Either Laughing Or Learning

Orphan Wisdom - “From a young age we see around us that grief is mostly an affliction, a misery that intrudes into the life we deserve, a rupture of the natural order of things, a trauma that we need coping and management and five stages and twelve steps to get over.

Here’s the revolution: What if grief is a skill, in the same way that love is a skill, something that must be learned and cultivated and taught? What if grief is the natural order of things, a way of loving life anyway? Grief and the love of life are twins, natural human skills that can be learned first by being on the receiving end and feeling worthy of them, later by practicing them when you run short of understanding. In a time like ours, grieving is a subversive act…”

I sit here tonight, finally, blessedly alone in my house for the first time since last Monday. I’ve watched and re-watched the video clip of Dad & I singing together at his party last weekend and all I can do is grin from ear-to-ear with every viewing. What a spectacular video…what a spectacular day it was for us! I feel blessed, not bereaved.

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I know that it is our society’s standard that dictates to us that losing a loved one should be cause for reacting with extreme sadness, a sense of overwhelming loss and of course, a hardy display of tears & sobbing. My father passed away less than a week ago; according to societal norm, I should be in a state of zombie-like depression or collapsed in a pile of tears across my bed…it seems like folks are just waiting for me to suddenly up and pass out. I can’t decide if it (their concern) is touching, humorous or irritating…meh, all of the above, I suppose.

Anyone waiting for me to fall apart over the death of my father is going to be in for one very long vigil though. No, I am not avoiding or denying my grief or loss…I am keenly aware of what is no longer part of my life, believe me. Dad was hands down the most influential and respected person in my life; his presence will be missed more than I would ever care to share in public quite honestly. But even behind closed doors (or ‘puter screens as the case may be…), I am not feeling overly-saddened nor am I holding back tears just to be strong. I’ve already cried plenty in the time since we received the initial diagnosis. I bawled my damn head off at the moment he passed and for a good several minutes afterwards. Continue reading

The Dirty F*cking Hippies Were Right

worldpeas

Gravity Glue

What incredible and inspiring work…Enjoy! 

Stone Balance and Videography
by Michael Grab

Painting Homeless People’s Dreams

MisBehaved Woman:

The world needs more inspiration and more people like Skid Robot. When I took my daughter to the Greyhound station here in ABQ last night, I was horrified to see the number of people sleeping in tents lined up along a downtown city street. We’ll be taking food & supplies to them this evening…and many days/evenings in the future, too…

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Those who say graffiti doesn’t accomplish much haven’t seen the work of Skid Robot, an anonymous street artist in Los Angeles who uses his medium to draw attention to the homeless — a population he laments is so often overlooked.

skid robot

Skid Robot humanizes the homeless by incorporating them into his art, creating scenes in which the subjects aren’t just a faceless person, down on their luck. Instead, he highlights their struggle by juxtaposing them with spray painted versions of their needs, wants and dreams.

skid robot

skid robotskidrobot wrote: “The last time #birdman had #lobster was over 25 years ago at a #sizzler. The #joy he had when we showed up with one along with a #baked#potato was #grand. It’s not much but it’s somethin”

skid robotskidrobot wrote: “It is tragic that people who return from serving their country make up a large percentage of those who are#homeless and abandoned without proper care…

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Rocky Mountain SnowShine

DSCN1878aSteve & I took a cruise up to Durango, CO, this past weekend. We’ve talked about making this trip pretty much since our 2nd date over a decade ago so I was over-the-moon happy that we finally got to go exploring the area together. I’d been to Durango once a million years ago as a teenager but I was there for a funeral…Not exactly a fun vacay but it was so beautiful that I’ve always wanted to go back under better circumstances. It was definitely worth waiting for and dreaming about!

We were still shorter on time than we’d like to have been so we used this trip as an expedition of sorts…We scoped everything out so we know what we want to come back and DO…A ride on the Durango-Silverton train, sleigh rides, snowmobile outings, horseback rides, dinner at the Himalayan eatery…Oh me, oh my…It may take SEVERAL return trips to get to it all, what a bummer that would be, eh?!

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~ Champagne & Reefer ~

First up this trip…The Animas Herbal Wellness Center…Just because I could go into a shop and buy some…Legally. What a totally strange but super-fantastic experience! The folks at Animas Herbal-Wellness are helpful and hey, they don’t even give you hell for standing there not knowing what on earth you might want because you are so overwhelmed by the simple act of having a choice of strains and flavors. Sour White, Big Skunk, Blue Dream, Blue Diesel, Super Silver Haze Kush…*Sigh* Yes, I was a kid in the ultimate freakin’ candy store…and yes, I can say that I’ve (Happily) done my part to support CO schools with a bit of extra tourist-taxation dollars and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

We took an afternoon tour around the historic district but it was really cold, we had the dogs with us and of course, seeing as how we ‘Aren’t from around here’, we did not have warm enough clothing for an extended photo-snapping walk-about of the gorgeous downtown area. After a short stroll, we ducked into Lady Falconburgh’s Barley Exchange for a bite to eat and to warm up a bit. If you ever find yourself thirsty and hungry in Durango, this place rates 15 stars on a scale of 1-10. AV__1039From the decor to the endless selection of brews to the Something-For-Everyone menu, this place ROCKS. Lamb gyro accompanied by a Rocky Mountain Wildberry Ale…Happyness all around! For the dedicated beer fans, I understand that if you try all 100 or so of their brews, you get your name immortalized on a painted brick on the pub wall. Now, if Animas Herbal offered such a gig, I might try going for it but 100 brews…some with names involving words like “Nitro”…Well, let’s just say no one will be painting my name on a brick anytime soon!

We spent the night at the Sky Ute Resort and Casino just outside of Durango…A nice enough place if you like really busy places with lots of amenities but no real atmosphere. Who cares if there is a huge indoor pool with fountains s’long as said pool is overrun by unsupervised teens left reluctantly babysitting bratty brothers and sisters? Next time I think we’ll look for something smaller, cozier and above all, QUIETER and less Disney-fied. DSCN1841aOur room DID have a phone in the bathroom beside the toilet…I just couldn’t figure out who I DISLIKE enough to call up while I am…erm, nevermind…Suffice it to say that I’d have much rather had extra coffee than a toilet phone in my room! ;-)

Enough of the chatty stuff…On to the scenic stuff, eh? Sunday morning we took a drive from Durango over to Silverton. I think I must have taken 20,000 photos on the drive over. About the time I thought I had seen the most scenic scenery ever to be seen…We’d round the corner and there was a whole new batch of the most scenic-scenery ever! I think I snapped upwards of 200 photos…Here are a few of the favorites ~ DSCN1879a

According to the gentleman we spoke to at the top of this pass, the search & rescue team was up in the bowl area of this mountain working their way down during a routine training exercise…damned if I could spot them anywhere…

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Silverton...

Next time…We stop into The Pickle Barrel! We had to hurry this trip so we could be back over the pass before temps dropped to the expected -20.

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Like I said…there was just scenic view after breathtaking scenic view…for a desert rat like me, all of it absolutely blew my mind. I could just chase the sunshine – Snowshine? -across these mountains forever in a quest for ‘the perfect’ photo. Fortunately, Steve’s job is going to require regular travel to the area, oh gee, oh damn, oh darnit all. It’ll be a sacrifice to have to come back here once a month or so but you know, I love my husband and of course, I feel obligated to support his work and help him in any way possible…guess I’ll just have to suck it up in a few weeks. If we swing it right, we can hit the business leg of the trip Thursday afternoon and Friday morning before taking the rest of the weekend to stay and play!

Next time, next stop…A ride up to Silverton on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad followed by a snow-mobile ride back down.

Until then, remember boys and girls…No stopping or standing in the avalanche zone ~ DSCN1911a

Codex Seraphinianus: History’s Most Bizarre and Beautiful Encyclopedia, Brought Back to Life

“What I want my alphabet to convey to the reader is the sensation that children feel in front of books they cannot yet understand. I used it to describe analytically an imaginary world and give a coherent framework. The images originate from the clash between this fantasy vocabulary and the real world…”

Excerpts, BrainPickings – “In 1976, Italian artist, architect, and designer Luigi Serafini, only 27 at the time, set out to create an elaborate encyclopedia of  imaginary objects and creatures that fell somewhere between Edward Gorey’s cryptic alphabets,Albertus Seba’s cabinet of curiosities, the book of surrealist games, and Alice in Wonderland. What’s more, it wasn’t written in any ordinary language but in an unintelligible alphabet that appeared to be a conlang — an undertaking so complex it constitutes one of the highest feats of cryptography. It took him nearly three years to complete the project, and three more to publish it, but when it was finally released, the book — a weird and wonderful masterpiece of art and philosophical provocation on the precipice of the information age — attracted a growing following that continued to gather momentum even as the original edition went out of print.

Now, for the first time in more than thirty years, Codex Seraphinianus (public library) is resurrected in a lavish new edition by Rizzoli — who have a penchant for excavating forgotten gems — featuring a new chapter by Serafini, now in his 60s, and a gorgeous signed print with each deluxe tome…

…Undoubtedly one of the most intricate and beautiful art books ever created,Codex Seraphinianus is also a timeless meditation on what “reality” really is, one all the timelier in today’s age of such seemingly surrealist feats as bioengineering whole new lifeforms, hurling subatomic particles at each other faster than the speed of light, and encoding an entire book onto a DNA molecule.” Full Story + More Fantastic Images

Biggest Cloud-Seeding Experiment Yet Only Sparks More Debate

Live Science – “Meteorologists first conceived of seeding clouds as a way to increase rainfall in 1946, working at General Electric’s laboratories in Schenectady, New York. But in the nearly 60 years since then, it has remained unclear whether human attempts to make it snow actually work.

Now, the results of the most scientific study of cloud seeding done yet are in. Researchers found that seeding clouds with droplets of silver iodide does slightly increase precipitation, boosting levels by 5 to 15 percent. However, experts disagree about whether this small increase means cloud-seeding efforts should expand. P1150086

In Western states, water providers, ski areas and power companies interested in hydroelectric generation have all injected silver iodide droplets into winter clouds for decades. In those areas, the winter snows that collect on mountain ranges provide upward of 70 percent of annual precipitation. The idea is that the droplets provide a nucleus within a cloud around which water can coalesce, forming snowflakes.

A 2003 National Research Council report called “Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research” sharply criticized the core idea. Although human activities can clearly affect weather, “there is still no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of intentional weather-modifications efforts,” the committee wrote in the report. [Weirdo Weather: 7 Rare Weather Events]

The problem, the report added, was “the absence of adequate understanding of critical atmospheric processes that, in turn, leads to a failure in producing predictable, detectable and verifiable results.”

Researchers in Wyoming accepted the challenge of finding such verifiable results. They conducted a $14 million randomized blind statistical experiment that was designed and evaluated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The primary laboratoryconsisted of two parallel mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow. During six winters, from 2008 into 2014, the researchers seeded storms that blew over both mountain ranges.

During any particular storm, researchers seeded the clouds over one range, with the other range serving as the control. To be eligible for seeding, the storms had to bring mountaintop temperatures to lower than 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 degrees Celsius), and the clouds needed to have super-cooled liquid water. In less scientific terms, the storms had to be moist.

Researchers had expected 60 to 70 storms each winter would meet these criteria. But far fewer that did, according to an executive summary of the report distributed Dec. 17 to the Wyoming Water Development Commission. Altogether, 118 storms were seeded and generated usable data.

The results showed no significant increase in precipitation from storms that were seeded.

…The results seem to have changed few minds. In listening to the findings, cloud-seeding supporters heard evidence that the method works, and those who were skeptical before remained skeptical.

Yet to be seen is whether the federal government jumps back into weather modification. The government funded a great deal of weather modification research and operations beginning in the 1950’s, peaking in 1972 before budgets were slashed, a slide that continued into the 1980’s. In 2005, the Bureau of Reclamation issued a letter announcing no funding was forthcoming for weather modification. Full Article

Out Loud – Are You Programmed to Speak?

By law … thinking out loud was prohibited on Island of Monkeys. I will be judged…

♫ ~ Sometimes my thoughts go astray and I lose my place

I drift inside outer space and drink up the milky way

You can see a trace of it in my face as I kickback

and relax in a galaxy far far away

but my doctor said “Mark, you know you’re f*%$ing crazy

I mean you’re awfully lazy and your purpose on this planets all hazy

If you just kept that receipt you can take brain you bought back

get that train of thought back by eating some over prescribed Prozac”

Doctor, I confess I live in sanity and I’ll be there if you need me

So you should know before greedy HMO tries to bleed me

That your Freudian slip is showing and I know you’ve blown your own treaty

Just give all pills and keep that riot quiet

Keep them safe and warm inside the norm

F%#$k that. I’ll allow the crowd to think that I’m to proud

Excuse me I was just thinking out loud

I think therefore I am a philosopher said one time

Drawing a line between body and mind

But before he asked the damn question everybody was fine

What a crime how fast the dumb ass masses go blind just to pass the time

I think loud therefore I am loud to get the thought out

But back in class my sorry ass got bought out

conformed to the norm of silence within my shell

Educating it’s more like salivating to a Pavlovian bell!

color within the lines Mark or you’re not going to pass the course

And what the hell’s that supposed to be

that doesn’t even look like a horse that’s it you get a D minus

Another example of the school boards finest

With so many people around it makes it hard to get it out

It sound like when you found it that you drowned it in your doubt

F%$#k it, I allow the crowd to think that I’m to proud

Cause I’m thinking out loud…♫

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden

Geller Gold Fine Productions – “When Berlin physician Friedrich Ritter left Germany in 1929 with his lover Dore Strauch to make a life on the deserted Galapagos Island of Floreana, he envisioned a paradise of solitude in which he would be able to write great philosophical tracts while carving out a rudimentary existence based on Nietzsche’s doctrine of the Superman. What Ritter and Strauch didn’t count on was being discovered by the international press, who rapidly trumpeted their exploits as “The Adam and Eve of the Galapagos.”

Friedrich Ritter & his lover Dore Strauch

With this fame others soon flocked to the shores of Floreana, each seeking to realize his or her own personal ambitions: Heinz Wittmer, his pregnant wife and teenage son who left Cologne in 1931 determined to become “The Swiss Family Robinsons of the Galapagos”; and shortly thereafter, the Austrian Baroness Eloise von Wagner Bosquet who, declaring herself the “Empress of Floreana,” arrived toting a pearl-handled revolver, a harem of young men and a grandiose set of plans for opening a luxury hotel catering to billionaire yachtsmen.

THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN is the tale of what happened when these disparate dreams collided on a harsh island barely capable of supporting human life: a study of mysterious disappearances and likely murder for some, but also of survival and triumph for others. Set in the archipelago where Darwin made his revolutionary discoveries about species adaptability, THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR explores the realities of building a civilized existence absent any social structures and norms, and the resulting unique and often troubled history of human interaction on the Galapagos Islands.”

Full Movie Here

The following clip, is excerpted from a documentary film about the 1934 Hancock-Pacific Galapagos Expedition created by W. Charles Swett, the camera man aboard the expedition vessel, the Velero. The film depicts life on Charles Island in the Galapagos, where members of the expedition encountered an assortment of German colonists while conducting their research. The film was often shown by expedition head, Allan Hancock, with his lectures.

A short silent film clip of the Wittmer family on Floreana in 1933 -

The island & the Wittmer Lodge as it is today -

The Wittmer Family in front of the home on Floreana circa 1932

“Wittmer Lodge is a Galapagos landmark or institution or both.  It was founded by Margret Wittmer, the island’s 2nd pioneering settler and author of Floreana, a wonderful account of what it was like to be a pioneer 600 miles out to sea, really amazing read if you have the chance. The hotel is still today run by her daughter and grandaughter. Hostal Wittmer is located directly on the famous Playa Negra (Black Beach), one of two historical landing sites for ships coming to Floreana and the only sandy beach for lounging in Puerto Ibarra.

Margret Wittmer was a Galapagos icon.  She lived to the age of 95 and welcomed guests (including Presidents, the famous and the infamous) until the end.  As a result of her gracious hospitality and the fact that until recently, this was the only lodging option on Floreana, the hotel stays well booked. Today, the lodge is run by her daughter and grandaughter, Floreana and Erica.  Social areas of the lodge are like a museum for the history of the island. Food is prepared by Floreana herself…”

A Christmas Cruise

DSCN1770ABeing in a new city and away from family and friends left Steve & I at a bit of a loss as to what to do with ourselves yesterday. Neither one of us is religious but we have always participated in celebrations with our kids and extended families when we could. Being totally free from any ‘Mandatory Fun’ obligations was quite cool once the strange sensation of being free to do…whatever!…settled in.

We decided to pack up the dogs and a few snacks and just head out for a drive to see what we could see. We live near the I-40/I-25 interchange in Albuquerque so we hit the 40 heading east around the ‘backside’ of the Sandia Mountains. DSCN1767A

Within 15 minutes of leaving bright, sunny. downtown ‘Querue, we were into pine trees and snow! Who knew there was such prettiness right out my back door? The only downside to the area is that there is no camping allowed; it is all day-use only. Harumph. Not cool when I am used to having thousands of acres of wilderness to play in but hey, it’s better than nothing and when summer’s miserable heat sets in, this will be a great little afternoon get-away spot!

We drove a good ways up towards Sandia Crest but we’d started a little late and black ice was already forming so we turned around before we hit the peak. Next up was a cruise up Highway 14 towards Santa Fe…Another road that neither of us had ever been down, YaY! First up on the Super-Scenic Tour…Madrid, NM. Oh me, oh my! At some point the end of a rainbow must have touched down in this town because every building is just stunningly bright & painted with happy-happy!  DSCN1797A

DSCN1812 My personal favorite ~ DSCN1798A

I absolutely HAVE to make a return trip on a day when all of the shops are open. I’m not sure what they sell but I bet I am going to have a helluva good time finding out. And, if all else fails and nothing in the shops amuses me, I can always just wander over for a beer at this place -

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The rest of the drive was more nature-scenic than man-made amusing. There is some really gorgeous country up here…When people talk about wide open spaces…yeah, we have ‘em…

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And of course, no day in the desert would be complete without a sunset that absolutely takes your breath away…

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~ Hope you enjoyed the desert cruise! Happy HollyDaze! ~

Santa And The Reindeer Are Total Pr*cks

Originally posted on MisBehaved Woman:

The Young Turks

*Warning: Adult Language & Content

Christmas Card 12

USDA Allows Santa’s Reindeer to Enter the Country

Observation Deck – “The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a movement permit to S. Claus to “allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 6 PM December 24, 2013 and 6 AM December 25, 2013, through or over any northern border port.”

Since this is a government agency, things are not quite that simple:

As a condition of entry, the reindeer must be certified by Santa Claus as never having been fed anything other than hay, sugar plums, and gingerbread. The reindeer must also be individually identified with microchips or official eartag identification, and must respond to the names ‘Dasher’, ‘Dancer’, ‘Prancer’, ‘Vixen’, ‘Comet’, ‘Cupid’, ‘Donner,’ ‘Blitzen’ and ‘Rudolph’ when interacting with port personnel. No more than one…

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Don’t Speak…

It seems that several months ago as Dad got really sick, I changed my blog settings to not allow comments. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that everything had been strangely silent…hrm. Odd…but whatever. This morning I got an email from a reader asking why I didn’t want to talk to anyone these days or allow comments on my posts. *DOH!* I spaced the changed settings. I restored them to the default “allow comments” and apologize if I made anyone think that I would ever NOT want to hear from/chat with other bloggers!

ROD SERLING EXPLAINS HOW CENSORSHIP LED TO THE CREATION OF ‘THE TWILIGHT ZONE’

Excerpts, Dangerous Minds – “By 1959, Rod Serling had had it with the dumbing down of American television by what he saw as overly sensitive TV sponsors who forced writers to edit scripts with impunity during the boob tube’s early years. Most sponsors wanted zero controversy and nothing to appear in a script that might incline viewers to think “improperly” about a particular brand of cake batter, or car or whatever else was being promoted on a given show. In the fiery discussion below, which aired (according to IMDB) on September 22, 1959, we find Serling on The Mike Wallace Interview talking about his early writing career and the heavy hand of corporate sponsorship that led to his creation of a soon-to-debut science fiction and fantasy television series called The Twilight Zone (the first episode would air a little over a week later on October 2, 1959). A passionate exchange about early TV’s potential, thoughts about what Wallace calls “the battle of the writer to be his own man” and copious on-air smoking ensues.

After spending a few years writing promotional testimonial letters for a Cincinnati television station and making $700 during his best year, Serling was bored out of his mind with the “dreamless occupation.” He set out with his wife for New York City in 1951 to try to make a name for himself as a freelance television scriptwriter. By 1959, Serling had done just that, winning three Emmys and distinguishing himself as being possibly the first television author in history to have a live TV drama (1955’s Patterns) aired twice due to rave reviews and audience demand.

…Despite some critics being worried that Serling’s insistence on writing for television (and the money that it provided) was holding him back from making important art (a contention that Wallace brings up on a few occasions), Serling comes across as being deadly serious about his belief in TV’s possibility for greatness. Serious enough, in fact, that he was in the process of trying to get out of a quarter million dollar (obviously big money at the time), three-year writing contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer so that he could devote all of his time to The Twilight Zone where he claimed to have more direct control over the relationship with sponsors. Serling indicates he was only guaranteed 26 episodes of The Twilight Zone, and that he would stand to lose a lot of money if the show didn’t carry on beyond that.  Ultimately, it ran for five seasons and 156 episodes were made…” Full Article on Dangerous Minds

Just Doing It

Ridin’ into town alone
By the light of the moon
I’m looking for ole’ Sukie Jones
She crazy horse saloon…

Well, I’m not sure I am 100% BAAAACK! into anything but I am quite sure that the edges of mucky chaos are receding & pulling back from my life. My brain is beginning to twitch as I read headlines; my fingers-n-toe-tips are starting to itch with the urge to…well, just to do. Something. Anything. Yes, please. I’ll take it. All of it…The itches & twitches are signs of (new) life and after having drained my energy down to the last drop of marrow over the past year or so, it’s good to know there’s enough of ~Me~ kicking around in here somewhere to still count as Alive and Present…And Itching for adventure, of course. 

Death can have some strange effects on families/family members and the roles we hold/play within our family. (More so when the family is already plenty full o’ strange to start with…) Within my particular unit of kin, I am one of those blessed people known as, “A Strong One”. Now, either you are one and you know what I mean when I say the phrase carries a tremendous amount of weight attached to it…Or…You’ve leaned on one of us “Strong Ones” during a time of crisis – and I hope to hell you thanked your Leaning Tree for giving you a branch to rest your burdens on afterwards. Some of us are so fortunate as to have had multiple chances to ~Strong Up~ and so our reputations from Crisis Past haunt us as expectations of our SuperDuperPowers & capabilities get stacked ever higher with each Crisis Present. Oh…Yay. Oh…joy.

“It’s always just so easy for you!”

“Not everyone is so detached & unemotional as you are; this stuff really hurts us.”

“Some of us just aren’t strong & can’t deal with things as easily as you do…”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard variations of those lame lines o’ whines over a lifetime – but I can surely add another 50 times from this past year to that uncountable-count. And so what if you, A Strong One, just don’t wanna______________? Yes, well…not many people ever really ask if you want to, or feel like, doing all off the Things-N-Stuffs required to pull “The Unit” through hard times so it doesn’t really matter, now does it?  Who is John Galt? No point asking questions when no one wants the answer; they just want you to DO whatever it takes to get them through.

Amelia Earhart summed things up perfectly for me ~

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”

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And so, I did it. All of “It”…Everything that needed to be done and then a thousand more things just for good measure. No matter what anyone tossed at me or blind-sided me with, requests were filled, demands were met…and of course, plenty of meals were served out of my kitchen. Only too much is ever enough”, was Dad’s life-motto and I made damned sure that he only had too much of everything (and then some!) before he died.

Now I can’t help but sit here tonight (Wow! Have 2 months already passed..?!) and appreciate a little bit of relief and feel a sense of *Whew* now that it’s all over. 

Seriously, *Whew!* I’m not glad he’s dead – but I am damn glad his dying is done!

But now it’s all done and there is no official “Do It” on my list. 

Oh. Hrm…Uhm, Shit? 

What does a doer do when there is nothing staring them in the face screaming, “DO THIS”…? A doer with no deeds can be a very lost – and scared – soul. When my strength isn’t being pulled from me as fast as I can weave it into existence, I generally have enough to carry myself through… Anything. Everything. I should be okay now, right? *Ahem* But, I seriously have NO idea of what to do now and that scares the buhjeezus out of me. Super-hero-calm-NONFEELING-handler-of-all, my ass! The (Invisible) Purple Magickal Cape that gives me the ability to uhm…Not Feel Anything & Perform 10,000 Miracles during times of extreme crisis and upset has been Moon-Cleaned and is tucked away in my new closet behind my Ruby Slippers & Golden Truth Lasso. I look out the window of my 5th floor apartment and see the huge sprawling new city that we moved to just last weekend down below me…So open, so vast…so…(Terrifyingly) Possibly Possible. 

And all I have to do is just…Grab it. Take it. Do it. The whole HUGE Blank Page of “This New Chapter” is right there just waiting for me to pick a tool you-had-the-power-all-along-my-dear-quote-1and make my first stroke of color. No cape or slippers or super-powers of strength needed (tho some times a snuggly cape can be comforting!)So many things got put on hold when Dad got sick that I get mentally wonked upside the head every time I try to stop & think of them all or decide what to do for myself first. I can’t remember where I left off with Life As I Knew It so my only choice is to shrug it off and start forging a new path from where I am now – Even if I am not entirely sure where the hell Here is exactly. For the first time in over 20 years, I do not *Have* to expend my energy on a single thing that I don’t want to do. (Okay, so maybe I’ll walk the dogs even when I’d rather nap…) I don’t have to work unless I want to. I don’t have to taxi the kids anywhere. I don’t have chores to do for my parents.

So, Hells Yes! Of course I’m Itching & Twitching – In spite of whatever nervous fear may be tying my head in knots in this moment, I keep reminding myself that Dad’s life is the one that just ended, not mine. I step out to the balcony and try to peer over the edge for some sight of what The Future might be…

All I can see is smog.

Hehehehe. No, not really. I actually have a semi-wicked view of the Sandia Mountains from here. Every day I’ve watched the clouds play across the ridges and valleys…Areas are solid dark, almost black one moment…But in the blink of an eye, the sun sweeps across and shatters the darkness with pink and purple hues…Nature’s Visual Poetry…

Ahhhh, yes! There it is…The grounding. The big gulps of quiet peace that I’ve needed so desperately. Who cares if I don’t know what to do one moment to the next right now..? Even the fucking clouds don’t seem to know where they’re going – but look at ‘em go anyways! I wonder if all of the clouds itch for new wind currents the way I do? Do they twitch with nervous anticipation when the wind gusts up and tosses them to parts unknown? Are they scared because they can’t see over the next mountain top before they cross it..? 

The weightlessness of this new life feels so odd that it’d be easy – and in darker moments, it’s very tempting – to tie myself to the nearest solid post and just stay put. My life is cozy and snug and I could fill it with neighborly chats, mindless lunches out or reading mystery books, ya know? I don’t have to be like a cloud; I could just stay here, on this side of my mountain and never peer over the edge to see what lies beyond the smog. *Yawn* Stretch…Damn, It’s been a long trip, I certainly *deserve* a break, eh? Yeah…but…breaks…Kit-Kat candybars…They’re both great but neither one is satisfying for very long.

~Or~ Fuck the stress break. Fuck hanging around in downtime just because I’m a lot tired and a little scared. I think it’s time to follow Amelia’s lead once again and ~Just Do It~ All of IT, whatever IT might be. A new job? Volunteer work? A political/social cause? Who knows? It’s just time to take a deep breath, go find a less fancy, more ordinary, All Purpose Daily Wear (Mental) Superhero Cape and take the dive into the unknown. Because no matter if I am tired or have just come up through the backside of hell to get to this new place, I know that if I force myself out beyond the Fear of Unknowable Stuff, I’ll love the view as I soar…And if for some reason, I stumble and fall before I make it off my mountain, I’ll just have to suck it up…and turn it into a dive!

~♫~ As you walk along your road
Try to find out just which way to go
If the trail is clear your probably on someone else’s path
So to the woods you go
Deep into the darkness and the great unknown
Blaze through the maze
Until you come upon a place that’s not your future or your past
You walk up to the chasm’s edge now
And jumping is the only way across
Those who seek are never lost

Doesn’t matter who you are doesn’t matter where you go
That cycle just keeps on spinning just as long as your alive
And at times you will be high and at times you will be low
Just remember that when you are falling turn it into a dive ~♫~

Wishing you all a great big, wonderful, adventurous New Year in 2015…Find or make your very own super-hero cape, put it on…And JUST GO DO IT! ~Reb

Images of The Year: Brooklyn Street Art 2014

via Brooklyn Street Art – “The brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo. 

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.”

Full Article + Artist Credits