Kristina Furey

"Simply The Best" --Tina Turner

 

Very few people know this.  A year ago this week, Dan was taken to the hospital at 2am.  He was very sick and though he was released a few hours later, he spent at least a 24-hour period in bed.  In between grappling with my own fears, crying and grieving my mother's recent passing, I would check on him.  The few people I shared this experience with later, said things like, “you should have called me!” “I would have come.” The problem was I couldn't deal with it and I couldn't explain it to someone else, who has no experience of exactly where I have been or how my experiences have shaped me.  Most people have glimpses of us and most of those glimpses we allow, are carefully chosen, based on our relationship to that person and what we want them to know about us. We are creatures that edit ourselves based on our own perceptions of the other person. Our egos and our fears are often in control of the way we try to have others see us.   Even when we implement the editing action, precisely as we feel necessary, we still face the fact that the other person will see us based on their own perception, which really has nothing to do with us. Not wholly anyways. I have been heartbroken over this fact, too many times to bare the action of reaching out at certain moments. This was a lesson I learned the hard way, when I was young.  But the lesson has helped me manage my way through difficult times and walk bravely through the fear, allowing me to be, who I came to be. “You don't have to trust anyone but yourself. If you can trust yourself to handle whatever comes your way, you'll be okay”. I was trusting myself not to reach out because I knew disappointment in someone else at that crucial moment might have been more than I could bare and the only person that I could share with and know would relate to me and the way I needed to be related to, was in the bedroom trying to recover from a pretty horrific night.  

So why now?  Why share this?  Because if there was one message I would want to leave with people, it would be this, “Appreciate the people in your life”.  You never know when, “The last time, will be the last time, will be the very last time, you see somebody”. It is a strange world when strangers are kinder to people than their own family members are.  It is a sad world when we need to create a word like “Frenemy”. It is a confusing world when people think things or say things like “You should know it's sarcasm because it's not how I honestly feel”.  I witness this and I can't help but think the art of appreciation is in danger and perhaps many people lacking appreciation are too…

Yesterday morning, I saw this thing on Tina Turner on CBS and she spoke about her hardships and she spoke about her husband and his love for her and hers for him and how it has literally saved her life.  His love, his appreciation, I felt thankful for her that she finally got that from a man. She is, “Simply The Best” and certainly deserves it! It helped me understand why I needed to be alone that day Dan was so sick.  I needed a day to sit and think and appreciate, the wonderful man I have in my life!

 

Last night I was catching up on Season 4 of Schitt's Creek and like a magical force, sending this message home, Patrick serenaded David with a very different and equally wonderful rendition of "Simply The Best" I thought about a song I wrote for Dan, years ago, right before our anniversary. In honor of my appreciation for Dan, I figured I would share it, here.

Please don't lose the art of appreciation. Hold onto it with everything you have! I leave you with a link to one of the first cover songs Dan and I learned, "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson.

 

How a hoarder is made w/bonus vlog

 

I have been going through things I brought back from my parents.  Some things that, as I packed them, I had ideas for and some I had no idea why I needed them but I had some compulsion I couldn't shake and so I brought them home with me.  Now there's a room in my home that looks like a pack rat lives in there.  I guess today we would call them a hoarder.  Dan and I gave away 1/3rd of our stuff before our move to Florida and it's like it showed up again in a different form.  I'm going through some real emotional stuff as I go through it and don't get me started on the baggage in my head that I thought I let of, the beast that has been stirred ;-)  It's a slow, tiring process and one I thought was taking a bigger toll on me as I thought it was physically exhausting me but it turns out my thyroid medication just needed to be adjusted.  Fingers crossed that I will have new found energy, so I can hopefully work my way through, with less resistance.  It's a learning process.  I keep having these epiphanies!  I thought I would try to share some of what I am going through and though I do prattle on, I think I have uncovered a few gems and know I have uncovered some beautiful artwork. 

Link to my video blog "Before Thelma and Louise

My photo of shame

 

Why I stayed silent (that time)

 

“To know of a terrible injustice is a tragedy, but to know of a tragedy and not speak of the horrific injustice is, in itself, a crime against humanity.”--Yehuda Halevi


I had just performed Dianna Ross’ “Upside Down” for some, end of the year talent show.  I had changed my clothes and fixed my hair, in a teacher's bathroom, in the Arts Hall, behind the stage side of the auditorium, before heading on stage. I left my stuff in a bag, in that bathroom, as did some other people. I was thrilled, as it was the last performance of the year and within a month, I would be graduated from high school.  I was happy with my performance and on my way to retrieve my bag of stuff, when I turned the corner and noticed the group of guys hanging around the bathroom. My instincts told me they were up to no good and I assumed they were rummaging through the bags of stuff and stealing. My keys were in my bag and I thought, if I go over there now and confront them, I'm more likely to get my keys. As I walked down that hall I could feel my body becoming more compact, like it was preparing for whatever blow may come my way.  This wasn't the first time I had to summon up my braver self and she seemed to weigh about 20 pounds more than her less sure counterpart. The guys parted as I began to walk into the bathroom and it was then, that I realized, one of the guys was peeing in the toilet.  I turned around, and walked back to the other hallway and stood in the corner between the two. As I walked away from the bathroom, I said over my shoulder, “Okay, I did not need to see that! Could you tell me when he's done, I just need my stuff”.  


I remembered an old cartoon strip.  Picture, of the back of a man in a trench coat.  In the front he was holding the trench coat open.  Apparently, showing the woman standing in front of him, the full Monty.  Her retort, “Oh, no thanks. I've got one at home just like it”. I was commending myself for handling the situation as well as I did.  Well, I thought was, handling it…


“He's done!' Someone or a couple someones said. So I went to retrieve my bag.  As I went to pick my bag up off the floor, I heard the door slam behind me. There was no doubt in my mind, I was in trouble.  Thank God, it was just one of the guys. I believe it was the one that was peeing. I didn't recognize him for anyone I had seen before.  I learned later in a comment he made that he went to another school. He walked toward me, saying, “We have got to hook up!” He was about to grab me. (I've often wondered just what happened to me mentally in the time that followed, between those words and me getting out of that room. Some other part of me took over.) I grabbed a curling iron that was in my bag, yanked it out as I demanded, “Open that door!"  He turned around and began to turn the knob. He said, “It's stuck, they’re holding it from the outside. Here, try it”! So I started yelling, something like, “You better let go of that door and let me out right this minute or your friend is going to get hurt.” I turned the knob. The door opened and I was out, walking down the hall and I was off to find my friend.  I think I said something to my friend when I found her… Interesting to me, my memory is fuzzy on events before and after the incident in the bathroom. I do however, remember being verbally harassed, very briefly, by the guy that had been in the bathroom. I think he was trying to save face with his friends. That happened maybe all of 15 minutes after the incident. I do think they may have been on something...


An aside: I was taught to assume the best of others.  I tend to think one person is just a sampling of their surroundings and experiences. I look at this incident and other ones I've been subjected to, as clues to where we are as a society and symptoms like this, indicate to me, an unbalanced society.  I tend see us as fractals of that society and it's my belief that an unbalanced society, is indicative of the individuals in it. It appears to me, that we need balance in our society and the way to get that, is by respecting each member enough to value them and their quality of life, the way we value ourselves and our own quality of life. When each of us trust that we are equally valued and protected under our nation's laws, that's when we become balanced as a nation. That said, if the choice were mine to make, I would make sure those appointed to our highest level of court, those set in place to keep the balance of our society, were without a doubt, without suspicion.  I realize life is unfair and I am sure it would be hard for Kavanaugh to be so close to that promotion and not receive it, especially if he is innocent of the charges, as he says he is. For the greater good of our society, I think it wise, a more suitable candidate be appointed. If Ford is remembering and telling the events as they happened (I have no reason to believe she is not) I commend her courage.


My story continued: I have wondered what would have happened if I had come forward with the events of what took place in that teacher's bathroom and within that back hall…  I expect it would have shook things up in that school, the community and made the final month of my senior year, hell for me. I was disgruntled at being there and had only come to that school one year before, with the attitude, “I just have to do my time here and then I can get on with my life”.  It was that same mantra that I repeated as I decided to let it go and just deal with the anxiety it caused me.


One more thought: There was a senior football player in that school, my senior year, who broke into the school as a “boy's will be boys” kind of “prank”.  As I heard it, he was expelled, unable to attend graduation and lost a scholarship, as well as acceptance to college.  I have this memory of him, earlier that school year, when he was still on his course to greatness and astounded, that I didn't know who he was, as he filled me in on the details of everybody's all American...  I wonder sometimes, if he ever found his way, after that stupid mistake he made… Maybe I'm just trying to justify that letting the incident in the bathroom go, was the right decision for me. Maybe I need to do that so I don't feel as if I failed myself in some way... but something in me felt that I was okay, my body was unharmed at least. I wanted to believe I was strong enough to take what I felt was the higher road as I had been groomed all my life to do. Also, it's like if someone stabs you and walks away, once you get that knife out, you don't want to pick it up and start jabbing it back in you or hand that knife to someone, say "help me" when you are uncertain if they will or if they will start stabbing you with it, maybe even invite the original assailants to join in... Now that's just me and the way I was taught growing up. It doesn't mean it's right but I don't think it's wrong either. I think it's up to our judicial system and all those appointed, along with those that appoint, to honor society and the positions they are in by doing the best they can to balance the justice in our nation. So we can all feel safe and trust, that we can ask for help and get it. I don't feel comfortable with the idea that someone's life is over because they didn't receive the guidance each one of us should get on human rights, equality and why it is important, we each weigh our choices carefully to promote a just society. I realize, I myself have followed others down paths in an attempt to fit in and utilized poor judgement in those moments. By the grace of God, I somehow got through unscathed and not because I deserved to but given those second chances and some time to grow, I got better at choosing. (until tomorrow comes and I'm faced with all new challenges but hopefully I will make good decisions.) I have played my own part in distasteful behaviors towards others, that I doubt you will ever hear me talk about or post here. Way I see it, We can't go back but we can go forward and when we know better, really know better and have the ability, we do better. It's up to us to do what we can from where we are and build on that. I keep challenging myself, to do the best I can to educate people, when I witness acts of ignorance and injustices. I try and I try to stay open to the people that take time to kindly educate me.  We are what makes up our society and our choices are what we are made of. If I could go back to, just post, the bathroom incident, I would walk away just the same. I would never report the incident but I would contact the boys by mail soon afterwards and let them know, how their actions affected me. I would ask them to consider how they would have felt had they found themselves in that position, alone, surrounded and faced with the possibility they would be raped by guys bigger than themselves. I would ask them to consider the idea of females in their lives, that they love being faced with that. I would tell them, they made a mistake. A mistake that they might have lost their futures over and found themselves in that exact scenario (a bathroom, alone, surrounded by men, only in a prison system), had things escalated. I would assure them that I, having experienced that and the anxiety it created in me, would not want that for anyone else and since things did not escalate, I will just leave them with a warning for now but I have written about the incident in my journal, for my parents to find, should something happen to me and so I could show up in court, in the future, should they be part of anything like this again.

I leave you with this speech from the beloved TV show, "Lost" "Live together, die alone speech"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr1Gjwf_kWg JAck

 

"There eyes are glazed as if captured in a moment of time"

 

"All my dolls have seen better days their hair is frizzed their limbs are torn and their eyes are glazed as if captured in a moment of time. All my dolls I've loved them all but every little girl must fall. Every father dreads the day, it's not Prince Charming taking their daughter away. Mother wishes her daughter best, just hopes she finds her happiness. The dolls are too soon pushed away and fire seems to take their place.

The pigtails were homely and mother wished that I could learn to brush my hair, that I would take a care to how I looked. All the fashions never fit. If they did they were too expensive. All the pimples made it worse. My looks, they were my only curse. Mother's secrets, all passed down. Daddy's busy, not around. The dolls were all replaced by fears of bastard children if you didn't take care. And if by chance you had a girl, what you wanted for yourself, you must have for her but unless she keeps her innocence, she'll never really get her prince. If she is to stay naive, she'll never have the chance to be, she'll never have a chance to know, never have a chance to grow. All my dolls have seen better days, their hair is frizzed, their limbs are torn and their eyes are glazed, as if captured in a moment of time." ---From my journal dated 6/26/86 at 11:42 p.m.  I titled it, "All My Dolls."
 
Today while listening to an interview on Fresh Air with Author, Linda Kay Klein, I found my heart pumping in that anxious way, it often does before I say or do something or blog something that scares the heck out of me but would scare me more, if I didn't answer to that part of me that yells in the back of my head, "Do something, ANYTHING!!! Just don't let this moment pass by. You are a muscle, the world has built, using the resistance of those negative experiences you have witnessed, been exposed to or endured, as much as by every kindness or blessing tossed your way to be paid forward.  It's time to flex in an effort to help create the change the world is in need of." These moments, are always the hardest but I would be kidding myself, if I actually thought it would do me any good to close my eyes, look the other way or keep my mouth shut. That would be in direct conflict with what the world has created me to be and why I exist. So, here I go… asking you, to please, listen to the interview with the understanding that this is something most girls struggle with, whether or not they’re raised in a religious environment.  

We live in a world of double standards and one that scapegoats and controls females and their sexuality.  It is cruel to put so many conflicting beliefs in a young girl's head, set her up for failure regardless of the path she chooses (Madonna/whore crap) and to make her feel responsible for any unwanted attention that comes her way! It also hurts everyone who is affected by the fall out, when a woman lacks confidence in something as beautiful as her individual sexuality. It ruins relationships, marriages, families and lives. We owe it to all, to educate all people to respect their own and everyone else’s sexuality. I think it was a real miss when Jocelyn Elders was passed over. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up.) We need to empower the young to understand their bodies own them and be confident enough to say, "You may be a doctor" religious leader or other person of some esteemed position "but this is MY BODY and I am uncomfortable with this!"  Everywhere around us we seem to see more and more evidence, that it is time to set boundaries here.  We need them, to keep ourselves and loved ones from becoming"victims" or "perpetrators".  We need these boundaries so we, as bystanders, understand, when, we need to step in and divert the allowances that lead to abuses.  (Obviously, many people are confused on this, if you listen to all the stories in the media about the people who knew of these “indiscretions” but never spoke out or diverted the would be “perpetrators”.  Maybe I shouldn’t but I feel a need to give them the benefit of doubt.  If, all around them, it seems par for the course, they might just assume there is some unspoken rule in society, that when you reach a certain esteemed position in life, your will is catered to, past our laws or morale teachings.  Especially, once they’ve witnessed what happens to those who refuse to play by those unspoken rules and speak up on behalf of victims entangled in these “indiscretions.”)  I was brought up to believe we are all a part of this society and it is our duty, to do our part, to hold each one of it’s members, in balance but even I’m beginning to find my efforts weakened by the blurred lines… (sigh)
 
Yesterday, in another interview, I heard Sally Field say "There are patterns that get set up in your life that as an adult you have to work your whole life to try to untangle. Because they might be survival patterns when you're a child, but as an adult they completely get in your way and they're unproductive. ..."  (I have seen this in myself and other people that have tried to hold onto some sacred pieces of themselves while realizing it is impossible to get through, what they must, in one piece.  So we choose the pieces of ourselves we want to save and sacrifice the rest for survival.  I explored that concept in a song I wrote when I was 18, "The Mirror's Cracked" Here is the gist of it "The mirror's cracked, now I don't know how to find me.  The mirror's cracked, now I see myself a million different ways.  The mirror's cracked, I'm afraid of what I might see.  I never wanted you to ever have to see me this way.  I never wanted you to ever have to see me this way.  I never wanted to ever see you look at me that way!"  People don't speak up about these things because our society tends to victim blame and oh boy, they like to label people in a derogatory way, when they have a need to feel high and mighty.  Then we wonder why someone stays silent for years...  It's a lose/lose situation. 


As a preteen girl with no mother around, I had my own experiences to sort through.  It seemed people saw me through a kaleidoscope of perceptions.  One needed only to slant the view a skosh, to depict me in the light that best suited them, allowing them to label me, in the way, most useful to them.  The way that helped to best justify their attitude and actions towards me.   I had not the power or the experience to change things at that point in my life.   I held onto the hope that one day, I might be the person that I kept hoping would show up for me in my life.  I wanted to show up for myself and to show up for others.  I started by keeping a diary and later, a book of lyrics and tapes full of songs.  Occasionally, I would let on to another what I knew and expected they might themselves be dealing with and through those conversations, I was introduced to experiences, completely second hand experiences, which I also added to my writings.  I wanted to make sure I would never get amnesia and become part of the system that allows or encourages the sacrifice of a young girls self-esteem, body or life.  As a teenager, my best friend and I spoke many times of a desire to create a safe house for girls in risky situations.  Her mother had always let me in their home, when I showed up at the door in need of the care of a mother.   At the time that meant EVERYTHING to me!!!


I want to end this blog with a plea to you to listen to the two interviews I’ve mentioned here and then watch Gayle King’s interview with Elizabeth Smart.  Afterwards, please consider what we as a society, nation, human race, are sacrificing when we allow pieces of our young females to be sacrificed.  Pieces, add up to lives that touch all of our lives.    

Last, I would like to leave you with the lyrics to a song, I wrote called, "I Am No Sacrifice"---"She was pretty, pretty as a rose. Daddy’s little princess and Mommy loved her so. But behind those bright eyes, she hid such pain. She never let it show, no, she smiled it all away. Oh, what she taught me, she taught me. What her story bought me, her life bought me, was the life of my friend. No, her life won't end. Cuz she is no sacrifice. She is no sacrifice. She will not pay that price. No, she is no sacrifice.  And he played games with her, games with her and he put shame in her, shame in her.  Put all the blame on her, blame on her. She will not pay no, no!  Cuz we have a choice here, a choice here. We have a voice here, a voice here. Get this message to all girls and women. We MUST make them listen, listen. And say, "I am no sacrifice." Say, "I am no sacrifice." Say, "I am no sacrifice!" Say, "I am no sacrifice!"


 

My dog is licking my ankle, righ now as I post this, it tickles :-)

 

I was at the deli counter the other day and I got to chatting with one of the attendants there. As we chatted I noticed a man that appeared to be waiting to be served.  “We’re just chatting” I said. He said he had been waiting and was under the impression, that I was being waited on. I pointed to someone else behind the counter that was filling my order. The guy was very good humored about it. So we all shared a laugh about how you have to take your moment and run with it when you get it, share a chat or a laugh with others because the opportunities can pass quickly and you might otherwise miss out on them. We were enjoying each others company, humor and upgrading our day. No matter what happened next or how the rest of the day turned out, we had that moment where there was peace in the world or at least in our little part of the world.

 

Unfortunately, I still wake up anxious a lot of mornings, since my Mom's cancer diagnosis, treatments and hospice stay.  There are things I still haven't been able to find the words for, to put those tense, uneasy and sad moments into, so I could express them from my nervous system. We all have our way of processing and for me it's to put those feelings and experiences into words and let them out. It's what works for me as does communing with nature. I find being out in nature, moving and expressing myself to be extremely therapeutic and I would recommend, that everyone give it a try. Often I wake up with my feet feeling ice-cold and/or I feel paralyzed with anxiety. (exhale). I realize, I need time and opportunities to fill my memory bank with new experiences, like the soft feel of a whisper, when my puppy brushes up against me or nudges me to get up and seize the day or a soft kiss from Dan.  I share this because I'm aware. I write, because I'm aware and I hope that if I share what I am aware of, it might be helpful to others. Maybe those looking for the words to purge their own body of what might otherwise be toxic, painful or somehow debilitating, if left to fester, will find something useful in what I write. I write, in hopes it will help others to not feel so alone. I try to humble myself, so that others might feel free of their own short comings because I'm aware we live in a society of judgements. Harsh ones. People today, seem to have a need to assess their own worth constantly through the action of sizing up others. I'm no stranger to this but it's a miss on our part. We are actually attempting to self validate but it's in such a backwards and synthetic way. Synthetic, is at least an attempt... I think there's some quote out there "fake it till you make it." Maybe that works... but I don't want to stick with pretending. I want something real and so I keep trying for that and if there is a silver lining to the sad and anxiety provoking experiences I have had, it would be, that I feel closer to authentic validation. Maybe it's being closer to this mark that has me thinking, if we all would go through the difficult task of authentic validation, it would prove an easier task for all to accomplish... or then again, maybe I'm just riding the ego train, knee deep and shoveling some other synthetic crap ;-) ...Maybe... All the same, I'm choosing to agree with myself on this and validate.

 

"CASTAWAY"-Kristina Furey

"(Verse)

I was a happy child

My life was very blessed

But then one day I found

I had lost my happiness

And I was all alone

Out in the raging sea

I landed on this island

all alone, no one but me...and now...now

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

So I, I-I, had better find myself

(Verse)

And so the days they passed

And I was full of grief

I thought of losing myself

Underneath the angry sea

I had the saddest thought

No one would look for me

And every day that passed

I lost a little piece (peace) of me, me, me-cause

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

So I, I-I, had better find myself

(Verse)

Then when I woke again

I had a master plan

That I would build a raft

And get back to my homeland

but the skies grew dark

and a storm began

I only got so far

Till I was back on the island..I, I-I, I, I

(Bridge)

But then a thought occurred to me that I was right where I should be

A place where I could find myself without conditions of somebody else

And now I know, I know, I

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

But I, I, I-I finally found myself"

 

Lead us not

 

They call him president…  

I don't!

I see his mouth moving but all I hear is,

“MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES:

your science

your health

your worth

your safety

your contributions

your needs

your compassion

your grace

your life

your children

their offspring

humanity

your god

MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES

all that exists or would but for my ambition. 

This is MY KINGDOM, MY POWER, bask in MY GLORY! The rest is just alternative news. These are MY WORDS, MY LAWS, MY AMBITIONS, MY KINGDOM COME, MY WILL, TO BE DONE!!!"


and so it is, with dark humor, that I laugh at the last week’s White House dinner for Evangelical supporters.  It is a sad, heartbroken, on the verge of hysterical laugh that slips out of me as I ponder the possibility of having crossed into the twilight zone or maybe this is Wonderland on steroids. I was invited to the Tea Party, I did not drink the tea and certainly would not purposefully inhale the mercury vapors coming from the Mad Hatter's hat!

 

Seriously, how could they have been so blind of his self generated pride and adversarial disposition. Look at his track record and see a person who seeks to deceive and throw suspicion on facts. He downplays the worth of others by stereotyping and maligning them. He seems to have an endless supply of remarks and tweets to discredit and devalue the citizens of our country. Then there's the jabs taken at other leaders and countries without concern for our American’s safety, here and abroad and those in service to our country.   My heart filled with grief, that we would dismantle families and incarcerate them, when they come to us from neighboring countries in search of help… There has also been dismantling of our government and things like the repeal on clean power (I urge you to go research this now, if you are a parent of a child that has allergies, immune disorders or asthma).  He dismantles with no real consideration for our patriots abroad. No concern when his unchecked ego puts them in harm's way, as they attempt to represent or negotiate on behalf our country.  His behavior, time and time again, has been completely disrespectful. Shameful, that he believes our daughter's are his for the grabbing, by the… well whatever, so long as they're not bleeding from the, well wherever. His disrespect goes beyond those individuals, singled out. It touches each of their loved ones and pollutes our society as a whole. He acts as if people are merely items to be used, silenced, discarded... and now God… I hope my fellow Americans are paying attention, especially those that identify themselves as Christians. WWJD? I don't suppose he would show up at that supper and praise Trump. If you find your own religious leader doing such a thing, you may want to ask yourself, “Who is their God?”  "Have they taken a false god?" Take some time to educate yourself as best you can. Then take a moment and pray on it but please, don't put your faith in false prophets.


Forgive me, if my words seem harsh or controlling. I only mean to caution you.  We were given free will for a reason and I believe in respecting free will. We all need to experiment with ours and hopefully, we learn from our mistakes. Through my own experiences, I have come to the conclusion, that my free will best suits me when I respect what I was taught was God's will, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Truly, this is what repulses me on the man people are calling, Mr. President. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth picturing that. I just can't digest what is going on. My apologies, that I have been stuck here on this subject. I know now, I need to be done with it. It's stupid to beat a dead horse, a dead fish, whale, my brother, my father or my mother... What's done is done. I can choose to live in the past and be angry over what's been done.  Ambitious greed will get us the same results time and time again, lives dismantled. I can choose to live in the present continuing down the paths that have been so well worn for me to walk down myself or I can look for higher ground and hope that when the waters rise I will be safe, able and willing to do the best I can for myself, my loved ones and others.  I can pray that God will spare us from all the natural disasters that we humans bring upon ourselves and this world. I will pray for forgiveness for myself, you and even those who claim, that none of what happens is their fault. I will pray for the enlightenment of all and that we may all learn, that we have the power to move forward, past this, past grudges and the memories of suffering at the ambition of others and I will pray for the ability to put my own actions behind my prayers, as I do my best to move forward, come what may.

 

Here is a riddle I wrote when I was a teenager, meant to be in the style of the riddle song, "I Gave My Love A Cherry". My riddle was, "What is left when all is gone? (Answer: memories, memories) What with us will travel on? memories, memories)" Seemed important I write that one down, less I forget, as it seemed to me at the time, that too many grown ups seem to have a terrible condition of amnesia. That said, I will leave you with this, "Touto poieite eis ton emen anamnesin"--Jesus' words (unless I have received alternative news instead of the good news.)

 

With love, the girl next door

 

I was teased by the man behind me at the grocery store today for how many bottles of Perrier I had in my cart.  I told him I stock up when they're on sale. We got to talking about mineral water and I told him about a place in Missouri, I had been to once, while touring an old Spa frequented by Marilyn Monroe. I told him how it was there, that I discovered there is a such thing as a bar that serves nothing but mineral water. He had never heard of such a thing and he was from Missouri. By this point, in the conversation, my cart was packed and my receipt was in hand. So before I gave it any thought, I ended the conversation with, “If we all don't watch ourselves and take care of our water supply, we might find water bars are the only place we'll be able to get a healthy glass of water”.  Ou, ouch, I felt a little guilty as I walked away that I left such a dooming thought with him, the cashier and the person bagging. I hate leaving conversations on low notes but I find that's happening more with me recently. I need to work on this, if I am to leave a legacy of love, peace and hope.


I love Perrier, it is my favorite mineral water! I call it fizzy as opposed to flat.  I still remember the first time, in Columbia Mall, as I sat down to eat a pasta salad I had ordered from Vie de France. Along side it, that cute little green bottle. I stuck my straw into that little Perrier bottle and had my very first mineral water experience!  This was not soda but it gave the same burning, thirst-quinching sensation soda gives, only without that drying, itchy feeling, I get from soda. Instead, it was purely, satisfying and I was an immediate fan! These days, if I drink Perrier straight from the bottle, I drink it from a metal straw or with no straw at all.  Mostly, I get the big glass bottles and drink it in small doses, out of a glass. Mmmm and sometimes with a slice of fruit or some ginger syrup I make.


While I hated to leave the grocery store today with such a dark warning, I have seen with my own eyes what unhealthy water does.  In June, we thought it would be fun to take our dog to a dog beach. Only, when we got there, I had to pull her away from a dead fish and then another dead fish and another, which lead me to look around and notice there were many dead fish down the shoreline. I had been cautioned years ago when I came to visit Florida about a thing called red tide. I have an overactive immune system and someone mentioned, out of concern for me, to be careful because some people have allergic reactions to red tide.  If I understand correctly, in the more recent past the red tide would be here for a few months and then would be gone. Now it's here for longer and longer periods of time. It kills all sorts of aquatic life. It can bring on asthma attacks in some people. It seems there is a connection between the algae in Lake Okeechobee and our lingering red tide situation.  Something about how the algae breaks down into something (I think nitrogen) when it hits the salt water, that provides nourishment for the red tide. Anyway, I'm trying to educate myself on this, as well as other things that are unhealthy to our planet and I'd like to encourage you to do the same. We are in this together not to-get-her or him or them. So we just need to come together, with, or in search of solutions.


I know people think I'm a little woo woo out there sometimes because I'm a romantic and an imaginative one at that but I'm also very much a realist, a person who holds the facts in high regard. I believe in being proactive.  Which is why I find it deflating when I'm guilty of taking a moment and downgrading it, like the one in the grocery store today. Hope is a medicine I don't want to defeat. I realize, I have been confronted with things disturbingly real and at times, I feel I'm not fit for human consumption as I fear I'm contagious of things that would defeat hope and the energy it brings to create solutions and this, at a time when I know, I know, I know, we all need to come together. If I could perform Spock's Vulcan mind meld, on people I would, so they would understand what I understand. I don't want to judge. I don't want to preach. So, I guess the best I can do is ask "What kind of world do you want to live in? How long do you want your loved ones to live? Yourself? What quality of life do you want for them and yourself? How do you assure this will be so? Are you willing to make it so?"


I recently sunk a small fortune into something called Dynasteam.  I don't want to use something that may cost me, a loved one, anyone else or other creatures, their health, life or extinction. So in lieu of dubious weed killers, I am really hoping my weed steamer is up to the challenge of removing the weeds from my gardens. I used the Dynasteam on one garden last week and it worked, mostly. There are some weeds that look untouched, so I will be going back over them (perhaps it was user error), as well as expanding treatment to the rest of my gardens. Fingers crossed!! I'm hoping for a planet healthy tool that I can educate others about while lending mine (they are crazy expensive) to neighbors and friends, so we can all take a step in a healthier direction. (Did I ever mention the idea that I believe Libraries should lend out tools, toys and other material goods so we can help out our community members, cut down on discarding items to the dump and cut the energy and money it takes to create so many non organic items?)  I believe if each of us would just research one thing and work on finding a solution we can share with those around us, we have the ability to find healthy solutions to all of our problems. As for me, I won't stop searching! I have a legacy to leave, one of love, peace and hope.



Here's a song I have been working on for years. It has had many incarnations but I think I just might settle on this one. I call it "The Girl Next Door" and this last re-write took place two days ago.

 

"Life can steal a moment from you

before you know you've been hit

Strip you of sacred possessions

and all while you're still just a kid

They say the one without sin

should throw the first stone

I'm not trying to condemn

just trying to find my way home


Didn't mean to be the one

bound to let you down

Cast within a role

a scapegoat to be found

Then you ask me

who do I think I am

So I'll try to say it in a way

I think you'll understand


I’m just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


People say that I should take

this path laid out for me

I keep trying to explain

I'm not the girl they peg me to be

They think I'm entitled

my eyes are focused on you

They just see me dancing

magicians use distractions too

 

I'm just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

But I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


A lifeguard scans the horizon making sure that no one drowns

The girl next door gets put down for no ambition to leave town

I never chose where I chose to stay to be a failure at anything

I'm just a girl standing in front of you begging you to see me

love me, can't you see

why I chose to be


The Girl Next Door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but my eyes, my eyes won't leave you

cuz I know, I know, I know what life can do.

 

So I'm watching Classic Albums yesterday...

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance"--Margaret Atwood

 

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it".--Margaret Atwood from The Handmaid's Tale.

A young man, age 30, was telling me about a memorial service he was at with his cousins.   He said, as people ate, drank and toasted the departed, he took his cousins aside and asked them, “What’s missing at this service”?  When no one was able to come up with an answer, he shared with them that there were no children. “Here we are ages 33 the oldest and 18 the youngest and none of the 9 of us, have any children.  Children represent hope and are a reminder at a funeral, of the continuity of life". He recounted how 13 years earlier, their youngest cousin, had humored the family the night before the great-grandmother's funeral, when the youngster asked if they too, were going to great-grandmother's graduation and some quick-witted adult chimed in, “Yes, you can call it a graduation of sorts".   Everyone laughed and the mood was lightened. I told this young man, I thought it was an astute observation on his part. I found his observation thought-provoking and unsettling at the same time and his words, “Children are our hope and reminder of the continuity of life” I feel should be shouted from every corner of the globe.


Have you noticed how children have been making headlines lately as shooters, as victims of gun violence, there was the soccer team trapped in the cave and there's the immigrant children, torn from their parents…  


Interesting to me, our country is once again revisiting Roe versus Wade these past weeks with the latest Supreme Court nomination.  Pro life... Pro choice... I don't really have a point to make, except, maybe we should put that on the back burner for now and do the best we can to protect the hope we have, in an effort to assist the continuity of life.

Ordinary People-by me

“Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered to the night.  She said,”I think I've been missing you through the hardest part of my life”.  “Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered like a prayer “and as I lay me down to sleep, I hope to find you there”.   “Because in my dreams, I can hold you. I can hold you through the night. And I long to be with you, come the mornings light”.  


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the romance books speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


And they knew, of life's true gifts.  For their children, did their best, and they held on to, one another as each child left the nest.


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the fairy tales speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


As I look, at my husband, I pray that we too shall know, that kind of love, that lasts forever.  The kind that always grows..


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than most people, ever know.  Extraordinary love, to withstand all tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


Good night, sweet prince. Good night, princess. Your love has been a testament and our legacy, was to have come from it.