Excerpt from “Sully’s Magma”

In chapter one of “Lament of the morbid Soul: Sully’s Magma” I foreshadow the story of the character’s memoir: a story within a story, which should be indicative of a tragic life–a life much like that of “Benjamin Button,” who seemed to be out of sorts with time. One knows how easily it is to step into wrong places,  what is only to be identified as “stepping from the frying pan, and into the fire.” This is such a story, “Sully’s Magma.”

2013-07-14 10.49.17My daily routine is always the same. Before I rise, I have a debate with myself: do I want to live today, or not. Yes, always I end on the side of life, but remember this is every day since I was sixty-two years old, and this is becoming a monotonous and insignificant game I play with my self. It is only to sustain my life for just one more day.  The alternative is suicide. You wonder what would cause such a morbid debate. I don’t blame you. I seem selfish, and solipsistic, do I not?

       I am reminded of something Hemingway once said in a letter. He said: 

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. 

      I believe there were many times I should have died, but for some reason I was spared. I was a sweet and innocent child most my life. Ultimately, things kept happening in it that broke me in places.


© Lydia Nolan, September 1, 1996


images Song by Brandon Heath, “I’m not Who I Was”

SULLY’S MAGMA: A Memoir of Impeded Momentum

© January 20, 2015

by Lydia Nolan

 It is a difficult thing sometimes, to be married, especially if you’ve been married all your life.  At this point, let me say, that I blamed my mother all these years for not saving me. I don’t mean actually saving me physically, but I learned everything I became, from her. She never did know herself either, which led to her depression and illness, eventually.

I married at the age of 17 (or 18, can’t remember anymore).. and then I remained married–not to that partner, but..in the marital context–the rest of my life, until now. I’ve been married now for 30 years. I believe I’ve forgotten who I started out being, or where I was heading, since I hadn’t much time to figure it out. I do remember having had observations about what I may have wanted, and thought about researching how it would be possible, or I wanted to cast my fate to the wind and pursue a road that would take me to the heights of my singing career, but once I was married and had children, those things fell to the field of fantasy; I mean, I couldn’t saddle two little children and go hiking across America with only a guitar and a baby bag. So into the deepest sea of forgotten dreams it went; equivalent to losing my identity forever. I was never your normal conformist type person, until then…

What is funny is how someone might find themselves older, and having gone so many miles in life, they come to a crossroads, only to find that they are no smarter or wiser, and are still looking down each direction to figure out where to go from here…

And after the children are gone, I am pretty much alone, for all intents and purposes. It’s a wonder my husband even remembers to come home…

I assume it’s the loneliness that makes these old feelings, thoughts, memories dredge up from the abyss. Better this than Alzheimers or Dementia… and I often wonder if this is what those people felt first, before they gave up the mental ghost…

There are things I remember. They just pop into my head and then I cry. Back then, they were times I felt I really connected with myself, traversing to the edges of ecstasy and never wanting to return to what was waiting for me…

But conformity and the culture I came from, as well as the society I grew up in, won over, and so I pursued what I never grasped either; some form or semblance of society’s failed lives, who live in the cracks of society. Of course, no one really knew this. I continued my duties as mother, wife, employee, and so forth, but there was a deep seeded emptiness I could never quite fulfil, and that could not be fulfilled in the career of wifery or motherhood… sorry to say…

Back when I was 14 I bought myself a bass guitar from a pawn shop, well, I didn’t buy it; I convinced my mother to buy it. I played on her guilt. She had decided to give me to her sister, to go to school. My aunt–who wasn’t all that nice, shall we say–took me in, bass guitar and all, but I don’t think she was happy about it…

My mother was ill and could not handle a young girl full of passion, life, and energy. So I made her pay for that by convincing her that a bass guitar would help me become the big singer star I was destined to be. It did not work out so well. My aunt was forever sending me to the room, while her daughter–my cousin– got to play outside with her friends, because I hated peas, and I had to eat them or I was punished… It seemed she would serve peas every day…

So I got to hang out with my bass guitar alone. I never thought to myself, I might need some help learning how to use it. When I finally busted strings, there was no one to turn to, to get help. I assumed I was done with that pursuit. And so I was…

By the time I was led from that funeral parlor, I went with the next aunt, who was the fun aunt; someone I could talk to when she was home and whom I loved a lot. Unfortunately, she was a single parent, and she worked all day, and was never there when I came home from school. So it was very seldom i did get to talk to her, and when she was home, so was her daughters, so I got little opportunity to talk to her about my problems in life…

It was the neighborhood that defined my next phase: the school was in the middle of a gang infested area they called “Toonerville,” Why? I have no idea. The fact is, I came from a gang infested area, but my town had it’s own gang affiliations, called “Clover.” Gangs are sort of like athletic teams, only they use guns and knives instead of footballs, and baseball mits. So, of course I had to uphold my “team,” being I came from there, and I would be equated with, whether I wanted to or not…

It was a period in my life, where every day I played the part of a bad momma, to get through, you understand. So I played the major gang gal. One thing that was unique about that area is the mix of middle schoolers. There were gang kids, gypsys, rich kids, surfers, and nerds. We were all in that prison together, so we got along inside the locked down gates. I was finally able to let my hair down a little, even though my first love of being a singer had escaped me there. But my artwork became famous with the students–everyone wanted me to draw them, and so I did. This kept me from experiencing the wrath of gangmembers; I became “cool” with them, and so I could breathe a little easier. My singing was kept to myself, at home. I was being trained instinctively–by records of Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, and Joni Mitchell, my newest discovery.

By the time I got to high school, I was the school jester, but my singing was discovered by a wonderful teacher, Mr. James Benson, who allowed me to sit in all the musician/band members’ club after school, in L.A. The club, the Ascots was a rather unique group of musicians, and it was there that I fully found my love for singing. I sang with the choir too, but this was different. This was a group of musicians that eventually turned into a major 10-piece band, and I sang with them. We used to sing in old homes, and kids homes, and such. Later, we actually played wedding halls and parties.

After winning the high school talent show as a senior, and being asked to sing for special school functions, I was given an option of becoming a member of the All Americans, a youth singing choir of exceptional kids who would travel the world, concert to concert. This would be after graduation. The opportunity was so exciting, however, I graduated at 16, so I never got the permission I needed, and of course never left home. But I was old enough to work: go figure…

After that was marriage and the rest is history.

Now, here I am contemplating how I could find those guys, or some other guys or gals who would want to create some sort of singing/music group to finish up where I left off. It is so hard to get old and realize you never realized anything on time, or that you never fulfilled your dreams. It’s a heart break, and then it’s continual heart aches…

Frankly, I don’t think I ever got passed 14, or  17 years of age, or my lost youth… I need to somehow find that place again.


Where can I go to Live OUTLOUD…

Sometimes, there is just no helping what you feel … and sometimes, there is just no answer to a reconciling, OR a reckoning…imgres

You know in your heart, the truth, but you’ve fought it all  your life, and that could get to be a very long time, and a very tiring fight, too…

By the time you are ready to accept the truth, it isn’t even about truth anymore, it’s about convenience, or the lack thereof, that keeps you living the lie. So you just learn to breathe in shallow breaths, move slowly, become ill, drift, but not too far; keep to the conforming performance, and only make small waves, but never for yourself; waves of discontent for everything and everyone else. What you never realize, or at least don’t WANT to realize, is that you are ending your life in suicide, but not in the obvious sense, a suicidal attempt to stop living by barely living.

The problem is many of us hold fast to a losing battle, because of our stubborn belief that the future will iron itself out; a miracle will suddenly happen, or we will achieve some kind of remuneration, or finally obtain good karma–whatever you want to call it, it is NOT what you thought all those years ago, what you wanted, but you’re courageous (you think) because you stayed fast to the station or the ship, or the location, or the frame of mind…it’s all relevant.

Now, you are faced with the truth, again. What you don’t see is that it has been coming up over and over again, but you don’t recognize it because you have put it to the back of your mind over and over again… it’s easier not to make any waves for yourself…


It isn’t anything you wanted, it never was … you think it was what you were looking for, but it actually is only the symptom, indicting you for the real problem: the problem is you. You never stood up for YOU.

The real problem is not in the situation, not in the OTHER person, but in ourselves, because we have no courage to effect the truth of our own nature: we are a Being that has managed to squelch our true nature, to become unfamiliar to our surroundings and our responses to them. And it is not that we are bad, or that it is bad for the others; it is bad for ourselves because what is left of ourself is bitterness, and THAT affects others, especially our own children, and of course our relationships.

What to do, what to do. Well, first off, start breathing louder, talking louder, and let that true person live OUT LOUD! YOU must live out loud, instead of on the cusp of existence.

Go for broke? Perhaps, if need be… and if you lose those along the way who claim to love you, then it is THEIR lie they must deal with, not yours. Now, you must be who you were always meant to be: you got this.

It is your own SELF that you must be true to, and in the end, you should come to a place where you can smile and say:

…It’s okay, I believe what I did was right, and if I must be judged, I will plead my case, because I believe it was the right person I was, the right thing to do, and I brought more authenticity to others this way…and more love.

The philosophy of “do something about it, or give it up, shut up, and let it go…” is real. It’s toxic to pretend you are someone you are not, and it’s real. But no one can understand it unless you are IN IT!



I know a woman who is dying slowly because she had not the nerve to do something about her situation. She is a very kind, much older woman, but she is also a coward–one might say–for not taking a stand, even now. Well, it’s easy to assess, judge and leave it at that because no one is in her shoes.. But i realize that I have been in her shoes, and I know what she feels like to conform for the sake of others, while betraying yourself.

Many of us stay in the wrong place, as the wrong person, even in the wrong way, because we never believed enough in ourselves to trust we knew better. Even when we leave to discover ourselves, we end up hiding out and doing the same thing: remain self-conscious of our selves as lost and looking for someone to tell us what to do…well…

Look at what you love, where you feel most like you; what compels your creativity, informs your intellectual sense of discovery, and brings you out into the open with blazing beauty and unique gumption.

Open that door, do not be afraid. I always believed in God, and I don’t apologize for that, but of late, I have felt more alone than ever before. I am inclined to believe my distance from God was not God’s doing, but my own.

God; the universe; the elements; however you choose to name your sense of eternal be-ing is inside you, waiting for you to accept your part of yourself that you have hidden away.

Shakespeare said: To thine own self, be true.  At least consider this concept, and perhaps step out of the shadow of your pseudo-self, and be true to yourself, the real you.



Halelujah! I’m Healed!!!

Halelujah, I’m healed!!

Okay I’m not healed, but I DID have  an adjustment in my attitude, really!  Maybe it was only for today–I pray it’s more than for a day, but, nonetheless, it is an adjustment: An adjustment toward gratitude, and hope.

Yes, this adjustment was in my soul…. The darkness in my soul, with which I had been wrestling today, just  got a jolt like an electro-shock to an arrested heart… How is that, you wonder?

Before I can explain, I have to tell you FIRST the problem with me today, and why it was there in the first place…

First of all, let me say I am NOT one to toot my own horn, to be glorified… I am authentically weird, geeky, nerdy, child-like, and super, hyper-sensitive. I am not being this way because I am trying to be noticed or following a trend; this is just me. I have always been a strange little creature, ask my sisters, my family, anyone who knows me longer than a couple years.

Do NOT misconstrue this definition of me: I am also borderline genius, and language is my savant preference (although singing is a close second). But in the routine and daily affairs of life, I lack “common” sense, and find myself often in limbo, when it comes to everyone understanding a joke, a concept, or instrucitons.

So, I hear a “different drummer,” than the majority of people.

It is the fashion of our generation today, to put a label on everyone and everything; perhaps some may call me undiagnosed autistic, or manic depressive, but I am just a different person, as we all are, though we keep our true selves under wraps…I have no filter, I guess.

Anyway, going back to my original blog subject, my nature is that of a person who is easily jostled by disturbing events, and I’ve of late had some disturbing event, namely a death in the family.

I feel way too deeply, forget way to quickly, while equally, I forget someone’s cruelty way too easily, and any experience I had just mourned incredulously, frequently goes amiss almost in an instant…well, I don’t forget it; it just seems that I am able to bypass its original weight, and it becomes lighter as time goes on–though sometimes, I go back and relive the pain of it…don’t try and figure that out.

Anyway, that’s just me.

These days it is the new medical trend to label everything. So, many people (like me) might be considered borderline autistic, as I said. However, I have wondered about myself, not to mention a handful of friends…if this is not some ancient spiritual curse (or gift,) perhaps in my past life.

Many times I thought about maybe I was one of those “fallen angels” that the Bible talked about. You know: the ones that fell from heaven along with Lucifer, and became fallen for their inability to keep in God’s rule in heaven, and followed instead Lucifer’s lead. Okay, if you never heard the story don’t worry about it, suffice to say, I have many times wondered if I were a fallen angel, let that be enough for you.

Anyway…  I was suffering from the New Years’ weekend event of my grand nephew who died suddenly, after he stopped breathing, went into a coma, then left us forever–all in the time span of 3 days. He was 22 years old. He would have been 23 on Saturday after New Years Day.  A little history of the young man, in case you did not read the last of my blogs.

He began when he was 17 or 18, in love with this beautiful girl, and had four children, yes; one after the other–a true love story, like Romeo and Juliet, who were about 14-16 years old. And now he’s has just passed away, and now he’s left his Juliet alone, with these four beautiful legacies of his earthly essence, now gone in his full form…

He was my grand-nephew, remember. He was not  that close to me proximity wise, as I live in California, and he lived in Missouri. I got to see he and his lovely wife last time, when he had only one child… that was a while back, you see… when he died there were four children…I am still in a fog as to why he died.

At first, I was like: “God! What were you thinking, and why do you do these weird little engine knocks in our spirits now and then?” Just like when my dad died suddenly in a car accident, and I was due to deliver my first child, and I was beside myself, losing my father, in a spur of a moment.

Death is always a shock, and it never feels right. I think because we forget life is an essence, struggling through time, and we are merely microbes in the river of life. Every now and then, we get a jolt and one of us just… POOF! And we all look at life incredulously, and say: “What happened to that one?” And we may hold on to a rock on the side because the river of life seems to be flowing way too fast.

Well, I was suffering from that old feeling, like when my father died, when this young grand-nephew of mine died this New Year day, and then I realized I had to stop (as I do often) from flowing with the river, and had to hold onto a rock, to gather my bearings.

Whether we admit it or not, most of us were born and raised with some kind of explanation as to why we’re here, or how we got here. For me, it was my father and mother, who were fundamental Christians, and the Bible we were raised to believe was God’s way of speaking to us through people who were listening to God. In that Bible, in the Old Testament, it is all about the rules and regulations of living or flowing through the river of life, and when you have situations that are contrary to the flow, we are encouragd to behave certain ways, like eliminate the microbes who are causing disturbances, or those who block the flow of life with their exaggerated egos.

But in the New Testament, it appears God needed to reach us in a more personal fashion that we could understand His great love and care for us, as one might consider a parent would do–most parents anyway. So God created a like-formed creature, an “elevated” microbe, and that was Jesus. I am not explaining as my parents would, I am explaining as I understood it, as a young person, because young people are good at being unpretentious, as I still feel quite juvenile–in a good way.

Going back to the person of Jesus: he is referred to in the Bible as “the Rock” which can fall on you and break you apart, or which can be the steadfast Rock of strength, who we can hold onto, for safety.

I realized this death of my grand-nephew, much like the death of my father, and many other deaths that occurred in the course of my life, were moments of enlightenment. I could have either woven down the river aimlessly, cursing all the way and finding myself crushed by the rock, or I could stop and hold on a moment for safety, to regroup and focus on my purpose. At that moment I realized at each moment of heart-struck pain of loss, I clung to “the Rock.”

Now, I’m no preacher, and I don’t want to be–I did when I was a young girl, because I wanted to be like my Daddy–but I’m just a person who has a healthy respect for those who went down the river of life before me, who seemed to be able to maneuver the river until POOF!

So I don’t want to preach, I just want to tell you where I’m coming from. My healing, as it were, is that of enlightenment in who I am. I am still the little microbe who smiles innocently at those before me, looking to the Rock for safe-keeping just in case I get lost and start flowing way too fast to maneuver. When I need to stop and hold on a moment while gaining my bearings, I will hold onto the Rock.

I am still and forever feeling the loss of all those who have gone before me and disappeared into the river, not to be found again … at least not in this river of life… but I am confident that I am cared for, just as they were, and when it comes time for me to “disappear,” from this river, I am sure the Rock will lead me to the eternal river in which I will take my place, perhaps even a little Rock in the Big Brother Rock’s kingdom, (which I admit: it is where I do want to go to) when my river run is over.

Oh. So. The healing? My attitude adjustment? I am thankful i get to swim down this glorious river of life, for however long, and the flow is up to me, and the help from the Rock is up to me, and I know this and it makes me feel alive, confident, and happy: the joyful life my parents told me about. It isn’t something you can see on the outside, because our bodies wear from the river flowing sometimes way to fast, and sometimes because of the bump and bruises of the maneuvering. But it is deep inside, and once you can connect it and turn it on, you can understand why … Halelujah! I’m Healed!