Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nesting Before Flight


My son Adam, as he was lifting one end of my huge, heavy sofa bed out of the U-haul said to me:

"Mom, I hope your next house is the house I'll bring your grandchildren to visit you."

Of course it won't be. I am not like most of my family. I am like my dad's sister, Wanda. My mom used to joke that she wrote my Aunt Wanda's phone number in pencil rather than pen in her address book. (I think those books are all but obsolete these days.) I used to get excited to see what new, great apartment she had found. One of my favorites was a loft-like place; there was one big bedroom upstairs that overlooked the living room and as a young girl I thought that was so cool. I'm sure her brothers were not as impressed with the floor plans. In fact, I'm sure they thought she was a bit flighty for moving around so much, but I understand. She is flighty and so am I . . . if flighty refers to birds.

You see, I have realized that, although there are many different types of people in this world, we can be put into two major categories: trees and birds. Of the trees there are many kinds: oaks, figs, olive, apple, maple, lemon, palm, weeping willow, pine, etc . . . . Of the birds there are many kinds: doves, ravens, owls, chickens, eagles, hawks, peacocks, sparrow, crow, etc . . . I have come to learn that I am a bird like my Aunt Wanda. I am still discovering what kind of bird I am.

Trees root, for they need to root deeply if they are to survive and thrive. Trees depend on their location - rain to supply water and soil to supply nourishment. They have all they need within their reach. Occasionally, trees may uproot and move to another location. But there is always a plan, a time-line and they re-root quickly. I love trees and I have great respect for their strength and beauty in their constancy. They teach us that we each have an important part in an intricate system, even though we may not be able to see the entirety of the forest beyond us. Trees provide shelter for birds to nest and take rest. Trees provide fruit for birds to eat. Trees bend allowing the wind to pass by. Sometimes they break under the stress of the storm. But, even a dead tree gives. It either remains a skeletal sculpture of art against the horizon or it is lumbered for many other uses. Trees represent life . . . the tree of life.
Psalm 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

And then there are the birds. Birds are creatures of flight. Occasionally gliding effortlessly through the air while resting their wings . . . going with the flow of the breeze. . . riding on the wings of something much bigger - faith. There comes many a time when birds must use every bit of stored energy to fly against the wind, to weather the storms, to watch for predators, to look for shelter. A bird's life is both agile and fragile at the same time. They build their nests, raise their young, teach their young to fly off and be independent . . . and then they migrate - fly off to a new, sometimes sunnier location and nest again. Birds provide stories for trees to hold onto. Birds are scouts. Birds are messengers - for it was a bird, first a raven, then a dove, that Noah sent out to check if the storm had passed. Birds remind us to keep the faith. Birds represent the big picture. Birds are watched.
Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them . . .

Trees root. Birds nest. I always tried to be a tree, thought of myself as an oak, but I discovered I am a bird . . . I am somewhere between a blue jay and a crow
And I am finally at peace with that.

Photo image by: Russ Hansen

A note of interest: Birds should never own sofa beds. Sofa beds should never be uprooted!

After writing this, I did some research on the internet and came up with some fun ideas about my Tree/Bird theory . . .


BIRD SPIRITS

Blackbird - Understanding energies of mother earth, insight, vitality
Bluebird - Modesty, confidence, happiness, plaintive song
Blue Jay - Proper use of power, adaptability, fearless, resoursefullness
Canary - Power of song, voice, sensitive
Cardinal - Vitality, recognizing self importance, camouflage
Crow - Mystic, secret magic of creation, intelligence
Dove - Feminine energies of peace, maturity, maternity, prophecy
Duck - Emotional comfort and protection, affection
Eagle - Illumination of spirit, healing, creation, spiritual power, vision, wisdom, connection with the divine
Finch - Song, energy of variety and multiplicity
Flicker - New rhythm of growth and healing power, love, balance
Goldfinch - Awakening to the nature spirits
Goose - Vision quest, travel, new adventure, fertility, communication
Grouse - Sacred dancing & drumming, creation, energy, protective
Hawk - Visionary power, guardian, messenger, leads to lifeÕs purpose
Heron - Aggressive self determination and self reliance, balance, wisdom
Hummingbird - Tireless joy and happiness, the nectar of life, healing, strength
Magpie - Proper use of intelligence, occult knowledge, adaptability
Meadowlark - Cheerful journey inward, sublimation, imagination, courageous
Mockingbird - Finding your sacred songs, recognition of your innate abilities
Owl - Mystery of magic, omens, silent wisdom, visions
Parrot - Sunshine and color healing, mimics
Peacock - Resurrection, watchfulness, protective, wisdom
Penguin - Lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, creative energy
Pheasant - Family, fertility and sexuality
Pigeon - Return to the love & security of home, fertility
Quail - Group nourishment and protection, ability, fertility, spot danger
Raven - Magic, creation, shape shifting, vocalizing, playfulness
Road Runner - Mental speed and agility, running
Robin - Spread of new growth, song energy
Sparrow - Awakening, triumph of common nobility, ability to multiply
Stork - Birth and unspoken communication, dance, protective
Swallow - Protection & warmth for home & proper perspective
Swan - True beauty, sensitive, powerful, grace
Turkey - Shared blessings, harvest, energy, sharing
Vulture - Purification, death, rebirth, new vision
Waxwing - Gentleness and courtesy, polite
Woodpecker - Power of rhythm and discrimination, new inner rhythms
Wren - Resourcefulness and boldness, medicine for own environment


What Tree Did You Fall From?

Find your birthday and its corresponding tree.
Then, see the meaning behind it below. Do you recognize yourself?

Dec 23 to Jan 01 Apple Tree
Jan 02 to Jan 11 Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 Lime Tree
Mar 21 Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 Fig Tree
Jun 24 Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 Lime Tree
Sep 23 Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 Fig Tree
Dec 22 Beech Tree

APPLE TREE (the Love) - of slight build, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant aura, flirtatious, adventurous, sensitive, always in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, scientific talents, lives for today, a carefree philosopher with imagination.

ASH TREE (the Ambition) - uncommonly attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be egotistic, very reliable and trustworthy, faithful and prudent lover, sometimes brains rule over the heart, but takes partnership very seriously.

BEECH TREE (the Creative) - has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.)

BIRCH TREE (the inspiration) - vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

CEDAR TREE (the Confidence) - of rare beauty, knows how to adapt, likes luxury, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, determined, impatient, likes to impress others, many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waiting for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

CHESTNUT TREE (the Honesty) - of unusual beauty, does not want to impress, well-developed sense of justice, vivacious, interested, a born diplomat, but irritates easily and sensitive in company, often due to a lack of self confidence, acts sometimes superior, feels not understood loves only once, has difficulties in finding a partner.

CYPRESS TREE (the Faithfulness) - strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give, content, optimistic, craves money and acknowledgment, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered, unruly, pedantic, and careless.

ELM TREE (the Noble-mindedness) - pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

FIG TREE (the Sensibility) - very strong, a bit self-willed, independent, does not allow contradiction or arguments, loves life, its family, children and animals, a bit of a social butterfly, good sense of humor, likes idleness and laziness, of practical talent and intelligence.

FIR TREE (the Mysterious) - extraordinary taste, dignity, sophisticated, loves anything beautiful, moody, stubborn, tends to egoism but cares for those close to them, rather modest, very ambitious, talented, industrious, discontented lover, many friends, many foes, very reliable.

HAZELNUT TREE (the Extraordinary) - charming, undemanding, very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody, and capricious lover, honest, and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgment.

HORNBEAM TREE (the Good Taste) - of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

LIME TREE (the Doubt) - accepts what life dishes out in a composed way, hates fighting, stress, and labor, dislikes laziness and idleness, soft and relenting, makes sacrifices for friends, many talents but not tenacious enough to make them blossom, often wailing and complaining, very jealous but loyal.

MAPLE TREE (Independence of Mind) - no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

OAK TREE (the Brave) - robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.

OLIVE TREE (the Wisdom) - loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

PINE TREE (the Particular) - loves agreeable company, very robust, knows how to make life comfortable, very active, natural, good companion, but seldom friendly, falls easily in love but its passion burns out quickly, gives up easily, everything disappointments until it finds its ideal, trustworthy, practical.

POPLAR TREE (the Uncertainty) - looks very decorative, not very self-confident, only courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

ROWAN TREE (the Sensitivity) - full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

WALNUT TREE (the Passion) - unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.

WEEPING WILLOW (the Melancholy) - beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with, demanding, good intuition, suffers in love but finds sometimes an anchoring partner.

Celtic tree meanings

The Rowan
Protects against enchantment. Magical Associations: Healing, personal empowerment, divination.

The Ash

of the Ogham alphabet is the Cosmic Ash, or World Tree. Magical Associations: Prosperity, protection, healing.

The Alder

magical associations: Spirituality, teaching, weather magic, duty, mental prowess.

The Willow

in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. Magickal Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.

Hawthorn

Magical Associations: Fertility, peace, prosperity, binding.

Oak

Magical Associations: All positive purposes, magic for men, fidelity.

The Holly

symbolizes paternity and fatherhood, has always been regarded as a potent life symbol. Magical Associations: Protection, prophecy, magic for animals, sex magic.

Hazel

Salmon are associated with the Hazel in Irish legend. The Hazel is also strongly associated with meditation and mediation. Magical Associations: Manifestation, spirit contact, protection, fertility.

The Vine

Magical Associations: Fertility, inspiration, prosperity, binding.

The Ivy

puts you in touch with your own inner resources, giving you the ability to see through the eyes of the soul beyond the everyday world. Magical Associations: Healing, protection, cooperation, exorcism

Reed

Magical Associations: Fertility, protection, love, family concerns.

The Elder

is linked to the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth. Magickal Associations: Exorcism, prosperity, banishing, healing.

The Birch

This tree starts the Celtic tree calendar, and so represents the energies associated with new beginnings. Magical Associations: Protection of children, purification, creation.


What kind of bird are you?

Owl

Like the wise owl, you are a night person and love knowledge.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Ok, so maybe I just don't know what kind of bird I truly am!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stuff, Junk, Treasures and the Coffee Pot

MOVING DAY, giddy up!

Sorting it. Giving some away. Throwing some away. Packing up the rest. Moving it. Storing it. All of the STUFF. I have a one track mind right now - move my stuff. Boxes and packing tape and scissors become extensions of my hands. Coffee and Coke and Wendy's crispy chicken sandwiches become the sum of my diet. The U-Haul truck becomes my stagecoach. Gasoline feeds my ponies. I load up and take to the road.

But, where does all of the stuff come from? And, do I need all of this stuff? Of course not. And as I look around, beyond my stuff, I see signs of our materialism everywhere. Storage units are growing and multiplying as fast as shopping malls. And, they have evolved from the old outdoor garage-looking units to comfortable, climate controlled indoor rooms. So comfy that my son joked about taking a nap on the couch after we unloaded the last of it (for that day). Have we reduced ourselves to the sum of our stuff? And while I moved my stuff from point A to point B, the California wild fires grew daily while being continuously fed all of the stuff in their path. I thought about the mixed blessings of starting over. Starting with almost nothing . . . and would I make the same mistakes? What memories would I carry with me were they not reliant upon photos, souvenirs, family heirlooms and other memorabilia? How much of my energy have I invested into every object I possess? Would I regain that energy little by little with my letting go of the stuff . . . object by object? Of course I would. But we'll all probably continue to buy and buy and buy until we run out of space . . .
And when we've once again had enough, at least for a while, we'll call in someone to take it away for us.

If I were to guess, I would guess that storage units and junk removal companies (along with trash yards and recycling centers) are the businesses to be in these days, considering the growing amount of STUFF. And when the trash piles are high enough and grass covers the hill, then a concert venue is born. And in the end, ART, my friends . . . ART! Soi la vie!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

After Love, There is Only Art

It is my feeling that the reality in which we live is not real at all. Our struggles, our battles, our wars, our religious beliefs, our political stances, our morals, our societal rules . . . We have been programmed. We have been overcome. We no longer have access to our own minds, our original God-given minds. Everything we feel, see, do, think, is being dictated to us in doses proportionate to our energy. We are helpless pawns in a game of chess played out by something we cannot see. Something we cannot comprehend. Something that the majority of us deny with every molecule of our being; with every vague and distant memory we erase; with every breath we forcefully take; but "it," the invisible transplanted mind exists, nevertheless. When our suspicions surface as anxiety, extreme discontent, depression, madness, or the likes, we are deemed ill or crazy and our symptoms are quickly sedated . . . masked.

All of this, our proverbial downfall, has its roots in the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden - a story that has a deep-seeded truth within its core: God (the Universe, our Higher Power, our Creator) gave man and woman everything by bestowing upon (us) the freedom of expression; the powers of co-creation; the God mind. We were once expressions of infiniteness . . . in other words, He gave us art - heart - and it was good. Our hearts and our minds were, once upon a time, ONE, and one in the same with God.

Then, the serpent "the foreign mind" appeared and offered man and woman a new mind, separate from God. . . the chance (risk) to attain knowledge without having to look to God. "It" led us to believe we needed to find answers to questions that do not and never did exist in the completeness of our original mind. And with that new foreign mind came our first belief: the belief we
that are separate, that we possess an individual mind. We created that belief because our new mind gave us a new freedom; the freedom to conjure perspectives, opinions and judgments. We had fundamentally created our ego. And with the ego, came our second belief; self-awareness - we are different. We found ourselves naked and ashamed of our own skin. Then, our third belief; that we are better than . . . God . . . We learned how to compare. We created arrogance. We now had a foundation of beliefs . . . we are separate (ego); we are different (self-awareness); we are better (arrogance). As creators, we were on a roll. But, it was not our own mind doing the creating, for we no longer had access to our own mind.

Subsequently, we banished ourselves from the Garden of Eden, and since then we have spent the rest of our time on Earth blaming God or blaming the serpent or
blaming ourselves - which is actually our favorite pastime: indulging in self-reflection and self-pity.

So, here we are; call us zombies, call us pawns, call us puppets, call us food for thought (the thought of a foreign mind, that is). Call us Pavlovian dogs that cry when stimulated in particular ways, that laugh when stimulated in other particular ways, that fight when stimulated in yet other particular ways . . . and we blindly and so foolishly call ourselves individuals.

Our only way to salvation is to release ourselves from the grip of this predatory mind; whether you call it the serpent in the Garden of Eden, or the devil, or societal values, or political beliefs, or religious creeds . . . whatever you wish
to call it is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact it is real, it exists, it controls us; it is the reality in which we live.

"Wake up people! Stop being Pavlov's pets!" Easier said than done, I know. For allowing something else to do our thinking and the rule-making and the moral setting, etc. takes the responsibility off of us and gives us more time to do what we do best; breathe . . . exist . . . pay the bills . . . cry at the horribly sad stories on the news . . . scream out against the war . . . point fingers at Bush or the Pope . . . make it to church on time . . . shop the sales at Neiman's . . . drink another cocktail . . . bitch out the cable man or the grocery clerk or the waitress . . . complain about the high gas prices . . . reflect upon what terrible people we are, you know, all the really important things that affect our lives every day. All the things we deem as real in our lives.

But NONE of that is real. None of that is important in the BIG picture - in the grand scheme of life. None of that exists - all that exists is love and all that is real is ART.

Art is our only true freedom of expression as creators. It is possibly our last and only link left to our original GOD heart/mind. It is how we express and acknowledge the suppression of our minds. It is how we express the love we are struggling to remember. It is how we express our deepest, most intimate, REAL selves . . . the real selves that we fighting
to regain (whether we know it or not) as our own (while engaged in this cold war).

Art is our
true expression of our infiniteness.

In reality, there exists no religion, no politics, no borders. There exists only love . . . and it's purist expression, art.

For every painting, for every crayoned picture hanging on a refrigerator, for every symphony and musical composition, for every 5th grade flute concert, for every opera, every ballet, every preschool tap recital, every song sung, every pastry baked, every reduction sauce perfected, for every undercooked cake from an easy bake oven, for every novel never published, for every poem misunderstood, for every floral arrangement on a dinner table, for every variety of fillings inside each chocolate in a box, for every engine ever built to be more powerful than the last, for every scarf ever knitted, for every letter ever written, for every snowman ever rolled, for every angel made by a child in the snow . . . Art is the finest, purist expression of love.

Above: Guernica by Picasso depicts scenes of death, violence, brutality, helplessness, suffering people and animals, buildings wrenched by violence and chaos.
One might say, this does not look like an expression of love and I say to that; this is the highest expression of love for this is the TRUTH. This is the reality we have chosen with our free will and the subsequent loss of our original God minds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How the Blues Heals my Blues

Music heals the soul and my soul is in dire need of healing. So, I have been submerging myself in music as if it were a body of water. I have been diving into the sounds, swimming through the chords, floating on the rhythms, surfing the ripples and waves.
I am truly blessed to be surrounded by friends (guitarist Jim McCarty - above; Johnny "Bee" on drums) who also happen to be extraordinary musicians. And I was fortunate, this past weekend, to witness
a rare event . . . to immerse my soul into Blues, Jazz and Rock and Roll . . . to hear four of the most talented musicians in the country who for two nights called themselves The James Montgomery Band. They played Sunday night (Oct 14) at Dylan's Raw Bar and Grille (previously Tom's Oyster Bar) on Mack in Grosse Pointe. The owner, John, is also James' brother (below)
James Montgomery - blues legend, harmonica and lead vocals - grew up in the Detroit area (he now lives in Boston) and learned first-hand from James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and Jr. Wells. He has recorded with Gregg Allman, Kid Rock; he has toured with Aerosmith, Springsteen, Steve Miller, Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt; and has jammed on stage with B.B King, Patti LaBelle, Charlie Daniels, Mick Jagger, and many other music legends.

David Hull - (above - on tour with Aerosmith) bass guitarist - resides in Boston and has played with the Buddy Miles Express, Joe Perry Project (he wrote many of their songs) and most recently toured with Aerosmith - filling in for bassist Tom Hamilton while he was recovering from throat cancer - during the first part of the 2006 Tour. (He played for a time in Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsies and is rumored to have played at Hendrix's funeral.)

Johnny "Bee" Badanjek
- Detroit's greatest rock drummer extraordinaire - originally from the band Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - who were known for their hits; CC Rider, Devil in the Blue Dress, Sock it to me, Jenny Take a Ride . . . played and recorded with Alice Cooper (Welcome to my Nightmare); Edgar Winter (Free Ride); Dr John, Bob Segar, Bruce Springsteen, Ronnie Montrose . . . Co-founded the Rockets and wrote almost all of their material.
(Left: Johnny "Bee," Ryder and McCarty during the Wheels days)

And then we come to my friend and one of the top ten guitarists in the country (the world): The legendary guitarist Jim McCarty. Jim played guitar with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels;

Cactus (left- also called The American Led Zepplin;
of Long Tall Sally fame); the Rockets (Oh Well); Buddy Miles Express; Mystery Train (his current band); he also played and recorded with countless legendary musicians like our own Bob Segar and he played one-on-one with the one and only Jimi Hendrix. Jim has been an inspiration to many rock guitarists who looked up to him and learned from him - like Eddie Van Halen, Ted Nugent. In fact, Ted was quoted in a 2006 VH1 interview as saying: "I'm the only guy in Rock'n'Roll that plays that hollow body jazz guitar and it's because in 1960 I saw Jimmy McCarty creating those big fat full chords like I do on "Stranglehold"; I learned that from Jimmy McCarty. Remember the name Jimmy McCarty. He is as important as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry and Les Paul ...A god on guitar."
"Oh Well" I recorded this on my camera - it is dark and not the best sound since I was right by the speaker - but Jim's solo is amazing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFSCMiBy6-s
Well, need I say how phenomenally well these guys played together and how amazing the music sounded and how fantastic of a time I had? Words can't express it anyway. I will never forget it - that is for sure. And to add more fun into the mix, my dear friend Monica Reed had an afterglow party at her lake view home in Grosse Pointe Park. She is such an amazing woman - with so much energy, charisma, beauty and talent. I will write more about her
- an admirable woman of integrity - in the near future on my Sacred Footing blog.
Jim McCarty continues to entertain his fans (blow us away with his incredible talent, skill and passion) around town at places like
the Blue Goose Inn in Saint Clair Shores and Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak. He is even better these days, if that is possible, according to one of his close friends; well-known guitarist and studio musician: Vince Knight.
Jim and Vince will be playing together Wednesday, October 17 at the Blue Goose Inn at 28911 Jefferson Avenue, St. Clair Shores. Michigan. For information call 586-296-0950.
If you live in Michigan, especially the Detroit metropolitan area; or you will be traveling through - do not miss the opportunity to see and hear one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Jim McCarty.

Now, getting back to how music heals my soul: it's funny how sad music, like the blues and songs written to invoke the pain hidden inside, can actually heal one's heart and soul in a gentle and loving way. One of my girl-friends and I had a code saying;
"It's a Sarah kind of day," when things in life were less than good . . . when things in life had us depressed . . . referring to Sarah McLachlan, the melancholy goddess of gloom and contemplation.

Bernie Taupin said it best when he wrote the lyrics for the Elton John song: Sad Songs

Guess there are times when we all need to share a little pain
And ironing out the rough spots
Is the hardest part when memories remain
And it's times like these when we all need to hear the radio
`Cause from the lips of some old singer
We can share the troubles we already know

Turn them on, turn them on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don't you tune in and turn them on

They reach into your room
Just feel their gentle touch
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much

If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it's easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
and it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues

Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say so much

And that's how the blue's heals my blues.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Signs, Omens or Nothing at All


And in today's news: The All American Calvary had to be sent in to rescue a damsel in distress (played by ME) and her loyal lady in waiting (played by Emmy Lou), from the hills of green in the Royal land of Oak. The recent drop in temperatures chilled me to my bones whilst my cloak and its warmth teased me from the far side of the glass of my carriage windows. For an hour, Emmy and I were forced to wait amongst the peasant squirrels and their nutty shenanigans.
But, we held our heads high, sat, leaning against a tree, and waited. Occasionally, Emmy would protect my dignity and chase the curious peasants away.
In other words . . . I locked my keys in my car when Emmy and I went to the park today. . . I called AA and they sent "The Calvary Locksmith" out to open my door.
Ok, so this is the third time I have needed help getting inside my car this year. I think I locked my keys in my car once before - in my entire life - and now three times in this last year. Something about my 'keys' . . . some significance . . . I don't know?
But, on the way home, a truck pulled up next to me at a light . . . the name on the side was: I am the Phoenix. Ok - now in that I see the significance.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Remember Me . . . By Lizzie Palmer (age 16)

This needs no introduction - no words - just watch . . . (5:23)




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ervaMPt4Ha0

The "Nice" Vice


It is said that 'nice guys finish last,' but I think it should be said; nice guys finish first, and if any one group does finish last it would be the kind guys.
Nice and kind are not interchangeable - their meanings are not the same. And yet, those two words have been misused and interchanged time and time again, with "nice" being the more popular of the two.
"He's such a
nice guy . . . "
What ever happened to (one of my favorite sayings), "Nice people suck."
Because it's true - they do . . . they suck and they suck up.
"Nice" is of a social nature - and anything of a social nature is
anything but genuine. Niceness is pleasant and agreeable in appearance, and appearances can be deceiving. Niceness is appropriate and fitting for the occasion.
Kindness
is a virtue of the heart . . . kindness is real and palpable; loving and thoughtful, patient and forbearing; respectful and honorable. Kindness is born of intent. Kindness is an action . . . of the heart and soul.
I know a 'nice guy.' He is the 'yes man' to all of his friends. He knows the 'right' things to say and he's always around to give them (his friends) a helping hand. Nice. Nice guy . . . in public.
His friends don't hear his complaints and criticisms before and after his niceties. I do. I hear them. He is not usually kind. But he is usually nice . . . a nice guy . . . but usually not to me.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Three Days and Nine Steps

Three days and nine steps . . . Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon . . . he became an overnight sensation! Right.
If it were really that easy. If dreams manifesting into realities could happen so quickly and effortlessly. If there really was such a thing as an overnight sensation - well, I guess it wouldn't be so sensational.
In 1969, I was young and had no real appreciation for the magnitude of such a feat - walking on the moon (or even getting there for that matter).
I grew up in the era of Science Fiction and had assumed I would be wearing a cool silver and white space suit and flying around like Judy Jetson by the time the Millennium - the futuristic year of 2000 - rang in. It was not such a big thing for me - it was expected. Those old expectations fell to the wayside. I'm still wearing cotton, driving on the ground . . . kind of still waiting to lift off.
Now, much older and a little wiser but still not able to fully understand (therefore not fully capable of appreciating) what it means to dream such an incredible and seemingly unattainable dream and believe it into existence through determination, research, knowledge, diligence, persistence, assistance, blood loss, sweat, fear and tears . . . and eight years.
J.F.K did not live to see the dream he dreamed for the nation come true - but his dream gave us and the entire world
hope that we can do the same in our own worlds.
Yes, I saw "In the Shadow of the Moon," last night. And I loved it. And I needed it.
If we can put a man on the moon then . . . fill in the blank with your own personal dream.

Friday, October 05, 2007

You Are Beautiful

For all of us who need to be reminded today...



For anyone who needs more than a reminder . . . if you have been brought down by words - abusive words by your partner in a relationship, seek support and get help. You don't have to live in that situation. Visit this blog Dangerous Liasons
Because sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can break your soul. I know, I lost 21 grams somewhere in the last two years. Now, I'm trying to gain it back. Anyone have some "diet" suggestions . . . food for the soul?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Elders of our Family Tribe


My Uncle Leonard celebrated his 80th birthday over this past weekend. He celebrated for the first time without his twin, Richard, who recently passed away. But the rest of the family gathered around him for Polish food, cake, ice cream and piñata fun.
Below are the remaining patriarchs of my family: My father, Jim; his brother Leonard; his brother-in-law Ted - who will turn 85 on his next birthday; and Uncle David, the youngest brother.

The matriarchs (all except one, my father's sister, Wanda who lives in Savannah) have left this world for a better one - one free of pain, sadness and hardship.

Things are different these days . . . something is missing . . . but I can always look at my own hands to remember the story of the women of my family, for my hands tell the story that has been passed down for generations. For women, our hands, not our faces, tell the real story. (like the quote reads at the end of the latest posting on Sacred Footing)