I had posted this on my FB page earlier today, but Bill beat me to it on WordPress. Puppies and horses – nothing better (my children exempted)
I’ve decided to live in my awesome bubble today, so if you feel like fomenting trouble, please move along. I’m occupied with silliness.
It’s been a long time since I woke up feeling the need to be silly. It started when I took the pups out and saw that the only thing the moon was revealing was a smile. Which made me smile too. Bogey began to chuff at … nothing. His bravery is impressive when there’s nothing to challenge it. My hero. It wasn’t one of those banner sleep nights, so you can toss this up to that slightly frantic goofiness caused by too much caffeine over too short a period of time. No matter – I’m in the bubble. At least until I crawl back into bed.
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life” — Omar Khayyam
Smart guy, that Omar. He got me thinking. For reasons one could ascribe to astrology, biorhythms, synchronized moments in time, etc – some of my friends are struggling at the moment. Feeling overwhelmed, too lonely, disappointed, histories that they want to get over yet keep repeating, selective memory retrieval that prohibits touching grace.
Join me in here for a minute. Seriously. I am thinking that it’s never too late to create the relationships you always wanted; the ones that hint at why you’re dissatisfied with the ones that you currently have. What is the unrealized fantasy that pulls on your shirt sleeve as you struggle to move forward? What does it look like? Create it. Live it. Remember the kid that lives inside us all is waiting for you to rectify history. Fix it. Be the parent that you didn’t have. Speak to yourself as if you were speaking to your most loved friend. Get silly, get loving, get over these hurdles that others may have put there, but you have allowed to remain. Risk being happy. No one will hold you accountable for that state of mind every moment of every day. The onus isn’t as great as the weight of being an indifferent bystander in your own life.
My intent is not to make any of this sound easy or trite. My intent is to dilute the ‘buts’ and ‘can’t work’ to a manageable trickle instead of a waterfall. To engage the muscles that stretch most when moving in joy. To help you find your ‘tickle’ spot and wake it up. And if all of this is just too much for a Sunday morning – I hope at least that you smile, that you savor one moment in your morning. Catch yourself grinning.
No words from me will really do this justice – the least I can do is share it with you.
“I want to be a cowboy, but only long enough to barge into a saloon and bellow ‘Where’s the yellow belly that stole my happy trail?'” — Jared Kintz
I used to occasionally catch a western with my dad (typically while he was changing channels and got hooked by something John Wayne or Lee Marvin or Clint Eastwood was doing). My love of horses made it impossible to watch any of the scenes which intimated that they were uncomfortable or angry in anyway. But galloping through an open field? I’d watch and put myself in that saddle. Slamming one’s body into the swinging door of a bar and with one look rendering a crowded room silent? Oh yeah. There’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Mimi (ok, I have to change that).
I also wanted to be the next Barbra Streisand, but that’s a story for another day.
And come up with the formula for world peace – I’m still working on that one.
“Where’s the yellow belly who stole my happy trail?” How awesome it would be if one could point a gloved finger at that varmint.
You know where I’m going with this – who would you point your finger at? Ain’t no one there, darn it, unless one is looking in the mirror.
We steal our happiness all the time. That interlude between moments that is so easily sabotaged by our confusion or displeasure, asserting that we are the victims of circumstance, a person, a poor choice. The thought that I am that yellow belly is anathema to me. And yet. Once again the duality of our humanity makes itself known. We are both fearless and petrified; hell-bent and heaven seeking. Bartender, just leave me the bottle.
The older I get, the more I realize that this is the town I rode into. The trail is far more littered with wildflowers than dead bodies (figuratively speaking – I am a cowboy without a gun). I have undermined my sense of self-worth far more than anybody else, the amount I have gambled reflects my own fear and ambivalence, my delights have been incredible, my pain has been fierce. And they’ve all been mine.
Every cowtown I’ve ever lived in has offered food, shelter, employment, sunshine. So I’ve had the ridiculous luxury of feeling lousy over things that are dreams for many in this world. So why would I self-sabotage my happy trail? Because sometimes it’s the easier choice. Sometimes, it’s far easier to think “yeah, but…”. The problem of course is that there is no happy ending with that script. One rides off into a barren field, head down – defeated by one’s self. And that just isn’t the way any movie should end.
So I get up on my horse, settle my butt into a well-worn saddle and look at the horizon with a delicious sense of the possible. I nicker to my horse and we ride..while I sing “People”. Must be the reason why I never made it in show business.
I am a fan of Ivon’s and this request…so – here you go.
It’s all here…
George Saunders delivered this convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013. It subsequently went viral, and there’s a really solid reason for that; It’s awesome. In case you have not read it already, please enjoy;
The entire speech, graduation season or not, is well worth reading, and is included below.
“Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).
And I intend to respect that tradition.
Now, one useful thing you can do with an…
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I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks – not sure why, other than lethargy, winter, stomach bug – a familiar drill for many I’m sure. During this time I received notification from our friends at WP that this blog has been around for two years. So Happy Anniversary to all of us on the karma truck. Thank you for joining me on this ride, providing direction and encouragement when I wasn’t sure the GPS was working, and for sharing so much of yourselves with me. I think that has been the most humbling, awesome, breathtaking part of this ride. There are no better passengers out there.
On the one hand, not much has happened while I’ve been parked; so much has happened while I’ve been parked. It all depends on your perspective I guess. This life – perhaps it’s all about measurement (which is a bit unfortunate since I am truly terrible with numbers). But it seems that when measured in days, it can seem so unremarkable, yet when measured in moments it is so rich and full and ridiculous and heartbreaking.
Sir Bogart is now a full-fledged member of the round table. No longer the precious-though-not-too-smart junior ‘Sir’ of a short three months ago.
I realize that we should have named him ‘No-Bogey’ or ‘NoBo’, for it does seem like the most oft-used moniker. Goofy. Stubborn. Selectively hard-of-hearing. Crazy affectionate. Yummy. Yesterday he discovered the basket of wool in the family room and proceeded to unravel a few skeins as he jogged around the house. I could have been mad, but it reminded me of how our house looked one Halloween after being t-p’ed by my son’s friends. Don’t get me wrong – I did assume the stance of the stern disciplinarian, albeit a bit insincerely.
NoBo also likes coffee – which really does evoke my ire. Again, my bad – I walked out of the kitchen for a moment, only to return to see him on the table, enthusiastically downing my morning’s first mug. And yes, he was wired for hours – think Road Runner taunting Will E. Coyote. Sirs Archie and Theodore steered clear of the whirling dervish that day. Lesson learned – mine, not his. Whither I goest, goest my mug. Even the decaf.
We all lived through being hugged too hard by the polar vortex. I love living where the four seasons announce themselves with little subtlety, but we all could have passed on this kinda cold. An exaggeration of what winter does to me – I hibernate, read a lot, delight in the aromas that emanate from the slow cooker, worry too much, resolve too little. Winter – the classic reaction formation – come here, go away. I love the moments and find the days meld. “One has to build shelters. One had to make pockets and live inside them” — Lorrie Moore. This is what winter provides – permission to live inside one’s self while still being engaged with the larger world. I guess this is me peeking outside of my pocket, wanting to see you and say ‘hi’.