I’ll let the music speak for me.
Aren’t they all weird?
Jason Mraz, the singer/songwriter fella, had come to do a fundraising concert that I was putting together-but he wasn’t happy about it. I picked him up at a some kind of transportation terminal and said, “Are you hungry?” He went off on a little rant about how there are two kinds of parents – those who feed their children the right kind of food and those that don’t. Then he looked at me with disdain as someone in the latter category.
Next scene: we are at a rundown looking restaurant and Jason is not happy with the place and I had had enough of his bad attitude, so I ordered a ton of pastries and then told four kind of rough looking characters sitting next to us, “Hey, this is Jason Mraz and he would like a selfie with you guys.” Jason shakes his head at me, but reluctantly takes the photo as the group says, “Who is he?” The pastries come, Jason looks down at them, shakes his head in defeat and begins to nibble around the edges of the pastries. He then asks, “How many people are coming to the show tonight?” I say, “Beats me, I haven’t told anyone about it yet.” He shakes his head once again.
Next scene: We are outdoors and a little four piece bluegrass band is setting up outside an antique shop. I said to them, “Hey, this guy would like to sing with you.” Jason was not happy, but made me sing with them too. We didn’t know the words so we both filled in with some la, la, la, la’s and some ooh, ooh, ooh, oohs. We sounded pretty good too until I ran off a scale of notes that just rambled with apparent place to end.
Last scene: Still kind of embarrassed about my background singing fiasco, Jason and I come across a group of young adults who are dancing in a hip-hop kind of style. Jason’s cool and immediately starts dancing in the same manner. I thought, “Ok, I can do this,” and I begin dancing in the same way. I am actually pulling it off too, doing pretty well, although full of self-doubt. One of the dancers pairs up across from me, and I am feeling the pressure of the spotlight and fearing I am about to show I really can’t dance. At that moment, I get a calf cramp and I stop dancing, I pull up lame and acting very old….which is exactly when I woke up with a real life calf cramp in my real life leg in my real life bed, as I tried to stretch it out with my real life foot.
I thought to myself in the middle of the night, “Don’t piss off Jason Mraz, even in your dreams.”
This is my favorite Jason Mraz song: Life is Wonderful.
A very nice blog about a special bird. Alison’s posts are always insightful .
I couldn’t help but feel pleased and a little camera happy when this little chap made a come back to my garden the other day. I’m not totally sure that it’s the same Robin who sang at the top of his voice, at the top of the tallest tree, first thing in the morning and last thing at night throughout the spring and summer months, staking his territory by showing off his fine red breast, but I guess it could be. Although some robins migrate the majority will stay within a short distance.
There is something comforting and friendly about this quintessentially English bird. One of my earliest childhood memories is of a Robin that used to happily hop around in the garden whenever my mum started digging, eagerly awaiting a juicy worm as she turned over the soil. In fact, when I saw my Robin in the garden…
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Oh, I loved Fiddler on the Roof. This clip is from the opening of the movie and I can relate to it.
I have my own traditions, take Christmas for example. Every weekend right after the American Thanksgiving holiday, I begin my once a year jigsaw puzzle – and can’t sleep very well until it is completed!
Another tradition started with the purchase of a single little house and has now created urban sprawl in our living room – my Christmas village. As the grandchildren have grown, there is a tradition of them asking me about every building and, “What is this one? What is this one?” Usually around the ages of 4 or 5, their imagination is most involved with the village.
And then the Christmas Tree goes up in the living room and we just can’t seem to be satisfied with a normal tree. This year we have two again, but they take up quite a bit of space.
Tomorrow the decorating begins, but I have to finish the jigsaw puzzle too!
Oh yes, one more tradition- hot cocoa, popcorn, and an old movie on tv.
If you occasionally follow my blog, you know by now, you’re never sure what I might write about. Neither do I. I’ve written about loss, spiritual journeys, food, diets, vacations, shoes, music, storytelling, education, dogs, and chickens…and much more.
Why? Well because I started blogging as an experiment to see if I enjoyed writing, but I was faced with one very big problem – caring too much about the opinions of others. So to overcome that, I knew I must write authentically…and that is risky, but I had no choice if I was going to defeat my inner critic.
So with that in mind, here is a little story for you.
I believe in unseen spiritual energy that often represents a former physical presence. Ghosts? Maybe, but different too. Why do I believe in this? Because I have had multiple experiences with this feeling. Get to the point, right? Ok, it just happened again. (And, yes, every time something weird happens, I know there is a rational possibility behind it.)
I was sitting out in the living room, by myself, and I was deep in concentration as I was reading the latest version of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” (In fact, this deep engagement in thought is often a common element when I experience weird moments)
I was not really aware of anything except thinking deeply about the author’s comments. Suddenly a music box-like knick-knack across from me on a small table and in the form of an angel with a trumpet, begins to spin and play its melody. I look up from book, immediately get chills – chills usually occur during these moments- and I just watched it slowly wind down its tune. At the same time, I felt that unseeable presence of something.
My sister-in-law is visiting this weekend (Happy Birthday dear one) and she just gave us the musical angel this evening as she acquired it with a large box of used Christmas decor she recently bought. We wound it up, about 6 hours ago, and it ran its musical course.
I know music boxes do these things with changes in temperature etc., but this came with that sense of presence and chills up and down my arms. I just said, “Everything is ok, you can go home now.” The chills left. The feeling left.
It was about 2 years ago, in the same area, when I again was focused on just one thing and a loud crash – like something had just fallen off the wall- just a few feet from me. I was alone, hurrying for work, looking for something. I thought “Aw, shit I will have clean that up after I retrieve my lost item.” When I came back to the crash area, there was nothing broken. I looked all around. I went downstairs, out on the balcony. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing was out of place. Sometime later, I read where Carl Jung, the psychologist, described a similar incident in his life.
So I will add the restless angel to other moments, like my mattress sinking as if someone had just got in bed with me – but no one physically did. This happened twice. Or, the lamp by the bed,with the three position switch, getting turned to the 2nd position after we had turned it off to go to sleep.
Why, hello there.
I was going to take a photo of the angel and post it, but decided…ah, maybe not.
Came home all fired up after work to begin making homemade soap…bought the book, tools, oils, lye, protective gear, bowls – read the instructions not once, not twice, but three times a lady (old Commodores song). I was prepared. Got ready to mix the ingredients and I needed a scale because soap making uses weight, not volume measurements. Went to the store twice, but apparently it is illegal to sell kitchen scales in my half-ass town. Have to run to the big city, down the hill, tomorrow to purchase such a thing.
Put everything away and will have to wait until after Thanksgiving to make soap. Now what to do tonight? I refuse to turn on the television…so I bring out some books I bought. I am going to learn how to draw.
I have a few skills and natural abilities, but drawing, or even writing my name clearly enough for others to read, is not one of them. From early on, when surrounded in a classroom with a template of perfect cursive alphabet examples for my mind to soak in subconsciously, I couldn’t write. Even today I print everything I write. (By the way, does anyone actually write the capital letter Q like we were taught, some kind of a fancy pants number 2?)
I am challenged by the fine arts. But, damn it, I want to be a well developed human being. Plus, I am reading the new biography on Leonardo Da Vinci and it is full of artistic analysis of his different techniques. Even when the author points out main highlights of a particular work of art- I don’t see it. This cannot be a good thing. I must improve myself.
So…I decided I will begin spending time by at least trying to draw – so that I can become more artistically aware. Perhaps I will begin to see the world and its objects in a more enlightened manner. This would be a good thing I think. “Oh look how the light plays with the shadow of that apple!” Right now all I do is bite the apple and hope it is still crisp, snappy, dare I say…crunchy. I want to “know” the apple, understand its place in this world, and then perhaps eat it.
So I present to you ladies and gentlemen, “The Walnut.” I know I must tell you what it is or you might think it is a rock, or the head of a dinosaur, or an ink blot image used for psychological analysis like, “What do you see there?” “Oh, I see my dear mother in bed with my daddy and it makes me terribly angry. I am going cut off daddy’s one-eyed snake.” Nah, it is just a lousy looking nut.
I will buy the scales tomorrow.
Continuing on a musical journey… This little tune is a collaboration with David Hutton, a fine human being who lives about 5,151 miles (8,289 km) from me. We shared ideas, video conversations, lyrics, melodies, guitar tracks, typo errors in our messages, and different audio mixes, all without ever being in the same room. Very enjoyable experience.
Now off to making soap this evening!
Last night I sat in quiet darkness contemplating the violence and hatred in the world. When I am lost in search of comprehension and understanding in my life, some times I try to pray. So I did last night and I had nothing to say. It felt like an empty void of nothingness. I thought, “What am I doing? It feels like talking to an imaginary friend.”
In the following moments I started considering my own faults and there were many. I told my imaginary friend everything about those faults, or at least until the thought came to me, “Hey dude, lay off some. You ain’t that bad.” But then I thought, “No, there is hatred inside of me, no doubt about it. A killer rages deep within or so my favorite therapist told me once.”
So then I said, “Ok God, I’ve come clean and I have no right to come to you in prayer, but I am going to try again.”
Again, silence, and words seemed such a useless tool to use in praying. So… I thought…fuck. And then I recited the Lord’s Prayer…but then I got a little hung up on the differences between the Protestants and the Catholics versions of the prayers and immediately I started doing some theological analysis in my mind. Then I thought, “Yes, it is like your birthday song where everyone is singing together until they get to your name and then all harmonic hell breaks out, “Happy Birthday….Gary, Daddy, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Gar-reee.” Yeah, praying didn’t go well, but you probably guessed that when I earlier used the “f” word.
Afterwards, I went into my office and perused my bookshelf where I found a book that once made my cry as a child, Charlotte’s Web. I began to read it. I soon realized that the answers to my prayer struggles in the darkness were probably embedded in the story of Wilbur, Fern, and Charlotte. Friendship, courage, loss, new life, and most importantly…love is what makes Charlotte’s Web such a simple and powerful story. I think love was missing from my prayer time. Maybe I will read Charlotte’s Web first, next time.