Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen

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Rock, Paper Scissors, Tommy

Hate may be invisible but it is a deadly weapon.  The past few weeks we have all become members of a not my neighbor “hood,” in one way or another.  Recent black and white  violence in Florida, has drawn lines across our hearts and minds, and  what really happened and why will never be known to anyone but God.  The judgment however, is inevitably to be public opinion through rock, paper and scissors, and two lives will be forever lost in very different deaths.  So of course this is the  “perfect” time for a new Face Book application to come out – “Face Book Enemies”:   You can now mark every noun into a none in your life!  Think of the fun you can have with this invisible level of hate, and what it can accomplish.

I need to throw up.

Seriously, in the current tidal wave of political slander, unemployment levels and people killing each other and their own children, who actually thought we needed a way to hate each other more?  To open ourselves up to thoughtless internet “troll” behavior?  It doesn’t take a blind man to see how wrong this all is, and lyrically the need for the obvious – See me, feel me, touch me, heal me  or in other words  “Listening to You” – although no one obviously is, they are just lost in the gang mentality of stupid.

When my daughters were younger and would “tattle,” I always insisted on hearing both sides, which infuriated the guilty one.  Later as they became adults this was less and less, because they didn’t care anymore what I thought, standing their ground where the truth was lied, and sadly, just like anything done with enough emotional determination it changed them.  How sad, to now be able to do it invisible through face book and emails, being able to walk away the victor in your own personal war, never seeing the casualties from your sharp tongue and snap judgments.  Even sadder, is when states and cities of people become involved in this same brand of justice.

Being raised with country wisdom, I cannot count how many times I heard the two sayings, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Pretty is as Pretty does.”  That may sound trite and flippant, especially in the wake of the lost lives now, but if we stopped for a moment and took a breath, it is applicable in every situation that rubs us the wrong way, or creates an emotional implosion in our heart.  We have to stop reacting like the fast moving ball on the tilted, flashing light, noisy pinball table of society both in public and in our personal lives.  Two sides  inevitably are shown to be a wrong and a right, but in this country we still have the right to find that out, and too often than not we forget it.  Sadly this happens the most, when two or more of us are together, and that is not the Golden Plan we all came into this life believing.

We don’t need to wait for the Apocalypse to lock the barn door, because the horse has left and he didn’t wait for a rider either.  Life is a bored game now, that you win by taking a piece of someone to claim your victory and I refuse to participate.  The suffering in our world is a mark to ignorance and self indulgence, and what hope do our children have if it continues?  Innocence isn’t a judicial commandment, it is the first beat of our heart, and should be the first thought towards each other, if we are to continue as a rational society.

One thing that will continue being true, is that an empty can of beans rolling down the street makes more noise than a full one, and a small rock rolling down the snow can cause an avalanche, and the media proves it every day.

I’m not going to list my enemies as entertainment, I prefer to try and turn those  I have,  back into important pieces of my life if that is possible and the best way to do that, along with any form of judgment is to see both sides clearly.  Even if what I see reflects badly on me.  Life is too short and we will never learn what we were meant to  if the only person we believe is right is our self.  If that is the case, all we’ll ever do is make noise rolling along until we slam into a wall, praying that whoever picks up our rock is prepared for what they find under it!


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I Need my Life in REEL Time

Unless you live under a rock you probably noticed The Artist won the Academy Award for best Picture this year.  At the very least you saw a commercial for the black and white silent film or the soon to a DVD announcement.  It was ironic with all the digital affects, sound and editing we have come to demand in our movies and lives, that a silent film with a co-starring dog, took home all the marbles (sorry for those without knowledge and imagination, marbles are something you trade, treasure and play with in the dirt with friends – and are the first to disappear when life leaves you).

In the dark years Americans lived through – my parents included. The movies were a wonderful place to escape and dream the what was, what will be and what could be.  However, before the movie started with musical scores and dazzling costumes and beautiful stars, there was a news reel.  The news reel, an ancestor to Twitter and Face Book, gave a short look at the world news and also gave upbeat hope for the future.  It made for an odd double feature, (sorry – that was when you got TWO movies for the price of one, or in today’s dollar about 40 for the price of one).  You got a movie which was better than anything in a bottle to relax and bring harmony into your soul, and some knowledge, to help you understand the reality you would walk back into once the lights came on.  It wasn’t that we were ignorant or protected; we just knew what needed to be known at the time.  Now we know too much and are we better for it? Ok yes Area 51 I know, and the flag on moon is flying damnit!

I am a news junkie.  I was raised on newsprint and Chet telling David good-night and Mike Douglas in white polyester pants looking for starlet gossip with a tiny wand microphone.   But the news was different then and so was life.  Black and white, like the Artist has a place, and tells a good story without any words.  But we have evolved into animals that have passed both the Farm and Orwell.  I must say even I am flying a white flag. There is no Mike Douglas anymore to moderate just MONDERATION! If we eat, it is to excess – 8,000 calorie hamburgers? Come on people – and if we have money, it is to Excess as well – $100 million dollar football players and $15,000 purses? Seriously?  Human Rights? Those have evolved sadly into my right to kill you. – What is with that? – And Politian’s? Vote me in office so I can be rich and screw you over, as well as my secretary and send a picture on Twitter at the same time? Huh?

The current race to the White House is producing no winners, especially the American people. We are being treated to slander and lies, money spending embarrassment that could feed homeless for years, and our personal privileges and religious beliefs are being bartered on an open media market, as if there was a Hand Maiden’s tale waiting to be told.  When did this happen?  When did all the color run together and why have we allowed it to happen?  When I turn on the news it is nothing but repeated death and lies, parents and children killing each other and money being spent for everything but what would do good, as if it truly did grow on trees – which The Lorax will tell you, we’ve about depleted – just check your neighborhood rainforest.

I was raised to love my neighbor, and to care and sacrifice myself for my children, not kill them.  To share what I had with those who had less or none at all, and to have pride that I lived in the greatest nation in the world, the one who looked after all of us and those in need – even if the mouse hadn’t roared yet.  Behind my computer I enjoy friends in far places, news at my finger tips and history and facts, art and adventure just with the click of a mouse – not roaring, just clicking.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love my life, want to stop living it or no longer participate and see what is happening to it.

It seems the world and it’s political agenda’s sent an email and we all stayed home to read it, letting them get away with changing every value we take for granted:  Speech, Religion, Family, Protection, and just life in general.  I’d like to say I saw it coming when the Christmas Play at the elementary school became a Snowflake Pageant and Jesus didn’t get a ticket, but that would of course cause people to complain and it might get on the news.  Guess it is a good thing he was born during a tax collection period because that is when everyone avoids the news, rules and attention, even though there was a political blueprint.  He just snuck in under the wire, big shining star status and all, even if there was a Donkey and an unmarried woman involved. God, can you image that headline now?

Sometimes black and white works, sometimes the yes, no, mine and yours is what we need to live by, but that isn’t news to any of us with values and morals.  Somewhere, like the voice of The Lorax, in all of the loud and ugly of our daily life, there needs to be some silence – that same silence which was a look my father would give me in lieu of discipline.   I knew what it meant; I gave it to my daughters as they grew up too.  No need for Hollywood, the silent look can still say it all, we just need to remember the golden script on our souls again to make it happen.

Yes Tiny Tim – “God Bless us, everyone.”  This time we’re gonna need it, because we are in for a bumpy ride…….

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Just Watch, I have it right here

To quote a favorite song, “Time is fleeting…”  And no matter how warped your reality is, we all have to face the inevitable that it will eventually stop for us.  I believe that is why I am a “saver” that unique albeit obnoxious breed of human who keeps memories, dreams, items and people because they eventually will  be needed.  This does not however include my purse which carries everything that will eventually be needed from ax, saw, vodka, crayons and eyeliner with a few toys and a word search tucked into its TI/HI and weight of 25 pounds on a good day.

How many times have you gone to get something only to discover you have run out of it?  This is truly frustrating when you know you bought two at one time, but now can’t remember when the last one was used.  Yes, Time has a way of catching up with us in everything we do. I remember my father finding this out once, when he discovered an antique watch he had was worth a good sum of money.  He dashed through the house looking for where he had put it, only to have my mother laugh telling him he had given it a grandchild as a toy years before.  He fumbled, fumed and forgot –
Things are what they are in this life and whether we forget to replace them at the store, or remember when they brought us pride, happiness or satisfaction, they only exist in this life as something to help us along, one way or another.  People on the other hand, are far more complex, and exist to help make us who we are in this life – one way or another, and when we forget or decide we don’t need them anymore, it changes us forever whether we will admit it or not.
This week, after a chance discovery on the Internet, photos of my family appeared.  I immediately told those around me and contacted my family out of state, about the odd time warp of 42 years staring me in the face of my laptop.  My parents would have gotten such a kick out of it!  I can only imagine my father, since he told everyone he was “on a satellite” after I did a web page for him almost 15 years ago, on his 90th birthday.  What would he have said about these?  Mom would have been intrigued, her mind clicked with the computer age even though her own was past 90, and she would have emailed the link to friends.  It was sad they weren’t here to share the unique moment, but even sadder when I think of those in my life who  don’t share even the everyday ones anymore.
I wish there was a way for the hands of time to grasp onto the hands of those people in our lives that matter, the ones have made a difference in who we are, and what we have shared.  Holding tightly together there couldn’t be a way to just “assume” they will always be in your life, that we could “always” share a story or moment and saddest of all, that they will “be there” when we need them.   Funny, how time is never looked at in the reverse, such as maybe “they” need you, they “are there” waiting to be needed and they “always” want to listen.  As I look at these old pictures, I do see both sides, and sadly the only hand I have to grasp is my own now, in prayer thankful for the times family and friends were with me, and what they shared and added to my life.
People in our life are now reduced to names on a computer screen; letters are rare in the mail, phones ring less and when they do it is from our pocket with just a quick question, and children communicate with little hearts and smiles in text messages once or twice a week, a far cry from the hugs we taught them as babies.  And all the while, each day moves ever faster towards the finish line of our existence in this life, no one really taking the time or sounding the alarm that once we are gone, we are gone.  Just like the bottle of shampoo you go to get, assuming it was there, but forgetting it was already used, no different than the treasures of love and laughter from someone who once shared your life.  The difference of course is you can replace the shampoo at the market or have the Internet deliver it to your door to save time.
Instead of taking that moment tonight to be thankful for all you have been given, why not start the day and be thankful for what you are going to receive, and then go out and make it happen.  Don’t take for granted those people in your life who bake what you love, fix what you break, laugh when you talk or hug when you hurt or never once left you when you needed them, are going to be there tomorrow.   If by the grace of God they are, then you have yet another chance to include them, love them and learn from them and then end result will be time well spent between the “yours” – “mine” and “hours”

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The Twelfth of Never in Sequins

There are just some things in life that are what they are.  Like the first day of school, Prom, Trick or Treating and New Years Eve.  Ironic really, if we look at them on the surface, they  are actually interchangeable –an exciting moment, with achievements in costume, make-up and special effects.  The one thing that isn’t interchangeable however is when they exist in our life – after a certain period of time, we graduate to the next achievement, and it’s never the same.  That explains why there is a hanger in my closet, with a gorgeous little white dress covered in bright colored sequins and hanging beads that has never been worn, keeping it company the past  24 years.  Bought for a New Years Eve party, that never happened.

I never got to my Prom, and since Halloween grew into a lifestyle choice for me, that left the grown up moment, overly romanticized by the media known as New Years Eve.  I always wondered what it would be like dressed up like a shining star with someone I loved, holding up a crystal flute of champagne, as the clock struck twelve.  That was after all, why I bought the dress at 28, ready to make it happen – unfortunately, it never did.  By 25 I had already been blessed with three beautiful daughters, who celebrated New Years Eve with me, confetti and sparkling cider watching the ball drop, if they lasted that long.  My husband always made the choice to work, as a policeman a guaranteed night for activity.  The year I bought the dress, proud of being a beautiful leggy size 9, after three children, I was sure it would happen and I could be Cinderella.  Unfortunately, he went to a party alone after he got off work  since as he told me, it would be too late to get a sitter. The next year was too late for our marriage.

Years later, as my daughters grew into young women, I wondered if they would get a chance to wear the glass slipper dress and toast the hour.  Alas, one was a tomboy and laughed, the other not interested in sparkles and the last was perfectly grounded in her soul, not interested in a self centered moment.  So the dress still hangs, as beautiful as the day I bought it, wondering if it will ever get a chance to dominate and dazzle a room of laughing voices, approaching 30 years on the hanger.

Looking back on the fleeting romance and ego enhancement I have had, and what the media has thrown at me, I think about some other sparkles, only these are red, and on a pair of shoes clicking to go back home.  In Oz, Dorothy learned if she was ever looking for her heart’s desire, she only had to look as far as where she stood, because she never really lost it.  I think of the sparkle and laughter in the eyes of my daughters over the years, when the four of us  celebrated New Years over cheese dip and chips, hugging with love at the night’s end – even if it was 9 pm instead of Midnight.  We wore pajamas, except on one occasion, when I dressed them in evening gowns and make-up and they felt like movie stars.  The attire wasn’t important though, being together was what brought in the New Year, and they looked up at me then, making me the center of attention in the room.

So as I look at my dress now, with the golden straps and flirty beaded skirt, I know it reminds me of all I have had in my years, and not the slap and tickle promise of what might have been, as it was once intended.  Funny, how we remember Cinderella at the ball the most, but it was after midnight when reality came home, taking her back to where she belonged.  The goodness and purity of her heart was what changed her direction for all those years that followed.  Looking at my daughters through those years, with their goodness, love, hope and promise, they were the New Year for me, time and time again, and like the lyrics of a song remind me, how long will I love you?   Until the 12th of Never and that’s a long long time.  I guess just like my dress, we need to hang around longer to understand that the best parts of life don’t always sparkle the way we expect them to or make us the center of attention, and most certain of all, life isn’t ever what it seams to be in the beginning.

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Sally Field and Broccoli

Yup the meaning of life is really right there – between a superstar and a tough green vegetable.  Who knew?  Okay, granted at one time she did play a nun and cheese can make anything better, the facts are still there.  It’s great when you realize you really are loved, and unlike Sally, you don’t need an Academy Award for proof.  It also sucks, that no matter what you do, you will never get some people to like you.  That’s it – life over, deal with it.

One of the most tragic reminders of this for me, is the last moments of the film “Imitation of Life,” when the daughter, after turning her back on her loving mother, for no other reason than selfishness, assuming she would always have the time to make it up, is running behind the carriage with the casket crying, “I loved you mama.”  Guess she needed a V-8 with extra broccoli.

As kids one of the pivotal moments of the like test, outside of being picked in gym, was Valentine’s Day and birthday parties.  I don’t know how things are now, with play dates and all children are equal rules etc.  But back then, you knew where you stood and sometimes, you just sat down and cried.  The point was no matter what you did, no matter what your feelings were, some kids just flat didn’t like you, and never would.  Too bad it wasn’t explained in more detail that it was to continue the rest of our lives.

It must be a sign of age, when we look around seeing how short life truly is, there are no real do over’s, actions really do speak louder than words, and no matter what we say, those who hurt us, are never forgotten and they change our emotions forever.  Going to bed at night doesn’t always insure a good morning is waiting; in fact getting a morning at all can be reason to celebrate.  I have seen dramatic changes in my own life, from loosing friends and family to death and life, children growing so fast they are almost a blur and my own place in it all, from bystander to participant and back again.  The only thing that hasn’t changed, is the desire to feel wanted and loved through it all and to give the same in return.

Years ago I worked for a food broker at the time high end TV Dinners were being marketed.  The ironic twist was every one of them had broccoli as the vegetable.  This was back in 1985, long before Presidential concerns on the green bush came to a thousand points of light.  When I asked about it, they said it was plentiful, cheap and easy to use.  Interesting, I think of love like that.  It’s always around, costs nothing to share and a kind word, hug or lasting gesture of compassion takes nothing to give. Guess we are too compartmentalized to see it.

I think if people looked at themselves, and then where they are currently in their lives, the biggest question, other than am I happy, would be how I did I get here?  It’s so easy to accept the love and support, both financial and emotional from those who think nothing to give all they have for your dreams.  However, once you have reached your goal, did you get there standing on your own two feet or did you walk over a few hearts in the process?  Have you made sure that all along the way, those who loved and liked you, knew you appreciated them and thought the same?  Or have you made them the broccoli in your life.

For as long as I can remember, I have been allowed to dream and explore my horizons.  When times were good, I could think of no better celebration than to share the spoils with those who made it happen, and when times were bad, I hoped they would be there with compassion.  As an adult parent, a favorite memory was stopping at my childhood home early one morning on the way to work.  My father who was in his 80’s at the time was reading the paper.  I opened the door, kissed him and told him I loved him, and then left just as quickly for my job.  It made my day and my mother said when she got up he was smiling like a fool.  Appreciation and love for what you have, and those that believe in you has no cost – the price, should you walk away, however is steep and only you will ever really pay it.

Entering this life, we ask for nothing more than a warm and loving place to grow and acceptance to help us achieve the best we can.  The hard part is liking and loving those along the way who make it possible, accepting them as we want them to accept us, and knowing when it is all said and done, we both will end our lives with happy memories, goals accomplished, pride in each other, and the love and hope knowing we did it right.

I know when I am gone, I won’t have chased after shadows, because they never knew how I felt, and when I close my eyes at night I know who is holding me in their life.  You can’t make someone love you, no more than you can force broccoli down your throat. However, you can appreciate those people in your life that take the time to remind you that you are important, that you do make a difference, and that you changed them for the better, in either a big or even a very small way.

There comes a time to stop worrying about the broccoli and move on, that’s why there are, baked potatoes after all.