until spring when the sun sets at 7 or 8 to watch the moon in all her glory. I will continue to read and write and use my imagination to its fullest.
For now it will be from my livingroom sofa.
PS The moon’s not out. And it’s raining. I voiced all this angst for nothing.
Born March 2nd 1973, Kris Kuski spent his youth in rural seclusion and isolation along with a blue-collar working mother, two much older brothers and absent father.Open country, sparse trees, and later alcoholic stepfathers, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion.
His fascination with the unusual lent to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him as it seemed, was beauty.
Through his intricate 3-D sculptural work, we see both the beautiful and dark side of our minds.
More of Kris Kuski‘s work can be found at http://www.kuksi.com/
I don’t think there’s a state of mind, a physical or mental condition, social gathering, or house cleaning job that isn’t enhanced with music.
My first love of music (that I can remember) is my love for the Beatles. My parents weren’t much music affectionados, although my favorite memories are my dad listening to polkas Saturday and Sunday mornings while working in the garage, and my mom listening to Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.
My love of music has only grown and matured and exploded in the last 40 years. From orchestras to acoustical guitars, there is always something to fit my mood.
Today I had a headache, and didn’t feel like sitting in total silence, so I put on Easy Instrumentals. Nothing like a slow, sultry orchestral rendition of Midnight Cowboy or The Way You Look Tonight to massage my temples.
Cleaning house? 70s-80s rock, of course. There’s nothing like Lynyrd Skynyrd or Motley Crue or John Mellancamp or Rush to get your cleaning bootie moving.
Early morning wake ups? Light classical fills the bill. Work? Upbeat classical or New Age Jazz. Melancholy for my mom and/or ol’ Ireland? Gaelic Storm, upbeat Irish band, or the High Kings. Irish balladeers at their best. Can’t sleep? Aura or Spa, two meditation-type bastions for cosmic wanderings. Meditation? Electronic music, especially the space travel ones. Feel like I’m soaring past Jupiter when I get into the groove.
Late morning still trying to wake up? Swing Bands Big Bands. I have that on my flash drive for work, too. Nothing like Artie Shaw or Fred Astaire or Glen Miller. Writing? Smooth Jazz. Love those minor chords. Driving home from work? Semi-Oldies will do. Nothing like belting out Livin’ on a Prayer or Come Sail Away to shake the bad aura. Up north at the cabin? Polkas on Saturday morning, of course.
I have some friends who don’t listen to music much. I don’t know how they get through the day. There is something inspirational, celestial, about becoming one with the song and the singer and the band. You let the aura of the music world take you somewhere happy and safe. Oldies? My teenage years. Gaelic Storm? My Irishfest and Irish heritage. Rock and roll? My life. Big band, Sinatra and all? Days of future passed.
Let the music tempt you, grab you, and take you away. Explore new musical worlds, new bands, new interpretations of old classics. No one cares where you go when you listen to music — everyone goes to their own place, anyway.
The talent of the musical world is unmatchable anywhere else. TV and movies don’t let you choose your world –only music does. Go and listen to some tonight.
Elvis will be proud.
But I am happy to report that along with an extra pound or two I also regained my enthusiasm for writing.
Do you ever go through those dry periods? Not necessarily that you don’t have anything to write, but that you don’t feel like writing.
In search of my creative ways, I have gone back to basics of magic and sky and moon and night and the belief in elves and dragons and alternate realities. Not that I ever left that space — I just feel like embracing it more these days. No one knows if there is anything after this life. Heaven, reincarnation, inner-galactic rebirth — take your choice and go for it.
Get past the barriers of proof and direct experience and karma. Take a chance and believe in something that makes you feel whole. Do unicorns exist? Does it matter? We can’t see sub-atomic particles either, but scientists and the world believe in them. Why can’t we believe in time travel too?
Too often we live under other’s expectations. What we should wear, what we should say, how we should act, what we should believe.
I believe at 64 I am old enough to believe in whatever I want.
So I’ve decided to work on my second set of novels — not the simple time-travel ones, but the ones where the heroine gets transported to another part of the galaxy to help discover what happened to the king’s sister.
I mean — why not?
We can write and paint and dream anything we want. And I’ve decided I’m not going to let any correctional unit tell me different.
Don’t let those around you, from society to your girlfriend to your teacher, tell you what you are. What you should be. Want to be a bard? Be a bard. Want to be a witch? Be a witch. Want to be an abstract artist? Be an abstract artist! You can be a pirate that day jobs as a sales clerk, or detective who works in a warehouse during main hours.
Don’t wait until you’re 64 to decide who you are.
What are you?
So for now, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving — give thanks for who you know, how you got where you are, and the lessons you learned along the way. Be thankful that you are able to dream and imagine and create. Give thanks for those who have passed — be thankful that they came into your life and gave you so much of themselves. Give thanks for sunrises and sunsets and Tchaikovsky and Monet and Harry Potter.
Eat some turkey, have extra gravy (it’s only one day!), and know that I’m thankful for all of you. For your writing, for your art, for your stopping by and saying hi. Somehow I feel we’re all friends in here.
And that’s something to be thankful for.
Italian sculptor Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 -1466) , better known as Donatello, was the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo, and was the most influential individual artist of the 15th century in Italy.
His fascination with many styles of ancient art and his ability to blend classical and medieval styles with his own new techniques led to hundreds of unique pieces in marble, wood, bronze, clay, stucco and wax.
Donatello’s legacy as the most accomplished sculptor of the early Renaissance is well deserved. With his work he ushered in an era where artists could feel free to interpret the emotion inherent in their subject matter without being tied to outdated legends.
More of Donatello’s history and works can be found at http://www.donatello.net/
First a disclaimer: if you are a workmate of mine, don’t tell anyone. I don’t want anyone at the company to get the wrong idea.
Most artistic people hone their skills at home, alone, evenings and weekends and days off and vacations. The 9-5 gig that we all adhere to tends to take over any creative urges we have. You know — accountants by day, abstract artists by night.
I am one of those who have, after 47 years of working, finally gotten a glimpse of what it would be like to do what you love.
I may have told you before, but I’m a data conversion specialist by day. Fancy title for working with my company’s database. A good job, a boring job, a busy job. Just like everyone else’s.
No one had written on the company blog for a year, and when there was a post it was every three months or so. Being a writer, I saw an opening and I jumped at it. Since it originated from my department, I asked if I could write a blog now and then. After all, I was a writer.
Although no one at work really knew that.
My boss took a chance on me and let me do a blog now and then. I would pick a theme and talk about it and throw some product in. What started as once a month turned into every two weeks to every week.
I was in heaven.
Then new bosses came in and the blog stopped.
I was so excited to have been able to write a casual, friendly informational blog, as my own blog is also casual, friendly, and informational. I wanted to write more, but I was a data person, after all.
This is where I emphasize don’t give up…if there’s a hole in the wall somewhere, jump through it.
The new boss must have liked my infomercials, for we started the blog again. The door was propped open, and opportunity teased me from the other side. In working with the new bosses, I was given some suggestions for story ideas that I jumped on. I interviewed managers to see what they wanted the world to know about. I scoured catalogs and publications for ideas that were fresh and relevant.
And now I write two blogs a week.
Our company blog isn’t big, isn’t famous, isn’t global. It’s just another niche in the world of social media.
But for two years it has been mine.
I don’t know the future of my writing contributions to the company. For all I know they could hire a media writer tomorrow. But that would be okay too, for I have been able to turn my love of writing into a positive contribution to my employer.
If I hadn’t kept insisting that I was a “writer”, I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I didn’t believe that I had the talent and the voice they needed, I wouldn’t have written more than one blog.
Find a way to get your passion into your day job. Whether you’re a writer, a painter, or a calligrapher, find a way to edge your talent into the working world. Don’t give up.
And if you don’t get to get your toe wet on the creative side of work, you can always write one hell of a story about your co-workers.
Just change their names to protect the innocent..
The first thing to do when viewing the work of Anthony Howe is to CLICK ON EACH IMAGE.
That way you can see the fascinating movement of each wind sculpture..
In Cloud Light III
Di Octo and Sculptor 2015
The movement of each of these sculptures is mesmerizing. The perfect balance, the perfect swirl, the perfect twirl.
More of Anthony Howe’s amazing wind sculptures can be found at his website, https://www.howeart.net.
And speaking of chill, and cold, and snow, and sleet (were we really talking about all that?) I have been searching for a new name for my sometimes-Thursday evening art gallery. I am finding so many fantastic artists that I just can’t help sharing them more than once a week.
I hope you don’t mind.
So thinking of the depths of winter that is soon to arrive, I thought of soft music, crackling fires, and rooms full of art. Cinnamon and apple and spice potpourri and mulled wine or shots of Rumchata. So with thoughts of snuggling and armchair tours around the gallery, I’ve decided.
Art Around the Fireplace
Or should it be…
Thursday Art Gallery Around the Fire
Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursdays In Front of the Fire
You see why I have trouble with subject lines for emails at work…
You all are a delight. I hope you enjoy the unique art as much as I do. And if you ever want to see more of these artists, THE gallery is open 24/7.
Here is a preview of what’s in store this winter in the Gallery….
Hope you keep visiting the Goddess AND the Gallery!
As the cold wavers into the early evening and night, I am enjoying my own guilty pleasure…binge watching.
Come on — don’t tell me that you haven’t watched the same movie two or three weeks in a row. I remember when A Hard Day’s Night with my forever loves the Beatles came to the theater — I watched it three times a day, Saturday and Sunday, two weeks in a row.
Now that’s binging.
I’m quite a bit older than that innocent girl of yore, but I still enjoy watching episode after episode. A bathroom break or cookie break is all I allow when I’m caught up in love triangles and alien invasions and different factions fighting for the Throne of Swords.
I get in these — moods is too soft a term — spells is more like it — where all I want to do is see what happens next. I’ll watch one episode of Stranger Things and find myself saying “one more episode” then “one more episode” until its 1 a.m. and I’ve watched the whole series. Or Game of Thrones. I mean, how can I not find out who captured who? Who stabbed who? Who fooled around with who? The next episode just might tell me!
I look at it as visual books. Okay, so the texts aren’t as deep, as verbose, as a book. But there is character development (what about the shadow monster in the young boy?) There is romance (will Jon Stark and Daenerys ever get together?) There is mystery (is Redington Liz’s father?) There’s enough to keep me awake for hours!
I suppose I really should be writing or cleaning, but I am convinced I am learning something by binging on my favorite movies/TV shows. I have learned so many things…like don’t feed a creature that looks like a slug because it’s probably an alien; don’t walk into dark tunnels; don’t become involved with a Dothraki, and don’t be the first to have sex in a horror movie.
These are things that I might need on future quests. Future stories. Future time travels. You know — all those things us senile old women do in our spare time.
I tell you — it sure beats the hell out of the 9-5 gig….
Rita Faes is a photographer who lives in Belgium. The details she finds and brings out in her images is amazing.
The colors and the flowers she finds are remarkable.
You can find more of Rita’s marvelous work at her old blog (which is inactive but full of beautiful photography) , https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com), but definitely sign up and follow her at her new site, https://gwenniesgardenworld.wordpress.com/
Here in wonderful Midwest Wisconsin, the weather is taking it’s usual dive into the chilly pool of pre-winter. No gathering on the veranda with a chocolate milk in a wine glass, no tinkling of windchimes from the summer breeze…let’s just say the weather sucks.
So as we sweep the leaves off the porch and put away the easels that showcased the wonderfully unique art I found, I will leave you with a smattering of non-gallery images that I think are just cool. I did not create nor take the pictures…that’s a gallery for another day.
I will undoubtedly create a winter-themed gallery — after all, my pre-gallery folders are bursting with great art!
Any ideas for a winter-themed gallery name?
I was wondering…what is a soulmate?
According to the Urban Dictionary, a soulmate is: “A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet — a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior.”
Okay. I see how that fits a couple. The love of your life and all. But can friends be soulmates? Grandkids? Cousins? Aunts and Uncles?
I always hear people saying that they “found their soulmate.” That their connection is so intimate, so strong, that nothing else can compare. That the two of them are synchronic in every way.
I’ve been married 36 years and hope to be married 36 more. I love my hubby. I enjoy hanging with my hubby. He knows me and I know him. He doesn’t get my need to write, my desire to walk the streets of Paris or my love of science fiction and time travel. I don’t care about his hunting escapades, his golf score, or his football pool.
Are we soulmates?
I love my kids more than I love life. Double that for my grandkids. When I’m playing on the floor with the 2-year-old we bond over Hot Wheels and the contents of my purse. The 7-year-old and I share the magic of looking for elves and rhinos in the woods and read Pete the Cat books with fervor.
Are we no less soulmates?
My best girlfriends have gone to hell and back. My girls and I share pain and laughter, confusion and daydreams. We cry together, we dream of going to Ireland together, we share our love of writing and crocheting and scrapbooking on levels mere mortals dream of.
Are we no less soulmates?
I have had friends in my life who shared the secrets of my alter ego, the mad writer. They have come to me in their darkest moments, and opened their hearts to me in mine. We shared magic and coffee and secrets and encouraged each other’s wild and crazy dreams..
Are we no less soulmates?
I think the definition of soulmate is way too narrow. There is not just one soul for you — there are dozens. Because it’s more than great sex, dancing till dawn or making babies. A soulmate loves you for who you are, for your mistakes and your triumphs. They make you feel like a million bucks and you make them feel like two.
Soulmates meet in that sacred space where emotion and thought wrap around and through each other like a Celtic knot until you can’t tell who is who and what is what. You both meet and part and meet again in the most wonderful ways.
When I look for rhinos in the woods I am in that sacred space. When I rub hand lotion from my purse on tiny hands I am in that sacred space. And when I say good night to the man I love I am in that sacred space.
And when you come across those moments, remember — they are your soulmates, too.
Well, it’s a few days later, and I’m embarrassed to reread my whine-a-thon the other day. We all get into the funk now and then — the reasons don’t matter. Usually they pass as quickly as they come. The point is, though, is that most of us don’t take to public media to share that whining.
Perhaps that’s the curse of the writer. Confused? Write about it. Excited? Write about it. Tired? Write about it. That’s the problem with writers. We are so used to emoting on paper that we don’t know when to stop.
So in order to make up for pouting and venting and making more of the blues than of the yellows, here are a few photos to make you (and me) smile.
You know — those navy, cornflower, turquoise kind of blue days where nothing seems to go quite right. Not even the lure of editing and/or writing something new seems to interest me. TV? Blah…too much drama. Reading? Not in the mood. Writing? Not inspired.
I’ve changed my diet, walk a little more, try and get to bed before 11 pm (another story), and yet I sometimes get these hates coming on. Now, I don’t hate anybody (well..maybe just one person). Hate is a wasted emotion with nothing but bad side effects and conclusions in the toilet.
Work is changing big time, and I’m lost in the shuffle. I’m not close enough to retirement to retire, but I hate the idea of sitting at a desk putting data in the computer 8 hours a day for the next 1-1/2 years. I come home from work and the grumpies follow. The stupid Netflix keeps timing out. There’s a sink of dishes to do. Blah Blah Blah.
Then I talk to friends who have real issues. Illness, custody battles, unemployment, and I refocus. I’d rather listen and help them than listen and help myself. It’s a tough world out there, and we all deserve medals for making it through with the battle scars we have.
Maybe it’s just the changing seasons that are trying to pull me down. I’ve never been affected by the seasons, but hey — I’ve never had these many hot flashes, either. Anything is possible.
So my question to you — what do you do when you get the blues? I’ll take any and ALL suggestions!
Remedios Varo (1908-1983) was born in Spain. She fled the Spanish Civil War and headed to Paris to further her artistry in Surrealism
. The surrealist movement was strong there, and she honed her skills along with painters who received more notoriety.
Remedios always struggled to combine the mythic with the scientific, the sacred with the profane. She was influenced by the surrealist movement and metaphysics studies, along with ancient studies.
After some years, she decided to move to Mexico with a friend she met in Europe, where her real journey as an artist started.
Her characters are mystical and solitary; most of the times involved in scientific activities.
As an artist, she liked to use symbolism and hidden elements such as animals (mainly cats) in her paintings, along with diverse characters who are contemplative, passive, or highly symbolic.
More of Remedios Varo‘s artwork can be found at http://www.remediosvaro.org/