Monday Monday

Bah-da, bah-da-da-da
Bah-da, bah-da-da-da
Bah-da, bah-da-da-da

(do you know the song yet?)

Monday, Monday (bah-da, bah-da-da-da)
So good to me (bah-da, bah-da-da-da)
Monday mornin’, it was all I hoped it would be ..

All the oldies out there knew the song by the first six syllables. Funny how engrained music is into us. Even when we don’t think about it.

Was trying to come up with a topic, a theme, for this cloudy, cold Monday. But if there’s nothing there there’s nothing there.

Then a slip of lyrics passed through my head.

Monday, Monday (bah-da, bah-da-da-da)

I was a freshman in high school when the Mamas and Papas sang this song. I was escaping the horrors of middle school at that time. Those were rough times, especially for a geeky, smelly kid like me.

Not really stepping back, but I do know that even back then music made a difference in my life. The Beatles were my saviors, the Dave Clark Five my happiness. No one could break the bond between me and Paul or me and Dave. My writing started way back then, too. I used to have a notebook with my first love story written in it, but it is long gone. Perhaps it disappeared when it served its purpose.

Music was an escape when I was young. An emotional booster, an answer for self-consciousness and self-doubt. I didn’t think about doing drugs or getting drunk or having sex back then. (Shows you how backwards my freshman year was.)

But Last Train to Clarksville by the the Monkees and Summer In The City by the Lovin’ Spoonful and Five O’Clock World by the Vogues were songs that wrapped around those hard times and cushioned decisions in my life like why I never had a date Saturday nights or if my girlfriends wanted to have a pajama party or should I try out for the school play when I couldn’t sing.

I wonder if kids today have an inkling of that innocence. If they ever have a chance to be kids. If they ever have a choice to not be a part of the violence and discrimination and hatred that swirls around all of us.

I suppose songs like WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion (I wouldn’t look up the words if I were you) reflects the current needs and desires within a high-school education, the need to be free and understood and in control. Maybe innocence in its banal form is not needed anymore. Better to be smart than be exploited.

These days I find myself wandering back to that innocence I probably never really had. I have had enough of death and prejudice and politics to last a lifetime of discovery. Time for a bit of innocence to return to the world.

Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart
How the music can free her whenever it starts?
And it’s magic if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie………..

 

When I’m Not Looking, Art Bombards Me!

David Silva

Are you a fan of the “Arts”? What sort of art calls to you?

Encyclopedia Britannia says: Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamel work, furniture design, mosaic, etc.), the performing arts (theater, dance, music), music (as composition), and architecture (often including interior design).

I can dig all those categories.

Some of us are very invested in the Arts. We are musicians, painters, sculptors, novelists. We show and sell our interpretations of life and the world to others who want to feel what we feel.

Others of us are merely voyeurs. Nothing wrong with that — our lives are so busy  that there’s not often a free moment to just sit and stare at a watercolor or pen and ink drawing. We look, we say, “hey! That’s cool!’, and go on our merry way.

At least we stop.

I think if you love creativity it’s hard to follow only one path. I have a couple of friends in here that do everything from quilting to watercolor painting, from drip art to portraits. It’s such a wide and encompassing world it’s hard to resist playing in it, either by being a voyeur or a participant.

Last night I spent a couple of hours downloading images from an amazing jewelry shop in Japan. Why would I do that? What was I doing there?

As often the case, I don’t know how one thing led to another to another and another and there I was, appreciating the craftsmanship and style of a culture way on the other side of the world from me.

Is it art, though?

I realize my Sunday Galleries are always art from my point of view. You may love Andy Warhol or Claude Monet. You may prefer jewelry artists to barn artists. Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.

That’s the beauty of Art. It’s something different to everyone.

We all have our tendencies, even if we think we are totally objective. I can see I like structure, texture, and designs that make sense (to me). I like landscapes, jewelry, and sparkly things.

But I try and balance that with truly unique art I’ve never seen before. Discovering artists such as Bisa Butler (quilting) or Ron Ben-Israel (cakes) or Tina Lane (glasswork) or Chris Maynard (feather art) has been the most rewarding and fun times of my life. I mean — who knew they were even out there?

Sometimes an idea pops into my head (scary thought!); other times I see a sample on Facebook or a reference online someplace or even while reading. Some pan out, others are just one special thing among a hundred blah things.  And, OMG, just now, while Googling “What is Art?” in images I just found about six or seven new, wonderful, creative artists! See? You can do it, too!

Stick with me. This ride will open your eyes to the creative world around you.

So tell me. What kind of art do you like?

Take Note of your Promises

The rush between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day makes fools of us all.
~Claudia the Unicorn

 

This is the first time I’ve used my own wit as a quote. Witless, I say …

But it’s true. Starting with Christmas Eve and ending New Year’s Day, it seems we shove a month’s worth of emotions into one week. The sadness, the renewal, the promises of New Year’s resolutions and the resolve of keeping in touch with Christmas acquaintances.

Come February (or even the middle of January) we have forgotten the promises we made to ourselves when our emotions were high and out of control. We don’t mean to forget — it’s just that life gets in the way.

But is life a life of it’s own? Or do we make what we do every day more important than what we do in the long term?

I see a lot of pretzel logic coming through. I know what I want to say but the meaning gets side tracked all the time.

Are the promises of days gone by any more important than the promises we make today? Should we even make promises/vows/resolutions at all?

Promises/vows/resolutions usually come from guilt. We didn’t visit this person or that person as much as we wanted and now that person has moved on. We try on a pair of pants we wore last year or three years ago and they barely move up our legs, so we promise to lose 15 pounds. 

These promises made through the emotional music of the “holidays” barely ever stick. We are truly remorse, sorry, honest as we hear strains of Merry Christmas Darling by Karen Carpenter or read affirmations on Facebook or Instagram promising truth and commitment and new beginnings in the new year.

But none of those promises or affirmations will stick past your emotional moments if you don’t believe in them. If you don’t do something more than say the words. 

And that’s the hard thing — making emotional promises a reality. For we all really truly do feel those things at the moment. We really do want to lose weight or take the trip we promised ourselves years ago.  It’s just the application of those vows that’s hard to work into our every day busy life.

So my suggestion is: Make those promises/vows/resolutions with a full heart and soul, letting the moment stand out in your mind. But be aware of what you are promising yourself, and take the next step and work through those promises one at a time.

You don’t have to call everyone you’ve ever left behind. Start with one person you haven’t talked to that you really miss. If talking on the phone bothers you, start with an email. Friend them on Facebook. Start small. Start with one at a time. One. You really want those old pants to fit? Lose one pound at a time. One. Cut out dessert of soda or walk around the block once. Just once.

Start paying off your emotions one transaction at a time. That way your heart and soul will be able to mesh the promise with your actual outcome. Your promise will become clearer as time goes on, separating the over-the-top emotional impossibilities from what you can really accomplish.

See? That pretzel logic finally made its way back to center!

Now … where were we going?

Manipulation

It’s that time of year again. That time of year that brings more emotional conflict than which kind of ice cream I want for dinner.

The time of year that makes me an unwilling curmudgeon in a season of love and peace.

It’s the Christmas Season. The season of love, of giving, of a baby being born in Bethlehem. The season of helping those less fortunate than you, the season of old traditions and new beginnings.

The TV shows. The TV commercials. Online postings. Social media. The hints, the innuendos, the facts. My poor old heart is having a harder and harder time sifting through the sentimental stuff. 

Perhaps it’s just my age showing. But I am inclined to think it is more the advertising industry taking advantage of my sentimental, over-emotional heart. 

And I don’t like it.

I’ve already seen TV commercials about kids making video books for grandpa about his life with their (obviously deceased) grandma. I’ve seen poor, starving dogs united with fosters and adoptees who will give them a better life. I’ve seen lonely people make friends and the solo star of Bethlehem sparkle above a cold Earth, all to the tune of slow, sad music.

I’m sure you know I’m the last person in the world to be anti-Christmas. Last to be anti-emotional. I love my kids and grandkids and my friends and family to the moon and back. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make their lives better.

But I’m also tired of getting teary-eyed and having my emotions flicked every time I turn around.

In my own defense, I am a sentimental crybaby. I admit that. Always have been. Get all teared up listing to others share their crying jags on this movie or that movie. Crying when the dog dies, the mother dies, when the tree dies.

Advertisers know how to manipulate our emotional strings with visions of old people and young people and just the right music and sentiment, throwing in the product as almost a side-step maneuver.

And I resent being manipulated.

I know there is a percentage of the population that is cold hearted about Christmas and any other thing having to do with humanity. That’s their problem. We don’t need people like that in our lives anyway.

There are far more people who help others EVERY day — not just during jingle bell season. We don’t need to be told to do so at any particular time of year. We help all the time in all sorts of situations. 

A little encouragement to love each other never hurts, of course. But to sentimentalize every thought and passing we have is a little cruel to those of us who tear up at thoughts of our lost family members or days gone by or the days of Christmas past. 

I guess the best solution is to cut out TV and social media for the next 22 days. Which isn’t such a bad idea at all. In fact, I should shun the entertainment world for the next 22 months. I should also skip any puppy/baby/grandparents scenario with a Christmas tree in the background on Facebook.

But awww…. those cute little faces…… sniff……

Gettin’ Jiggy Wit My Emotions

Human beings are nothing but emotional barometers. Hot one day, cold the next. And I don’t just mean menopause.

I have always been an emotional person. An overly emotional person. I love till it hurts. I resent even though I shouldn’t. I am jealous over things that I have nothing to do with. I listen to my favorite music and am in heaven. Yet the next minute I drive home from work .shouting “Fuuuccckkkk aaaallll of yooooouuuu!!” out the window.

As I get older the emotions flash way up and way down. And I have to say I don’t care for it.

Yes, there are Meds. There is meditation and fresh air walks  and alcohol and chamomile tea and church. There are many ways to deal with that over-active amygdala. But that doesn’t stop the knee-jerk reactions to everything from too-salty food to pink sunsets. Everything bothers me. Everything thrills me. Thoughts and dreams and desires flood my brain at lightning speed, confusing me with their urgency. Hence, I want to edit, write, read, sew, watch movies, go for walks, throw the ball for the dogs, cook, sulk, scream, and yes, even clean.

One thing I know. I really am at the end of my working career. Instead of going out in a career choice blaze of glory, I’m going out as a fill-in-the-spreadsheet-blank kinda girl. The writing career I wanted will have to fill my days of retirement, for there’s nothing really left at my job. All that’s left of my waning career is the sad click of the keyboard as I fill in number after number after number.

See what I mean? That’s the out-of-control amygdala babbling away. For I really don’t mind my job. And my personal life is so full of family and grandbabies and oatmeal raisin cookies and evening walks that I’m not really that strung out.

But these days I find myself alot more reactionary. I “hate” a lot more people, places, and things. Something I never did in my youth. I also “love” a lot more things than I did when I was 20 or 30. Not only the obvious things like children and husbands and friends and homemade spaghetti, but smooth jazz and classical music, taking pictures, my art blog, Game of Thrones, corn fields, and even…dare I say it…country music.

I wish my highs could stay longer than my lows. That my outlook on myself and the world would lighten up. I hate myself for wasting precious emotions and energy on things I can do nothing about. After all, my future is shorter than my past. And that very thought saddens me.

See what I mean?

Life is all about finding balance. About letting the good into your life. And when the bad comes along, oh well. That’s life. Not holding onto to jealousies and grudges and bad memories. There’s nothing you can do to change anything in the past, and the future is uncertain. So just get jiggy wit it. All of it.

I just wish I wasn’t so moody about getting jiggy……..

 

 

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 2

A number of you may know (and follow) my second creative friend. David Kanigan creates his blog Live and Learn with thoughts, quotes, research, and philosophy. I mean he’s amazing. I have no idea how he finds the quotes he does. All are thinkers and feelers. He is light and he is deep. I can see his feelings and thoughts through the pictures and stories he shares.

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Lightly Child, Lightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The love a parent feels for a child is strange…

It’s like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who’s lived their whole life in a dark room.

It sends the soul flying.

~ Fredrick Backman, from Beartown: A Novel (Atria Books; Tra edition, April 25, 2017)

Notes:

  • Photo: Kristy G. Photography (via Newthom)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

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Ethereal and fun, I look forward to his writings every day. You will too.

Check out David at https://davidkanigan.com/.