the sherms

A little over 2 years ago, I was roped into playing keyboards with my husband’s band, The Sherms.  First off, having had a love/hate relationship with the piano for most of my life because of its difficulty to master (I tend to lose interest in things I’m not automatically good at or don’t show a quick aptitude for, creatively speaking), I never, ever wanted to play keyboards in a band.  I either wanted to be the bass player, or the lead singer, or a back up singer – but I only ever wanted to be each of those things exclusively, not all 3 things at once for the same act.  That said, when I was taken by car to meet with up with Tim who was purchasing our Roland JV-1000, I was skeptical.  I looked at Steve like, ‘We’ll see’ and was thinking ‘prolly not.’

Of the bands/collaborations I’ve worked with before, I was either asked to leave because I wasn’t a good fit (well, that was only one band when I was but a youngster, actually), or I got bored with it all, and/or got too frustrated because it wasn’t something I could sink my teeth into musically, or it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere.  There were times, too, when other priorities in life took over.  Since playing with these guys, a couple of times I’ve been frustrated by their fastidiousness over everything being just so before putting us out there, thus contributing to our lack of gigs.  In those couple of times of frustration, I asked Steve if he’d be okay with me quitting the band.  The last time I asked, Steve looked at me with those big, innocent-looking yellow-green eyes and said, “I don’t want you to quit…I need you there,” and, well…of course my heart melted, and I haven’t felt the urge to quit again since.  It was never because of the music.  It was merely a thing of being tired of staring at the same 4 walls, Friday after Friday (that’s the night we all set aside to get together and play/practice), having only had one gig in the entire 2 years I’ve been playing with them.

But here’s what’s kept me in it: It’s the music.  I never get tired of playing it.  Steve and Tim have written some really exceptional songs with some amazing textures and intricacies that come out communicating such a beautiful simplicity, even in their intricacy.  Even though it’s been happening solely in Tim’s living room, except for the one gig, the music continues to move me.  I fall more and more in love with it every time we play it (plus, I’ve kind of taken a shine to the taller of the 2 guitar players…he’s pretty easy on this ol’ gal’s eyes…).  The songs really come alive every time we play them.  Even in the few times when one or a few of us hasn’t been feeling well, once we’ve started to play, we all tend to perk up.  I am so excited about the prospect of recording and getting our music out there!

We’ve been invited to play for a private party, opening for the Cate Brothers next weekend.  I wish I could invite all of our friends, but, alas, it is a private party.  Still, it’s a chance to play, and I’m very excited about it!

Hopefully, we’ll find our niche/circuit of venues, and people will begin to hear us.  This music is way too boss to keep to ourselves!

10700228_10152742555272533_8465397418009092544_o

Advertisements

healing the wounds of war

My dad never talked about what he saw and experienced while serving in 2 different wars, WWII and Korea, but that’s the not-so-funny thing about wounds.  They have a way of eventually showing through in ways impossible to ignore.  The longer they go untended to, the more dangerous they become – and the more difficult they become to manage and deal with.

I have watched 2 Masterpiece Classic series on PBS that deal with the aftermath of WWI on the men who returned, scarred and forever changed.  This started the process of thinking about the affects of war on thousands the world over for centuries.  In the last 100 years, our world has been torn apart by war, and the returning warriors got into relationships, married, had children, and did their best to move on from the hell of war.  Many of them, like my dad, would not talk of the devastation they saw and lived through…yet, as wounds tend to do, especially wounds of the soul…they tend to reveal themselves, and often at inopportune and fragile times.  When they do, they can affect those around them in profound and sometimes harmful and irreversible ways.  Kids grow up with the wounds of war too and have no references of experience with which to try and understand or deal with it.  The toll of war on the human psyche is incalculable.

Less than 3 decades after the first “Great War” of the 20th century, World War II comes with a vengeance to kill, and maim, and scar yet another generation, then comes the less talked about Korean conflict a decade later.  Less than 2 decades after that comes Vietnam.  Less than 20 years after the end of that conflict comes the first Iraqi invasion of 1991.  Less than 2 decades after that, more war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it seems so far from over for this war-weary world.

Apparently, there is big money to be made in wounded souls.  Prisons are full of them as well.  There are whispers of prisons in this country being money-making ventures…for what entities?  I certainly do not know – just as I do not know the entities that profit from war…yet the whispers of these entities persist.

What will it take for us to stop the bleeding, to stop the wounding that I believe stems, in significant measure, from the hell of war?  It is my hope that the legacy of this generation will be that of having started the process of being unwilling to leave wounds untreated and that we will start the process of ensuring that the business of war and prison is not a profitable endeavor for entities that lurk in the dark (yet it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that these entities are hiding in plain sight).  The infliction of wounds and imprisonment of the wounded must stop being profitable for beings and entities with agendas that lurk in the dark.  Helping people find their way of dealing with and healing of the wounds inflicted on them must become our highest priority so that these wounds need not continue to affect the generations to come.  War is a crime against humanity, and it must be stopped.  If we don’t start that process, who will?

advanced addiction class

Did you ever have one of those things that sounds so much better in your head than it does after it comes stammering out of your mouth?

St. Patty’s Day, 2015, I think I took addiction stupidity to a brand new level.  Sensory memory can be a powerful thing.  On the way in to work, I could almost taste how good a glass of red wine would taste as it swished around in my mouth, even though it’s been well over 21 years since my last glass of wine.  I could not only taste how incredibly great it tasted but could feel how good it would feel going down…that familiar warmth filling my capillaries and, with each new sip, feel it soothing my wound-up, stressed out from type A personality muscles…and, DAMN, did I ever want that glass of wine!

I have this walk that I go on from time-to-time where I’ll walk all the way through having that glass of wine that I think about, that I really, really want, that makes me wish I didn’t know I’m an alcoholic.  I learned a long time ago that trying to push thoughts such as these away only prolongs the wishing for said glass, which basically only prolongs the agony of realizing that actually having that glass is a very bad idea.  I’ll stroll just as far down that path as my little imagination will take me, and, thus far, I’ve managed to come out the other side remembering that…I don’t actually know for sure where I’ll be at the other end of that glass.  I might stop at just one – but having just had that one, the rabid monster inside – that can think of nothing else but how to justify and scheme its way to the next glass – is now fully awake and ready to roar.  Or I might end up however many bottles, or days, or weeks, or months, or years later with my life in shambles, all over again, without so much as a couch to sleep on, needing a safe place to DT (detox), all over again.

So far, where my imagination has taken me on these strolls down a sensory-memory glass of wine has never been a place that I’ve found to be worth the risk.  I’ve talked the cat down out of the tree, one more time, and everybody gets home from their drive alive.  That’s always a pretty good day.

So, today as I was driving into work letting sensory memory have its way with me, I let my mind take me to a place it hasn’t taken me before: actually formulating a step-by-step plan for how to “safely” have that glass of wine, just to see if it’s really true, if I’m really a “real” alcoholic (because my career as a “fake” alcoholic was such a stunning success).

Here is where it gets embarrassing – so embarrassing, in fact, I really don’t want to repeat the plan I regurgitated to my husband that crisp and partly cloudy St. Patty’s Day afternoon.  Steve is not an alcoholic.  He has not experienced that phenomenon known as craving for alcohol (a craving for cigarettes, on the other hand, he knows so well that he actually cried quite a few tears when he quit smoking almost a decade ago).  When I told him my plan, he actually said to me that he would rather I tell him that I had fallen for this other guy and would like for him to get on board with my plans of having sex with him.  Strong stuff, right?  Yes.  And, suddenly, I shook my head and, viola, courtroom sobriety and clear thinking had found its way back to me once again (and, just to be clear, Steve does not want me to have sex with another man).  You did read it correctly: he actually said that my taking a drink in front of him would be worse for him that if I slept with another man.

Now, to some, that might sound extreme.  But, to me, it made perfect sense.  I’ve been in relationships where it felt like booze was the other woman, and she was always there between me and this guy I wanted so much to connect with, and my guy was making more heartfelt love to his beloved booze than he ever had made with me.  There is no way of even hoping to compete with that other woman (booze) when a man is overcome with the obsession of her.  And, knowing that place as well as I knew it at one time, let me just say that there really isn’t much in this world that sucks more than that (except for the things that do suck more than that…but that is for another blog post, perhaps).

Steve is really good at this being my husband thing – so much so that I find myself a lot of days in awe at the wonder of it all.  Suffice it to say that all that transpired for the remainder of the evening made having a glass of wine the faintest, farthest thing from my mind.  I married a good, good man – better than I could ever have hoped to even know.  My, how I do love him!!

the “i see you” aspect of Jesus

This entry has turned out to be very personal and a part of my life I don’t talk about very often.  It’s not something easy for me to talk about partly because it’s painful and partly because it’s hard to believe, and I don’t wish to add the burden of asking for belief to all of the other burdens that people bear in this life.  The things I’m about to share, I don’t half believe myself even though it was my own experience.  My warning, dear reader, is that what follows is also not for the faint of heart.  If you like me as you see me and wish to keep seeing me as you currently do, then please don’t let me shatter your bubble.  If it’s going to make you afraid of me, then do yourself a favor and read no further.  However, if you think it can help you to understand me and others who’ve been in similar circumstances, and you would like to be able to understand then please read on.  I am honored to bare my soul in the interest of helping to bring understanding.

I have walked away from Christianity, it’s true.  However, it is important to make known that what I have walked away from – and, more importantly, renounced – is a disenfranchising subculture that is making every attempt to contaminate the broader world’s psyche (and with some measure of success, I might add).

People who knew me as a Christian might want to know how I could walk away when they heard me say I had an actual encounter with Jesus apart from the church.  And this is true.  I did have an encounter, and it is no less impacting and profound – and even confounding – to me to this very day.  I have not sorted through whether it was a psychological construct or one person meeting an actual other, and there is a possibility I may never sort that out in this lifetime.  I am growing more comfortable with that possibility every day.  For a long time, I was hung up on a perceived need to know which it was – real or a hologram that my survival instinct created to get me through a time when I knew I was floundering with a very real chance of not surviving for much longer.  Now, at this juncture, what is important to me is what I take away from the experience.

So here is the takeaway as it stands now.  That encounter, whatever it may have been, was significant because, at that time, mental disorders being managed (very poorly, I might add) with substance abuse had, in the eyes of the the world around me, made me one of the disposable ones – except that, a little bit here, and a little bit there, people would come along, and when they did, I had a safe place to sleep, and/or I had food, and/or I had clean clothing – when before they came along I had none of these things.  At times, when certain people came along I even had coffee and cigarettes.  I would lie in whatever bed (be it a couch or actual bed) was provided and wonder: What unseen force has intervened and seen to it that I’m here and not out in those streets outside that smell of urine and feces?  I began looking in earnest for the source of each benevolent gesture, and one night all my searching and all of the bread crumbs of hints that seemed to point to Jesus led to seeing a vision of him.  And when I saw him, what I saw, indeed what I experienced was, “I see you.”  That’s what it was – and just what I needed at that time.  I saw someone who could see through my appearance and through my disturbing behavior and actually see me – the me I’d been looking for in the mirror who’d been eluding me for some time.

So this was Jesus, I said to myself.  I had never seen this aspect of him.  All I’d seen of Jesus before this was people with wild, judgemental eyes and shaking fists saying on his behalf, “Turn or burn.”  My encounter/experience revealed something the polar opposite of all that and led to a desire, suddenly, where no desire had been before, to get my hands on a bible.  I wanted to know what this Jesus said, and I knew of no other source to learn his words.  In that vision, there were no words spoken.

The visual aspect of “seeing Jesus” was significant to me, and there was a whole series of things that led up to certain things being significant, but what feels important for me to share is what I would come to take away from the encounter.  Though I’d been clean having newly started a rehab program for substance abuse, I was by no means sober.  My thinking was by no means sober.  Anyone who’s been through a significant erosion of who they are and/or of sound thinking due to substance abuse and related factors will know what that means.  The first most immediate takeaway of seeing Jesus in this vision was the experience sobered me up.  Seriously.  Prior to the vision, my head was swimming around and around in the goldfish bowl of addictive thinking.  Coming out of the vision was like coming out of a dense fog and being given the ability to see things more clearly than I’d been able to for a very long time.  In this vision, Jesus didn’t utter a single word – yet I understood that he could see me and that my life…that I…mattered.  This was something I’d spent the whole of my lifetime grappling with: whether or not I actually mattered, whether or not my life, my existence, whether any of it mattered, so, yeah…the immediate takeaway from this experience was a pretty big deal, a life-changing kind of big deal.

I was in San Diego when this vision occurred.  The events leading up to it started several months before while still living in Northwest Arkansas.  Not long after the vision of Jesus and feeling a desire to get my hands on a bible, I was in Pacific Beach and found a bible in a parking lot.  It was open, pages flapping in the ocean breeze.  I mean, what are the odds of wishing for a bible and stepping off of a bus a few days later and walking right into one?  A few days later, I ran into someone who was going through a difficult time, and we talked with each other about a desire to know Jesus.  After our conversation, I gave her the bible I’d found.  I was sad after she left with it and wondered if I’d just given away the most precious gift I’d ever received – and even more importantly, if the “giver” of the gift would be insulted by it.  But a few days after that, in a sobriety coffee house downtown, I was presented with a whole shelf of bibles and encouraged to take one for myself if I so desired, which I did.

I absorbed the words of the gospels like a sponge – especially the words in red.  The things that stood out to me and resonated were things such as the woman being thrown at Jesus’ feet after being caught in the act of adultery and discovering Jesus’ response: “You who are without sin, cast the first stone” and the man of the Gadarenes who was found sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind…I could relate.

These experiences, these things that resonated with me about the life of Jesus Christ are now my takeaway.  The Jesus that gets down to eye level when one is down and looks into the face of the disenfranchised and communicates in a meaningful way, in a way they can understand, “I see you.

We don’t get to read the accounts of what occurred in the lives of these formerly cast off and invisible ones after an encounter with Jesus.  I’m writing this to document, to put it out there in some form, that I am 21 years out from my encounter with this Jesus who looked at me and communicated very clearly with me – without so much as uttering a word…”I see you.”  And I’m still sober as a result.  That’s important, because I’m alive and able to function (except at the times where I struggle – or don’t struggle [which sometimes happens too] – to function) as a result of this sobriety, this gift that I feel was given to me.

So when I openly – and sometimes even brazenly – declare that I am no longer a Christian, I am declaring that I no longer wish to align myself with a subculture that actually breeds disenfranchisement.  What was given to me when I saw Jesus was the understanding that there was someone/something that could see it all and see beyond it all and understand.  And that’s the thing: if one actually takes the time to get to eye level of a person they find distasteful, disgusting, what-have-you and look past all that they see on the surface and chooses to actually see and understand, then that one can never stand behind a pulpit or hold up a sign on a street corner and call someone an abomination (or shaming people because of their reproductive choices, or all the rest of the ugly, dehumanizing things that are said and done in the name of playing “the bible says” game) ever again.  THAT is the difference between the Jesus that sees and the Christian who is blind.  I do not wish to walk in the high and lofty place of being above all of the suffering around me – choosing not only to be blind to the suffering but to also leave a trail suffering in their wake by saying that the very God whom they claim sent the Jesus they claim to follow is not anything like the humanity that Jesus came to introduce humanity to.

I know I keep saying I am walking away from Christianity and attempting to explain why.  I’ll keep saying it – as many ways as is necessary to say it – until some kind of flicker of understanding is sparked – – – because it’s important.  It’s important for you, entitled Christian, self-proclaimed child of the Most High God, to understand the damage that you are doing by not seeing people like the Jesus you claim to follow saw them.  He didn’t go about trying to convert anyone or convince anyone of his rightness.  He simply lived out his rightness for those to see who needed to see it, and it made all the difference (I speak from experience).

open letter to pastors and church members left behind

If you have been paying attention, then you will have noticed people taking to the bloggosphere and to forums where their articles have been published explaining exactly why they left church and why they have no immediate plans of going back (indeed, some are 100% certain they will not be going back – ever).  Maybe they’re people you knew and knew well because it is your church they left.

You have choices on how to respond to them.  You (pastors) can tell the congregation and each other (congregates) that they never believed in the first place, and they’re all going to hell.  You can do that.  That’s the exact kind of pat answer that never truly would digest for many of us, but if that’s what you need to tell yourself then okay, go with it.  Tell yourself that.

But know this.  All that we ever wanted and needed was the freedom to ask the questions that plagued us out loud.  You say that you provided an atmosphere where all questions were allowed.  I’ll defer and let you have that and say, ‘Okay.  Yes.  You did.  You allowed questions to be asked.’  I’ll say it because it’s what you seem to think you need.  But if you are open to listening, truly listening, to what resonates as the truth for those of us who’ve left, you may have allowed the questions, but did you truly make space and allowance for us as individuals to not only ask the hard questions but to go through whatever process – and I do mean whatever – we needed to in order to find the answers we seek or to at least have exhausted all available avenues to reach satisfactorily within ourselves a conclusion that the answers may truly be nowhere to be found in this current state of being as an earth dweller?  Did you really?  Really and truly?  While you decide what you’re going to do with that particular question, I’ll just offer that in order to find an atmosphere where this kind of search and research was truly embraced and allowed, we had to completely disassociate ourselves…Yes, we “went out from among [you] so that we could be made manifest that we were not of [you].”

You said that to us and about us like it was a bad thing.  However, at this stage of my life, I only think it’s a sad thing because you seem to have backed yourself (and I daresay your God along with you) into such a tiny little corner that it’s too tight a squeeze in there to allow for much of a view into the real heart of the matter in terms of why we need to come together in the first place, which is, I believe, that we are all born into this life under the same condition.  We have to fight the same kinds of fights to survive in a hostile environment where death and other disasters can meet us and strike us at any turn.  We all have to face the same inevitability (death), and we all leave this world in exactly the same way (our breath leaves us, and we die).  So you see, there is no “us” and there is no “them.”  There is only you and me.  The evidence continues to stack daily to suggest that we all share a common ancestry, which means…we are all family.  We’re kinda stuck with each other on this amazing and sometimes scary planet.  And you know what?  I got over it.  You’re family, and that’s that.  I hope you get over it too someday soon.

When we said that we felt like we were being stifled and controlled in your midst, we were scoffed at for even suggesting such a thing.  But walk back with me, if you will, to those times when we opened up and shared the struggles we were having and the questions we were grappling with.  Did you allow us to find our own way in that mist?  Or did you go with your impulses to try and corral us into coming up with the same conclusions that you’d reached?  (Tell the truth, please; Jesus is listening).  The way I see it, you worked very systematically at killing all of our curiosity, and it seemed very important to you that we all arrived at the same exact conclusion in exactly the same way.  But let me ask you this: Has there ever been evidence of even one case of 2 people who are born of a woman who share exactly the same thumb print?  Shouldn’t that tell you something?  Can you force a thumbprint to conform to another thumbprint by impulse and will and much preaching?  So what, in heaven’s good name, could possibly compel you to force a conclusion by another individual that conforms to your own – and to furthermore think that you will come away from such an attempt with the slightest measure of success?  Oh, sure.  We admired you, so we tried going with it for a while, but, ultimately, our internal “thumbprint” would not stay hidden, and we could not conform, no matter how desperately we wanted to or how doggedly we tried.

If you even read this at all, I understand it will likely just be more fodder for scoffing and that you will likely take it out on (pastor) your congregation and each other (congregates), and you’ll do the same damage control you always did whenever something challenges your position on God and the Universe and how it’s all supposed to work according to the way the good book speaks it to you.  It’s fine.  You’ll do what you’ll do, and I’ll do what I do.  I just want you to know that I’m not angry with you anymore.  I never was, actually.  I was angry at the circumstance, and you just happened to be there.  What you also must know is I can’t join you in your conformity to an image that will never be me, but I do, with all of my heart, wish you all the best.  I’m on my search for the truth, just as you have camped out where you are because you are sure it’s the truth.  Again, it’s fine.  I’m fine with where you are.  I can pretty safely say that if you truly cared for me in even the slightest measure (and I know and believe that you did and do), then something in you is scared for me.  It’s okay that you’re not fine with where I am.  I’ll be fine enough for the both of us.

Peace be with you – and also with you.

universe-man

things go bad then things improve

Last week I ditched the boot and got out of the tub without some kind of assistance for the first time since my ankle injury nearly 8 weeks ago.  This week I started really concentrating on putting weight on it while walking and am finding the more I do this, the more things improve.

As for the female change of life stuff, as it turns out, tests reveal that my levels suggest I am post-menopausal, but I recently had a cycle, so the recent crazy train trip down hormone lane was yet another false start.  I’ve had several of those since 2007.  I found a few supplements that seemed to help with the symptoms, and things seem to have levelled off as far as the emotional and physical discomfort.

I feel a new kind of creative energy flowing through me at this stage, and I feel a renewed sense of hope that doesn’t necessarily seem to have derived from any outside influence or circumstance.  It would make sense that circumstances add to the experience, though.  Every time I’ve lived through a period of suffering and hardship, and the older I get, the breaking through to the other side of the suffering seems to bring with it an even sweeter taste of emerging alive and victorious.  There is so much I want to do, so much I want to see and experience!

In other words, life isn’t over after all.

Good to know.

 

facing the music – thoughts on Bill Cosby

I am deeply, deeply saddened by all that has come to light recently regarding the sexual assault allegations of Bill Cosby.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a family member accused of such things, but I can really only imagine that it would feel similar to the way this feels to me.  Fat Albert was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, and it was that show that gave a human face to a part of the human race being vilified all around me in my very early formative years.  I grew up in an all-white community, surrounded by other all-white communities, and Cosby’s Saturday morning show was pretty much the only exposure I had to the black community at that time.  I would hear the racial epithets being hurled at African Americans in the early 70s and see Bill Cosby on Saturday morning and see the contrast.  It didn’t take long at all to see the truth.  I figured out at a pretty early age that the slurs were not the truth.  So, in that sense, Bill Cosby played a big part in saving me from growing up ignorantly participating in racism, and I have him to thank for that.

The Jello pudding commercials and The Cosby Show of the 80s were a part of my coming of age, so Bill Cosby was a very present part of my growing up process, and he was opening the doors for many to walk through to begin the process of healing the racial divide that our country was still in the throes of, even after the passing of the Civil Rights Act.  So, in a sense I owe him something.  I owe him acknowledgement for the impact he had on my life.  And I am and see no way of not being grateful for his contribution to my life in that way.

However, I also owe the victims of his alleged transgressions – which have now become too numerous with stories too similar to be ignored.  I owe them their time to shine, their time to be heard and to no longer be shamed into silence.  I must now turn my eye and my ear to them because I too grew up in a rape culture.  As a young woman, I learned my lesson very well not to call certain experiences rape because I was already well-conditioned to absorb all of the blame for somehow bringing a thing I did not want upon myself.  Those ordeals would just become lessons I would have to figure out how to learn again and again – with little to no success.  When evangelical Christianity presented itself in my late twenties, I didn’t have any trouble embracing that call to “purity before marriage.”  I happily hid for 16 years behind a veil of religiosity, and it served well to keep me from any more sexual assaults.  This is part of the reason I am no longer angry about the time I was a part of that.  It actually served 2 purposes at a very crucial time in my life:  It gave me a way to focus my addictive personality that didn’t include the use of drugs and alcohol, and my zealousness made me a very undesirable target for sexual predators.  I was damned good at being a crazy-ass Christian.  I took to that role like a fish to water and revelled in it, and that, I found time and again, was just way more than predators wanted to try and bite off and chew.  For those 2 aspects alone I have no regrets and have found a way to see value in that part of my former life.

As for my personal feelings, Bill Cosby as a younger man had undeniable appeal.  He was not bad looking and had charm, charm, charm for days.  He didn’t need drugs to incapacitate.  I’m sure there were plenty of women who would have gladly thrown themselves at him given just a glance their way.  What the hell was that?  Why make victims of the unsuspecting?  That is the baffling part. The world was your oyster; you could have had anything you desired, but you chose that.  Why??  Why the violence?   Why be a predator?

Cosby is an old man now and considerably weaker than in the days those things he now stands accused of in the forum of public scrutiny.  He is not the force to be reckoned with he once was, and that is rather sad, and his fall from grace is rather pathetic.  And that is the thing that I hope every active sexual predator takes a long, hard look at and fears.  If you are reading this and you have indulged in a lifestyle of being a habitual sexual predator, take a good long look at old, sad Bill Cosby…That will be you someday.  If you live long enough, you too will be old and frail, and you will not be that force to be reckoned with that you feel yourself being now as that perception of power courses through your veins – and that’s all it is, perception.  It’s not real, and it’s not power – not even close.  It’s just another high to chase like any junkie chases any high.  There’s a serious downside to every high.  Look well to this lesson being offered to you in the fall of Bill Cosby.  Your victims will only be silenced for so long, and you too will have to face the music.  Those questions I ask of Bill Cosby, ask of yourself: Why?  Why be a predator?  Take it from someone who knows a thing or two about chasing down a high.  Eventually, a day of reckoning, a day of wrecking, does come.  I’m a survivor of many wreckages, and I’ve known many fellow survivors.  What it has taught is is this: Real power is in not letting your demons swallow all of who you truly are.  You.  Are.  More.  Than.  This!!  When you see that of yourself, you will also see it in others and do no harm – and THAT is true power!

honesty works, apparently

I asked a question today: What do you do when the tedium of being together becomes inescapable?  My husband and I love each other, still, but it had gotten…hard.  This ankle injury has taken a toll on us, sure, but I think it started before that.  It might have been this way anyway at this stage of our relationship without that.  I had wondered if it would.  I had wondered if it could stay as magical as it was, for almost the entire 4 years we’ve been together.

On the way to my brother-in-law’s, we stopped off to pick up a card to give with our nephew’s birthday present.  When Steve got back in the car and was writing the charges down in his register, as he does every time without fail, I told him to do that and asked him to give me his eyes looking into my eyes before starting the car.  He asked if everything was alright, and I told him it was and to finish his register.  He completed it and looked at me, a little worried.  I told him, ‘Being with you is as tedious for me right now as being with me is tedious for you.  It’s okay.  It happens.  And I still love you.  I just wanted you to know.’

And, do you know?  The oddest thing happened!  As the afternoon wore on, the tension subsided, bit by bit.  Amazing.

a barber in … the ville?

When I first began thinking about getting back into hair, I really wanted to become a barber.  Years ago, I was a cosmetologist and decided a little over a year ago that I wanted to get back into it.  4 months ago, I became licensed once again and began working in a salon.  It’s had its share of challenges – among them a pretty gnarly ankle injury that occurred 5 weeks ago, but I’m keepin’ the dream alive!

When first checking into it, I was told I would only need to complete 500 hours of barber school because of my previous years in cosmetology; otherwise, it’s 1500 hours of training and preparation to take the exam.  It’s a skill set I really wanted to add to my repertoire, so the motivation was there … but the school was not, or, at least, not within close proximity.  The closest school to us is in Fort Smith, which is a 1 hour drive – without traffic.  It’s not great, but not terrible.  The next closest school is in Little Rock, which is a 3 hour drive.

What I’m wondering now is if I can hold a license in both areas.  I love being back in cosmetology and would like to keep doing that, but I also very much like the idea of having the option to work in a barber shop – or perhaps even own one if I so choose.  Since it’s late on a Friday night/early on a Saturday morning, calling the State Board of Barber Examiners is not an option until at least Monday.

As I continue to think about it, bounce the idea around here and there, talk about it, the more the idea comes around, the more giddy I begin to feel about it.  Going with the giddiness, sometimes it’s worked out, and sometimes not so much.  One thing is certain:  It isn’t going away.  Usually, the more and the longer a thing comes around, the more it begins to make an impression until something happens with the idea that eventually inspires action.  I’ve nothing to lose by letting it ruminate a while longer.

In any case, it’s a very nice distraction from the everyday pain of a sprained and broken ankle.  Take THAT, bodily injury!  😛