Monday, January 31, 2011

Some Prose

The Stack of Books

I sit precariously on top of a stack of books of many sizes. Text books on top of small books of poetry. I feel as though this small mountain of books may come crashing down at any moment. I am scared of the crash and the fall that will surely come. I wobble and shake atop this mountain of ill piled books. How far is the fall and what will happen when I hit the floor? I can’t say that I believe that I will die, because I know that I will not. It’s the unsteadiness that scares me most. I am not on stable ground. Everything that I am, have been, and believe that I one day will be is built on a shaky pile of books. Who will I be when the first book has been pulled out from under me?

Cup of Light

The sky rained diamonds that day. A cup made of shimmering blue light hung suspended in the sky, eclipsing the moon. I drank from the cup and became filled with bliss. I drank and my heart began to fill up with blue light until the light overflowed my heart and spilled out, splashing particles of magnificent light throughout my entire body. I held my pulsating blue heart in my hands.

The Color of Words

Stuck within pages that have already been written on. I have been looking for my voice for so many years. There has been an absence of words and a fear that the absence will continue to haunt me. For what I want most is to be a river deep with words. Painting pictures with beautiful words. Words in acrylics and pastels bringing a blank canvas to life. Red, blue, purple and yellow words. Words swirling together creating deeper and richer colors.

Cornflake Monday

Rainy Monday morning. A sense of quiet, but not tranquility settles over the house. No real need for idle talk, however, a desire to connect is whispered in my ear. It is barely audible, just enough for me to know that it is present. But I have nothing to say today. The whispered voice asks me to try, as sometimes when I feel quiet there are good things just below the surface, at those times if you and I are both lucky we may find that a plate of warm gooey half-baked cookies awaits us. My fingers move, my mind is trudging along behind. There are certainly doubts that we will share cookies this Monday afternoon, I feel that all that I have to offer is a bowl of Cornflakes. I look through my cupboards in search of a box of instant oatmeal, because I think that on this gray day you might appreciate ingesting something warm more than you would enjoy a cold bowl of cereal that will go bad if you let it sit for too long. Sorry it looks like I am out. I will go to the store in the morning and buy the ingredients to make you a delicious tiramisu from scratch. I have never made a tiramisu, so it will definitely be a challenge and it may not be ready by tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon for that matter. Don't worry I won't let you go hungry, I will try to show up everyday with something in hand. I know this meal that I am offering today is hardly a meal and it won't provide you with the sustenance that you need to make it through the day, and for that I am sorry for us both. Have patience for I am still learning to cook, and I promise you that one of these days when you come to my table I will surprise you with a feast.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Uncovering My Essence

It's amazing how much a person can change in a year. Sometimes I like to look back at where I was in my life a year ago and contemplate the events that have happened during that time and the ways that I have changed. My first post in October was about change, however, I have even changed since then. I am discovering that I have changed in ways that I didn't know that I needed to.It's not that I have been trying on new identities over the course of the past year, it's more like I have been shedding whatever isn't really me and getting closer to my essence.

Last year at this time I was giving public talks centered around the topic of Embracing Life's Imperfections. At the time I knew that I didn't want to speak to anyone as an expert on any topic, and I didn't want to speak with the intention of inspiring people. I just wanted to get up and talk as myself about things that were important to me. However, when I spoke, I still felt as though I was standing up in front of a room full of people pretending to know something that they did not know, which was exactly what I did not want. Also, I knew that I didn't want to be any kind of coach, counselor, or social worker. However, some part of me was still tied to that identity as a "helper". I feel that the cord which tied me to the "helping" profession has been cut, liberating me from a false identity that I picked up some years ago.

Yesterday my husband and I went to a tea house for an afternoon date and to gather information for a piece that I am writing. Drinking tea in a quaint tea house for the purpose of writing an article, felt like I was connecting to the life that I am meant to lead. I definitely feel challenged, as my normal writing comes straight from the center of my chest while writing a review comes out of my head. It's okay if I feel challenged by the tea piece because I am finally wearing an outfit that fits me instead walking around in some strangers two sizes too big hand me downs.

With hindsight certain things in life are beginning to make sense; I have been given more of the puzzles pieces. Although I was a good speaker, and maybe an okay counselor I could never make it work as a profession, and now I am glad because ultimately that's not who I am.  

Writing everyday has contributed significantly to my transformation. The more I write, the more I become visible to myself. As I become visible to myself I learn who I am and who I am not. The process of shedding happens without my being aware of it. Sometimes loss is gain.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


If I could do it all over again, meaning my life, I would go back and experience from childhood through to adulthood what life would be like to be popular. I don't mean being a pretty cheerleader, although that might be nice. What would my life have been like if I would have been self-assured and outgoing? I imagine that the experience of going to school would have been completely different than the one I had, where I was plagued with constant stomachaches and just wanted to stay home with my mom where I felt safe.

I know that beauty is not the key to having a great social life and school experience, although when I was in school I believed that beauty reigned supreme. As an adult I have seen kids, teens, and other adults that are well liked and even popular that aren't necessarily beauties. Having an outgoing personality and being a good friend is what makes other people desirous of your company. Whenever I see an average looking girl that is surrounded by friends, it gives me a warm and hopeful feeling. As a kid I always believed that looks were the most important thing, and I didn't have them, therefore, I wasn't popular. The real issue for me was not so much lack of popularity, but lack of friendship in general.

For years I blamed everyone that I went to school with from grade school through high school for giving me such a lousy social experience in my most formative years. Now being slightly more mature, I can see that the problem wasn't theirs, it was mine. I was painfully shy, and I still am. Shyness prevented me from making friends, and from being a good friend. I simply got freaked out from being around other people. Making friends, and even showing up for school was beyond difficult for me. I still battle shyness, I still struggle with friendship. I would love to be that person that entertains groups of women in my home, giving them the security to know that they can come to me for friendship. I would love to be that woman that serves her friends hot cocoa and warm gooey chocolate chip cookies when they are down. I would say, "you can take refuge in the shade of my leaves when the heat becomes too much" because that's the kind of friend that I am.

Yes, if I could do it all again I would lose the shyness and be a great friend with many friends. I would love to show up for kindergarten every morning with a feeling of excitement and anticipation for the day ahead; the chance to learn new things, play on the playground with my friends, have milk and cookies for snack and return home at noon to nap and play with my best friend Kelly for the rest of the day. Lying in bed with the sweet memories of my day running through my mind. My mommy kisses my head, and I am drifting off to sleep to be greeted by delicious dreams of a summer night's sky lit by the light of a thousand fireflies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Childhood Dreams

When you were a child what were some of the dreams that you had about life? What did you imagine your life would be like when you grew up? What was your dream job? Where did you picture yourself living? What was important to you?

When I was a child my fantasy was to be a singer. I wrote songs, and spent large chunks of time lost in images of an older version of me, that looked a lot like Olivia Newton John, on a stage with microphone in hand belting out Xanadau. The Christmas that I received a Solid Gold microphone, inspired by the hit show Solid Gold, I was elated with the feeling that I was that much closer to my fantasy being fulfilled. When I was twenty-one, an unfortunate event occurred, I heard myself sing for the first time. I mean I really heard myself, without Barbra or Olivia turned up to ten to drown me out. I was tone deaf. I never cared about singing again after that day. The dream that I had held onto for sixteen years I abandoned just like that. Interestingly enough there are many nights when I have dreams that I am on stage singing and I sound really good. I guess the dream never really went away, it's still stored in all its glory in my subconscious.

My other fantasy job was to be a writer. When I was ten years old I got my first real typewriter. It was a blue Holly Hobby, with a picture of Holly Hobby on it, but it was a real typewriter. When I was fifteen my parents let me sign up for a writing correspondence course. I still remember getting my large red binder with writing materials in the mail. What a great day. It was such great fun sending in my writing assignments to my editor in New York. And yes, I typed my assignments on my Holly Hobby typewriter. I am grateful that my parents indulged my fantasies.

One thing was for sure, I knew that I wanted to be on stage. In elementary school I did some modeling for the Boston Store, an upscale clothing store in Arkansas. My little cousin was modeling for them and I wanted to also. I wasn't asked by anyone at the Boston Store to walk the little blue runway. My mom asked for me, and the Boston Store agreed. My first time on stage I didn't want to leave, I loved being up there so much. Because I wouldn't exit the stage when I was supposed to, the emcee had to start describing my socks and shoes(which didn't come from the Boston Store).

There was a time as a teenager when I paid to be in my school's beauty pageant, the Miss Southern Belle Pageant. That story is for another time, however, it is an example of belief that I really was pretty, and deserving of attention even if no one else could see it and I had to nominate and pay for myself to be included.

Where did I want to live? In elementary school I wanted to live in California. When I was a teenager that changed to New York. I really wanted to sit on the stoop in Brooklyn with my imaginary Italian family.

Lastly, having fun was the most important thing in life.

Please send in comments about your childhood dreams. Did you get close to reaching them? Do they still exist somewhere in your heart or subconscious? What can you do now to regain a sense of childhood wonder, and the ability to dream?

Livin' the Dream

A character in a movie that I was watching yesterday said that she was living her dream. The movie was Starting Over from 1979, starring Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, and Candice Bergen. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend taking a day out for a Jill Clayburgh fest and adding this to the queue. Candice Bergen's character gets a recording contract, which is pretty funny in itself, as she is tone deaf and her voice is beyond hilarious. Even though she and her husband are recently divorced and he is still struggling emotionally, she's feeling pretty great; she's living her dream. When Candice's character Jessie made that statement, it sent all sorts of marvelous images running through my mind of living my dream. How would it feel to actually be at a place in life where I could say that? Is it possible that even after forty I might one day reach a point where I am living my dream? I don't know why it took a character in a Burt Reynold's movie to open my imagination to the possibility of living my dream in this lifetime, but it did.

Last night I was driving my daughter home from play practice, listening to the Human League, transported back to my teenage self in 1983 when my whole life was about dreams and believing without a doubt that one day I would live them. Don't You Want Me is playing on the radio, I am starring in the role of mother to a teenage daughter, however I felt as though at forty-one I had a magnificent life ahead of me. I'm not just talking about a life spent driving carpool and doing laundry; I'm not complaining about these things because I do love being a mom. The vision that I saw was of me in a convertible driving around California, my hair mussed by the wind, living the life of a writer that actually makes money, like enough money to live on comfortably. In my dream I am living this creative life, the one that I wanted since I was a kid, the one that I should have been living all along. Feeling like,"wow it's still possible, everything is still possible". I want this year to be the best year of life that I have had so far. Like Candice Bergen's character Jessie, I want to say one day in the very near future, "I am living my dream".

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Warm Cookies

All day I have thought about you, longing for us to be together again here on the page. I have pushed and pushed for something to say, but continued to come up empty. I am empty still, yet wish to be filled once again. As the words come out one by one, fullness replaces the emptiness. This state of depletion happens from time to time. Sometimes there simply are no words even when the desire to speak and write is strong. The words that do come are awkward and shy and ask me please not to publish post. They know that they are half baked, not ready for ingestion. But the longing is so intense, the desire to publish post, the wish to meet once again in the corner of the bookstore by Chagall's Amoureux de Vence.
I am ready to serve this half dozen warm and gooey, but not fully baked chocolate chip cookies. Bon appetit.

Monday, January 24, 2011


This morning my dear friend told me that one of my posts yesterday made her feel guilty, and she said that I sounded angry. I was angry and I knew that it was coming through in the writing. I intended for it to come through in the writing. I was feeling considerable frustration and disappointment about some situations in my life and about my fear of dealing with them in order to take care of myself. I worry so much about offending other people, that I end up not taking care of myself or saying what I need to say. So that frustration manifested in a blog post. After talking to my friend I thought about deleting my post or posting a retraction. However, my feelings haven't changed about what I wrote, so why do I feel the need to pretend that they have. The only reason for me to try to take back my post is because I don't want my readers to leave me. This blog is a place for me to take refuge, and a safe space for me to speak the truth about what I am feeling and thinking. Part of me wants to pretty it up to make my feelings palatable to my readers, but then what really is the point in keeping this blog if I have to put my make-up on before I can write.

The bottom line is that if you read this blog, whether or not you comment or follow, I still feel that you are with me on this journey. I appreciate every single person that takes the time to read this blog. Yes, I get frustrated that my friends don't follow, I can't deny that. Nonetheless, you enrich my life beyond measure by taking the time out of your day to read my words. Why don't I want you to leave me? Because you all make me happy, and you all improve the quality of my life. This blog was one of the best things that I have done for myself, and the fact that you show up day after day, or every other day, or once a month makes it all worth while.

So, if I offended anyone yesterday, I really can't change that. I was frustrated with many things, however, I am also immensely grateful to everyone that reads this blog. Thank you for reading and thank you for giving me something to look forward to everyday.

Farewell to Cable

Last night with a mixture of sadness and anticipation for the future, my family bid adieu to cable television. This morning while drinking my cup of English Breakfast tea, I remembered what we had done; we stripped our family of entertainment leaving us with no other choice than to engage with each other, or to get hooked up with Netflix asap. What were we thinking? Had we temporarily gone crazy? Did we actually believe that we would be satisfied with a life filled with conversation, puzzles, books, music, and possibly friendship? We had just discovered Episodes, a delightful new show on Showtime with Matt LeBlanc and two charming English main character (sorry, I forgot their names). Well, so much for that new love. And what happens in the summer when the new season of Weeds begins? Will we have to wait for the season to finish before we can access it on Netflix? Okay,  I am starting to get nervous.

I must say that there is something quite sweet and rather empowering about renting movies once again. Once we got cable we stopped thinking for ourselves and started letting ATT Uverse make our decisions for us. It may have appeared as though we had choices, perhaps many choices as to what to watch, but they weren't our choices, they were Uverse choices. Although I may be going through withdrawal, I am also excited about taking some power back over our television viewing, and the possibility of having a life outside of watching cable.I usually only watched about an hour or two a day, however, I was comforted in knowing that it was there. It brought me comfort to know that if ever I were lonely or feeling empty I could turn on the little box and the voices would come to soothe me.

I would like to close by thanking my cable box, which will soon be sent back to its rightful owner, for bringing so many wonderful images into my life over the course of the past year. Thank you for standing by my side and bringing entertainment into my life during good times and bad. You never questioned or doubted my decisions or my competence, you just kept playing movies twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week as long as the bill was paid on time. I miss you already. I'll try to write. Adieu.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Supporting Each Other

My sister once said to me that she could count on non-family members to read her blog more than she could count on her family to read it. After she told me that I still didn't read her blog. Really what difference would it make if I read her blog or not, she had hundreds of other people to support her. That's a pretty typical stance that I have taken in life. So and so won't notice if I don't show up for important events in their life, because they have other people to be there for them. I don't think that I am alone in this thinking, I believe that many of us fall victim to the belief that we don't really matter so we don't have to show up for life or other people. There is always someone else that can step in and take our place, and no one will ever notice that we were missing. Now that I have started writing this blog I am beginning to understand that every person matters, each reader is valuable. I now make a point to read my sister's blog every day, which is worth reading anyway.

A few hours ago I posted asking to get feedback for my bio that I need to have written within the next twenty-four hours to submit to an online women's magazine. I suppose that at this point it should come as little to no surprise that the feedback that I received was from friends that I have met through the blog, but have never physically met. The people that have actually had some person to person contact me with remain silent. A couple of times on FB I have asked my friends to stop by the blog and click a simple button to become my follower. None of my friends have responded to this request, which I have to say always kind of baffles me. If you don't read the blog then why follow. If you have read it and you think it's crap, then why follow. If you are morally opposed to what I'm doing, then why follow. But if you are my friend, and you read it every day and get some enjoyment out of it, and I have expressed that it helps the blog to increase followers, then I have to wonder what's going on here. I am starting to learn how important it is to support each other even with something as simple as pushing a button to show our support. Also, I am frightened to think of just how many times I don't show up for people even when it is something effortless on my part. I cringe to think how often I do this. I am a horrible supporter. I am trying to change that, but I am still incredibly blind to just how apathetic I really am when it comes to other people, and believe me I am the stingiest about giving of myself. But I hope to change that if even only to give an unattractive child or animal my thumbs up on Face Book. Pamela, I am not talking about your dog.

Write My Bio

Last night I received an e-mail from the publisher of the Ask Miss A online women's magazine, that I have been accepted as a writer in the Atlanta area. I am really excited about the opportunity to write movie, book, concert reviews, etc. for this up and coming site. But here is my dilemma: I have an incredibly difficult time writing bios, and I have agreed to send my headshot along with bio to the publisher within the next twenty-four hours so that I can start writing for the site. I maintain my blog pretty well, posting 4-6 times per week, so I know that I can write about my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. However, there is something about writing a bio that really stumps me. I am even having a hard time writing this post about writing my bio. How do I make myself sound interesting? Perhaps part of the difficulty is that the spotlight is shining directly on me, which makes me pretty uncomfortable. Ask me what my favorite flavor of ice cream is and I go into a panic. So, I'm supposed to write a paragraph that is all about me, and I have to make it sound confident. Yikes! I just went on to the Ask Miss A site and read some of the other bio's for the Atlanta writers, they sound pretty good, mine doesn't.

So I need help from my readers. Even if we haven't met it's okay, because I still want your input. I would like feedback from people that I have some sort of relationship with outside of the blog, and my new cyber friends. Can you give me some adjectives or sentences that describe me in an interesting way? Please send ASAP! Thanks

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bitter Sweet Memories of My Years in a Highrise

I had an interesting experience yesterday. On my way to a meeting with a local artist and writer, I passed a place where my daughter and I lived twelve years ago. The building is a brick high rise built in the 1930's or 40's in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood. However, this building is the anomaly of this strip of Peachtree Road in Atlanta. Some of the most bizarre, colorful, and mentally unstable characters made the Darlington their residence. I often wondered if I was the only normal person that lived there, however, I now realize that perhaps I was giving myself too much credit. Downstairs there was a dry cleaner, travel agency, dentist office, convenience store, and Chinese restaurant. The building definitely had a quirky and nostalgic feel to it. However, it was also a disturbing experience to live there.

My daughter and I were quite popular, she was adorable and attracted a lot of attention. As introverted as I am, I find it surprising when I look back and remember that we visit neighbors often, and vice versa. It seems pretty out of character for me, but I am so glad to remember that I broke character in that way.

Odd occurrences took place at the Darlington. There were some things that I heard or saw during my three and a half year there that I would care not to remember, and definitely don't want to write about them.

I was completing my undergraduate degree, something that I had put on hold for a few years, and living on a shoestring. There was one summer when my student loan checks were messed up and we ended up living on $15 per week. Bad memories. I never want to go back there again.

There were there happy moments when I had enough money to buy a great looking futon and get cable. That was enough to make me feel like I had the world in the palm of my hand. Having easy access to great Chinese food was pretty wonderful as well. Then there was the spectacular view from my twelfth story window of the Peachtree Road race that took place every Fourth of July.

Yesterday I pulled into the back parking lot of the Darlington. I sat in my car and looked up at the fifteen story building; watching the odd characters emerge. I can't say that the experience of being back was depressing, it was really more unsettling. Even thinking back to yesterday I feel unsettled. I am glad that that time in my life is behind me. The remembrance of sitting in that parking lot yesterday and the memories that flooded me leaves a dark spot on my mind.

So, I think that I would like to end this post with the memory of my daughter and I walking down the street to a quaint French sandwich shop located next door to our apartment, enjoying our breakfast of waffles, toast, and tea; then walking to CVS to get the film developed from our disposable cameras; arriving home to change into our bathing suits and head to the pool for a couple of hours, and then upstairs for lunch and to put my daughter down for her nap. Yes, those are the memories that I want to be left with from my Darlington days. Sweet summer afternoons with my child.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


A few years ago a friend of mind told me that when he died he didn't want to go to an afterlife no matter how great it might be. He loved this world so much that he wanted to come back again and again. At the time I thought that that was one of the most ridiculous things that I had ever heard. Who in their right mind would want to come back here? Now I can kind of understand where he was coming from, kind of. Ever since I left my parent's home when I was eighteen, I have felt like I have been operating at a deficit. Constantly worrying how I would pay this bill or that bill, and where the money was going to come from to get basic needs met, which doesn't make for a lot of fun.

I have a tremendous need to travel, create artistically, and surround myself with beauty.I feel as if I am standing outside looking in at all of the wonderful experiences that life has to offer. I can't find the key to the door anywhere, who knows the door may be unlocked, but I just can't figure out how to open it. Feeling that the things in life that I yearn for are beyond my reach, makes me reconsider the idea of being reborn into this world. If I could be guaranteed that I would not break any bones, or suffer any serious physical injury then I think I might not mind having another shot at life on Planet Earth. I imagine coming back and living in Italy, or somewhere in the English countryside. Having the means to travel, and finally take a road trip to California. What if I came back and my creativity was unblocked? What if I was a writer, artist, or film maker by profession? What if my life was arranged as such where I could worry about things other than money, if I felt the need to worry at all. I would hope that I would be gregarious in my next life. I would love to be the sort of person that was a great friend and that had many friends.

Last month I happened upon a gorgeous blog by a writer and artist in the UK. Thousands of people visit her blog; she is a highly gifted artist. In one post she writes about her frustration at living hand to mouth. She has pictures of her cottage in Dartmoor: quaint, peaceful, creative environment, her world covered in a blanket of snow. Yet she has struggles terribly financially. Somehow the thought of the beauty that she puts out into the world despite less than optimal financial conditions, provides me with some solace at the moment. It doesn't take money to create beauty and magic.

I still wouldn't mind experiencing a life not bound by money problems. I'm definitely not asking to come back here again, there is always the chance that I might not get the cottage by the sea, or the spur of the moment flights to Paris to attend poetry readings. I suppose that there is still hope in this life to set things right. I just wish it wasn't so damned hard to figure out.

Snow Week: The Final Installment

Last week was one of the best weeks of my life. It's true that I experienced several moments of ennui, restlessness, and emptiness; an entire week without leaving the house can certainly give those emotions easier access into one's life. But overall, the experience of spending a week with my family watching movies, noshing, and reflecting on my life while looking out my window at a vast expanse of snow, was wonderful. I feel the need to write about it one more time, because I am reluctant to part with my snow week.

A snow week is sort of like a week of illness although more energetic and the food tends to taste better. Coming back to my life after a bout of illness always feels as though I am starting all over, it's as if everything that came before the illness was wiped out. Somehow just from being in bed for days I become a different person. The experience is unsettling to say the least. The same thing has happened with my bitter sweet snow week. I have forgotten what I was focused on before the snow happily interrupted my life. Who was I a week and a half ago? Who am I now? What do I care about now? and where am I going?

The snow has almost completely melted, leaving behind a muddy slush. The gray sky that I loved a few days ago, just leaves me feeling confused right now. I liked the gray when it was a sign of imminent snow, but now the gray is empty of promise.

Life was interrupted, and sometimes life needs interruption. Derailment can be a glorious thing.

So while I am trying to recreate my life, I am also praying for more snow. I love magic, and the snow transported me from the world of the ordinary to a world of beauty and magic. For now I will have to look for magic in areas outside meteorology. Thank you snow, I love you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Short and Sweet

The need to create rises up within. Creativity yearning for expression. Building with intensity daily. Fearing unfulfillment. Fearing the magnitude of desire. My body glows indigo blue. Golden stars twinkling in my fingertips. The Lovely Lady in the Blue Kimono reaches into the summer night's sky, grabs a handful of diamonds from the heavens and sprinkles them onto the head of the Golden One. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yucky Monday Morning

For the past few years I have been plagued by a recurring dream in which I was awarded my master's degrees in error, sort of. I was given degrees for both undergraduate and graduate work, only the graduate degree is really no good. Apparently, an extra math class was added as a requirement for the master's in counseling sometime after I graduated, and for some reason this is being held against me making my degree invalid. The truth is that I already have degree in hand to show any potential employer,and no one in the dream is pushing me to go back and take the math class. The more that I think about it, I'm not really sure that anyone said that my degree is no good, maybe I am the one that decided that.

I didn't try very hard in grad school, and my grades were quite good. School work didn't challenge me, however, my constant emotional ups and downs made getting through school a challenge. It seems as though subconsciously I feel that I am a fraud. Because I didn't work hard I didn't really earn the degree.

Last night I was feeling great about a post that I had written. Actually, I felt beyond great, I felt like I had entered a new place within myself as far as my writing is concerned, a place of confidence and pure joy. I felt like I was writing as my true self, writing about something that interested me. However, a couple of hours after posting I received a message from someone saying that they did not enjoy reading my post. That one sentence was enough to send me over the edge emotionally. I just figured out that I have PMS, so I really don't have that far to go right now before I am gracefully floating over the edge of the cliff. All night I felt as though I was a fraud, much like I feel in my grad school dream.

Last week I decided that I would start writing with the feeling that writing is my job (by the way, I am sending out resumes for jobs in my field and not in my field, and for the first time in several years I am not getting any response). Writing in that frame of mind produced feelings of fullness, meaningfulness, and excitement about my writing. However, last night that sweet feeling evaporated for me, and I went back to my painful monologue about being frivolous and useless right now. Other people concern themselves with "real" issues, they care about "real" and important things. Me, I live in a fantasy land where I actually believe that writing has value, and worse yet I have allowed myself to indulge the thought that my writing has value.

So this morning I am completely immersed in the feeling that I am a frivolous fraudulent person. I believe that there is some valuable information that could be extracted from my dream, however, I can't quite put it all together right now. No one is questioning me, only I am questioning myself. No one has threatened me, only I feel that I have been threatened and the degree will be taken away. The mental and emotional anguish in the dream is self-induced? I don't take myself seriously, and I don't take my accomplishment of finishing two degrees while working and raising a child on my own very seriously.

Last night I decided that I would not post anything this morning even though I wanted to. However, my desire to write was strong enough to win out over my PMS. I already dread spending the rest of the day in this frame of mind. Once I stop typing I will have to face myself. Guess it's time to look in the mirror.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Robert Downey, Jr. and Bruce Willis Injured My Hearing

I have never been a person that complains about excessive violence in movies, although as a rule I tend to stay away from action movies or movies that have a generally violent theme. I care about the images that I put into my mind, and people getting beaten up usually doesn't fill me with sweet emotions. During the past two weeks it seems as though I have been exposed, albeit willingly to a lot of violence through movies. I have witnessed tremendous amounts of bludgeoning and quite frankly I'm starting to feel as if I were the one being bludgeoned.
There are three movies that stand out as having a particularly strong impact on me due to their violent content. RED with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary Louise Parker et. al. This was not a movie that I would normally pick, and I didn't, but I did agree to go see it. I enjoyed this movie even though it was incredibly violent; the violence was a key ingredient to making this movie work. There were moments that I felt that I had seen enough blood, and heard enough explosions to last me a lifetime. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed RED, and amazingly enough I didn't tune out once to take refuge in my cozy mental spaceship.
Monday afternoon we inaugurated a week of snow days in Atlanta with Get Smart. I was in my spaceship throughout almost the entire movie as I have a general aversion for cliched formula American films; fortunately it was free. I willingly admit to possessing heightened sensitivity, and you may think that I am going overboard by saying that Get Smart's violence disturbed me deeply. At one point, a piece of paper was stapled to a person's head. For some reason the movie was rewound and we came upon the head stapling scene again, I simply had to look away. I found the scene pointless and so very violent. Okay if you have seen the movie, you could argue that there was a point to that scene, but couldn't they have come up with something less upsetting for me? I don't want to see any body parts stapled, EVER.
Lastly, my husband and I watched Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. last night. I liked the movie, and I love the actors, however, I felt that the violence was extreme and commonplace. I can still hear the sound of fist hitting flesh ringing in my ears. On a lovely Sunday evening at home with my family, the last thing that I want is the sound of fist hitting flesh competing with Bach's Goldberg Variations.
Okay, so maybe I do feel like complaining about violence in the movies. If violence must be used then I think that it should serve some artistic purpose. Of course I would not consider any of the movies that I have listed as art. If they fit your definition of art then great, you are less judgmental than I am and probably have more satisfaction and less strife in your relationships. I have listed what I consider to be examples of commercialism not art. I enjoy a little commercialism now and then, it's just all the hitting, kicking and soccer punching that I could do without.
To conclude my fortnight of violence I have rented season four of the Mary Tyler Moore show. After twenty-four episodes of Mary my mind should be thoroughly cleansed of all cinematic debris. I bid farewell to furious fists, Minneapolis here I come!

The Evolution of a Blog

I began writing this blog with the intention of writing something meaningful; I wanted my posts to carry some kind of useful message. However, there are many blogs out there that have messages about growth, so I really don't need to be another. What I have discovered of late is that I am much less interested in sharing insights than I am in creating images from my imagination and writing them down. As I read over my earlier entries, although they were written less than three months ago, I find that they have a different quality than the more recent posts. I must say that I enjoy reading my recent posts more than the older ones. I am finding that writing about movies or the world of my imagination is every bit as meaningful, and infinitely more fun to write about than some "insight" into my soul. Although in my life I am always looking for some evolution, some change in my insight. I suppose that I am actually writing about such a change right now.

Another thing that I discovered this week is that I don't want to write about whatever the current insecurity is that I am facing in my life. If I put it out there in words and publish the post then it feels as though I am perpetuating my undesired state, and making it grow larger. I don't believe that this is true for everyone, but that's where I am this week. This is all subject to change by tomorrow morning. I wrote the last few sentences with a bit of fear and trembling, as I do not wish to offend anyone. I think that it can be extremely helpful for writer and reader for the writer to put their insecurities and doubts on the page. It's just not beneficial for me at this moment. Once again, I realize that although I am writing about not wanting to write with a message, perhaps I am doing that just now. 

Insight: writing the previous paragraphs was not enjoyable for me, although it's really all that I have to say this morning. I would have much rather written about an Ingmar Bergman film, or the Lancome eyeshadow palette that I am pining for. Oh well, what's done is done and I am posting this anyway.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Trials Tribulations and Ultimate Delight of the Snowbound

Last night topped all other snow nights this week. Yesterday I watched movies, experienced huge pockets of internal emptiness, and cleaned the house in what proved to be a successful attempt to fill the emptiness. The day began with Julie and Julia. I tried to watch this movie a couple of months ago, but I could only manage to sit through two minutes of it. It looked like the kind of cliched American movie that I loathe. However, yesterday something in me must have changed, because I found it delightful and wanted to watch it a second time. I admit that at the time of viewing I was experiencing a bit of withdrawal as my husband had left me for the first time in five days to go to work. So it is possible that my guard was down just enough to let Julie and Julia in. After watching Julie and Julia, there were vast stretches of restlessness and boredom, driving me to take refuge in a vacuum and dust rag. Yes I had actually gone so stir crazy from four days without leaving the house that even the thought of cleaning supplies filled me with hope for the future.
Last night my husband and I watched a movie upstairs instead of downstairs, a change of scenery can be a wonderful thing, and we spent some quality time together perusing the internet for information about Michelle Pfieffer and Beau and Jeff Bridges. I always enjoy watching the Fabulous Baker Boys, although the clothing in the eighties was quite unfortunate. At one point during the movie our daughter knocked on the door and shared the rather upsetting news that she is no longer a Leo, but has become a Cancer due to some changes in the planets. I know very little about astrology, however, I do know that my daughter actually had tears in her eyes at the prospect that she would now have to call herself a Cancer. It was a rather amusing scene although I didn't let her know that I felt that way. After the Fabulous Baker Boys and the heartache wrought by the change in the Zodiac signs, we moved onto The Millionairess with Sophie Loren and Peter Sellers, made in 1960. I had never heard of this movie, and did not finish watching it, although I made mental note that it is a movie that I should finish at a later date. Sophia Loren was stunning as the spoiled daughter of a deceased billionaire. The clothes and scenery were beautiful, and I love to imbibe beautiful images before drifting off into the world of delicious sleep, the Millionairess delivered those images.
I don't know what today has in store. My house is clean, my daily blog entry is nearly written, my husband left me yet again, my daughter is home from school for her fifth snow day. For now I will finish my coffee, watch my small white dog as she sleeps peacefully in her bed, and pray for a good movie on cable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Plot of the Ruinous Sun

This morning the sun is shining, there is snow on the ground, and it is nineteen degrees. When I see the sun I feel a little sad. I don't want it to melt the snow, I know that it is so cold outside that the snow is bound to stay for a few days. When the world comes to a standstill I somehow feel safer, happier. I feel connected to strangers, to everyone for that matter. We are all sharing the same experience at the same time. Once the sun comes out, people will begin to scatter, and resume their everyday lives. But I'm not ready for that yet. I want to stay in my "ideal" world. This morning I felt a twinge of sadness when I woke up. "Is it all going to be over soon? Has the sun set out on its cheery mission to destroy the world that I love?" But you know what? Every snowy night this week has been better than the one before. I can't remember what movie that we watched Monday evening, although I do remember that it did not make me happy. Tuesday night was Ira and Abby, which I had already seen but my husband had not, making it feel like the first time for me. Ira and Abby is a delight, so Tuesday night was better than Monday. Wednesday night we watched the original version of The Italian Job with Michael Caine. I did not love this movie, however, I absolutely adore being in England and Italy in the 1960's. So, Wednesday night has been the best night of all. This morning after silently raging at the sun and its plot to ruin my happiness, I told myself "Hey, if every night has gotten better, then today will be the best so far." This is how I must look at this situation in order to maintain my sanity. Tonight we simply must find a way to top Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt, and Michael Caine, my happiness depends upon it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Journal Excerpt

Today I am filled to overflowing. Inches of snow outside my door. My mind entertaining thoughts of England, Victorians, the 1920's. My mind travels to faraway places. Am I really removed from reality, or am I entering a new reality? Moving deeper and deeper into the world of dreams. The world that I wish to live in.

I am choosing to feel full instead of empty. I don't know how long this will last, I only know that it is sweet and delicious.

The world as it is right now cannot be navigated. I love this quality. The snow hides the debris on the roads. It hides the ugliness. The world is wrapped in quiet. The world through snow is safe. Everything is smooth and rounded. I can walk the quiet winter streets without care. I meet a couple along the way. We make eye contact  and smile. It is just us and the snow on the wintry streets.

I do not wish to venture beyond my street. I am quite content to live in the winter scene taking place in my mind. Yes, I am happy to live in my mind. The scenery outside my window enhances my imagination. I was made to live in a movie. A movie's scene. The perfection of a movie set. Not quite real, but definitely art. Art is life. My life is art. Perfectly orchestrated world. Etched, sculpted, wrought out of precious materials. 


I don't know if I would want to live in a world where snow is ordinary, typical, commonplace. I want to live in a world where snow is a condition requiring extraordinary measures.


The grayness of the sky brings stillness and an overwhelming sense of joy to my senses. It sounds odd that gray could fill me, but it does. Utterly, elegantly, to overflow. Have I always taken refuge in gray? I don't believe that I have. But something has changed within me this year. Gray is no longer gray. Gray has moved beyond color, beyond words. The winter sky transports me to a place within my mind, body, and soul that I never wish to leave. January once brought sadness and signaled endings. Maybe death still exists for me in January, stored away in some hidden corner of my mind. For now I feel neither birth nor death, only wonder at the loveliness of gray.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mental Travels on a Snowy January Morning

I have entered a room with fire blazing in the fireplace and leather writing chair in the corner. Room lit with a warm glow, inviting me to sit in the chair, take up pen and paper, and begin to write. Whispering in my ear to dig deep and journey within my imagination, uncovering stories of a grand and delicious nature. I write to discover my life and to reveal my soul. I put it all down on the page, while sitting in my leather writing chair; coffee with cream and sugar by my side ready to nourish my imagination whenever it may falter. The page is a wish fulfilling tree. I sit beneath the tree and write, watching my dreams unfold. I am traveling. I fly a single motor plane over Australia, a white scarf dangles elegantly around my neck. When the plane picks up speed my scarf ripples behind me. On my travels I meet many interesting people. I lunch with Le Petit Prince under an acacia tree. He tells me of  his life and travels and about the precious rose which he loves so dearly. After lunch I meet with Jules Verne to discuss our travel plans for the coming year. Late afternoon I have coffee and conversation in a Paris cafe with Collette. This evening I will attend a costume party at the New York apartment of my dear friend Anais Nin. Anais informed me that Henry Miller and his current wife may make an appearance, as they are passing through the city on their way back to Big Sur. Life is about literature and travel. For that is why I have been set down in this glorious universe, to write, play, and have enchanting encounters with figures great and small. The ordinary and the superlative. A writer's life, a traveler's life. I will not apologize for my dreams, but I will dig my Calvin Klein heels into the inches of snow and ice outside my door and stay firmly planted in the exotic and exquisite world of my imagination. Scene upon lovely scene unfolds before my mind's eye. Bob Fosse dances in the desert. Le Petit Prince's head full of blonde curls dazzle in the sunlight. Magic resides at the core. My soul is rooted in the fantastic. Sweet images fill me to overflow. Sweet, indigo, honey flavored life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Misunderstanding the 70's

I misunderstood something in a big way. Many of you could probably see that I was headed for trouble with my desire to be placed in an eternal 1974 upon my death. As I was mopping my floor today, after watching an episode of Rhoda, I realized that Rhoda probably dealt with the same issues in 1974 that I am dealing with in 2011. I may be wrong about this, but I am guessing that anxiety and self-doubt felt pretty much the same thirty-seven years ago as they do today. If I were an adult in 1974, my life would feel just as off track as it does now, only I would be wearing bell bottoms and there would be great Budweiser commercials in December.

As I was making my bed, I was imagining Rhoda making her bed; believe me she was just as unhappy about doing it as I was. Poor Rhoda, living with her little sister in a small Manhattan apartment, and in a relationship with Joe who is seriously lacking in emotional depth. Life must have really stunk at times, but boy did she look good in her clothes.

This is a separate but important thought regarding the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Episode one of season one Mary gets a job as associate producer for WJM-TV Station. I could feel her excitement as if I were the one that got the job, which makes me want her job or a job that I could get that excited about. Something I learned this week: watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show is a life enhancing experience. Mary is fantastically hot, which is something that I never realized. I wish that I could have hair that nice and thick.

Lesson from watching Rhoda: What I learned today is that I don't really want to live in an eternal 1974, I just want the same fabulous experience of being alive that I had when I was a kid in 1974. I think that I am having that a little bit already. Hooray for me!

Random Thoughts of an Epic Nature

Things I am really good at:

1) Listening to music
2) Watching movies
3) Reading books
4) Drinking caramel spiced cider from Starbucks

Lately I have been thinking that after my death, I want my soul to be set down in the middle of 1974 for eternity. In my 70’s version of heaven I would  wear colorful scarves on my head,  tweeze my eyebrows until they were pencil thin, and watch all of my favorite sitcoms while snacking on party pizza, chips, and coke. There would never be another moment of worry, anxiety, or fear that I should be somewhere other than where I am.
As a kid I told myself that never under any circumstances did I want to turn into an adult. Adulthood was surely a curse worse than death. Adults worried too much and had very little fun. They didn’t understand about what was really important in life like owning one of those red rubber balls that they had at school for kickball and four square, or daydreaming about playing with the Malibu Skipper that I pined for and never owned. As a child I instinctively knew that happiness was what was most important. With each passing year I grew further away from that truth and like most of us became forever lost in the illusive notion that incessant worrying and taking life seriously are signs of being a responsible person. 

Why all of this pining for childhood of late? I’m not sure what the trigger was, but for some glorious reason I have been tapping into the carefree and happy feelings that I experienced in childhood, just as I experienced them when I was a child. 

New thought:

I am astounded anew every morning when I see that my FB “friends” are still there, and that they didn’t drop me over night. We have a tenuous relationship and I know that it is just a matter of time until they all disappear, since we didn’t really know each other anyway.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Gratitude for Hulu

Last night I discovered hulu, and I think that it may have changed my life just a little. Since last week I have been mentally gravitating toward the 70’s; I say mentally because it hasn’t  actually outwardly manifested at this point. I haven’t dropped by the thrift store to buy my husband a leisure suit, and I didn’t purchase Cover Girl robin egg blue shadow; yet.  But I do feel a strong pull toward Rhoda, One Day at a Time, Maude, and The Bob Newhart Show. I need to fall into sleep with the sweet vibrations of a Rhoda episode flowing through my body and mind. Yes, I want to touch the carefree innocence of my youth, and I know of no better way to do that at present than to watch the same shows that I watched as a kid. In 1974 my biggest concern was if I would make it to the bathroom in time in the middle of the night; anything concerning my bladder usually turned into a situation. The bottom line is that I want peace of mind and I believe that McMillan and Wife could and would provide, if only it were on hulu. For now Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Harper will suffice. I have found temporary relief and contentment from my woes through my time spent with my dear friends Barbara and Julie Cooper in their Indianapolis apartment. Thank you hulu, thank you.