Wednesday, December 28, 2011

what is good today

I cannot emphasize enough the gratitude I have for having my health and my family and friends. Not only a warm bed, a full stomach, clean water, but delicious food, beautiful surroundings, warm sincere relationships, a face and skin and hair and clothes that I like, not only a great husband, but beautiful, not only a child I love, but a smart, funny, adorable one, not only a body that functions properly, but also one that can do yoga and pilates. Not only a mind that functions well but one that improves with practice and meditation. I can catch myself when my thoughts are taking me down the wrong road. I have some awareness. I like my days and nights, I like my months and years, I like myself ad my peeps.

How fun is it to devour DELICIOUS xmas ham with your baby. How fun is it to run through the sprinklers today with a squealing toddler ( I live in L.A.), how fun is it to watch her ride her bike, the coolest balance bike on the block, that I got her for xmas, how fun is it to sing Farmer in the Dell with someone who LOVES the song and makes up words that match somewhat phonetically. How fun is it to dance around to Elvis Costello with my man and my girl while she makes us all hold hands. How great is it to have a sister to call. How cool is it to have peace with the family of origin. How beautiful is the opportunity to be more like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I am trying my best here. I am ONE LUCKY MOTHERFUCKER, JUST LIKE YOU.

I am going through the hardest thing I have ever gone through. It is easy to give up and want to die. I could blabber on about it but I’d rather remember what is good today.

Love you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

so much

“The aim of life is to live and to live means to be aware joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” Henry Miller

It is easy to sleep through life. I was in a punk band playing a 1964 Gibson SG through a Marshall amp and I was still mostly asleep (I had my moments but mostly asleep..). What wakes us up, makes us present, aware? Art can help. But usually it is pain that forces us to not take the path of least resistance, we usually have to be forced because the pull to stay asleep is so strong. It is easy to stay asleep, unconscious, addicted, the same. Pain is a drag but a gift. Use it. There is soooo much here for you. Right now.

And while I am at it:
I have all the money I need
all the time I need
all the space I need
all the order I need
all the compassion I need
all the love I need

say it out loud, feel it inside, have it all.
have fun forever


Friday, December 16, 2011

How to “go through it”

Winston Churchill said “if you are going through hell, keep going.” The idea that the only way to get past something is to go through it is a common concept. But HOW do we go through it?

I can tell you what works for me, as I have climbed the internal Mount Everest several times. It is never a sport for fun, but a challenge I am given. And I can either lie down and die or keep going until it passes, which has been what I’ve done. But how do we go on when it feels too hard, when it is too much, when we have nothing left, when we are beaten up by life and lying down starts to look attractive?

The one thing that does not work for me is to just push on. I am not one to be slave driven by myself or others. I can’t close my eyes and force my way into a better space, ever. It just doesn’t work. That might help me tolerate hell, but it does not help me get through it.

The thing that works for me is to feeeeeel it. Sit with uncomfortable feelings, make room for them, “take them to tea”, if you will. Feelings seem so big and overwhelming when you are resisting them, but if you just face them they get manageable. Feelings are just energy but they can stop you in your path, stop you from achieving your dreams, stop you from being who you want to be, who you really are, if you try to avoid them. Feelings acan seem like an endess sea that you will drown in but they aren’t, I promise.

F E A R, A N G E R, H U R T, etc, all the unattractive ones, are the ones we try to get around. And it never works. Feel me now or feel me later. Feelings come out side ways if we do not confront them head one. They come out as depression, or addiction, or just being an asshole to others. Feeeeel your way out of hell and into freedom. I know you already know that, I’m just being a public service reminder.

Feeling your feelings is how you transform yourself. I didn’t feel anything back in the day. I just railed on and on, pushed and pushed until it didn’t work anymore, till it almost killed me. Then one day I was in the emergency room and they told me to go home- they told me I was having a panic attack! Then one day I was on the bus and someone said excuse me and I mimicked them in my head with seething rage and judgement of their mousy voice “excuuuuuuse meeeeeee. I hate you.” These are examples of where you find yourself if you are not paying attention to your feelings. This is what avoidance looks like- hilarious in hindsight, not so funny in real time.

If you feel stuck in some place, maybe there is something you are trying to avoid.
For me, it is usually just hurt, unattractive hurt. So I call a friend and I cry it out and it goes away or atleast gets a little better. That’s how I stop taking the path of least resistance, that’s how I change. Its not easy and I have tons of resistance but in the end it is always about getting support and crying. Talking about it is never enough. I have to be brave enough to really go there. That’s why I believe that all transformation is possible, because we can all do that- be brave enough to go through it. That’s all folks! 

Love on…….

Sunday, December 11, 2011

death come sweeping down the hallway in a ladies dress

My dear friend’s dear mother transitioned this week. She was so lovely. She was a knitter and sent blanket after blanket to orphans in Africa. My friend told me that towards the end she said to him “I love everybody in the world.” I am so moved and inspired by her. I hope that I can say that one day. She touched so many and will be missed on this planet.

Death, with all its pain and heartache, is always a gift, a reminder to use what you got while you get to, appreciate and love the people in your life. We are all going to die and the ones that go before us always show us the way, yes?

I saw this poem about death at a day of the dead celebration in the Hollywood Forever cemetery and I so love it.

“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, ‘There, she is gone’

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, ‘There, she is gone,’
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’

And that is dying...

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.”
 - Henry Van Dyke

Annie, I toast you and send my love and respect. Thank you. All the best on your journey!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

what is great about life/

What is great about life?

remember how free you are, how lucky you are, how great all this is- this life, this world, this moment. remember how magnificent you are, in case you forgot. remember how beautiful you are. remember how great it is to have friends.

you get to chose your attitude, choose what you want to focus on (the positive or the negative), choose who you want to be and who you want to be around. choose how you want to spend your time. choose to appreciate it all. thankfulness is the antidote to lack and pain. stuff is a nice but a bit of a drag. My goal is to love more, to open my heart more, to be kinder, to be a helper in lifting us all up.

things i like: the moon, george harrison, stories, laughing , dancing with my daughter, lina wertmuller, the ocean, swimming, dressing up, a comfortable warm bed, my husband, technology that brings people together, my sister, animals, violets, the sky.........

Life is so great because you get to start all over again tomorrow. Shine shine shine, my friends. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

C'mon shake


The first time I had seen the name Iggy was in Creem magazine. I was just a little kid in love with Elton John and I read some article about Elton wearing a gorilla suit and jumping on stage while Iggy was playing. I will never forget that. I could not even begin to fathom what an “Iggy” was. I had no idea how to pronounce that word because I couldn’t tell if it began with a lower case “l” or a capitol “I”. Names are always capitalized but logic failed me as I stared at that word. It was like something we had learned about in catholic school, how the name of god was YHWH, and the pronunciation was unknown because it was too sacred to say. The catholics went with Yaweh. In the end I went with Leggy till I learned different.

I first heard the Stooges in high school at 2+2 club, which was on Second Street and Second Avenue in NYC. The building collapsed a few years after it was a club. Some hardcore bands were playing and Search and Destroy was playing over the PA between bands. My boyfriend took me by the hand and sat me by the speaker so I could hear it without all the interference of people talking. “This is the Stooges”, he said. “Stiv is very influenced by them, he gets a lot from Iggy.” He was referring to Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys. Shortly after I knew all the songs and had written 1969, big, with White Out in the back of my dark plaid wool overcoat.

The first time I saw a photo of Iggy was again in Creem magazine when I was in grammar school. Patti Smith was holding the Raw Power album cover (I think she might have been the Creem Dream that issue, anybody remember?) and the copy said something about being as much of a man as the guy in the photo she was holding. I had no idea who he was but he was strange, shocking, powerful. Again I had religious thoughts. I thought it was a picture of Jesus, maybe Max Von Sydow from The Greatest Story Ever Told. I later used that Iconic image of Iggy from the Raw Power record cover on the first GREENDOORNYC Poster.

I’d have to write and encyclopedia if I wanted to get into how important Iggy is to the history of rock, how talented and he, and best of all how he always surprises you with a fresh insight and a brilliant sensibility. His music was the soundtrack to my growing up.

I could feeeeeel and relate to every line written and sung on every one of those Stooges records. “Little doll I can’t forget, smoking on a cigarette” “So messed up, I want you here”, “Ain’t got time to make no apology”, “See a pretty thing, Ain’t no wall”, “Out of my mind on a Saturday night…I feel alright.” I could go on and on.

Anyway, I went to see Iggy and the Stooges for the first time on Thursday night at the Hollywood Palladium. Over the last 30 years I had seen Iggy in every incarnation except this one. What joy! The band rocked, Iggy was as brilliant as ever and those songs are unbelievable. The words, the groove, the hooks and no filler. Pure rock and shocking roll!! I am so happy that those guys are having fun and getting to play and that that music is being heard and valued. Rock on, dear ones.

I will end with this. In the mid 1990’s, Fur was playing at the Continental and Iggy checked us out, came up front to get a better view. We took him to Coney Island High afterwards and hung out talking about the state of music and other silly things. Such an honor. Iggy lived in the Christadora house on B and 9th at that time and I was living on B and 13th street, so we would see each other every now and then. The cool part was that Iggy would always remember who I was and we would say hi and chat when we passed each other on the street in the east village. How nice is that. Iggy Pop you are a gem. Thank you.