Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Best Voyage

"The voyage of the best ship is a zig-zag line of a hundred tacks." ~Emerson

This is so true.  Life is filled with so many turns, obstacles, and adventures.  If it worked out how we planned it, oh, what a boring life it would be.  I've had all kinds of moments... good ones, bad ones, dreams and nightmares.  While I didn't enjoy many of them, I wouldn't change them, because they've made me who I am. I can look behind me and see the zigs and zags, and the tacks are colorful and numerous.  It makes me excited and afraid of what might lay ahead.  I'm excited, because I'm enjoying the trip.

~Passenger Aboard the US TonyaView blog

Monday, November 23, 2015

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

**Image from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/simon-garfunkel/

There are some songs I remember from my childhood, songs like nursery rhymes, rock-n-roll anthems my parents used to play in the car or through the house as they were getting stoned, school songs, and that odd song that would randomly come on the radio or television. One of those songs is The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon & Garfunkel. I can’t tell you when I first heard the song, but just know that forty-four some-odd years later, I still remember it; every-single-word.

“Slow down, you move too fast. Ya got to make the mornin’ last, just kickin’ down the cobble-stone, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy. Da-da-da-da-da… feelin’ groovy. Hello, lamppost, what ‘cha knowin’. I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’. Ain’t ya got no rhymes for me? Da-da-da-da-da… feelin’ groovy. I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep. I’m dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep. Let the mornin’-time drop all its petals on me. Life I love ya’, all is groovy.”

Facing the next 3-4 weeks of a 50-hour work schedule, that’s what I’d like… for the world just to slow down a little bit. But, it doesn’t. It never does. It reminds me of another song that says, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” Boy, those hippies of the 60’s and 70’s may have been stoned, but they had some really profound sayings.

I woke up this morning listening to the birds singing their morning song. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to their soulful melodies because I moved to a freakin’ hot state that is awfully humid, forcing me to keep the windows shut and the air-conditioner constantly humming it’s dull, dreadful song. For a woman who dreams of breathing in fresh mountain air, this Florida whether is about the farthest thing away from anything I want. But I’m here, and I’m trying to make the best of the hard decision I made to come.

But, just because my life is spinning wide open like a treadmill set on fast speed and I have to keep up or else I’ll lose my footing and go flying off the end, I can choose to regulate my breathing, slow down my mind, and fall into pace. I can choose to enjoy those simple things like listening to the bird’s morning song, remember staring into pair of beautiful, brown eyes and feeling the warmth of a strong pair of arms, listening to the laughter of a simple joke, playing a game of Nancy Drew with my best friends, feel the excitement of meeting someone new, getting to know my co-workers, and taking one slow step at a time at living out loud.

So, as Simon & Garfunkel sang, let’s all just slow down a little bit, make the morning last, take a few moments and just breathe, smell the flowers of life, feel the love of those around us. I feel loved this morning having received unexpected messages from some of my favorite people in the world. It wasn’t earth-shattering messages, just simple hellos from old friends, new friends, past friends, and friends I hope to be there in my life for always. I don’t love easy, but I do love deeply.

Till next time,

~Groovy-Feelin’ Hippy

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Let Me Count the Ways

The older I get, the more I look back on life with a little more perspective, and the more I see things differently than I did in my wild, younger days. Well, that’s really a lot of bullshit, because I never really had wild, younger days. I had the misfortune of being bogged down with adult responsibilities since before I could talk. However, I had wild, youthful notions through inexperience and naivety, especially when it came to love.

Having a conversation with a very close friend last night about love, about being in love, about responsibility and accountability, it reminded me of the things I loved most about the people I have loved, and even some I continue to love today. Why do we love the people in our lives? It reminds me of the practice of picking a daisy and plucking the petals with “he loves me, he loves me not”, or some lame poetic utterance of, “Oh, how I love thee… let me count the ways.” Really, what are those ways? What are the things that we truly fall in love with about someone else?

I’d like to say that in my past relationships that I fell in love with a heroic act, that my superman swooped in and saved the planet, saved me from uncertain death, or saved me from unhappiness, abuse, or a life depraved. But, I can’t say that, because no one ever saved me from anything. I have fallen in love, only in different ways, for different things. It was never for those big reasons, or even for those shallow ones like sex, physical features, money or fame. No, NONE of those things ever seduced me. It was cleverness, compassion, thoughtfulness and nerdiness that stole my heart. Deep conversations, wild speculations, imaginative curiosity, individual reflection, courage, passion, and confidence… oh, let me count the ways.

Touching is nice. Sex is fantastic. Chemistry, fire, passion… they all burn hot, and it’s all good. But, it’s playing trivia, sharing a song, contemplating deep thoughts, debating philosophy, sharing nerdy passions like a favorite movie, tv show or video game, sending silly memes, talking about embarrassing moments, texting me when someone does something to make you angry or happy, sharing dumb jokes, podcasts, videos, or just the everyday things, etc. THESE are the ways that steal my heart. These are the moments that are remembered and cherished. Passions fade. Bodies get old. Things rust. But, moments of love… those are the ways that last forever.

Till next time,

~Petal Plucker

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Looking for Love

Life’s a little crazy sometimes. Well, for me, it seems like it’s crazy all the time. But, isn’t that what we all think? While we believe we’re unique and individual, aren’t we really pretty much the same, with the same needs, the same wants, the same desires? The only differences lie within the degree of each? Who knows? I may be wrong in that assumption. I can’t really speak for anyone else, only for myself, and in that… these are my individual wants, my own selfish needs, my own personal desires. What do I really want right now in the middle of my crazy life? What is it I’m looking for? I suppose it’s the same thing I’ve been looking for all my life… I’m looking for love.

I have love in my life, have had love in my life, and am sure I’ll have new love in the days to come. I’m loved by my kids, by my friends, and maybe even loved by a man or two. But, am I in love? Maybe, maybe not. I’m too damned scared to know, or too damned scared to try. The last guy I fell in love with, I fell hard, and I fell deep, and I fell on my ass because he didn’t fall with me. Hitting the ground after such a huge leap leaves a person scared to jump again no matter how much they want, no matter how much they desire to feel the rush of falling, the excitement of dreaming, and the hope of a future. But I want it.

I have a lot of love to give, but I also have a huge empty space inside that I desire to fill. I’ve made room for friends, I’ve made room for family, I’ve made room for the things in life and the dreams I dream, but I want to make room for someone that I can share that life, those hopes, and dreams. Last year, I closed that room when I thought I was going to die. It’s been a long road back to approaching that door, and having the courage to reach for the handle and throw it open. It’s been hard. It’s been scary. No, it’s been terrifying. But I did it. With the love and support of my dear friends, I’ve once again grabbed that zest, that desire, that hope to live. That part of me that was ‘living out loud’ is beginning to hear the music again. It’s been one hell of a climb back up the mountain. I’ve had some very steep parts that I was only able to hang onto by the tips of my fingers and pull my whole weight as I struggled to find a foothold. But, I’ve made it. Love helped me. Love guided me. Love lifted me, when I couldn’t lift myself. Ah, dang it, now I have that stupid song stuck in my head, “love lifts us up where we belong…” And now… now I have something to share and something to give. But, oh Mylanta, am I afraid. I’m so scared I’m trembling.

What if I fall again? What if I jump and find myself hitting the bottom on my own? What if, like another song I know, I find myself looking for love in all the wrong places? It seems I’m drawn to the weird, the awkward, the damaged, the broken, those who’ve been in the trenches and carry the scars, those that have walls as thick as my own, if not thicker, or to the impossible, the improbable, or the forgotten. I’ve never chosen the easy way, but damned… for once can’t it be easy? I think that’s why I love fairy tales and superhero stories so much… though they have great obstacles to overcome, everything always works out in the end. So, I keep hoping that someday it’s time for my story, my fairy tale, my day to shine… and love will come looking for me.

Till next time,

Princess of Impossible Dreams

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Waiting for Superman

If you’ve never heard the song by Daughtry, “Waiting for Superman,” then you should definitely take a minute and check it out. I’m not going to say it’s the best song ever, I don’t think I could ever really say that about any song, but it’s definitely a song worth listening to at least once. I’ve actually had this song for a couple years now in my iPod, and play it every so often, but for some reason over the last few weeks I can’t seem to get it out of my head.

A friend of mine told me recently, “Songs to a person mean what you want them to mean. They don’t have to be amorphic. That’s why writers write in such a vague composition when it comes to songs. They want to include everybody’s feelings and experiences.” I suppose I should get to the song and how I’m finding relation to what it says, or at least what it says to me; that is, after all, the purpose of this blogpost today.

Another dear friend of mine told me recently, “You know, you’re always waiting.” I know the context in which he was referring, and when he said that to me, it hit me hard, because even though I knew that particular truth somewhere deep inside my subconscious, I didn’t realize it. Realizing the truth about something is the first step to changing it.

The song starts out...

“She’s watching the taxi driver, he pulls away
She’s been locked up inside her apartment a hundred days

She says, “Yeah, he’s still coming, just a little bit late.
He got stuck at the laundromat washing his cape.”
She’s just watching the clouds roll by and they spell her name
Like Lois Lane
And she smiles, oh the way she smiles

She’s talking to angels,
Counting the stars
Making a wish on a passing car
She’s dancing with strangers,
Falling apart
Waiting for Superman to pick her up
In his arms, yeah, in his arms, yeah
Waiting for Superman…”

Wow, the imagery my mind creates with that story. It’s amazing. But the pain I feel in my heart creates this huge lump in my throat and I can’t stop the tears that start to pool in the corner of my eyes. I get this song. I feel it. I can even taste it. What is it I’m experiencing? What is it that I’m seeing and relating to in this song? I see a woman who had to endure watching the love of her life, the hero of her heart and imagination disappear right out of her life. I’ve felt this now… twice. Twice, I’m left waiting… waiting for one soldier that will never come back, and another that chose not to. I’m the woman left behind, refusing to accept the truth, living in a delusional state because the pain is too hard to accept. It took me more than 20 years to visit the grave and stop waiting for the first soldier, my first Superman; how long now before I stop waiting on the second?

Superman, the superhero, was my first love, ever. At 10 years old watching Christopher Reeve fly across that screen, it literally took my breath away. To this day I’m a diehard Supes fan. I’ve always wanted to be Lois Lane, the woman who stole Superman’s heart. I even became a reporter at one point, obviously in an attempt at fulfilling that deep seeded fantasy. But, the more I think about it, I’m not sure I want to be Lois Lane anymore. What does it mean to be Lois Lane? What does it mean to be a woman so in love with a man, who sees him as her hero, who worships him like a god, yet is always waiting and will always come second to the world? A woman constantly deceived and lied to? A woman, a hero in her own right, yet shadowed by the spotlight of the man in a cape?

The delusions and excuses we tell ourselves to block the pain of reality is a hard pill to swallow. We wait. We wait for the truth to become the fantasy. We make excuses. We cling to a hope that our superhero will fly back to us one day, so we wait. Just the thought of him in our fantasy makes us smile with a pure joy. Yet, we can’t breathe, so we take these small, tiny, minute breaths, which deprive us of the levels of oxygen we need to think more clearly. But we don’t want to think more clearly, because to think more clearly is to lose the fantasy, to realize he’s not stuck at the laundromat washing his cape - he’s just not coming back. We pray to the angels, we count the stars casting our wishes upon them and all the passing cars. We dance with strangers, make the appearance that we’re fine, we’re okay and living our lives. We’re mingling with others, laughing out loud, yet constantly looking for his face in the crowd, his eyes behind every pair of glasses, his smile, his touch… but we can’t find him among all these strangers. Inside we’re falling apart and become just a pile of broken pieces, waiting, waiting, always waiting. We’re just waiting for our superman to rescue us, to pick us up, to save us and put us back together. Why? Because... we’ve flown in the clouds with him, we’ve tasted the sweet softness of his lips and felt the strong security of his arms. We’ve listened to the beat of his heart through his chest of steel.

“She’s out on the corner trying to catch a glimpse
Nothing’s making sense
She’s been chasing an answer, a sign lost in the abyss,
This Metropolis

She says, "Yeah, he’s still coming, just a little bit late.
He got stuck at the Five and Dime saving the day.”
She says, "If life was a movie, then it wouldn’t end like this,
Left without a kiss."
Still, she smiles, oh, the way she smiles, yeah…”

When the heart wants what it wants, and the mind wants something different, a war begins between the two. I’m learning that love isn’t rational, and can’t be conquered, or overcome rationally, because it doesn’t fight rationally or fair. Love is a tricky little devil and stubborn as hell, and wild – so wild it can never really be tamed. We can be as delusional as this woman waiting for the hero that will never come, looking for any and every sign of hope, clinging to every lie because it’s better than the truth no matter how rational she wants to be. She’s not blind, she sees the reality, and the truth… she just can’t escape the reality of her heart no matter how rational her mind wants to be. Love can’t just be turned off. All she has to do is close her eyes and remember… and the burn of the kiss is still there.

I used to think this kind of love didn’t exist. I had convinced myself I had made it up. Loving a hero long gone, it was easier to deny the pain I held in my heart by creating a universe where I had only imagined the love I had thought I felt to try and escape the pain at its loss. The delusion helped me be rational in all my other relationships. But, what I thought was rational was just another delusion, because the love was still there, it was still real, and it still hurt that my hero had died and left me behind, left me waiting for a return that would never come. It took finding, feeling, and falling in love with another hero to show me the truth, to remind me what that wild love felt like, to show me the denial of it was the true delusion. Watching and feeling the loss of the second one, helped me grieve the first. I was able to finally say goodbye after all this time to my lost hero, but I haven’t quite figured out yet how to say goodbye to the second. I had no choice in saying goodbye to the first… he died. The second chose someone else. My head knows he doesn’t deserve me, that I don’t need to be saved because I’m the only one that can truly save myself, that I’m my own hero, that I can fly myself… without him. But my heart still desperately clings to the fantasy that he’ll one day fly back to me. And so, I smile, Oh, the way I smile.

I don’t want to be Lois anymore. I don’t want to keep waiting for Superman. I realize the truth - he’s not coming back, he’s not at the Five and Dime saving the day, he simply just flew away. Acknowledging the truth is the first step, now I’m just waiting on the change to happen and I hope it doesn’t take 20 years this time to accept it, and I’ll soon be able to say, “Later, gator.” Maybe my next great love will be something a little simpler and not involve capes.

Till next time,

~Lois Lane