i think we’re alone now- me myself and i

It seems funny, a tree falling in the forest, to realize how fully I always had the property rights to myself.

I fought very hard a number of times to have it.

I wonder, really, what I was fighting for?

but then, once you have a thing and you don’t have to struggle for it

if you can just leave that thing lying around anywhere and come back to it because nobody would take it because they weren’t interested

Then maybe its not precious.

Maybe it didn’t matter

hm

I don’t think that’s the right metaphor. I think instead, that the trick is like this. It’s MY magic wand. Only I can use it. Nobody else can make it work. So, nobody else wants it. But it is invaluable to me.

Yes, I fought for me many a time

and I won me. And i guess I still have to keep winning me.

Magic wands will go dormant if they are never used.

Yesterday, I spent some time playing the piano. I miss playing the piano. Naturally, I couldn’t play the upright piano. I had to play the keyboard because Veronica was asleeping. But i was trying to noodle out a jazz song that had been running through my head.

I was rusty.

But I still had it.

And i guess it’s part of the magic wand to keep waving it.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -Steve Jobs

there are reasons, Jobs. But I guess there are very few excuses.

Sometimes the heart is not so clear.

This post was a true note-to-self. I think it was as personal as a shopping list. But my heart says “write!”

I suppose that I am waving my wand by doing this. It’s my wand after all.

I can feel a swelling

Things are starting to change. I have felt this for a while, but it’s becoming more pronounced.

The last time everything changed, when was it? Do I remember it? Well, yes, I guess I do.

It was called Mosaic. And it was called the Internet, or more precisely the Web.

And everything changed.

Not everyone noticed. Not for years and years. But I was a the spider and the fly. I made it as much as I was caught in it.

Now, it’s the warp and woof of everything. Maybe it’s like writing; there are a few illiterate societies out there, but they will be affected soon enough. It’s only a matter of time.

Fine. That was the last time everything changed.

Now, I feel it differently. Last time, something was built. This time, everything is being destroyed.

it’s not so much a desctruction, but a collapse. The flaw was inherent in the system.

There is a granulated self-interest in every single institution that will inevitably cause the disintegration. It’s already disintegrated. We only wait for a passing giant to sneeze, and it will come tumbing down.

Anyone can see it.

I am not speaking pessimistically. I am not mad about it. It’s just that I see evidence of institutional disintegration at every turn.

I am trying to find examples of where and when it is working well. Because when people can work together on something they are all excited about, that is the  next thing.

I am looking. I am looking. I’d like to see that next thing

Good times..but will they last?

I was watching Veronica have some time with her daddy this morning. They seemed happy, so I got a plastic shopping bag and went outside to do what I do pretty much every weekend.

Pick up doggie poop

I was sad. It has become a favorite mommy-daughter activity. As I make a slow grid pattern over the lawn, Veronica will trail me, paying close attention to the grass. Sometimes she finds it first, but if she does not, I will stop and point.

“Look! What’s that?”

she will carefully look around and then point her chubby toddler finger and announce “Doggie Poop!”

I will carefully wrap the plastic bag around the offending matter, and we will start our search trek again.

She’s very serious about it. Sometimes, she will even count the pieces. “Doggie poop! one…two..three!”

“Very good!”

She will not always take this task so seriously. She will not always be this companionable as I do my (no pun intended) duty.

AND plastic grocery bags may not always be available. They are under attack from different sides.

So I was sad this morning, because I didn’t have my apprentice in the dog poop patrol.

Then the back door swung open “She wants to come with you!” Chris announced. And my tow-headed delight came running out to join the party.

“Look! It’s doggie poop!” I told her.

“Doggie Poop!”

Life can be really funny sometimes. I don’t want our doggie poop saturday mornings to stop.

Ladies’ brunching

So, I have a daughter. She’d the only child I have. I thought I might like to have a son, but that didn’t happen.

Now, Boys are fun because they are so active and brave. My little one is pretty active too. But she does what girls do.

And what THIS girl likes to do is go out and have breakfast on a weekend.  I am pretty sure most sons would not find that charming.

She just turned 3, and I’ve decided it’s time to begin the brunching.

She does alright. She enjoys playing with the sugar packets (they make an interesting noise when you shake them), and she is happy with the kidcups she can get. “Horsey!” She likes the scrambled eggs and often says “How bout french fries?”

…requesting something not traditionally on the menu might very well be exactly the sort of thing a lady doing brunch should do…Although I will try to redirect towards potatoes.

My goal, as we progress along the brunch training path, is to get a full cup of coffee.

can’t catch the train

“I just heard that Norah Jones is doing a country album…”

my reply “I just got an album from a group that is British Country Acid House…”

Nerds are supposed to be ‘in vogue’ right now.

But, that sort of response I gave to a casual conversation…THAT is the essense of nerd-dom. Because the other woman said “I have no idea what any of those things mean”

and that was the end of that conversational train of thought. No “Please explain.”

Maybe I did the faux pas. Maybe I just should have said “oh! Fancy that! Norah Jones…”

But I wanted to talk about it, and about what I was thinking about the topic.

They didn’t have a way to even pick up that thread.

sigh

It’s lonely at the nerdtop

Don’t be a hero

Yesterday in a toastmaster’s meeting, the speaker was talking about new year’s resolutions and goals. She was encouraging us, reaching deep to instpire.

“Imagine this: What would it look like if you were to be a hero a year from now?”

I know she was trying for us to do positive reinforcement. But for me…”hero’…It is a tired word.

HEROIC is an adjective that seems always to be followed by “Sacrifice”

Billy, Don’t be a Hero. I’m not wanting to be a hero. You know, maybe I’m retiring from being a hero.

Not for my current crop of associates.

I was telling chris about this. He said “If you throw yourself on the grenade and nobody knows it’s a grenade, what does it get you?”

Exactly.

I’m tired of the dirty knees and grenade absorption. All the others who’ve seen me throw myself on the ground just keep thinking I’m an idiot.

Fight your own grenades. i don’t want it anymore.

But if I don’t want to be a hero, what then?

revolution

Someone posted on facebook, most likely a quote from someone else:

If you aren’t the one buying, you’re the one being sold.

I think we ought to remember that. Except, you are ALWAYS the one being sold.

I guess we’d better be aware of that, so we can get a good price.

Is that a Gen-X thing? Is that  thing that the baby boomers wouldn’t be able to hang on to? Well. Cynicism is a way of life, and it’s not so bad once you get used to it.

The gatekeepers are not on our side. The popularity contestst, the university admission letters, the job interviews and the rejection letters. Nobody is your fairy godmother. It’s not a meritocracy, unless the merit being autocracied by your own self.

King of the Hill. Until you are pushed off.

But I’m not interested in tooth and fang. I want something beautiful.

And I am not interested in the gatekeepers and their right to be right.

Who gave them the right? I take it back.

So, I find myself recognizing the Stockholm syndrome inside. Those gatekeepers have infected me.

“Oh…that’s not really good. *I* can do better than that…and I’m no good either.”

No, no. We are all good. Why not?

What is the point of all this judgement? Are we so very fragile that we cannot withstand the horror of a less-than-sublime experiene?

Crappy music is great! if you enjoy it.

Horrible writing? Should we all just cut off our right hands because they offend us with a mixed metaphor or dangling participle?

No. Never. Let the walls fall down.

Yes, there are differences in quality. But we eat Pringles and Potatoes au gratin with oil of truffle. There is room in the world for all of us and all of our growing gifts.

We may have to march around the walls every day for a very long time. To interpret that metaphor, I mean we need to do the work. We need to get good at what we are doing by doing it.

Maybe eventually we will see that we never needed to get the gatekeeper’s help after all. We had the power all along.

Thank you internet. Thank you for letting us know that this whole world is our for the taking, and that we are not bound by the old rules.

If we are going to be sold, let’s broker our own deal.

protect your cherishables

Stayed up way too late tonight with some old friends. We are rekindling a writer’s group.

There is little in life so precious as a good writer’s group. And this is a good writer’s group.

Ironically, we spoke very little about our writing tonight. We didn’t talk about our writing at ALL last meeting. Nevertheless, it was essential to the writing process that we do this.

See, just coming together and listening and talking with one another made me feel so much more ready to be creative.

To misquote:

If a writer writes alone in the woods, and nobody hears it, did it make a noise?

If I think about sitting down to put word to screen, and I do not have confidence that anyone besides myself gives a damn–I will most likely not sit down to put word to screen.

I have ideas and thought that I *think* about capturing and crafting.

But I don’t do it.

HOWEVER! My group got together to listen and to talk to one another. We were saying to one another ‘Yes! That is worth thinking about! Yes, you did phrase that cleverly! You do have a gift to share with us-with the world.’

We were cherishing one another.

It takes effort to write. To write ANYTHING, be it an opus magnum or a grocery list.

If I don’t value what I want to write, I lose it. All the ideas in the world are nothing to the lost ideas of the world.

It’s worth the effort

rumplestiltskin

he taught her how to spin straw into gold, you know.

I myself have no idea how to spin. I saw someone do it once on a school field trip. THey had wool, a puff of it, and they used a spinning wheel to make it into a thred. The puff of fibers was wound into a string and then the string was wound around a spindle. They loaded it onto a loom and made very rough-looking cloth out of it.

But for that girl, they demanded she spin straw-flax probably because that is what you make linen out of-into gold.

She didn’t know how. I didn’t know how either. I would have no idea.

But the king left her alone in a room with straw and said DO IT!

she had a visitor. Ruplestiltskin, though she didn’t know his name yet.

He showed her how.

and in the end, he taught her how to get a prince for a husband.

except he demanded more than he had a right to. He demanded her firstborn

She was clever enough to best him at his challenge and figure out his name

so ther she was, queen and mother and someone who knew how to spin gold.

She was never asked to spin gold again. I wonder if she spun it anyway?

Hard to say. Because her new family had put her in that unfair position.

I thinkshe spun the gold on her own. I think she didn’t tell anyone, but she spun the straw into gold in between when she had the timeleft over after queen and mother duties were done.

Because you never know when you might need some gold.

Special

I’ve been learning from my daughter not to be so shallow.

For years–my whole life?–I’ve been consumed with the desire to be special. I was fairly convinced that I was not special, and really wanted to be so. I could ask myself “Why should you think YOU are special?” and any answer could be easily rebutted and discarded.

i had to have a REASON. I had to KNOW.

Veronica will be 16 months old this weekend. SHe’s been in my life for a long time. I love her, and I think she’s special. But the question remained “what makes HER so special?” She is a beautiful amazing child.

But every mother thinks this of her baby. She’s no different.

And the pain I went through–that I still go through–brining her into this world and up through life was monumental, life-changing and DIFFICULT. Just like all the other mothers and their babies. No different.

So I was being pulled, trying to find a path to special in this land of ‘no different’ that I walked through.

I don’t know how, but watching Veronica as she got ready for bed the other day…I saw the special. She is special. She plays with her toes just like every baby, but she DOES do it different. She is wonderful, beautiful and amazing just like every other baby, but she does it HER way.

I finally got it. That special means unique. It means snowflake. Nobody else like you.

Nobody else in the history of the world ate Cheerios just exactly the way Veronica does. Millions of babies have eaten Cheerios–the category is no different. But no one does it exactly the way she does.

And I appreciate that. Appreciation should be the outcome of special. EVERYONE is special. But not every person will be appreciated for their special unique qualities by every single other person.

It’s the appreciation that allows special to be so special.

So, instead of feeling that I shouldn’t be silly in talking of all the small things about my daughter, I am now free to notice and appreciate every single little thing. How she breathes–she has these adorable little sighs of satisfaction or thoughtfulness–and how she loves the dog and the cat and every little thing.

I’m wondering if I can do that for myself, too.