It’s Alright, Ma, It’s Life and Life Only

I’ve been rather absent from the world this week.  Outside of my morning rounds, I’ve stayed out of social media. I can’t say I’ve gotten a lot accomplished, but it feels as if I’ve been resting up or conserving my energies for something. I don’t think something bad looms ahead, though, because I feel extremely positive. So what have I been doing?

  1. I’ve watched the world go by outside my window and have felt no compunction to join in or entertain feelings of guilt for this passivity.
  2.  I’ve watched a fair amount of telly at night, mostly documentaries on a wide variety of subjects from English gardens to the history of China and Mongolia.
  3. I’ve slept, slept, and slept some more. I’ve allowed myself to nap anytime my brain needed to switch off. One morning I took a nap only one hour after my cup of coffee. One night I napped on and off until I finally settled into a deep sleep as the sun came up. Where sleeping and eating are concerned, I followed my body clock, not the one that sits on the bookshelf.
  4. I’ve spent a lot of time with the cats. Or maybe I should say they’ve spent a lot of time with me. I guess I can say I became one of them this week, and they seemed to like this, even tolerating each other to be near me.
  5. I’ve hardly answered my phone, texted only with Nettl, and avoided the internet, except to search things to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime, or to daydream on Realtor.Com.

In essence, outside of doing some laundry and changing the bed linens, I’ve done absolutely nothing and it was everything I dreamed it could be. But today marks the end of this freeform existence. Tonight I’m making dinner for the guys and me, tomorrow is our little New Year’s Eve Not-A-Party party, and on Sunday evening Nettl returns from New York. On Monday, we’re taking down the holiday decorations, and then life returns to normal on Tuesday.

I’m glad I was able to eventually turn off the voice of the Guiltmaster in my head. It took a couple of days, but I finally succeeded. That alone gave me the vacation I needed; I didn’t realize how much it dominated both my conscious and unconscious thoughts every single hour of my life. It’s an ongoing battle, but as long as I gain new footing and new strengths, I know I’m winning.

And so here we are at the cusp of a new year. Instead of tritely wishing you a Happy New Year, I’ll wish you the ability to make it what you’d like it to be. None of us are victims unless we choose to be, we create our own realities depending on what we expect and feel we deserve. I have good feelings about 2017 despite all the naysayers and Gloomy Gusses. Trump will be inaugurated, some people will continue to abuse each other, and ageing celebrities will continue to die. I’m not focusing on these things as I enter the new year, though, because I also know the sun will continue to rise each morning, some people will go on loving and helping each other, tomorrow’s poets and thinkers will continue to be born, and  that I will continue to write and sing and dance. It is dark ages, after all, from which golden ages spring.

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You Might Be Cool, But…

You’ll never be as cool as…

Brian Jones wearing earrings on his lapels
…Brian Jones wearing earrings on his lapels,
donovan-posing-with-jennifer-juniper
…Donovan posing with Jennifer Juniper,
dylan-playing-chess-in-woodstock
…Bob Dylan playing chess in Woodstock,
jimi-brushing-his-fro
…Jimi Hendrix brushing his fro,
jimi-hendrix-drinking-wine-on-this-bed
…Or drinking wine on his Boho bed,
john-lennon-not-knowing-where-the-fook-he-is
…John Lennon not knowing where the fook he is,
john-not-caring-that-his-flys-open
…Or swaggering along not caring that his fly is open,
keith-richards-doing-a-fan-dance
…Keith Richards doing a fan dance,
paul-george-taking-a-stroll-through-the-park
…Paul McCartney and George Harrison strolling through the park,
pre-glam-bowie
…Pre-Glam Bowie,
robert-plants-arse
…Robert Plant’s arse,
salvador-dali-trying-to-look-one-third-his-actual-age
…Salvador Dali trying to look one-third his actual age,
the-strawberry-alarm-clock-striking-the-chicken-arm-pose
…The Strawberry Alarm Clock striking the ‘Chicken Arm’ pose,
this-chick-period
…This chick. Period.
this-collection-of-trousers
…This collection of trousers,

 

whoevers-wearing-this-coat-and-hat
…And whoever’s wearing this coat and hat.
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Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

cohenAs if everything else hasn’t gone bollocks up this year, yet another ill wind has blown in carrying the news of Leonard Cohen’s passing. I know he was 82 and I know he’s given his entire life to our enrichment, but damn. Now? This is like an aftershock that comes after a devastating earthquake. Although it’s impossible to imagine this world (especially now) without his presence, I know it’ll be all right—as long as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, or some other Master of the Pen doesn’t decide to follow after him.

Forget I said that. Nix, nix, nix.

Cohen has been an active part in my career as a folk musician. I performed his “Since You Asked” in my very first gig and quickly added “Suzanne” and “Sisters of Mercy” to my repertoire. I wanted to do “Chelsea Hotel,” but it didn’t sound right sung by a girl of 19 at the time. I regret that decision now. I should have just sung it and let the audience shoot sideways glances at each other. That was a long time ago, though. I may learn it now. What the hell? I’ve played it safe for too long.

As a Facebook friend commented on Tuesday after the election returns came in, “Looks like David Bowie WAS holding the fabric of the universe together, after all.” With Leonard Cohen gone, the entire time/space continuum may very well evaporate.

leonard
Farewell, dear bard.
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