Monday, November 30, 2015

My Star

Last year my job was going to honor my 10 years of service with a crystal star paperweight engraved with my name from Tiffany's, which they do for everyone who works there for ten years. I was not thrilled about it. I try not to accumulate a lot of stuff. I would have rather had something like a gift for myself, in the spirit of the old gold watch, something like a massage, or a gift certificate, whatever, but that was not going to happen. I do not mean to belittle the gesture, I just really did not want more stuff coming into my home that I did not choose. I thought about giving it my mother, or someone who might appreciate it. Anyway the anniversary came and went and I never got the star. Then after eleven years, the star came in the pretty blue box and I was really into it.

This past year, my husband won all these awards which were a big deal and there was a lot of attention about them, the Oscar, the BAFTA, etc. It was great in every way. My  5 year old daughter knew the difference between a nomination and an award and she heard her name said on television, so she was in on the whole grandness of it all. I never felt outshined in any way by all of his recognition, I just enjoyed his being rewarded for all of his hard work. I shared the joy and the fringe benefits with him. It was all great

When I brought my star home, I got this smart idea to call it an "award" when I showed it to my daughter. It was a small gesture but I wanted to give her the notion that women get awards too. I often think about how to be a role model to her and what I want to model and I want to always model the equality of women to her. She thought the star was beautiful and danced around when she saw it. She beamed over my "award" which made me beam too. I decided to keep it because she appreciates it and loves it. I love it too. It sits by the Oscar and next to a blue glass alligator awarded to my husband at the New Orleans Film Festival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImKY6TZEyrI

Sunday, November 29, 2015

40:George


Oh George, the best looking coolest Beatle, you left us too young and too fast, passing away on this day 14 years ago, at the young age of 58. Everyone knows that All Things Must Pass really is the best of all the former Beatles’ solo albums. It came out 45 years ago and today it is just as relevant and timeless. Art Garfunkle claims that you said that His Paul was just like your Paul, but you were set free and rose to the occasion and soared. 

My three favorite George stories are that:

At the concert for Bangladesh Bob Dylan arrived at the Garden and said that he did not want to play, that it was “not his scene”. And George, annoyed, talks him into playing by saying that it was not his scene either, but that he was playing for the cause. I believe he tells the story in the amazing film of the concert.

When Phil Spector told him that My Sweet Lord was the biggest hit and first single for the album, George had reservations. He was nervous about the subject matter and exposing himself in such vulnerable way, making such a personal song about spiritual devotion into the first single, which would put all of the focus on that song. He was afraid of judgment from what I understand. But Phil said it was the hit and George accepted his decision and let go of the worry. Excuse my paraphrasing of the course of events but this is mind blowing to me, that he was nervous about being vulberable but he took a chance. That is the point of life, what we all might strive to do, to show our true self, even when it might not be the popular thing to do. Brilliant.The song went on to be the first number one hit for any ex-Beatle’s and was George’s biggest hit ever.

When George passed away his wife said that his body emitted a white light that could light up a room.

i am inspired.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

41: 5 kooky money experiences


They say that the having is in the asking. By asking, you have already received it. I struggled for years with understanding and allowing that. it was a hard road to allowing and receiving, but my tables eventually turned from scarcity to abundance. This is what was going on along the way:


1. One time I got new glasses and they were terrible, they gave me the wrong frames, which were way too big, even though I had ordered a smaller one, and the lenses made me dizzy. I was in my early 20’s and had no idea how to stand up for myself. I paid for the glasses and left the store mad, but unable to take care of my self. On the walk to the subway I found $80 in the street, 4 twenties, which almost exactly made up for the price.

2. Once I was really struggling for cash and I read this great horoscope by Rob Brenzsey. If you have read his work you will understand, he wrote that week about creating prosperity and likened it to sexual energy and he instructed the readers to keep $20 in their underwear, so I did. I was working as a doorperson at a club that night and at the end of the night I used the bathroom and realized that the $20 had fallen out of my underwear, assumably during an earlier bathroom trip. I looked on the filthy bathroom floor but my $20 was long gone. The hideousness brought me to hysterical laughter. The $20 did not make much difference in my life, i did not go hungry  or suffer on any way. I still excitedly read his horoscopes after that.

3. Once as teenage me and my boyfriend drove to go see AC/DC at some arena in another state I think. We did not have tickets and the show was sold out, but I just kept saying I will find a ticket on the floor. We got to the arena and walked around the parking lot looking for affordable tickets to buy, and then I looked down and found a ticket on the floor, just one. My boyfriend bought another and we went in.

4. I already have told the story of finding a $100 bill in the street, during a broke period and the story of winning $100 for “shoe realness” dressed as Jody Foster in Taxi Drive at a Shoe Ball, which I went to with the intent of winning the money, because I was broke, but they are so great that they bare repeating. Later, I won $5000 at a charity drawing, where I had made a donation. I was broke at the time and I used it to buy my first car.

5. One time my cab driver boyfriend was helping me move and I had all thee precariously packed bags in his cab. I had mentioned how I cannot stand drivers who brake hard and how that gives me motion sickness. He thought it was funny to brake hard and say “like this?” It was not funny and all my stuff jerked forward and fell over and I got motion sickness. Later that night I was unpacking my stuff and I realized that I was missing an envelope that had been on top of one of the bags that had $400 cash in it. I called him at the garage but he had already left and dropped off his cab for cleaning. I chalked it up as gone. easy come easy go. When he got home I told him the story and he rode his bike back to the depot and talked to the guys who cleaned the cab and they gave him back the cash, which they had already pocketed as a windfall for the night. Easy come easy go.

Money is funny. It comes and goes and flows and flows. Allow it to follow you all over the place and multiply. I write on every check and try to remember to say it at every cash transaction GBMTMQ, “god bless and multiply this money quickly” then I write or say THANKS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbR5nkEJw2o

Friday, November 27, 2015

42: Harvey Milk


Today is the anniversary of the death of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the state of California. I was still in grammar school when it happened. I did not know anything about him yet. In 1984 I remember seeing the documentary about him, The Times of Harvey Milk, in my boyfriend’s mother’s room and how much I was struck by the story and how I cried. 

Tragedies continue, too many to count, and we continue on the best we can. I love life and am thankful for all of the strong shining heros I am so lucky to be touched by. Love and respect to everyone fighting the good fight. I believe in the good in people and in the progress of positive change that moves us forward like a wave, although slowly at times. There is a saying I refer to often, that the first one through the wall always get bloodied. Leading and changing the world takes so much strength and courage. It is a dangerous job and yet amazing people continue rise to the occasion again and again. The progress of equality for all cannot be stopped by fear and evil. Love always wins. I seem to be typing that phrase all the time. Rest in Peace, brave soul. I am so sorry and thank you, thank you, thank you.

How amazing is it when people do what they are called to do. We can all be of service.

 "I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And You... And You... And You... Gotta give em hope. Thank You very much." Harvey Milk

Thursday, November 26, 2015

43: pick relationships over stuff



they say to pick relationship over other choices as opposed to “I can’t see my grandkid because I gotta get  my oil changed” so I write fast on the nights when I my family is around so I can be with them. Less interesting or profound blog, more interesting and profound life.

Today was such a nice sweet gift of warm friends and lovely company and good food. I got catatonic from the past few weeks of activity and from the food and the desert. It is hard to focus. But I will say that I have so much to be grateful for and I really love that there is a national holiday for giving thanks.

I miss the thanksgivings I grew up on in new york with my family, I miss my mother’s cooking and all of the people who are no longer with us, my father, Nanny, aunt Vera, aunt Carol, cousin Tommy. I also miss the people who are still around, but I am not seeing today. And I miss the thanksgivings we used to have in DC with my inlaws and my husband’s aunts. And I miss that Loc is not with us anymore.

Luckily, my father in law got to spend the day with us which was great. And I am lucky to have had so much good to miss.

Man, life s precious. I have said it many times but it bares repeating: appreciate the people in your life and let them know you love them, because they can be gone in a blink of an eye. Thank you to all the beautiful people in my life, I love you all.
===============================================
Oh man remember when the Limelight used to have legends Sundays ( I think it was Sundays, yes?) You could go for free to see classics like Bo Diddley, Eartha Kitt, and these guys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e5s7R-2-Lc

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

44: thank you


Ah, the eve of thanksgiving what can I say, I am the luckiest person. I have it all and I really appreciate it. I used to be the unluckiest person and I had nothing, so I know both worlds. 

When I lived in scarcity, nothing was enough, i could find $100, but it wasn't enough, it didn't pay all the debt, it didn't fix the hole. I could have a nice conversation but it didn't fix anything so it wasn't enough. I could get an unexpected $1000 check, not enough. Everything was hard. The more i said things were hard, the harder they became, the more i said it wasn't enough, the more needy i felt. One day i understood that i could receive $1,000,000 and it would not be enough. That is when it clicked for me.

The thing that made the difference was gratitude. Gratitude for everything I had was an attitude adjustment. Sounds simple, but really it was a conscious changing of patterns engraved deep into my brain. It was hard work to learn what I had never been taught and put it into practice. So i did the hard work. i watched my thoughts and changed them when necessary.

Once i started practicing living life with gratitude, everything that happened seemed to have a positive spin, every tragedy included a gift that I truly saw and appreciated. When i was in labor, miscarriaging and throwing up from the pain and losing the life inside of me, i said thank you, and i meant it. Thank you that i got to be pregnant, thank you that i got to experience labor, thank you that i had  safe loving partner to help me through, thank you for whatever is coming next, whatever the path is going to be. thank you for so many reasons. i just stayed in that place.

The cool part was that the more I appreciated what I had, the more I got. I am so filthy rich in my experience. My life is loaded with blessings. I am content. I have so much it is shocking. (so do you, if you want). And not a day goes by that I do not have conscious appreciation of that, and gratitude. I am living the dream. thank you dear friends for being n my life. Thank you readers. Thank you universe for having me here, allowing me the honor of being of service and touching live, and giving me this experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

45: Fashion check in, hot pants 71, 90, 2000, 2015, eternal


Yesterday while browsing shoes I spotted a pair of heels covered in red, blue, and green glitter fabric, color block style. They reminded me of a cheap but extraordinary pair of red, green and blue hot pants made of the exact same coarse stretchy glitter fabric, in the exact same colors, also in a color block style that I used to wear.  My sister had given them to me 25 or so years ago. I particularly remember that I wore them on stage with bare feet and a tee shirt when my band Fur got back together for a couple of shows around 2000 and played Don Hills. I still remember the label inside them, which said Soda Pop.

Out of the blue tonight I heard my daughter repeating the word wow, over and over, in my bedroom, so of course I had to go check on her.  Shockingly, she stood there wide eyed holding those very same glitter hot pants, which  had been stuffed in the back of my underwear draw for a couple of decades along with a few other prized possessions. I have no idea how they made their way into her hands. She put them on insisting they fit, but they didn't really. I love them too much to let her trash them just yet, so I said I had something better for her.

Shockingly again, I was able to pull out a pair of soft stretchy silver glitter hot pants, of the same approximate vintage. I had bought them at Patricia Field's back in the day. I think they were intended for a man, or at least displayed on a male mannequin at the time. They are so tiny. They fit a kindergartener. Intended for ultra skimpy go go, like a low cut boyshort underwear, it is hard to believe that they used to fit me and that they used to look good on me, and that I wore them as clothes on occasion, but alas it is true.

Los Angeles is having a cold spell so I had my daughter put on a pair of grey knit leggings under the silver glitter shorts, which she insisted on wearing and which were appropriate on her. The shorts fit her like regular kids' shorts and betrayed nothing about their history. Only I knew. Still, she looked quite stylish rocking the House of Field. 

What goes around comes around. Enjoy your treasures. We all have a few somewhere.

Monday, November 23, 2015

46: THE ONLY TIME I FEEL ALRIGHT IS BY YOUR SIDE




why do I relate to so many kinks songs as a mom with young kids?

“I’m so tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you” when you have a 2 year old who wants to do everything by themselves and takes forever. Also the wait for the baby to come is quite hard, “ but you keepa me waiting…”

“ I want to be with you all of the time, all day and all of the night, the only time i feel alright is by your side!” there is that period where you never get a second to yourself, where all they want is to hang on you, be held by you, come n the bed with you, which is sweet but exhausting. And sometimes the tables are turned and you want to be with them all of the time, just because.

“Girl, you really got me now, you got me so I don’t know what I’m doing, oh yeah,You really got me now, you got me so I can’t sleep at night, you really got me.” those young years where your brain does not work and get NO sleep.

“where have all the good times gone”  the going out social life is over, replaced my domestic life, which is great but a big change.

I am not complaining, just saying…..

Lastly my little one has a four letter name with a couple of letters that are the same as LOLA, which makes it fun to sing, substituting her name, which works perfectly. L – O – L – A!

“set me free little girl. All I want you to do is set me free little girl”

listen to music, it is amazing. appreciate what you got, where you are at now, be here now, my friends because things change so fast.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

47: singles going steady


I listened to my three singles, the vinyl 45’s put out of my band Fur. It was interesting to hear them for so many reasons. I have one of those Cosley turntables right now, as our real turntable broke a while back and we just got the cheapy one just to have it and they sounded really crappy on that player. They are lo-fi, but recorded on 16 track tape and sound pretty great okn a real sound system. So it made me realize that I need to get a proper set up again.

The songs are pretty great. Ones I expected to not like so much I really liked. I am crazy for my phil spector style Christmas recording that really has not gotten the attention it deserves and I am figuring how to get in up on you tube. The lyrics are better than i remember in that they stand up to time and, the melodies are really catchy. It is fun to visit the past as I am trying to figure out my songs for my new band. Life is fun, explore everything, there is so much out there. 

this song was not released as a single, it was on the full length...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

48: your guitar sounds so sweet and clear


yesterday I started to think about writing music again, writing for myself, for my band. I have been writing published songs for the last 35 years and unpublished gems from the time I was in kindegarten for the last 45, but for the last decade or so I wrote only for and with other artists. So I started the process by thinking about what I wanted to say and how. It is weird because I am not hungry nor discontent anymore, I have nothing to prove, I am not interested in being judgmental and angry nor competitive. Those were all the things that drove me in the past so where does the drive come from now?

I know, I know, I write this bg everyday but the drive to write a blog is so different than the drive to write three minute pop nuggets and the material is so incompatible. Songs need to come from a really specific place, at least the songs I like do. It is interesting to explore how to proceed. I have a few clues, as someone who is quite competitive with me, who I do not interact with showed up in my feed and that gave me some ideas of where to get drive from. Maybe I am still competitive. Or maybe I need a muse? hmmmm

The hilarious thing about restarting this process is just how prehistoric my gear is. My guitar tuner, which was a gift and an update to the prehistoric one I used to have, and which I thought was super modern, is so dated that my bandmate called it old school. And the way I always wrote for myself was on a tape recorder and I just found out that it is hard to get cassette tapes these days, who knew? So I am dusting off my ancient artifacts and looking at how to write songs again. Talk about living it up these last two months of being in my 40’s!

It’s never too late to start ot to pick up where you left off.
TBC
Xh

Friday, November 20, 2015

49: heart and soul



yesterday was my 4th year anniversary of this blog! It was also my 50 days till 50. Now I am at 49 days left of being 49. A lot is going on.

I have been thinking about fear. The terrorists have really incited fear. I feel it in my body with every new news story. As a mom it is even more terrifying because it is not just me I fear for, I fear for my children and the world they will inherit. I fear for their safety and hope that they get to grow up and get to grow up with parents.

But alas, I am bigger than any of my fear. I am committed to choosing love, not fear. I am committed to living exactly as I would and believing in exactly what I believed in had not all of this horror happened and had not all these threats been made. I want to always stand on the right side of history, on the side of braveness, kindness, respect and love of humanity. I support accepting refugees. I am committed to looking past all labels and seeing all people as humans with families and hearts and souls. I refuse to allow fear con me into violating civil liberties, allowing censorship, alienating anyone because of religious beliefs, or chipping away at the freedoms expected as a US citizen (as if any of those things could have any positive consequences, ha!). We as a nation are better than that.

There will always be psychopaths out there, from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of tricks and agendas. There always has been. I might get momentarily scared, but at the end of the day when I gather myself and feel myself in my body, feet on the ground, blood moving through my heart, breath flowing in and out, everything is ok.  I am not afraid. 

just say it out loud. stand up for what you believe. it matters. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

50: get out of the house

yep, i got a sitter to go out to a fun event tonight, and the event got cancelled, so i am going out tonight to find and/or make a fun event. wish me luck.see you tomorrow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJMLJVha5sw

I will let Chellie Campbell write for us instead:
The Lesson I Learned From "Mr. Grumpy"

 - Excerpt from Chellie’s latest book “From Worry to Wealthy”

I experienced amazing joy and happiness one ordinary, unremarkable day, when I was playing poker. The clatter of chips and the shuffling of cards played background music to the conversation of the players. Now and then, the dealer would call “Seat open!” and a floorman would escort another player to a table.

The nine players at my table were all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some were Asian, some Persian, some black, some white-bread American like me. We were all enjoying the game, taking turns winning a pot, whining a little when we got beat.

A wizened old man who spoke with some sort of European accent was losing a bit more than the rest of us. I named him “Mr. Grumpy” in my mind as he threw his cards on the table with a curse again.

“Just take your losses with good grace or go home,” I thought primly to myself.

A brash young player named David sitting next to me lost his patience. “Don’t throw your cards like that,” he lectured the old man. “Mr. Grumpy” yelled back at him and as he did, his shirt sleeve fell askew, and I saw the tattoo on his arm. A blue tattoo, a number. Like they engraved on you at Auschwitz. Or Sobibor. Or Bergen-Belsen. As he stood up waveringly, clutching his cane, and then stalked off for a few minutes, I thought of what horrors this man had seen, what terrors he must have endured in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

David hadn’t noticed it. He continued to complain about the old man shuffling out the door.

 “They should reprimand him for throwing cards,” he said angrily. “He shouldn’t be allowed to play.”

“He has a tattoo,” I said.

All the players looked at me.

“He has a tattoo,” I said again. “Here.” I motioned to my arm. “A concentration camp tattoo.”

“Oh.”

“Oh.”

Nothing else was said. In the silence, I could see everyone at the table making an inner shift to understanding, sorrow, kindness. He had a tattoo. We all knew what it meant. And we knew that none of us knew what it meant.

When he came back to the table, the Chinese man next to him helped him with his chair. The Iranian player smiled and nodded. The old man showed his cards at the end of the next hand he played, and several people said, “Nice hand.” I saw David’s winning cards as he folded them face down and smiled at me conspiratorially. “Good job, David,” I whispered, as we watched our newly discovered friend rake in the pot. A little moment, a little gift, a little win. But I had won something bigger than a few chips that day.

As I threw my own cards into the muck, my focus on the game dissolved; I looked around the tables at the players and saw Indians, Arabs, Persians, Israelis, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. I saw African-Americans, Jamaicans, Latinos, Swedes, French, Vietnamese, and Thai. Men, women, old, young, sober, tipsy, rich, poor, criminal, virtuous, all were playing.

And in that moment, I saw the tattoos on all of them. Tattoos of sorrows endured and tragedies survived. Tattoos written in invisible ink of courage, of shame, of glory. And all these tattooed warriors sat next to each other, playing the next hand they were dealt in the card game of life.

In that moment, I just loved everyone in the room, and in all rooms everywhere.

And so, sometimes, when someone is cranky, or tired, or out-of-sorts, I recall that somewhere deep, in some hidden spot on their soul, they wear a tattoo. They’ve suffered in ways of which I am unaware. They’re struggling with issues I may not have had to face. I’ve heard it said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” Yes. We all carry sorrows and wounds from the past.

When I am conscious enough, I smile at them in remembrance of this ordinary day when, for a few brief moments, I knew that and honored them all.

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chellie Campbell is the creator of the Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops, and author of The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy. She has been prominently quoted as a financial expert in the Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping, Lifetime, Essence, Woman’s World and more than 50 popular books. She can be reached at Chellie@chellie.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

51: go with the flow, don't sweat the small stuff


I lost my wedding ring last week. It was a new one that I wore day and night, slept and bathed in. it was so comfortable I never took it off and it was so comfortable I did not even notice when it slipped off, I think it was when I was in the ocean. My wedding ring started as a pink plastic template ring, then was an astronomically luxurious chunky diamond covered ring from India via barney’s that could not get wet. And even though I am much like a precious Indian princes that is dainty and delicate and careful to never wet her hands, I could not handle the pressure and returned it, only to find a similar ring on the black market, alas, I am so lucky. I wear my water-free ring on special occasions but I recently wanted a ring to wear daily and got it. it came and went. Luckily, I am not a suspicious person about this stuff. I am married to an amazing man and losing my ring has nothing to do with that. I will get another and another if need be. And I will keep you posted on further developments. After all, …”love is a ring, the telephone”.

remember to honor who you are.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

making life itself



So at one point I was doing fertility when we were trying to have a baby. I had been confident that there was no such thing as a biological clock when it came to me. I was shocked that I did not just get pregnant when we decided to try, but alas, I wound up doing three rounds of in vitro to try and make a family.

All kinds of things happened when I would go to see my doctor, which was quite often. There was the earthquake I mentioned. There was also this gorgeous person who had the same name as my sister who I would see signed in when I would go. I loved seeing my sister’s name on the list. It made me feel safe, like she was there with me. I took it as a sign that I was on the right path. One day this beautiful woman comes up to me (the one who has my sister’s name, though I did not now it yet) and I figure she was going to tell me that we had the same last name but actually she recognized me from the neighborhood, and had no idea we had the same last name. We became good friends.

When you do in vitro fertilization, a doctor takes your eggs out of your body and fertilizes them in a petri dish. When the embryos grow to a certain stage, the doctor put them back into your body, into your uterus in the hopes they will thrive.
They give you a valium to relax you for the procedure. I only took half and I was as floppy as a rag doll and as giddy as a child. I could not stand or walk and I just kept laughing hysterically.

The amazing part is that the doctor has to steer a catheter loaded with your embryos into your uterus and so she uses an ultrasound monitor to show her the path. When she gets to the right spot she transfers them by squirting the embryos out of the catheter. They are microscopic but on the monitor you see the fluid they are contained in shoot into the void and dance across the screen like a shooting star in the elegant universe. It is such a beautiful moment, so much potential, so much hope, so much possibility.


The woman with my sister’s was in the waiting room and President Obama was being sworn into office on tv as they told me I had miscarriaged. HOPE. Loss. Life. And many many feeling later, fate. It all works out the way it supposed to. I have the most perfect and amazing two kids in the world.  Enjoy the amazing ride.


Monday, November 16, 2015

53: i have no idea

I really have no idea what to say today. After sitting here for quite a spell, blank, the story that comes to mind makes no sense as to why it came up, but here it is.

When I was doing fertility treatment, I was at the doctor's a lot. My Doctor was a beautiful and always put together woman who wore great Manolo Blahnik heels with her doctor coat. The office was in a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles.

One day I was leaving my appointment, chatting with the doctor as  I got up from the chair in her office. I was facing the doctor and facing the window behind her that over looked downtown Los Angeles. Suddenly the scene outside the window swung by like a camera panning across a vista. The whole word was moving. The steady view out of a window was not steady at all but moving and moving fast. My brain went through a rolodex to figure out what was going on...??... movie?...movie???...E A R T H Q U A K E !

I made the doctor get under the desk with me, because that is what you are supposed to do during an earthquake. She did not want to. She stayed till the sweeping stopped and then  got out of the office fast. I stayed a little longer to make sure it had stopped. The building was on rollers, so even though it was a minor quake, we swayed a great deal.

Anyway, it was pretty scary. I had to walk down the 20 flights or so and I worried that another quake might hit while I was in the staircase, but everything was fine Then when ever I went back to the office the staffed kidded me for going under the desk and making Dr. Blahnik follow.

I might have to visit this story again tomorrow. not sure why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H71VEV1c_XE

Sunday, November 15, 2015

54: fallout




I am so tired and beat up after this course of events. I was barely able to write last night. My plan was to jot down a line about how bad I felt and then I realized that I needed to explain why and that lead me to telling the story of Nick Alexander, my friend who was killed by the terrorists at the nightclub in Paris http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/11/55-hold-light.html
After the first line I knew that the post needed to be only about him and nothing else and somehow writing gave me the strength to tell the story. And I was happy that my writing helped a few people.

The part I left out is that I am haunted by the idea of my smiling friend mowed down by a machine gun. It is too overwhelming to fully accept. I have not directly known anyone who was murdered (that I can recall at this moment). I have felt like I have the flu. I had chills, body ache and an imagined fever and it is hard to parent, or even eat. I feel unable to change a fucking diaper. My husband let me sleep till noon yesterday but today I had to participate more and it is exhausting. Grief is a long process. My experience is minor compared to what his family and loved one’s are going through, and so many families in Paris and the world. I am sending love and empathy to all affected. Love to all around the world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

55: hold the light

My friend Nick Alexander was murdered last night in the Paris nightclub attack. Nick did merch for touring bands, sold the t shirts and music and whatever else. We met when he did merch on a tour I was on when I played a few show in England several years ago. The guy was really special and sweet. On a night when everyone had hotel rooms and I was supposed to sleep in the bus alone, due to my low budget, he let me sleep in his bed and he took the floor, a true gentleman.

He slept on my couch a couple of nights when he visited Los Angeles. It might have been his first visit, not sure. On another visit, he came to the Day of the Dead celebration at the Hollywood Forever graveyard with me and my husband. If you read my blog you know it is an event I am really fond of, which celebrates those who have left us, on a night when, according to tradition, the veil is thinnest between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Nick was easy to be around, soft and cool and positive, always smiling. He just had a lust for life and wanted to see the world and meet people and travel and be involved in the music scene. And he did that, which is awesome; Nick lived the life he wanted, an achievement not that many succeed at. And he died doing that.

He was shot by terrorists while working the merch table in a nightclub in Paris. Nick died in the arms of a friend who loved him, a friend he called to hang out with because he was on tour in her city. His last day was spent having a good time with a friend. They were shot together while they lay on the floor during the attack. She held him in her arms and told him she loved him and tried to save his life, but couldn't. It gives me comfort to know that he was not alone and scared, but held and loved and cared for in his final moments. Fuck fear, love will always prevail, this I know.

Fun and warm and big hearted, Nick Alexander had so many friends and was truly loved by so many people, and that, my dear readers, is the measure of a successful life.

I will keep him in my heart always, especially every year when I celebrate the Day of the Dead.  As a great friend reminded me today, let us all continue to hold the light.

"Love and peace and rock and roll, dear Nick."

https://vimeo.com/43308455


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“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

Friday, November 13, 2015

56: How to have no regrets



How to have no regrets in around 13 easy steps:Tell the people in your life that you love them. Hug your kids a lot and play with them (even when it is boring and you have to force yourself). Call your parents. Act kind and patient to the people who annoy you, and if you cannot detach with love, then detach with politeness. Do random acts of kindness that you do not tell anyone about. Give some of your money to those less fortunate, even if you think you cannot afford to. You can always afford to and there is always someone less fortunate. Honor yourself and your story and your hardships and work to get over them. Practice gratitude, appreciate EVERYTHING that you have- so many gifts.  Do not take people for granted. Admit when you are wrong and say you are sorry when you mess up. Hand out sincere compliments all over the place, they are free and easy. Have dreams and take actions towards them, even when it is scary. Laugh a lot, everyday. Say I love you a lot.

i am not great at all of these things, but i try.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

let freedom ring


sometimes I cannot write what is happening. I feel very frustrated when I cannot express my truth because I need to protect someone’s privacy. Growing up I was taught and made to protect people by not telling the truth, so as an adult, I love shouting the truth from the mountain tops, let freedom ring. I do it face to face but sometimes I can’t make it public, for great reasons, not for oppressive reasons. Still, it rings a similar bell, it feels similar somewhere and it makes me itchy. But alas, similar is different from the same. I remain silent today for really different great reasons. I will just leave you with this…

let freedom ring, tell someone.
love, love, love, love, love love, love.

way too tired to be typing....xh

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

58: it is all there waiting for you



One time this hip cool record label offered to put out my bands full length record lp. It motivated me to record. They changed their mind, but it did not change what the inspirtion had done. We were disappointed for a quick spell and then life got great elsewhere.

Then one time this guy offered to make a life with me, or that was my interpertation. His notion inspired me to think in those terms and it made me ready for the life I am living, a life I did not yet know I wanted. Later he changed his mind, but it did not change what the inspiration had done. I was disappointed for a while and then life got great elsewhere. 

See were this is going. It has already arrived. Never sweat the rejection, it is normal, part of the struggle. You are so very loved. it is all there waiting for you. I promise


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

59: 100 random words



counting days backwards really illustrates how time flies. I cannot believe I am in the 50’s, almost halfway through my last 100 days on this side of the mountain.

Just to follow up, my mother and I took turns and held each others brainstems, as promised.  It was a good step in our long journey. http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/11/2-profound-thingswhy-arent-you.html

Sometimes it takes writing nothing to get to writing something. My job is to type and stay out of judgment. I never know which blogs people will respond to. I am always surprised by the ones that get a lot of buzz. xxLove H

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weird gift

about 7 years ago I started doing this Buddhist practice where I would ask to relieve some of the world's suffering by taking on a little extra. I was childless and had time and energy and it felt like a way to be of service in the world, a way to do something, anything, about the bigger terrible things that go on in the world that we can feel so helpless over. Then, at some point the idea was in conflict with an idea I practiced of creating the life you want through having a vision and focusing on positive things. ( i probably have more to say about that at some point). Anyway. I stopped doing the practice of taking on suffering but indeed as life would have it, I was hit with a wall of suffering in a legal battle. I took on suffering to prevent another's suffering. It was devastating and I survived. It worked. Things are  much better now.

As my sister once put it, in regard to an unrelated incident, and I imperfectly quote her "that is what you want, you want to take the hit for your kids, so they don't have to."

Well recently, I read about someone's struggle with a newborn in the nicu and an insurance company fighting them and a 2 million dollar bill and I related so deeply. So again I asked the universe to give me just a tiny share of their suffering, to relieve them a bit.

Now every dreadful thing that happens to me, like my kid throwing up in my bed and whatever other super inconvenience happens, I just say "Thank you. Thank you. No one died. I have the strength to handle this, I am so lucky and blessed. thank you." It has been a weird gift because it gives all of my pain purpose. I hope it helps someone somewhere.

I know. I know. I am just trying to make sense of the great divine mystery of life. It is all good.

Be of service. what else is there?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw1ofTgPtc4

Sunday, November 8, 2015

61: do what you love and go see legends who do what they love

saw Art Garfunkel play live tonight. He opened with April Come She will, followed by The Boxer, which made me weep. At 74 the man still has the voice of an angel. So talented and humble and gracious and inspiring.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCVnPIE3juc

Saturday, November 7, 2015

62: jeepers creepers so much happens every day



I love when someone else makes me a salad. All of the same ingredients I would put in it taste so much better.

I had the best seaside lobster today.

I am convinced that being in a band is changing everything in my life for the better. So much change has catapulted through my routine and through my brain since that simple show I did two weeks ago. Two weeks. It feels like  years! I really did not think about ever being in a band again. No interest. And then after doing it by chance really, I see how singing and using my body in such a full capacity really expands everything else in my life and about my life. The art of doing creative work and having it feel good and serve you lies somewhere on the head of a pin in the mix and mess of desire and detachment, wanting it and being able to let it go. The art of doing anything and having it feel good and serve you lies there.

The big family outing today was imperfect and exhausting, but glorious at moments, as I never thought it would be warm enough to swim in the sea so I did not even bother with suits and towels and me and the kids wound up in our underwear in the pacific because it was too delectable to pass up on. I imagined my grey boyshorts looked like a suit. Maybe?

Take off your clothes and jump in!!

Ps. I LOVE Irish bands, feels like home…

Friday, November 6, 2015

2 profound things/why aren't you different part II



My mom is in town and all kinds of things are coming up and shifting. You can read more about it from yesterday http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/11/why-arent-you-different.html

Anyway, the two things I wanted to add are that I had booked my mom a place to stay in the neighborhood and before I booked it I told her about it and told her it was not refundable. I really wanted her to be close by so she could be of help to me with the 2 kids in the morning and after dinner when I really need it.

When she got to the place she said she would not stay there for various reasons that did not make sense to me but did to her. It was really upsetting to me but I accepted the financial loss and accepted that she needed to do what she needed to do. Urg, it was such an excruciating costly lesson, booking a non-refundable room for her was a mistake. It really helped me get clear about my expectations. I did not beat myself up over the mistake. I just accepted that I made a mistake, all in the name of longing for her to be something I wanted her to be, which she isn’t. I feel like that incident really drove home for me my part in this equation. I just kept hearing a voice say “you do not have to go down the old road right now.” I felt it being shouted from the mountaintop. “Let go of the expectations and illusions and be in reality, kiddo. Its time.” Although it was a massive and impressive shift, it was also easy and casual. Hmmmmm.

The other really interesting thing that happened was that I took a chance and suggested we do this thing together that I learned in trauma recovery. When I was in court over my daughter it was an almost unlivable experience. I learned how to process and survive the trauma of it by doing various bodywork techniques. One thing that helped was having my brain stem held to calm my nervous system. It was a way to access the ancient reptilian part of the brain and let it know that everything was ok. I showed my husband how to do it and each night for months we would talk turns holding each other’s brainstem for five minutes. I know it kept me sane and grounded and I might venture to say that I think it kept me alive.

So I had the idea that if my mother and I did this exercise to each other maybe it would calm some of the old traumatic energy that inevitably comes up when we are in close proximity. I was actually scared to ask her because it is an intimate thing to do and that is scary. Anyway, I did and she agreed and actually wants to do it. So I will keep you posted.

Break your denial and take risks. If I can do it you can do it.