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.

Commit

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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.

Loop

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.

Blossom

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.

Polish

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.

Imaginary

Where It All Began

via Daily Prompt: Detonate

Detonate is a pretty sensitive word these days. I associate it with being on the edge. Like, shit’s about to blow. I also think about how sad and scary the world has become. When I was in my early 20’s I backpacked through Europe, as all 20 somethings should do. But when I fast forward 15 years, is my nephew going to be able to do that without constantly being on alert? Being young and brave, I’m sure he will go no problem. It will just be Aunty and his Mommy left home to worry. Carrying back over to happy thoughts, my trip through Europe was spectacular. I remember feeling so at home there. Like, it was where I belonged, over on the Continent and certainly not in America when even then the shallow capitalism really got to me. While I was in Italy, I went to my Papa’s village and saw the house that he was born in. As I stood there in wonder, I thought, Wow my entire being, my life experience is based on the fact that one day my Papa walked out of this house, got on a boat and came to America. What if he hadn’t? What if he stayed? Everything, everything would be different and I wouldn’t be here standing on this doorway. My soul would have flown in a different direction to live a different life. But he did and I am. Sitting in America 111 years later, living an American life, saving up money to send the kid to Europe.

Detonate

Get On With It

via Daily Prompt: Survive

It’s like these Daily Prompt people follow me around to see what’s happening in my life then assign a most apropos word for the prompt. I was literally just sitting here thinking about what I do to survive. When I get overwhelmed I get all caught up in well, catching up. I don’t like things hanging over my head and the only thing that seems to assuage the fear is to just get shit done. It instantly makes me feel better, to be back in control. I think that’s what it all comes down to for me. Control. Having control. Being in control. Although I’m not controlling. I really don’t care what you’re doing (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) I’m just concerned with what I’m doing. And as I was sitting here, convincing myself not to worry, that once I get rolling things will get done, things will happen, I will re-gain control and all will be right with the world again, this word pops up as something to write about. And alas, this is how I survive. Just put my head down and get to work. It’s how I’ve always been and I’m assuming how I’ll always be. So why do I worry? I’m not really sure, although I worry less and less these days. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the uncertainty in the world. Maybe I shouldn’t speculate and just go with it. Maybe I should stop typing and get on with it. I have a ton of stuff to accomplish today after all!

Survive

“Is This Real Life?”

via Daily Prompt: Farce

What a farce, the whole thing is. I was driving on the highway last night, riding up to see some friends from high school and I thought to myself, “How real is any of this?” I have had several conversations about death recently. Not dire, not depressing, just intellectual. Sharing experiences, feelings, and thoughts on the whole thing. And as I was driving up 95, the sun was shining, the music was blaring and I couldn’t help but wonder how real it all really is? As we don’t know what comes next, how do we know what’s going on now? I’ve adopted a new rule for myself to lower my stress levels. The rule is simply do not stress. I can’t control any of this. I can’t control the weather, I can’t control the uncertainty and I can’t control the chaos. So instead, I’m just focusing on what I can control, myself. My own happiness lies within me, like it lies within all of us. Why waste time doing anything else? Especially when it’s all a farce.

Farce

Fare Thee Well Ticket Stubs

So, I love music. I always have. My mother used to tell me that when I was little and we were driving in the car I would exclaim, “I love this song!” about every tune that came on the radio. I still catch myself doing that. Live shows used to be my thing. For a time it was even in my job description. But somewhere along the way I just stopped going. I could chalk it up to many things, however in an effort to truly NOT accept the fact that I’m getting older and maybe can’t keep up like I used to, I had this thought; my ticket collection.

My collection was kept in a big yellow tape reinforced shoebox. On the back of each ticket I would write a few lines—something to jog my memory about that particular show. I have always been a mad documentarian. My strategy being that when I was old and gray and just couldn’t remember anymore I could re-visit this time in my life and share a smile with my younger self. I had grand visions for the collection. Maybe framing them up or placing them in a glass cover for a coffee table or something. Proof of my former rock and roll prowess. Notice I am using the past tense…

I had just moved back to Atlanta in 2004. My stuff was still in boxes, never unpacked from when I moved away in 2001. But I knew where my ticket stubs were. I placed all of my boxes, full of life stuffs—memories, letters from old friends, and my tickets in the little storage house in our backyard. We had no history with our new abode, having just moved in, so who could have anticipated The Great Flood of ’04. The rains came pounding down, overtaking our little stream, then the lower level of the yard, then the middle level after that and eventually the little house. Water raged knee deep while we stood on our deck wondering how high it would go. That was it. Knee deep. That was enough.

When things dried out and we went through our destroyed belongings I thought, “Oh well, who needs papers from college anyway?” I felt kind of new age about it, almost relieved that I no longer had to carry around all this stuff. It felt cleansing to just let go. It took some time before I realized with a gasp, “MY TICKETS!” Just like that—gone. My custom mail order Grateful Dead ticket from New Year’s Eve 1990—gone. My 1988 Jane’s Addiction at T.T. the Bear’s in Cambridge—gone. My first Red Sox game with my Dad. You get the picture. As it slowly sunk in, I tried fighting the dread. I tried freeing myself of the urge for possessions. I couldn’t do it. It hurt too much. My whole musical landscape, my music history was no longer there for me to recall. I figure I had been to at least a couple hundred shows at that point. I saw the Dead 32 times alone. So, as I set out mourning my loss, I stopped going to shows. I just stopped without even realizing it. For a while, I tried to get back on the train, but it just never happened. Many moons and many missed shows later, the loss still stings. And in the meantime, there were too many other hurdles to jump, too many other losses to process, too many other concepts to wrap my brain around. On the rare occasion that I do go to a show now, I still absolutely love it. A reason to hope I always think as my heart starts to pound when the lights go down.

“Time Keeps On Slipping, Slipping…”

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

As I sit here on the morning of my 49th birthday, I couldn’t be happier that I decided to pursue my dream! Of course, losing my desk job was a decision that was made for me but ultimately it was the very best thing to happen for it gave me my freedom. At this age with all the trappings of adulthood, you don’t just walk away from a paycheck. Or at least, I don’t. So, getting back to my freedom. It is a wonderful, wonderful thing and I am grateful and blessed that I was given this opportunity. Yes it’s scary and yes it is uncertain but the funny thing is, in my mind, all I see is success. I can’t even picture myself at another desk, working for somebody else. I’ve always been able to picture that and now I can’t. I’m not going back. I’m just not. I am full steam ahead in making this work for me. Because let’s face it, 29 turned into 39, which turned into 49, with 59 next up. And on and on it goes, God willing. And at the end of the day, life is just too short. A classic cliche but not really, because it’s true. Blink and it’s over. Might not feel that way when you’re 29 but…hello the big four nine!

Pursue