Kristina Furey

Rapunzel

 

I did not choose her as a friend.  She was part of the “bargain” I took on when I chose to have someone else in my life.   My guess is she felt the same about me, as she seemed very prickly and snappish about all things that were me, that did not line up with her.  I often found myself bending and sometimes, ever so gently, trying to persuade her to open her mind to other possibilities.  Respectfully.  Gently.  Yet, she struck me as someone always ready to pounce into a debate or fight.  Like she was looking for it.  I often wondered if she enjoyed arguing and fighting.  One day, while very annoyed and reviewing various arguments and uncomfortable out bursts of hers, that I was the recipient of, I began wondering if she actually believed her side of the arguments she would so passionately excite or was she just baiting me any chance she got?  Well, maybe I did contribute to her anger…

One particular day, while our children played together in another room and we hung out in the kitchen, with the news playing on a small television and she prepped her dinner, she began replying angrily at the news.  Some female had gone into a bar, gotten inebriated and was raped there in the bar.  This was probably about two years post the whole Tail Hook Scandal I had paid careful attention to, along with the Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill scandal/trial, as I came to realize that we females have to be really careful, and even THAT, sadly is not always enough.  “Can you believe this!” was the beginning of a rant she began to yell in her kitchen that started with her rage over the news story and then continued as she ranted hate against all males, putting them all in one basket.  I realized I was walking into a minefield…  Editing myself was not a strong point for me at the time but I felt a need to protect those males in the world that really were just decent people.  Now maybe I said what I said next because it was apparent to me, her husband had let her down in many ways and I felt she needed to know there was better out there.  But more likely because her daughter was playing with my son in the other room and her daughter’s life quickly flashed before my eyes.  With total confidence, I can say, my own lack of self editing was the weakest link here as I said, out loud and loud is a good description, “While we have to teach our boys to respect the girls in this world, we also have to empower our daughters and teach them self respect and self protection. This never should have happened and never would have happened had she not walked into that bar, alone, drank away her defenses and fallen prey to someone who never got that “respect females” message, along with guidelines of what that respect consisted of.”  I wasn’t trying to victim blame, which is what she heard…  I was trying to problem solve.  She of course did not take it that way and many other people probably would not…

BACK STORY:  I was a stay at home mom because I took responsibility for my own sons seriously, to the point of OCD.  I felt it was my job to educate them on how to be a member of society and respect others.   I knew going in, that meant respecting males in the way I treated them and spoke about them in front of my boys as much as modeling my respect for other females.  My own mother never berated one sex or the other and neither did my father.  I was exposed to the disrespect a bit growing up but not from my own parents.  HOWEVER, my father had his opinions and they showed up in things like my curfew time and inquisitions in regards to my where abouts and with whom.  Also, he did not want me in any way, shape or form, involved in entertainment.  Comments he made and actions he took to herd me away made me resent this.  I think my dad was repulsed by the lifestyle of Janis Joplin and her impression on him unfortunately led him to impressing on me the life of an entertainer was no life for his daughter.  He also took the Red Forman (Dad in “That 70’s Show”) hard ass approach to child rearing.  He never called me a “dumb ass” but for sure called me on “What were you thinking?”  “Were you thinking?”  “Go to your room and think about this!”  Which is kind of the same as Red’s “Don’t be a dumb ass!”  THINK!  Consider that you are living in a factual world and act accordingly.  …I am thankful for the most part of his approach.  But not the part where he did he not trust to me to go my own way, in the direction of my heart, my mind and my perceived talent?”  He didn’t because he knew something went terribly wrong in Janis Joplin’s life and things like Tail Hook happen and because he knew that these things happen to females, I was taught that my life would be more limited than the lives my brother’s had been born into.  I rebelled as best I could but I was a thinker and you can only go so far into rebellion if your eyes are fixed on the end result of your actions.  I stopped short of it being counter productive.   …well, most of the time…

Because I was told/taught/punished (<— whatever you want to label it) to go to my room and think, I knew that “Freedom of Speech” does not mean you are protected when you piss someone off by expressing yourself.  I personally have learned that lesson over and over again.  So it may not be all we perceive it to be…  I also knew when I turned 21, I had the right to go many places, including bars and go there by myself, along with the right to get inebriated but that did not mean I would be protected while there or in an inebriated state.  I mean hopefully so but I’m really not assured of my own safety if I go anywhere, inebriated or not, and at times that knowledge is a limit on my life.  I sometimes evaluate the situation and choose to let being a female of small build, a reason to forgo doing things I have a right to.  I, allow being a female, to be a limit on my life and that SUCKS!!!    

BACK TO MY ORIGINAL STORY:  Anyway, none of my knowing and thinking stopped me from using my “freedom of speech” and expressing myself to the subject of the above story and boy did I step in it, when I explained to her that we as females need to be aware of ourselves and the consequences of our actions.  I was not blaming the female in the news story.  She did NOT DESERVE what happened to her!!!  I was just saying, that when we females and males alike, go into a questionable place or dull our own senses and ability to think clearly, we can become victims of ill intent.  My heart hurt for the female in the news story.  It was disheartening that I could not explain to the person who was all up in my face, that while we as females have rights, they will never stand up for us, the way we can, when we take into account the facts of the situation and act on them.  

As a woman I feel so thankful to be a citizen of a country, whose laws try to insure that I am treated as an equal but I do want to point out that we still have a ways to go.  I wish I lived in a country where all people were honestly treated as equals.  As I see it, every little inequality in our country not only depletes the citizens and makes their lives smaller but does the same to the country as a whole.  

I leave you with a scribble I once wrote.  Perhaps the basis of of a song I’ve yet to write:
“Rapunzel was beautiful all the town’s folk would say but her heart was like ice as hard as cold clay.  Rapunzel’s mother locked her away.  Held her for ransom of child support pay.  Filled her with bitterness in regards to men and taught Rapunzel to not let them in.  “Rapunzel, Rapunzel”  You’d hear the boys say, “Let down your hair.  Come out and play.  Rapunzel, Rapunzel, with beauty so rare, I’m only asking that you let down your hair.”  <— I guess my initial thought was how many hurt women, raise daughters to carry the flags of their mother’s wounds and never get to experience males for themselves.  They just get the preconceived notions they’re brainwashed into believing but like most things, lessons taught, come from some where… 

 

"Undone" Weezer

 

I'm late blogging this week. Not because I have nothing to blog about, actually my mind is anxiously racing through concerns over our country's health care costs, the identities and numerous amount of people in power that have been using it inappropriately, and how perplexing I found last night's homeowner's association meeting to be.. So I have chosen to blog about the common thread here that maybe we should take a good look at.  


We are still learning.  We're not bad people.  We are humans, each of us with different perspectives. But we have this tendency to think that because WE think it, it must be right.  That would be true if we were living by ourselves. We would have only one perception, one reality. However, our life spans would be pretty short, if they were incongruent with the scientific facts of the natural world around us. Oh, but we would be right! Absolutely right... till the day we died. I am learning, life can be confusing.  That life and truth are ever-evolving things.  Often depending upon who at the moment has the power to decide what that truth is or how the part of our life that they have control over will go. That's why I'm trying to pay attention, listen more than I speak, be careful who I give power to, recognize my part of the responsibility in extending power and be considerate of the difficulties anyone in power (including myself) may face.  


Having grown up Southern Baptist, which is probably a story for another day, I welcomed the idea that I was righteous.  It made me feel powerful as I sat in judgement over others.  I was just this powerless kid but I could call out others on their sins and that somehow substituted for power at the time.  Then, as a teenager, I began to learn how that wasn't working for me as a member of society.  I have traveled along the road from there to here and I still have a long way to go…  but I keep learning this one thing over and over again.  When we look for wrong, bad or evil, we find it.  Our perceptions will help us find it. Even if our perceptions have to warp themselves to serve us in this way. It's more productive to spend our time chasing answers then chasing down someone to blame.  We really don't need enemies. When something's wrong, the quicker we repair it and move on, the better.  Forgiveness is part of moving on but again that's probably a subject for another day.  Maybe it's because Halloween just passed but the story of Frankenstein comes to mind.  We don't need monsters in our life.  We just need to understand that people can be ignorant until they learn, they make mistakes, it is each of our jobs as a society to help correct these mistakes, educate each other as to what the boundaries are, set them for yourselves to clear what may otherwise appear to be blurred lines for others.  If we don't speak up and do that, then lines become more blurred and eventually will go away and we'll find ourselves starting at the beginning, all over again in educating people what is acceptable and what is unacceptable for our society as a whole functioning unit.  I admit, it’s hard for me to take responsibility for my own failures. I would guess the same is true for you.  I learned as a teenager, people become downright belligerent and refuse to take responsibility for their failures when they feel judged.  Being courteous, curious and willing to listen, go a long way.  It often helps you find the heart of the matter.  I say heart because we are very emotional beings.   So, if you can connect the emotions to the heart, most people's minds will open.  It requires patience but could save you years of misunderstanding, suffering, and wasted time.  

The problem with labeling someone evil is you can't reason with evil.  The word bad entices the reaction of disposal.  Wrong is often perception.  It's probably best we use the word human when dealing with people because we can deal with humans.
 

"He did the monster tweet"-- ;-)

 

This day has gone by so fast I haven't even had a chance to blog the way I would have liked.  Also, I seem to have misplaced my sense of humor but I'm sure if I could find it I'd make a twisted tune of the Monster Mash.  It would probably be called the Monster Tweet.  Might go, "He did the tweet.  He did the monster tweet.  He did the tweet.  Would these be words he would eat?  He did the tweet.  He did the monster tweet. But would Papadopoulos be the Trump/Russian link?"  <--yeah, yeah, I know probably too presumptuous of me. Still, I do wonder if we haven't happened upon the season when all the skeletons come out of the closet...

But seriously folks be careful out there tonight!  Watch out for the trick-or-treaters and have a happy Halloween! 

 

 

Confessions of a story teller

 

I always thought I wanted to be a singer but I was really more of an impressionist, with the goal of being able to duplicate what I heard.  It’s a kind of singing I guess.  In ninth grade, I learned in a very rude way that my unattractive looks that ranked a 2, on a scale of 1-10, would keep me from receiving any solos from the music teacher.  Something I was made aware of when one of the male members in a back up group I was in, clued me in to it, as he perused through the teachers grade book, reading various notes and filling us in on who would be receiving the solos.  I’ll give you a hint on who they were as they all had been ranked 8’s and up.  We had been placed in groups and sent to various areas to rehearse and my group just happened to be sent to the teacher’s office…  

Maybe it was knowing I needed a back up plan or maybe it was songs I longed to hear that I wasn’t hearing because they weren’t being written or weren’t being delivered in such a way I would hear them.  Or maybe, it was just my own narcissistic desire to hear my own voice represented in the mix.  All I can say for sure is, in the notebook I generally used to write lyrics from songs I had recorded off of the radio, I began to write lyrics that were all my own and this became such a habit, that I went out and bought a book specifically for writing my own lyrics.  Then one day at school, I realized I couldn’t find my book!  The panic that went through me!  I looked everywhere and then went home and bawled my eyes out.  It was like losing my diary or having my best friend randomly tell everyone all the private things I ever told them.  I wondered and feared, who may have my deepest thoughts and what they might do with them.  So like a bandaid, I decided I would be the one to rip it off and I would rewrite what I could remember and then courageously share it.   So I did.  What surprised me was, when I shared the lyrics to my own songs with others, they often related and sometimes told me it made them feel better.  Some even shared their own guarded thoughts and experiences with me, which I sometimes would then find myself writing about, sometimes sharing, without giving up the identity of my subject.  I didn’t try to write.  I just would find it coming out of me in the form of a song like this one:  

“Mother”

“Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
When I, was just a child, I headed up a mountain side, where I met a wolf there and he took me by surprise.  I thought my life would be taken.  No, no it was spared.  Now, I keep seeing, that wolf, everywhere…
Oh-oh-no, Mother, would you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made, the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s coming back, coming back, coming back, for more.  Oh no! Mother! Mother! Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
When I, was just a child, I asked my Grandma, “What is love?”  She handed me a red hooded coat, said, “That’s, what it’s made of.  And like the coat my darling, love will keep you safe and warm.”  But that was the first night Mother.  The night I met your wolf.
Oh-oh-oh Mother, would you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made, the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s come back, come back, come back, for more.  Oh-oh no-oh! Mah-hah, Mah-hah, Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
And just tonight Mother, I met your wolf again.  Only this time Mother,  he was just a man, but he’s in the garden now, he’s howling at the moon.  Oh Mother, grab a gun, he’s sure to be here soon!
Please Mother, won’t you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s coming back, coming back, coming back, for more.  Oh-oh no-oh! Mah-hah, Mah-hah, Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
But in the end, she said, I was telling, fairytales.  NO MAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-THER-HER!”  

When I started to write for others I found my own voice and I learned that I could also communicate for myself the same way.  So many times in life I have found myself speechless and the right words come too late or only way, way too late.  Sometimes, the words come out in a song.  I expect we all wish we could communicate better, more bravely, more quickly or at all.  I have a tendency to use different approaches and styles when I write.  For instance, the above song is more along the style of Kate Bush because I wanted to communicate the vulnerability of the story teller.  More that of a child begging for help versus say, “Damsel in Dis-dress” off of our “Worth The Risk” CD.  “Damsel” would be much more of a taking control song and I think of myself as a story teller so getting the character clear helps me to communicate what initiated the song in the first place or what I feel the ghost in my head wants people to know...  I suppose I’m a product of the MTV, VIDEO generation where it’s about a story but with only music, my voice and the lyrics I have to work harder at the telling part.  I don’t know, maybe I’m even more like Meat Loaf in that way.  Maybe… 

 

"Love and Lust"--Kristina Furey

 

As of today I have been married to Dan for 27 years.  We dated for four years previous to getting married.   It amazes me how much things have changed in the world since Dan and I got married and how many adventures we have taken on, as well as how many difficult things we have faced together.   Sitting here today, I realize how fortunate I have been to have a hand to hold and particularly, his hand.  

If I were to make a wish for each person in this world, it would be that they too, will be supported by love as they walk through their life.  That with loves gentle hand and guidance they will face the difficult head on and understand that the difficult does not have to travel with them once they have walked through it.  No need for those souvenirs.

I carried so much unnecessary baggage with me as I entered into marriage but marrying a person who picks up my spirit instead of diminishing it has not only been crucial to my survival but also supported me in such a way that moment by moment I have lightened the load of my baggage as I realized what it is to have another person invest so much love in me.  ME!  How awesome is that!?!  Well it’s the most awesome feeling, with the exception of what it is like to generously invest my love in Dan without fear of losing out.  

My mother told me a long time ago as I considered becoming sexually active with my first love to think carefully about it.  She asked, “What happens if you get pregnant?”  I said, “He said, he would marry me.”  I had just turned 18.  In fact, I waited to 18, so I could be “responsible” for my actions.  She said, “If you do get pregnant and he marries you, do you think he may resent you?”  I thought about this…  I was thinker and it was an astute question.  “Yes,” I said, but not as convincing as I had hoped it would come out…   How do you think he will feel when his friends and peers are exploring their new found freedom of being 18 and done with high school and independent?”  Do you think he will continue to feel the same about you, when you and possible child, stand between him and life experiences he could otherwise be having?”  “Well, he loves me,” my answer.  “You, do you have a direction you want to go?”  She knew I did.  I don’t know if she knew my father was intent on stacking the odds against me or the part she played in that intentionally or unwittingly.   WOW, if we could have had that discussion…  How, I could see the walls creeping in on me in such a way I was being led to follow the plans they had set out for me and become who they wanted, instead of who I was.  Perhaps the reason for choosing my boyfriend who had that “Hop on the back of my motorcycle and lets get the hell out of here” attitude.  But now, now this conversation I was having with my mom was bringing a reality to light I feared and I hadn’t yet found a way to erase that one moment, when I saw my boyfriend kick his mother’s dog in irritation.  I thought about my own Dad and his unchecked anger and how it had scarred me and made my brother so defiant.  No, I didn’t want children and I wasn’t sure I wanted permanence with my first love.  Well, I was unsure at that point.  I still needed time, time to observe, so I could figure out if this was the kind of love I needed or if it was not so different from the controlling love I felt I needed to escape.  I needed time and my first love needed to move forward.  It was so hard to let go of him and everything he represented to me.  Hard too, to face the fear that I may never love and be loved again…  I was only eighteen and I had no idea that opportunity comes around and around and I thought I was starving but I wasn’t.  I wasn’t full.  I was satiated and I was okay, even if I did not realize it.  He was a beautiful person, damaged in some ways that were no fault of his own.  Part of me wanted to fix him and part of me needed to fix myself and realized I would have to keep searching for that fix.  I found it in Dan.  I’m so thankful for the conversations I had with my mother, especially that one.  

Two years later and sexually involved with Dan, I wrote the following song (in the style of Annie Lennox’s “Missionary Man”…

LOVE AND LUST
My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.—My Momma told me a long time ago, she said, “Girl one day you’re gonna fall in love.  But let me tell you before you do, there are guys you love and there’s guys you lust.  Hey, we are just women but we got those same feelings.  So before you fall in love, you gotta make sure it’s something you can trust.—My Momma told me a long time ago, “I don’t want you losing your head.  There’s a difference between falling in love or just falling into some guys bed.  If you think you found the one, make sure it ain’t lust on the run.  If it’s love it will come in time.  You don’t think with your body, you think with your mind.—My Momma told me a long time ago, she said, “My little babies gonna fall in love.  Just be sure before you do, it’s a guy you love, not just one you lust.  I’m not trying to put love down.  I’m not trying to dictate.  I wish someone would have told me but I guess we all learn from our own mistakes.— Momma told me a long time ago, “Some guys are out there, just looking for fun.  They can damage your self esteem, so when you see them be sure to run.  Be sure, to take your time.  Explore your body and know your mind.  Be sure to respect yourself.  If you don’t then neither will anyone else.—My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.  My Momma told me a long time ago.—“If you think you found the one  just make sure it ain’t lust on the run.  But if you find someone to love and lust, well that is, the best feeling, you can trust.”—My Momma told me a long time ago, “My little angels gonna fall in love but just remember before you do there’s a difference between love and lust.”

…Anyway, I took the advice from my own song, though in reality, it was not all from my mom.  It came from many places and I guess I realized I could put it all in a song and maybe that would be helpful to some other girl out there in the world trying to navigate her way through what it’s like to grow up female.  It ain’t easy!  I ran with all types and I was typed, labeled, groped, blackballed at times, sent to the corner by the powers that were and often misunderstood.  Lost until I found myself and when I did, I always went in search of the others like me, in need of being searched out, found, retrieved and gently put back on their pedestals.  I believe more than ever our young girls need that!  And so I share.

Much love and best wishes to you in all your endeavors!

 

Haters Gonna Hate

 

So I wrote this song.  I think it was a culmination of last weeks events and my delayed reaction to watching the documentary entitled “Get Me Roger Stone”.   I would suggest you see the documentary if you have not.  It’s an eye opening look at our “Politics” and perhaps an answer to the question, “What is going on in our country?”

I think I’ll name this one “Haters Gonna Hate”
“He said, “I toast, the Frenemies and all their common enemies.  Watch hate work for you and me and take them down, down, down.  

He said, “We will pass, on the blame, cause them misery, pain and shame, we’ll laugh as they proclaim, let’s take em down, down, down.” Another one down.  Sink another one down.  How’s that goin’ down?

Hater’s gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate and take you down.  Take you down, down, down.  Yeah, hater’s gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hey-yate and take you dow-ow-ouwn.  Take you down. down, down.

He said, “Give them an enemy and they will do the rest you see, point out they’re at war and they’ll take em down, down, down.  Another one down.  The suckers go down.” How’s that goin’ down?

Hater’s gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate and take you down.  Take you down, down, down.  Yeah, hater’s gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hate.  Hate is gonna hey-yate and take you dow-ow-ouwn.  Take you down. down, down.

“So, give them a sacrificial lamb and let them put their sins on them, put a weapon in their hand and watch them go down, down, down.”  Watch them all go down.   Like dominoes, down.”  How’s that going down?

Are you getting this down?  Do you get this now?   How they set up-you and me-and get away-some how.  This is how!  Do you get it now?  Do you get it now-or must we keep-going down, down, down, down, DOWN!

He Said, “I toast, the Frenemies and all their common enemies.  Watch hate work for you and me and take them down!”

One last thing:  Here's an interesting interview I heard on FRESH AIR today with NEW YORKER’S, Dexter Filkins.  "Tensions Rise Between Tillerson And Trump As The Threat Of War In North Korea Looms"
"Sec. of State Rex Tillerson is a diplomat in an administration that doesn't value diplomacy" --Quote from the interview.

 

"One insect can damage so much grain"--Elton John

 

A second blog this week because I'm just not done expressing this:  It only takes one person to show us, as a society, how sick we are.  Perhaps individually, we are only as well as we are, as a society and perhaps as a society, we are only as well as each individual that make it up…

So Imagine for a moment, if the shooter in the Las Vegas shooting had gotten some form of mental health care, instead of ever going on that shooting rampage…

Now let’s take a moment to look at the costs of him not getting the mental care that could have helped him find another way to deal with, whatever it was that he was reacting to, when he shot all those people…

What about each person shot and the medical costs they face?  Do they even have health insurance?  How many of them will not even be able to work in the future due to their injuries.  Will they lose the ability to afford health insurance?  How will that affect their children?  How many more health issues might some of them face due to their bodies new challenges?  Now let’s alter that last question, just a bit.  How many health issues will be caused due to the psychological impact, on those shot and even those at the scene that were not shot.  It can put people in states of hyper-vigilance.   What impact will that have on their children?  What will be the fall out for us as a nation, those of us that have been vicariously traumatized?   Will depression rates rise among people that were never even at the sight of the shooting as their perception of reality regarding their safety changes?  How will that affect the next generation? 

When we discuss healthcare and the budget, I think these are definitely valid points to consider.  Just what has this cost our country and what will this cost our country in the long run?  The lyrics from “Empty Garden (Hey, Hey, Johnny)” come to mind as I consider the costs of not providing all Americans with health insurance.  “It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain.” —Elton John’s tribute song to John Lennon

I know it’s easy for some of us to think of ourselves as hardworking and deserving of the things we believe we are working hard for as we look upon others with skeptical eyes and the belief, they too should earn their way and why should we have to carry them?  
Why should we carry them? BECAUSE…  Because life isn’t fair, for you, for them, FOR ANY OF US and our perception of reality is more fragile than we like to admit because it’s reliant upon each person, that makes up the whole.  It only takes one person to show us, as a society, how sick we are.  Perhaps individually, we are only as well as we are, as a society and perhaps as a society, we are only as well as each individual that make it up. 

 

"Last Night I Dreamt of Angels"

 

“Last night I dreamt of angels-as I closed my eyes to sleep-As I struggled with the fears of the day-I slipped safely in peace-and in my dreams-they were smiling at me-telling me-to be strong-and they told me-the darkest of nights-can be followed-by the brightest of dawns-What I learned in those moments-was so much bigger than me-what I knew-to be true in my heart-my head could not conceive-yet in my dreams-they were smiling at me-telling me to have faith-then they told me-the greatest of challenges-offers the greatest of strength-but back here on earth-back here on earth-it just hurts!-I’ve been dreaming of angels-well since I was a child-in the darkest of nights-as I lay there-I found them at my side-in my dreams-always smiling at me-telling me to be strong-they would tell me-the will to forgive-was the same strength-I need to move on-but back here on earth-back here on earth-IT JUST HURTS!!!”    <—True story, I experienced this just after 9/11.  (Explanation below)

I believe I have mentioned before that I have sleep issues…  Along with the occasional bouts of insomnia, I have hypnagogic episodes sometimes too.  As I’m falling asleep, I may hear things in my head that can interfere with the process of falling asleep.  I may hear a voice say something or I might hear music and wake up, only to find it was me falling asleep and beginning to dream.  It’s much like starting to fall asleep, and hearing someone snore.  Then as you wake up the snoring is gone because it was you snoring.  Yeah, that happens to me too.  Only difference being, that the voices and music are in my head and not filling the room the way my snores do.  I also experience sleep paralysis, which really frightened me as a child.  I used to call them my coma dreams.   As I’ve aged I’ve become more curious about the experiences and I find them kind of interesting.  During them, I’m aware that I am asleep but I’m not able to wake up.  Sometimes on top of that, I may hear voices talking or music playing and sometimes other senses may be active and I can feel things like a dog jumping up on the bed and lying beside me.  It brought with it such an intense feeling of love.  For almost a week afterwards I could think of that and the feeling would come over me.  I used to fear I was experiencing ghostly encounters, especially since most often when I slept in this one loft, I used to sleep in occasionally, I would hear a dogs tag jingling on it’s collar as it made it’s way up the stairs.  I would hear it’s paws softly touch the carpet as it’s breathing came close to me and I would feel it’s presence at my side.  I couldn’t open my eyes and see it and when I woke up, I never saw or heard anything of a dogs presence.  It was scary at times too but then as I began to realize what was happening, I became more curious and open to the experiences, at times even grateful, as some of the experiences seemed divine as I listened to the intelligence of words that seemed to be whispered in my ears.  Sometimes I tell myself they really are angels because I want to believe we are being watched over. 

 

"Whiplash" I finally saw it!

 

“You’ve got me running in circles-round and round-till I fall down-You’ve got me jumping through the hoops of your heart-And I don’t want to play this game with you-but you know I always do-and I guess that’s the amusing part”  <—My answer, when my father asked me, “What was the part about jumping through hoops?”  After Dan and I had played our song “Obsession” for him.  I rattled it off, as the pride in me swelled, that he had noticed how cleverly I was able to state something, I had tried so hard to explain over and over again, year after year, in songs I wrote and in other things I’d written and tried to communicate.  I was certain in that moment he could really see how hard I had worked and that I had talent.  

So that’s what kept popping up in my head as I watched the movie “Whiplash” last Saturday.  

I squirmed in my seat, recounting all the hurtful things my father had said to me over the years.  I wondered if his strategy had been similar to J.K. Simmons’ character and I was perhaps the student that couldn’t cut it.  I thought about how exhausting it is to to try to please some people in an attempt to validate yourself and how once you’ve been taught to hold yourself to impossible standards, you yourself can carry on the abuse for years or even a lifetime, if you don’t discover a way out of that kind of thinking…  No, I decided, it wasn’t that I couldn’t cut it, it was that I wouldn’t.  I saw it as abuse and I wanted no part.  I did what came naturally to me and walked away in an effort to self preserve me and the things about me, I hold sacred.

Where did it begin with my father?  I have reason to believe, in the boy scouts.  I remember it told, that the NAVY soldiers had been in charge of the scouts while their fathers were away and it was run with military precision.  My Grandfather was an officer.  I believe he also expected nothing but excellence from my dad.  My dad performed like a champ.  He went on to become an Eagle Scout.  

I thought too, about the girl I occasionally spoke to in my chorus class, that showed up at my house at midnight, in my senior year of high school, explaining to my mom and I upon arrival at our door, that she had meant to knock on the door earlier but had noticed my car wasn’t in front of my home and while waiting for me to get home, she had fallen asleep in her mother’s car, that she had driven that day, her 18th birthday, to a Chopin competition in Baltimore.  We lived in Reston at the time.  She had not done as well at the competition as she had hoped and couldn’t bear to face her mother with the news.  There had been a lot of what I would define as abuse going on in her home.  It was always my nature to be open to others, empathetic to them when they opened up to me and forthcoming with my own experiences, when I thought it was helpful and I was kind of use to being sought out.  My mom was the same.  I studied my mom as she took in my classmates story.  I remember her saying, “Well I think we all need a good night’s sleep.  Let’s figure this out in the morning.”  In the morning (It was a Sunday morning), over breakfast, my mother told my classmate, seeing that she was now 18, legally she was an adult, so if she wanted she was free to stay in our home.  She had a scholarship and was heading to college in August.  If I remember correctly, it was in February when this happened. My mom also commented that because my friend was now 18 and the car legally belonged to her mother, she would need to get the car back to her mom or there could be legal problems.  We dropped the car off without her family knowing and then she called her mom to explain her decision to live with us until it was time for her to go to college.  Eventually, she did have some face to face encounters with her mother and family.  In fact about a month before she left for college she moved back in with them.  She and I became close and I learned more of what she had experienced.  Her experiences were similar to Geoffrey Rush’s in the movie, “Shine”.  

I want to mention, as uncomfortable as they are to watch, “Whiplash” and “Shine” are both exceptional movies showcasing the excellence of the actors in them, that will most likely leave you thinking of them, long after you’ve watched them.  They are remarkable pieces of work.  I just hope no one was abused in an effort to bring about the excellence of the performances.  

NOTE:  I originally wrote “We Can’t Deny” for my father.  Another one of my many attempts to build a bridge.  To speak to him in a way he might listen…

“We can’t deny-what’s happening here-You’re getting older-I’m getting older-I see the lines-etched on your face-a map to the past-reminder of yesterday-A time when you couldn’t love me-the way that I needed-thought you only loved me when I pleased you-now we push that pain aside-what good is pain-once we learn the lessons it teaches-I can’t deny-when I look at your face-love that I feel-love that you’ve given me-please won’t you give me your hand-I’ll help you stand-I can be strong now that you’re not-you, you can be strong for me-give your hand to me-that would show great strength in deed-Cause we can’t deny- that all that we have-is just here and now-only this space in time-please won’t you give me your hand-I’ll help you stand-I can be strong now that you’re not-you, you can be strong for me-give your hand to me-it could give us the courage-we both seek-…cause we can’t deny-what’s happening here-what’s happening here-what’s happening (.) (!) (?)

Strange enough, a friend shared this with me this past week:  Mike and the Mechanics' "Living Years" live at Isle of Wight Festival DEFINITELY remarkable!

 

Jim Carrey, this one's for you

 

Jim Carrey, this one's for you.. Last Friday night, someone mentioned to me that you had crashed “Fashion Week” saying it was the most meaningless thing you could do. The following morning, first thing, I viewed video of the incident for myself and though I don't actually believe you will ever read this, you spoke to my own unsettled nature and may have given me the kick in the pants I needed to put my own voice back out into the world.  I have experienced similar thoughts to those you expressed.  I have struggled with trying to quiet these thoughts in myself.  Quiet them, while suspecting the effort to quiet was detrimental to evolving in ways necessary to help prepare myself and others for something yet to be…  something I am completely clueless to but feel I instinctively know is on the horizon.  While I have felt this way,  I wasn't sure how to communicate this until I looked up the video and realized, I want anybody who is feeling similarly to know that there's others of us shaking our heads at where our culture is putting its importance as we wonder “What the what?!?”  For the moment, my thoughts on this whole existence thing, is that our “selves” are just built on a pattern of reactions, some that come from the pre-programming others have played a part in, some just chemical makeup and the rest probably dependent on the part it seems necessary for us to play at any given moment. I believe that last part is perhaps our nature.  Perhaps like a cell in the body waiting for its impulse to tell it what the whole body needs so it can compensate.  Our reactions, I believe, are natural responses that have just begun to be used in an unnatural, perhaps, ill way...  I'm concerned we have become just a series of reactions brought about by the whims of the mass we are a part of.  If that's so, maybe it is not self awareness that we need but the awareness that we are each a part of one mass in need of congruence.  When I look around at the world today, mostly what I see is people divided and reacting to that division relentlessly.  



What is fashions purpose?  I think Dr. Suess would have defined it as a "Thneed".   "A fine something that all people need."  Fashion is sold like costumes so people can dress up and play a role.  I have a strong sense inside me saying we all need to grow up and stop the madness, this desire to buy ourselves into something that makes us complete, powerful or whatever, may be currently trending as the thing to be.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  A nice distraction perhaps but it scares me that we are constantly being sold on this mentality of look better than, feel better than, be better than and the divisions continue…  I struggle with self image.  It's a slippery slope for me.  I once had the money, I had earned to acquire a chemical face lift, something I thought I wanted/thneeded to feel okay when out in public performing.  I just thought I would feel more comfortable, people can be cruel when they judge.  Then, I thought of this little child with a cleft palette, who gave me such a huge smile in front of the camera, when I was working with Images For Kids as an assistant some years back.  I had just cleaned his face with a wipe, telling him I was cleaning away anything that would get in the way of his parents seeing all his beauty in the photo we were about to take and as I finished, I said to him, "That's it!  I see all your beauty now!"  He beamed!  Long story short, I ended up donating the money so a kid with a cleft palate could have surgery and I'd like to think for some time I felt a lot more beautiful and confident than I would have had I gone through with the injections.   Don't know, I still look in the mirror sometimes and want to fix myself but part of me thinks I'm not what needs fixing... 

What are we becoming?  What do we want to give meaning and value to?
  Things I wonder...


When my mom died earlier this year I unconsciously chose to take a vow of silence, by removing my voice from the internet and any public forum.   She was the third in my family to die from cancer.  After going through the dying process with my brother, my father, and then my mother, I've been overcome with grief at our inability to see how our survival as a species is all connected.  I have found myself perplexed at communicating what I feel I've observed and it seemed like a good precautionary measure to take that vow of silence, so I wouldn't get it wrong and become part of what I believe is the problem, dysfunction.  Dysfunction seems to me to be the disease, we need to carefully cut from our lives, with the precision of a surgeon, performing brain surgery on a cancer patient.  We as a whole need to become self aware, so we as a whole can preserve whatever it is we are.  My heart goes out to Jim Carrey.  I felt you brother and I hope you are okay.  Sometimes being conscious of these things can be too much to explain in a way it can be understood, instead of shunned.  People fear coming to terms with overwhelming truth because they realize, if they accept that truth, they will have to deal with the part they play and decide if they will choose to continue or do the work it takes to get to a higher ground.  It's easier to deny and call someone crazy.  Jim Carrey, you are incredibly creative and I encourage you to find a more palatable, perhaps more subtle way of communicating what you are trying to express.  Try to find a way that they will not see as a threat to their self worth. 

  

***This last part is a note to any people I have disappointed by abandoning my website and the email attached to it.  I agonized and thought about checking my email but I was really taken aback by my mom's passing and I needed to tend to myself as it's my nature to take care of others and I really needed self care.  I am truly grateful for everyone that has offered their condolences.  Forgive me if I have appeared ungrateful as I know, I tend to walk away as a precautionary measure when I need to regroup, or protect myself and others from the emotional states that may make me less trusting of myself and my own decision making, actions even.  I honestly want something better for myself and for you and if I can't put that out, I really don't want to put anything out.