Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

history

First I must apologize to you, my reader, as well as my buddy Will. It seems that maybe I was a bit overbearing back in the day. As evidence as such I will tell you that we, my ex then late husband and I, employed for a brief time a young man by the name of Will.

What I will tell you about Will is that he reminded me of my Dad. A wiry, young country boy with a sense of immortality almost magic. He almost died. Wait, I think maybe for a moment he did. He swam back and forth on a lake until he drowned 'cause he never took the thought of drowning as a possible consequence. At sixteen years old he thought he would live forever. When I visited him in the hospital I took him a pink dinosaur floatie all blown up with a note that said Please use this the next time you go swimming, Will.

And he has so far. He's flying off to Germany to once again fight for my right to come here and say who he is. All now I can say about Will is that I am most grateful for the young man he has become, for the love he shows others and I wish, I wish so hard that we as a nation would not give one of our wiry, young country boys up to a world of such violence and death but then I turn on the television and realize we are doing it every day on our very own soil.

Off to the homeplace to visit who, some of my most favorite people in all the world of course.

And, yes, you're gonna cringe when you read this letter I wrote to Will back in 2005, is this a lawsuit waiting to happen, some type of workplace harassment?



3/27/05






Dear Will,



There are several reasons that I was disappointed in your report card this last nine weeks. Most importantly, there is no doubt in my mind that you are a very intelligent young man, and it is my belief that wasting such a gift is the worst thing that you can do in your life right now. Although you may be tempted to roll your eyes and scoff, please know that I only come to you with my own 35 years of experience and hard lessons learned along the way. No ulterior motives…just a basic interest in what is best for you.



Following is what I found on your report card:



1st 9 weeks: 86 Average = B

2nd 9 weeks: 80 Average = C

Semester: 83 Average = C

3rd 9 weeks: 77 Average = C



What is obvious is that your grades are falling and a C average is unacceptable for someone of your intelligence. The only comment I saw was from your Algebra teacher, who stated that you were sleeping in class. First, you have to let me know if work is interfering with school. School is the most important thing at this time, and work should not get in the way. If not work, then you are going to have to figure out what is getting in the way of you being the best that you can be. Following is a list of the most common problems that teenagers face:



1) Peer pressure

2) Drugs

3) Alcohol

4) Problems at home



None of these may be your problem, only you truly know. Whatever it is, you can overcome anything because you have people around you to help. All you have to do is ask.



My suggestion on school is to first make a commitment to be the best you can be this last nine weeks. Nine weeks of total focus on school, absolute focus. If you need nine weeks off of work to do this, let me know and your job will be waiting. That is how serious I am, Will, and that is how serious you need to be, also. Use a calendar to mark off your weeks, document any grades on the calendar so you’ll know where you stand.



Second, go to each teacher and let them know your commitment this last nine weeks. Ask them for any suggestions they may have. Stay in close contact with your teachers. Do all homework and discuss any issues that you don’t understand with them. Talk with them before and after tests. You’ll be surprised at how willing they will be to help you. Most teachers are excited about a child interested in learning. Use that to your advantage.



Thirdly, get good sleep, eat right and stay away from friends and things that interfere with that. Keep your mind clear and focused this last nine weeks. Remember an A average equals $1/hour raise.



If you need extra help with any subject let me know. I have been blessed with a large number of very intelligent friends. They are all at your disposal. All you have to do is ask.



Just nine weeks out of your life, Will. After that you can cruise through summer vacation smiling. No pressure from me after this nine weeks. That is not a very long time, and it will be over so fast. Until then, if you decide that it will be okay for you to work, I will be on your butt. I will want to know about grades, what is going on with you at school and how you are progressing.



One last note….have you ever read Wilson Rawles’ book titled, “Where the Red Fern Grows”? I don’t care for the movie. You must actually read the book. If you haven’t, my suggestion is that you go to the library and check it out. I have read that book at least five times. Among other things, the book speaks of dedication to me. This is the dedication that I think you need to give to yourself and your schooling right now. Read it and let me know what you think!



Will, I was blessed with a mother who told me that all I had to do was visualize my dreams, stay focused on my goals and I could do anything. She made me believe that! Now I give that to you, please remember that as wild as you can dream, as big as you can imagine, as much as you can ever want…you can have. Just see it and focus, it’s all within you.





Now do it!

Shea





Note to reader. Do you think that Hitler had early letters and maybe they sounded kinda like the one I wrote to Will?


Gratitude that Will is still willing to speak to me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

C S Lewis

Anonymous mentioned C S Lewis, and I must admit that this was an intriguing character. From Woody to C S Lewis. A man whose friends called him Jacksie then Jack all 'cause his dog was named Jacksie so that at the age of four, when his dog was killed by a car, he changed his name. What a beautiful boy.

Quite a life he had, this C S Lewis guy, quite an adventure.

If you would like to read about it I suggest you go here. Then to his books to see who C S Lewis was.

Gratitude.

Woody

Maybe you could say Woody never doubted himself. What he held onto was more like some solid convictions built as sturdy as that house he lived in. Supposedly it had been constructed by Native Americans from the area. Huge exposed logs nailed neatly together to form a shelter solid enough to weather any storm.

As far as I could tell he was just about the happiest guy I had ever seen. Still today, over thirty years later, I remember his wave, his smile. There are some people from those childhood memories I'd like to visit as an adult, sit down and have a cup of coffee and a nice talk. Not Woody though, his memory seemed so perfect to me. Just what I knew was all I needed to know.

What I knew is Woody's place sat on a piece of property which connected land laid claim to by my family and to get from one place to another you had to open a locked gate, drive your truck in, lock the gate back and travel slowly up a rutted dirt road before you passed by it. All I ever remember was passing by it and that my day would more times than not be gifted by a sight of Woody sitting on that front porch. He and I, we had a little ceremony of waving and grinning. Me from the back of the pickup, Woody from his front porch.

That's all I knew, and I loved him for it.

It wouldn't be until long after Woody died and that place burned down I sat at my Mama's breakfast table and quizzed my parents about those memories. I was right smack in the middle of some idealistic, romantic version of mine and Woody's waving and grinning when Mama's eyes rolled to the back of her head.

Oh, Shea. Woody was just an old drunk!

Daddy chimed in, Now, Patsy.

Maybe, just maybe, it's okay to sometimes learn our heroes were just old drunks and leave it at that. Yet maybe sometimes one little piece of information will lead us to inquire upon another. What was behind that grin, that wave, that man living out in the middle of some pines removed from the world around him.

Part of me didn't want to know. I wanted to freeze Woody as that two dimensional character of my past, but little by little my more curious side took hold and several visits later I finally learned Woody moved into that place after coming home from World War II. He had been stationed in England, fell in love with a beautiful country music singer, had the affair of his life and expected to bring her back home when the war was over.

The war ended and I guess she had better things to do and maybe no amount of love would keep Woody from coming home to his family. And there it was, a broken heart soaked in moonshine sitting in the middle of the woods waving at some little girl as she passed by. And why not? Woody made his choice, he had every right to. We all make choices.

Cue music.

Gratitude.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

secret

The whole world is in love with you. Sometimes they don't know how to say it or the sun gets in their eyes, but believe me, I know this world, the whole world, they love you. The other day when you were standing in line waiting and waiting and slowly inching forward you didn't notice but you were loved. That lady who turned around and began to chat and then both of you began to laugh at the absurdity, yes, yes, she loved you and still does.

I guess someone may have told you along the way that you weren't loved or maybe you saw something on the television or possibly in the street ahead of you but I'm here to say it's untrue. Those were lies told by people who were frightened you would go somewhere else if you knew how much everyone loved you. So scared they lied to you, that's how much they loved you.

See, they love it when you smile, when they see the joy in your eyes. They love it when you are relaxed and open to possibilities. And it's amazing to think they care nothing about what you wear, how big your house is, the color of your skin, eyes or hair, they love you all the same because you are them. Human.

Unless maybe somewhere, sometime in their lives someone could have said to them they shouldn't love themselves and they believed and if that's the case they wouldn't know how to love you 'cause you are them. So I guess every now and again we should tell people the secret. Tell them that they are loved.

It's good to love and be loved.

Gratitude.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

slow

So here's the thing. I have to slow things down 'cause they come way too fast. I have to think things through, and it's hard when you spend a large number of hours in your day simply reacting to the world around you with thought with which you've been trained. I like to question my thoughts and in a world of a speedy gonzales mentality it can get a bit difficult.

I mean, seriously, I'm always saying the wrong thing.

The things that go straight from my brain directly to my mouth without anything catching it or filtering it or bombing it are well, maybe a little forthright strange. A little too much. So the friends that stick with me on this, they're hilarious. They love it when I say some of the things I do, and I love it when they laugh.

Like today when I called Kim and I was at work and she was at work and there was no way we were gonna get to say more than three sentences each to each other.

Hello.

Someone signed me up for sexy single seniors.

What?

Someone signed me up for sexy single seniors and I loved that and I thought you would too.

Oh my gosh that's hilarious. Kim has the best giggle which turns into all out laughter which in turn makes me laugh.

Okay, bye.

I got to tell the girls, bye.



Today is called a holiday of quick, fun-filled conversations.



Gratitude.




Disclaimer: If you are a sexy single senior then I think you are absolutely fantastic. I personally know several of you. Rock on. The thing is that the funniest thing in my life right now is the thought of me dating anyone other than the people I have in my life right now. I'm dating them, and it's cool. In fact, I think I may have a photography date with my Dad and Ruby and the puppies this weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

stranger

Been listening to this on my commute. I love my commute. Thirty-five minutes of driving and music, whatever I am into at the moment.

Ahhhhh, hah

Yeah.

I started to relax, not on vacation but in real life. I shook my arms out, kinda did a little back and forth with my shoulders, scooted my butt in the chair and began to write. Music is such an inspiration. And that song, that song rocks. The whole album does. It is Junior Kimbrough done by The Black Keys.

The deal is you stop worrying when you're in your car and you put on that album.

And you slow your mind down even though you're still doing all the same things. Well, all except one thing.

And it's good you got fired from one of your night jobs which was a volunteer job. 'Cause volunteer jobs which become so entrenched in your life that you obsess over them are not a good thing. 'Cause maybe when you're doing volunteer work and you want to do the very best volunteer work anyone has ever seen then you try too hard, you lose too much sleep.

And so when I was fired I was very momentarily all, Whaaaut???? I've never been fired from a damn thing in my life. What are you talking about? I work like a horse. I am a mule and you didn't have to buy me. Who do you think you are? Firing me by locking the door to the building and taking away my key?

And then in the very next inhale I thought, Shea, you prayed for this yesterday. You said, Hey, listen you, you up there. Whatever your name is, it doesn't matter. There, you up there. I got an issue. Wyatt's sick, Mama's worn out and I am gettin' no sleep. Willie, damn it, I don't know what's going on with Willie. Whatup, up there?

And up there said, Let go.

Fuckin', LET GO.

So I said, Okay, I'm letting go and that's the best thing I've ever done. In the very next breath.

It felt good to be fired.

And it feels good to come here and finally talk to you.

This is nice.

And Wyatt's better.

And Mama's better.

And Slater is safe.

And so is Willie.

And we're all here.

You and me.

And it's quiet, all but Billy Sue's snoring.

Gratitude.

silence

He lingered, and I did not push. It could be that we were simply holding on between semesters.

This morning his car backed out the driveway, and I did the silly wave I always do with Dad.

Go show 'em how it's done, Slater.

Gratitude.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

photolog






Gratitude and a smile.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

waltz

You who have sent me your gratitude, well, I didn't know what that would do to me. I guess I thought it would be nice to read but it was really all about being able to give you something for coming here to this space, for sticking with me on this. I didn't realize how it would ground me to read your emails, to see your love for what you have in your life. All that pacing, worrying I do, it slowed a bit, became a waltz of sorts.

It has been beautiful.

Thank you.

And for those of you who still want to get in on the drawing you have until 5pm today. I wish we didn't even have to draw names, that we could give this and this away to anyone who expressed appreciation for those things in their lives that sustain them. I would even throw in a car or two if I was Oprah, but alas, Oprah I am not. So five people get the poster and the CD, but all of you get my absolute love and appreciation.





Today is a holiday of live music and photography with Woodstomp at The Fillin' Station in Southaven, MS.

Rockin' gratitude.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

quote

Sometimes when you're searching for something you find something else.

I've gotten convinced that there's something kind of timelessly vital and sacred about good writing. The thing doesn't have that much to do with talent, even glittering talent...Talent's just an instrument. It's like having a pen that works instead of one that doesn't. I'm not saying I'm able to work consistently out of the premise, but it seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art's heart's purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It's got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved.
David Foster Wallace



I am so grateful he wrote.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

you

It was one sentence too many. A word which began to linger then knaw. And it wasn't that I wasn't aware but maybe I had gotten so used to the idea that when it was spoken aloud I didn't realize it's impact on the space outside of me. You.

You see, I went too far. I thought I saw a need, heard a cry, noticed a crack and with all the nurturing inside of me I began to work. Feverishly. Tiredlessly. Building a dream for you, becoming a part of that dream, making it my own until I couldn't find you anymore. You.

But today I realized in one sentence just enough. A word which began to linger and knaw. You, you can take care of your own dreams. You've got this. You know what you're doing. You are exactly where you want to be.

And so am I.

Grateful for your forgiveness.


Josh






Today is a holiday of playing some Black Keys and cleaning house. I love days like this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Josh

Most artists I know have a similar torture. The work is never done, it is always unfinished. One more stroke of the brush, another read of the story, maybe one last shot in this lighting and then another. It is a bit obsessive, compulsive perhaps or possibly we could call it a great concern as to what they give the world.

When I called Josh about the surprise poster and he finally answered because he was clearly avoiding me and had ultimately forgotten why. I casually after the hellos and how you doings proceeded to the question.

Oh hell, there's nothing casual about me, I asked what about the poster?

It's not finished, then a deep sigh. I'll try to work on it tonight.

You know tomorrow is the deadline, is the last day I can print it off and give it to Charlie. You're done. You don't even know you're done. You have a problem. It will never be done so right now you must email it to me and walk away from it.

No. I'm not finished.

Josh, don't make me call Mama or Priscilla. Hand it over.

I'll email you what I have but I'll still try to finish it tonight.


Pause.

I just sent it.

Excitedly I love you.

Begrudgingly I love you too.

Born August 28, 1977 he was the only of the three Miller children who seemed to decline upon removal from the womb. He got sick and according to my grandmother was not going to make it.

He made it.


16"w x 20"h, Matte finish, Premium paper

And he made a poster. One you could have, signed by the artist as well as each member of the band sent directly to you in pretty packaging. All you have to do is email a gratitude to sheagoff at gmail dot com before 5pm on Saturday, January 22nd. I'll then place your gratitude in my hiking hat which will then become my gratitude hat. At 6pm I will ask Josh to close his eyes and draw five gratitudes from that hat. Those five people will then be notified, asked where they would like the poster sent and you, you, my friend, could be the owner of the first ever, very limited signed poster work of Robert Joshua Miller, Charlie Shearon and Connor Alexander.

A thank you, gratitude to you for reading.

Today is a holiday of sharing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK

The closest I ever got to knowing who Martin Luther King was was when I read a book called Three Years in Mississippi by James Meredith. Neither man saw eye to eye but both of them had so much courage that on the line of courage the little red dot had gotten so far up it had fallen off.

I don't necessarily know what that courage is like. I never went through what they went through, but I've read a little bit about it. And the thing is, well, you know huh, I love these men. Beautiful, courageous people who showed wisdom and courage and love for each other off the scale.

There are people of this world who redeem it every day and for them I am grateful.

Today is a holiday called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a twist of James Meredith Day for me.


So grateful.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

carlin

Slater and Isaac got introduced to Carlin when they were seventeen. I don't know if that's a good age but I do think every human should be exposed to Carlin at some point in their life and why not be introduced by your parents.

Slater, Isaac meet George Carlin.

It was a casual introduction, kinda like when I had Slater meet David Sedaris. The Carlin bit was my favorite 'cause it was about stuff. How much stuff we all seem to need and if we go on vacation we've got to pick our most favorite stuff and then if while we're on vacation we go somewhere else for a simple overnight stay we then must pick our most favorite stuff. What was it?

Oh yeah.

Today is a holiday called Saturday with links as an extra holiday bonus.



Gratitude.

Friday, January 14, 2011

movie

Jeff Johnson actually typed my name, typed Shea with the correct spelling 'cause he's like that. He notices things and then he tells them in both his photography and his writing. In 2010 I stumbled upon a movie starring him after coming home from the day job, sitting at my desk with dinner in front of me and pulling up Netflix. They said I might like it and well, I loved it.

Thank you, Netflix.

Hi, my name is Shea. I will watch a movie seven times in two days. I will buy it for a friend. I will push it on everyone I know. At Christmas I will buy three copies and give them to three important people in my life.

I loved that movie and even writing about it now makes me want to stop and watch it, but I tell myself I need to tell you about it.

So there's this guy named Jeff Johnson who goes on this adventure some years after watching a video made in 1968 by dirtbags, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tomkins. And well, it makes you want to be a dirtbag. It makes you want to swim in what you believe in. It inspires you to ride some metaphorical wave as if you are Keith Malloy needing some solitude. You know you will follow Timmy O'Neill up a mountain 'cause you trust him to know what he's doing. You have to dream one day to sit by a campfire and listen to Alicia Ika Acuna play the guitar and serenade you and your friends.

You know that movie speaks to you because the video is superb and the music is lovely. Yes, I do have the soundtrack and yes, it is like warm cookies and milk. And the cast, every single person in that movie becomes someone you love because you see what they love. They love our home. Mine and yours and no matter what you are feeling in this exact moment in time you know you have to stop and think for at least a breath how much you love those trees, the grass secreting some change come soon and the ocean. Oh, the ocean.

I don't review movies or wait maybe I do right here, right now. If I did about this one I would say five stars, A and all the plusses, way to go everyone who had any part in what that is and thank you, I do so love me a great movie.

Here it is, my friends.



Sweet gratitude.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

cold

I don't much like to complain, I've said before I am extremely lucky and at least a tad bit grateful, but baby, it's cold outside. No, not South Dakota cold, lucky and grateful, but it is fourteen degrees in the state of Mississippi and the fingers and toes have found less pleasure in the act of typing and placing even shoed feet on icelike tile. If my night job involves pecking away at a chilled keyboard and researching for about five hours then you could maybe say that any creative juices found to have inspired earlier work could have slowed their pumping through the veins.

It is harder now.

There is a certain beauty to dark work where a writer or a musician or a painter or a photographer delves into some inner pain and produces what feels like complete honesty. It could be called riveting at times. And you, you may find yourself changing the pace of your breath or possibly even your heart. I have known of photographs and writings and music and paintings with which this has happened for me. One photograph actually branded my memory and I wish it hadn't.

I wish I had never seen it. So no, I am not even going to tell you it's subject matter. I will just say it made me mad, punched me in the gut, had me gasp for air and kept me coming back till I couldn't look anymore. It became more and more obvious I was losing my capacity for happiness at each study. The work ultimately produced denial.

No, not denial that I had ever seen it. Denial that I could do anything about it.

So I personalized it. The place I gave it is the you better not bitch for one damn moment area of my brain. The any problem you think you have is seriously not a fucking problem portion of my psyche. It cleansed me, left me naked and clothed me with absolute gratitude.

Cold is not a problem 'cause I have clothes, socks my Mom gave me for Christmas, shoes, two, count 'em two heaters running and a bed and blankets and a pillow. Yeah, it's cold and I've been bitching a little lately about that fact so I guess I'm here to repent and say....





oh, the suspense....





what will she say...................





please, don't make us wait any longer..........










oh. of course.






Gratitude.

Today is a holiday of warm wishes from friends. Thank you Priscilla, Angie and Kim.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

simple

Today is a holiday of simplicity and rest.

Maternity by Josh Miller




Gratitude.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

centered

I guess the best way I know to regain your center is to step off the road and into the grass. Feel the wind. Hear the birds. Take a long casual walk down a path cut into the woods. Have the sand move under your step. Watch the sun set. Hear the ocean.

Oh, the ocean.

Nature seems to help with all the chatter.

Can anyone tell that I am looking forward to the promise of a March beach?


Perdido Key, Florida




Today is a holiday of planning.

Gratitude.

Monday, January 10, 2011

snow

The snow is quiet and other than the drip drip drip outside the window I am lured into thinking we've gone somewhere else. I think my favorite are the trees, how they transform into something more. The white snow contrasting with the bark. Above is pinkish grey sky.

The rarity of a snowfall in Mississippi lends itself to being quite special. No, we don't have snowplows or snow shovels or snow tires or snow anything. In fact, you may find us sledding down a hill on the hood of an old car. You'll see those people here and there, you'll hear their stories.

What I notice tonight is that it is beautifully quiet, peacefully still and I need to write. Write that story called Foreword.

Today is a holiday of beginnings.

Gratitude.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

album

Yes, I have listened to the Woodstomp album over and over again. Repeatedly.

Then again.

Go boys.


Charlie Shearon & Connor Alexander

Today is a holiday of music.

Gratitude.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

kindness

I think about the kindness I see in this world, about the smiles, the hugs, the waves, the concern. How beautiful it is. How nice it is when a gentleman opens the door for a lady and the lady in return says a soft thank you. How when any of us allow someone older ahead of us, how we will give them our seat.

It is lush and green and campfires and family.
It is food and reading and writing.
It is separating within yourself and coming back together again.

And it's beautiful, this place this time, this kindness I see.

Today is a holiday of kindness.

Gratitude.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

tunes

It is Friday Eve and the music is filling the car. I think there must be at least six instruments in these songs. The beat is heavy and it stirs with a passion so pure you think these writers, musicians, singers must be in their sixties. You would never think the drummer is singing. And these songs. THESE SONGS. People call this North Mississippi Hill Country Blues. It is.

It is Charlie Shearon and Connor Alexander. Two guys making this sound, living this story in a truth so kind you can't help but notice it.

I felt like a teenager when I got the CD today. On the front nicely written by someone who takes great notes is a message in black sharpie.

"Woodstomp"
First copy.
Shea, Thank you for everything.
Charlie.

I will keep it forever and take care of it.

Charlie wrote at least one of these songs, my favorite if I could have a favorite. I heard a lady once say that in order for people to truly love something they must first identify with it. I identify with this song and consider it to be the only ballad I've ever heard these two guys perform. It is number five, and when it came on in my car ealier today I turned, looked at Shenna, smiled, sighed and said in just above a whisper, My favorite song. Then I felt a sudden pang of guilt 'cause I had just heard RL's Big Boss Man on track four and it was amazing and how could that not be my favorite.

Here's the thing. Connor is a genius on the guitar, what he does with it, how his hands and fingers move on that thing is something more than just practice. It is some mysterious innate ability programmed into his genetics which make that one instrument sound like at least five. He would blush if he ever read this, but it is true. I doubt he even recognizes his talent but maybe that's one of the things that makes him so good at what he does. He lets go and lets it happen. We're just lucky to witness it 'cause on track one is Remember Me, written and sung by Connor.

And where in the heck did track three come from? I thought I had heard everything these boys performed but they've surprised me. Shenna and I immediately picked up her phone and called Charlie to ask him about it.

Track two had us dancing in the car.

So it is rather fitting, I think, that track six, the last track is Happy Faces and you will be, you will be grinning from ear to ear by the time you get to this song and it will feel like summer, like riding in the back of your Daddy's green pickup on your way to the creek to swim in water so cold the watermelon will be chilled by the time you get out.

Here.

Right here I am giving away five of these to people who email me their gratitude. For what do you give thanks? Tell me. Email me at sheagoff at gmail dot com. The CD should be ready in about two weeks which will give me enough time to print up five copies of their first poster and have it signed by the artists, Robert Miller, Charlie and Connor. Collector's items, no doubt.

In two weeks from today I will draw five names from a hat of the gratitudes and will be so grateful to be the owner of a hat of gratitudes. It's a win win.

Today is a holiday of giving.

Gratitude.

provocative

Positive statements are quite provocative if you think about it. You may find you need to limit yourself 'cause nobody wants to see that much love floating around. And when you sing you may want to keep it down 'cause you may be too loud and someone might hear you. And when you dance, just dance alone 'cause somebody might tell you that you can't dance.

Or not.

Maybe we should do all those things.

Love.

Sing.

Dance.

I have found it to be quite contagious.

Today is a holiday of celebration.

Gratitude.


Foxfire Ranch


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

lull

It was nice day, a nice night. Calm and silent. Pleasant as I took each task at hand with little emotion. They were just papers, filing, creating, bringing to order. It was as if I was gifted with a lull between the storms of activity, passion and insecurity.

A state of peace.

Like when I was a kid and would climb in the bed of Daddy's green pickup. Maybe we had gone to feed the cows or taken something to Mamaw. It could have been we had just gone to town for Mama. For sure it was in a time when laying in the bed of Daddy's truck after dark as he sat in the cab driving us home was not illegal, or at least it didn't seem that way. Plus, he always drove nice and slow.

And I don't know how it is where you live or lived but down amongst the red clay banks of Mississippi we have some of the most gorgeous, black, full of stars nights anyone could ever witness. As a child I lay in awe of it as the warm summer air moved around me. I guess you could call that a happy place 'cause I can't imagine anyone being anything but happy there.

Or here.

Today is a holiday of peace.

Gratitude.

Monday, January 3, 2011

learning

I push and pull during a learning phase when I am trying to get all controlling and end up missing sleep, or wait missing rest. I place myself all up amongst about four big projects and then attempt to stand in the middle circling in a mad conductor type of way. The little baton thingy in a staccato frenzy and me standing on a centered pedestal with a bad ankle.

Until finally one day I get sick.

It will put me down, the learning. It will lay me to bed with a fever and a runny nose.

I had trouble with two men. One at a doctor's office in Mississippi, another at a steel plant in Missouri. Both surprised me. I didn't see them coming, maybe I was warned I don't know, but I can tell you that they irked me a bit, possibly increased the pressure of which the blood pumps underneath my skin.

To both I responded outwardly, Happy New Year, but not in the same tone that I said it to my friends and family and the cashiers who check me out anywhere and my new friends on facebook. It was a serious tone as if I was that little girl in that horror movie from ages ago who could catch someone's head on fire when she looked real hard at them. I think this may be what some people call passive aggressive. I mirrored them but not in a way that I punched them in the nose.

It's like you want to kick someone's ass but that's not socially acceptable so you give them a HAPPY. NEW. YEAR. that could set their head on fire. I'm not proud of this. I think this is called honesty.

The first guy was brimming with anger, at me at the world, and he treated me as if I was substandard. That somehow he was better than me and we actually kinda almost spit at each other when we talked. 'Cause hell, I am at my core Bobby and Patsy's daughter. Call it whatever you'd like but I got some good ole stand up and give it back in me. I think that is the learning, recognizing what I don't like within myself  'cause I see it out in front of me.

Slater and I had this discussion years ago over a band instructor.

The next guy would only help so much. There was a limit to his giving, and I had a long drive to think about that one. How much do I truly give? Not enough I guess. It's true, not enough.

So I recognize these things and the music slows, the ankle heals and the pedestal lowers to the ground as I begin to regain some balance and remember the lessons I learned last year. Now. What is now?

Today is a holiday called healing.

Gratitude.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

if

What if this is our last year together?

What if this is the birth of a thousand more?

What if this is the last moment?

What if in the next there is infinity more?

What would we, you and me, do?

We would answer the phone.

We would listen.

Maybe we'd savor that first and last bite.

That email we got, it would mean something.

The comment we made, it would stand for love.

And here is we are, nothing more nothing less.

Happy New Year. 2011.

Gratitude.