The South Wins Out

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

Substandard. Now there’s a word that I just recently used. To describe my performance. Or lack thereof. I have always held myself to a higher standard, because, hey, if you don’t, who will? I remember when I first moved to L.A. to work in Hollywood in 1990, I immediately noticed the difference between the West Coast kids and the East Coast kids like me. We simply outworked them. Our natural (nurtured?) East Coast hustle outpaced the laid back attitude of the California natives. Not that it had anything to do with substandard anything, it’s just a memory that popped in to my head. The details are as precise as a laser in my memory of the Hollywood years. I was fresh out of college and in retrospect, was so high strung about making my mark and being successful (there are those high standards again) that I remember just being stressed out all the time. In California. How ironic. I didn’t last long. I could go on and on as to why but at the end of the day, I just didn’t like it. Also ironic because as a kid all I did was dream of going to California like my cousins did. Then, I finally get there and…that. After the L.A. letdown, I had it in my head that Northern California was the place for me but the Bay Area was an impenetrable fortress of real estate hell, much like it is now. Instead I found my home in the American South, with its charm and its ease and its balminess. Now that was some magic. ATL in the Nineties. My words will never do it justice but my memories, they will serve me well. I will cherish them forever, until I can remember no more.

Back When Lust Was Innocent

via Daily Prompt: Lust

The word lust reminds me of Jimmy Carter. Yes, it’s true. Back when he was campaigning or maybe even President he admitted to lustful feelings in an interview. And Lord Almighty, the whole world just about fell apart. It was so scandalous. People were scandalized! Shocked, dismayed, the moral fabric of their being unraveling before their very eyes that a statesman, a leader, THE PRESIDENT would discuss such a sordid topic.

Flash forward to today. Most of us WISH that were the most lurid thing going on. We are so far afield of that 1970s Jimmy Carter moment it doesn’t even feel like the same lifetime to me. But it is. Somebody told me today that they felt like everything was upside down on the priority list. Respect, decorum and civility are racing to the bottom, while ignorant, abhorrent behavior is fighting for that championship belt. I often think of my grandmother when pondering this current state. I feel thankful that she did not live to see society’s downward spiral into shame or, more aptly, lack thereof. She was too gentle, too much of a lady to have to witness the unraveling of civilized behavior. Me, I’m used to it, having been down in it since the start. Not that I can pinpoint when that is. Although, I do maintain that Sept. 11th, 2001 ruined everything. We were coming off the swinging 90s with Slick Willie when all of a sudden came the darkest of moments. We have been at war since, and the world has gotten angrier and angrier. Something shifted that day. A chasm burst open and let loose humanity’s dark side. Hard to believe it’s been almost 16 years. Will we ever recover?

Hustlin’ for My Own Good

via Daily Prompt: Pest

What a pest this pesky day job thing is. I use the term day job loosely because I am still my own boss, successfully having a summer full of hustle to further my goal of never working for The Man again. However, every once in a while you run into a gig so intense, so consuming that it upsets your cosy little apple cart and you end up not writing at ALL for well over a month! I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just happened. So the dust has settled, I’ve gotten some damn sleep and I am back in the driver’s (writing) seat again. I also use the term summer loosely because I am actually wearing a hoodie. In July. If this is any indication of the coming winter, I would rather not discuss it. Although the good, no great news is that I no longer have to get up, out and into it anymore. The Man will just have to get by without me. God knows I’m getting by without him.

Thanks Sunny!

via Daily Prompt: Sunny

Who doesn’t love sunny? Here in New England, we cherish it. We long for it. We pine for it. The window is small for sunny here. Most of the time we are battling. Battling the weather, battling the traffic, battling each other. I swear this place is taking years off of my life just by being so arduous a place to live. Then why am I here you ask? That is a good question. I guess it has to do with family ties that bind and all that and the pure fact that this is where la familia landed when they came over from Italy. If they had gone all the way to California, I would be there. (she says wistfully) But I’m not there I’m here and while I’m here I may as well make the most of it. I did leave. For a long time. But for whatever reason, we all come back to Massachusetts. It’s like there’s some strange pull. The ocean. The foliage. The Red Sox. I don’t know what it is but it pulled me back and here I am, typing and looking out my window, grateful for this sunny June day.


Wheel Woman

via Daily Prompt: Wheel

As I told a younger cousin recently, we are all on this earth driving our own bus. And if you don’t take the wheel, someone else will. It can be tough of course, but all of us have what it takes deep down inside. Some of us discover it earlier than others but it is there, always. I never used to be in such command. I was a shy kid and didn’t like speaking up. I did however have the luxury of watching my super fierce, badass Italian grandmother take charge on the daily. It didn’t help me at the time, in fact she scared the hell outta me, but eventually her energy seeped into my being and all of a sudden as a woman in my 30’s I was like “Wait a minute…” I still remember those early days of finding my power as a woman, it felt great then, it feels great now. I’ve been seeing a ton of excellent quotes lately. The one that comes to mind here is; “The only one who can stop you is you.” And I’ll just leave it at that.


One Can Hope…

via Daily Prompt: Commit

Ah yes. This word commit. It feels so…heavy. So permanent. It’s not that I have trouble committing per se, it’s more like the who, what, when and where part of it that makes me hesitate. I mean, when inspiration hits me, count me IN. Not only will I commit, I will consistently show up as I wrote about a while back in “Life as a Steady Eddy”. I’ve been committing less lately, perhaps to temper that burn out that I feel. Now, romantically, that’s another story. One to be written on another day, with another word prompt that will have to drag it out of me.

I feel like there’s more of a lack of committing these days. To each other. To ourselves. To the greater good. I keep waiting for the tide to turn on that last one, especially as it relates to the toxic political environment here in the U.S. I am waiting for that one person, then two people, then ten to stand up and say “Enough! Let’s commit to stopping the vitriol, the negativity, the violence. Enough!” At this point, there seems like there is no way out. I am going to keep hoping though. That I can commit to.


The Power Within

via Daily Prompt: Loop

Sometimes I get stuck in the loop. The stressed out treadmill. Self-doubt is a mofo, we all know that. I’ve been reading a lot of quotes lately about fulfilling your potential. I never really felt like I had that power until recently. When I lost my job, something clicked inside. Kind of like this “Now or Never” feeling and I have no time to be afraid, no time to hesitate, no time to doubt myself. The time is now to embark on the greatest slogan ever written; “Just Do It” Perhaps the most inspiring three words ever put together. Just Do It. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t wonder about it. Just. Do It. And here I am. Five months later, making it happen. I do marvel at the turn of events and my current results. I also know that I had that power all along. The timing wasn’t right I guess. But is it ever? Don’t let the self-doubt loop you in. Just Do It.


She used to call me “sugar blossom”…

via Daily Prompt: Blossom

My Mother always used to call me sugar blossom. I’m not even sure what a sugar blossom is. When I was growing up, we didn’t have Google to run to. Now my Mom is in the throes of Alzheimer’s, which quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish on my worst fucking enemy. It is difficult to watch, difficult to think about, just plain difficult. I usually don’t even bring it up, never mind write about it. But something about the word blossom inspired me to do so. My Mother is the kindest, gentlest person I have ever met. She never had an unkind word to say about anyone. In the midst of these brutal days where the societal knee jerk is ripping everyone to shreds, while judging them mercilessly, we could use more people like my Mom. Thankfully, the Alzheimer’s has not changed her personality. She is still that gentle soul. Laughing, hugging and kissing all of the aides at her nursing home. She dances to Sinatra and eats ice cream with delight. And some days when that window to the past fleetingly appears, she remembers me just a bit, the kindest, gentlest woman I’ve ever met.


Walk Across that Burning Bridge

via Daily Prompt: Polish

Can’t seem to get going on the writing today so I’m just going to start typing away in an attempt to inspire…something. I wonder what it was like in the days when life was so much “slower” that you actually had time to do things like polish your silver. I often let my mind wander, with a certain sort of longing, to what it must have been like, say, in my Grandmother’s time. Slow. Sane. The rhythm of life allowing one the space and time to connect with family, nature, life itself. Being in each other’s company WAS the entertainment back then. Connecting with the human spirit, humanity was an every day occurrence. I can’t help but think that the further removed we get from each other, the worse off our society is. It becomes easier to be uncaring, unforgiving and unmoved when as a whole we are not used to knowing each other. Everyone becomes an “other” when you can’t take your face out of your phone long enough to look into someone’s eyes and see them. As life gets faster, the divide gets wider and only time will tell how far and how wide it will go. In the meantime, each day brings the opportunity to build a bridge with a fellow human and harken back to the days of old.


No Shut Off Valve Needed

via Daily Prompt: Imaginary

Is it imaginary though? All of these things that I think. That I think I think. I spend a lot of time in my head. Ruminating. Imagining. Conjuring. Analyzing. My brain is always going. Always. Lately, even when I am sleeping. I’ve been having the most bizarre dreams. Like the kind when you go “Huh?” upon waking up. I guess if I had to pick, I would prefer a racing mind. I am hoping it helps me out in the long run. I strive to be one of those 80 year olds who is razor sharp and kicking ass at life, still. I’ve been wondering a lot lately about what it will be like when I get old. Me being me of course, I intend to have everything planned out. There is no denial of reality in this girl. If it’s going to happen, I am going to be ready. If I need a cane, I’ll use it. If I need to stop driving, I’ll do it, with Plan B long ago figured out. Why fight it? Acquiesce and perhaps things will go a whole lot smoother. I guess I’ll find out. Anyway, that’s what’s rolling through the brain today. Not imaginary at all.