In my own fantasy, I am already a great singer. I love to sing, out loud, off-key and happily. It doesn’t matter to me that I can’t carry a tune or that I am practically tone deaf. Singing can lure me out of a bad mood to a good one (ok, not always, I admit.) I am singing the music from the last Gray’s Anatomy musical show, I sing the songs from Glee, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Carly Simon and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I have been living in the seventies for a long time “Helplessly Hoping” that I will always enjoy these songs and that I will always be able to sing with a smile on my face and a nod to the past.
I wish I knew how to play the piano and strum on my guitar, I wish my vocal chords would be finely tuned so I could sing in a loud voice and people would nod their heads and smile. I wish I knew more about art and had the skills to sit down in a café and sketch the nuances of a person’s face, its shadows and form and unique characteristics. I wish I knew how to tell my children things that I have learned but they won’t listen to. I want to know more about the world and different, beautiful countries. I want to wear pretty, embroidered scarves whose colors match my mood. I wish I knew what made other people act the way they do and understand why. Not only that, I wish to be blessed with more patience and understanding and an open, always inquiring mind.
I read her memoir: The Year of Magical Thinking about life before, during and after her husband died. I would ask her where she got the strength to carry on day after day. I would ask how she could distance herself so emotionally from the situation to write a book that does not seem too emotional but more like a step-by-step account of the little things that went on when her husband died; the little details, the reading of the newspaper, the steps to overcome. What happened after you finished the book? Did your perspective change? Was life different? If you had to write the same book over again now, years later, what would you change? What new advice could you give? Were there things that you would have done differently? How has your life changed and what is your life like today?
With great respect,
- My First Album
- “They will take your soul if you let them so don’t you let them….”
The first album I purchased was a record, a 33, not that it would make sense to anyone in any generation other than mine. It was Carole King’s Tapestry and I remember sitting on the hard, steel beige cover of the radiator in my older sister’s room filled with full-fledged teenage angst. I sang along to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “You’ve Got A Friend.”
I sang the verses of “You’ve Got A Friend” focusing on “people can be so cruel, they hurt you and desert you”….I had a good friend who moved away and she swore to keep in touch with me. It didn’t happen for many, many years and I was hurt. Deeply hurt. I sang that song, over and over again,while I peered out of the dirty window from the sixth floor apartment building to the dark, empty and cold pavement below.
- On Superheroes
- My Hero….
S is for Superman
Superman was always my type. Classic, handsome man, flying powers, distinguished looking. Superman didn’t need a batmobile or an assistant, he was macho. He was “faster than a speeding bullet.” He was good vs evil. He was strong, he was a real hero defending good people against bad. He had X-ray vision, bullets would bounce off of him. Keep your power rangers, and transformers and costumed characters…I’m sticking with Superman all the way. Hubba Hubba.
There are many ways I express my creativity even though I am the worst “arts and crafts” person around. When my daughter was little and in the girl scouts I would ruminate for hours on what craft I could and would do to entertain the girls. I write (as you would expect!) and I also take photographs. There have been many times I have made collages out of some of the photographs I have taken and pictures ripped from magazines. I use quotes, poetry, even things that have broken, cemented on to the poster board of the day. I find that it really showcases how I am feeling at that particular time. I never plan it out, I just collect a lot of things and put it together the way I want. There is no wrong or right way. I have missed making a collage, thanks for the impetus; I’ll start a new one very soon.
SOMETIMES DOING NOTHING IS REALLY, REALLY NICE.
We were snowed in last week and with 20 inches of snow and nowhere to go I entertained myself by listening to music, writing, reading and eating. Maybe food doesn’t count because we always eat but isn’t it such a great excuse when you are snowed in?! I made brownies (excuse: because we are snowed in), I ordered pizza (because we are snowed in), I watched stupid television shows (again, because we are snowed in) and I made some phone calls….(because we are, you know the rest). Being snowed in isn’t really bad at all if it’s just for a day or two. I relaxed in front of our fireplace drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream, I cradled my 8-year-old mutt and didn’t concentrate or worry about anything. How do you spell “snowed in?” I spell it PEACEFUL.
“If You Want This Choice Position ……..”
Mary Poppins is my favorite childhood movie. It’s still one of my favorite movies. The fact that I know every line in it, every song, just makes it all the more delicious. The movie was magical and endearing with the exception of two characters for me. I never liked the old woman in “Feed the Birds” she scared me when I was very young. But soon, I came to relax and respect her. She was trying to protect her birds.(“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…..”) I also didn’t like the very old man in the bank either, ( didn’t he die?) I was terrified of his yelling, his mean face, and pointed finger. Jane and Michael Banks however, were adorable (“I put that in too!”) and of course Burt with his magic drawings and chimney dances, the penguin dancers, the very special tea. Those beautiful horses were ever so pretty and the man who laughs so much, that he is carried to he top of the ceiling always made me laugh too! I grin just remembering the scene. If I saw the movie again I know I would be laughing with glee. I remember the first time I saw the movie, Mary Poppins, I felt sad when she left. After watching the movie over and over again I understood she had to leave and the Banks’ parents were now a family, and thus, they would be okay. Need an escape from reality at any age? Mary Poppins is the movie for you and definitely for me. Hello, Netflix??
It really depends on what I am feeling down about. First choice, Bruce Springsteen gets me singing and rocking, rocking and rolling. You can count on him to elevate your mood; he’s better than Prozac. His music can get you out of your misery by the sheer joy of singing to his music. I even saw him in concert once, the best performer ever (Thanks, Claudine.)
When I need comforting and want to reminisce about the past and easier times it’s John Denver who comforts me. I think about high school and my friend Paula and our mini John Denver fan club. We were young, life was good, we just didn’t know it back then. Now we look back and remember the easiest time of our lives and probably the happiest. We lived, and breathed his songs, we argued endlessly about his lyrics, we had a crush on him. Hey, it was the 70’s, don’t judge! John Denver represented young people, happiness, nature and good times. When he died prematurely, we were crushed.
Also, old stand-byes like Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and of course, The Sound of Music are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.
More recent cheerful music includes: “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, “hey tonight’s gonna be a good, good night, woo-hoo,” Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine.” I really could go on and on but instead, I think I will put on iTunes and listen to some music, right now.
Books, Movies, TV, Blogging, Music, Writing, Computer, Books…..Still bored after all those options? Get a grip! I’m generally not bored, and I’m generally not fussy. I’ve always been able to occupy my “alone” time. In childhood, our mom said I was happy to play in my room all by myself but that my older sister needed to be entertained all the time. I see that with my own children now: my oldest child needs to be entertained and my second born is more content and doesn’t mind alone time (though she probably wouldn’t admit to it). Maybe it has to do with birth order. The first-born child does get undivided attention, where us second born (or babies) have never known anything else except sharing. We’ve never had undivided attention. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism or just maybe we are more content. Or it’s simply a personality issue. Alone time, to me, doesn’t mean I’m bored, it means I’m comfortable with myself.