Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diamond in the Rough

Sleeping soundly, dreaming peacefully, all is right in the world . . . until the blaring begins in my ears and makes me forget my pleasant dream. Ugh, I reach my hand over my head in an attempt shut off the alarm. I slam on the snooze, but to no avail, the pounding at my peace is not my everyday alarm which usually wakes me around 8, but is my ringing phone for which is now unexpectedly interrupting my slumber at 7:30. It takes a moment, but then I remember that it's Monday. Before I even look at the phone I know who is calling; I pretty much know what is going to be said before I even answer it.

I push the button and do my best to make it seem as though I have been awake for awhile. Even though I already know I'm going to have to call Jon in five minutes and sweetly ask him to come home for a bit to take our son to school, I let my friend explain his situation, that his oldest of two daughters is sick, and unless I want to risk my own daughter becoming ill, he is not be able to take my Emie to school on this "Manic Monday". The quiet morning I have planned to have at home has just been cancelled.

I sucked up the sleepiness, did what I needed to do, and tried to ignore the fact that I really could have used that extra 30 minutes of sleep. I also tried to ignore the fact that I missed a lot of time with my family the day before to run the errands, errands I could have been running while my daughter was a school had I known I would not be able to take advantage of my abode. Frustrated with the turn of events, knowing that driving back home and returning to pick up my daughter and her friend (my aforementioned friend's youngest daughter who was in tow) was going to waste an hour of my time, I glanced at stack of books on top of my laptop next to me on my path to preschool and told myself that if I couldn't do housework, I was going to find somewhere quiet to read during this two hour duration I needed to fill.

After kissing the girls goodbye and leaving them to learn, I begin to drive aimlessly in pursuit of a destination, a quaint place to read my books. I think of my favorite coffee shop, coincidentally much closer to the preschool than my home, and take a few wrong turns before arriving. I order cup of hot chai and sit it down next to my laptop to cool a bit. I sit staring at the laptop, knowing that bringing it in would inevitably cause me to put off my reading material. "I'm just going to check my email and facebook account," I tell myself. The next thing I know I am perusing my twitter feed, which I use mainly to follow others, because tweeting is not something I do so much. John Cusack, who loves to tweet, tweet, and retweet, has filled my feed with his thoughts, links, and a quote, a quote that I happen to fall in love with, and suddenly I'm on a quest to add this fascinating find to my email siggie, not an easy task for a low-tech girl like myself.

I end up spending a chubby chunk of my time figuring out how to add this quote to my signature, an experience which forces my fingers to pound away at the keyboard once again. Before I know it my two hours are up, and no novel reading in sight. Normally I would be bummed that I didn't take full advantage of my hazy little diamond in the rough, uninterrupted time to read, but in this case the diamond I do discover is much clearer, whiter, and has a much better cut. It sparkles very brightly and lights the sometimes dim bulb in my brain, for the quote of which I've mentioned has been the gem for which I've been searching, the opening line to something I've been working on since beginning this blog a few months ago, the opening line of an essay which should appear on a blog page near you sometime soon.

Diamonds are rare and hard to find, and finding this one has let me know that writing is what I'm meant to be doing right now . . . that I need to let go of the fact that not many are reading and that the stories I tell need to satisfy no one other than me. For the few of you who keep returning, I'm pleased that you enjoy what I write and I thank you for your loyalty. This day my wish for you is to be blessed with the ability make lemonade out of lemons and find your own sparkling diamond in the rough.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Rich Declare Themselves Poor

It was a stressful day, and after a vodka and OJ and an unfinished attempt at another entry I was feeling rather melancholy. I did what I often do in times like these, I reached for my mp3 player and let the music envelope me. I didn't select a play list; I just let it spin song after random downloaded song, allowing it to take me down the path that was to be. I began mixing and making a new recipe for chocolate cake as I listened, and an old favorite started to play. I always liked the song, but tonight I really listened to it as I stood in my beautiful home making something yummy, gooey, and unhealthy for me and my friends to share tomorrow. A chord was struck by the contrast created my current state of being and the lyrics to which I was listening. I decided to leave the unfinished entry for another day in the foreseeable future to share this instead. Listen and view (by clicking on the title) or read as a poem below, then interpret as you like on "Praying for Time".

Praying For Time
George Michael

These are the days of the open hand
They might just be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll take our chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all God's children
Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh, you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can't come back
'Cause he has no children to come back for

It's hard to love there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Business of Time and Thoughtlessness

"Time, time, time; see what's become of me . . . ." From here move into a cool 80's guitar riff and begin to jam. Can you guess the song? If you can, great, but it doesn't really matter. I simply just want to use the opening lyric to the unnamed tune because it fits what I want to talk about, that being time (in case you haven't figured that one out).

During my two week break (or so) from blogging I found I had even less time than I had before, and certainly did not spend the time restfully reading as I anticipated I would. Additionally, unable to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of ideas that flooded over me, I had been left with notes, lots of notes, and nothing thoughtful to present to you yet. Nonetheless, I thought you deserved a drabble in this duration of my absence from essays, so I decided to present you with something rather thoughtless, that was without much thought, not inconsiderate as one would usually presuppose about the term.

Anyway . . . I have been one of those people who thrive on business, that is on being very busy, not on commerce or trade as one usually presupposes about the term (I told you this would be rather thoughtless). I have always wanted something to do, somewhere to be, someone to be with. Now though, after 17 years of schooling, several jobs, a spouse, owning a house, getting a dog, having two kids, and having way too many flower beds installed, I find that these things filling the 32 years of my life experience add up to a whole lot of stuff that creates a whole lot of responsibilities that suck up a whole lot of my time, leaving me with the kind of business (aka busy-ness) I prefer to do without from time to time. *I must interrupt my thoughts for a moment to note that I am grateful for all those things that fill my life, I just don't always welcome the 'side-effects' that come along with them sometimes, but "you can't look a gift-horse in the mouth," and "beggars can't be choosers," so all that being said . . . .* I find that solitude and moments for leisure are two of the things I would love to add back into the equation of my life, two things that I may never experience again as I did in my youth. *I must interrupt again to say "Damn, this thing is thoughtless . . . haven't I talked about this before?"* In any case, I just want to be able to do what the song says (no, not the aforementioned song, another one silly), "open up your plans and damn you're free."

Oh how tempting it is just to cancel with everyone when I'm feeling overwhelmed, but I don't feel right doing that, and in fact I think it's rather rude. I continue to remember the very few occasions I've called off plans without a real reason, because of being exhausted or having too much going on, and I find those odd occasions still bother me today. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone cancels on me because something better comes up or he/she is tired and/or "doesn't feel like it." My time is important to me (if you haven't gathered that already), so when I go out of my way to make plans with you and give you some of that precious time, I expect you to think really hard about whether your reason for standing me up is valid, as to cancel on me, or anyone for that matter, for no reason is indeed thoughtless in the presupposed meaning of the term . . . just sayin'.

Well, that's it really . . . short, sweet and to the point, no deep thoughts or abhorrent alliteration (though I'm sure you have noticed I cannot leave it out completely). I just have one more thing and a few more ellipses and parenthetical notations before I go . . . the opening line is a lyric from Hazy Shade of Winter as performed by the Bangles, but little have I known until I have begun typing this that it is originally written and sung by Simon and Garfunkel. The other tune is probably much easier to pick out . . . the lyric is from a little hit known as I'm Yours by Jason Mraz. If you click on the titles to the listed songs, you will see that the YouTube videos have been conveniently linked for you. J

So I hope you have enjoyed my lack of large words thoughtless drabble about business (again, busy-ness), time, and thoughtlessness (in both senses of the word). My schedule is slowing down soon, if only for a bit, hopefully giving me more free moments to collect my thoughts to potentially present you with something more thoughtful next time around. Until then, I once again bid you adieu, and as before, hope to return in a week or two. Salut . . . .