Encounter 

Dark

Light

Pain

Delight

A stolen glance.

“Take a chance.”

I can’t – 

Circumstance. 

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Strange and Unusual

It was all very The Bridges of Madison County.

You know towards the end of the story, when Francesca is sitting at a stoplight in her husband’s truck, watching the rain and re-living the past few weeks as she contemplates whether to jump out and run to Robert, abandoning her current life in favor of excitement, passionate love, and the unknown?

That’s what my trip to New Orleans was like.

It was like that one time I wandered into a goth bar, looked around, gulped, and decided to stay.  Then, several hours and several drinks later, realizing I wasn’t just surviving the situation, I was enchanted with my surroundings.  The music, the people, feeling my horizons stretching as I breathed in new smells and entertained new ideas.  Infatuated.  Curious. Entranced. Hypnotized. Beguiled.

And I don’t want to let it go.

Some people say that a place like New Orleans, or the French Quarter in particular, allows the visitor to be someone else for a while.  True, there are lots of bars, lots of boobs, lots of interesting characters and avenues for transformation.  In my case, though, the opposite was true.  The New Orleans experience, for me, didn’t feel like an opportunity to be someone else.  It felt like the opportunity to be who I am, authentically.

What does that mean?  Who am I, at my core?

If you must know, I’m an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in bacon.

It’s hard for me to articulate what I mean.  To look at me, you’d see someone who is responsible, clean, not tattooed or pierced, a runner, someone who likes to sleep and read books and pet cats and dogs that aren’t mine, someone who dreams of Paris and plays at photography and likes a nice cardigan sweater.  If I’m totally honest, I don’t look like New Orleans.  I look like White Bread, USA. This is where, as an outside observer, you’d get me wrong if you were to judge based on appearance.

I may not like scary movies.  I don’t enjoy music where people scream at me in what may or may not be an intelligible language.  But at my center, I tend towards the melancholy.  Always have.  Even as a kid.  I like Poe, I like dark art.  I’m fascinated with magick and gem stones, the moon and its power, psychic abilities, and the things that go bump in the night.  Just last week I was researching wolves and skin walkers because I totally believe it’s possible (and I kinda hope it is).  [True Story: The Wolf is actually my animal totem.]

I think tattoos are sexy as hell.  I don’t have one because I’m indecisive.  Piercings, even more so.  I’ve always wanted a few of them, but besides the navel I’ve been a chicken about it.  I want purple hair sometimes, I want to wear a corset, I watch Vampire Hunter D and paint my nails black and weirdos are my favorite kind of people.

Maybe I’m Lydia Deetz – not so hardcore that I wear pentagrams and know which bars the vampires frequent, but genuine in that there’s a part of me that is authentically goth, macabre, gloomy, and intrigued by the people who are deep into that scene and living it out loud.

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Actual Photo of me in New Orleans.

I could have been that, had I jumped out of the truck.  No, I AM that.  Deep inside, past the big smile, GAP tank top and gooey marshmallow center.  I am.  Wandering the streets of the French Quarter was like reading the part of the “choose your adventure” book that you didn’t choose, just to find out what would have happened.  It was also like coming home to somewhere I didn’t realize I had left.  Like meeting a gorgeous, eccentric relative I never knew existed.

It was rad. I won’t ever forget it, and I’m forever grateful for it.  I can’t wait to get back to her – I think the city is definitely a woman – and I doubt a day will go by that I don’t think of her until I do.

p.s. Friends, if you get to New Orleans before I do, there’s a little shop called JEWELS that I wish you’d go and visit.  You’ll be glad you did.

My Own Hemingway

Hemingway wrote, “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep.  Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

He lived exactly that way.  Loud laugh (and sneezes and snores!), marching to the beat of his own drum, eating the fattening food and always thirsty for knowledge.  Walking in the morning before the sun came up, delighting in life’s smallest pleasures, using every moment as an opportunity to teach and inspire. He left an indelible mark on my heart and my spirit, and he was truly a gift.

Much like Hemingway, he possessed a towering personality, a strong wit, a boisterous laugh, great humility and a zest for life and good food.

He taught me so much:

Shakespeare. Algebra. Kindness. UGA Football. Curiosity. Humor. Responsibility.  Cracklin’ Oat Bran. Perspective. National Geographic. Cinnamon toast. Marigolds. Gratitude. Strawberries. Music. Generosity. Travel. Naps. Puns. Iced coffee. Tradition. Barbecue. Courage. History. Ambrosia. Strength. Classical Music. Individuality.

Love.

So, Happy Birthday to my own Hemingway. I love you forever.  xo, Your Girl.

Buffalo Gal Won’t You Come Out Tonight…

…and dance by the light of the moon…

 

Full Moon
It’s tonight, y’all!

So tonight is a full moon, as many of you fine readers may already know.  I’ve always been attracted to the moon itself, and I don’t really have an explanation for it except that I’ve always been a little odd.  So, there you go.  The moon is mystical and powerful, and whether you believe in it or not, its power over us mortals is legendary.

The full moon that is upon us, the June full moon, was known to many Native American Tribes as the Strawberry moon.  This is the time of year that strawberries would be harvested.  Native Americans knew that the moon had pull on bodies of water, and affected women’s menstrual cycles.  They told many stories about the creation, cycles, and power of the moon.

How many times have you heard a friend or co-worker say, “must be a full moon” when explaining a challenging day or a person’s odd behavior?  Do you wonder if there’s any truth to it?  Logically speaking, if the moon pulls on water (and this is scientific fact), doesn’t it make sense that it would have some pull on us, too, since we are 80% water?

Anyway, I personally am fascinated with the moon, especially when it’s full and bright and visible.  Sometimes I can’t see it from where I live, because of all the unnatural light that surrounds me.  So it’s particularly thrilling when I can.  In my reading and research, I’ve learned that the moon is at it’s most powerful (and helpful) when it is full.  Now is the time to cleanse, to let go of negative influence, memories, emotions, and energy.  Now is most definitely the time to ask for big things.  So, a new home, new job or promotion, healing of an extreme illness.  I am TOTALLY excited to try this in my own life.  The last couple of days I’ve been preparing.  I’ve been thinking about the moon’s power and how I might harness some of that energy for myself.  I’ve been wearing my moon jewelry the last couple of days, eating only plant-based (for cleansing), and making a list of things that I want to be true in my life.  Positive statements like: I am a world traveler.  I am going to Paris.  I have accomplished having a book published.

Tonight during the full moon I will go outside, I will speak to the moon and yes, a few other things not listed here.  (I’m not going into specifics because this isn’t a “how-to” post and it’s just experimental.)  I will do some deep breathing exercises, inhaling all things good and exhaling negativity.  I will be open to believing and open to receiving, and I am willing to bet that the follow-up to this post will be a long list of all the amazing things that have happened as a result!  Wish me luck!  And PLEASE be sure to tell me your own moon stories, beliefs, and experiences!  I really want to hear.

 

Bright, Shiny Things

When I get attached to a musician or band or song, it’s about the lyrics.  Yes, the music has to sound good, but the ones that sneak up behind me and capture my heart are the ones that have clever lyrics and tell good stories.

Vacation is coming.  I cannot WAIT to post about vacation in a historic city and being there with proper adults – no kids!

Bright, shiny things.  I keep them in my treasure box and I pull them out sometimes, and instead of just enjoying how bright and shiny they are, or the joy they brought me once, I study them and wonder if they are still as fond of me as I am of them.

Hemingway.

We choose friendships and form relationships based on what we subconsciously think of ourselves.  Aim high. Aim higher.

My son thinks time travel is possible and I hope he always believes in things and hopes in his own abilities and has faith in his fellow man to accomplish great feats together.

It takes courage to be so vulnerable.

How can writers be so insecure and so vain at the same time?

Debt is an illusion.  So is power.

No judgment, but it’s ironic when a famous person who’s had lots of plastic surgery and other enhancements says “just be yourself”.  Like, yeah… how did that work out for you?

Paris.

Running is hard. I love it, and it kicks my ass, and I feel like such a warrior when I finish.  Doesn’t matter the terrain or mileage.  Just challenging my belief system about how strong I am (or am not), how far I can go, how fast I am, it’s an incredible feeling.

Sometimes late at night I just sit here and read memes and laugh until I get a Charley Horse in my abdomen.

 

 

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He was the fly in my ointment,

The wrench in my works,

The sour cream on my potato,

Deliciously sour.

New guy in an old town.

Oh.

No.

I remember his old pickup,

Cowboy hat, tattoos.

Decisions. How could he choose?

Rock or blues?

Pain with a side of bliss.

What is.

This.

There are no photographs of us,

Memories to rot and rust.

Just regret – shadows of that day

I heard predator to his prey

Say

“Stay”.