Monthly Archives: July 2012

Underwater Pursuits

everythingsgold.blogspot.com

At the close of July 2004, I came within two millimeters of losing my life in a motorcycle accident; with twelve bones broken, part of my abdomen lost and a brain hemorrhage. I recovered completely. During recovery, my marriage imploded. I pursued a divorce, things got worse, as they often do. I recanted my desire with hopes of preserving the family unit.

In July of 2005 my son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. During the following year and a half, he endured intensive radiation and chemotherapy. He recovered, completely.

In 2009 I hit my lowest point. Once again, my depression begged that I gracefully remove myself from this journey. Instead, I wrote my first novel, and asked for a divorce. This time, I didn’t back down.

In 2010 my husband drained all the funds from the bank accounts and threw our business into a tailspin from which it wouldn’t recover. A day after he diverted funds from the accounts, FedEx, the company to which our business was subcontracted, gave me two choices, to be fulfilled in two weeks: find a buyer or they would seize all assets. One buyer appeared, despite all odds. And on the last day, in the final hours, I signed over what took a decade to build.

So here I sit in 2012. The divorce I started in 2009 came to a close late in December of 2011. I don’t have any real answers as to why life takes the turns it takes. Many say all things happen for a reason; lessons to be learned. If so, I’ve earned a PhD in life. But even so, I’m inclined to agree. I feel as though I’ve lived a few lives all funneled into this one. I’m tired. Yet, everything that happened in my life brought me to where I am right now. And now is where I need to be. I hate to think of the mess I was in the beginning that required so much teaching. Hopefully, its nothing like that. Rather, the more our soul wants to grow, the larger the steps we must take. And those steps aren’t always found on stairways of crafted oak or marble. Instead, they’re often the painful movements made to overcome something that, at the time, seems larger than life.

Advertisements

You May Say I’m a Dreamer

indulgy.com

There is purpose behind daydreams – I believe. This simple act of imagining is done effortlessly and taken quite for granted. And yet, I often sit back and wonder why we have the ability to imagine, in unfathomable detail, something beyond what we are experiencing, and so much more than what we know.

Although, for comedic purposes, I envision my dog daydreaming, I don’t feel she does. Instead, I feel she constantly lives in the now – her thoughts are only of what is.

Everything that surrounds us, made by human hands, was first made by imagining. Prompted for whatever reason, that which we create comes forth first from a rather elusive source – the mind.

We can, when we allow it, imagine almost anything. And I have to believe, humans are the only species that use this fantastical creative force to imagine something God awful and horrific. Somewhere along the line, we lost our footing within this ethereal world of the imagination – I know I have. Instead of imagining only that which I desire and want for myself, I often imagine, repeatedly, that which I do not. I have to wonder, for what purpose I do this. I tell myself that I take this dreadful imaginary journey so as not to be caught off guard. I am, role-playing numerous grim outcomes, so that if and when things turn sinister, I’ll be readily prepared and thus, know what to do. Truth is, picturing the worst is a knee jerk reaction based out of my fear – that’s all. I rarely lie, not even to myself.

What if, this powerful, well-of-imagination was just as important as your heart, that beats without your instruction; without your purposeful, careful guidance. What if your daydreaming mind, the mind that sits just above the mind that reminds you to pay your bills, and change the oil on your car, is the part of you that touches the universe. Within it, are grains of commanding, universal energy, and all those daydreams you effortlessly construct, are blue prints of your future – good or bad.

I believe, whether we care to admit it or not, we are more spirit than anything else. And a gauge of our disconnect with who and what we really are, is best revealed through our daydreams. Often, my immediate mind refuses to let my imaginative mind play and create unencumbered. I give my imaginative mind bills to pay, children to care for, and an appearance I’m not thrilled with.

In the quiet darkness however, I have the ability to stifle the mind that percolates with nervous energy; energy that moves with forced determination, like a machine that never forgets all that is required of it, all that it must do. During those sacred, blissful moments, the imaginative mind spreads its broad wings, and with a dramatic push lifts itself into a different place. In this place, thoughts and images move softly through the mind. I see those I love, and they are happy. I am who I want to be. What if within this time of active meditation, we are giving the universe the very essence of what we truly want for our future. What if, the more we allow ourselves this mental reprieve, those blue prints begin to manifest. What if, at one point, one glorious point in our lives, the world that immediately surrounds us, we recognize as the world that first lived within our mind. Heaven, for me, is not just to have caught up with the dream, but to be living within the dream – whatever that dream may be. I’m not there yet, but I see it, and I can almost touch it.

Sane

Play It Again, Sam

yesteryearsthoughts.blogspot.com

One of my favorite songs is one that every time I listen to it, without exception, it pulls at my heart. I heard it first as a child, now it lives on my iPod where it is readily available. There are times while writing, when I need to feel sad, and Wildfire by Michael Murphey, accomplishes that goal. 

The melodic sensitivity of the song sweeps across my mind, and immediately makes me feel a bit lighter, not with joy, but with sadness. Even though the song can easily bring a tear to my eye, it still manages to be a favorite. Mr. Bojangles runs a close second to Wildfire in the sadness department, but it doesn’t sound nor feel as beautiful. In both, the melody hurts, but not as much as the words. In one, a horse breaks loose during a terrible winter storm, in the other, a nomadic man loses his sole companion – his dog.

Music moves the soul and mind. Animals don’t seem to need this type of soulful connection, perhaps because they never get disconnected in the first place. I have to wonder why we do. A song has the ability to change our outlook, and the expression on our face. A song can make us amorous, or make us angry. It can also cause us to get into trouble with the law. Although I doubt there has ever been an official study on the subject, I feel quite certain that upon seeing flashing lights in one’s rear view mirror, the vast majority turns down the radio. I can still recall the excitement of playing a special song for my mother, just to watch as she nodded with appreciation. It was obvious with one glance that she didn’t get it, like I did. That song was: Dirty Laundry by Don Henley, back in 1982. She didn’t seem to click into it like I did. For the most part, no one clicks in to a song the way we do. Music is a very personal thing. Oftentimes we connect with a song so innately, even we, cannot explain why it makes us feel the way it does – it just does.

A certain song resonated with me so deeply it was the catalyst that prompted me to flip open the lap top and start writing. And during those four weeks of nonstop writing, not a moment went by wherein my iPod ear buds were not cradled into my ears. The songs that moved through my mind created not only a buffer, allowing me to shut out my normal stream of thoughts, but also a portal, giving me access to a deeper part of myself. For me, music, has an almost spiritual essence. When I listen to the right song, I once again acknowledge my own spirituality.

Music can move us to take a stand, push for our rights, or just pick a fight with the guy standing next to us. The right song can convince us that we are in love. And the right song can magically propel our footsteps while on the treadmill. For many of us, these songs, accumulated over many decades, becomes the soundtrack of our lives. I can gauge my level of depression by the music I’m choosing, or when its most severe – by the fact that I no longer choose music at all. 

The line from the song that moved me three years ago, was: lately I’ve been living in my head, the rest of me is dead, I’m dying for truth. I know why that line spoke to me in the way it did. And I will never be able to, nor will I ever try, to explain it to anyone. That line may have had an entirely different meaning when written, but for me it served as a life-preserver that was thrown into some very dark waters.

I wouldn’t want to live in a world void of music. Music in many ways, is my church. It is that sacred place I step into and while there, I reconnect with all that is, and all that is yet to be.

Sane

Originally posted on 11/21/11

Nothing Is Taboo

As the world spins wildly out of control, life lessons present themselves in the most unexpected of ways. I don’t teach my children following the guidelines of a book written by Harvard graduates, nor do I teach my kids according to the advice found in magazine articles or on talk shows.

Although those sources have their merits, I raise my kids using the guidance system that rests inside of me, and the tried and true knowledge I’ve acquired along the way. I make plenty of mistakes; of that I’m certain. Mistakes are inherent to the process of trying. And because of that, I use my mistakes just about as often as I use my advice, when guiding my children.

When I was young, all of about five years old, my mother walked me to the edge of a rural country road and pointed at a frog that was lying in the middle, dead as a doornail, and as flat as cardboard. She turned to me and said, “That’s what happens when you don’t look both ways.” From that day forward, I looked both ways. I don’t think life has to be a therapy session to ensure good results. In fact, often the long drawn out analysis of life can accidentally muddy the waters, remove all joy and make things a bit sterile. If given my druthers, I tend to cut to the chase.

Maybe I approach life in such a way as to get the learning portion duly established, so we can all return to having a good time. Or it’s just part of my mental wiring, with no real motive. I really don’t know, and I can’t say I really care. Of course, this doesn’t mean my children and I do not spend hours talking about various subjects. In fact, often we talk so many circles we forget what subject started the talk in the first place. My kids can express anything to me. Often this means using every muscle in my face to refrain my eyebrows from raising once a whopper of a topic is presented to me. I won’t do anything that makes my kids feel as if something is taboo. Taboos are a waste of time. It’s not easy talking about the okay-ness of masturbation with a dead pan face – but I’m happy to report that I’ve accomplished such a feat.

However, the horrific tragedy in Colorado, wherein numerous people either lost their lives or struggled for safety at the hands of a deranged  gunman in a movie theater, provided an unexpected stomach turning lesson about life and love. During a CNN news program I caught a young couple relaying the horror they experienced. The young man, through whimpering words, shared the fact that he ran for safety while leaving behind his girlfriend and two very young children. He didn’t just exit the theater, he got into his car and drove to an entirely different parking lot. He did, however, upon learning that she and the children were alive, proposed to her while in the hospital. Oddly enough, she accepted.

I researched this incident for some time; ensuring that I had my details correct. I discovered that a 19-year-old man, a complete stranger, saved the woman and her daughters. He was shot in the process, but survived as was the young mother. I had my children watch the news interviews, and then I asked my daughter, “Would you marry that man?” My daughter shook her head and said, “No way. In fact, if I were that girl, I’d marry the other guy, the one that stuck around and helped save me.”

Knowing my daughter possessed the knowledge she needed, I simply added: It isn’t important as to whether someone will remain by your side while the two of you are seated at the base of the rainbow or any other blissful low-stress location. What matters is what they do and where they go in a moment of crisis, when the heat is on, and things aren’t pretty. Do they bail, or do they stay.

I hope the young woman, once her head has cleared, takes a moment to stand on the side of the road as she moves ahead with her life. And when she does, she looks both ways when it comes to life partners.

Sane

PS. My deepest sympathy goes out to those that lost their lives while merely enjoying one of life’s simple pleasures.

Medicine

greylikesbaby.com

I rarely disagree with science, unless of course, I don’t like what I hear. But in this case I fully agree. Laughter is like medicine for the human body and mind.

Actually, I was fibbing about disagreeing with science. I rarely agree nor disagree, I merely take it all in, without the slam of any judgmental gavel. But I digress – the human body rarely has a feature that isn’t necessary. Our ability to laugh is no different. In fact, I feel, it is one of the body’s built in healing systems.

Just as white blood cells rush to the scene to heal a cut, laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being. You’re impressed with that last bit aren’t you? You should be – it took a bit to research, then copy and paste. Not to mention, change the font so all things appeared cohesive. As a side note: I wasn’t even sure if Gamma-interferon was a real word – it is.*

Joking aside, when we laugh, our body benefits. It’s not merely a goofy sounding body eruption. Regardless of the body’s natural inclination to seek out humor, many people work ardently to refrain from choosing happiness. As I age, I have come to realize that choosing happiness is as important as choosing the right foods, the quality of information we take into our minds and the company we keep. These things all benefit the person as a whole.

I rarely take myself too seriously. Those who know me best know the profound goofball I am. For me, things die a bit when kept tucked under a constant, dark and serious light. There are days though, when I wake and feel as though smiling is not an option. On those days I work fervently to find something to release me from the weight of gloom and depression. I feel no shame in admitting that I have, many times, resorted to spending hours in front of the laptop viewing funny images and jokes. Once my face has cracked through its frown, I take a deep breath and know that I am now, ready to take on my day. I’ve lived through depression. And unless one has experienced it first hand, they really do not understand its powerful tentacles, nor do they understand the way it can camouflage its voice to sound much like that of your own.

But the body wasn’t created to live with depression. The world has left us all a little battered, and far from the mentally and physically strong humans we were intended to be. Yet, the body knows the direction in which to go to find health. Like a multi-vitamin, laughter is a necessary nutrient. To that same end, when something loses all joy, I begin to view it as toxic.

Please forgive me, that this post was not written in my normal lyrical tone. I don’t feel lyrical. I feel like doing what I am doing, speaking frankly and drinking wine while rocking methodically on my deck. Yes its hot out, and yes I’m sweating like a beast; but I needed fresh air. So on that discombobulated final note, I will leave you with this:

 

Sane

 

*Credit where credit is due: Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California.

A Ship Named Samantha

guttercandy.blogspot.com

It is my deepest belief that everyone should live without love, only so that when they do have it – they never let it go. But then again, that goes for most things in life.

I’ve been paying careful attention to human behavior as of late. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why certain people behave the way they do. I look at my life – my journey – as a ship. My mind controls the rudder that’s plunged deep below, but all of my outward movements control the sails. When the winds blow hard, I have to adjust.

I don’t know why I find myself sailing upon glass-topped waters one day, only to battle the unmerciful sea the next. But either way, I need to stay afloat. And all the while, I’m careful of my actions. Gratitude and appreciation mark the bow of my ship. As I move forward I do so knowing how life feels during the worst of times; knowledge that regardless of how painful it was to acquire, I am blessed now to own. As it’s knowledge that not only has shaped me, it has shaped my perception.

I feel one doesn’t know the unspeakable pleasure of satiety without having first been staggeringly hungry. My life has flopped between extremes in every area. I can’t say I want to relive any of the undesirable times that I have endured, but I also never try to completely leave them in the past either. Instead, I take them with me, but with gratitude each time I am blessed with that, which I do desire.

I grew up in a home that upon appearances was quite complacent, yet all the while behind the walls of my youth I knew only volatility and erratic mood swings. I’ve known  the vacuous, hollowness of financial collapse and I’ve known how it feels to lose the one you love. I know what it feels like to sit and make deals with God to save one’s child, and I know what it feels like to watch one’s dreams float away like dandelion pollen in the springtime breeze.

I think everyone should have to spread coins across their bed and count the change, hoping they have enough. Because those moments give depth and substance for when they do finally ‘have enough.’ I also think if love came easy, then we would never have cause to fight for it, nor would we be so moved to protect it and cherish it once it was ours.

I’ve been the recipient of quite a few miracles in my life. I often sit alone, and think only of those miracles; picturing them within my mind; feeling them once again; giving thanks for them again.

It may sound incredibly silly to some, but almost every time I park my trusty Wrangler in my garage, I silently give thanks as I run my hand across its broad fender. Because you see, there was a time when I had nothing, and was given an orange Volkswagen Rabbit resurrected from the neighbor’s field. I was young, and grateful that I could once again get to where I needed to go. Had I not been without, and then given a car, albeit inhabited by mice, I wouldn’t appreciate, on the same level, the wonderful cars I’ve had since. The same goes for love and health and friendship and all those things we so often take for granted. Wherever I go in this life, I don’t take anything for granted. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever do otherwise.

Sane

Taking It To The Tribe

roadtrip.tamelarich.com

I have a tribe. Albeit small, these few individuals were carefully chosen and retained as my closest friends. Once in the circle, they have full access to my devotion, love and care. These are people who, for reasons I’m not quite sure of, have stuck with me through the years.

Not everyone is the same within this circle. Each one has something to offer that is unique only to them. I have an intimate circle, then one that extends further out a bit – but not far. To say that I am private is like saying there’s a couple of fruit flies in the kitchen come mid summer. It would be a grave understatement.

Although I know I could, I do not consult each one regarding the same issues. In fact, I never consult the group as a whole. One person may excel in spiritual matters while the other is so inventive she could quite easily build a boat from spare parts found in her garage. I have one friend that has a wild heart similar to mine. Another who enjoys sitting with wine in hand, pondering the unponderables. And of course, there is my brother, with whom I share all things – only because I know I can. He is a safe, non-judgmental harbor for all my thoughts.

I would rather have five close friends than fifty who wouldn’t be able to answer a question on my behalf, should I not be available. I know, if asked a personal question about me, these people could answer. They would, as expected, each supply a different reply. But then again, I am the kind of person with whom no simple answer can be offered. And they know that. Oddly enough, they like me anyway.

These people make me laugh, and because they own a piece of my heart, they can cause me to cry. Their pain is my pain. It has taken decades to establish this small circle.

When something is weighing heavy upon my mind, I will divulge the details to a few of my friends. Although no one has ever swayed me, I listen carefully to what they have to say. I trust them. And they trust me. I am the keeper of many secrets; hopes, deeds and failures that will never be revealed. I am their confidant and they are mine.

When I write, I reveal myself to the world. As of this writing, my words have been read faithfully by those in thirty-eight different countries. My circle, it seems, is expanding. As private as I keep myself, I am at the same time, revealing myself to the world. Even though only a small fraction of my readers contact me, I consider all those that let their eyes float across my words, to be members of my tribe. We all need a tribe – a few, or more, souls with whom we share ourselves. Someone to toss us a line when we are lost and adrift. Someone who reminds us how to laugh at the absurdity of life. Someone who isn’t afraid to listen to our fears, and most of all someone who listens to our dreams and tells us without hesitation, “I believe you can.”

Sane