Monday, October 31, 2005

rock my world

quite literally, today my world got r*cked.

in my inbox sat an email from mr. d'addario himself inquiring about the firm that designed our packaging. it was great. there he is in an email explaining what his company does for a living and i'm like "DUH!!" in my email response to him i underscored that i only recommend and use their custom lights on my acoustic.
so as a perk he's sending me "samples" for "all my trouble."

since i have his ear for the moment i thought i would dig deeply and see what emerges, and asked him to recommend a good guitar for someone starting out (mainly because i was curious as to how he would answer this... he hasn't yet).

work sometimes isn't work. or i guess it just sometimes has great kickback benefits.
like meeting mr. rock and roll through email.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

shards of the broken

my friend jack said in low tones tonight that he wanted to kill himself.

my roll-down curtain rolled all the way up this morning and upon trying to pull it back down, somehow the fact that i'm 5'2 did not register in my napoleonic brain and i fell off the window ledge into my floor lamp, which blacked out, as the sound of breaking glass echoed in the newly brought on darkness.

i fumbled on the ground with a slight glow from the hallway, looking to pick up the pieces of what used to be such a nice lamp, but now appears to have some connection to the halloween holiday, with its jagged tooth of a shade.

downstairs, i told larissa what had happened, how i needed to throw the lamp away. what a pity it was. it had always been a good lamp. no, it would not fit in the garbage. oh, true, i could unscrew the different parts of it and squeeze those into bags. but such chagrin settling inside me. such malcontent about the way it had all gone down. even as i looked at 6'2 kelly standing in our kitchen, thinking in hindsight, how i should have waited and asked for help instead of shouldering on alone, the rugged individualist, able to do it myself.

i went back upstairs and spent a good moment thinking things over in the w.c. realizing the cover on the lamp really had nothing to do with its ability to function. into the closet, my hand searched for a new bulb, which once screwed in, and then lamp turned on gave a decent glow once more to the room.

except now there's a gash, where once there was wholeness. there are several jagged edges and somewhat opaque pieces on my grey carpeting. as i picked them up, i turned the good side of the lamp toward me, ashamed that i had considered throwing the whole away when just a part had been afflicted and damaged. thinking of jack and hoping he can see that the affliction and damage within him can be mended too. that one day, he will shine his light brightly. that there is light underneath the wreckage, it just needs a new cover. that he might have openness and willingness to replace the former with the new. and realize life can still hold good things and fresh starts at 48.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

a well-meaning pirate

i call him today to check on his post-operative state. he tells me mine is the first call he's answered all day because he had a feeling it might be me. his voice is surprisingly chipper and upbeat. all in all he said the surgery went well, but yes, he is in pain. he then tells me he now has a green eye where his eye once was brown. over his eye is a white patch, and he tells me that he ought to take a photograph because he looks like "a well-meaning pirate." a well-meaning pirate, hmm.

i can only imagine what one would be like. i guess a well-meaning pirate would give instead of stealing and perhaps instead of saying "argh," he would say "aha." must make sense that i, a gypsy, would always be attracted to pirates, since piracy seems to run in the family. (there is a pirate in our dutch lineage who preceded my daddy-pirate).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

big gulp

i just came back from the second week of a gathering we are having after our dinner with the homeless. it started last week, but i was unable to make it due to a visit to the chiropractor and several x-rays of my hand, (the lid from our huge tradeshow crate slammed down on it)we found out later had been deeply bruise. and the gathering was interesting...

so my madre is headed to mexico to support our family who were affected by a flood that swept over their very small town. my dad, on the other hand, will be undergoing the knife tomorrow in surgery. and here i am in california, so far removed from it all. my dad is one of these rare creatures, kind of like a peacock with these exotic, satiny feathers.i love him and in him can see elements of me- things that make me have a renewed sense of knowing and understanding who i am. he's such a dramatic man, but very realistic and sober. he's got a good head on his shoulders, so the other day we're on the phone and he tells me he's scared of surgery. which on the one hand, it's good that he's honest, but on the other hand, it kind of makes me fidget. and i'm the one that has to rally his spirits, convince him that it will be okay, that he'll see me at thanksgiving (which to his ears, is new news) and makes his tone change (as i knew it would) to one that is less piqued, less unsure. now, using words like this and this will happen "after surgery."

see, he's never been in the best health and has been through a lot of crazy ordeals. he's like a cat with nine lives, and sometimes, when something new arises, i wonder if he may be on his 8th one...

and in the end i know no one is immortal, but the time we get together is so brief. always too brief.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

love your neighbor

i have never met our neighbor though her reputation far precedes her. on one occasion we spoke on the phone for the following indictment. nestled in between my windshield wiper blade and windshield was a lovely letter from the d.p.t. stating i had "blocked her driveway" and owed them a measly $75. gulp.

i had just been fined for parking in front of my house.

i knew it needed to be addressed, but wanted to wait until words that were not fueled from an angry place subsided to be replaced from a more rational, logical place. and so the letter was drafted with me asking her to help me be a better neighbor to her, providing potential solutions to the repeated problem of her ticketing people who park in front of her house, thinking they are blocking her driveway, when clearly that is not always the case. i gave her my cell phone number and encouraged her to call me to dialogue... which she did and what ensued were her explanations about things like "six inches" "her right" and i explained i would be more careful in the future, but that if she ever felt my little blue car might be blocking her driveway to please call me and i would move the car.

it has been explained to me that she is older in age and very fearful of the outside world, not going out unless absolutely necessary. nervous about everything. a life lived indoors is a safe life, right?

another time, someone else parked in front of her house and was ticketed. it's not such an infrequent occurrence really. but this time they tacked a nasty note on the tree in front of our house defaming us. the note called us out as being "not the sophisticated women" the driver had previously believed. my roommate lisa then drafted a note of her own, tacked to the same tree trunk providing shade in front of our house, revealing it was not us, that we would not do that. shortly thereafter she stealthily painted a white line, six inches from the edge of our neighbor's driveway, so no one else could be unwilling victims.

tonight, we met for bible study at our house. the topic: hospitality and loving your neighbors, coworkers and the like. as we settled into the living room with mugs of steaming hot tea, a piercing wail like a bank robbery cut through the air. i knew our neighbor had somehow set off her alarm and told everyone i would be back.

in her doorway stood a panicked chinese woman. i asked the pertinent questions- is there smoke? are you okay? she told me in broken english that this house was her sister's house, that her sister was gone. i walked into the lobby and saw the alarm box lit up with a red light strobing like the steam issuing from a tea kettle. i asked if she knew the code. she said (amid the blare of noise), "no." the phone rang. i told her it probably was the alarm company, to answer the phone and explain who she was.

she reached for it, but not in time. the entire time, i remained in the lobby, not wanting to breach her space anymore than was necessary. not wanting to bring further cause for alarm. i explained that the alarm company probably was sending someone over- that it would be important for her to talk to her sister and get the code, have her sister talk to the alarm company. she couldn't find her purse and it further exacerbated that i was a stranger standing in her sister's lobby. at this point, she seemed to need to be alone, so i left, as she closed the door.

i understood standing in that lobby what our neighbor held dear- what a beautiful home she had created, complete with a dance floor in the front room and lovely things, probably collected over the years- all the more reason to get a tip-top alarm system in place to guard over what she had worked so hard to cultivate and build over the years.

for another 20 minutes the alarm blared on and i thought how penetrating that sound would be for one enveloped in it. i said a quick prayer for our neighbor's frightened sister and then started the bible study, talking about the word hospitable, that means both "shelter" and "place for healing."

i'm not sure that my intrusion into her sister's lobby communicates love, but it was a step in the right direction perhaps.

Monday, October 10, 2005

baby steps

so i have taken the first few steps to getting my book published. i'm endeavoring to spend time this week after work cracking down on it, post-conversation with my friend pam. and now i'm tired, so off i go to bed. whew.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

a little thing called courage + a big, long list

can you imagine what life would be like if we had every ounce of courage possibly afforded to us?

it's amazing what would change, for starters:
-- you could see injustice and call it injustice without worrying who has been offended
-- you could take big risks since the thought of failure would be several blocks away
-- you could accomplish what you never would have conceived possible
-- you could buy foie gras in a restaurant and savor it bite by bite
-- you could buy a fur coat at neiman marcus and not be scared of the "neiman carcass" people lingering outside waiting to jump your bones
-- you could love people openly and genuinely without thought of repercussion
-- you could talk to the cute guy who seems kind of brooding, though perhaps it's that he is dehydrated and unmoisturized. hmm.
-- you could take big strides instead of putting off life goals by taking baby steps
-- you could wear fishnet hose and a killer fuchsia dress and not think people might think you're a hooker
-- you could not like people and not feel bad since loving people and liking them are different
-- i could drive my car and not tighten up every time i hear a noise
-- i could dream of beaches and twirling and laughter and not think it naive or outlandish that it could be that easy
-- i could not be scared of what may lay ahead if i exchanged an old haggard identity for a new one
-- i could allow myself moments of sentimentality without getting disgusted by it
-- i could move overseas without the lingering thought that had i just stayed a while longer, i might have a.) met him b.) cashed out
-- i could laugh in the face of danger
-- i could see you and not project onto you how i think you should be
-- i could settle down and not be so stinking restless. (even typing that brings a shudder).

is there anything that comes to mind for you, dear reader, that you think might change, if you had within you, all the courage in the world?