Saturday, December 16, 2017

On Smartphones

It’s a quiet Tuesday afternoon and I sit at my computer thinking of the cell phone that I have purposely left in the kitchen and my internal dialogue goes something like this:  “Was it a good idea to leave it on the table?  Maybe I should go get it, what if I need to look up something?”  Never mind that I’m sitting at a computer where the world practically lives at my fingertips anyway…no, somehow the phone seems important, necessary even.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was having a slight case of separation anxiety.  

The situation sounds absurd, but it is actually not far removed from the reality that millions of folks currently experience; an unnatural connection to their smart phones, those wily, ubiquitous devices that have succeeded in winning us over one text at a time.  You may laugh, but it’s true.  One has only to look around to notice the aforesaid glued in our hands while our heads bend down to take in byte after byte of entertainment or distraction, such as the case may be. 

Take the gym for example.  I remember when people went to work out unhampered by the technology that now eats up all our attention.  They were there, well, to work out.  Nowadays when I scan the horizon, as far as my eye can see, I notice smart phones populating book holders on treadmills, stationary bikes and the like, while their respective owners exercise glued to the screens, taking in content with rapt attention and appearing more interested in virtual reality than in breaking a sweat.  It’s sad to see people pause their routines just to take in something on their phones.  I want to shake them and shout, “You’re here to work out, so work out!”

Or how about Bart (the Bay Area rapid transit system for those of you unfamiliar), that grand repository of the human soup?  Nowhere else can one gauge so accurately the trends and zeitgeist currently inhabiting society than in those telling cars.  In riding, I’ve witnessed the disturbing sight of practically every person poring over their phones in one way or another.  Passengers stand up in the thick of commute time with practically no room to breath looking like so many penitent churchgoers...eerily silent and disturbingly still, their bent heads blankly take in the device in their hands.  In all fairness, tuning out is allowed after a long day at work or life, but we've gotten way too comfortable at downright ignoring the action and potential danger around us in order to check a Facebook status, or scroll through our pictures.

Our phones have become extensions of our identity.  They have transformed our way of thinking and relating to each other and to the world.  Unfortunately, I don't see this as a trend that's going to reverse anytime soon, like global warming, unless we, as individuals, question our habits and lifestyles more than we have.  I don't know the future, God's in charge of that, but I do surmise we need a drastic shift in our rudders, otherwise we're headed for the iceberg, folks, we're headed for the iceberg and who wants that?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Photo Album

Strolling through the pages, unsuspecting as could be, I visited the glances staring back at me.

They were of a girl so desperate in the hood, that forsook all her beauty to see if becoming a dealer she could.

The little girl she was, pretty as a daisy, with mischief in her dancing eyes later got certified as crazy.  

All throughout the pictures, there was a story I could tell, my eyes held the key to my madness and my hell.

Walking through the years, I kept noticing my smile at first my teeth were showing, then fell out of style.

Hidden behind lips, that were drawn across my face, the saddest of smiles, revealed a harshness that was foreign and out of place.  

At first I was happy baring all my soul; looking at the camera, beautiful and whole.  

Then came the storm that shook me to the core and left me ripped to pieces strewn and on the floor. 

In one shot after the battle ceased, I was heavier, more peaceful yet still fragile as a leaf. 

New Year's

So it's upon us, the New Year.  I wonder what this one will bring.  Last year hosted a flurry of health challenges, medical tests, relationship meltdowns (well, one -- but it was a BIG one) and family worries.  There was a lot of stress and some disappointments.

But there were also some major joys.  I got to move into and decorate the FIRST house/cottage I've ever lived in by myself.  I got a cat, who has become my joy, then I got another cat who I've already fallen in love with.  I'm taking charge of my health by starting to exercise regularly again and feel terrific, I've also discovered for the fist time ever, cooking and I adore it and am pleased to say that many of the things I make turn out delicious to the delight of my friends, who enthusiastically let me know!

I've been able to set my own rhythms and with more clarity have been realizing that I alone am responsible for my own choices, decisions and feelings whereas before, I was lost in a sea of codependency as a roommate, always juxtaposed with other's thoughts, feelings and actions...  This has been the most freeing thing for me, I believe.  I've had room, a lot of room, to grow up.  I care less what people think, and stand up for myself with more decision, and less apology.  There's room for growth, always, but I love what I see in myself and who I'm becoming.







Seeing myself as a whole person has been exciting liberating and challenging all at once.  



    

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Her

She's my little curmudgeon all cute, fat and furry,

and if she's startled she'll leave in a hurry.

She likes to sit and stare at me from the bedroom floor,

it's her spot of choice, the patch right near the door.

She'll hunker down also on the bed,

and when I sleep can be found at times right near my head.

She has this funny habit of drinking with her paw,

and tips the water over after studying it with awe.

I could watch her endlessly as she moves her chub around,

because she's always different with new habits that abound...

Currently, she's nesting in my nook of purses,

so I expect a ton of fur when I use 'em and rhyme these verses.

She surprises me quite often as she comes into her own,

much bolder and courageous her personality has grown.

She'll walk along the rooftops and peer over the edge,

not long ago she'd barely jump on any type of ledge.

Once upon a time she slept far away from me,

but now that she feels safe, I'm spooned and filled with glee.

She has eyes like spotlights - big and wild and yellow,

that when I come in the house greet me with a hello.

This darling little fluff ball who took a while to tame,

has now settled quite nicely in my kitten's book of fame.








Monday, February 6, 2017

Family

Most of us who hear the word family typically think of blood relatives far and near.  I think of friends.  Of course my mother, brother and close kin are included in the mix, that goes without saying, but I have acquired such a tight knit band of chums, both old and new that I can honestly call them family.

I've always made friends easily, but after I came to California and sewed my wild oats subsequently falling apart, making friends took on a whole new meaning as I chose not to return home.  As I crumbled post rebellion, it became harder and harder to move forward in life without true human connection.  All the pals that I had made were just that - pals.  People to hang out with at a party, folks my own age that were too absorbed in the drama of their own lives to be able to make much of a difference in mine.

Enter John, my acquired uncle.  We met at Walgreens whilst standing in line one afternoon; I was in a tough place in my life, he had a soft heart and a friendship was born that continues to this day.  Then came a few other amigos that have stood the test of time, with whom I have walked through some pretty rough and tricky places.

I am always making new acquaintances.  The flux at turns widens and thins, but has always been a steady stream from whence I can choose who I'll confide in and who I won't.  Thankfully, I've never wanted for security within those acquaintances because my sacred inner circle has always been there - the meat and potatoes of my existence, so to speak.  This constant has given me the confidence to stick out my neck and meet new people, knowing that a web of love and support will always be there to carry me.

I am grateful to have a plethora of folks in my life that qualify as kin, people that despite my flaws and shortcomings love me for who I am.  So the next time you're feeling  lonely, remember that family comes in all shapes and sizes so pick up the phone and cultivate yours today :)




Thursday, February 2, 2017

Here Comes the Bride... Some thoughts on marriage

I've dreamed of getting married for as long as I can remember.  A hopeless romantic, I idealized love throughout middle and high school (who didn't?) and when I found it at 16 during a trip to Italy, I was floored.  I had found the man of my dreams, in the country of my dreams and wasn't I lucky?  After finishing high school, I moved to the boot to be with him and complete my schooling.  Things didn't go as planned, and I ended up leaving 5 years into the relationship.

For the next 15+ years, I met and dated many men (not all of whom I'm proud of) in different situations and for various reasons, that all shared one common denominator:  in my mind, each was potentially "The One".  Blinded as I was by my own longing to be with a man, yet so naive and immature at the same time, I didn't realize that true love is not a fruit one just casually picks off a tree and eats.  Fueled by fantasy, the Hollywood ideal and familial dysfunction, I was on a quest to marry and isn't it ironic I never did?

I know of no one who wanted to tie the proverbial knot more than I - it's what I was consumed with day and night - yet it has eluded me my entire life thus far.  To be fair, I've had a lot of ups and downs, many twists and some hideous turns that have hurled my journey and my headspace in an entirely unusual direction, that haven't exactly made it easy for me in the betrothing department - but that hasn't stopped me from trying...  We don't always do what's best for us.

So where am I now?  Having just recently broken off an engagement, I find myself, strangely, in a good place.  Despite the pain and nausea of heartache, I've realized what love really is and what it's not.  I can't say it any better than 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

May you love. 




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tonto Strikes Again

So I haven't written in a very long time, anything worthwhile anyway, and it's strange to pick up again.  The keyboard feels like an entirely foreign machine beneath my fingertips, and the art of crafting thoughts daunts me because I feel I have nothing to say.  I never thought it would come to this:  me desperately clutching a pad of paper (metaphorically, of course) and running after a truckload of verbiage anxious to rummage through its assortment because I feel I haven't any of my own, but it has.

When I scroll down the Facebook feed (guilty as charged), read people's posts and find someone that composes good sentences, I always start a little.  This tiny jarring of emotion, the one that used to delight me "Hark, another writer!", now pricks at my soul.  I admit, I've become a tad bit jealous.  Frankly, I don't know if I can write anymore, crafting my world with the same depth and passion that I used to...

Day after day the pen sits on my desk and the computer lies untouched.  I usually forget about them even existing, caught up with life as I am, but sometimes my eyes travel to those lonely, dusty objects and I pine for what used to be.  I remember lazy afternoons spent with my journal in cozy cafe's writing about everything and nothing.  Paper, pen and the computer were familiar friends that I relied heavily on everyday to air out my universe and bring me pleasure.  Seems I was always spritzing up my sentences with new vocabulary and pathways of thought.  Moving my hand across the page was akin to eating chocolate those days; stimulating, orgasmic and very, very rewarding.

Nowadays it's different.  I feel dismembered from the very tools that used to feel like extensions of my soul.  Whereas before my writing took precedence over everything in my life, now everything in my life seems to take precedence over it.  To be fair, I have a boyfriend now, my father passed away and a plethora of other happenings have filled my plate and my emotions, but rather than taking pen to paper and airing them out, I have chosen a silent path and slowly but surely the distance has grown between us...

So where am I today?  Well, seeing as how I still can still piece sentences together (whew!) I'm not as far away as I believed from the shores of self-expression, but the joy and anticipation of crafting material still eludes me.  I once read that writing changes as one evolves and it makes sense.  Maybe that's what happened to me.  For a good while, I was smitten by the entire creative process that allowed me to make my inside world a reality.

Now, I view writing as a more mechanical act, perfunctory in nature and practical in essence.  I'm not as infatuated by the craft, though I have enormous respect for it (hey, it's hard to write well) and the urgency to self-express is not as all-consuming as it once was.  But to be honest, I can still hear writings' siren call.  It beckons and teases my soul more often than I'd like, promising riches if I will only come and I can't escape it, try as I might.  I find myself filling journals, scribbling in notebooks, writing on my hand...on everything I can!  It's like Jesus; it never leaves me, though I leave it.

I can't shake it off, writing is a part of me and I guess even though I've changed, I've stayed the same.  I am and always will be, a writer.