Thursday, August 11, 2011

in all seriousness

so, it's thursday and i should be enjoying watching my ravens in their first pre-season game against the eagles, but instead, i'm fuming and too distracted to watch football. thank God for DVR; otherwise, i'd be in a heap of trouble.

i don't normally discuss my personal life too much around these parts, but suffice it to say that i abhor being lied to - particularly by people i find highly enjoyable. the reasons for this may be obvious:
  1. being lied to is just lame. 
  2. for someone i previously found highly enjoyable, i can no longer feel that way about him/her because, well, he/she is now a LIAR.
  3. i have very little free time on my hands these days, and why, exactly, should i waste it paying any attention to someone who has been untruthful when i am just being me? i find wasting my care and affection for others to be just cardinal in the 'relational sin' department.
anyhoo, there you have it. nothing earth shattering, but i can say this: there is a reason that i keep my cards VERY close to the chest with most people these days. and isn't that a shame?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

both sides now

most people who have known me for years also know that i am a singer. music was my first love, before all else, and i am sure that it will be one of the last things with me in this life (i've just always felt this would be so). part of the reason i've always connected so much with music was not just for the melodic progressions, the disarming weight of certain notes or harmonies, but because of the lyrical poetry that often accompanies those strung-together sounds.

and cheesily enough, although i know my heart has some type of song in it, i have realized, over the years, that it is the words that light me up the most. over time, song after song has captured my affections and gotten me all twitterpated and obsessed and wrung out with sorrow and joy and a million feelings in between. two summers ago, for example, i was completely over the moon about maxwell's 'pretty wings' much so that i'm pretty sure i wore my best friend's eardrums out playing it over and over (and OVER) every chance i got.

but some songs just fit your life, for one reason or another, and they never grow old, never fade from view, wind up on every mix or playlist for every party, event, or 'just because.' and one of the songs that has me swooning this summer (and every time i hear it, in fact) is joni mitchell's remake of her classic 'both sides now.' to be sure, the aging songbird's voice no longer carries the chipper and clear-as-a-bell tone of her earlier folk songstress days. now, it is wavering and smoky, hovering on the border between learned and melancholy, and just plain rife with years of love and pain. the retrospection in each note just slays me. i believe her when she says that she's looked at life from both sides now...and i feel like i hear some regret in that looking back. and what's more, i know it for myself.

rows and flows of angel hair
and ice cream castles in the air
and feather canyons everywhere
i've looked at clouds that way

but now they only block the sun
they rain and snow on everyone
so many things i would have done
but clouds got in my way
i've looked at clouds from both sides now

from up and down, and still somehow
it's cloud illusions I recall
i really don't know clouds at all

moons and junes and ferris wheels
the dizzy dancing way you feel
as ev'ry fairy tale comes real
i've looked at love that way

but now it's just another show
you leave 'em laughing when you go
and if you care, don't let them know
don't give yourself away

i've looked at love from both sides now
from give and take, and still somehow
it's love's illusions i recall
i really don't know love at all

tears and fears and feeling proud
to say "i love you" right out loud
dreams and schemes and circus crowds
i've looked at life that way

but now old friends are acting strange
they shake their heads, they say i've changed
well something's lost, but something's gained
in living every day

i've looked at life from both sides now
from win and lose and still somehow
it's life's illusions i recall
i really don't know life at all
i've looked at life from both sides now
from up and down, and still somehow
it's life's illusions i recall
i really don't know life at all

by joni mitchell © 1969

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

a re-turning

summer has thoroughly taken hold, and i'm pretty sure it's been in the 90s nearly every day for the last 6 weeks. and if it hasn't, it certainly feels that way. correct me if i'm wrong, but i feel like it really is getting hotter around here (and by 'around here,' i mean the world). summers as a kid never felt this stifling....

now then, as to why i have been virtually silent for some time now, i can only say that my work is taking all the life out of me by day's end to the point that all i want to do is watch mindless tv and think about sleep. that, and i actually have too many thoughts in my head to do any writing, if that makes any sense. it's like the energy it would take to wrangle those wayward ideas into a sensible post is beyond my weary-ness after i've been out in the world of the working mundane....

but two days off from the rat race has given me a smidge of fresh perspective, and suddenly this afternoon, i felt like putting fingers to keyboard again. in doing so, i'm feeding my soul just a little bit...and i'm hoping that if i can do even just these small things—maybe one each day—i can start to carve out a space again in my own life. i cannot tell you how much i am in need of something more...something beyond; it occurred to me today that i must do everything in my power to give myself that gift.

so, to that end, here are some thoughts (in no particular order):

1. i have this secret craft project i started about 2 years ago that i need to finish. i'm going to do that by the fall. and that's that.
2. i need to start writing again...for me. whether the world sees it via the internets, or it stays on my hard drive somewhere, i have to get these thoughts out of my head. retrospect, after all, is the greatest teacher.
3. once every month or two, i want to treat maxwell (my current jetta) to a car wash. seeing him shine makes me as giddy as a school girl.
4. i also must make time to wander through stores or other places that have lovely things. even if i don't buy anything, it inspires me to see beauty in design, decor, and the shiny newness of 'stuff'—although the stuff itself isn't really the point.
5. i need to get out of dodge more often. a drive into the countryside, a stop at a roadside store for a drink or some garden-grown veggies, the smell of hay and grass and earth, the sight of mountains - these things refresh and rejuvenate me.
6. i will reunite with the ocean before the first frost. the vastness of that briny deep reminds me how simultaneously small and big my life is.
7. i must keep reading fiction. a well-turned phrase can be more nourishing than any fine meal.
8. sleep. enough said.
9. technology, while fantastic in so many ways, sucks the life out of a person. i need better balance for myself. my future depends on it, i feel.
10. my interior life has suffered from a clog of late. the aforementioned rat race and inability to turn off my laden mind has resulted in a lack of gratitude and, at times, a focus on things that have no real significance when you get down to it. it's too easy to forget that reflection in the mirror. i yearn for quiet these all aspects of my existence.

in sum, i feel like i've been on vacation from myself, somehow, and that someone else has been calling the shots in my day-to-day...and i don't like it. it's got to stop. time is, literally, a'wasting....

so that's that. from here, i turn again. i re-turn. return to me.