Monday, June 24, 2013

What a Little Moonlight Can Do

I've been on another self discovery journey lately.  I'm trying so very hard to be brave and to push myself past what others will think and just be honest.  I feel that I am a pretty honest person already, but I have things I'd like to share.  And I'm leaning on the honesty of those who inspire me.  Mostly my friends and family that have put themselves out there to be seen, read, heard.  Now, most people who know me would say "when were you ever afraid of being seen and heard?"  Well, I may put it all out there, but as the true Scorpio, I still have my secrets.

This weekend just seemed a bit magical.  The super moon was looming and everything leading up to it seemed cosmic.  Saturday I met two musicians who were traveling through Tulsa and decided to stop by the WGC (museum I now work for) and look at the space dedicated to a rebel folk singer.  These two men were brothers and folk singers.  Their sense of self was intoxicating.  They were not, in the least bit, egotistical band guys.  No, these two were gentle and docile with smiles that begged the question "what is the answer to your secret?"  The secret seemingly to be that they had a peace and clam in their hearts. After talking to these gentlemen I felt at peace myself.  And before they left one ran back in holding four cd's and gave them to me and said "We are really proud of this music" and it didn't have that sense of arrogance that one would expect when someone says they are proud of their own work.

Naturally I immediately headed back to my desk to take a listen.   I found it to be infenced by a lot of different styles and the lyrics were thoughtful and reflective. It was peaceful and I felt so very grateful for the gift of music and for the job I have that I am able to meet people like this nearly every single day.  I was further inspired to continue my own journey in writing and self exposure.

Saturday night came and I was ready for more inspiration. After a long day and dinner with friends, I came home and started to get comfortable for the evening.  My friend Julie text me a message that said "Come outside and bring a pillow".  I met her on the front lawn laying on a blanket gazing up at the great mystery in the sky. That big, beautiful, promising super moon on a Summer Solstice weekend.  I decided to take full advantage of the moment and listened to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and his Piano Trio Op. 70 - "Ghosts".  I felt inspired.  I felt okay to dream again and I felt like I was getting recharged.

See, I've always been obsessed with the moon.  When I was a kid it would shine directly into my bedroom.  I would spend a great deal of time staring at it and dreaming.  So any time there's a full moon I plan my time accordingly.  In April I finally saw my first foreign full moon...Florence, Italy.  Ya.  That was pretty spectacular.

Sunday was the same thing.  I planned to spend time in the glow of a completely full super moon and all day I tried to let inspiration come so I'd be ready. That night I sat in a park and just listened to beautiful music.  To my surprise there were several other people in the same park enjoying the beautiful night.  I was so happy to see them, young and old, sitting and just gazing up at the beautiful moon.

I tried very hard to let myself be led to meditate on whatever came to mind and then let it go - the good and the bad.  Because the one thing that always comes to mind during a full moon period is the idea of balance.  When I lose it and start feeling all over the place that moon reminds me that it's all part of the big picture - the balance of good and bad, dark and light.

I love that moon.  I know it may just be a part of the solar system, a satellite to the earth, and nothing but a reflective rock.  But to me it's magic. It's a sign from beyond, call it god or the great mystery, it's a reminder that we are all so very tiny, yet significant.  And all of these thoughts that plow through our minds and drive us away from our true selves, they can just be what they are and left for another time because that magnificence in the sky takes precedence. For the moment we can just be still.

I'm sharing my dear friend's photo of the full super moon.  It's simply breath taking.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Whatever Happened to Saturday Night

I've been waiting for my shows to come back on tv and in the down time between seasons of Walk Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story, my friends and I watch other shows to "fill the void".  So, lately we've been watching Supernatural.  It's not that great but it will do...for now.  The premise is two brothers travel the states looking for mysteries of another kind that need solving.  It's a fun, low grade scary kinda of show.  Well, since we're all watching this show and had a Saturday night free, four thirtysomething women geared up and went researching local lore.  What we found is that even though we're all dealing with things like mortgages, career choices, and typical woman things, somehow it's entirely possible to end the night as a screaming seventeen year-old with your best girl pals.

We started by driving down to a place called Cry Baby Bridge.  The legend goes like this: in 1928 a woman and her infant child were in a cross the bridge on a horse drawn carriage during a storm.  A crash of thunder spooked the horses, sending the carriage over on its side and depositing the baby in to the river below.  The young mother searched for her crying baby but could never find it and died devastated.  So, at this bridge you are supposed to hear the baby crying and see the ghost of the searching mother.  Well, I heard no crying and witness no ghostly mother asking if we've seen her infant.  Instead I saw four creeped out women daring one another to go up with hill, further in to the darkness.  At one point Shelton and I made it just past the bend, out of sight from our companions.  Shelton's pretty much a badass...except when it comes to ghost haunts.  As we were bravely climbing the small hill, she got spooked and just took of running.  Not wanting to be left alone in the dark on an abandoned road, I immediately took off after her screaming "don't leave me alone!" I ran so hard to catch up with her that I had a tragic wardrobe malfunction  and was forced to readjust everything back together like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.  Tuller and Nessa were waiting near a gate and ready to run if we were to clear the bend with a motherly ghost on tote.  However, nothing chased us and we piled back in the car to travel to our next creepy destination.


Our next stop was an old country cemetery where it is rumored that a boy was tragically hit while riding his bicycle and now haunts the cemetery where the accident happened, and where he was buried.  The road alone was chilling as it was off of an old highway and covered with trees dipping down like a scene from a horror film.  At first we passed the unassuming gated entrance.  Finally we turned back, parked and just....sat there.  The nearly synonymous vote between the four of us was to not get out.  Well, I'm curious as a cat so I hopped out and made my way to the gate.  Brave little Shelton joined me as we stood there looking at the foggy path that lead to the actual cemetery and decided...hell no.  We'll be satisfied with a looksee.  When we got back to the car, Nessa pulled out some Bicardi wine coolers and we all shared a major laugh.  Are we really sitting in  car drinking wine coolers in front of a cemetery on a Saturday night? Yes.  Yes we are in fact doing that.  Winning.  

It was getting late and we decided it was time to give up ghost hunting for the night, but not before we decided to try to scare the oncoming car by hiding our heads and popping up just as they passed.  Much to our dismay, the passing car didn't even slow down.  Hell, I'd figure they'd at least want to know why 4 grown women are trying to play a cemetery prank on the locals.  But they either didn't see us or didn't care.

The drive home was nothing but self deprecating jokes about how lame we were acting and a little game we created called Things Alan Rickman Has Never Said.  Example: "I need to go to Wal-Mart".

We laughed so hard at ourselves and had a really good time regardless of the fact that someone may accuse us of being completely ridiculous and forever single because this is how we chose to spend a Saturday night.  Who gives a shit!  It was fun!

My friends are ridiculous.  I love them.


Saturday, June 8, 2013


Today is a beautiful day that has followed a great night.  It was First Friday in Tulsa and all of the museums were open, live music was playing, and people were crawling everywhere.  I couldn't believe it was Tulsa.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the growth that has happened in this Dust Bowl city.  It was pretty great actually.  And the First Friday brought out a lot of people I haven't seen in a while.  It was lovely to see friends - smiling, laughing, happy friends.

The museum I now work for is dedicated to music and its impact on society.  I love it here.  Each day I find a reason to be inspired and I see  faces of people who are also finding inspiration.  And there is no shortage of live music.  We have a theater in the museum and there is a concert stage right outside in the park.  Each day you'll see people sitting out there playing, meeting other musicians, talking about their passion and and enjoying the company of other passionate people.  It's truly a beautiful time to be in the heart of a growing arts district.  And Tulsa has always appreciated and supported its local muscians.

I've always been someone who relates to music with or without lyrics.  I guess my number one hobby is listening to music and analyzing the style, mood, phrasing, and lyrics if it has vocals.   Yesterday while a duo was casually working on a song from their new album, I popped in to watch and some lyrics caught my attention: "Don't let it break you, I hate this for you".  The song was quiet and beautiful and the singer's voice was soft and very delicate.  Appropriate for delivering the simple yet honest words in the song.  I wondered why she had written this song and who it was about.  Honestly, none of the other lyrics stood out to me, but that line just really struck my heart.  Who is she singing about?

I love folk music.  When I got home I started listening to one of my favorite contemporary singers, Rufus Wainwright.  He has an interesting perspective on the world and his songs don't always make sense, but the do....somehow.  I love his writing style and he makes no apologies for writing from life.  His song "Natasha" seems obscure at first listen.  The lyrics don't seem to make perfect sense and that's what I loved about it.  When I first heard it I had to get to the bottom of it and I researched hundreds of wiki articles, Youtube videos, etc.  Finally on his own website I found an article where Rufus himself explained the meaning of the sweet, yet confusing song.  It turns out he wrote it for his friend and actress Natasha Lyonne.  Apparently the girl has a serious addiction to harsh drugs and was found living in her apartment in terrible conditions.  She was very ill with a heart and lung infection and was also tested positive for Hepatitis C.  Knowing all of this and listening again, I found that it started to make sense.  While the lyrics are scattered, seeing someone in that condition makes no sense.  So, he just wrote from his heart, seemingly unedited.  How beautiful. 

I've listened to this song today a few times.  How tragic, how brave.  However I don't know how I feel about being so transparent.  It's....scary!

You walk alone in the valley of life
In the shadow of love under the trees of happiness

You walk alone like a baby unborn
Like a father unknown
Like a pocket penniless

I'm happy that you really care
But do you really know
How scary
This is for you and is for me?
Oh do you you really know?
Do you really know? oh..

All I can do
Is write a song for you
Oh Natasha

For you I sit alone on the cozy ground floor
On a bench by the garden
Waiting also
Waiting for love and thinking of all of the
Catty remarks I also swallow

And as I've often asked before
Does anybody know
How scary
This is for you and is for me?
Does anybody know?
Anybody know? oh...

All I can do
Is write a song for you
Oh Natasha
All I can do
Is write a song for you

Monday, June 3, 2013

Quieting The Shouldbes

I guess each year I go through a period when I start listening to peripherals telling me what I should be doing with my life.  For the last two months they've been rather loud and I started to listen and take their words to heart.  Not a good idea.

There is a major difference in good advice and those who want to tell you what you should be doing with your time.  And lately the Shouldbes have been telling me I should start dating.  Great, thanks.

Unfortunately I didn't just walk away and continue along with my daily routine of coffee, laughter, and friends.  Instead I began to contemplate dating and immediately choked back the urge to vomit. What is dating now?  A long time ago when I did date it meant awkward conversations and moments of hand brushes and lean-ins.  Yuck!  After the Shouldbes tell me I should start dating there is usually the following statements: "I know this really nice guy", "You're a catch", and "You need to put yourself back on the market".

Let's address the statements.

1. "I know this really nice guy" - Good for you!  I'm glad you know a nice man; he sounds lovely.  However, if you're going to imply that we need to meet I will probably give you a blank stare.  No words, just a stare.  Because while you may think it is impossible for me to meet people, you couldn't be further from the truth. I meet people every single day of my life.  I meet great people.  I meet attractive people and some of them are men!  Yes, men!  But I have no interest in meeting this really nice guy during an awkward dinner at your house while you and your husband study us to see if there's a connection.  And if you don't see it sparking, you push and try to force it to happen. And each time I get up to go to the kitchen you follow me and ask "Well, what do you think?" to which I will reply "I'd rather be eating glass".  And that may end our perfectly polite acquaintanceship because let's face it, this will never end.  Next you'll want to introduce me to your weird cousin who has just seen some "tough times".   

2. "You're a catch" - I'm sorry... I'm a what?  A catch?  I'm a fish?  What are you saying?  I understand that you're not trying to be a jerk, I know.  But let's talk about this statement.  To catch something is to trap it, to keep it, to cook and eat it...or mount it in a wall. Considering where I currently reside, in the Bible belt where gender roles are expectations are still clinging to a 1963 way of thinking, being a catch makes me feel suffocated and....colorless.  Most of the time people who say this don't mean anything harmful, but it is still very much a statement living in the universe of a severe male gaze and I have no intention to be caught in that 

3. "You need to put yourself back on the market" - My least favorite of all these seemingly polite comments made to single people the world over. And exactly what market are we referring to here?  Because you seem to think I need to invest myself in playing the relationship stock market; trading up and down to find a mate.  No.  No, no, no..and no!  I am aware of and eHarmony which are two resources for single people needing assistance and a marketing plan to meet people.  But see, I'm not that desperate.  Yes, I said it.  Those institutions are not meant for me.  I am a people person and I enjoy talking and getting to know humans -not inflated, self-indulgent profiles that shed little light on the real person and hide the underlying reason for most singles using these sites, which is "I'm looking for sex".  There is no market to which I need to make an appearance. 

I know someone reading this may think I'm over sensitive and touchy.  To that I say - think what you wish.  I don't really care.  All I want you to do is stay out of my business when it comes to how I choose to spend my time.  I like my friends.  They make me laugh - a lot!  I have the best time and feel the most fulfilled when I've had a lovely night of zero pressure and loads of laughter.  That is what makes me glow.  That is what love feels like to me.  If this bothers you I'd be inclined to ask you what your definition of a relationship is because you've been so interested in the lack of one in my life that you've neglected your own.  

I'm a happy person and I don't want to waste another single second lamenting on the things I don' have when  love and companionship is sitting right next to me in the form of a loyal friend.  I don't want to waste time feeling sorry for myself because I don't have children or because I may never find "that guy".  And I refuse to do something I do not want to do just to make the Shouldbes feel better. 

I'm doing okay, guys.  Really.  Are you?