Recently I watched a video, “Julie & Julia.” You can click on the icons to see the page of the movie(s) and even watch the trailers, I hope you do.
I have watched it before, but this time, for some strange reason, I took a nosedive into my emotional sensitivities, and I cried all the way to the end, sensing the pain in the “girl” who was looking for guidance from a “woman” she believed had already been where she was, and if she followed her, she might then find her way into her own identity. This meant, taking a risk into unknown territory.
I cried I think because I have been feeling the same of late–okay I’m lying, I’ve felt this way all my life, and it’s nearly over. Not that I am looking for an older woman, but… then again… maybe I am. I am looking for a woman who has already taken the risk and has proven that taking risks can help one find something of value, that in return helps other wayward young women, or people in general, to pursue their own dreams as well.
You see, I came from a very sheltered life, and I don’t mean just not being able to go out. I mean, to some we might literally call it a form of abuse. Why? Because I was neglected to a great degree: my father and mother estranged since I could remember, I being the youngest of a large brood, desperately needing to share my personage but having a father who did not live with us by the time I was 10; having a mother who was vacant and ill most of my youth, who spent more time in hospitals then in the tiny two bedroom house infested with roaches and with a semi-outhouse for a bathroom. The rest of the time I spent with three older brothers (much older than I) who fought constantly, abused each other, monitored my every move and distorted everything I thought, dictating to me what I should and could think, and scaring me into dark crevices in my mind, having only negative things to say to me. This is just a general overview of my childhood: it was much worse.
Suffice to say, when I married a boy I barely met, having gotten pregnant at 17 years of age, I was just trying to escape, not realizing I was taking a place into another form of prison and torture: it was torture for me, anyway.
What I really wanted to do was sing and perform; I wanted to write scripts and/or direct movies–or maybe just write scores FOR the movies. But all those ideas I had was told to me to be dangerous, for someone will surely rape, damage and kill me before I ever got passed their front door of any interview or any audition.
Nonetheless and since high school I had a burnng desire to travel, meet people from every culture and country, and write songs about it, or just write about it in novels or non-fiction journaling.
40-some odd years later, two divorces and three children, I find I am STILL wishing to escape and to travel. I had often fantasized about being an “Accidental Tourist” where I could experience those dreams I had had since a young girl. If you don’t know what I mean by an accidental tourist, take a look at the video trailer of the icon below:
In both movies the musical score is similar, the characters have similarities, longing to escape their own self-controlled negativity or whatever it is that straps them down to their own quiet desperation.
There are parts in both movies that make something in me want to scream: “There! That’s it! That’s what I want to do!
But…. I need someone to …. spur me…. to motivate me… to help me along a bit…”
Both Julie and Macon are somewhat introverted, or at least fearful of losing control of their own desperate need to be free from their own emotional handicaps (though in each movie the handicaps are different from each other). The fact is, both are spurred by someone: Julie, by Julia; Macon, by Muriel (it’s no accident the names roll off the tongue like twin peas).
At this stage of the game I am in — which is life, and family, and routine — at my late life years, I should give up on such rediculous dreams, I mean… it really is a jungle out there… and lots of creepy crawlers, deviant devils, and horrid hounds…but, still…
I never tested my mettle, I don’t know what I am capable of and I don’t know if I can survive emotionally on my own, because I was ALWAYS told how to think, what to do, and to NOT trust my own shadow, but to stay home, lock the doors, and never come out… In metaphor, that is what I’ve done all my life — kept myself restrained from taking risks by putting other people in front of that path I wanted to take, instead…
Oh, sure, I went to college after having my children, and attempted to work in between here and there, now and again, but I never strayed too far from home, for fear of that old tape in my head, that told me I would be punished if I ventured out on my own…
Now here I am, heading to my 60s and I am still vexed and distressed with my chosen pathway, the direction I chose, and I am still wanting to head to the hills by some unforseen detour in the road.
I have always loved two poems by Robert Frost (well, all of his poetry, but particularly two that speak to my soul), wait! Three!
Well, actually, nearly all the poetry I read by Robert Frost makes me cry, much like John Keats’ poetry as well….
Anyway, the first two poems I have presented to you here below, in red, are recordings of the poems read by someone else. The third, of which I could not find an audio, is linked on the name, for you to read after you’ve heard the other two.
See if you can spot a sense of what I am writing about, or a feeling in general, or some similarities in these poems with the two movies I have presented above:
Yes, (if you guessed right) there is a certain longing to sidestep and pursue a different direction; there is a certain dissatisfaction with the status as it is presently, and longing for a different kind of place, or comparison to another way, or somehow, a sense that one wants to try one’s hand in a completely different fashion than to what one is accustomed.
On the reading of the biography of Robert Frost, it is penned perfectly:
Like the 19th-century Romantics, [Robert Frost] maintained that a poem is “never a put-up job…. It begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness. It is never a thought to begin with. It is at its best when it is a tantalizing vagueness.”
You can read the complete bio by clicking on his portrait:
Such is the emotional sense of which I speak, and poetry can reach it but less deliberately than a movie such as the two I’ve presented here.
So, here is my final thought on this for today: I need a woman I can eminate. A woman who travelled away from home and hearth, and the security of being a dependent wife and mother; a woman who has allayed all those inquisitive and vexational desires to know–what, I’m not sure, but something; a woman who though perhaps afraid of her own shadow, went forth anyway, and learned how to survive and rely on herself.
Finally: If I cannot find that woman, then… I must BE that woman, for other, younger women to eminate… or older women, too, as I am…
Many people think that writing is glamorous: it isn’t. It is definitely a lot of “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” a lot of hard work and a lot of bleeding onto paper, and when glory does come it is so well deserved, and never enough for what one puts into it. The saying I am reminded of, is the one that is coined by Ernest Hemingway, most of us agree:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
And why do we bleed? Most writers are writers because they FEEL an exhorbitant amount of everything from everybody around them. While they live and breathe they are experiencing everyone’s feelings, moods, actions, behaviors, gestures, idiosynchrocies, and all else, because most writers are acutely and abnormally hypersensitive to EVERYTHING. They MUST write, it isn’t a choice, it’s a need to bleed on paper, so we don’t bulge with some kind of a mental absess. We may NEVER be popular, or may never know we beCAME popular (at least not in our lifetime) but the fact remains, we must write nonetheless, as we must breathe, eat, sleep and so on and so forth… It sometimes feels like a curse, and at other times, it feels like a gift, especially when we are affected by our own writing (crying, laughing, anger, pain). Bottom line, is: it’s somethiing we HAVE to do, not something we just WANT to do.
Writers may not admit to anyone, but they are anxious, melancholic, curious souls with a tendency toward a number of contradictory mindsets, like hope, fatalism, desperation, resignation, sensualism, idealism, and acute need to be loved… yet aloof and incapable of letting anyone in too much… We like our space for our own creativity, and sometimes we’re narcissistic, and sometimes we’re martyrs for the common good. So only a writer knows, (and recognizes others like the writer), and we don’t mind, it’s been like this since we were born, so….
I watched my granddaughters yesterday, their dad was at work, so I and my husband took them to watch my husband bowl. There is a small arcade inside the bowling alley. We had fun there.
Later the two girls, 7yrs., and 9yrs., and I had what we call a “PowWow:” we sprawl out on the bed, pretend we’re smoking a healing pipe and chat, taking turns to share about something on our minds. I don’t know why I was feeling a bit melancholy, so I told them about something I had not shared with them before.
I told them about my father, and my grandfather. I had not talked about either for a long time; had no one to share with, really. But once I got to talking, I began to remember things about both of them. I realized how important fathers are in a girl’s life. Mothers are, too, and just as important. But right now, I want to talk about my father, and grandfather–the “fathers” in my life.
My father was taken from me too soon. I was 17 and due to have my first child in two weeks when he was killed in a car accident. My father was soft spoken, but he was not a wimp. His voice boomed across the room when he preached at the pulpit, and sometimes he even told funny stories that made people laugh, he was so good at keeping everyone’s attention. He sang, too, and what a voice: deep, clear, loud, and beautiful. He used to sit by my bedside when I got a cold or flu, and rub my head and pray for me, tiny little tears running down his cheeks. Daddy was a funny guy. He loved horror pictures and whenever we watched one together he’d crawl an arm behind our heads and spook us. He laughed a lot, too. He was the kindest man I ever knew.
When he died there were so many people at his funeral the train of cars lasted through the entire cemetary, and people covered the grass like a flesh blanket. I will never forget his eyes, which were most of the time, soaked with pain as he watched us; he was an orphan, ran away from his caregivers and joined the Mexican army as a young boy. When he was about 18yrs. old, he stole away, crossed the border, threw off the uniform, and became a radio host in Los Angeles, for the Mexican music radio. He then became an extra in movies; he played Native Americans, fell off horses and then he was converted and became a preacher. His heart was tenderized by the painful life he led as a young kid, so he did a lot of crying and praying over us. I miss him sometimes, so much.
My grandfather was the same way, only much taller. He, too, was a preacher, and did quite a lot of crying when he prayed over us, and for generations of his children. He used to chase my grandmother around the table, calling her “vieja” and tickling her. He drank a beer occasionally with his breakfast, and he always cut my eggs for me, put a little butter in my beans, and babied me just enough to want to be a good reader of the Bible. I am a good reader to this day.
He always wore a dress hat and slacks with a starched shirt.He loved telling stories–fictional, of course, but he would tell stories like Don Quixote, where he was always some kind of hero, battling strange antagonists, which, he explained, is how he got the birthmark over his left temple. He was always dressed up, even when he attended his weekly business, for he was a businessman as well as a preacher, and owned a stand at Olvera Street, downtown. He loved to take me with him when I was a child, and bought me brown sugar bars (a Mexican candy) in the stand next to his. He died when I was 10 yrs old. All I remember is that so many people filled his house, and my grandmother was lamenting so loud, that all the neighbors came to comfort her. She wanted to die with my grandfather, who was only 62, had received only one Social Security check, newly retired, but she lived more than 30 years longer and alone: she was 97 when she died.
Wonderful men in my life, and both were taken from me way too soon. Perhaps that is one reason why I cling so hard to men at times. Other times I am aloof, not wanting to expect a man to stay too long, for the best men in my life seemed to go away so easily.
I thought about these two “fathers” in my life, and realized the gravity of helping my son-in-law with his two daughters, whose mom (my daughter) is ill right now. How I love these little girls. I wished they could have known the fathers I had, but now it’s a time for them with their own father. God bless the child whose got their own.
Who Says Writers are Lazy!
Today, I awoke a bit under weather; probably because I have caught a cold (from my two little granddaughters–God bless ’em) and I really did not want to get up, but I did. I didn’t want to go out, but I did. And I really did not want to clean up the place, or wash the dishes, or prepare a meal, and all the many many things we people do; but, I did. The only thing I did not do, the most important thing, is write, edit and finish the re-edited copy of my manuscript.
The Curious Game of Procrastination
Why is it I manage to tear through all the discomforts of chores and errands, regardless of my constant running nose, sneezes, painful head, neck and back, and drag myself through it all, but I can’t sit long enough to finish this damn book? I’ll tell you why. The truth is, it takes more energy and emotional strength to write than it does to do all these other things, even with a cold.
Writing is Easy…Isn’t it?
A WRITER worth her/his weight in talent does not simply throw it up on paper, well maybe some of it, especially when a new project is at hand. But it takes a lot of emotional and intellectual vigor, strength, and tenacity to keep on writing.
How hard can writing be?
There are the parts in the narrative (in a fiction) where characters might come dangerously close to oneself, or someone one knows intimately, yet the character resembles another with other qualities that are nothing like the one we sensed first; somehow, we need to mold that character into shape to fit the plot, but we may feel emotionally upset or in a state of euphoria every time we deal with her/him. Then, there are the plots that come close to a memoir, or did we want a memoir but it’s too painful, or did we want a fiction, but the story says too much about the writer, and THAT is painful. These are tiny examples of a myriad of dilemmas we must deal with as writers, making sure that the storyline and plot is cohesive, not hokey, and believable enough to make the readers want to keep reading and reading our next books. There is so much emotional boxing going on inside the writer that it is exhausting, even more than a walk or an hour at the gym, because when all is said and done, emotional exhaustion is far greater than physical exhaustion; I know, I’ve done both, and I can tell you emotions win, hands down. ..
Anyone Can be a Writer (oh Really!)
I don’t believe people realize how hard it really is to be a writer, that is why people say, “well, I can write after my day job, when everyone’s asleep, no problem.” Or, “I can write on my break, how hard can it be to whip up 50,000 or so? First of all, better learn what publishers are publishing, and which genres are best. This takes research, and what kind of genre (besides a BOOK) is one writing? That will determine a lot about how the plot will go, and how the characters must be or act or what kind of action takes place. All this takes work, I mean, REAL, emotionally charged, highly skilled, exhausting work. Bottom line? Writing is NOT for everyone, and not everyone can do it, regardless of what the writing gurus (that charge an arm & leg to “teach” you how to write) tell you.
It’s Wednesday, the 5th of August, 2015. People like to call Wednesdays “the hump day,” because it breaks into the middle of the week. What does that tell us?
How desperately we wait for the end of the week, when we are not on the clock, grinding away at our jobs, or when we can stop the hampster wheel just long enough to relax, look at the faces of people we love and actually acknowledge them; when we can take our walks in ease, drink a cocktail or three, eat a meal out, do some rock climbing that reminds us of when we were children…
This is something I am perplexed about. We all know we are being placed into a small cog-seat, strapped in for the length of life, or as long as we can stand it, to steer from that place a tiny guided wheel, to feed the wealth and health of the big machine; we all know this. None of us like it, evidently, or we would not be so desperate to get to the end of every week (there are 53 in a year) in every year of our lives, until we retire. Suddenly, (and it comes sooner than one realizes) we wonder: what did I do all my life?
Telling it like it is:
I am here in my 60s now. I am here to tell you what it’s like, so perhaps you may change the world or find a better way toward the end of the game.
But first let me tell you how much we are controlled by the big machine. We must eat the food that is brought to us, we must power our engines with the gas and type of transportations they provide; we must pay alms to the government that oversees all the functions of the big machine, and we must also pay taxes on every item we need to be acceptable (education, highways, deoderant, toothpaste, underwear, etc). Nothing is created anymore by each individual person; we all drink from the same trough, as horses with their saddles on for labor, and rode by their owners who rule over them.
So then, we get old. We never intended to, but now we start noticing things on our body breaking down; simple things like tendon snaps, overburdened muscles, maybe even a broken bone or two, and maybe we are just extra tired when we get up, even if we have a full night’s rest. Depending how we’ve treated this lovely machine called our body, I promise you: it will come back to bite you in the … nervous system, bones, muscles, blood, etc… you get the picture.
Add to this our DNA (don’t forget the nurture or lack therof); maybe your body (and your mind) isn’t quite as strong as you thought, maybe it’s a bit more fragile than your friends. We don’t control that either. And by the way, for no apparent reason, we cannot sleep as well or long as we used to, so then we are being told we need harmones, or pheramones, or heart medicines, or bone density treaments, and so forth ad nauseum. All of this is under the guise of closing in on old age. There are only very few that can bypass or at least delay the inevitable; they do this by riding the horses that labor for them, and they get to be a bit more comfortable in life.
So here’s how it starts….
We shrug in our teens and think our grandparents are cute and wonder why they cannot walk as fast. We know why in our heads, why they cannot do things, or look normal, but we truly do not understand it. We just accept it, but then we leave the nest–finally!
Then we hit our 20s, and frankly, we don’t give much thought to our grandparents OR parents much at all. In fact, they are sort of like demi gods, who we kind of look at in a curious way, feeling they are enigmatic, and we don’t need to know about them as much as when we were just little kids: we only go to them when we need something, (money, a car, the deposit, wedding gifts, vacation tickets) never mind the God they may have talked to us about…we figure that was in the Dark Ages…
Therefore, we do not need very much from those elders during this time–we are feeling the oats, our energy; our zeal and we are exhilarated by it. We are able to get jobs, be treated special by society, buy fast food, drink a lot, take social drugs, or be health conscious with all of the corporate world cheering us on.
Then we hit our 30s and we begin to experience a shift in our mental state. We begin to understand things even more than when we were in our 20s, and it is beginning to bum us out. Still, there are more good days than not, so we do not give it too much thought, except if we are out of work, or have had an accident of some kind.
our 40s are the beginning of enlightenment to what is really going on around us and inside us….
We begin to feel disgruntled with the status quo, and how the youth are entering our “workforce” with much more ease and stamina for competition; we start to realize we are becoming non-essential in the world of enterprise. We begin to work out more, eat more, try to have more fun, change our status or partner or car, or clothing, or whatever it is that makes us feel we are being passed over for younger models. We notice we aren’t as fresh and interesting as we used to be, and that the younger people have new words, jargon, ways of being: they are quicker to answer, faster to move on matters of interest, brighter to respond to opportunities, more flexible to fall into place…
We are showing signs of something we remember in our grandparents/parents…aging… Oh no…
Our 50s is about mid-way; the Hump in the century. Many of us throw outrageous parties, go to some far away place, have affairs, change jobs completely, (if we can get another one), or even begin to think about our retirement, our future, maybe our suicide, who knows! We begin to plan for leaving the fast lane, but we probably should have begun planning in our 20s, only we were having too much fun…
Come our 60s. Our body hurts, and like an old car, it begins to spit and sputter,with more burping, farting, embarrassing droops in the boobs, buttocks, and facial skin. Further, we simply cannot keep up as we did once; everyone seems to be going so fast, and they are all talking at the same time, too fast, too loud, too complex. If only they could slow down a bit, give us time to ignore the pain a moment and organize our thoughts. Yes, our thinking is more indepth, and that is a good thing in old age: we can understand a lot more than when we were 20 or 30. Nonetheless, our aches and pains get in the way of clear-mindedness.
Our stomachs droop and our bodies begin to hurt, no matter how many exercises we do. Don’t get me wrong: the exercises WILL help. Nonetheless, we are not 20, or 30, 40, or even 50 anymore. We are realizing we have to be more careful with our body because it gets hurt more easily. We sense a smell coming on unlike any before, which tells us that cells and matter in us, is dying bit by bit. That is why we begin to forget, to have to pause when someone addresses us because it takes a moment to organize our massive amounts of data in our brains, to choose the right responses, and not only to choose the response, but to equate those responses with all the data we’ve learned about it, which gives us that wisdom effect.
We become so familiar with chronic aches and pains and know they will not really ever go away: it just depends on how long we can take the annoyances, the excrutiating sharp pains that sideswipe us now and then, all this proving why some people die at 67 and some die at 96. Remember that what we do with our bodies today at any age, it will remind us later. It’s a matter of acceptance at the get go; to not fight the inevitable, but plan for the best landing we can manage. We are made to end at some point in time.
A morbid subject, but someone’s got to tell it…
This is one we avoid only too often. And we might wonder for what purpose I would bring all of this up at all. Only this. As early as possible love as many people, you’ve chosen to share your life with, as possible. Not only that. While you are young (preferably in your 20s) don’t try to follow the crowd and the status quo (the car, vacations, fun, fun, fun) because it’s all the facade made for us by the corporate big machine. Try to examine and change the future: figure out a different way we can get away from the big machine, where everything is provided for us. Grow your own food, pay off your property as quickly as you can, regardless of the loan you have. Use solar energy for as much as possible. Do less with your looks and more with your love: help more around you as you can, and do more with others; those who you belong with and who belong with you. Honor the elderly; they have learned the hard way, perhaps, or not, but they could use a little love and acceptance when they truly do not feel it.
America does not treat its old people too well. We should realize they have now the right to say: I am here now, at the end of the game. I am telling you what to expect so you don’t have to wonder, before you get to be here like me, and be surprised. If the young honored the old better, I believe our country would be in better shape. I don’t mean you have to accept every tidbit, but listen at least and find the good in the elderly’s wisdom.
If you feel you are too young to have to read this, by all means: go find a blog that you can just laugh about, do fun things with, whatever.. Or go to my International Books Cafe and post a review of a book you read, just to let others know if it is worth spending money on the book:
The end of the game is coming, and you should know what to expect, to help you cherish life a lot more.
Okay, last I reported, I vented in such an extraordinary intensity, I am almost embarrassed to admit that it was I who vomited such atrocities. But I was never one to be subtle, and it is in my nature to resolve discomforts and pretense as the onset, as quickly and thoroughly as possible. I have never been defined as a subtle, nor a pretentious person, but a direct, blunt, and translucent human being. This can be somewhat dangerous, however, and I have lost many a good friend or family member over my lack of tact.
I might consider to lie to my readers, that it was a fictional story: the one about the “daughter” or any other archetype in a world of stressed characters, relationships, and complex life plots. But I won’t lie. I will, however, tell you that this tantrum I had in the last blog post will be an excerpt in the novel I am writing, “Sully’s Magma,” which is part memoir, part fictional, and my readers (nor I) can never quite know which is real and which is not. I have a tendency toward a highly active imagination, a great deal of creativity and a suspicious intellect, all of which achieve a great deal of interesting plot structures. I also have a great deal of observatory genius, so that I can do both memoir and fiction and mix together a beautiful story that I hope will satisfy my readers, at least, but more importantly be of some guidance and understanding for their own lives and when observing others with whom they must interact.
Suffice to say, I have experienced a great deal of events in my life and the life of many others: friends, relatives, acquaintences, and strangers as well, and having been the person I am–who is interactive with anything and anyone who garners my attention–that I am given a special kind of education; one which cannot be taught in the halls of educational institutions. Why do I say this.
Let me put it bluntly (as is my character, as mentioned above). When educational institutions teach of experiences, it is neither theirs or even a close relative, but someone they have read from and may either respect or are enamored with, yet the actual understandings or experiences are so far removed from their own overprotected, peripheral and ephemeral experiences that their attempt at authenticity is a hit or miss outcome for the student: either the student will identify with the event, or the student will learn to pretend they do so. Nonetheless, the experiences are an aspiration by the professor for identification with the author, about which the author writes in hope, and about which the professor knows nothing.
Sometimes, the author’s hope may not even touch upon the audiences of her or his generation, but will make impact upon a generation of the future. So it is not necessarily something rewarding to the author at the time, except that they have to express it, and do receive a sort of denoument by completing the work.
Many “scholars” like to argue that writing has nothing to do with the intent of the author. That is rediculous. Most of these scholars are so apathetic to their own emotions, and have been taught by generations of prudish parentage to be apathetic in their own presentation other than intllectual and scholarly, that they are incapable of identifying intent if it bit them in the face. These scholars are more interested in sounding like scholars than truly understanding a cultural narrative, or an author’s intent in the literary zeitgeist in which he or she lives.
Therefore, I will finish my [memoir, or fiction] and be done with it then, and hope that it reaches those who need some configuration of assistance in their own lives, or that they may feel they are not alone in the living and battling within one’s own life–and indeed there are times that life truly does feel as though one is battling for one’s life, and someone else’s understanding of certain experiences actually help in comforting the weary-pressed soldier of life.
So, back to the story–the one which may or may not be true. I will write about the hardship of being a person who exists without training or guidance as a child, and moves through with only hints of hope from parentage and authoritative persons, longing to have assurance from those in charge, that will help them on their way, and respect these little urchins for trying. The most sorrowful part is that one must live first and learn the lesson of their living afterward, thereby finding truth in the saying: Life gives the test first, then the lesson.
But most of us keep wishing so much more, that one could have had a helping hand, perhaps some assistance in making less of an erroneous journey through their life because it affects everyone around them, especially their own children…
Yes, I am being enigmatic by using generalities, to absorb the intention of those who would look for ways to destroy this author’s intent. I must veil my words here also, because I must in some ways protect myself from harm’s way, and those others who may claim I am speaking of them. In any rate, my coming novel: “Sully’s Magma” may or may not be real, and in fact, I am not always sure that I am real, myself! I’ve been so good at stretching a yarn since a child…