This slide show may take a while but it’s the best way to really appreciate this work of art from a dear friend, Virginia. Working with ceramic and gold leaf, she sculpted this in honor of one of her beautiful and wonderful hospice patients, Peggy, who took a very long time, longer than medically possible, to make her decision to die. Virginia described Peggy’s process as one of deep, and conscious contemplation. I hope you enjoy the slides.
(actually, it’s not letting me do a slide show AND it is cutting off parts of the “featured image” so I am going to post them all in a row as “individual images.)
I have had a grief-filled week and came across this song. (Thank you Carol.)
Nothing to do with cars, and I could save it until this theme comes around someday, but today is when I needed it, and there it was. It might not be new to others but a wonderful surprise for me.
The music is lovely and haunting, and the video is beautiful.
Full screen and volume up for this one.
Lyrics for Resilient by Rising Appalachia
I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table Again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen These times are poignant The winds have shifted It’s all we can do To stay uplifted Pipelines through backyards Wolves howling out front Yeah I got my crew but truth is what I want Realigned and on point Power to the peaceful, prayers to the waters Women at the center All vessels open to give and receive Let’s see this system brought down to its knees I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning I’m made of dirt, yeah Made of the fine things My father taught me That I’m a speck of dust and this world was made for me so let’s go and try our luck I’ve got my roots down down down deep So what are we doing here What has been done What are you going to do about it When the world comes undone My voice feels tiny And I’m sure so does yours Put us all together we’ll make a mighty roar I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen…
Song reminds me of my Dad but his car was, in fact, a 1960 pale yellow, Buick convertible. Man he loved that car. When he could get enough time off work, he would pile my sisters and me in the car, and take us on what he called our Road Trips (never more than a few hours away).
My favorite was in the dead of winter when he would drive until we found snow…hard to do in San Diego.
He’d bundle us up in blankets, lower the top, crank up the heater full blast and drive the freezing mountain roads….
Watched it coming up Winslow
Down South Park Boulevard
Yeah it was looking good from tail to hood
Great big fins and painted steel
Man it looked just like the Batmobile
With my old man behind the wheel
Well you could hardly even see him
In all of that chrome
The man with the plan and the pocket comb
But every night it carried him home
And I could hear him sayin’…
Don’t gimme no Buick
Son you must take my word
If there’s a God in heaven
He’s got a Silver Thunderbird
You can keep your Eldorados
And the foreign car’s absurd
Me I want to go down
In a Silver Thunderbird
He got up every morning
While i was still asleep
But I remember the sound of him shuffling around
Then right before the crack of dawn
I heard him turn the motor on
But when I got up they were gone
Down the road in the rain and snow
The man and his machine would go
Oh the secrets that old car would know
Sometimes I hear him sayin’…
OK, this one might be another of those “stretches” I am apparently so fond of, but I had a date last night with my “husband”. First one in a while and I am back in love.
Helen’s note to us is what inspired me to address the theme today of Numbers with the following song. Feels like Home by Bonnie Raitt. I consider it my song with James, our song if you will…although there seem to be several of those. (He is pretty sexy playing the base with his band on Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell!)
Here’s the connection to Helen’s story…the shortest version I can come up with.
My son was also fascinated with like numbers showing up places, but for him it was always ONES. 111111. Any place he saw them…digital clocks, bank temperature signs, score boards, car mileage, etc. Any time he spotted all ones, it was magic, and of course, had to mean something. For most of his life we had talked about doing something special on the date 11/11/11. As he got older, establishing his own life, and I experienced some measure of financial success, I decided we could do something really big on that date and started dreaming and planning for it. I wanted to take us all to Fiji. What a great place to be on that momentous calendar date.
Ah sigh. You know how life is. And as that time got closer, I realized a dramatically paired down version of the original 11/11/11 dream needed to happen. So now, with James, my son, his wife and their two sons, and my sister, it became a trip down to Southern California. Not exactly Fiji but Disneyland for the boys and staying in condos on the beach in Oceanside was not a bad second. As the time for the long awaited moment drew near, we went to the perfect spot. We went to Mount Soledad which is one of the highest little mountains in San Diego (La Jolla actually), very significant in my childhood as it was a favorite spot to visit for the spectacular view. (Really interesting Wikipedia article about Mount Soledad below)
So on the morning of November 11th, 2011, we were on top of the world, amazing 360 degree view of San Diego (reaching almost to the border of Mexico). We were gathered in a group hug, poised with our camera phones ready, waiting for our digital clocks to click over to 11:11 on 11/11/11.
And THAT’S when James asked me to marry him!! What a wonderful mush head!
Oh and by the way, we’ve been together eleven years!
Something in your eyes, makes me want to lose myself,
Makes me want to lose myself, in your arms.
There’s something in your voice, makes my heart beat fast.
Hope this feeling lasts, the rest of my life.
If you knew how lonely my life has been,
And how low I’ve felt so long.
If you knew how I wanted someone to come along,
And change my life the way you’ve done.Feels like home to me, feels like home to me,
Feels like I’m on my way back where I come from.
Feels like home to me, feels like home to me,
Feels like I’m on my way back where I belong.A window breaks down a long dark street,
And a siren wails over my head.
But I’m all right, ’cause I have you here with me.
And I can almost see through the dark there’s light.
If you knew how much this moment means to me,
And how long I’ve waited for your touch.
If you knew how happy you are making me —
I’ve never thought I’d love anyone so much.Feels like home to me, feels like home to me,
Feels like I’m on my way back where I come from.
Feels like home to me, feels like home to me,
Feels like I’m on my way back where I belong.
Feels like I’m on my way back where I belong.
Many of us have pets who are or have been Beloved…but my experience is there is usually this one who works his or her way deep into our soul, our memory, and our “inner child”.
I love animals…most all of ’em. I had a favorite dog and a wonderful snake and as a kid, even a pair of rats, one black and one white. I used to smuggle those rats to elementary school inside my shirt! I have even had BUGS…Giant Australian Leaf Bugs that I care deeply about. My very first pet was a DUCK, that at 7 years old, I house-broke, because I didn’t know you couldn’t. (read about Fluffy here)
and those bugs, just go to my blog (and search for Bugs. I post about them more than most anything…https://chosenperspectives.com/
Though I am fairly allergic to them, I’ve almost always had cats…maybe 15 of them over the years.
But there is this one rascal, Zorro, that is my Beloved heart animal, above all the others, my inseparable companion of 17 years now. Named for the “Z” he slashed in the back of my hand the day I got him (at 5 or 6 weeks old). I’d show you a photo of my hand now but the original “Z” has been embellished with countless slashes over these years together…some from anger but mostly from play. It’s more like an abstract pencil drawing these days.
I know everyone has a favorite pet even if we don’t want to admit playing favorites. I have three cats right now and I wouldn’t want Phineas the Terrorist or Lucy, the Wonder Cat to be jealous of my Zorro, the Grey Blade.
His story is unfortunately, not unheard of. He was left in a box with 5 littermates at the back door of a county animal “pound” at the beginning of a three day weekend. By the time the box was discovered, all had died but my Zorro. Tiny “Z” was put in the cages in the lobby of this Animal Shelter where all the “last chance” animals were displayed…last chance before death!!
Apparently, he did not stop yowling for the three days they had him and the folks at the front desk were driven to distraction by his inconceivable volume.
We arrived literally in the nick of time. They were so relieved, they all cheered.
The short version of the back story here is that about 2 years before, I had lost all three of my long-time pets (an 11 year old cat, a wonderful 16 year old purebred German Shepherd, and an amazing, impossible 23 year old cat) all within two months of each other.
Boom, boom, boom…all gone!
Oh and in this same 2 years, my then husband had blown up our marriage as well as my therapy practice, AND there had been 11 deaths in and close to my family…all culminating in the 9/11 tragedy our country suffered. I was a hot, depressed mess!!!
My two very best friends did a Love Intervention with me for which I will be eternally grateful.
They sat me down and said “OK, that’s long enough. We like you better when you have pets.” And then they drove me to the pound for a cat and said “Pick one…NOW.”
I knew immediately it was that screaming gray and white kitten hanging by all fours on the screened in kennel.
I have already confessed many times in previous animal posts that I am the Queen of Anthropomorphism, but that kitten knew me instantly. In our 17 years together, he has never screamed like that again. Oh, we have our regular conversations. He’s very talkative. But only with me. I’m the only one he has ever trusted. If you are not me, you must tread very lightly in his presence. No reaching out your friendly hand for a sniff or a pet. Nope. You’ll be branded, just like me.
Though he will tolerate almost any handling from me, he has never been a lap cat, no snuggling except on my feet at night…oh, and if I say “Zorro, wanna take a nap with me?”, he will come running and assume his position in out napping spoon, his back pushed into my curled-up tummy. And a wonderful, weird addition to our relationship is I have NEVER been even slightly allergic to him. No itching, no asthma, nothing. I tell people he is my first intimate relationship with a cat.
He will look straight into my eyes for long moments and we will “talk”.
He is protective of the other cats we have, both joining our family as tiny kittens. If Zorro thinks you are hurting them, he will lunge at you like a tiger, growling, teeth bared, and claws out. He’ll draw your blood without batting an eye.
And if Phineas, who is our escape artist, finds a way out of our house, Zorro will run to me just like Lassie, (Timmy has fallen down the well!!) proclaiming danger, and will lead me right to the open door or window. (Our cats are always indoor cats as we have packs of coyotes running through our streets!)
Zorro has a much longer story than this, but I want to get this post done. Just think of him as the Sean Connery of cats…a real warrior in his day and still gorgeous to the end.
Zorro has advanced kidney disease and will most likely be moving on soon. We spend a lot of time together these days. I know we are getting close to the end because he wants to be on my lap whenever I sit down. He is awkward at it, having never practiced this kind of connection before now, but I love it.
I love him. My beloved best pal for so many years….
Well, today’s theme sent me a few years into the past.
Back in the 1980’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. I had a huge therapy practice, in a huge, supportive Therapy Community.
Music, in many styles and forms, was a huge part of the work I did. I would play music for my groups or hand-pick songs for individual clients. I would also give the homework assignment to go out and find a theme song (“I will Not Be Broken” by Bonnie Raitt) or a power song (“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty). It was a great, right brain way for clients to continue their personal work outside the group therapy setting. We would use music in group to relax, let down, access emotions, get energized, fight back, you name it.
And I used the more quiet pieces for visualizations, hypnosis, etc.
A funny story…I heard an album once (on a homemade cassette, just to let you know how long ago) that I fell in love with. It was almost all instrumental and quite different from the rock music I usually assigned to clients. Maybe it stirred something in my cellular memory because it was so Irish. (My name was Kathleen Kelly!)
I thought the name of the album was Crystal River, so I searched everywhere for it…combed through record stores, called radio stations, etc. I really wanted this album. Every song was so different and effectively triggered or enhanced different moods.
I could never find it.
Then I had a dream one night, with this very music playing in the background. In the dream I said out loud to whomever,
“Oh, it’s not called ‘Crystal River’. It’s called ‘Jewel Lake‘!!”
Memory…a funny thing. And dreams, so helpful sometimes.
Anyway, here is the song I thought of for today’s theme of Comfort. It’s the only song on the album with Lyrics. It’s also a beautiful video.
The rest of this album is great also, not all quiet and comforting like this song, some very energizing and uplifting. I think you can sample it here.