A monologue you say? Why can’t you just go to my blog and read that? Seriously! If it’s a minute of me rambling on about nonsense, just read that. It’s filled with it! And sometimes there’s no filter! (Most of the time there actually is. Come on! I can’t tell you everything!)
I hear a chuckle on the other end of the phone. “If you want to be a part of the production company, you will have to read a monologue for us.”
Drats! I like acting in plays, I don’t like acting for directors, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to work.
I go to my bookshelf and pull down the books that have collected dust (and I thought I was doing a pretty good job of cleaning) and look through the stack. The books are so dusty in fact, one of them covers my shirt in it. You would think I would resign to my thinking that a maid can’t do a better job than I can, but no, I still haven’t been able to put that one out of my head that used a toothbrush to clean something.
I skim through a few of them and find notes I have made to myself from acting classes. I relate more to humor now, so I opt for one of those. Years prior I would have jumped at the chance to be morose, angry or crazy. They’re actually far more fun to play, but I feel as though I have moved passed all of that in my life and only want to laugh now. While it’s a good place to be emotionally, it’s not so good for my acting. Depression is really good for that. And my waist line. I never eat when I am depressed. A little depression would be really great right before summer time!
I finally find a play I feel comfortable with, so I begin to memorize the lines. This is the hard part. The easy part is making it my own. You know, so it doesn’t sound like I’m acting.
A funny thing; acting. Most of us do it every day. We head out in the world that is a stage and surround ourselves with different characters who in some way or another are a reflection of us. There’s the blowhard in the office you avoid like poison ivy, who is always spouting off about something he has done. We know he is actually insecure and that’s why he does it, but we can’t stand him anyway. But when the topic of kids comes up or the shot you made on par last week, you’re right in there doing the same thing, refusing to look at yourself and your own insecurities. How about that mother who helicopter parents her kids that we find nauseating. If we looked close enough, we would probably find propellers near our own head. But we don’t. We refuse to see our reflection in all of the mirrors that surround us every single day.
But when you take on a role, you are forced to. The only thing different from a good actor and a bad one is authenticity. If you have lived enough life, you can assume almost any role. You just have to let yourself go there and embrace the part of you that wants to be heard. Maybe it’s that 8 year old kid who was pushed off the swings by the class bully. The young man who was shot down by the girl he liked and told they could still be friends. Or the little girl who was never told how pretty she was, to the little boy who was told he was too much.
Maybe this is what I love so much about acting. Despite the fact that you are doing it in front of a hundred people, you’re reaching inside to a part of you that has awakened and you want to share it with the world. Even though I hyperventilate before a performance and have to use the bathroom 15 times before I actually go on stage and find myself constantly waiting for that dreadful moment when I stumble over a line, it’s all worth it.
The adrenaline rush you get from acting on a stage is so extreme, once you experience it, you want to do it again and again. Sort of like a tatoo. At least that’s what people tell me who have one. Well, they rarely have one! Most performers who love acting long to be on the stage. It’s not for the money! It’s for the love of the art, the love of pretending, the love of the crowd, the love of letting go and allowing yourself to feel, even if it’s someone else’s life, someone else’s role.
It was actually Willie Shakes that coined the phrase: “All The World’s A Stage”. It came from a monologue in his play, “As You Like It” where he compared the world to a stage and life as a play in which the 7 stages of a man’s life play out. Infant (your mother coddles you), schoolboy (your teacher coddles you), lover (you coddle anything you can get), soldier (you get married), justice (she only gets half and nothing more!), pantaloon (mid-life crisis I’m guessing, which means you have a 20 year old bimbo to spend what’s left of the half you got) and second childhood (resigning to the fact that you aren’t going to last forever, especially now that you are worn out from dating a 20 year old, so you buy a Harley Davidson or get a tatoo.)
I like the whole idea of something playing out. One day you could have one course set for yourself and the next thing you know you are on a different one. The key to all of this is being open to change and not so stuck in your head with the way in which it will happen. We all eventually get to where we want to be, it just takes some of us a little longer. But that’s okay, just as long as you arrive.
The silliest things entertain me. It’s actually a really good thing because when I am entertained I have an easier time entertaining other people. The hard part is when I find something funny and other people stand by and look at me like I’ve lost my mind. You are only as good as your audience, which is why I only hang with people where mutual feelings of adoration are copious.
Example of silly…
Yesterday I had to take a drug test for one of the places I am going to work for. I’m so excited to work for them I can’t even express my sheer joy. They are innovative, conscientious, their products are dynamic and the people who work there are all creative types like myself. Anyway, I found it hysterical that I had been instructed to find a bathroom in New York City. I literally got on a train, went to Soho to pick-up paperwork and then headed to Chelsea to use a designated bathroom.
Anyone who has spent any time in New York City knows a bathroom is a tough thing to come by. It’s not that businesses don’t have them, they just don’t want you to use them…unless you give them some business first.
At McDonalds you are practically forced to purchase something just so you can get a token. I opted for a coffee which I consequently threw out because it was so hot and I wasn’t thirsty. But I did have to pee, so it was well worth the money I spent on it. Had I drank it, I only would have had to go again. I can just see the pattern in this; stopping every half a mile to do one or the other.
My youngest son and I are working on an app about where to go when you have to go because he always has to go when we go to Manhattan. He has taken to rating the bathrooms since he goes so much.
FYI Long Island Rail Road gets a 0 in his opinion. And even though it does, it still doesn’t stop him from using it! We have to sit in the car with the bathroom and one of my boys always makes sure the door opens because one time it didn’t and it wasn’t fun going from car to car until we got a car with a bathroom in it.
So as I was laughing to myself about having spent money to come into Manhattan to use a bathroom, I looked up at the board in Penn Station and saw that I had 20 minutes until the next train home. I looked through my messages because that’s what everyone does when they are waiting and all of a sudden a message came through from a casting agent. Score!
I left Penn Station and walked two blocks and auditioned for some crazy Spanish commercial. They were more concerned with my eyebrows and how I raised them than anything else. I will never see the commercial and neither will anyone I know, but for a few hours work and 1500.00 I’ll raise my eyebrows anyway you want them! I even raised one at a time-it’s a talent, but not one I have on my resume. Honestly, could I make this up?
Today my life was a little less glamorous. I went to the gym and sweat off 500 calories (this is what the militant teacher tells us-she actually was in the military!) then headed to the grocery store and put 1000 back on after I drank that Coca Cola on display. I couldn’t help it! I love Coca Cola! The picture I posted made me laugh out loud! The older woman standing next to me didn’t see the humor.
“Contains real sugar!” What’s not funny about that? In a world that is so health and exercise conscience, I thought it was hysterical! Did someone actually need to put that on a sign? Just in case you were wondering if it contained anything else? Or just in case you were jonesing for some! It’s pretty scary when you have to advertise “real” as opposed to “fake”.
But I like the idea, especially when it comes to people.
Maybe we should all walk around with shirts on us that explain what we are. On the front of mine it would say: “100% Authentic” and on the back it would say Except for the teeth-I’ve had those altered a bit. What would your’s say? “Work in Progress” (Call you when I’m ready) “Surgically Altered” (With your physicians number) or maybe it would just be one face on the front smiling at you and one on the back with an evil face (Two-faced). A blank on both sides. A question mark. A mountain on front and a guy fixing something on the back (High Maintenance). A pile of dog poo on the front and a head on the back.(Shit Head). A crazy person on the front and a path on the back. (Psychopath). The list goes on and on. I could do this all day.
It’s an interesting concept, but not one most people would concede to. Most of us like to wear a mask. Hopefully yours isn’t too scary or misleading. Halloween’s a pretty great day to celebrate, but wearing a mask any other day doesn’t serve anyone-especially yourself.
One of my favorite songs is written by David Gray. He writes a lot of beautiful songs, but Babylon is probably one of his most popular.
The song starts out with a guy who is confounded (Love that word) about his life. He’s reflecting on how foolish he has been with another person, his own life, his beliefs. I don’t know David Gray to personally ask him, so I am interpreting the meaning of his song myself, especially the reference to Babylon. His Utopia appears to be a place where people drop all their defenses and give themselves up and allow themselves to feel. Now that would be a real Utopia! But so many of us can’t do it.
When I listen to this song I think about all of the people I’ve met in my life; the ones who have come and gone and the ones who will remain a constant. The ones that have touched a place in my heart that words cannot express; both good and bad. Sometimes we try to express our thoughts and feelings but they get lost in a state of confusion, a fear of rejection, a hope that stays alive as long it is never conveyed.
Friday night I’m going nowhere
All the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations
Situations running through my head
Well looking back through time
You know it’s clear that I’ve been blind
I’ve been a fool
To ever open up my heart
To all that jealousy, that bitterness, that ridicule
I pass people on the street everyday and see different things in their faces. Some look happy, others tremendously sad, some angry. No matter who it is I always smile at them and say hello. It’s amazing what that simple gesture does to a person and not just the one you smiled at. It sounds pretty hokey, but you can feel the change within yourself, having opened your heart to another human being, having recognized them and acknowledged their presence.
If you want it
Come and get it
Crying out loud
The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
So many of us go through life like an automaton; closing our hearts, minds and emotions off to those around us. We get in a rush and forget our manners. We cut people off when they are trying to express themselves because our thoughts are far more important than theirs. We say no to the kid standing at our door trying to sell us candy; foregoing a moment of kindness and how hard it must be for him to go door to door on a Saturday morning in a neighborhood he doesn’t live in, carrying a large box filled with crap so he can get points towards a youth program. We pass lemonade stands cause we’re in a hurry. We don’t give up our seats anymore to the elderly because we are too tired ourselves. And we have forgotten what it’s like to be a kid; to see the world through innocent eyes and a heart that opens to everyone. To take risks, take chances and throw caution to the wind.
Saturday I’m running wild
And all the lights are changing red to green
Moving through the crowd I’m pushing
Chemicals all rushing through my bloodstream
Only wish that you were here
You know I’m seeing it so clear
I’ve been afraid
To tell you how I really feel
Admit to some of those bad mistakes I’ve made
We look through our messages when we are with other people instead of embracing the time we have with the ones we are with; always assuming there will be more time, but mostly because we think we might be missing something more important. We have forgotten the basics like “Do unto others” because we are so caught up in the race to get ahead.
If you want it
Come and get it
Crying out loud
The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
We take those we love for granted. We promise to visit at a later date that never comes. We harbor feelings for people and we never tell them. We carry torches, have crushes and even hold grudges, without anyone ever knowing.
We keep it all to ourselves. We imagine what it might be like to tell them how we really feel and then become confounded by what to say or do.
Sunday all the lights of London
Shining, sky is fading red to blue
I’m kicking through the Autumn leaves
And wondering where it is you might be going to
Turning back for home
You know I’m feeling so alone
I can’t believe
Climbing on the stair
I turn around to see you smiling there
In front of me
So if you’re feeling confused, perplexed or harboring any feelings; good or bad, let go of your heart and your head and allow yourself to feel. Ask yourself what it is that you really want and don’t be afraid to go after it.
They say the present is a gift, so we should all live like it’s the best gift ever. We should go after who or what it is our hearts yearn for and just babble on.
If you want it
Come and get it
Crying out loud
The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt
And feel it now
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
In case you were wondering…It’s the smallest measurable amount of time in the universe. Approximately equal to the time between a traffic light turning green in New York City and the cab driver behind you honking his horn.
So in A New York Minute, my life went from super fabulous to super pathetic. It gets complicated, so try to stay with me.
About a month ago I wrote a post about how I had journeyed in Manhattan and come across a place in the West Village that was my dream company to work for. I went inside, yaddah yaddah yaddah and consequently wound up having two interviews for two different jobs at the same company. I have accepted one on a contingent basis and will probably start there in the next week.
In the same week I was called by my other dream company to work for, to be a teacher. I have thought about doing that job for over two years and have applied to that company at least 15 times. When I tell you I had given up on them, that is an understatement. Within a week I met with them three times and went from talks of a contingent basis to full time, because they loved my energy so much. Not at one time was money mentioned, but we all know that’s not why you teach. But it would have been nice to know. I left the place last week with the words, we will be in touch with you.
With both companies I sat through very long interviews that wore me out. I began to do a personal evaluation on both of them, weighing their tactics against the other. One company asked questions that in retrospect, I can see were extremely relevant, while the other one left me with the impression that they got their ideas out of Chinese fortune cookies.
“I want you to take these two pens, look at them, study them and then tell me in 45 seconds why I should choose one over the other.”
Really? I color hair. I do it really well. In fact, I’m an expert at it. I can fix anything…like your hideous color. That’s what I wanted to say, but instead, I looked at the two pens and in a few seconds I was able to give them a synopsis of why they should in fact choose one over the other.
“The reason you should choose this pen over the other one is quite logical. This pen, although it clicks to open like the other one, has black ink and most papers are printed in black ink, which makes it very difficult to see if you have circled something of importance. (I sat the pen down) This pen, on the other hand, has blue ink, which makes it easier to see on printed paper. But aside from having blue ink, it was made from a recycled bottle, which means it’s sustainable and every time you click on it to use, you should feel really great about the fact that you are doing your part to help the environment.”
Now go ^&* yourselves!
At that moment, or maybe it was a few moments prior when one of the women asked me a question about formulation and what I would do to fix something, that I realized I knew more than these people ever would, about coloring hair. When I went to give my answer, the man cut me off in mid-sentence and said, “We never use our products with that volume.” To which I said, “I do it all the time!” When he did it to me again, I turned to him and said, “Perhaps the products are not designed to be used that way, but I can tell you from the stand point of a colorist who has worked on Madison Avenue and charged over $200.00 to fix someone’s hair, it works pretty darn well.”
I was certain the woman asked me what “I” would do to fix it, not what the package instructed people to do. But I let him have his moment, let him cut me off, ridicule my answer. Some people need to feed their ego by attempting to diminish someone else’s. I think it was at the moment that he realized I was an Aston Martin and he was a Chevy.
As the interview progressed, I began to get a headache from all of the questions, so I decided to ask one of my own. “Which one of you are staying here?” We were meeting at a table in the lobby of a hotel where they had set up camp. “Neither of us.” They said and I knew I would never work for this company in this job…ever!
How cheap can you be? Not a good sign going in. I thanked God for my age and the knowledge that comes with it. The position they were interviewing me for was for someone right out of school. It had a glamorous title and nothing more. I had paid for a train ticket into the city and a sitter to be at my house for 3 hours because some idiot couldn’t grasp the fact that a person who has my resume never should have been called in to meet with them in the first place. I waited until I got home to send the email that I did not want them to consider me as a candidate.
New York Minute number two:
Since I have left the city I have been trying to get back in. Although I am in there at least 4 times a week, I long to have my own little piece of Manhattan; all 350 square feet! Finding the right fit, lease, location and price has been a challenge. I finally resigned to the idea of subletting someone’s place with their crap in it. It was a stretch for me but I had finally arrived at that conclusion. I have been in touch with a woman who owns a place on the Upper West Side for over a year. I checked in periodically to see if someone was moving in or out and when it would be available again since I just missed it by one day when I originally found her. When I emailed her Tuesday morning and she told me the place was currently available, I was elated. Now on the brink of closing the deal of the century on an apartment in the Ansonia, nothing could stop me from finally living the dream!
I was scheduled to look at it right after the interview. When the woman called me first thing Wednesday morning, a few hours prior to my interview and said her husband did not want her to sublet the place to someone with kids, I went numb. I was literally speechless. I don’t even remember what I said to her.
What can I possibly do for an encore you might ask? Tell the company that offered me the teaching job full time that I couldn’t commit right now, because I was anticipating working for the one who asked me about the pens.
I’m pretty sure this is what is meant by…A New York Minute! But like the phoenix I will rise again. I’ll dust myself off, look on-line and have the perfect answers for the next interview I go on and the jackass who has read the comical book, “Ludicrous things to ask a potential job candidate that you can later laugh about at the company holiday party.”
I watched Modern Family yesterday on DVR (has there ever been a greater invention?) and while it was about many different things, the one I was drawn to was about Claire. She was asked to speak about her career at Luke’s school when they had a few moments left after the father’s had given their speeches.
First off, given only a few moments to sum-up what a mother does is like asking a woman about her hair. You are never going to get a one word answer. She’ll go into some tirade about how the last person that did it didn’t do it right, it’s not as blonde as she wanted, it’s too blonde, it’s too dark, and the worse thing of all is, she’ll ask you what you think of it.
To be honest, I never knew what my mother did all day. I just knew she was there when I got home from school, always volunteered to bring home the class bunny (even when he ate through cords, clothing and fingers), made brownies, cake or cupcakes at a moment’s notice when one of us kids told her we needed them the next day and always had a Band-aid and a smile when I fell off my bike.
She appropriately lied to me when I was a pre-teen, telling me how boys who tease you actually like you, when in fact we all know boys who tease you feel awful about themselves so they pick on someone who will not fight back. She listened to me wail each summer, when the freckles came out in droves on my body and I wanted nothing more than to hide under my bed and never return to the pool again. “They’re angel kisses!” She told me, to which I replied, “I don’t want to be kissed my angels, I want olive-colored skin.”
She was a brave soul, the day she announced my father and her were to divorce and consequently wound up marrying other people. Both marriages meant I had to move and leave all of my friends behind and start over, much like her and my father. She looked me in the eyes and asked, “Where would you prefer to live?” To which I replied, “My Dads!” She let me go, probably one of the hardest things she had ever done and I held my ground, despite the fact that I missed her terribly. A kid’s punishment is far crueler than anyone’s, especially when it is directed at someone they love.
Our relationship waned; the distance grew further, until I came around and I faced the daunting reality that my father wasn’t so perfect after all. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties and thirties that I realized how much she had endured with him and as a kid who only wanted her parents to be together, had punished her for leaving him.
It’s a shame that we do not embrace our parents more when we are younger. Sure, we love them, but we never think of them as real people. People with goals, dreams and thoughts. We think they don’t understand, when they really understand too much. How couldn’t they? They were kids once and if given the chance, would probably be one again.
My mother still endures a lot. She listens to me rant for hours, never cutting me off or telling me to stop complaining. Her ears are amazing! There are times when I forget to ask about her and what she is up to. Then I am reminded of our roles, when one of my kids does the same to me.
So as the annual mother of all days approaches, I want to thank my mother for being such a terrific listener, for her creativity, her love of animals, her patience, all the good meals she made me, the endless research she did when I was a sick kid and no one had the answers, for packing my lunches and making peanut butter rice cake sandwiches that no one else would eat despite my best efforts to trade them, for the cod liver oil, vitamins and pep-up she forced us to take because “Not one of us kids ever had a cold”, for allowing me to bring home stray animals, sick birds and homeless rabbits without blinking an eye, for all the times I knew you struggled to make ends meet and never told us, for enduring years and years of sadness and a hope that things would get better, and for your wisdom and love that is unfathomable.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Bar Mitzvoh. We took the kids to the service and managed to escape with only a few sighs, three loud yawns and the incessant noise of pants rubbing against each other when one of them swung their legs back and forth.
The service was beautiful! I’m a big fan of a sermon that touches on something I can relate to. The Rabbi brought up the tragedy in Boston and how after running a marathon, some of the runners still found the strength, courage and energy to keep running to the Red Cross to donate blood.
He went on to talk about families and what it meant to be Jewish. There wasn’t one word about the religious aspect of it; but how to be more giving. He talked about the Hebrew word “natan”, which means God’s rewards. He explained that the spelling can be equated to giving and receiving because it is spelled the same way forward and backward. I thought that was pretty cool.I like when I go to church or synagogue and their is a meaning behind the service. I like to take something away from it besides an empty bag of Goldfish and whatever else the kids have eaten to keep them occupied for 1 1/2 hours.
We stayed for the luncheon where there was a table full of candy. I went over to get a cup of coffee (I have plenty of candy at home) and saw a young man shoving it in his pockets. I grabbed his arm and said, “Sawyer, have some fruit with all that candy!” And to my horror, the boy turned around and it was one of my son’s friends and not my son. What can I tell you?! They all look the same in a white shirt from behind.
As we were eating, my husband said to my older son, “It’s not too late to have one!” To which he replied, “Nah! I’m good!” His friend turned to my husband and said, “Don’t get upset! You have two others you could try and convince!” My husband knew that wasn’t a possibility but smiled anyway. Since going to Catholic School, my youngest has taken to Jesus and likes to doodle on the back of his schoolwork about how he has risen.
We came home for a bit and I tried to ask my boys if they found anything interesting about the service, to which they replied: “The challah bread was kind of stale.” Kids!
Later on we got dressed up and headed to the party. It was lovely! There were no airs being put on, despite the talks I had heard from several people about what a production these things can be. I think it had everything to do with the family who had the celebration. I adore my friend and you could actually feel the love and pride they had for their son. It was evident from their faces, the warm embraces they gave one another and the beautiful words they had written. At one point old softy had to get a tissue and wipe her eyes. I cry at everything! That commercial where the little boy is with his grandfather watching the sunset and he says, “Do it again, Grandpa!” Right to the heart!
At first I thought it was going to be a bit off-putting being at a party where my son was. I knew I would gravitate towards the room he was in and want to watch him interact with his friends and those things slowly creeping into his life, called girls. Strangely enough, it was my husband who wanted to check in on him more than I. Maybe it had something to do with the “girls” showing off their “girls” who get the kids to dance!
I kind of envied the kids party. The food was everything I like! Mini everything, until it shows up on your waist. And candy! Oh, my God! It was in bowls on tables. I went home with a sugar high and swore I would never eat it again!
The only utterance of anything I would call inappropriate, was a woman sitting at our table who told us her son was leaving with a few of the kids half way through this party to go to another one. Big Yuck! What kind of presidence are you setting to allow your kid to do that? I refrained, but gave one of my looks, so I think she knew I wasn’t on board with her parenting. Despite the fact that I am a trained actress, I cannot hide my disappointment of people.
I personally think they should stop the whole Bar/Bat Mitzvoh at the synagogue. The planning, the expense and the pressure the parents feel to keep up with what everyone else is doing or to make it bigger and better so that your kid will have a good turnout at his party, is too much. The pressure these kids must feel when they are putting together that guest list must be overwhelming. There are the kids they want there and then the terds they feel they have to invite, just to stay in the ranks at school.
It’s a tough age already and knowing a lot of the kids were leaving your party to go to someone elses who “had more money” had to hurt. But looking at the young man flanked by his parents, you would never know. He embraced the day, the moment, and in my opinion, showed everyone what being a man is really all about.
Today I scheduled myself for a spiritual class in Manhattan. If I’m not taking classes, I’m shopping. In my spare time I am writing a book on how to prepare chicken 2,000 different ways! Being out of work does that to a person.
I got into the city two hours before the class began, so I decided to take the subway to Spring Street, but as we came to the stop at West 4th, I decided to get off. I don’t know why, I just did.
As I strolled around West 4th Street, I made my way towards a hidden gem called Morton Street. I had never seen it before and was immediately drawn to it. I felt like I had been there before but know I haven’t, at least not in this life time. (If you believe in those things) It felt like I was in a different place and time, certainly not Manhattan.
As I made my way towards the end of the street, I looked up and saw Hudson Street straight ahead and right to the left of it, The Loreal Academy.
A beacon! A sign from the Universe! (I can hear the skeptics and naysayers now, but hey, it’s how I roll.) I had been yelling to the sky, God, universe, the powers that be, whatever you want to call it, for the past two days. ”Give me a sign! Show me something! Who am I supposed to work for?” When nothing came about and two rejection letters came back from two different companies, I decided the universe, God, powers that be…had an ear infection.
When I saw the company, the one I long to work for, sitting there on that corner, I knew why I had gotten off on West 4th Street and had been drawn to Morton Street. I never would have known Loreal was there!
I walked into the building and asked if they were hiring. I mean, seriously, does any body do that anymore? They weren’t or at least they said they weren’t, but she gave me an email address for the woman in charge of education, which is what I have finally decided (after several years, endless talks, buckets of frustration and money spent on things I will never do again) that I want to do.
I left the area, after walking back down Morton Street (number 42 was amazing!) and got on the train back towards my class.
I was the first one there, so I got to see everyone else leave their shoes, skepticism and judgement at the door. My shoes stayed outside like the rest of them, the judgement and skepticism found their way into my back pocket, despite my best efforts to keep them excluded.
Just because I like things spiritual doesn’t mean I like them all or believe in everyone who says they are. I find that spiritual classes tend to draw a rather heavy crowd. And I’m not talking about weight! If people don’t have a dark demeanor, they act like they know it all and start telling you what you should do.
This was a Shamanic Healing circle. Notice the ha in the word Shamanic! You absolutely have to have a sense of humor to try this stuff.
Part of the healing involved something called Shamanic Journeying. It’s completely out there and at some point during the thing, you start to wonder if you’re really seeing things or if you have breathed in too many of the herbs she has burned and walked around the room with. Seriously!
I’m a very vivid dreamer and have even had conversations with people I might not otherwise talk to everyday. I always remember the dreams and sometimes I write them down. I’ve never gone back and read them, because I’m sure if I did it would seem as though I were psychotic.
As I was lying on the floor napping and the teacher was beating the drum, I tried to walk down the tree with stairs like I was instructed to do, but kept seeing my new shoes I just bought. They’re bright pink and I can hardly wait to wear them to the gym! As you can see, my mind wanders quite a but during these things!
Back to the journeying: This is what I know about Shamans: They believe there are three worlds/levels. Upper, Middle, Lower. We were instructed to go the lower world. Not that it mattered! I was there to nap!
I think the worlds/levels is more or less about using your imagination again; something we always do as children, but seldom do as adults. This is why it’s so difficult.
My eyes were closed tightly, my body relaxed and in about two seconds, I fell asleep. I think I had a dream about a little Mayan man. He told me to just be where I was. I think that’s what he said. Just as I was about to ask him what that meant, some woman in the class started to speak in tongues. I was startled out of my slumber and had to refrain from sitting up and yelling, “What the #$#%?”
“No judgement!” I reminded myself. And tried to fall back asleep. But I couldn’t. The chanting, the yelling, the jibberish that was coming out of her was loud and ugly. “Amateur!” I thought to myself, or maybe it was the little Mayan man (aka my alter ego, the one I tried to check at the door.)
When we were called back to reality or at least the room, we were asked to share our experiences with everyone. Did I mention the little man I thought I saw? More importantly, did I talk about the elephant in the room that was speaking in tongues?
My turn came and I said I was so tired I fell asleep. “That’ okay. That means you needed a healing!” The healer said to me.
A healing? I needed a notepad to write all this down! The people were amazing! I couldn’t make these characters up if I tried! Every time one lady went to speak I closed my hands and twisted my rings, trying to tune her voice out. I could feel her heaviness across the room! It showed on her face, in her demeanor, in her endless blabbering about all of her and her friend’s health issues.
“We’ve only got an hour and a half, sister! And besides, you need way more than this circle is going to give you and it’s called therapy!” I wanted to say to her, but no, I sat in silence, observing, no judgement, trying to be in the energy of love, compassion, patience.
I think that’s why I am actually drawn to these things. I have no patience and the people that generally go to these things require plenty! Most of them seem to have issues that are results of their parents. Nobody’s perfect, especially mothers and fathers! They learn as they go. Real growth and healing comes from recognizing that and moving on!
There are a few “normal” people like myself, if you consider me normal, who attend. I think we all go for the same reason though. The people we are close to have grown tired of us spouting off about “signs” “synchronicity” and “law of attraction” and to them we are speaking in tongues! But if taking unplanned routes brings you to your dream street to live on and your dream job to work at, then the journey is well worth it.
Recently I reconnected with a friend of mine who I always admired and adored. She’s talented, articulate, funny, gorgeous and just a whole lot of fun to be around. I don’t know the reason for our disconnection; I guess life took over and three kids in constant demand, but I’m sure glad she’s back.
Most of the people I call friends are women I can say anything to and they don’t judge me. Sometimes we’re so filthy, we put college frat boys to shame. At times our talks are very candid. We talk about other women who are stepford wives; the kind who walk around in a stupor, have their families schedules put in their Blackberry and have their construction manager on speed dial. If they’re not tearing something down or tearing a teacher at the school a new one, they’re not living! Sometimes I envy these women. They have totally given up on their dreams. They’ve resigned. They know it’s not happening.
Which is why I hang out with tortured souls like myself, who think there still might be the slightest hope. We find solace in one another as we complain about being a mother, wife, female. It’s not that we want to be with anybody else or wish we never had kids; we just want to be alone. We can’t recall when our lives got put on hold so that everyone else could live their’s. We don’t blame our husbands or children, it’s just something women do. We try ways to fill the void that echos like a canyon. We take classes, write, act, model, teach, but deep down inside there is a part of us that wants to scream. “F#$%#%@ fairy tales! You lied to us!”
We curse the person/persons who wrote those storybooks and sold us that bag of goods about the prince, dragon and castle. They never once mentioned kids and how drastically they change your life. “The Three Little Pigs” comes close, but not too many other stories. People all tell you, “Make sure you see a lot of movies before the baby comes.” But what they don’t tell you is this: “Get ear plugs! Plenty of them!” If I have to hear “Mom” one more time, I’m going to move. It’s not one time, by one kid, it’s several times, by all three of them, at the same time. “Go to the movies?” How about take birth control! And don’t stop!
If you think you want kids, borrow somebody’s for a weekend. Drive a minivan filled with crap. Go to Great Wolf Lodge. Do the same load of laundry 15 times in a week. Make three different meals and then throw them all in the garbage. Call a school nurse and ask her what kind of things a kid can be exposed to, which in turns means you will be too. I’m just getting started, but if you need more, that will be another post. This one is about fairy tales.
“Ugly duckling” I’m quite certain, was written for every kid going through puberty. I was so ugly! I looked like a boy for years, despite my mother’s attempt to tell me otherwise. Why she ever purchased those school photos is beyond me!
“Frog Prince” Okay, All of us girls took this one a little too seriously. Honestly, how many frogs have you kissed that turned out to be a prince? Men don’t change! No matter how much you think you can do it, don’t even try! They basically tell you on the first date exactly what they are all about, but we don’t listen. We find a man who doesn’t talk, mysterious. We find one that talks too much, sensitive. Let me spell it out for you here! If he doesn’t open up on a date, he never will. Try to think past the mystery and realize he’s got issues. If he can’t talk now, it’s not going to get any better 20 years later. If you think too much talking is a good thing, fast forward and try to imagine yourself trying to get 30 minutes in of your favorite show and Chatty Kathy won’t shut up!
“The Princess and the Pea” is a warning for all young girls. This is classic controlling mother syndrome. Puts a pea in a mattress and says the only one “good enough” for her precious son will feel the damn thing! Okay, if you meet a man with a mother like that, who thinks her son is perfect in every way, she’s never going to like you. Most mother in-laws tolerate their daughter in-laws, it’s just the way it is. If you have a nice m.o.l. count your blessings and write a book about it. It might wind up being the next best “FAIRY TALE” classic!
A lot of the fairy tales describe my twenties. “Alice in Wonderland” pretty much sums up all those nights at Safari and the few times I did drugs. I took a Qualude with my friend, Sue and I started seeing things that weren’t there. Or was it mushrooms? Was it even Sue? I can’t remember!
“Rip Van Winkle” was me in a nutshell, every time my roommates and I went out for the night and I went to bed at 4 in the morning and had to try and wake up for work the next day.
“Three Musketeers” once again, me and my roommates. The three of us were inseparable. We went to Mackinac Island together and then on to Hilton Head, where two of us met boys. We were immediately drawn to “Aladdin and His Magic Lamp” but soon found out the lamp wasn’t that magical and they sadly, were more like “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”, taking our hearts and one of us our life savings.
I was always “Goldilocks” even when I was a kid and will always be, as long as Loreal stays in business.
“Humpty Dumpty” describes an awful lot of men veering fifty; maybe that’s who they had in mind when they wrote it. Paunchy, bald. All the kings horses couldn’t put him back together, but I bet a few hundred hours at a gym with expensive trainers could or that surgery where they take out half your stomach! And hair plugs…let’s not forget those!
Of course there are the classics written about stepmothers; “Cinderella” and “Snow White” where they are so horrendous, kids fear their parents divorcing and remarrying again. They can’t all be that bad, right? I can only go by my experience with mine. We have no relationship. She hates me, I don’t think about her and my relationship with my father has suffered because of our inability to connect. I know people who have step mothers the same age they are, but that story wasn’t written back when I was a kid. Today it would be called “Cliche” the story of a man in search of his youth.
“Treasure Island” is where I long to be. And for me that’s both Manhattan and any remote location in the Caribbean.
In the meantime, I’m here in the burbs, cleaning my castle, waiting on my three little princes and slaying the dragons one moisturizer after another.
Okay, so I know I put myself out there, but the spam I receive is out of control. Sometimes I think about shutting down my blog, cell phone and email just to get rid of all of it. In fact, I think I get more spam than actual mail that is significant.
This is the reason I stopped allowing comments on my blog. You can still email me what you think, but it won’t be posted now. Sorry! But when you open your email and see 14 messages from websites offering adult sex toys, you have to filter somewhere.
I know these spam mails aren’t anyone I know. People who read my blog know that I’m married, so I have no use for sex toys. We just aren’t that kind of couple.
I appreciate the comments about someone liking a post and feel honored when you take the time to tell me so. I like it when I touch on a subject that touches you. After all, that’s why most of us write.
I don’t like it when people read my blog so that they can ridicule what I have written. There is nothing more frustrating for a writer than being filtered. So…if you don’t like what I say, want to hold it against me, or try and stir up trouble, than don’t read my blog. It’s really that simple.
I basically walk around with a filter all day long, so when I write, it all comes out. I admire people who don’t filter.
I had the pleasure of watching actress/comedian Emmy Harrington at the Karma Lounge Saturday night and laughed out loud. Emmy is super talented and if you have a chance to catch one of her shows, you should definitely do so.
I liked all of the comedians I saw that night. While some of the material may not have been something I would be comfortable saying, I was in awe of the guts it took for them to stand up there in front of a group of people and deliver the goods.
The world is full of a million bullshit artists and people too afraid to speak their truth, especially if it means going out on a limb and risking rejection. So to the the artists who open their hearts and souls by facing the critics, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” As quoted by Salvadore Dali, considered to be the greatest artist of the Surrealist Movement and one of them greatest masters of art of the 20th century.
Personally, I think anybody who has the courage to follow their creative inspiration and dreams is pretty darn perfect to me.
Panaceia was the daughter of Asklepios, the Greek God of Medicine (his staff of entwined snakes is the symbol of medicine today).
A panacea is a cure-all; an agent good for what ails you.
Mine is the ocean. I could stare at the ocean forever. No matter what is going in my life, the ocean always makes me feel good. There is something very calming about it and no matter where I am, if there’s an ocean, I can always expect to get what I came for; kind of like McDonalds.
You know when you go there you are going to get the same thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Caribbean, Nova Scotia, Italy or Montauk. It’s predictable in that way, unless of course there is a storm, then not so predictable. But I love it anyway.
Last week my son wrote a poem about the ocean and equated it to emotions. The dark depths, the glistening surface kind, the waves bursting with life. It was good! He has since lost it, which as of late seems to be his panacea for all things having to do with school.
My other panacea is my dog. Her little tail wags in her sleep and she is always happy to see me. What’s not to love about that?
I can’t imagine that anyone thinks of a person as their panacea but I could be wrong. People are over-wrought with emotions (not always good) and often ruin a moment by talking (I’m notorious for this). Our emotions flit in a second from frustration to sadness then back to happy, like a bee going from flower to flower.
We aren’t constant like the ocean or my dog who is always happy. We’re complicated. But for some reason, that’s why we are drawn to one another. The more complicated, the more of an enigma, the more we are drawn.
It doesn’t make sense. Or does it?
Do we long to figure people out because of our ego or because they appear to know something we don’t. Maybe they have found a panacea that we haven’t and that’s why they are so secretive. Or maybe they don’t have one; they are too afraid to relinquish the control they think they must have over everything and everyone and admitting they have one is like letting go of a part of themselves, and they can’t bare to let that happen.
I think it’s great to have a panacea. It’s important to have something in your life that you can rely on, something that you need. It’s okay to admit you need it. Everybody needs something. The world and people are unpredictable enough, but your panacea is something that grounds you whenever you are feeling out of sorts and reaffirms that everything is going to be just fine.
So if you don’t have a panacea, go out and find one today. And for Pete’s sake don’t look in the meat department at the deli. That would be pancetta. There really is a difference!