Friday, November 27, 2009

Try a New Cheer Please

Whenever folks ask me what I am going to school for (English - Creative Writing) and what I want to do with that degree (write fiction, young adult) they always follow it up with, "And how are you going to support yourself?" Now I am almost 100% sure that these same folk, when speaking with a Pre Med or student in Law School, do not ask them how they will make a living after getting out of college. Now I know that folks mean well, but I had a hard enough time deciding to follow my passion, I don't need the negative reinforcement. I think the best rule of thumb is, don't listen to anyone who isn't successful in your chosen field of study. I am proud of the fact that I am attempting school on the other side of 35. I do have a Business Degree, I have attempted entrepreneurship, but what I really am is a writer. The creative arts seem to get a bad rap. The term "starving artist" tells it all. Don't tell me you have heard "starving CEO" or "starving banker." I do think that if I believe in the futility of my chosen career path, I will fail. I need to head onto my new path with positivity and a desire to succeed. Maybe I should stop telling strangers that I am at school when they ask, or maybe I could start making things up. So if you run into a short curly - haired chick at the dog park and she tells you she is studying to become a burglar, don't believe her. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are We Really Swooning Over Vampires?

Yes, I saw it. You know of what I speak. I did drool; I did swoon, over a vampire and a werewolf. But it wasn't just the bad boys that I was swooning over, although the lack of attire did help me along a bit, it was the idea of true love. This is a culture where we are looking on the outside for internal gratification. How would capitalism work if we all weren't flawed and unloved enough to need products to fix us? Twilight isn't about the monsters, but about being adored by not one, but two hard to get bad boys. Bella completely breaks down when left by each of these magnificently beautiful creatures. She doesn't have it in her to live without the love of a man. Now why do we leave the theater desperately wanting true love to triumph? It is an old story and one I actually unconsciously wrote into my own short story, feminist that I am. Cinderella has it bad, but then the Prince falls in love and she is happy. Beauty falls in love with the beast, Ariel with the fish guy, and on and on throughout history. Now Bella does fly across the sea to rescue her true love, yes, they had to give us something, but young girls are still raised to fall in love and live happily ever after. Mattel needed to make Ken right? So what does this all mean? I don't know. I left the theater wishing for true love and a happy fairy tale ending. I left the theater feeling somehow inadequate. I left the theater needing something, what, a new sweater or a diet coke? What I left with was a hole that only I can fill, because I do not need a man to make me whole. But, you say, but, Bella is adored and worshipped by two men. Maybe that's what we need, someone who knows how truly fabulous we are and acknowledge it. And may they be shirtless when they do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Green - Eyed Monsters Coming to Roost

Nothing like a little metaphor mixing to put a gal in a good mood. My attitude today has been less than stellar. It is time for a major shot of gratitude. Thanksgiving is coming up in a week and it is that time of year when we all sit around our cozy tables giving thanks for all of this year's pleasures. The table is decorated with gourds and a cornucopia, overflowing, symbolizing all that we have. Then the day after we scramble to stores to purchase more for loved ones because they do not have enough. Walking through the mall 3 weeks ago I was aghast to see Christmas decorations filling the aisles. Gift ideas were displayed and trees were lit. Today I am looking at the balance in my checking account and I am not feeling grateful, nor in the holiday spirit. I am feeling quite alone, sitting in my apartment while my son is at work. The green - eyed monster has come to roost. This rather ugly creature has three heads and oozes slime from its rather large pores. It sees toddlers laughing as their parents are swooning in marital bliss. It sees women clothes shopping and stashing their goods in brand new shiny SUV's. Not that I want these things mind you, yet the grass is always greener on the other side of the bridge. Maybe, though I could cut myself a little slack. It is tough being a single mom trying to put herself through school, commuting over two hours a day at a challenging school. It is hard to find time to do dishes and pay bills and grocery shop, especially when the money just isn't there. Maybe if I could just hang out with the green - lipped monster for say 10 minutes, have a cup of tea, then politely ask her to hit the yellow brick road, these feelings of jealousy will pass. Then I can sit down, write a gratitude list and call a friend. Maybe then I can reach out to be of service to someone who is worse off, who doesn't have an incredible connection of fabulous friends and a semester of challenging enlightening classes. Maybe just by writing this, the mood will shift and I will realize that I do have so much to be grateful for, my home, my family, my animals, and daily gifts that runneth over. Ok Green - toed demon, take a hike.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Ending Before Midnight, please

Every once in a while I find a series on dvd that I cannot stop watching. For me this is dangerous as I have way too much schoolwork to be indulging in zoning out. But I found one such series that I have been watching online. This has meant many a night with not enough sleep, as I keep hitting the little arrow at the bottom of the screen that whisks me into the next episode. Screen writers are geniuses, as they seem to know that I am waiting for the happy ending and if it doesn't come in this episode, I am on to the next. But we do know, as well as the writers, that once there is a happy ending we stop watching. How many people watched Frazier through to the end of the series after Niles finally "caught" Daphne? As a 27 minute show turns into 4 hours of viewing and a philosophy text tucked safely inside my school bag, I wonder what it is that keeps me hoping for that moment when all will be right in the world. Do I tend to search for that moment, that magic time through the use of alcohol or chemicals or shopping, gambling, or eating? What is that feeling we are trying to reach? What can get us to that point without harming our delicate brains or bodies? Could it be the moment in meditation when I finally let go of thought and am able to follow a complete breath from nose to lungs to nose? Or is it the moment in prayer when I say, "Thy will not mine be done?" Is it the moment when the sun retreats behind the hill and the colors peek for a second? Is it just being present, which many of us are not? I don't know, I do know that Karen just broke up with Hank, and I am waiting for the happy ending. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glass Words

Flutes of liquid bubbling froth, touch and join
for infinite days.
I love you, they say as
glass touches glass.

Framed photographs hang
in mirrored hallways, tucked
amidst roses and diamonds.
I like you, they say as
eyes reach for solace.

Words break as glass
when thrown against mantle
splinters, shiny pieces on brick.
I hate you, they say as
fists find homes in dust.

Flutes of liquid bubbling
froth, touch and join -
her parent’s first joy.
We love you, they say
as glass touches glass.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Change or Not to Change,

That is the question. I sometimes wonder how I can desperately want and not want something at the same time. This is true for me of changing. I look for things to be thrilling, to constantly change, be fresh, and for new exciting adventures to come along. The moment they do, I turn tortoise. I look at relationships that have an even trajectory, just humming along from day to day, predictable and safe, and I get frustrated. But, if I have the opportunity to change these relationships I freeze and revert to old habits. I clam up and not allow others to see what is really going on in my life. Things become fine, life becomes good, and I miss an opportunity to grow closer to another human being. I lose the chance to be vulnerable and allow others to see who I am, all of me, hard shell and all. I stop all forward movement and stagnate. Why is that? Fear of the unknown? After all, just how many people can say they have a clue as to who I am? My dog seems to be leading the pack in this one. It takes courage to open up and allow change, either to oneself or one’s relationships and position in the world. Being a turtle is cool, but gets boring after a while. Maybe today I will peek out and tell someone I am scared. Maybe not. That very thought is a small step.