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Dancing out of the cage

I spent this weekend relaxing, for the most part – and at one point, dancing! By myself in the living room.

Just because I could I suppose, but also because the weather is mild and there was (and still is) a mellow breeze in the air.

This is the calm before the ‘heat storm’.

Calm climate brevity.

It won’t last long.  Soon I’ll be plugging the fans back in and paying extortion type rates for electricity to run the A/C

Also now regretting ‘the bangs’.  Shortly they’ll be wet and plastered to my head.

Began reading again.

The WIFI in the laundromat has been touchy.  Today wasn’t working at all and in anticipation of this, I packed a book.

The thing is – I stopped doing things I used to love a while ago.

When was the last time I wrote in my diary?  Last time I painted?  Last time I grabbed my camera and left the house in search of something wonderful?

Sad.

My life used to revolve around my kid and now … I’m stuck with myself.

When people say (and, I must be odd enough for them to actually say this) “I wonder what it’s like in your head”.  I respond with “Well, don’t go in there unattended”.

And now here I spend all my home time doing just that.

I feel like a bird in an open cage – choosing to stay inside.

The actual bird cage in my room … Door open and cobwebs

There are amazing days.   Revelations and epiphanies.  Also darkness and fear.

It’s like a ginormous abacus is before me and I’m pushing the beads – weighing pro’s and con’s – trying to calculate my future (as if I have a say in that ultimately).

I’m no spring chicken anymore.  People I love have passed.  People I love are sick.

I have health issues myself – a few I haven’t shared with anybody and I’m afraid to know more about.  Ignorance is bliss no?

My patience wears thin at those around me with no gratitude.  No sense of urgency to enjoy their abilities or what they have.  Or, to push further to have more connection to what is really important!

My go to example is the bank.

When there’s a line and I hear someone whining about standing in it all I can think is:

There are people who would give anything to stand in this line!  Seriously.

The ill and the housebound.

Just to have the ability to stand unaided – without pain.  Even just to BE at a bank, which, clearly means you’re there for a financial transaction.

Those with nothing wouldn’t mind that particular inconvenience.

Sadly, I haven’t been living up to my potential either.  So, rather than be a hypocrite, I’m owning that and sharing it with you.

I’ve let my very humble home go – when it comes to deep cleaning.

I’ve  lost joy in things I used to love.

But this peri-Summer breeze is a gentle awakening.

I want myself back!

And I want MORE for me.

Not more ‘stuff’ – in fact, I need to purge my life of a great deal of material things.

I want … Hope.

I want to feel like I contributed at the end of a day.

I want the people I love to FEEL it without any doubt.

I want to get pulled back into books and to be a better writer.

I haven’t been proud of anything I’ve written in a very long time – and I used to be good.

Admitting that alone is huge!

And, I want to dance in my living room.

LIVE in my ‘living’ room and not just beach myself on my Chaise Lounge with a remote control in my hand.

Time to get my finger off the pause button and press play.

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Musings from the Laundromat: Simple pleasures & silver trolleys edition

It has been a perfect morning.

I walked into the laundromat today with happy in my heart and relaxed in my step.  ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ was playing on the laundromat’s radio.  I greeted the lady who works behind the counter – noticing her bright pink top.  “Hi” I said, “I like your top!”  “Thank you” she smiled.

She walked away with a hint of a smile still on her lips as I grabbed my cash card with the yellow wrist coil.  I always pick yellow if it’s available.

I loaded five dollars onto the card and toted my laundry over to my favorite machines.

And here I sit at my favorite spot about to share my morning with you.

I’m reading an amazing book ‘The Glass Castle’ by Jeannette Walls.  My friend Betty gave it to me to borrow last week.

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I love that I have friends who enjoy a good book.  I love the fact that they think of me when they’re finished with that same book.

I woke at 7 this morning.  I slept in.  After making a pot of coffee and letting the dog outside, I crawled back into bed to read.

A little while later, after retrieving a cup of the freshly brewed coffee, feeding the dog and laying back down on my bed – Nic appeared in my room.

“Hey” I said, as I let my book holding arm flop down onto the bed.

He joined me and rested his head on my chest.  I put my free arm around him, patting his back.

We lay there, quietly, as he blinked at the wall.

“What are you thinking about?”

“The words on the painting … looks like it says Edward Woot”

I shifted my gaze to the painting as he continued,, “I think it is Woot”.

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We both knew it wasn’t.  But we considered the painting until we were joined by the dog.

“Aw!  Now the whole family is here!”  I said.

We focused our quiet gazes on Butters.  Then back to nothing.  Just enjoying the moment.

Not a thing was lost on me.  I held carefully and quietly in my heart the following thoughts, not wanting them to disappear.

I held the gratitude that my son still looks for me in the morning.  That he likes me and wants to have a moment with me.  I held the joy that we were both looking at a painting together – one he gave me for Christmas – that we both appreciate art.  I savored the fact that I was holding a book – that I get such immense pleasure from reading.  I was grateful for my ‘boy’ in my arms and my dog at our feet.

I digested everything about that moment – while managing to stay in it.

Our silence gave way to laughter when Butters started nibbling on her leg and I announced it was obviously bath day.

By the look of the sky, I needed to take care of that quickly.  The clouds outside were grey and looked heavy with rain.  I suggested to Nic that we could just pour her shampoo over her and put her out when the rain began.

I got up instead and carried my 70 pound, hairy, leg nibbling manatee into the tub.

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What began as a bath for Butters gave way to cleaning – I threw myself into the task, taking the large rug from the kitchen outside so I could wash the floor.  Of course, Nic took that opportunity to make himself something to eat.  His timing is impeccable.  I worked around him – so very grateful to have a kitchen to clean. And too grateful for the food and my son to be annoyed by his timing.

Satisfied with the clean dog, the clean house and my fed and occupied son I took my turn in the tub.  So grateful for the soothing stream of water on my back.

I’ll be making a small pork roast today – and enjoying my son in between his games and the book in between time with my son.

And speaking of that book – the friend that loaned it to me finished a particularly difficult book this morning (due to the content.)  She commented to me:

“By the way, I finished the horrible one I was reading this a.m.  I had to see how it ended and be done with it.  I learned a grocery cart in Great Britain is a trolley.  I was trying to find some lil gems in it to get through it :)”

I love that she said that. That’s what we do isn’t it?  Look for the gems when things are tough?  Well it’s what we should do.

I replied to her:

“There’s always a silver trolley if you look hard enough.”

Reading (too much into it)

Read an amazing book.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Could not put it down! I loved the flow of it, the intelligence of it.  I felt smarter reading it.  If I met her I’d tell her “You make me want to be a better writer.”  (And she’d probably say, “Start with not plagiarizing movies when you compliment someone”.)

The author had a way of describing things that made me think ‘Yeah! That’s exactly how that feels!’  I don’t have the ability to describe things that way.

Then I Googled.

I’ve mentioned before – I get fixated.  For instance, when I stumbled on the movie Melancholia, I fell in love with it before I’d even seen it.  I loved the movie’s internet page, loved the score.

(Here, check it out, http://www.melancholiathemovie.com/ )

I read interviews about Lars Von Trier and became obsessed with Ophelia, read more about her and then Hamlet.  Once I am interested in something, I research the hell out of it.  I finally did see the movie and I liked it, but my research needed me to love it.  I ruin things sometimes that way.

Ophelia

I can never just watch a movie either.  I have to watch all the special features afterwards.  If they had a section devoted to the cast and crew at the craft services table, just snacking, I’d watch that too.  I like ‘behind the scenes’.

So anyway, I’m in love with this book and a quarter of the way through it  I Google.  I don’t know why – except for … that’s what I do.  I didn’t want to know how it turned out, just curious I guess to see if other people loved it too.

I see one link and it says: ‘this delectable summer read’.  Huh?  What the heck is a ‘Summer read’?  My mind paints a picture of a fickle woman with a beach bag – not a big reader – but who wants something to break up the tedium of laying on a beach. 

summerreader

That comment made my book feel less smart.  Less important. 

I Google ‘Summer read’ and it doesn’t mean that, I feel better.

I don’t want books to be put in categories like that.  I’m as eclectic with my reading genres as I am with my musical tastes. 

Poe used to be my favorite – (the story Berenice in particular).  I revisited ol’ Edgar on my nook and honestly wondered why.  It was hard for me to understand if I’m being honest.  I mean, literally hard to understand.  The words were too big for me and the sentences too fussy.  It was as if he needed to write the same sentence five different ways to make a point.  How was he my favorite for so long?  Have I dumbed down?  I haven’t got the most brilliant mind, but I’m pretty smart and have a decent vocabulary.  He was over my head and didn’t hold my interest.  Maybe I’m going through a phase.

I remember in High School we had to read The Fall of the House of Usher and write something on what we thought it was about.  I hate that.  Why does everything have to have some deep, hidden meaning? 

Can’t a sentence like “My cat curled up next to my tattered childhood blanket” just mean the cat curled up next to my old childhood blanket? 

catonblanket

I’ve read reviews that break down a single sentence to the point of absurdity.  They’d have read that and maybe said:

“The cat represents aloofness and independence.  The protagonist however, in keeping a part of their childhood, has extended a safe place for the creature to attach itself too.  A metaphor for …”  (well, something very profound would be finishing that sentence if I was someone capable of describing things).  You get the point. 

Why does everything have to be a metaphor for something?  Do we subconsciously do that?  I took creative writing in college.  We’d make enough copies of our work for everyone in class.  No names on the stories/poems whatever we’d written.  Someone would read out loud, then the Professor would go around the room and have everyone comment on the anonymous piece.  I would internally roll my eyes when they discussed my work.  I was thinking, ‘Really?  I didn’t mean that at all!”

I remember thinking along those lines when we did that High School assignment years ago, ‘What if he just really meant what he wrote?’  But I put on paper I thought it was about vampires.  (Take that Stephanie Meyer).

I’m on a second book by Gillian Flynn now.  I love the way she writes!  I won’t analyze it, just enjoy it.  But probably I’ll end up Googling it and reading other people pick her work apart.