pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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But, What Did I Do?

barkit

As a person, as a society, and as a living being on this earth, that question has been asked or wondered forever. More often than not, it is because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, when a person or animal needs to blow off steam, get out their aggressions, or sadly, just make another feel as bad as they do. As a mother, I called this the Wagging Tail theory, after needing to find an analogy, that my daughters could understand, and in this very moment of life, it couldn’t be any more valid.

Whenever one of my own was wrongly blamed, singled out, or just felt to be less than they were, I asked them to imagine their sweet dogs, since they had loved those puppies from birth, and treasured them as constant companions and confidants. I explained how each of the three animals were all different in looks, and personality, but they all came into life the same way, needing the same nourishment, warmth, care and love, and when the time came to leave their mama dog, they relied completely on the attention and compassion their owner would give them. However, not all puppies were like ours, finding a perfect home, exactly what they were hoping for, and because of that, damage started.

Some, I would explain, were bought only as gifts, later ignored or tossed away, and others were abused and hurt, never understanding what they had done to deserve the treatment. Then one day, out of nowhere, and for no particular reason, they just couldn’t take it anymore, and when someone reached down to pet their wagging tail, they were bit, barked at, or worse. The rational mind knows this as a watershed moment, but for a child’s logic, it is that time when you are exhausted, and just can’t run anymore. It becomes that well known emotional and physical point when you are just done.

Understanding that they were not the cause, but the reaction from previous pain, my children would try and reconcile the event they had been caught up in, to figure out what had caused a friend to become hurtful, an employer to take another version of a situation, or why a loved one snapped over a simple mistake, or misunderstanding. The realization of a bigger picture usually came slowly, but when it did, they would be sad, taking into account the pain and suffering needing to finally be released. Keeping that in mind, they also looked for the bigger picture, and tried harder to help, not assuming facts not in evidence, as they so often heard on television, truly a wonderful concept.

Regardless, how a beating heart has been wronged, disappointed, embarrassed, let down or physically hurt, the need to be loved and wanted, equal to all others is always the ultimate goal. A child that acts up in class, doesn’t want punishment, only attention and compassion, but has no other way to get it. A dog that has been ignored, or abused is still as loyal and loving as they were in puppy days, however, biting a hand trying to feed it, is their only reaction of self preservation, not wanting more pain. The biggest lesson we can ever learn, is that all any of us want, is understanding, compassion and equality; even if it takes many bites from pain, or fearful screams to overcome our damage.

Looking at the family I raised, I am proud of them all, and the level of humanity they achieved, the values and morals they teach their children, and the understanding and support they give their partners at home, and in the workplace. However, sadly, I also know as long as there are differences in this world, affecting economic situations, physical ability, compassion and financial needs, there will continue to be voices needing to yell, unnecessary revenge waiting to be played out, and love wishing to be felt. I can only assume this is a lesson in humanity all of us are all to learn before we leave life. A very basic credo, that we are all the same, and loving one another is the only answer…a hope and directive, quoted many times, in all religious and spiritual teachings.

So, Talk…don’t Bark the next time that you receive a painful encounter. Then, listen with your heart, regardless of your frustration, and reverse the situation, getting to the source of the emotion. No, you won’t fix everything right then and there, maybe you never will. However, I can almost guarantee that genuine compassion and understanding will be the key to defusing the moment, and changing a life for the better, possibly even your own.

 

 


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We just don’t a Dress the right things anymore

dress lgogTime and time again, I find myself going back to the past, where peace of mind waits, next to a daily newspaper, a ringing rotary phone no one is answering, and my father sitting in his chair, wearing a shirt and pants, with black socks and shoes. It is also a Saturday. You may wonder why such a memory continually drags me back, but I know, and it is because all of it is gone…never to be again, and I realize the impact.

Growing up, before we left the house, we used to dress. By that, I mean we cared how we looked. If you were flying off in a plane, going to the office, heading to school, or just shopping for an afternoon, overall appearance was important! Check out catalogs and ads before 1990 and you get my drift. Once upon a time, we cared how we presented ourselves to other people, and how we were viewed was important, and it didn’t stop there.

Coming home to be with your family in the evening, odds were you might have removed your shoes for slippers, but in general, you stayed in the outfit of the day, shared time and a meal together, and often watched television or played cards, sometimes with neighbors. I guess you could say, that life appeared to matter at lot more (unless you are a gay man…and well, I’m getting to that…sort of).

Never did you go for a job interview, an appointment…even the dentist, or to school, looking as if you could clean out a garage, or had just rolled out of bed. Likewise, going to bed, there were pajamas for the men, long pants in the winter and short in the summer, and oh, the nightgowns and peignoir sets women could choose from. However, no matter how beautiful they were, with lace and sheer fabric, if she was needed to leave her room, a practical robe was always waiting. You see, some things no matter how beautiful, still remained personal and private (what a concept!)

We also addressed the issues of life, corrected mistakes, took responsibility for our wrongs, and did everything possible to make the world a better place to live. Our attitudes, although occasionally misguided, which happens in a melting pot of society, still had family at the core, with love and compassion wrapped tightly around, all dressed respectively in a protective shell. However, as time passed, just like any other jaw breaker, the nuclear family saw everything sucked away, until all that remained, were shreds of family, and a lot of opinion and attitude. Personally, I don’t think anyone saw what was coming…at least they didn’t dress for it.

Forgetting a time when television and movies had a moral code, musicians couldn’t swivel their hips, and cleavage was found in a different rock formation, we started to let our hair down. After freedom was given to love, the press and our will, sweat pants and jeans gave free reign to loose flesh and tight opinions. We no longer cared what we looked like, as long as it was comfortable, and cared even less what people thought of us. However, we did care to address the faults of others, more vocal than ever before.

When the appearance of society shifted to grunge, our personal outlook also lost shape. Greed and opinions made laws, fought wars, and broke promises, while political and legal leaders also stopped being role models, becoming nothing more than fodder for reality television, something Cronkite once honored as the news. As long as we’re all comfortable, like cheap micro fleece Sponge Bob pants, and gray sweatshirts who cares about tomorrow.

Along with the advance of technology, we also work from home, another reason not to dress for impress or swim with the sharks. We can have a pile of nachos and a soda on the desk, as we tap on a keyboard for $15 and hour, while alternating between eBay and Facebook, offering troll behavior and opinions anonymously as we feel like a somebody. Even a trip to the bank is gone, since direct deposit is a given, just like the calories those nachos will eventually deliver to our ass. However, what does any of it matter…we’re comfortable!

In order to address all that is wrong with the world anymore, we have to first look at ourselves, in a true reflection of what not caring has allowed to happen. Because if we don’t start, and accept some inconvenience, and uncomfortable moments needed to make the effort, the foundation for society will continue to crumble, just like the cake, which we probably stood over the sink eating for breakfast. We can’t expect change if we don’t start with ourselves, and in a world of a few billion people, that’s a lot of ourselves needing to listen.

I also find it pathetic, in a country teetering on political chaos, that we prioritize half-naked women on a daily basis. We’ve made them famous for over sized lips and butts, and of all things, are envious over the way they dress, in thousand dollar outfits with purses, costing as much as a car. There is no logic or wisdom to such behavior, especially when we refuse to tolerate a normal person, taking great pains to look nice, who just wants to be accepted for the gender they associate with, and use a damn bathroom!

Maybe it really is that simple. We give a shit for what we can address personally, feel comfortable in and know will never directly affect us. However, what we should be giving a shit about, is the country, the complete breakdown of society, humanity, and personal rights, all of which we’ve flushed down the toilet, after pulling up baggy sweats, on the way to a television set or laptop computer.

Dress for success isn’t an ancient slogan, and addressing the facts isn’t a onetime threat. They are both a way of life, which if we don’t wake up and remember, will have us struggling to survive in a country that has become too comfortable at doing nothing, forgetting how to break out a sweat and suit up when the time comes.


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Milton was a Monster ~ and Paradise is Getting Lost

milton blog

Years ago, cartoons could be dark and funny, and Milton the Monster was just that, in the era of The Addams Family and The Munsters. Looking at life through a slightly cobwebbed glass is probably what made me the person I am, and the writer I became. There is something reassuring about living in suburbia knowing it is okay to wonder about a twin size coffin with matching sheets.

Unfortunately, such humorous darkness is far from the real darkness, which shadows my writing career. I also know, that I am not alone in this world of publishing and social media and the perils are ones Pauline would’ve avoided. Yes, the days of mailed in submissions with stands of hair between a page, to tell if they had been read, when the rejection notice arrived are gone. However, writing along with ability, was and still is a business of who you are, or who you know, along with a dash of luck, and a moment of opportunity. Frankly, anyone who chooses this torture is either a true writer or a masochist, who enjoys pain with number two lead.

Vanity Press as it once was is now E-Publishing, and everyone and his or her grandmother can be an author in a few days with less than $25. That being the case, those of us of that live, breath and cry over plots and characters, nurturing a manuscript to life are often lost in the shuffle between these What I did on My Summer Vacation memoirs. It is indeed a twisted desire; to bring a character to life, filling them with your dreams, fears and ego, only to send them into the world to be ignored. Again, we have returned to the picking of sides for basketball in 1968, and we all know how that felt.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and all of their twice removed, third cousins play a role in this popularity contest, and despite reviews one prays to see, sometimes the book never is, all because you aren’t playing full court with the right press or team. Becoming a bestselling author anymore can be as easy as having a lukewarm plot and have a Kardashian hold up the book, or have it shown in a shopping bag. Suddenly 51.9 million people want to read it. So much for the satisfaction of knowing the story is good – you just need placement…like an apple in the Garden of Eden.

I remember someone telling me the weight of popularity made her crazy. She went so far as to go to school wearing only one long earring. The following day, all her friends arrived with only one earring. She laughed, they beamed and I want to puke. This behavior is the lemming flavored stupidity we live. If it is on social media or television it is a winner and everyone needs to celebrate it. Lost behind are the true gems, never uncovered because they wanted to shine on their own, and not through an endorsement.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if for one day, everyone with a social media base looked at reality and those around them and made a difference? What is the value of all the likes and followers, other than an ego boost if they just sit? Look at those who are contributing to the world, writing great things, designing and bringing to life new possibilities, and offer them a hand with maybe a comment, simple nod or emoji smile :). In turn, as I was raised, they will do the same for the next person, and before you know it, there will be a better diversity of things to choose from! Books otherwise shelved can deliver a message, instructors can offer a new way to feel and express emotion, cooks might have a breakthrough that isn’t featured at Starbucks, and children will know they really can accomplish anything.

I stopped wearing earrings years ago when I left work, staying home to care for my family members. Once in a while, I put them on and sparkle, remembering and changing my appearance. However, I do always wear two, because just like everything else in life, they go better together, and I can always share…if someone else needs to sparkle.

 

pr cover

 

Misfits & freaks of society relegated to the streets find family in Stiletto
learning it isn’t blood or the box we came out of making a family.

Amazon – Lori Kay