Love, Like Birds

Cardinal

Cardinal (Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties)

When I heard the cardinal sing its pretty song, for the first time in a very long time, I stopped dead in my tracks to listen. I was in a crowded parking lot but yes, I was being careful. What sound could be more important and more beautiful than that of a cardinal singing its sweet song after a relentless winter.(With no assurance that it is really over)

I happen to have a crush on cardinals more than other birds, I must admit.They have a special family memory for me. The handsome vibrant red male, his “wife” the beautiful, red-gray dancer singing from one to the other, always together like a comforting, well-balanced, special relationship. They look out for one another, they feed each other, they always communicate in song, first one than the other.

I know, we all know, it’s been too long a winter, we can’t change it but the sounds of cardinals and the perfect blue sky, the weather in the upper 40′s makes it seem like we are on vacation, somewhere South. It doesn’t take much to make us happy now.

I wouldn’t say the trees are budding but they  also aren’t as buck naked as they used to look. They have the promise of blooming, of bringing life on a day like today. It was the beauty of the unexpected, the thing that happens that surprises you, not the droning ritual of a nasal forecaster.

The window of my car was open to let the breeze in, my radio turned up loud, of course the songs were just what I wanted to hear. Today was special, yesterday was freezing, I’m grateful for this moment in time. Spring isn’t here yet but I can see that it really will happen, someday soon.

Enhanced by ZemantaPhoto Credit: BlueRidgeKitties from Wikipedia

The Songs I Sing

Music ~ Be There For You

Music ~ Be There For You (Photo credit: Daniel CJ Lee)

I have written songs in my dreams for many years. I don’t write songs every night, but once in a while I write the lyrics in my sleep, beautiful words are strung together that blend into a harmonious chorus. Upon wakening, I forget everything. It’s time to take out the notepad and put it right next to me for these times, to try to force myself to remember my dreams and to remember the words to a song that needs to be sung.

Consciously, I don’t know what the songs are about although anything that has to do with me must have love in it and probably conflict too. They generally go together, don’t they? Love spreading it’s wings, love in nature too: the ocean’s symbol for how unpredictable life can be, the sun, darkness, tragedies, the magic of birth, love, that unite us all.  It only takes one lit candle to give light to another. When I was young I thought the world was a friendly place, united and peaceful but I have given up hope. I’m not innocent anymore; I’ve seen too many senseless tragedies to believe that the world is good, too many jaded memories, too many senseless killings.

Physically, my body aches, I can tell when I have a fever when my legs hurt and my skin is sensitive. The throbbing in my head has been constant, aspirin and allergy pills have done nothing. My dog is having a barking competition with the dog next door and that is making my head ache even more. Music, which always soothes me, doesn’t help, even on the lowest volume so I turn it off and lay flat on the bed. My blankets cover me, I try to close my eyes but my arms shake and there is something uncomfortable about me, an illness I cannot define.  Is it Fibromyalgia? Is it a virus? Is it a reaction to the flu shot? Is it my auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Whatever it is when will it go away?

It turns out it takes the better part of the week but it is leaving my body now and for that I am grateful.  I realize, however, that I am saddled with two difficult diseases that make anything hard to live with and to diagnose. Sorry, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but that part alone sucks. I try not to dwell on the chronic illnesses they just pop up in situations like these, I know I have to live with them, co-exist, not in peace but in acceptance.

I look around my bedroom and I feel uneasy, it is the one room I would like to organize and fall in love with again but I certainly don’t have the energy to do it now. I need to love my bedroom, but I can’t, there is too much clutter. Clutter everywhere, this room used to be my sanctuary, a place I would go to be at peace. Now, it represents too much garbage and disorganization, books, perfume, two kinds of deodorant, an old coffee mug, a bottle of water, a flashlight, a phone, old photographs and that is just in one space. I know this is not good for me, I realize it.

I need to clean, to put things in their proper places, to organize my space, my world, inside and out. Whether or not I capture the words of my songs on paper, I need to sort things out in all aspects of my life.  I know that once the physical space is clear, I will make the choice, that the music will be a wonderfully complicated, song with a lot of tenderness, love, warmth, grief and of course, a touch of the blues. It’s real life, after all.

photo credit to above named photographer

@copyright

The New Rude

noon8march8962

noon8march8962 (Photo credit: marymactavish)

It’s 2013, and you are an aging Baby Boomer just like me. Mazel Tov. I bet you are so proud. Our music was sublime, our culture was magnificent and yes, it still lives on playing on our iPods and even nostalgic rock ( or nausea rock as my husband calls it) on radio stations and in elevators. We loved peace and each other and now? We are probably unemployed and sulking or depressed. Sorry, I can’t lie and I don’t want to exaggerate either but basically if you were laid off in the last year or two and are an aging baby boomer, luck and time is NOT on your side. My husband and I and our friends are living through it now.

It stings. Because as much as we were popular “way back when” we are the antithesis of that now. We are old, used up. most probably depressed and the last people to be called in for an interview. Don’t believe me? Just ask. Not only are we not called in for interviews, if we are lucky enough to get an interview, there are new rules: rudeness. I worked in Human Resources for over twenty years and I have never seen what I am seeing now which is NOTHING.  There is no follow-up, no “Thanks for interviewing but we have hired someone better qualified” there’s not even a rejection letter. No one even tries to help you or does courtesy interviews, no one lends a helping hand, they just ignore you. People are smug and ill-mannered. Welcome to the unemployment line: it’s where it’s at.

Why are people being so rude? I guess they feel they don’t have to be polite because the alarming mass of people who want jobs, any job. In their mind, why bother with respect and manners, never mind a phone call to follow-up, that sure as hell ain’t happening. Don’t even THINK about it, because you won’t get it. When I think way back to all the acknowledgement letters we sent out for people just to tell them we did receive their résumé it’s amazing. After that we called and sent letters to tell candidates of their status or rejection. We did the best we could. Now? They don’t even try because they know that people are desperate for a job and that is just plain sad. And cruel.

Manners seem to have gone the way with the older generation, yes, us and our parents who we probably take care of along with our children. You wonder why so many of us are anxious? The Sandwich Generation has a lot on our minds, our parent or parents, our children (college age, younger or older) ourselves, health wise and job wise and that we are now old. Old. How did we get here, we ask ourselves? When did we become them?

Sure, we still listen to the same music: James Taylor, Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young (God forbid Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young would do the honor of a real reunion concert but SOMEONE won’t do it)  Thank God for those who will: Paul McCartney and Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel. Apparently, they understand us and indulge us. Thank you, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel for the Reunion Tour, it was one of the best nights of my life. Growing old is hard, we miss the past and we’re scared of the future, thanks for sticking with us. I know the chances of another reunion tour are slight but we will keep hoping….here’s to you!

The photographs are the owners of the photographers.
Thanks to my friend Bruce, for the title.

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

House cat with a ball of yarn.

House cat with a ball of yarn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The air was thick with humidity, Emily hadn’t seen the sun in five straight days. To say she was going “stir-crazy” was the understatement of a lifetime. It was hard to breathe, harder to move. She was home with her teenage children, her husband worked long hours and while he used to call her nine times a day just to say hello, he had stopped calling altogether. She had signed up for a clay class but she just heard that it had been cancelled. Her volunteer work at the hospital had ended three weeks ago. She had nothing to do, nowhere to go and she was starting to feel bored, restless and just a little off-center.

She made dinner for the family, most of which was eaten in silence. The cat, Ivy, purred on the sofa, her head resting on a ball of blue yarn. Emily let out an audible sigh of envy, at least the cat was happy, she thought, at least someone was, she certainly wasn’t. What was it about this summer that seemed so different? She felt so closed in, none of her friends were around and there was nothing to do, no one to talk to. She wasn’t brave enough to fly someplace alone and even if she was, they couldn’t afford it but she knew it couldn’t go on like this, she needed to do something, soon.

She thought about it that week and slowly she came up with an idea, an idea that made her smile inwardly. She came up with a plan that involved everything she loved, didn’t cost a lot of money, gave her independence and a mini-vacation. She didn’t ask anyone’s permission, why should she? She had waited on her husband and family for years but one night she told them, not asked them, that she was going to be away for a few days, with her old college roommate. They barely even acknowledged what she said, they mumbled “ok” and  her son asked ” Who is going to cook us dinner?” was the only question asked by her son. You’ll figure it out, ” she said calmly, “Dad can give you extra money for pizza.”

The next morning, after everyone had left she packed her car, turned on the music, her music, on loud and headed to meet her old friend in Boston. She knew they were heading to the beach, which beach she wasn’t sure. She would stop at a motel or an Inn, whatever appealed to her on the way. There were no rules, no rules except for her to have fun and to do whatever made her happy. She had packed a few books, she had her radio and she felt peaceful. She was going to pick up Jane and then Jane would take over the driving. Leaving had made her happy, that was something to think about on its own.

They hugged tightly when they saw each other, it had been years since their last reunion. Jane took over the driving while Emily, now wearing her new sunglasses, put her arm and hand out the window in joyous rhythm to the music she loved. She tilted her head back, grinning, laughed happily and sang, loudly off-key.

Plinky Prompt: A Sensation, Taste, Smell, Music That Transports You to Childhood

  • Capturing the Viennese Waltz

    Capturing the Viennese Waltz (Photo credit: flickr-rickr)

    Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood. See all answers

 

 

  • Viennese Music Brings Me Back
  • My father, when he was alive and happy, would always blast the stereo in the living room playing Viennese music/waltzes. I remember as a teenager when I would come off the elevator, which was down a long hallway, and hear that music that practically deafened me. It was so embarrassing to me. Once, I forgot my key so I rang the doorbell repeatedly for him to open the door. Nothing. I started banging on the door with my fists, getting angry and frustrated and just wanting to go inside. Finally, I think my mother heard me and opened the door. Every time now, as an adult, I hear a Viennese waltz, Der Fledermaus or the Blue Danube, I wish with all my heart, that my father was still alive, playing music loudly, him whistling happily and me, just watching, grinning and appreciating him. Just one more time would be enough but I’ve lost that chance forever.

  • http://youtu.be/Wa9fo5qcyeI

 

Plinky Prompt: Escape!

  • English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C...

    English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. closeup view of vocalists Joan Baez and Bob Dylan., 08/28/1963 Español: Bob Dylan con Joan Baez en la Marcha por los Derechos Civiles en Washington, D.C. (1963) Italiano: Joan Baez e Bob Dylan durante la marcia per i diritti civili a Washington, 28 agosto 1963 Polski: Bob Dylan i Joan Baez w 1963 Deutsch: Joan Baez und Bob Dylan beim Marsch auf Washington am 28. August 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James ...

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James Taylor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from). See all answers

  • Escape!
  • I’m escaping from STRESS and I’m taking my husband with me. I can’t possibly hang on much longer with my twisted, achy stomach which might very well be an ulcer or worse, losing weight, and being tired and upset. I’m watching my husband feeling down and defeated and unhappy too. I’m taking my husband, my best friend, whose stress level I share and intensify, out of here.He needs a new, good job PRONTO, in the computer field (something about Software and Engineers and Project Management) where people are not mean but decent and NICE. It’s been too hard, waiting for the pink slip which is coming except they don’t even GIVE you a pink slip anymore. Now, they just take you into a room, avoid your eyes and mutter about lay-offs. The unemployment drill.
    Let’s sell the house, then tell our kids in college, take the nutty dog with us (she’s always up for an adventure) and rent a van, or small mobile home. We can become the baby boomer hippies we never were. Let’s go down to the basics, we don’t need all this “stuff” that you, okay WE cling to. Imagine, having no agenda, no plans, no watches. We’d be living on money from the things we sold. Our college kids might even have to work (Gasp, what’s that??) Let’s go cross-country (you never believed me but I meant it.) Maybe somewhere we can settle down and open a breakfast place or lunch, maybe ice cream?
    Let’s go now, before we change our minds. We won’t sell the CD’s, because the one thing we need, wherever we are, is music. Music makes us happy and we need to sing loudly out the windows with joy. Our dog, Lexi, hanging out the window having a blast. We will sing all the oldies, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez….just to name a few. No stress? Sounds like heaven to me.

Yellow Magic Madness #10

Yesterday, I bought a new yellow handbag. Same color like the handbag shown but a different style.

With a new pocketbook swinging from my arm, happily, the only tune I have been singing since is a “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield.

Enjoy.

A bright yellow handbag, LC1996_48

A bright yellow handbag, LC1996_48 (Photo credit: Black Country Museums)

Mellow Yellow Monday – Corn on the Cob

It’s bitter cold outside, I’m dreaming about warm weather and backyard bbq’s.

The Weber grill has some sweet and savory chicken,  hamburgers and hot dogs too. Family and friends sit around having a soda or a beer, fresh lemonade. There’s potato salad, coleslaw and delicious sweet and crunchy, corn on the cob and home-made buttery bread. It’s like a bit of sunshine sweetness in every bite. Chips and dip, nothing fancy, just great food and perfect weather, hanging outside for as long as we want, with a guitar strumming and people singing out back in the garden.

I miss summer so badly, I could just about cry.

The following is the author's description of t...

The following is the author’s description of the photograph quoted directly from the photograph’s Flickr page. “One a day food item 20 ” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plinky Prompt: What Makes You Feel Better When You Are In A Bad Mood?

  • When you’re in a bad mood, who or what makes you feel better? See all answers
  • Mood Enhancer
  • Let Me Just Clear My Throat……
    singing along When I am in a bad mood, I can rely on music to make me feel better. It’s my go-to, readily accessible relief. It’s hard to stay in a bad mood if you are singing loudly to a cheerful tune. (I’m not saying, by any means of the imagination, that I have a good voice) but it sounds and feels good to me. I usually play nostalgic songs (Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) from my past that I associate with good times, with youth, with fun, or with recent popular songs that I sing over and over again for months on end until I get tired of them. In a bad mood? Listen to some music, and sing loudly, you’ll soon forget your troubles.