Soul Sparks

 

Joy

 

This month. Hmm.

 

I was going to start this post with dark thoughts. Thoughts about all but giving up on my country. Thoughts about being ashamed of people who’ve chosen to forfeit their moral compasses. Thoughts about the fear of where America is headed. But then I switched gears and read some things on the interwebz, watched a few videos and chose a different mood for myself.

 

Erica Buist had this to say on her insta-account: “Why not just ban guns and when people are upset about it, just send them thoughts and prayers? If ‘thoughts and prayers’ are good enough for people who’ve lost their families then it’s good enough for people who’ve lost their guns.” Ms. Buist has spoken truth to power here. She is also a bad-ass.

 

Scott-Dani Pappalardo posted a video of himself destroying an AR-15 rifle. Not only is Mr. Pappalardo a registered gun owner and proponent of the 2nd amendment, he is also someone possessing decency and common sense.

 

And then there are the kids. God bless the kids! Too many children in this country have been lost to gun violence. Too many survivors have witnessed it up-close. Thank all the gods, the kids are now making their voices heard. On March 24th, there will be an organized show of common-sense, can’t-wait-another-moment support for gun control. The “March For Our Lives” is planned to take place in Washington DC and in cities across the country. (I’ve even read about marches around the globe. Fingers crossed and thanks to those who haven’t given up on us here in the US! We need your support!) As many have pointed out, these young people may be mere teenagers now, but a lot of them will be old enough to vote in 2020. (I’m counting on these kids to register to vote and then to actually do it!) Every single politician who has accepted dirty NRA contributions should be scared as hell. If you look at this single issue, it’s incredibly easy to discern which elected officials are with us and which are against us. At the rate we’re being murdered in this country, there is no time to be wasted when it comes to gun control. And any politician who tries to talk his way out of this one doesn’t deserve another chance.

 

So. This month. I’m hanging in there. I’m trying to grab on to hope, where I can, when I can. It ain’t easy. And I don’t always win my personal battles. Some days I feel nearly broken and struggle to find even a shred of joy. But I still believe there are more decent folks than not. And the spark in my soul is still glimmering. Every little bit of positive momentum helps. Every time someone chooses to be an honorable human, I find myself exhaling into love.

 

We’ve lost a lot here in the States. There may be more pain ahead. More struggle. But I’m not giving up. Nor should you. Those of us who’ve held on to our decency will continue to show up for one another. Personally, I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday with the “March For Our Lives.” Supporting others whose soul sparks continue to glimmer is going to be an honor. Hope I see you out there.

Old

 

 

 

Some days, for no apparent reason, I feel young and sprightly. Of course, there probably are reasons, such as exercising and drinking enough water. But on other days…

 

Leave it to the young to make a gal feel old. Just last week, I heard from a friend whose partner gave birth to their first child. I don’t want to name names or give specifics, but said friend is a sexagenarian! He mentioned how he’s feeling old, but I’m guessing a lot of that has to do with sleepless nights with a newborn. Photos of his gorgeous daughter brought joy to my eyes. And then I had to squint a bit to fully appreciate the pics. I didn’t know where my glasses were, because I haven’t yet resorted to wearing the bejeweled chain around my neck to keep my specs close at hand. So squint, I did. That, friends, felt old.

 

And now my calendar tells me that the son of another friend is about to turn 17. When did that happen? I lovingly refer to the kid as my name-sake, even though the spellings of our names are different and I’m quite sure our names have nothing to do with one another, but still. I call him that and he doesn’t know about it so I figure no harm is done. And now he’s a year away from voting. Wow. Just yesterday he was knee-high to a grasshopper. (If that phrase isn’t the territory of old folks, I don’t know what is.)

 

I’m okay with aging. Mostly. As long as I’m healthy and am getting around the way I want, I’m good. And because I see myself every day, I’m accustomed to my face. It’s those danged kids, though. I don’t see them every day. I only see them every once in a while. And when I do, they have grown. And they’ve matured and they’ve become more of themselves. I’m glad they get to do that and all, I just wish they’d slow the hell down.

 

Ah, well. No turning back. Forward only. If we’re lucky. If we’re very, very lucky.

 

Chairman of the Boards

 

 

Mr. Moses Malone passed away this weekend, and that news reminded me of a one-time interaction with the man (posted previously here).

 

If you’re 8 and you’re told someone is 60, you wonder how they’ve managed to stave off death for so long. To an 8-year-old, 60 is ancient! But when you’re my age (ahem), 60 is so very young. And you see just how much life is left to live at that point. So Mr. Malone’s sudden passing at that still-young age is sad.

 

For me, I smile when I think of him, because the one time I met him was funny. Here’s hoping he’s laughing somewhere, and by whatever method he gets to where he’s going, I hope there’s a lovely, steady black flight attendant tending his needs.

I Used To Be Young

 

 

Have you ever found yourself at a show, watching the crowd around you dance and exert more energy than you can possibly muster? And even though you’re into the band, all you can do it sit in the corner, wondering when the show will end?

 

I used to be young…

Lost and Found – Rocky Horror

 

 

As Mister and I slowly unpack, we’re finding more and more goodies once thought to be lost. (We’re finding a lot of trash, too, but that hardly merits mentioning.)

 

One of our fab finds has been a playbill from 1985. We went to see Wendy O. Williams – as “Magenta” – in a St. Louis production of Rocky Horror Show. It was a huge success, running for over six months. For the youthful us, it was a fancy night out on the town. After the show, we went for a lobster dinner. I seem to recall a 2-for-1 coupon. We were kids after all. Anyhoo, it was my first time eating lobster, and I had no idea whatsoever how to go about tackling the beast. I looked to young Mister, hoping to mimic his actions. When he flicked a big piece of lobster meat across the restaurant, where it hit a wall adjacent to other diners and stuck, I knew he wasn’t the best role model. But we laughed like crazy and dug in anyway. Years later, living in Boston, we often reminisced about that first lobster dinner. Our Massachusetts tenure gave us confidence where shellfish is concerned.

 

After I found the playbill, I framed it. It’s part of our history. Part of our story. We still love lobster. We still love each other. And we still love sweet transvestites from Transexual, Transylvania.

 

Talk about a Time Warp…

So Many Possibilities…

“White. A blank page of canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities.”

Sunday in the Park With George

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine

 

 

 

Ah, the New Year. Once again it is shining before me, inviting me to make plans. To dream. To aspire. To create.

 

I don’t remember when I hit the age of seeing each New Year this way. I’m certain I didn’t pay much attention to it as a child. I doubt my younger self was reflective or sentimental about each New Year. I can’t imagine I ever teared up at the very gift of waking to a day such as this, back when I was a kid.

 

But I am at that age. I do recognize the blessings of waking to this day. And, heaven help me, I do make plans and I do aspire.

 

And on that note, Mister and I are working out some details for a 2014 challenge. (We were inspired to give ourselves a weekly challenge after following the blog of an ex-pat, living in the UK. It’s a great blog and I highly recommend it.) Parameters and guidelines are still being solidified, but our basic goal is to actively create something artistic, each week of the year. That’s a broad endeavor, and can range from cooking a gourmet meal to going on a photo expedition to reciting a Shakespeare play. We’ve tossed out a multitude of creative ideas, and we’re revved about the possibilities. We’ve not limited ourselves with any rules such as no repeating an act, so there may be multiple photo sessions over the course of the year. (There may be multiples of other creative acts, too. We’ll just have to see how it goes.) As I said, we’re still hammering out the guidelines.

 

We’ve decided to include others in these acts of creation. Over time, our group of friends has come to include musicians, painters, singers, songwriters, comics, actors, sculptors, designers, engineers, chefs, dancers and on and on and on. Art can be found in just about every single vocation on the planet. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. I know accountants who are amazingly creative. I know electricians whose work can be described as nothing less than art. Creativity is all around us, and we think the inclusion of our creative friends can only serve to elevate this little challenge of ours. We’re hoping we can all take a turn at stepping outside our milieus. That we can broaden our creative circles. Speaking for myself, I’m super-excited to try some new-to-me activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my little world, there are many challenges ahead. My rose-colored glasses haven’t shielded my eyes from the truths of life, or from the work that surely lies in store over the next few months. Certain hills are going to be steep. But we’ve got to climb in life. Sometimes there’s just no going around. If I can tell you anything at all about the very little I’ve managed to learn of this living thing, it is this: after climbing to the top of any of life’s hills, the view is spectacular. And so very full of possibility.

 

 

 

The Vapors

 

 

Yesterday I was driving around town and passed a high school. Out there on the football field, scores of kids were running laps.

 

The thing about yutes is they’re young. Forgive me for stating the obvious (and for my Brooklyn-ese). But I was just astounded at how bleepin’ hot it was, and how not one of those kids was wearing a camel-bak, constantly slurping down water in hopes of survival.

 

I, on the other hand, watched them for about 15 seconds and needed to pull over for an emergency iced tea, before I fainted from the vapors.

 

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. That heat is mighty good to a gal who has no pool heater. Word.