Archive for June, 2008

Character defects

You can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Don’t worry, I don’t intend to pontificate. I haven’t overcome mine either.

Today I’d like to look at envy, jealousy and self-pity. There’s no need to go into particulars. Let’s just say we’re better acquainted than I care to admit. But I do admit it! What are these feelings about? Feeling cheated, inadequate, shown up, that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Today I remind myself of the larger picture — that each of us has her destiny to fulfill. Even though the planet is getting slightly crowded, there are still enough destinies to go around. Isn’t that amazing?

So just for today I pray for the willingness to let go. (Here we go again with that letting go — that just never seems to be finished!) I pray for the willingness to trust that everything is as it should be. Those who seem to be where I’d like to be now, or who have achieved what I’d like to have now, they have already paid their dues. Rather than feel cheated or jealous of the support they have, I can interpret their example as a source of encouragement. You know: “If she can do it, so can I!”

Today I want to accept where I am and remember that my path is unique. Even if someone else’s path may appear to be more attractive, it’s not mine. On the contrary, it just shows me one more possibility and encourages me to be creative.

That’s pretty much it. For those who are a bit more curious, don’t even think for a second that this has anything to do with my great heroine! The motivational force for these reflections is of a more mundane nature.

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June 30, 2008 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Patti Smith: Goddess and girl next door

I’ve hesitated to write this piece, because I am in awe of this woman and know I cannot do her justice, despite the fact that she is so real and down-to-earth. Don’t be fooled — she’s a visionary goddess as well.

Her music is the main influence of my life. And the endless hours I spent blasting her music — nearly blowing my speakers — gave me hope and energy. Luckily we lived on a dead end street out in the boondocks and had no immediate neighbors, so volume wasn’t a problem. I find it fascinating to hear the various stories from fellow fans, and how often they merge in a shared declaration: “She saved my life.”

She remained true to herself, authentic, still does her thing, never wavered, has survived injury and great loss, and has remained a constant influence over the past 30 years. Constant and in motion, ever growing. She’s a remarkable person, a blessed artist, and a proud mom!

My favorite quote: “If you try to act like it’s not going on, you’re not taking advantage of the full situation.” I’m pretty sure that’s from the Live at the Bottom Line bootleg, which I somehow lost several years ago.

I do not have a favorite song, but if I have to pick one and only one (today), then I choose Distant Fingers. Unfortunately, it isn’t on youtube. So I’ve opted for another great one, which I’ve always loved.

Pissing in a river

Pissing in a river, watching it rise
Tattoo fingers shy away from me
Voices voices mesmerize
Voices voices beckoning sea
Come come come come back come back
Come back come back come back

Spoke of a wheel, tip of a spoon
Mouth of a cave, I’m a slave I’m free.
When are you coming? hope you come soon
Fingers, fingers encircling thee
Come come come come come come
Come come come come come come for me oh

My bowels are empty, excreting your soul
What more can I give you? baby I don’t know
What more can I give you to make this thing grow?
Don’t turn your back now, when I’m talking to you

Should I pursue a path so twisted?
Should I crawl defeated and gifted?
Should I go the length of a river
[the royal, the throne, the cry me a river]
Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you
Oh I give my life for you.
Every move I made I moved to you,
And I came like a magnet for you now.

What about it, you’re gonna leave me,
What about it, you don’t need me,
What about it, I can’t live without you,
What about it, I never doubted you
What about it? what about it?
What about it? what about it?

Should I pursue a path so twisted?
Should I crawl defeated and gifted?
Should I go the length of a river,
[the royal, the throne, the cry me a river]
What about it, what about it, what about it ?
Oh, Im pissing in a river.

June 30, 2008 at 8:26 am 1 comment

Go ask Alice

Here’s another special song. I loved the story of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and have always felt a strong affinity to Alice, which I’ll explain some other time. It’s one of those children’s stories which are quite pertinent for grown-ups as well. For now I’d just like to share another song I can never hear too often.

Listen to this incredible voice — live!! (no playback crap)

White Rabbit

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all.
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall.
And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall,
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call.
Call Alice
When she was just small.
When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know.
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said:
“Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head”

June 30, 2008 at 8:01 am 1 comment

Olé! All is fair!

My faith is restored! The best team actually won and it was a pleasure to watch! Spain is the new European soccer champion! Congratulations!!! Viva Espana!!!

I’m going to sleep with a big smile on my face — and I didn’t even take a painkiller for my shoulder today! But I think I need one now, because I couldn’t control myself every time Spain got close to the goal. Ouch! Hard game! 🙂 No, I’m not into soccer really, but I like to watch a good game every now and then. I just never know ahead of time if it will be good. Really lucked out tonight!

June 29, 2008 at 9:32 pm 2 comments

Happy Blogday!

I see that this will be the big one-oh-oh (Nr. 100), so I’d like to do something special. Lots of you have been writing longer and are probably in the hundreds by now, but for me it’s a milestone. I was just sort of taking yet another nap — am I getting old? Oh, how could I forget? I had an accident and am supposed to rest! Unfortunately, that resting state is conducive to wild thoughts and ideas. Just kidding! It’s as much fun as going off on a tangent! Actually it feels more like when I was 16, lying flopped on my bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to the music blaring with incredible lyrics and guitar riffs enveloping my entire being.

Anyway, I youtubed Behind Blue Eyes from the Who, which I’ve had on my to-do list for months. After that I opted for a CD I haven’t listened to in ages, and I thought up a brand-new category: Songs that kept me alive. I cannot emphasize enough how much music has always meant to me. I just couldn’t make up my mind which I like more, so here are two special ones. For the weak of heart, you might want to listen to meditative music and just read the lyrics. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂 Otherwise… enjoy the full experience!

LOOKING FOR TODAY

It’s complete but obsolete
All tomorrows become yesterday
In demand but second hand
It’s been heard before you even play

Up to date but came too late
Better get yourself another name
You’re so right but overnight
You’re the one who has to take the blame

Everyone just gets on top of you
The pain begins to eat your pride
You can’t believe in anything you knew
When was the last time that you cried

Don’t delay you’re in today
But tomorrow is another dream
Sunday’s star is Monday’s scar
Out of date before you’re even seen

At the top so quick to flop
You’re so new but rotting in decay
Like butterfly so quick to die
But you’re only looking for today

Everyone just gets on top of you
The pain begins to eat your pride
You can’t believe in anything you knew
When was the last time that you cried
Looking for today

Glamour trip so soon to slip
Easy come but oh how quick it goes
Ten foot tall but what a fall
Hard to open yet so easy to close
Front page news but so abused
You just want to hide yourself away
Over-paid, but soon you fade
Because you’re only looking for today
Looking for today

KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE

Well people look and people stare
Well I dont think that I even care
You work your life away and what do they give?
Youre only killing yourself to live
Killing yourself to live
Killing yourself to live

Just take a look around you what do you see
Pain, suffering, and misery
Its not the way that the world was meant
Its a pity you dont understand
Killing yourself to live
Killing yourself to live

Im telling you
Believe in me
Nobody else will tell you
Open your eyes
And see the lies, oh yeah

You think Im crazy and baby
I know that its true
Before that you know it I think
That youll go crazy too

I dont know if Im up or down
Whether black is white or blue is brown
The colors of my life are all different somehow
Little boy blues a big girl now

So you think its me whos strange
But youve never had to make the change
Never give your trust away
Youll end up paying till your dying day

June 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm 3 comments

Water Balloons and Teenagers

This is so unfair that I only can use the five fingers of my right hand to type. (New readers please refer to Try again if you’re wondering.) Today I’m in the mood to write nonstop. Husband went out to watch some motocross races, while the kids and I slept in. Eventually I got up, had breakfast, read the papers, made a few phone calls and simply enjoyed this sunny Sunday.

My son’s best friend came over and brought a bunch of water balloons. That kept them busy for a while. As it got later, I toyed with the idea of enlisting their help to make pizza, since I’d bought yeast, pizza cheese & tomato sauce before the accident. I asked if they wanted to help me make pizza or order in. Do I really need to tell you what they opted for? The cheese and yeast are still good for a while.

As we waited for the pizza to arrive, my son decided to get a condom and fill it with water. At my slightly surprised look (he turns 14 this summer), he said his sister (almost 16) gave it to him. She had gotten it in school during a sex education workshop.

I have to admit, it was funny watching him fill it with way too much water and then yell: “Oh! It’s out of control!” Then it popped. He had one more and filled that up as well. Now, some people may be shocked. I know, it really is wasteful to use condoms as water balloons. On the other hand, I am happy that he feels free to share that humor with his friend in my presence, as anything to do with sexuality is certainly new turf for him. And for some strange reason, I’m glad that neither of my children can find a better use for condoms at the moment!

June 29, 2008 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Hairdo and Self-worth

Is this an unusual title? Well, someone used it as a search term today and it struck a chord. For many years I had long, beautiful hair. Sure, that was flattering to hear, but sometimes I felt an urge to cut it. I never verbalized it, but I was afraid that if I cut it, “they” might not like me anymore.

My husband has never made a secret out of his preference for long hair. As long as I gave him the power, I either kept it long, or in a moment of daring cut it myself or had it cut, prepared to bear the brunt of his disapproval.

Those days are over. It is my head and my hair! (But no, I don’t intend to cut off my head!!) No one has the right to decide for me, nor are they entitled to be angry or make me feel bad if I prefer short hair. It has gotten shorter over the years (from waist-length to shoulders), but lately I’ve felt a strong urge for change. Funny how that is often reflected in our hair.

I cut it myself again – chin length, but decided to have the hairdresser give it some form. Thus I set out on what was to become a fateful Tuesday. I decided to try again on Thursday. (I think it was Thursday!!) Anyway, I told her what I wanted, then as she washed my hair, I thought: “No, I want it really short!” So that’s what I told her to do. I am pleased. My husband didn’t dare say anything negative, because I don’t give him that power anymore. His approval does not determine my self-worth. With the hair I feel like I let go of excess baggage. I feel free.

My son came home from school, looked at me and asked if I’d been to the hairdresser. He knew I’d been snipping away the past few days (before the accident). I couldn’t resist saying, “No. Papa was mowing the lawn. I tripped and fell down, and he mowed over my head.” That may sound awful, but he and I share a rather strange humor, which I appreciate very much.

June 29, 2008 at 9:54 am 4 comments

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