Muse and Wine

There was a bit of irony about Monday.  Sitting in a bar with a couple of friends discussing how one needed a muse.  Two wines later, a Facebook post went out – the friend sent it out into the world.

In life, I’ve found muses occupy the space in your waking life that you rarely allow yourself to be.  Between schedules, stress, here and there, the notion of a ‘muse’ is lost within the blur of day-to-day.  There’s a pulsation in life that you can be swept up in;  a vibration a little softer than a whisper that becomes louder than the world.  You can’t control those whispers of prose, but you’ll want to create poetry.  You’ve met your muse.

There’s a deeper level of discovery that comes along with a muse, which makes you want to display the collection of beauty for all to see while withholding the source of inspiration.  Not a secret, but a refusal to sell your soul.  The art is for the world, the muse for you.  A penetration to the soul, the purest form of creation, that any good muse retracts from you.  However, the motivation yours; a study in humanity.

Some find muses in people around them, in quick glances of strangers, old friends, imaginary friends, topics, famous people, inside themselves, or nature. Others are discovered by their muses – previously dormant,  waiting to be heard, poking and prodding until you see what you’ve never seen before at the end of  your glass of wine.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

As the end-of-year rush to fulfill self-promises goes into overkill, I can’t help but be incredibly thankful for the year (thus far).  What a year it has been for me (for a change), but that’s for my year-end blog, naturally.  This is a short but sweet thank you to all of you that come here to read about whatever it is you come here to read about…it gives me no greater joy than to write.  I’m so very thankful for my family and friends (online and offline), and the inspiration they put forth into the world.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a word about my late brother Jeffrey.  My dear brother, you are never far from us during the holidays and just know everyone is getting older while you remain forever young.  Nothing is the same, but it’s how it is supposed to be.  Maybe sometimes I don’t buy into that, but you always find a way to remind me otherwise.  You are in every thank you because without you, Bubba, I wouldn’t truly know the joy of giving thanks and the wonderful gift of knowing how to love.  I’m so thankful to have known you and been inspired by your life.  What an inspirational being you continue to be.

To everyone out there in cyberland, at the moment, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and remember to be grateful every other day as well.

Yours truly,

AO

 

Musical Memory Meme #5: Carolyn

Imagine her singing this, foot on dashboard, while driving….

 

Monkey Minds were not harmed in this blog post.

My therapist tries so hard to get me to admit that something…anything, really…hurts. I, of course, opt for closed-off buzz words like ‘annoyed’ and ‘disappointed.’ Those words that seem to ring with strength over weakness. She prods for my recognition of hurt as a feeling week-after-week, as I squirm in the uncomfortable lobby-like chair. Humanity’s friend, avoidance, kicks in but instead riddles me with trivial obsessive thoughts which is what brought me there in the first place. There, the sterile room with the only identifying element being the faux Van Gogh’s hanging on the wall. Her chair, the one I sit in, is uncomfortable and entirely impersonal…am I like her chair?

This monkey mind of mine has stuck around much longer than usual, and my true self stands outside the atrium knocking on the glass. I see you, I do, but I’m busy swinging from branch-to-branch. After all, it’s much more fun to climb trees than to fall to the ground.

The two women that know me best – my mom and wife – tell me frequently that I put more energy into those that don’t deserve it versus those that do. I wish I could say this wasn’t true, but it is and I know it. I suppose there are those times in life when you know exactly who you are, and insight and intuition are shining lights. Then there are times when you have to really work to see any light, and that’s when you change the batteries in the flashlight. It is then when words like ‘hurt’ lurk like a monster in the dark. I’ve never been scared of the dark, but after standing too close to monsters I do search for that flashlight.

It’s like REM sings, “Everybody Hurts Sometimes” and if I think about it…’hurt’ does sound more impactful, doesn’t it?

Overheard at My Own Funeral

I’m not sure why my mind puts my mom there unless it somehow thinks life will cut my life shorter than hers, or I’m afraid of her and death in the same sentence at all. Regardless, for the sake of this morbid question and for plain good storytelling let’s assume she is there. Assuming my body arrived safely in Oklahoma (pun intended) and if they do carry out my final wishes for cremation, I would probably laugh (can a fly laugh?) at the sight of these people – family, friends from all walks of life, business associates, and people that hate me there just to make sure I actually did die – sitting there in emotional trance staring at this silly little urn. I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but my mother is so I will stress that my little beady fly eyes better not see a single pew. The officiant (who better not be a pastor of any sort) reads off a Buddhist passage from Thich Nhat Hanh on death and once he finishes the music starts. I spend a lot of time floating around in my mind and visiting people that have passed through, experiences that affixed itself to my mental postcards, and seeing what I may have missed the first time around, so since my journey is over I hope that someone else begins to float.

Sitting there as my soundtrack begins with Oasis’ “Stop Crying Your Heart Out”, Carolyn comments on the selection and then mentions how she’ll miss Rhoda (me) so I land on her shoulder and buzz “I’m the Mary.”

A few of the Antlers guys including my ex-step father David, true to discriminatory form, mention what a loss it was (of course they aren’t referring to my actual death but my sexuality).

After the first song, the Buddhist-slanting officiant opens the floor for sharing. Stormi steps up first and tells stories that make people laugh because that is who I used to be. She talks about us being so broke when we lived together that we ate bologna sandwiches every day. How we drove the 3-hour stretch from Stillwater to home penniless and with the gas light flashing for 80% of it (you would be surprised at how many times it will come on before your car sputters at all), and when we were forced to get gas we filled it up and sped out of the gas station without paying. See, in New Jersey that is impossible because it’s never self-serve. She’ll then mention how it unleashed a crookedness in us we never knew we had and lead us into Pizza Hut and we fed and ran, fast, hopped in our car with the stolen gas and went home.

My friend Lance would read a poem because he told me there was too much poetry in my soul to get my MBA. I love poetry, and I hope there are several more that read some prose at my permanent going away party.

More music, Khalil Gibran reading, and at the end a reference to my favorite author – Milan Kundera – when the officiant says “Please join me on Jeffrey’s mountain where Alisa will be thrown to the winds – the last symbol of eternal lightness.”

It’s there that all this comes out: Alisa was…fearless, creative, quirky, hard to comfort, funny, thought she was witty but she wasn’t, forgiving and perhaps too forgiving, strong, a wordsmith, a good communicator of the abstract, batshit crazy, not shy, loyal, clumsy, the most outgoing introvert, what you see is what you get, moody, good at keeping secrets but never having any, silly, fascinating to rapidly boring, and then someone will say what a great playlist.

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