Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


Leave a comment

Ana From Havana

Ana

My mother at her wedding reception, 1962.

On this day back in 1928 in Havana, Cuba – my  mother was born.  She was born to a father from Poland (with Bosnian roots) and a mother from Russia (Ottoman Empire).   My grandparents were Jews whose path to Cuba happened when the United States quota of the early 1900’s delayed the immigration of various refugees from certain countries. Those with their sails set for America, were diverted to Cuba to wait it out. When the quotas were lifted, some moved on to the United States, while others – who adored the heat and sun of their pit stop – did not. What became known as “Hotel Cuba” – coined due to the refugees temporary status in a sun drenched country – became home.

My mother loved Cuba. She was born and raised within its steamy palm trees, and the splashing waves over El Malecon. If anyone watched Conan O’Brien’s special on his trip to Havana – you’d have seen the beauty of the island. The people, the ragged charm, the sun baked streets and the nostalgic remnants of the past. A country frozen in time.  That’s the country my mother called home – even as she made her life in America – after Castro kicked out capitalists and those who didn’t follow his socialist revolution.

The only thing my mother was passionate about was Cuba and open relations with the United States. She imagined going back and meeting her neighbors who were holding on to her clothes and perfume. She wanted to visit her father’s grave. She wanted to be Ana from Havana again.  Cuba was always in my house. WADO, the Latin radio station in New York was constantly on – the background music of my life.

When President Obama opened relations with Cuba recently – it was one of the most mind blown days for me. Just thinking about what my mother would have said and done if she were still alive on that day. This was her dream. This was the news report she was dreaming to hear after she moved to the United States in 1959.

I plan on traveling to Cuba in the next few years. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before – it’s my intention to visit her neighborhood in the Miramar district, and perhaps connect with the families of those who remember her and my family.  I want to see the streets my mother walked, the atmosphere she fell in love with, the home where she lived and the grave where my grandfather was buried. Most of all, I want to get splashed by the torrid waves splashing over the sea all of El Malecon.

Happy Birthday Mom!  Cuba está abierta!

Advertisement


2 Comments

Whither MFA?

mastersdegreeSo my mind is crackling with ideas and plans for the future. As someone who loves the craft of writing and hopes to parlay it into a career as a writing coach (with some cool ideas up my sleeve), I’m considering entering a low residency program with the goal of earning an MFA in Creative Writing. (My research revealed a low residency is one where I can actually acquire a degree while keeping my job. Other MFA programs don’t do that.)

On one hand, there are many writers and coaches who’ve never gained an MFA in writing.  As a successful applicant, embarking on a campus with my new sneakers and fresh binder – my concern is that I’ll be thrown into a bevvy of workshops where everyone criticizes everyone’s work until you just want to throw your fresh binder out the window. Workshops are useful. Hell, I love them and hope to create a website with webinars and virtual writing workshops. Yet, if you’re not in group of supportive writers, their critiques can be unnecessarily scorching, damaging a writer’s ability, planting a constant voice of self doubt in one’s head. We’re a sensitive bunch, although we shouldn’t be. You’re always putting yourself out their in the written word, and not everyone is going to agree with your voice or style. You can’t take it personal. Yet, we  don’t need negative throwing stars hurled at our confidence.  Of course, we don’t accept coddling either.

There is also the competition of getting into these programs. I’m not interested in Iowa’s Writing Program. I know it’s prestigious, but it’s doubtful if I’ll ever get in, and if the thunder of god came crashing through my roof and I was accepted, I really don’t want to live in Iowa.  Yeah – I’m really into location. It rules my equilibrium. (I even felt sad for Hannah on “Girls” that she had to leave Brooklyn for the leafy world of IA. When she (**Spoiler Alert**) dropped out and returned home, seeing her riding in the back set of a NYC cab felt like a homecoming with butterflies in the belly).

So, I’m starting the inquiry. Should I try NYU?  The New School? UCLA? USC?  Local colleges that would be gentler and kinder to this old writer who is a late bloomer in the world of creative purpose?  We’ll see. So far, the schools I’ve mentioned have full time programs – something I cannot afford to do. I need my job right now. And having noticed this – I remembered why I didn’t go for a Masters earlier in my life. No job. Just school. Some have the funds to do it. I do not.

Is there anyone out there who has an MFA in writing?  If not – did you ever want to earn one?  It’s a writer’s big question for anyone who has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree.  Is higher learning after undergraduate work really worth the bother? Will people take you seriously in your field as a leader and doer if you don’t have this under your belt?

Whither MFA?


Leave a comment

Alam Sim Sim – Sesame Street in Egypt

alam simsim

The Muppet cast of Alam Sim Sim – Egypt’s local Co-Production of Sesame Street.

I used to work at Sesame Workshop many years ago. Just being part of this company – even as an assistant – was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had within many years spent working in media.  My department was responsible for distributing “Sesame Street” to stations around the world as well as creating local co-productions of the format, tailored for the culture and climate of children’s education in a given country.

One of the co-productions I remember is “Alam SimSim”, the version of Sesame Street created for the children and families of Egypt. Each international version of Sesame Street followed a curriculum, much like a faculty in a school would devise the curriculum of a class for the semester of a school year.  Local issues would always be folded into the live action films and in studio scenes with the localized versions of Muppet characters created especially for the likability factor within the culture.

Girls education was one of the main initiatives of “Alam SimSim”. When it comes to family needs, Egyptian girls are the ones who tend to be pulled out of school over boys to help out with the family if someone dies, or if help is needed to maintain a household. Of course, this happens everyone in the world. Yet, it’s more prevalent within the Egyptian culture. Sadly, in trying to help keep family together during a difficult time, the education so needed to enhance and empower the mind of young girls can be placed in jeopardy.

When we hear about the atrocities in countries like Nigeria and the kidnapping of over 200 girls in a school at the hands of Boko Haram, who remain missing today. Girls who are not allowed to go to school. Girls who are treated as pawns in a violent, bloody game.  Just look at the remarkable Milala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban over her rights to go to school.

Thoughts of these young women come to mind when I remember “Alam SimSim” and its initiative. Much like “Rechov SumSum” and “Shara’a SimSim” – The Workshop’s Israeli/Palestinian co-production whose hope was to show peace and common ground among Palestinian and Israeli children, I’m always amazed at the incredible dedication creative people with a mission have in enhancing the lives of children around the world. Whether it’s Michele Obama’s organization “Let Girls Learn” or Sesame Workshop – who was met with de-funding of the “Shara’a SimSim” due to a fight between the UN and Palestinian leaders.

That is why I hope to coach writers who never thought they have a voice to speak up and write their story – all in the name of Malala and the girls who disappeared from a classroom at the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria.  We all have a voice and a vision. We all have the freedom to write our words. In doing so, we can lead by example. We can help those who cannot write or creative – those who do not have freedom to learn, to grown, to be empowered by education.

I’m hoping to take this initiative and bring it all home soon.


Leave a comment

A Song to Move You From the Grind: The Alternate Routes

This song changed my life.

I heard it on KCRW one Saturday afternoon. It was beautiful. The guitar strings and floating chord lifted my mood, subconsciously worming its way through my mind and taking hold of my heart.

Maybe I did hear the words that day, but I didn’t listen.  Yet, the distressed subject and her Shakespearean name came through loud and clear. Desdemona – of “Othello”.  A symbol.  In the play, Desdemona was an innocent woman found in treacherous conditions by the confident of her husband – Iago – whose desire for revenge moved him to plant the seed of doubt within the ear of her husband the Moor, the false idea that his wife was a cheating whore. She wasn’t. Desdemona was forever true. Yet, she was a pawn in a game of power, innocently standing by as two forces beyond her control held her down with false beliefs, painted a picture that wasn’t here, ultimately leading to Othello strangling her.

One Monday morning, I was walking around the neighborhood near the studio where I work. It was lunch time and I wanted to get in some steps to keep my fitness going. But most of all, I just wanted to get out of the office, away from the grind of routine, the giant thumb I chose to hold me to a desk. I was in emotional pain. I relished the fresh air and the birds and the green trees and nature. It was horrible to think I had to return to the useless world I was living in behind that office gate.  The pay is below average. I worry about money. I was stuck, trying desperately to see the good in all this as I listened to my iPhone’s playlist on shuffle.

Then, this song came up. The intro transcended me like it did the first time I heard it on that Saturday, when I was free – when I was home with my dog drawing or writing. It put me back in the place in the middle of a Monday afternoon.

For the first time – I didn’t just hear the words – I listened to them.

Desdemona, help yourself
I hear you mourning at the dawn
Desdemona, ask which side
Of all this lying are you on

Did you build yourself a runway?
Did you tell yourself tomorrow?
Did you cry?
And are you dressed in hesitation
when you tell yourself that everything’s alright?

Cause I see a distance in your smile
And what your Mondays have become
could be the rest of your life
Desdemona, you’re not dead yet
No it’s not wrong
If you want everything in life under the sun
Under the sun*

It hit me like a brick to the head. I had to sit down and listen. These words weren’t just to a friend who was in despair over her choices, this was a plea for her to break free. Desdemona was me.
‘Cause everybody’s out there killing time
And I will be damned to let you stand here killing mine.
Don’t you know we’re gonna change a whole world today
We stop waiting on the world to change*
We always think that something is going to shift for us next year, in five years, in ten. One day, something will change. We sit back and wait until that happens. But we have to step into the moment and change the world instead of waiting for it to change for us.
Desdemona, we are not so very different
Do you see?
And at the moment braver still
Than what our minds let us believe*
The mind is a strong force. We have the power to break through and build the road to a happier world in our lives – to get up every morning and love what we do. You can apply the mind toward positive open possibilities, or you can allow the fat lard of doubt stifle us.   Even George Harrison wrote:
Watch out now,
Take care, beware of the thoughts that linger,
Winding up inside your head,
The hopeless surrounds you in the dead of night,
Beware of Darkness.**
Our minds should be refocused to harness the things you want to bring into your life. Freedom. Creating. Giving back. Helping others find their way.
Back to “Desdemona”:
Even the walls that will surround you
Somehow steady by your very own hands
I don’t know just how to change you
All I know is how to tell you that you can*
We do it to ourselves. We create the barriers, believing in struggle and work we hate to get by. Letting fear give us the false sense of purpose and survival.  There are people who wake up every day and don’t go to a job. Their minds are programmed to create, allowing their survival to be dependent on music or words or helping others in a particular field. You can change. I can change.
Cause I’ll never tell you how to live
But you keep on telling me
That’s just the way it is
Desdemona more then anything I know
Never tell yourself that’s just the way it goes
I know it goes
But what do I know*
We don’t want to preach this mindset to those who aren’t used to it.  But it’s worth telling a human in pain that there is a way out. It’s like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  Our happiness (or “home”) is one thought away.  We can change. We shouldn’t settle for the path fear leads us through.  It’s not the way it goes.
Tim Warren, one of the writers of this song, speaks of how he wrote it for his older sister, whom he saw as his hero. He found her crying late one Sunday over having to go back to the reality of her job on Monday. Meanwhile, he was free doing what he loves – creating, playing music, recording, traveling and performing. It broke him to see his sister devise a hard worn path to the same routine, when in contrast, he could wake up every day and live his passion.
I can only offer this to people like me – who are writers and artists in their own right – to change you mind about life. I’m working on it everyday, shedding my “Desdemona”.
But what do I know?  I’m learning it these days.
“Desdemona”, words and music by Tim Warren & Eric Donnelly*
“Beware of Darkness”, words and music by George Harrison.**


Leave a comment

Resistance Rules The Day: Call in Your Superhero

superheroes

In Steven Pressfield’s famous book “War of Art”, resistance is the common enemy of the artist and writer.  It makes you sleepy. It tells you to skip the work for today or not go to the gym (Yes, resistance is the enemy to your body.)  If you ever feel it, here’s what you do. Call in your personal superhero.

If you need to sit down and write that essay, the chapter of your book, or a blog post – like this – resistance will tell you to sit on your butt and surf the net. It will tell you to daydream or focus on what you’re going to do tonight. It will beat you up every time you succumb, leaving you unproductive and making you feel like you just ate a bucket of fried chicken – sluggish and ready to hate yourself.  Don’t let this happen. Teleport your own inner Captain America.

Today is one of those days for me. All week, and earlier today, I was revved up, getting my words into gear, studying and researching while keeping my eyes on the prize. Yet, now I’m burned to the core. Ready for a nap, drinking coffee in the late afternoon so I can go to the gym and at least use the elliptical. (No spin for me – not until I get my bike shoes.)

I’ve done a little work. For instance, I’ve researched the writer’s market. I’ve added more names to an email list I’m devising – so I can connect with like minded writers who can give me the low down on how they conduct their business so I can gather wisdom from the wise.

Meanwhile, I have actual office work to do – expense reports, travel plans for my bosses. It will get done. It always does.

But I’m run down today, folks. The writing was sparse. It happens. Best not beat myself up about it (nor you – if you’re going through the same struggle).

Nevertheless, here is an example of showing up.  My inside Wonder Woman just got really pissed off at being held in a closet with duct tape and a scarf around her mouth.  She just took the hard end of her boot and kicked down the door. I decided it felt better to get online and blog something – anything – then to dwell in the darkness and not do it at all.

You over there. Conjure up your Spiderman and scale the walls toward your Word document and write the thoughts drifting in your head. You’re wrapping old man “resistance” in your web, flinging the middle finger at his face. Tell that sucker – okay – I may not get the most done today, but I’m showing up. I’m writing the blog post. I’m adding a paragraph to a chapter in that book.

And you know what, old man resistance? I’m coming back for you tomorrow. Watch out for my tapping fingers and my productive brain. Look out for my bon mots or lousy first draft thoughts, soon to be honed into a usable piece of work. Screw you. You may rule today, but you won’t get the holy grail of my dead mind.

I’ve got my Terminator eye on you. You are in my crosshairs, dusty devil.

I will be back.


Leave a comment

The Lonely Hound

baxterhowls2

Baxter singing the blues at day care. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lynn.

My hound Baxter has separation anxiety.

I’ve tried everything. Bark Collars. Kongs. Treats hidden around the house. Hollistic calming chews. Training. Getting him tired in the morning. Day Care. Dog tranquilizers. Thousands of dollars in daycare, just to keep him out of the house. I’m now going a bit broke, and can no longer do this.

So, I purchased a Dropcam to monitor Baxter hound during the day. Plus, we live seven minutes away my office, allowing me to come home during lunch hours to walk him and keep him company.

But as I view him from the “puppy cam” (as we like to call it at work), I’ll observe.  There’s some white noise. The TV is on. The fan is on. He calms down for long periods of time. He’ll sleep quietly until he wakes up randomly, realizing once again – he’s alone.

So, he’ll jump off the sofa and head to the window. Then he’ll sit by the kitchen door, waiting for me to come back.  In between, he’ll lift his head and howl. His howl is a sad, mournful moan. It bugged my former next door neighbor, who was more inclined to get pissed off than try to understand the situation. Which made him worse. My new neighbor loves him and says he just sounds so sad.

It’s only during the day. He’s not a barker. He doesn’t bark at anything that passes by our door or window, although if someone is in the hall, he will grumble and maintain a low, guttural growl that only I can hear. Nothing more.

He only howls. Like a lonely hound. He howls the first half hour of daycare with dozens of dogs all around him. He howls if I have friends dogs over and we leave for a moment to do something.

He won’t howl when there are humans around, or if I’m there. The hound’s devotion to me is limitless. He lives to be with me.

I can no longer afford constant daycare. So he has to stay at home more often.

He will howl.

He will cry.

He will stop and sleep on the sofa or by the door.

He’ll play with the Kong or the rubber disc filled with chopped up doggie treats – but he’ll save most of that playing for when I get home.

He’ll pace a bit.

He’ll listen to a noise that’s not the television, get up, go to the door, and the settle down until I see his head turn up and his muzzle/mouth turn into an “O”.

And then I come home and he squeals with delight.

He’s a lonely hound with an owner who has to leave him to earn a living. Who’s trying to build a business on the side so she won’t have to leave so much. Although today is a challenging one. I have so much work to do and concerned my business is not something that will allow me to exist as an independent earner.  But I see my poor ginger hound and hope my efforts will pay off somehow.

He’s a quiet hound when it counts – at night and most of the day.  He’s actually quieter than the dogs in the building next door, who bark and yelp at mailmen and UPS drivers.

He’s a lonely hound who makes noise intermittently, but compared to the constant terrier and Chihuahua screechers all around the block, he gets the brunt of it all.  A hounds life isn’t easy.

So, The Baxter boy has to stay home.  I wish I could do the same.


Leave a comment

Fear and the Dinosaur at your Cave Hole

dino

“Hello! I’m your friendly dinosaur, and I’m here to eat you now.”

The amygdala is the portion of the brain in charge of fear. Its purpose is a left over from our caveman days when fear signaled to our bodies that danger was imminent. For instance, if a Tyrannosaurus rex was about to crush you under foot, your brain would flood with all kind of endorphins that would haul your ass out of its path. Fear and flight.

You’d think the human body would have evolved away from cave man days after thousands of years of civilization. We should be a fearless species in the technology age, and not be scared of life and the opportunities we can create.

Yet, in its own way, the ancient force of nature may play a factor in survival today.  Today’s fear allows us to step into a higher form of living. It allows us to break through adversity and survive at all costs. It’s just a question of how we chose to survive – by playing with fear or succumbing to it? If we succumb to it, we fail evolution and get crushed by the very thing that scares us.  If we dabble and laugh at fear, learning to play with it – we move into a higher level of consciousness and embrace the courage to go forth and do something we’ve never done before.

People who embrace fear are the thrill seekers. They are the ones who need the rush of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, or shoot off in a space capsule with its lasers set for the surface of the moon. They love roller coaster rides, sky diving or bungee jumping. They free fall off mountains with parachutes on their back.

Although we don’t have to exercise the frightening pull of such hobbies (there is no way on god’s green earth I will EVER jump off anything higher than 2 feet), the concept of fear is alive and well in regular people whose only thrill is doing something they’ve never done before in order to gain an exhilarating result.

That result can be writing a book and having it published. It can be stepping through the fear of taking an improv class, or pulling through stage fright when speaking in public for the first time. It can be writing this blog about fear, or joining a team of like minded business owners to brainstorm ways you can each achieve your goals.

Here’s another form of free fall sky diving: Leaving your regular day job and going forth as a full time business owner.  Talk about bunjee jumping. We don’t need to get strapped to the end of a giant rubber band over a bridge to gain that thrill. Try letting go of a safe corporate job to embark on your dreams once you’ve built the foundation. Say goodbye to the safety net of a paycheck, after one starts to see earnings and gaining clients whose lives are positively changing thanks to the product you’ve brought to the world. The fear of venturing out to acquire this success is something that can stop you in your tracks. But you have to pull through.

Then, there is another fear built into the general resistance that holds you back: The fear of failure. Failure is always one step away. It’s on the other side of the hill. It awaits you the moment you wake up. The amygdala is working on overdrive, because it’s reaching back and feeling the stomping feet of a modern day Deno the Dino.

But here’s the deal. If you don’t even try – you’ve already failed. Scared to do something you really want to do, but you give up?  Then you’ve failed. Nobody will listen to me or read my book?  Okay. You’ve failed. Look – no one is really reading my book (“Hitting Water”) because I’ve been too busy working on the next thing to promote it. I don’t look at that as a failure. I look at that as the first step in learning to write a book and promote it. Maybe it will take off in the years to come, after I’ve built a website community for writers and coach people in getting their writing out.  But if I didn’t try – I would have failed.  Just getting the book out was a big step. And that’s success to me.  If I hadn’t done it – I’d risk being miserable. I’d risk being bitter.

Failure is a lesson. Failure is a step toward the next thing, the next idea. If we succumb to fear because FAILURE is the brick wall that stops us – then we’re living in the hungry mouths of a pre-historic creature.

We shouldn’t stop working on our goals because a giant reptile was eying us for breakfast 50 million years ago. Move it on upwards. Dino isn’t roaring at our cave hole now – unless WE put him there.

This is pep talk to everyone dealing with the fear of doing something you love. It’s also a pep talk to myself.

Thanks for reading!


1 Comment

Re-Arranging Furniture

boholivingspace

This is not my home, but this boho living room is glorious.

I spent the better part of Saturday re-arranging the furniture in my living room. I had to. I’ve lived in my apartment for 2 1/2 years, and kept the layout the same as the day I moved in.  I shoved the armoire over there and that table and wall hanging over here. They all sat in their designated spots, each in the wrong place, with lack of foresight or understanding of how major items of furniture should be centralized instead of hidden against back walls and corners. There’s a reason why accent tables were given their name. They accentuate areas relegated as after thoughts. That corner near the door – that back wall near the kitchen.

In re-creating my space, it allowed me to re-arrange the energy around me. I’ve always held a connection between visuals and spiritual well being. Maybe it’s the Sagittarius in me. I love aesthetics. Vibrant colors, patterns and textures provide a sense of calmness. Areas allotted for open space allow the air to circulate. I breathe easier. The flow works better. The mind becomes uncluttered and stimulated. The climate within my walls has changed for the better. Ideas for writing and business are cleared for take off. But this is only a recent change. It wasn’t always this way.

For the past two years, there was a particularly challenging neighbor who lived next door. We shared the main living room wall. A few days after I moved in, my welcome from her was a knock on the door to tell me my dog cried all day while I was at work. It wasn’t exactly a nice house warming, but I didn’t expect much. I felt terrible about it and tried my best to bring in dog walkers and friends who would hang out and calm him down until he got used to the new place. But that didn’t last since she ambushed them at my door, complaining that she told the lady (me) about how my dog cries all day.

One of my friends felt backed into a corner by her, and called her a bitch. If you knew my kind hearted friend, you’d realize that she really had to be badly spoken to for that word to come out. I’ve been on the receiving end of this neighbor’s wrath, and it was easy to be placed in a defensive mode. That was the neighbor’s energy. My friend loves my dog, and sadly said she could no longer come by to hang out with him. The vibes next door were too negative.

I spent the next two years trying to keep the peace by spending thousands of dollars on doggy day care. Money I could have spent building my business. Money I could have spent going back home to New York. Money I could have spent buying new clothes and a desk to write on. I let her do this to me. I own that. But her energy was a darkness.

You might ask, well – what did you do to provoke her? Nothing. Really. She kind of scared me. I wanted nothing of her, and feared her knock on my back door.  I stayed to myself, went to work, kept my dog out of the house, or took him with me for night time excursions to the supermarket. I lived my life and minded my own business.

If we encountered each other, I’d be grateful if she was nice to me. She gave me her phone number in case I needed help while recuperating from surgery.  She tried to be friendly when the dust up of our last argument settled, confrontations started by her. Yet, I was always uncomfortable – always felt awkward which must have made her feel the same.

There was something going on beyond that wall.  Maybe her stay at home business was going under? Maybe she was emotionally damaged?  Maybe she thought I was the negative force? Just the idea bothers me intensely. I contributed nothing to the emotional state she chose to live by, and I resented being pulled into her drama.

One night, I noticed a flash of light beyond my kitchen door. (We shared a back landing – our kitchen doors faced each other about 10 feet away.)  I looked through my door window to find her hovered over a pot, burning sage or paper, practicing what I could only guess was the art of smudging, because the next day, I found a piece of paper under her door with smudged markings on it. It stayed there for weeks.

I’m not sure if this was because of me, or if she was warding off other negative forces happening in her life.  It seemed that on any given day, she would also burn sage outside her back door in broad daylight. As a devotee of burning incense myself, I truly respect the practice of burning sage. However, knowing the person behind the smoke, the intent was questionable. The smoke would enter my kitchen smelling like bad weed.

Sadly, the sage couldn’t save her from the man who kept ringing her doorbell and knocking on the back door the she refused to answer. It couldn’t dissipate her dispute with the building management.  It couldn’t prevent her from presumably having to leave her apartment for not paying rent. The current new tenant said he accidentally opened mail he thought was addressed to him from our management firm. It was really for her, stating she owed several thousands of dollars in rent. (Funny, she told me the landlord owed her.)

I can’t be mad at her. She was likely an angry soul fighting for her right to live on her own terms, even if it forced others with sensitive natures to live under her darkness. Depending on one’s past and psychological make up, when a person feels powerless, they try to control others to compensate. I was her prey. And I allowed it – just to keep the peace. I didn’t want to hear that angry knock on my door.

Now, that she’s gone, and my  new neighbor is a dog loving sweetheart of a guy – the air has cleared. My lessons have been learned. I’ve moved my armoire to the main wall, my pretty furniture to the forefront, my sofa sideways, my big photo over there and my pretty mirror over the faux fireplace mantel. I even set up a dropcam so I can see my dog at home while I’m at work, and can monitor his, what turns out to be, infrequent crying. (He’s a hound. He gets lonely.)

It’s clearing. The webs and the darkness. Open spaces, light and fresh new air.

As for the former neighbor – I hope she finds peace. I really do. There are millions of people in this world who are as angry and as tormented as she. Let’s hope they all find the open space and the fresh air.

Meanwhile – things are shifting nicely.


Leave a comment

“On The First of March, On the Holiday…”

To those who celebrate, Happy Casimir Pulaski Day.

Sufjan Stevens wrote a song about a friend who passed away on this day, but in creating the story, he brought forth a holiday that goes unnoticed for some in the U.S.A.  We never celebrate it in New York or California. Do you? (A little ditty about Jacksonville is also included.) Enjoy it on a Sunday!