My Dad used to play boogie woogie piano so fast I wondered how his hands could move like that…we would all gather around… Mom on the guitar. Everyone picked up a tambourine or conga drum, a pan and spoon, or just a harmony…and the neighbors would wander down…hearing the ruckus coming through the windows…his old favorites play in my dreams at night…
And one of mine…
Just Sayin’….Thanks, Nadine…I was needing that.
This happens to be one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, the very romantic comedy, The Holiday:
“You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake…” I think it’s one of my favorite movie scenes because I have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in therapy trying to learn some common sense – the common sense that says: if you are trying too hard, stop. Just stop. You checked your self-respect and integrity at the door of Narcissist Land. Pick them up on your way back out – running!
My life has been changing rapidly these past few weeks. In transition now for the past couple of years, I hope to be able to settle soon into a new home in a new city, and begin a new life…it is terrifying and exciting. With the impending move, an acquaintance is becoming a friend, and she is going through a painful breakup. We are examining our addictions to emotionally unavailable men, and reflecting on our co-dependent behaviors. Blah blah blah…there’s THAT ugly subject again.
But I am more intensely -and consciously- dealing with my loneliness as I distance myself from close proximity to the alcoholics and addicts I LOVE…some of my closest family and friends. According to Melody Beattie of Codependent No More, I am not an enabler…I am a Master Enabler. And having just celebrated my sixtieth birthday, it is time to grow up…insert here Neil Sedaka singing…but replace the word BREAKING with the word GROWING! That’s a gas, man…
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” -Agnes Repplier, The Treasure Chest
“The light has come.” -ACIM, Lesson 75
For my darling women friends, and my dear new friend…she knows who she is!
Here is an old video taken from my favorite blog, Content In A Cottage…it cheers me to no end! Lucky children to have her as their second grade teacher…
Last week a friend emailed a song for me to download onto my iTunes, a song that she felt would help inspire me through this tumultuous time as I move into my new life. As is often the case, the YouTube song brought up others by the same artist. I have never been familiar with the music of Nina Simone, but I am smitten. She sings ’em like she means ’em…
The song Nadine sent:
And this week’s theme:
No more doubts, no more fears…XO
Life in a human body is pretty terrifying much of the time, isn’t it?! I woke at four a.m. this morning in a state of terror, as I often do. I am talking physiological adrenaline rushing hot nauseous get to the toilet my life is being threatened terror. Not panic – this is not your run of the mill anxiety attack. Xanax won’t help this.
Is my life being threatened? Only by stress. I will spare you the tedious list of accumulated problems, but in fact, I am not in any immediate danger. I do not have any life threatening disease. I am not going hungry. The wolves at the door are virtual…my brain and body, however, are taking the information fed them daily from the onslaught of difficulties, and creating an emotional swamp of harmful interpretations…
Pardon me, but fuck this shit.
At this rate the miss-interpretations themselves might kill me. At four in the morning there isn’t anyone to call…and so, I do the only thing I can do: I turn on the light, sometimes several – and chase the demons by reading from The Course in Miracles. I know some people can get solace from reading the Bible. It doesn’t work for me. This does. Something in these pages seeps in through the heart pounding terror and the tears blurring the pages and slows the effects…even though, most of the time, I don’t understand a thing it is talking about.
The itchy hotness becomes a comforting warmth…my heart rate steadies…I begin to notice clues in my immediate environment that would indicate danger is abated – like my dogs are snoring. And slowly my body begins to relax, and then finally I am in the world…but not of it. Love wins.
This is freedom. The goal, of course, is to live in this state, whether danger is real or imagined…whether pain is physical or psychological, whether the words make sense or nothing does. It takes practice…and it’s the only game in town. This is the science of magic! Sometimes, I even get my sense of humor back…daylight come and we wanna go home…
Pete Seeger has died. My Mother was a big Pete Seeger fan…as a teenager, listening outside her closed bedroom door to her morning guitar practice, I heard a timid rendition of Worried Man over and over and over. I thought she was unbearably weird. Had the word NERD but been invented, it could have explained my tortured existence. Trust me when I say that folk music was not cool then.
Little did I know her qualifications to sing the blues, something she kept well hidden from her darling children. As Pete says here, this song is the whole human race. She understood..”a little bitty hand was waving after me.”
But now in my backward wisdom, I believe the old band is getting back together…Mom was nothing if not determined and persistent in her practice, and it’s paying off…listen…hear them?
For Doris, Johnny and Pete, forever young.
But before we get to the interior design stuff…yes, I know I’ve been promising…I’ll make good…but meanwhile – have you noticed something? Is it just me, or does it seem like life has suddenly gotten very real here on earth? There is Pope Francis, who even those of us not Catholic – or even religious – can actually relate to…like he’s a real down to-earth-in-touch-with-what’s-going-on-out-here person…
And then, there’s Commander Chris Hadfield singing to us:
Check out his video series, and his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth…We might be getting the hang of this! And maybe just in the nick of time…our hearts are opening…and we are waking up to the beauty all around and within each one of us.
Happy. New. Year. Yes, Thank you…don’t mind if I do….
P.S: Can’t resist:
One year ago I started this blog. I thought it would be a blog about interior design…I just didn’t realize it would be about MY interior – literally. I was in crisis – physically, mentally, and certainly emotionally. I don’t care to review that…I am more than ready to move on. But this has served to help in my healing process in more ways than I could have imagined then. And now – now I am so looking forward to this new year, to see what it holds, to experience the changes that have only just begun to manifest…Thank you for joining me.
Happy New Year.
Oh how very, very blessed I am feeling today…a quiet day cooking at home with my son, Steven. We put Playing for Change on the radio as we snack on deviled eggs and prepare our Thanksgiving feast: Roast turkey, baked sweet potatoes, wild rice, steamed broccoli and carrots, a big, bold salad full of olives and avocado, cranberry sauce, and on and on…almost too much. We talk about how fortunate we are. Steven is ten years a survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Most members of our family have survived cancer; we have all survived generations of physical, sexual and mental abuse, and most every addiction known. Steven gets to count today as one successful day without a cigarette.
We are alone today because our family is widespread across the Midwest and south to Florida, with friends around the country…I am estranged from a sister, but spoke to my niece at their house. They are eating well despite the hardships. My father, alive eight years out from a terminal diagnosis, is having too much food with my brother. The same is true for my other siblings…
Today my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. I hope yours is, too. My dogs get gravy on their food tonight. I shovel snow to get out to fill the suet cages and watch the patient woodpeckers fly in. I pray for grace for all those displaced and hungry who aren’t enjoying our bounty. I am thankful to all of the soldiers willing to put their own lives aside for this privilege, even as I pray that we soon find another way to coexist on this shrinking planet.
For Steven. Thanks, Babe. I love you.
“Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. Lay down the cruel sword of judgement you hold against your own throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.” -A Course in Miracles