this mix could burn a hole in anyone

photo taken at Fort Morgan, last week of November 2017

Beware and Be Warned! This is a long and winding post with no point. I am out of practice and out of my mind (hehe). So forge ahead if you dare, but you might want to pop a Dramamine and some Advil right quick. Here goes!

This week, Dawson Leery popped out of the archives and whopped me over the head with the truth. I would share the episode, but honestly, it wasn’t a good episode at all. It’s just that there were moments. Two things.

  1. Dawson’s father had just passed and he was desperately wishing for things to go back to ‘normal’ again. So he decides to direct a film he’s been offered to help with. First off, he really dislikes the writer and the script. The actors are all wrong and the ending is terrible. Anyhow, they make the movie and he makes the most of it. When the time comes to show the film to a small group of family, friends, and a single local professional movie critic, Dawson is apprehensive. They have a quick conversation pre-screening. “I don’t think it’s ready,” he tells the critic. “The film’s ready,” she says. “You’re not ready.” Anyhow, she explains how she thinks the reason he feels the film is ‘not done’ is because he is ‘not done’ and he maybe never will be–because that’s life and he’s growing up and just getting started making and sharing his art. He will make hundreds of other movies and each one will be a little better and a little better and that’s how it works…
  2. So Dawson gets up before the picture starts rolling to give a little speech. He quickly lists, in an all-too-familiar way (disclaimer time), everything he can think of that’s not right with the movie. Then he thanks everyone for their hard work and says that it’s all okay because the movie will serve as a snapshot of who and what and where they all were at that particular time in their lives, for all of them for the rest of their lives.

So, not that I described the two points above very well, but…I would like to point out, in plain English, no doubt, several things I loved about what was going on in this episode.

  • Dawson was in pain and struggling with devastatingly sober reality  (his happy place was too far away to visit) so what does he do? He reaches for his art. He accepts the chance to get active creatively, even though the project he’s offered isn’t exactly super appealing to him. I relate. I get it. I smiled.
  • Also, the thing about how his movie wasn’t going to be the be-all, end-all of his movie career yet it was time to just show it and let it be…and move on to the next, is exactly how I feel about writing and sharing stories. They are exactly as Dawson described his film–a snapshot of who and where and how right now. Nothing more. Nothing less. And I think that’s okay. If we spent our entire creative lives making and remaking the same book, we’d never ever make it past the first one and that’s a shame when as our own lives change we discover and invent so many other tales and imaginary friends with their new adventures…

Moving on…

I read this quote by Chris Stapleton and it made me smile!

  • I moved to Nashville to be a songwriter. I found out that was a job, that someone would pay you to sit in a room with a guitar and make up songs! It is the greatest job in the world. I wrote three or four songs a day. That’s what I lived for.

I was thinking of the first time I saw him at an awards show. It was the year his big debut album came out and he was getting a lot of press for being so good. Generally, at country music awards all of the other artists go way out of their way to praise and support other artists, but when it came to Chris, everyone was just going insane. I think it was because they all knew him from behind the scenes writing music for other people for so long, they were really excited to see him step into the spotlight and have his talent recognized. Plus, to look at him, he doesn’t look like a typical clean-shaven, skinny jeans wearing cowboy rapper which sadly are the types who get the most attention. He just looks like a cool guy, a normal guy. Then he starts to play and sing and it’s like he’s a hero. Not a shock that people like that. I certainly do.

Chris reminds me of that line in that old George Strait movie, Pure Country. Something like, Just stand there and sing? You think anybody’d buy that? I feel like when guys like Chris just stand there and sing, you have no choice but to hear it. I find that admirable. Scratch that. Magical.

Just words in ink on paper. You think anybody’d read that? 😉

In closing…

My last trip to the gulf was at the end of November. Unplanned. Impromptu. We only had a couple of days, but we haven’t had a proper vacation in years and our little house was feeling even tinier, so we got the cameras and a change of clothes and went south. Funny thing about roadtrips, I almost always decide to just sit at home instead when as it turns out, I really, really, really need a trip more than ever.

Fun thing is, I spent some time with a proof copy of one of my books, a fancy evening clutch filled with budget markers and highlighters and sticky notes…and my friend (Jane). And it was nice! More than nice. Memorable. It was almost as if she was there (sharing my fun and relaxing adventure)  too, which is really cool, considering. This is why I don’t understand why we’ve stopped writing postcards and snailmail letters, most of us (humans). I mean, my penmanship is nothing to brag about, but it was so fun carrying my things around in my tote bag, randomly jotting down notes in between bites at dinner or at traffic lights in the backseat, sitting on the balcony at night in my fuzzy pink grandma socks listening to the waves crash, looking a wreck but feeling all blissed out and brave and peaceful.

So I’ve decided I’m going to start journaling–travel journaling. And next time I send my friend or any of my friends a handwritten letter or scrapbook or what-have-you, I’ll send printed out photos as well! Just like people used to do back when they had the time and money to pay for an envelope and stamp and wait four and a half ages for the carriers to deliver the mail. 🙂 So no matter how far away geographically the person is, I can still spend time with them in spirit, even if they aren’t sitting across the table or in the backseat. It’s a nice thought anyway.

So to wind this thing up, I haven’t been writing much or living in fast-forward, but my heart’s kind of on fire from this crazy cocktail of if not happy place, at least alive place things.

I was thinking. I’m always making nods toward my happy place, but I never thought much about an alive place. And what better way is there to feel, as a human who is alive, than alive? If you ask this girl, I’ve squandered too many alive hours feeling and behaving like a zombie. Enough of that. This is why it’s okay to still binge watch silly teen dramas from the 90’s,  to find that one song that touches your heart and put that sucker on repeat until you simply just don’t want to hear it anymore, or to take to doing old school things that don’t make a lot of sense given technological advances and what not. Whatever feeds that little fire goblin who lives in the middle of your person, I say–feed it, as often as possible, as much as possible.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Works for now anyhow. It’ll do for a rainy Saturday afternoon.


post scriptum: No, I’m not on drugs. 😉 Also, is post scriptum one word or two?

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