Drifting Away On A Tune

Sitting here in just the right spot on the couch, on a pile of disheveled, yet very soft, blankets. Just enough pillows to prop me up. Windows and screen doors open, a gentle, early spring breeze cleaning out the winter dust. Listening to my “Starry Summer Nights and Lazy Summer Days” playlist. I like to get creative with playlist titles. Not quite summer morning temperatures… I’m still wearing a swacket (sweater jacket). I don’t know if it’s too early to plant those lavender seeds. My coffee is getting a little muddy. I made it three hours ago. Nonetheless, I am definitely enjoying this moment of reprieve. Decompression, only to be compressed again on Monday. Such is the weekly cycle.

Back to that playlist. “Desafinado” is song four. The magical Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto version from 1963. Timeless. I’m drifting back in time, twenty years or so, to a warm, more likely hot, July night. I was enchanted by the Getz/Gilberto bossa nova album. I remember what I was wearing… Some silly 90s wannabe riot grrrl outfit, involving shortalls and Dr. Martens. Ah, but everything was perfect, at least while listening to the swaying sounds of bossa nova.

Fast forward twenty years, and I’m wearing a Doors t-shirt, which I might have bought at Target, and it’s awesome. Omnipresent yoga pants. How did we gals exist before yoga pants as fashion? And that swacket I mentioned. “Desafinado” is now on repeat. Each time the song plays, the clouds part a little, the sun shines a bit brighter. I see beautiful blue sky between the breaks in the clouds. I can’t be mad while listening to this song. Maybe I should be upset? No, I don’t want to be. I feel like the hurt is passing, as it always does with time. Passed by pretty quickly this time around. All I want to do these days is drift away on my favorite tunes, in yoga pants of course.

Tiny Memories

Yesterday, someone mentioned Colorado and it sparked a memory trail in my brain. We lived there when I was a wee one, from about age two to five. Funny how I can remember details from so long ago, when my brain was pure and ready to be filled with knowledge.

The memories are clouded in that dreamlike veneer, but they are there. Making snow angels. Holding my grandma’s hand as we walked to meet my older sister at school. My mom showing us the outline of the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Long weekend trips to visit my grandparents who were living in Wyoming at the time. All that flat, Wild West land alongside the highway. The neighbor’s German Shepherd, named Chief, who used to stand up on the other side of the fence, barking at the little, bratty ones who were boldly curious about this creature. Watching The Wizard of Oz for the first time. Chicken pox. The excitement I felt when my parents told us we were moving to this strange place called Oregon, way out there in the woods, yet close to the ocean.

I was born in California, but remember nothing about my childhood there. I know I was there, however, because my birth certificate is from Cali. The Pacific Northwest is now my home, so many memories that I can’t travel down the smallest, unpaved road without sharing a story. There is just something about those early memories. I didn’t really know what unhappiness was back then… Hadn’t experienced heartbreak and disappointment. I was content to be surrounded by my family, gaggle of neighborhood pals, and Chief the dog, in all his gruffness.

These days, I tend to have a selective memory. Storing the really good ones for future use and filing away the ones I’m not all that interested in revisiting. Curating my memories takes much more work these days. And ask me to recall what happened five minutes ago… Good luck with that. However, I take comfort in knowing those memories of childhood wonder and discovery will always be there, in dreamy golden-green hues.

On Repeat

What song do you have on repeat? You know the one that comes together in sonic perfection. The lyrics speak to you. The arrangement sinks into your being. You sing along, know every last chord. As an unabashed music fan, my song can change daily. (Last night, it was the Eddie Murphy/Rick James 1985 masterpiece, “Party All The Time.”) However, I have a list that I always return to. The list I’m going to carry in my pocket until my time is up.

As I was shopping for egg noodles this evening (tuna casserole was on the menu), I heard “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” I know I’ve heard it before on the grocery store muzak system. Still, it makes me laugh whenever I do. Tonight, it sounded really good on the soundsystem. Loud. I started singing along as I strolled down the aisle to grab a couple of cans of tuna. It was an early Sunday evening. I was the only person in that aisle.

That song is definitely on my list. Ah, but it’s not the tune on repeat tonight. “Alone Again Or” by Love is tonight’s selection. If you’ve never heard it, do yourself a favor and give it a listen. 1960s music magic. Candles, a glass of wine, a cozy blanket, the whirl and warmth of the space heater, and that song on repeat. I don’t want to be anywhere else right now.

 

Wishing Well

One of the greatest challenges during any post-relationship, friendship, situation, etc., is wishing the other person well. And meaning it. Deep in my psyche and soul, I know wishing the best for another person is the right thing to do, both for me and the other human. However, it sure isn’t easy. It’s not like I don’t want the person to be happy and healthy. I want everyone to be happy and healthy. However, I want that other person to realize the error of his ways. To feel a few regrets. He doesn’t even have to express them to me; I just want him to feel that tinge of if only things had ended differently.

Throughout all my reading on the nature of forgiveness and moving on, through my contemplation and self-reflection, I still can’t get over that little bump in the road. That little bump he created by moving on without worrying about my forgiveness. I admire that on some level. He seems to be the one who has truly transcended what happened between us. Then again, he always has. I’m the one who wanted a truce, some kind of understanding between us. I’m pretty sure he just doesn’t care. Male and female differences, perhaps? That would be a nice and easy explanation.

I suppose it would be sufficient to wish someone well without being happy for him. I’ve always thought the whole, “I’m happy for you” thing was a repressive denial. Of course you’re not happy for the person… Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t wish him or her well. Knowing that you’ve achieved a certain level of acceptance and are doing this for you, that’s really all that matters. We all have to fight our own battles, wrestle with our own demons, move on in our own way. Let the other person do the same.

I dabble in Buddhism, only because it is the one religion that makes the most sense to me. The concept of acceptance is powerful. You don’t have to agree with the outcome. Rather, you accept reality for your own sanity and well-being. I see this as being rational, not deluding yourself. Oh, but the work you must put in to get to the point of true acceptance. I’m getting there, day-by-day.

This leads me to another point. Every person has his or her own timeline. We don’t all come to the point of acceptance at the same speed. You’ll know when you’ve reached that point. Even when you have reached the next stage, you have to work to maintain acceptance. Easy to fall off the wagon and return to a state of bitterness.

I wish you well.

Every Ending Is A Beginning

And every beginning is an end to something? I love this notion. Just reminds me that life is in perpetual motion. Change is inevitable. Sure, forever can be great in certain instances, and some things do last. However, for the most part, everything changes. Even what we think is permanent transforms.

Last evening, as I was strolling home at the end of a very, very, verrrry long week, the moon lit my way. Yesterday was such a gorgeous, mostly sunny day, which led into a bright early evening. The sky was lighter than it’s been in months. I took a peek at the seemingly bare tree branches and noticed tiny buds. Soon… Leaves. Another chance to start again. The winter is about to end. I thought it never would. I think this is why I’m so in touch with the seasons – perpetual beginnings and endings.

Go with the flow.

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Sunday Morning

The sun is shining. Funny, the weather forecasters were beating the snow-mixed-with-rain drum just yesterday. After this unusually cold and long winter in the Pacific Northwest, I feel like they can’t stop themselves from predicting snow. Well, the sun works for me. I was up before 7 AM. Still cozy under a blanket with a Mason jar filled with Starbucks Cafe Verona, but entertaining thoughts about puttering around in the yard later this afternoon.

Sunday morning is the best morning of the week. Even throughout all those years I worked Sundays, I enjoyed the quiet journey to work in the morning. Now that I am on a regular person schedule, I cherish my Sunday morning lazy time and solitude. On rainy days, the morning extends into the afternoon. Whatever the weather, it’s a time for me to rest, rejuvenate, and write. My life has been go, go, go lately, not always in a good way. Making time for writing is so important to me. One of these days I’ll be able to devote the time I need, maybe when I retire. Or in my next life. On Sunday mornings, I get to play writer and it suits me to a tee.

In the serenity of Sunday, my mind often wanders back along the road of life. Sunday mornings as a wee one meant sleeping in and pancakes or waffles prepared in the sturdy waffle maker. My mom would pour the maple syrup from the Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle (you remember the one) into a tiny glass pitcher, and heat the syrup on the stove. I’m sure that little pitcher was a wedding gift from the mid-60s. No one heats their syrup these days. After waffle time, we would turn on the Top 40 tunes, start laundry, and delve into homework.

Sunday mornings during my twentysomething years often meant waking up with a sense of regret, and a monster hangover, or waking up next to the love of my life, the latest one at least. Saturday night does precede Sunday morning after all. Nothing like falling in love, and having it stick around from Saturday into Sunday when you are twenty-six. How did I have the energy? I was less concerned with coziness back then. Much more starry-eyed.

Back to this Sunday morning… The clouds are rolling in. Figures. Oh, soon enough blue skies will return to the Northwestern corner of the continent. I hope. Thoughts of puttering in the yard are dissipating. This blanket is pretty soft and warm. The roomie is stirring. Must make the most of my waning moments of quiet solitude. Loads of laundry await. All those worker bee clothes. Sigh. I’ll write in between trips to the basement to endlessly restart the dryer. I downloaded a Kindle book last night – The Bookseller. Reading with a cup of Moroccan Mint tea in the afternoon sounds nice.

Wait a minute – the clock says it’s only 8:24 AM. I still have a lot of time to enjoy this Sunday morning. Slow down, burn some Sandalwood incense, ease into whatever lies ahead.

Starting Over… Again

How many times have I done this – pick myself up, dust off my jeans, and hit restart? Right now, I’m talking in terms of my blog. I had a beautiful one, prior to this. Shame I didn’t think to save some of those posts. However, I needed to re-work things. A fresh start. The ideas are still there. What’s in my noggin never seems to go away, although sometimes I wish it would.

Last night, I created a new outline… Handwritten. In an adorable sketch book I found at Target, in the dollar section. Written with a rose gold-colored metallic marker, via the same shopping trip. I think these items are meant for children. Whatever. Channeling the imagination of our inner child is vital to the creative process, true? The ideas were pouring out of my brain last night. I liked it. As an expert in writer’s block, I have to carpe diem when I can. I felt better about everything. Ten minutes of putting metallic marker to paper, and I had a bit of clarity.

The process fascinates me just as much as the finished product. I’m amazed at writers who can sit down and pound out a complete creative output in what seems like minutes. I’m perplexed by those, such as myself, who have all the ideas, notes, outlines, blogs, and delete, erase, and reboot before finishing. I’m sure there are writers who fall somewhere in between. The writing spectrum. Just have find that comfortable spot.

I have ideas about which direction I want to follow on this long road from there to here. Perhaps I’ll finally try my hand at fiction, which I admittedly suck at. Creative non-fiction and the retelling of actual life events are my forte. I spent some formative teenage years writing silly stories for the school newspaper and wanting to be a journalist. However, I want to challenge myself. Writing fiction would definitely be that. I also see it as liberating – free myself from reality for a while. Character development, coming up with some unknown place and time, or making a known place and time whatever I want it to be.

I’m liking this starting over, again, business.