Repeat on a Saturday Morning

rI’m supposed to be vacuuming the house at the moment; the kitchen the next battle ground. But you know what happens when creativity pokes you in the back like a stick. I started organizing my laptop, which led to making sure I had copies of all my blogs, which led me to the one I did a few weeks ago about being published, which led me to thinking that maybe not all were able to follow the link, which led me to….well, you can figure out the rest.

For those who might have wanted to read my short story but never got a chance to follow the yellow brick road, here it is. I hope you like it.

We Speak as One

 

I don’t know how many of us are here now. Our weight steadily increased until one day the machines lay silent.  The parameters of our existence really do not bother us much anymore. Weight and length and color are nothing more than shadowed measurements of something once thought important.

We are tired, some of us more than others.  Our collective consciousness is slowly seeping out of this world, thoughts of ever-after more a smile than a possibility.  I think there are six of us here on this flatbed. We mouth colors of Regal Black and Arctic White and Matador Red, but no sound comes out.  Perhaps that is what we were once called.  It doesn’t really matter now.  Our identities no longer lay within the tints of our shell. The cold September wind is whipping around us, rhythmically snapping some long forgotten trim against someone’s bumper.  We lay together, six tall, waiting for our last road trip, trying to remember what we once were.

As we try to sort our individualities from of this pile of crushed and bent steel, wisps of once-upon-a-time mingle and become one long thought:  “I carried the homecoming queen in the high school parade was the fastest car in Jefferson County remember children fighting in my backseat on their way to grandma’s my engine never really ran the way it was supposed to.”  Our minds are slow now, almost non-existent.  I don’t recall if it was me that celebrated the millennium at a park in New Jersey or the Nova two stacks above me.  One of our back seats is full of motor oil; someone else’s is full of blood.  It’s these sorts of sleepy memories the six of us share now as our bodies are crushed to one-eighth of our former glory.  The white Toyota on top tries to boast of big V8’s and posi-traction, but the collective knows Toyotas never had those kinds of engines.  Red Bel Air doesn’t remember what year he came off the assembly line, but is almost positive the first song played on his radio was “Love Me Tender.”  The rest of us don’t know if that is true — most barely remember yesterday.

We try to recall a time when the roads were ours.  When our owners rushed home to wash us, took us on drives through the countryside, sat in front of houses while lovers said goodbye.  Someone says there was a time when pride of ownership was the foundation of his existence; the car on the top hasn’t been around long enough to know what that means.  One of us has been abused since we were bought off the lot; someone else swears they were pampered until they were driven off the road in a thunderstorm.

Black Skylark doesn’t send many vibrations through us anymore.  He lies at the bottom of this crushed steel heap, his days of glory long gone.  He remembers little, as his body was mangled beyond recognition by a high-speed drunk driver one Saturday night.  But it is just as well, he moans.  Our purpose was never to last beyond our usefulness. AMC Concord right beneath me is ever the optimist. Thinks his owner will come and reclaim him from the shadows of the abyss before it is too late. If I had much emotion left I would tell him it’s already too late. There will be no reclamation for us. Nothing but transition.

The platform on which we lay is cold and hard. There are no wrinkles, no folds, no contours of steel as with us.  We hear we are leaving soon — the one, last, great adventure.  Words in the distance barely reach us.  Scrap yard.  Recycling plant. Shredder.  Those words are alien to us.  Stick shift. Transmission. Spoilers.  Now these are words we understand.  Words that ring true about what we once were.  Who we are still.

Tired now, our collective efforts to share one last glimpse into our pasts are failing.  Style and accessories mean little when you are crushed flat against another.  Perhaps we were once fresh and new, but all that is left is this pathetic tower of crumpled steel and broken dreams

We…Speak…As…One

We…Speak…No……More……

What Is True Success?

So many things make us happy; so many things make us sad. So many times we wished we  had turned left instead of right; so many times we are soooo glad we did turn right instead of left. Sometimes I get really sad that I’m soon going to turn 60 — where has my life gone? Other times I look back and am sorry my mother never made 54. I’m sad that I had breast cancer; other times I’m so glad they found it when they did.

Life is packed with highs and lows, yellow and blacks, snow and scorching heat. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s always been about. For us, for our grandparents, for George Washington and Kublai Khan and St. Joseph. I’m sure they all had a hundred things they wanted to do at one time, too.  Just like us. We all want to be appreciated for what we’ve done. What we’ve become. We all would like to think that our time here on Earth has been for the Greater Good.

This is not a confessional blog; this isn’t a tell-all or a bad news bomb.  I’m sitting on my sofa this cold Sunday afternoon, looking at the bare treetops in my front yard. Of course, you know me — I’m also watching football, eating lunch, doing laundry, getting ready to write some in  my latest novel, wondering what I’m gonna wear to work tomorrow. I’m also thinking about the fun I had with my grandbaby this weekend, thinking of taking some drugs for my achy legs, and feeling guilty I haven’t played fetchie with my dog today.

That’s really what this blog is about. Sometimes I feel I should be pushing this blog harder, trying to share the Word with more readers. Other times I think I’ve run this horse to the finish line, and should start a new creative venture.  Yet more often I think  I’ve let my writing simmer on the back burner for so long it’s started to dry up and stick to the pan.

How do you know if you’ve succeeded at what you tried to do? What is the measure of success? Big paychecks often are an indicator;  good health, always. Waking up every morning is a success all on its own. Family? Kids? Making the perfect apple pie? All of the above are successes if never done it before. Success has always been measured from the heart first, from the masses second. And often it takes on a meaning more cosmic than one thinks. I think I make the best spaghetti sauce this side of the Mississippi. If you don’t agree, does that mean it’s not good? Of course not. All it means is that I can eat it all myself.

Writing is the same thing for me. What is being a successful writer? Have I ever been published? A short  story here or there in the past 10 years. Have I won awards for my creativity? No. Have I ever I gotten a call or email from a publisher? No. Do I think I’m a successful writer? Yes. Definitely.  I’ve had people say positive things about my stories; I’ve brought smiles and tears to readers.  I’ve written 4 novels, 1 novella, 32 short stories, 42 poems, 84 blogs, and 3 novels in-progress. I think that’s being successful. Why? Because Ive continued to do what I love, no matter what the  result. I’ve had fun making friends, creating worlds, and trying things that make me uncomfortable. I encouraged people to believe in themselves, given life to middle-age heroines, and never killed off  the main character.

There are still so many paths to follow, worlds to explore. And that’s only after I play with my grandbaby, fetch my dogs, pet my cats, cuddle my husband, go to work 40 hours a week, clean my house, grocery shop, get together with family and/or friends, and dozens of other responsibilities. Life has only so many hours, and I’m still struggling on squeezing a few more out of every week.

So what this all boils down to is that I’ve driven the Humoring the Goddess train long enough. Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to believe in yourself, have fun with your life, and laugh as much as you can. There are so many things you can’t change, so why not toss your hands up and laugh and move on? You’ll know the things you CAN change..that little voice in your heart/head/soul is always there to remind you. Your job is to listen.

I have enjoyed entertaining you all these years more than you know. I have learned so much from you. I might try another blog, or finish one of my novels, or sit and spew poetry until I feel nauseated. I’m sure I’ll be back and visit sometime. If I start something new I’ll post it. I will look foward to hearing from you and YOUR projects. You will always find me at my email world…  humoring_the_goddess@yahoo.com.

There is always a path ahead of you. Always. It’s up to you which one you take, or how often you turn left or right. In the end, none of that matters — the only thing that matters is that you keep walking.

Keep Humoring the Goddess…and Loving your Life…

Claudia Anderson

America — and You — Never Forget

There will always be Madness in the world…there will always be dark, crazy things that happen that will forever have no reason, no explanation.

September 11, 2001 will always be one of those dark, crazy things.

But there is a lot of Magic in the world as well. Your lives are full of it. People you know, food you eat, the weather outside. Music, books, painting, computers, football games, all are wonderful experiences in space and time that forever try and encourage you to leave your own world for a while to experience a different one.

For me, one of the most haunting lingerings from 9/11 are the older movies I watch where the Twin Towers stand proud and gleaming in the background. Every single time I catch a flash of them a pang goes through my heart. Funny the things that trigger memories of madness, isn’t it?

So today, take a moment and say, “Hi! How ya doin’? How’s the magic? Miss you (love you, like you, etc.)”  to everyone who has touched your life and passed on to greener pastures (or whatever metaphor makes you feel good). Throw in a “thank you” if you’d like. Or even an extra “love you.” Then move on. They may or may not feel it on the other side, but you will feel it on this side.

And you will be a better person for it.