Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'd Rather Be Writing

As I listen to Sarah Mclaughlin sing “in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.” I’m reading from a Woman’s Health Magazine, May 2012 issue…I don’t think I’ve ever picked one up before but it’s very early in the morning and this goo on my head requires some distraction. The topics are pretty interesting and yes, I did read the whole article of how to have better sex. I admit at 46, I wondered while I read the tips…how can there be article after article written about this? But they continue to be written, and continued to be read.

I question my haircut EVERY month that I enter Michael’s Hair Studio. He knows it and has over the years learned to just take the lead and basically tell me to come in, sit down, and shut up. He started cutting my hair in 2006 (?) When it was down below my waist, entering my forties, I was having trouble with “my image” as I attempted to go through the hiring process with the Lexington Police. At one point I decided, because of the length of my hair, they viewed me as matronly. No one objected to that line of thought, and Michael being a hair stylist probably was very happy that day as he got to recreate my image. It wasn’t until a year or so later that as I attended my daughter’s wedding and was able to see how my hair was almost completely grey, that I decided to start wearing this goo on a monthly basis. I went home from her wedding and my friend colored my hair, and I’ve been donating to the Michael’s Beauty Fund for years now.

As I read this magazine I came up on a “Ask the Guy Next Door” column. The first question, as I smell of the dreaded goo and embark upon my ump-tenth time of getting the cut that is will create the me that I can’t find…, the first question jumps out at me: ”Do guys really hate short hair”

He says, "Hate is a strong word; I prefer to say men really love long hair." “Short hair requires and signals to a guy---confidence, strength and determination." (Ah, that was what I was looking for six years ago.) Then he goes onto say, “Think about it, you’re willfully foregoing one of the most obvious things that visually differentiate men and women.” Just so you know, I’m now, after reading that, thinking I might want to start wearing a pink bow in my short hair so at first glance my gender will be obvious to the male freaking species. As I read, my thoughts are ricocheting around causing ultimate chaos….even though a short hair cut signals, confidence, strength and determination, the males, “love” long hair…and long hair signals…(?) the opposite? low self esteem ,weakness and easily swayed from goals? And if so, what does that say about the guy?!?!And if the long hair is what is the most obvious thing that differentiates men from women than how come males seem to connect with the chest of a female and the curvature of the lower regions? Hair? Are you serious? Of all the things I overhear the males in my world discuss about the women they “observe” NEVER have I EVER heard them say, “She really has nice hair…OR…I just love her long hair!” But back to the male prefers the opposite look of what the short hair cut portrays… are you freaking serious? Yes, I’m afraid you really are. Geez.

Disclaimer: I know MANY long haired women that are confident, determined and strong.

You know you always learn things in a hair salon. Either I’m not awake enough to sort this lesson or I am just so aggravated by what I think I’ve learned that I have closed my mind.

Either way, I’ve lost my grey again…I’m walking out of Michael's with confidence, strength and determination and less in my bank account.

It’s all good though….You know, “Youre only as good as your last haircut.”---Fran Lebowitz

In The Arms Of An Angel

Spend all your time waiting

For that second chance

For a break that would make it okay

There's always some reason

To feel not good enough

And it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction

A beautiful release

Memories seep from my veins

It may be empty

Oh, and weightless and maybe

I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel

Fly away from here

From this dark, cold hotel room

And the endlessness that you feel

You are pulled from the wreckage

Of your silent reverie

You're in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort here

So tired of this straight line

And everywhere you turn

There's vultures and thieves at your back

The storm keeps on twisting

Keep on building the lies

That you make up for all that you lack

It don't make no difference

Escape them one last time

It's easier to believe

In this sweet madness

Oh, this glorious sadness

That brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel

Fly away from here

From this dark, cold hotel room

And the endlessness that you feel

You are pulled from the wreckage

Of your silent reverie

You're in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort here

You're in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort here

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Unfinished Pot

by Donna Shepherd

The potter cleared his work area, washed his hands and proceeded to prepare to go home. After a long days work, it was time to go home to his family. One would think the shop would sit in silence till he returned the next day. But as the door closed and locked behind him, a faint whimpering filled the air. Coming from the far table sat the makings of a medium size pitcher.

" I can't keep going through this. The constant pounding, I felt I wouldn't make it through and now I find out I will be put in a fire. I've had all I can take. Please, let me be."

Others sighed as if to agree, while another without any emotion at all replied, "Oh, get over it, we all go through it-you'll be no different."

"I won't, I can't take anymore. I just want to be okay, I want it all to stop."

Out of the shadows came a much older voice. Much older than any voice heard from all of the pottery.

"Do you realize what you're saying?"

Not a real deep pot but a good size, his height not any more than most pots, at first glance you'd of thought he was ordinary. If you caught a glance at one side of him you would see the makings of a fine pot. Very intricate markings had been started, with such fine detail you knew he must have been special ordered. But you could see plainly it just stopped abruptly, leaving him with an unfinished look.

With sad, gray eyes he asked again, "Are you aware what stopping the process means?"

"To me," the whimpering pot answered,"it means no more pain, no more ugly pain, a resting, so to say."

"But my dear friend, it means so much more."

A quietness fell across the storage room. For this pot seemed to have a heaviness in his voice yet a caring concern and they waited for him to expound.

"As you are, so once was I," he began. Ordered for a family that wanted a priceless heirloom to pass down through each generation, the potter felt an excitement he'd never felt before, being assigned to such a meaningful creation. He drew up many ideas. Going only for the best, the finest detail, of which he would be proud to sign his name to at the completion.

At first, I felt the excitement, too. As he chose me for the finer clay. I knew he
was going to make me special. I was very eager, until, well, he started

Sittting here, I've seen lumps of clay transformed into useful pots and vases. They all have meaning in life, but me.I stopped it all. It was as if I jumped to the floor and shattered to pieces. Life as it was meant to be for me, ended.
It hurt to much. I felt it took so much out of me so one day as the potter sat putting the finer details on me, I folded. After days and days of complaining I had gotten his attention. He left the decision up to me and I called it off.
I had become so unworkable that he couldn't take me any further.

Listen to an old pot, don't complain and quit. Remember the potter is working to make you strong, durable and useful. A vessel to be proud of. What seems like harshness if just intricate designing. If you stop now you stop the whole process only to be out of the race. Just to sit on this shelf left to wonder how things would have been if you had lived the life of the vessel that endured the hard times.

You know, all the vessels have went through the same pain. But I hear their owners come in and give such good reports of how well made they are and how useful. The vase that was made for the hospital having accommodated so many bouquets and cheered so many as they were sick. The cup that was made for a special father, he used it every morning and when he died, is now priceless to his son. What joy would have been lost had they folded under the pressure.

So stand still and be strong. Try to remember the potter is only doing what is necessary to take you further to be useful. Trust him; as he knows his business.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Find Me in These Fields

The majority of my childhood, the house we lived in on Route 1 was backed up to a field. It was another world for me. I played up and down the length of the street behind everyone’s houses. I remember tics having to be tweezed out of my scalp, burrs on my socks. I took blades of grass and made the greatest sounds as I blew on them taunt between my thumbs.

Great treasures were found in those tall grasses…butterflies, wildflowers, lady bugs, “money stealers” and let’s not forget the snapping turtle that came out of the field…so big and scary but I wanted to keep it. The “money stealers” I think now might have been milkweed, but I would take them in the house and keep them as pets…in my jewelry box with the musical ballerina. I’d let them out to fly around the bedroom and place them back into captivity. A bit of the field in my own bedroom.

All kinds of role playing went on in the field…including Charlie’s Angels. We had only seen a few of the episodes … but Scarlet, when she played was Farah Fawcett, Melanie was Kate Jackson and I was Jaclyn Smith. And to be quite honest….I think I played my role by myself a lot of times. :O) The only time I really remember them playing was in the foundation of a house way back in the field where a new subdivision was springing up.

The Birds…I loved the birds…the songs, sometimes I gathered feathers and always felt lucky to find one. And these birds, well, hanging out with the birds for years…I hear…earned me hystoplasmosis. It’s one of those things you can have and not have any symptoms or you can be real sick from it. I found out I had it about 19 years ago when I went to the Chiropractor and after Xrays he showed me lots of little spots on my lungs…I was told I developed antibodies that encased each spot and protected me from infection…crazy, huh? But I’ve seen them on the X-rays…I hate to blame it all on the birds…I think the fugus grew in the mold on the basement walls of the church I grew up in, too.

Anyway…the birds shouldn’t be solely to blame…and whether they are…or not…I have so enjoyed their songs…their flight…in fact one of my favorite Bible verses growing up reads, “Oh, that I had wings like the dove, I’d fly away and find rest.”

So, I’m reminded today as I walked through the field behind my house…of my childhood field and the joys and trauma’s I experienced in them. Trauma? Oh, yea…Melanie jumped off the fence onto a cattle ramp…and onto a rusty nail…that went right up into her foot. The way home was so long…and other trauma’s we won’t mention here.

It’s funny, as I walked today, I started singing a song by Phil Keaggy, that I heard a good 20 years ago…and honestly hadn’t heard it since, that I can recall. “Find Me In These Fields.” The lyrics are very soothing…the melody reminds me of Paul McCartney’s work.

I have a field loving partner, too…My Daisy, girl…she loves the field…the tree line, the creek, the hay barn, the groundhogs. She was chasing a hawk today…little does she know the hurt that mighty hunter could have put on her.

The breeze couldn’t have been any finer than it was today. Neither one of us wanted to turn back. I took self portraits in the yellow flowers. I’ve wanted to have pictures taken in them…cause my grand kids and Daisy look so awesome in the midst of them. Of course, on the edge of 47, I cannot even come close to their striking photos, but I’m documented now…in yellow flowers…just like they are.

The yellow flowers up close are so full of imperfections. I tried to do some close ups the other day and they resemble nothing but weeds. But if you stand back and see them from a distance in a grouping... they are vibrant. ...Maybe analyzing (close up) takes the beauty out of the here and now.

That being one of the thoughts I had as I walked the “Hundred Acre Wood.”

To sit in the midst of the field…and see the tallest trees framing the sky at it’s bluest…to have the flowers and the grasses blowing around you…the songs of so many different birds, but the “Conk-a-reeeee” of the red winged black bird…dominate…I don’t even remember hearing the highway…I never noticed the traffic some distance off…and flutterbys flitting here and there. I’m telling you…I am at rest. My mind can actually drift away from worries.

I escaped to the fields as a child…for pleasure…and here, teetering closer to another year…I am again…finding pleasure in this God created sanctuary.