Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tears, Scissors and a New Jouney

Several years ago, I was able to see Ray Charles live at the House of Blues in Chicago. Tears trickled down my cheeks... as his music, his voice, his sound, his vibration reached right into my chest and rattled my very being. I could feel his sounds throughout my entire body and I find it difficult to find words to describe how it felt.

I had that feeling again while listening to the Celtic Woman on You Tube... so I present to you Mairead of Celtic Woman. If one were deaf, I believe they could watch her and feel the music she creates. If one were blind, I believe that the ears would let you see what a powerful violinist she is.

I watched her...spinning, dipping, leaping, twisting and grinning... so very beautiful.

My stride is quite large and through my employment, I am constantly moving...leaving my hair in a tangled mess tucked behind my ears.

I got out my scissors. With a whack-whack here and a whack-whack there...and another whack here to fix that a whack there....

I realize now that I have the same haircut I had when I was five... just a little bit longer.

Ah...the circle...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Road Less Traveled...

I don't know why I am compelled to write about this particular memory, as it is not the best memory to have.. I especially don't know why I am writing about this just a couple hours before I find myself flying high in the sky for a weeks' worth of business meetings, workshops, training and such.

'It is what it is...'

Twenty-five years ago....I was sixteen.
I lived at home with my parents and I had my drivers license.
On a Sunday night, a friend and I ventured out to get some ice cream.
Baskin Robbins was we decided to go to a Dairy Queen a little bit further away.
We went through the drive through & got ourselves some wonderful delectables.
Pulling out the rear entrance, as opposed to the front where we had come in at, I found myself forced to take a right.
This one turn ended up throwing for a loop & ultimately throwing me into territory I had not chartered before.
I came upon a four-way stop and strained to see the names of the streets, hoping to orient myself as to which way to go.
Suddenly, two young men who had been standing at the intersection popped open the rear doors of my vehicle.
I turned around 'What the hell?!' and threw my purse to the floorboard.
Before you know it, I found myself in the position of being, what is known today as 'carjacked.'
These guys were armed with a variety of tools and weapons, none of which scared me as much as their callous, detached and self-spirited demeanor's.... as they held a razor to the side of my neck and barked orders at me.
They had me drive them around, here and there... I didn't know where I was anymore.
At one point, one fellow got out of the car and retrieved something from someone he obviously knew.
My friend recognized one of the young men as being the brother of a fellow who had just been arrested for killing their father.
He was called on it and really, didn't seem to give two hoots.... about his brother or his father. They told me to give them my purse. I told them to hold on, it was under my seat. I slid my license and one of my two fives into my sock and I gave them my purse.
They were talking about splitting us and my friend.
My friend was actually trying to negotiate our way out this...entertaining the notion of him getting out and leaving on foot with one of the young men...trying to get them to agree to leave me alone.
I started cussing like a lunatic...nope, no effing way, we were not going to be separated, all for one and one for all...
I had awful visions of my friend being stabbed in the woods and of lord knows what happening to me, should I be left alone with one of these idiots.
I could see the road before me ending into another street with houses on it.
I saw a cinder block house just beyond the stop sign, right in the middle of the paved T-bone.
I remembered my brother accidentally spinning this vehicle in a 180 by slamming on the brakes.
I remembered the Bazaar brothers.
Profanities raced from my mouth and my parents little station wagon began to race even faster.
I thought I could do it.
I thought I could pull a one eighty.
I thought I could slam the back end into the cinder block porch.
I thought about the people inside.
Sleeping or gone, their house was one of the few with no lights on & no folks on the porch.
I thought I could stop this train wreck with injury only to us.
I thought it sounded better than the possible alternatives.
I thought about my friend.
My foot stayed pressed to the floor.
Everyone in the car was now screaming.
I crouched closer to the steering wheel.
My head was being pulled backwards by my hair.
The interior car light came on.
Porch lights flickered out in my peripheral.
A back door was open....then, two.
I slammed on the brakes.
The two guys jumped.
I sat there, shaking....looking...
As the last of the porch lights went out...

We made it home safely enough, minus a pocketbook, some sanity, some peace and some naivete. The next day, I got a perm to disguise the area of my head where I had my cut to an inch or two of my scalp. I never told my parents....and now, I always lock my car doors.

I still don't really know if what I did was right or wrong.

But at least, I'm still here to talk about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Not Too Late...Find Your Peace

It's Not Too Late.
It's a missed perception.

It's a canoe.
A vessel.
A means to get to an end.

I painted those words on Independence Day...last year.
A month after serving the man I was married to with papers and a month before our second big date with the judge.

'Why'd you name it that? You're not having second thoughts are you?!'

My big little canoe. Brought home unfloatable, scraped, scratched, gouged and weathered... with holes as big as a rump at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

No, it's not too long as you look at it with the right perception. Sometimes that means cocking your head to the side, hanging upside down or even turning away.

A couple of weeks ago, Timmytoes came back to town for a few days.

"You're not thinking of getting back together, are you?!"

We went out dancing, went rafting, he split firewood for me and we took my big little hippie canoe out. I talked about work, the river & the dogs and he talked about his work, sailboat, girlfriends & such ... we enjoyed each other in peace.

Peace... no, it's not too late.

WARNING: Do Not Play YouTube Video UNLESS you would like to listen to some Godsmack....'Speak.' I threw this up because the lyrics to this song lead the words of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Talking Heads, Ben Harper and such down the side of Not2L8.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A skinny little blonde from the south & an irish-italian redhead from Brooklyn.
A quaint, elite little bistro with white linens & cummerbunds.
We crossed our legs and sat up straight...
This was an indulgence, a treat, a break from 'Tony's Famous One Dollar Slice'
Armed with twenty-two dollars and a good attitude, we aimed to live least for the night.
Opening the menu and seeing twenty-seven dollar plates and fourteen dollar appetizers...
We lost our appetites for dinner.
Reality check & giggles.
Two espressos.
One slice of fresh new york cheesecake.
We savored it.....
We made each moment, each sip of thick, rich, chalky coffee & each dip of the fork last as long as we possibly could.
We giggled & chatted.
The cheesecake was so rich & the espresso so delectable that we found ourselves sitting with an inch or two of cheesecake left & two mini, empty coffee cups.
No one noticed.
We chatted & giggled some more.
We wanted more espresso.
Finally, we flipped our cups.
A cummerbund passed and took a step back, aiming to fetch our cups & saucers.
'That's can leave them.'
More giggles, more chatter, another sliver of cheesecake down.

Our cummerbund came by 'Are you ladies alright?'
'Yes...may we have two more espressos please?'
He went for our upturned cups & red quickening snapped her hand down upon his.
'Thank you. They can stay.'
He walked away and we giggled some more.
Sliding our cups & saucers from to another, we flipped our cups back over.
'Oh my Skinny! I see a group of are going to go to a concert or a party!'
'Oh Yeah! Look! You have waves on your will be grounded at the ocean.'
'Hell yes! I'm gonna move right to the beach...look someone in the group is holding a are going to meet a musician!'
'Wonderful! We will come see you at the beach...'
We went on & on & on ... loving every minute of it.
The cummerbunds stood by the espresso machine...grinding, whirling and watching.
Finally, our cummerbunds arrived with two more espressos
'Ladies, do you mind if I ask what you are doing?'
'Well, we are reading our espresso spots.'
'Can you really do that?'
'We really fact, we just did.'
More giggles.
About ten minutes later, we asked for our tab and our cummerbund hesitated.
'If you can read my spots, I will comp your last round.'
So we did.
Whatever we saw in those coffee spots we shared.
Imagination ... a beautiful thing.
Dribbles became leashes.
Splatters became feuds.
We saw broken down cars and immaculate spaces,
suffocating situations,burdens lifted, long walks, short trips...
lots of people doing lots of things.

Our cummerbund saw his life spill onto a mini saucer and from our lips.
We giggled. He comped.
We tipped him big & he sent us to the jazz bar around the corner for another round on the house.

If you can imagine it...
if you can believe it...
it can be real.

Oh yeah, I will meet you at the beach anytime...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Free Wish...

Tuesday Morning
buildings, dreams, lives, planes, spirits....
crashed, smashed, thrashed.
Lady Liberty shuddered...
The Earth shook...
people were stripped...
peace, love, liberty, freedom... life
circles drawn tight
circles expanding
hold on tight
never let go
everyone counts
may we never forget
We are One

Artwork by Singleton

Saturday, September 06, 2008

On the Curb of the Publix Shopping Lot...

I sat with my weeks worth of groceries, grateful for once that I had no butter, sour cream, milk or ice cream. The sun was cooking down on me, perhaps amplified by the black tar-top lot, and I knew that all of those things would perish... I could have sat in my car to contemplate what to do, but it too was black and as hot as the dickens.
So I just sat on the curb with my bag of potatoes, box of pasta & can of mushrooms...
smoking, contemplating, waiting...
For what, I did not know.
The hood was up on my car, as if it were a flag waving some friendly tow truck safely over. But I knew that would never happen. Roadside protection had already told me that I had used the maximal allowance for a twelve month period.
Nope. No more tows for almost 3 more months.
So, I just sat there...
smoking, contemplating & waiting....
I watched people come and go...
Green aprons pushing squeaky wheels over the black top and to the gold Volvo's, sleek white Mercedes, big F-150's, the spotless Cadillac's and the little black BMW's.
Green aprons loading up bags of fresh fruits and vegetables and huge slabs of meat and bag load after bag load of wonderful, healthy food.
Green aprons plopping twelve packs of Heinekin and bottles of champagne into trunks.
Green aprons dropping preservative-rich frozen insta-meals and gossip magazines and Pantene into tiny little trunks.
Green aprons sweating and never accepting a tip & never noticing me noticing them.
With my rump on the curb and my flip-flopped feet on the black top, I looked over my shoulder...
Grass. Beautiful, green grass. Thick. Healthy. Cool.
I stretched my legs out before me & allowed myself to just lay back, become one with soft cool earth.
Staring into the sky, my mind bounced & ricocheted around my own little world.
Chinga- Ching - Ching.
The rythym of the sound drawing closer ...
Chinga - Ching - Ching
Chinga - Ching - Ching
Long dirty blonde hair in dread locks.
Chains from front pockets of baggy, faded & holey blue jeans to the back pocket.
Hemp in the form of a braided hat and a well-worn necklace.
'A song for my fair lady.'
'I haven't any money for you.'
'No worries, my lady.'

Remembering another moment of enjoying the 'eternal now'....
"Chinga-Ching-Ching" to the profound strangers in our lives that make a difference and may never even know it...