Archive for January, 2010

Tick Tock

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2010 by Queenie

There are a lot of potential topics rattling around in my head lately.  I’ve got several in storage here and there, fits and starts and maybes and Don’t Go Theres, but I’m leaning toward putting fingers to keyboard and plowing ahead whether I know exactly where ahead is, or not.  When I wrote about just who Queenie is, describing her, one thing that I noted was that she no longer suffered fools, and maybe that is going to go a little further here, saying that she no longer tolerates irritating, befuddling, untoward or disappointing behavior.  I have a whole topic started, not yet tended to, about Disappointment, and maybe that’s going to raise its head here.  I think so.  It all applies, however, to the irrevocable passage of Time, an unrelenting aspect of life no matter how you slice it.  There’s always way too much time to wait for things when you’re a child.  The school year is endless – Christmas is eons away.  How long till we’re old enough to drive, or date, or whatever stupendous adult participation game we might be considering.  And then we make it to glorious adulthood, and we’re trying to catch Time’s tail and drag it down, slow it down, say Whoa!  Wait a minute.  And then before we know it, we’re damn near old.  Or we’re supposed to have attained maturity.  Or just something.  Meantime we do our thing, or try to figure out just what our Thing is, and fit it all into what we define as our very finite lives.  Tick Tock.  Time marches on.  Or it fairly well careens.

And so Queenie suffered a Disappointment this week.  I found myself disappointed in someone, a long time friend, who had made a promise and a commitment, only to succumb to Fear, (my old “favorite” foe), and let a glorious opportunity slip out of her grasp.  Hell, it didn’t slip away, she threw it.  I know we’re not supposed to be judgmental, and we’re supposed to let people be who they are and forgive them, (I suppose ax murderers and their ilk are exempt from such high minded consideration), but I weary of capitulation to the power of our lesser selves, living up, (down, actually), to our lowest expectations of ourselves.  Is it really so much easier to say No to our potential, our possibilities, than do the work and take the chance to find ourselves smack in a new place on a higher plane?  My friend did just that.  She said No, and I have to let her have her way with herself, but she disappointed me.  And then she said the saddest thing, while copping to what she knew she’d done.  She said, as if in some sort of contrived defense of herself: I’ve been disappointing people my whole life. If I could’ve gotten myself through the phone line and found myself facing her in the flesh, I think I would’ve wanted to shake her.  What a pitiful thing to say, and how even more pitiful to have to live it.  She couldn’t even draw herself up and say something strong about her decision to renege on her prior decision, for right or wrong reasons whatever they may have been; she just retreated into Fear and a familiar path of not challenging herself to change or attempt a new, empowering experience.  Just a weak voiced “I just can’t do it.”  And there it was.  She went from the heights of potential and challenge to a weak and utter surrender, to all the things that “might” happen.  Pity.  And as much as I (and she) consider how she disappointed me, I wonder how (or if) she feels about disappointing herself.

Now, however, I turn the mirror to my own self, as I know I must, for in most cases like this it takes one to know one.  I lost years of my life to Fear.  Years.  Years spent in half living, forcing down my feelings or covering them all up in pretty paper, trying to disguise what was really there.  Or else I was able to blame others for my predicaments, having their bad behavior trump my martyrdom.  You can be a victim only once.  After that, if you allow a repeat, (or many of them), of intolerable actions and continue to wallow in your victimhood, you’ve traded in your Scarlet V for the Big M – you’re now a Martyr, and for the most part it’s a tarnished crown to wear.  They might be martyrs, those you hear about in glowing historical accolades, but they’re still dead.  Not my cup of tea.

And yet, I still embrace my own little fear when it comes to some aspects of Adventure.  I refuse to fly.  I haven’t set foot in one of those shiny tubes since about 1980, and I haven’t missed it once.  I figure most everywhere I really want to go I can get there by four wheels, and that suits me just fine.  (That way I can stop to smell the creosote bushes and perhaps take pictures?)  And it’s pretty much at my own pace and whim, which is a queenly thing to be able to claim.  Now if I were faced with some dire prospect of having to be somewhere, in the quickest method possible, and it were truly a life or death scenario, then, well, OK, I guess I’d figure out a way to endure it.  Perhaps drugs would be involved.  One time decades ago I flew into Albuquerque having had about three drinks in the course of the flight, and I had me a fabulous time.  Of course with all the security these days I don’t think it’s quite the glamorous affair any longer, and it doesn’t appeal to me in the least.  But truth be told, I expected my friend to get her butt on a plane from there to here, which she does with not so much trepidation, and then we’d be on our merry way.  (Although at one time she did say she might avail herself of a train ride, which is what I’d do if I went to see her – if I didn’t drive, that is.)  Of course Not Flying is MY business, even if not coming on this other particular adventure is hers.  (But then, I never said I’d fly somewhere and then took it back, derailing the entire hootenanny.)  Everyone who knows me knows – I don’t fly.  Period.

And here’s the rub.  I have another adventuresome friend who puts me in the shade.  She’s been everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  Antarctica, Myanmar, South America, Mongolia, Australia, Bali.  She’s Bona Fide, no doubt about it.  And she’s on me about getting on a plane.  She’s as much as dared me to live up to my own hype, and asked me to join her in Bali some one of these days.  Near as I can figure, I don’t think there’s train service to there yet, nor a tunnel under the ocean quite drivable.  So how can I serve Disappointment Papers to my friend who turned down the adventure of a lifetime on her terms, when I’m holding up my own fear card and missing out on another?  I claim a technical foul, however, since I never said that I WOULD fly to Bali, not yet anyway.  I’m not sure there’s enough wine to get my mind in that place, and it does need to be a sober decision.  So my positive, adventuresome friend can be disappointed in me because I won’t belly up to the bar to fly, but she hasn’t yet had to deal with my dissolving a pledge to do so.  And there, so far at least, is the difference.  Am I splitting hairs?

So I am still eating Disappointment Pie, which is high in empty calories and short on the yum factor.  I’m not sure what my backing out friend is eating, but I can say I’ll bet it’s not very flavorful, and probably doesn’t sit well on the stomach.  Still leaves you feeling empty, if not bloated at the same time.  And I’m not sure where things sit between me and my friend.  Right now there’s a gulf between us, not bridged by highways or train tracks, or even flight paths.  I know she feels bad – we both do.  We’ll see what our friendship is really made of, but something else was broken, and that was Trust, and that’s a whole ‘nother subject.  Stay tuned.  Queenie’s got lots to say about this Trust matter.  But we’ll hold off on that “digression” thing for now.

So today I did what I said what I would do, and wrote out the check for the deposit for another ride down the river.  There are perhaps as many legitimate reasons for me NOT to take this trip as there are to go – maybe more.  It’s expensive.  There are other things I “need” to be doing.  The Queen Mum is rickety and will have a medical procedure to endure before I go, and I’ll be gone for a goodly while, and that weighs heavy.  My vehicle needs work.  Hell, I need work.  I could go on and on about the negatives, but….. the clock is ticking.  This may be the last chance I have to do something of this magnitude.  My bones aren’t getting any younger.

My life is dedicated to adventure and living that life, righteously, on my terms, as much as is possible, even if it doesn’t include air travel at this point.  I’ve already committed to friends and fellow rafters that I will be there, and I promised myself that I will write the chronicle of Queenie Does the River.  And barring any fickle fingers of fate, I WILL be there.  I mean it when I say “Count on me.”  And I don’t want to disappoint those who are doing just that.  (Besides, you can’t wait to read the story, right?)

I truly hate to think that I’ve disappointed anyone – does not feel good – at all.  So I guess maybe my friend’s not feeling any too swell about herself right about now, and it’s a condition she’s nurtured for years, by her own admission.  Yikes.  I will miss her on the big ride, but I suppose she’s content in her “safe” life, and comfortable in her soft sheets.  But she won’t be seeing any shooting stars while listening to the rumble of the rapids.  Oh well.  As Queenie has been known to say:  The meaning of life is Choice.  And we both made ours.

I don’t think we came to the planet to be safe, and it’s not a safe world out there.  Just a week ago I was on my way to visit friends on a two lane road and passed a wreck that had had occurred only a short time before.  A car had gone over the line, another was involved, but there was a sheet of fabric covering where the driver’s door used to be on the vehicle that had rolled off the road after the collision.  It was obvious someone was dead behind that covering.  I found out later she was only nineteen years old, a beautiful young woman with all sorts of things going on in her life.  Tick Tock.  Obviously, again, there’s no safety on the highway, and statistics would have us believe that flying is indeed “safer” than dealing with the many who can’t drive worth a hoot, or stay awake, or who are too busy texting to stay in their own lane.  Or drinking, or speeding, or fumbling with a CD or flipping somebody off.  I guess I’d better start thinking about how much I can cram into carry on luggage if I decide to experience Bali with my friend.  And I get to face a fear.  Oh joy.  Of course, I could always check on working my way across the ocean on a tramp steamer – do they still have those?

Meantime, I’m going for the Big Ride on the River with old friends and new.  Tally Ho, and good luck keeping our knickers dry.  YaHoooooooo, and let the adventure begin.


This Thing, That Thing, and Several Others…. not necessarily in that order

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2010 by Queenie

We took the Queen Mum for yet another doctor’s appointment today.  Now many of you know that I dedicated my little book to my precious mother.  In that dedication, I called her “the Queen Mum, so to speak,” and thought that everyone would understand that she is my mother, and not Queenie.  There is only the one of each of us, and one is quite enough, very probably.  I, your faithful scribe, am Queenie, and the Queen Mum is my mother, my one of a kind, broke-the-mold mother, who came endowed with perhaps the hardest head known to man.  And I must say, it appears that such a thing can be passed down from generation to generation.  A more sobering pause comes when I consider that other such things, the “Its” in life, are said to skip generations.  If indeed that is so, then I have to allow for what might be in store if I take after my grandmother, who to some would have been deemed certifiable.  I should know – I saw her in action.  Attention must be paid, and that bud nipped.  However, she was the beginning of the raft of redheads that came down the pike on the matriarchal side of my family, also artistically gifted, and now I have come along and derailed the bloodline.  I have no issue.  Once upon a time I thought I would, but that ship has sailed, and all the madness (and a lot of the fun) ends with me, I suppose.

But back to the Queen Mum thing:  I seem to have learned at the feet of the master about being hard headed.  Some have been known to describe such a condition as stubbornness, and I’m sure still others would have other less than complimentary definitions about how they might have “described” either or both of us.  We seem to come rather as a package deal, and it’s definitely an acquired taste – unless you happen to “get us,” early on.  And if you don’t get us, (and I assure you we’re absolutely wonderful on some levels, and admittedly, uh, let’s say, quirky on several others) – well, if you manage to get crosswise with my mother, it will be an interesting relationship.  She says little, but she’s very powerful.  And on the other hand, extremely fragile.  But she would never show you that, if there were any way she could avoid it.  It must be that “cold English” bloodline that she inherited.  I sure didn’t get it.  I must’ve gotten the warm-blooded devil-may-care Polack influence from my father’s side of the family.  Didn’t work too well for any of them, as much as I’ve heard about them.  They either disappeared or died young, or both.  It’s amazing to me that I’ve outlived my father by going on ten years.  If I had died at the age he died, I would’ve been dead over eight years now.  For some reason, I always find that interesting to think about.

But the Queen Mum, she’s of different stock.  If she ever says she doesn’t feel good, you’d better get ready to find medical help.  She’s just like her father, who had a heart attack at 81, I believe, and REFUSED to let his wife call 911.  And she was of such a mind and attitude to actually obey him.  He died, a couple days after that, in the hospital where she finally got him, too late, and he was gone before we could even get there to see him.  I would’ve liked to have told my grandfather goodbye.  He was, in my childhood, perhaps the most meaningful male figure in my life, and I’d say he set the course of it – in several aspects.  My father was, for a long time, maybe the most “influential,” but it was hardly in a good way.  I’m sure I am one of legions who grew up with an alcoholic parent.  In my youth, it was not talked about so much, except perhaps with the most intimate of friends, and they were not likely to believe it until they saw it happening before their very eyes.  The reality of that discovery was not a pretty thing to see shattered when they got to see that other side of my father.  He was the Daddy of the Neighborhood, the ones my friends thought was the coolest dad – he put on a great show.   Only he wasn’t really there.  Not for Real.

And now, may I say:  Oh my.  Because I realize I just wrote a perfect description of my ex-beloved, and what a series of events had to take place for me to come face to face with the fact that once again, unbelievably so, I picked “my father” in a supposed mate, looking to find that happy ending that I could resurrect from my childhood and heal, duh, only to see another exalted relationship crash and burn.  I think however, this time, the lesson was finally learned.  And what a lesson.  Damn near extinguished me for a while.  Very interesting, these lessons.  And painfully, so utterly textbook.  I couldn’t even come up with an original malady of childhood angst.

All this train of thought commenced when I started talking about my mother.  She has another whack of cancer, albeit this one is supposed to be very common, (something on her face), and treatable in an office visit with local anesthesia.  That’s all supposed to make me feel better, I guess, but I tire of fractured victories that still come with a price.  Do all victories come at a price?  Do we have to wage war against SOMETHING just to claim a victory?  Do we have to spell victory with a capital V?  Victory?  And yet, there are many things I choose to feel victorious about, so we’re back again at that place which often raises my hackles: It is what it is.  And sometimes it’s just a matter of subject matter, and not the wad I have often found my knickers in.

My mother is beyond getting old.  She seems ageless in so many ways – still funny, still hip.  Still something close to a best friend.  We can still crack each other up.  But the truth of it is, she really is “old.”  In her body.  But her mind is 110 percent.  At least with most things, like math and schedules and left brained stuff that makes my head spin.  Sometimes,though, she doesn’t remember so well where the car is or which way we came down the hall when we’re at some new or different place.  I hate that.  I don’t want to lose one iota of her.  Or see her slip away.  However it happens, it will happen, and I am certainly old enough, as is she, to know that it’s coming.  Sooner than all the years that I have had her.  And I will never be ready.  Never.  Simple as that.  Just never.

She has been the best, but certainly not always the wisest, thing in my life.  She saved me too many times.  I know that.  She still saves me.  Probably daily, one way or another.  It took her a long time for her to save herself.  Now I need to learn how to save myself.  And I would save her however I can, though she would want to tell you she doesn’t want, or need, saving.  Or even help.  Last thing you could ever get her to ask for, is help, no siree.  But now, she takes my arm if I’m there to offer it as she gets herself from place to place when we go out, which isn’t that much, except to appointments and she STILL goes to the grocery store – and hurts afterwards.  She still gets up and feeds the deer every morning and evening, and the neighborhood dogs come to see her always, like she’s the Pied Piper of dog cookies, which indeed she is.  The Queen Mum is not without her minions, not at all.  Birds, deer, squirrels, dogs, cats, a peacock, raccoons – they’re all on her list.  We even had a skunk for a while, but he got to looking bad, coming around less, and then I found him dead in the garage.  So I took him and buried him under rocks beneath my favorite oak tree in the Back 40.  I thought it as befitting an end as I could muster.  Of course it was summer hot, and I hadn’t considered the prevailing, persistent Southern breezes we get in the summer months, and I placed him to the South – upwind.  About a week later, it started.  And we were skunked for weeks.  Not directly, but most of the time.  It sure wasn’t the sweet, intoxicating scent of the Agaritas in bloom that wafted over the ranch.  Not such a swell move for one who is always attempting this sacred connection with Nature.  Well, I can’t say as we weren’t connected for a while.  But I digress… like I’ve said before, I do that a lot.

My mother actually said something to one of my previous boyfriends… (And may I interject here that a woman of my age is entirely too old to have a “boyfriend.”  It is just not a personage I care to have around me at this point – a boyfriend.  There’s just something – hell, I don’t know what –  something almost silly about it,  Now when I get to my 80’s, I imagine I might well be downright thrilled to have a boyfriend.  And maybe I’m just too lately smarting from the last one – the thought of one doesn’t appeal to me yet.)  Anyway, one of them said something idiotic enough to her to inspire her to joke about hitting some deserving man upside the head with a frying pan, (evidently that’s what they did in her day, or threatened to), and I swear, he was forever afeared that she might do just that to him.  Hilarious.  That was two boyfriends ago.  He’s usually referred to as HeWho #1.  As in “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken.”  Actually I think it spells better as HeHoo.  We have, alas, at this point made it all the way to HeHoo #3, previously referred to in these parts as TG.  Calling him TG is still affording him some manner of courtesy.  When I regularly start calling him HeHoo #3, I will know that I am healed.

There were, I must say, several other participants before the HeHoo Series, but this isn’t supposed to be that kind of a blog.  However, at this point I can’t say as I have a total concept about exactly what this blog is to be about, so anything’s fair game.  I’ve already done a movie review, so I suppose I am journalistically sullied.  Oh well, better to have gotten that over with early on.  I can now proceed untrepidated.

I rather fancy myself somewhat similar to the heroine in Something’s Got to Give.  Holy damn, another chick movie reference, I know…. But it’s just too similar to what is transpiring in my own life.  The “he” doesn’t exactly matter – exactly – but the “she” is a talented playwright, somewhat long in tooth in Hollywood standards, (not as long as I am, dammit, but in the ballpark), and she falls in love with a charismatic lothario,  (which I just looked up to make sure, and it means:  handsome, seductive ladies man), who when he met her let down his guard and actually fell in love with her, and she him, but he couldn’t own it and he fled and broke her heart.  Quite similar to my own latest story, except that we kept taking turns fleeing each other.  He solidly mounted the first flight, the second was my doing, but I suppose we’d both claim the lowering of the last and final curtain in order to be able to live with our respective selves.  There were both major and minor kerfuffles throughout our long running non-union, but they were off Broadway productions and didn’t last.  The show kept going on, and on, and on, despite tepid reviews by the truthful critics.

But back to our movie….. Our heroine proceeded to process her grief, crying copious amounts, for a long time, until she finally started writing about it and sure enough, laughter started to creep into the words, and then a laugh might actually spill out of her, only to be quickly replaced by the sobs.  In due time, the sobbing subsided.  In the movie, this is when the enlightened, suave and ridiculously handsome younger man, (a doctor, mind you, so you know this is a movie), reenters her life and proceeds to, apparently, sweep her back off her feet, again.  He, at least, is WILLING and HAPPY to love her.  Should I tell you the end of the story – perhaps not – for that’s not what my analogy is about.  Prince Swoonworthy has yet to cross my path, and I’m not sure what I’d do with him if he did.  (I know, just like she did in the movie.)  What I want to do, in my personal little movie here, is concentrate on the writing part, and see what comes of it.  It is a gift, I know it, and I must honor it.  Well, I say it’s a gift – I feel like I open a present every time I get a comment – a connection – on this blog.  I’m not sure what I’m aspiring to, only that I aspire, and perhaps, at this point in time, that is enough.

Oh dear, dare I think to entertain by adding more of the pithy parts of my personal life?  My private (?),“personal” life?  Think about it.  How much of ourselves DO we share, really?  How much do our friends really want to listen when we have serious stuff to impart – that we NEED to talk about – and it takes a patient and willing, and caring listener.  Maybe that’s all it really boils down to – perhaps all we’re really looking for, as much as we care to own it, is someone who CARES.  Then there’s the caring and the doing, and that’s where the rubber meets the road.  That ACTION thing.  But sometimes the action is something as simple as shelving our own BS long enough to listen, and to care, about somebody else’s.  And that, my friends, is LOVE.

I wish all of you times full of such things, and lovely, caring people in your lives.  May we find beauty in the fact that we are – alive.  Let us do our lives justice, for indeed they are gifts.  And remember what you say when you get a gift – Thank You.

And now I get it – when “they” say it’s all gifts – even the ones we don’t want.  Eventually we have to get to Thank You.  Even when it seems impossible.  I’m not quite there yet.  I’m still in frying pan mode when it comes to thinking about TG.  When he finally makes it to the ignominious ranking of HeHoo #3, I’ll lay my skillet down.  Then I can get on with the business of Forgiving – both of us.

But right now, I will say, Thank You for my mother, one of the best gifts I ever got, hard head and all.  She’s a keeper.

What Would Queenie Do?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 by Queenie

Egads.  Look what I’ve gone and written. Now there’s the possibility that someone could be thinking I’m getting awfully big for my britches, (and danged if my jeans aren’t WAY too tight after the uh, holiday season – whoopee), and that I’m getting close to thinking that I’m some holy woman….. Well, we ARE all holy, and maybe some of us holier than others, but I assure you it’s not really something to which I aspire – exactly.  I think Spiritual would be fine.  That holy business can get you in some deep stuff sometimes, and it just seems like it’s looking for trouble too often, or having to defend itself from the same…. pre-emptively, most likely, these days…. but I digress.  (I do that a lot.)

I was in the middle of a missive to a good friend a while ago, describing the latest bit of events going on in and around my life lately, and here’s what happened.  I was telling her about how my ACTIONS had changed regarding dealing with one thing in particular –  how I’d spent some time considering what was niggling at me, and how I would handle it, and then Ta DAH, handle it I did.  And when I thought about how I had done it, (suffice it to say that it was just very different behavior than what I have exhibited for, say, most of the entirety of my life, with only flashes of enlightenment splashed hither and yon), that it felt if not exactly good, but right to do it.  How odd, or just different, and then it was so obvious – it was Queenie.  Now of course that will sound odd in itself because it is indeed Queenie who has been writing here of late, so why would I behave any differently than what I preach?  I suppose even Queenie has an “alter ego” who may at some times be overrun with cooties of doubt.  It’s not a very pleasant situation, but quite human I understand.  But you can’t just keep living there.  If you stay in Doubt too long, you might find you’ve grown roots and attached yourself to an entirely unpleasant reality, and then there you are.  Getting unstuck can be a liberating experience for sure, but sometimes it comes with a hell of a whiplash if it happens suddenly.  Even if it might just need to happen suddenly.  Whack.  Wham.  Zap.  It’s very common, I’m sad to report.  Why, of course even Queenie has had experience in that department…. (part of earning her Bona Fides), and here we are again.

So why not make it just a simple thing to ask, in terms of what behavior might be advised and encouraged to deal with some particular situation or other:  What would Queenie do?  Does that sound entirely blasphemous?  Have I stepped over the line?  Good, I was hoping you’d say that.  It helps to know your audience.  So here’s the why of it:

Queenie simply just DOES NOT HAVE THE TIME for tomfoolery.  Or jackfoolery or jimfoolery or… nevermind.  Meaning that there is just no reason to put up with – oh what’s the word – let’s just say crap, anymore.  (Other than what we must contend with as doled out by the government – another discourse for another post coming soon to a blog near you.)  I am finding out, or more to the point, rediscovering, that I am quite fine company, and I needn’t squander myself on those who, let’s say, don’t appreciate my finer qualities, and how much better it feels to be amongst those who do, (and might perhaps let just a few of the lesser ones slide – at least occasionally.)  I simply desire to be adored, but so should we all.  We deserve nothing less than to be adored, but I must say that to deserve such a wondrous state we are RESPONSIBLE for actually BEING that sort of creature that deserves such a blissful state. Worthy of adoredness.  A quality human of the best aspects of the species.  We can all aspire to that, and wouldn’t it be a wonderful world?

But the upshot of all this is that I pretty much trust Queenie.  And  isn’t it such a positive feeling then, to trust oneself?  We might not ever be able to comprehend it when someone in whom we’ve placed our trust betrays it, for any number of unfathomable reasons, but we damn well ought to be able to trust ourselves.  It really is an unnerving, uncomfortable place to be – if you can’t even trust YOURSELF.  Don’t want to live there, although I think I paid rent at that sorry place for too long a time.

So perhaps, in NewAgeSpeak, what I know of it, Queenie is my higher self, capable of clearer thinking, responsible behavior –  able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.  Not a bad thing.  And earlier I stood almost in awe, or maybe finally in respect, of my own self that had taken over the controls, and led myself through the behavior that allowed me, encouraged me, to speak my truth.  No harm intended, just the facts, ma’am.  And what an enlightening moment.  Imagine the possibilities of “Getting It” at some astounding younger age, living more of the life we’re given under the guidance of our own clear, protective and trustworthy thinking.  It’s great being a Late Bloomer – better to have bloomed late than never at all – but none of us need to lament those years spent in befuddled, rudderless lives lived in doubt and “less than” thinking.  It just takes what it takes to get us to where we are, and no matter what high priced tribute we pay to the past or the future, we are indeed living in the NOW.  It almost feels like the wonder I felt when I finally figured out how to do Geometry and Algebra, and prove those theorems and balance those equations and figure out what the hell X was.  (For a right-brained child, it seemed surely a miracle.)  Both events, both long ago and near as the room next to me brought out a grateful Wow.  So THIS is how you do it.  This is how it feels.  Not bad at all.  In fact, I rather like it.  Queenie Rocks.

So I wish us all more Wow Moments as we move Forward into our new lives, or even if you’re totally happy as the proverbial clam in the life which you now inhabit.  Yes, yes, it’s the journey indeed, and the party never ends.  Well, I hear it shifts venues big time at some point, but NOW is what we have, ladies and gentlemen.  So let’s all give it a go, and show up, and here’s to straight backbones and the honor system.  Full speed ahead. Onward, still and again.  Yahoo.

Oh no, not another Chick Movie inspiration….

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2010 by Queenie

Yes,  yet another line from a chick movie.  I’m sorry, again, what can I say?  But some of them are just so damned pithy and on point.

He to She: How wonderful that I am not intimidated by your brilliance. (Just for the record, from Something’s Got to Give, one of my favorites, for obvious reasons if you’ve seen it.)

It’s hard to go on from here without sounding just downright cocky… (introduction of a most masculine word to describe something so forthright, so to speak, as cockiness.  Surely there must be a better word.)  And I don’t mean to sound holier than, smarter than, or more anything than.  But I suppose in some arenas I consider myself a fairly competent cookie, although in others I have found myself at the other end of the spectrum that might have been the example for the phrase:  That’s how the cookie crumbles.  So here’s where I have to find comfort in dealing with my opinion of myself, which perhaps should be, in the end, more important than anyone else’s, but without appearing overbearing and ego driven.  I wish to offer up what I perceive as my greatest talents and gifts, and then proceed to be HUMBLE about it all.  Does that make sense?  Perhaps that is where this Gratitude thing comes in – to be grateful for our gifts – to whatever deity or source we honor, instead of thinking we are solely responsible for our wonderfulness.  If we are truly wonderful, somebody taught us well, or opened a door, or made it be OK for us to be who we are.  If we are self-made geniuses, well, I don’t know who we thank, but even if we have ourselves to thank for our own enlightenment, then surely, somewhere, somebody lit a candle for us.

I have on occasion pondered the words in a particular (uh, chick) song from a few years back: Are you strong enough to be my man? I believe that was Miz Sheryl Crow.  She’s written more than a few interesting lyrics, and I keep getting surprised at how much I’ve identified with them at different times of my life.  And at times I’ve found her, and likewise myself, to be just damned pissed off about it all.  To date, she’s written many more songs about it than I have, and is actually good at it, but I’ve had my moments – considering the source.  (I was rather dubiously introduced at my last attempt to sing and play guitar – at the same time mind you – in front of people, as:  Better Than Nothing.  If there’s any fainter praise, I’m not sure what it could be.)  What is that terrible country song….oh, there are so many of them…. It’s Hard to be Humble.  Well, it’s not – for some.  And for others it’s so much more ingrained to be Insecure.  And, trust me on this, Insecurity is a poor companion – take him off your guest list and don’t invite him to your party.  But once you’ve made his acquaintance, and he’s moved in with all his furniture you don’t like, he’s terribly hard to get rid of.  After a while you might get brainwashed.  If you’re insecure enough to have (or keep) him around in the first place, you might even listen to the SOB.  What’s worse is if you start to BELIEVE him.  Then you’ve got an even bigger problem.

So this is where I got the connection with Sheryl Crow those many years ago.  I think she got the short end with some affair or other, and after a while she finally got it together that she’d had quite enough.  “You’re my favorite mistake.”  “You don’t being me anything but down.”  Ha HA!  Pissed off, I guarantee.  But, and here’s the clinker – down deep, (really deep – go get the flashlight) – who we’re really pissed off at is our own selves.  For not pulling the red flags out of our eyes in a sufficient amount of time.  Or perhaps coming back for more…. Oh, sir, may I have another?  Why, of course.  Whack! I mean, after a while, even our friends are rolling their eyes, though of course they love us dearly.  This is when it gets not nearly as fun and as easily mended and happily ended as in those chick movies.  Some of these guys, (and I have to say gals, too – equal opportunity, remember?), just are not, EVER, going to get it.  They are JUST FINE, thank you very much, and it’s us, not them, blah blah blah.  But here’s the other clinker:  Likely or not, we’ve been saying the same thing about ourselves and their bad ass character.  Surely it is They.  Surely not US.  We, of the Driven Snow Clan.  Oh dear oh dear.

It’s another of those platitudes, or pearls, stated by many now:  We don’t know that we don’t know.  (Hell, even Rumsfeld had a go with that one, and it wasn’t pretty.)  This is where we have to shine that light on our own selves, and take that inventory, and find out that we’ve been fishing with no bait.  But here’s where Choice comes in, Ta Dah!  And we can decide to be Responsible for our own lives, and find a program to get with.  There are, fortunately, many.  There is help everywhere, if we’re willing to ask, or look for it after we’ve pulled the red flags from our eyeballs, or taken off our designer blinders – whichever might apply.

I am so absolutely ready to concentrate on ME for a goodly while, and sign up for all the courses therein.  I had an absolutely swell time at a recent gathering where I more or less took myself out of the picture, and viewed the entire goings on as if at another movie.  Very interesting to observe my own “new” behavior, from that detached perspective that took me away from a “personal” reaction to others’ behavior.  Oh NO…. Don’t tell me I’ve finally gotten to Don’t Take it Personally! I have been of the school that jumps up and says:  Dammit, it IS personal.  And maybe it is.  Perhaps “judgment” should be reserved for case by case analysis.  But it was true that interactions with people that previously would have been taken as a, uh, personal slight, were rather observed with the reaction of:  How Interesting.  You just don’t know what your antagonists are going through, but you sure don’t have to drink the same Kool-Aid to converse with them.  Or understand them.  Or HEAL them!  Queenie states here and now that she intends to take on no more “Projects,” unless they might be of the four-legged, furry variety.  We may be looking for Bona Fides, BUT, the important thing to not forget is that I’m still working on my own!  If all this is true about the Law of Attraction and You Get What You Ask For, then Responsibility goes up a whole ‘nother notch.  Be careful, indeed.

And so, to get back to where I started with this collection of thoughts.  And Sheryl Crow and that quite fabulous character in the movie.  While I am quite content in being with my own company these days, (and those good friends), about the last thing I’m craving is the company of any and all varieties of Insecure people.  Those who would fudge the truth, embellish their curriculum vitae to impress anyone else, (else they might begin to believe their own BS after a sufficient while – I’ve seen it happen), or whatever form of boorish behavior follows such actions.  Sometimes it’s expressed in such a manner as to make their targets smaller so that they may appear bigger, usually in their own eyes.  Isn’t that sad?  And sadder still for the “victims” who take their criticism to heart, thinking that the one in whom they place their faith, and TRUST, would certainly not be the one who would mislead them in such important matters.  A little bit of implied weakness and fault, and we are reduced to our proper places, and stay there!  If you’re hearing or living anything resembling this – time to take stock of your situation, and find another path, or figure out that you can walk YOUR path without such disagreeable company.

So yes, to hear such words from someone we care about, (or maybe would like to), that he or she is of such good stuff as not to be intimidated by our brilliance….  Egad, are those not beautiful words?  I wish my brilliance to be recognized and accepted, and not booby-trapped or dismissed as a trifle, or something to be deflated.  I wish to be held in high esteem, but the first one that has to do that is ME, and not in some narcissistic egomaniacal way.  (Give those Narcissists wide berth, folks.  They are not pleasant or trustworthy company.)  I wish to be proud of me, so that others may respect me, and whatever talents I may possess.  And I wish to respect myself for a life well lived, having hurt no one.  It may well be impossible to get through life without hurting anyone, but I think we owe it to each other to at least TRY.  There are indeed some fine lines to be drawn in living these lives we’ve been given, but if we ride with Integrity, then we’ve a pretty fair chance of being stellar examples of humanity.

One last thought, and we’re back to Gratitude.  Word has it that when we attain Enlightenment, we will actually be able to express that gratitude regarding those persons or events which were involved in our process.  Fairly heady thinking, no? Why, thank you, so very much, for that cleaver you embedded in my own personal heart.  I really needed that. Well, the interesting news flash is that maybe we did.  Maybe it just takes what it takes till we get it.  And some of us, them, whoever, never will.  They are, indeed, the sad cases.  We may be sad for a while, while we learn, but I think they will be sad, (or too far gone to know better), for the rest of their lives.  I’m willing to light a candle for them, but not to buy the candle factory.

I’m not sure if this piece ended up where I thought it would go, but here it is, and here we are.  Sometimes I feel as though I say the same things over and over, but maybe we need to hear it eighteen different ways before something clicks.  Maybe I’m the one who needs to hear it, and this is number nineteen for me.  It’s all about walking my talk, and luckily I just bought some new shoes, so I’m ready to hit the trail.  I’m fairly well certain that there’s a fabulous vista up over that next hill, and no other way to get there than step after step.

Back to regarding piles and closets

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2010 by Queenie

When I was writing a few days ago, and before that, I went on a bit about those copious piles that I’m contending with, along with mentioning the piles in my closet.  It seems I’ve used that closet allegory quite often of late.  My my, what can that mean?  And if I consider my own question, I’m just liable to find the answer.  The question that lies beneath the question is, Exactly what is it that I don’t want to see, or find, (or DEAL WITH) under the piles? Even when I mentioned TG, it was in present time, that he had escaped “his righteous place at the back of the closet, under untended piles” and then I wondered  “What exactly is this ‘testing’ all about anyway?”  Aha.  It’s all becoming clear now, whether I want to look at it, or NOT.  And dear readers, that’s precisely it – I guess I just haven’t wanted to look at it, even in the midst of writing about it and living through it.  It’s been very convenient being so frightfully busy these past few months.  It’s been a great diversion, but now it’s time to DO THE WORK.  Oh gads.

I bought Susan Elliott’s book, Getting Past Your Breakup, LONG before the word Goodbye ever picked its way down the tortuous path over my lips.  I KNEW I would have do it – the Goodbye part.  I hoped against and to and beside and beyond Hope itself, but I couldn’t affect the outcome. Game over. But here’s the kicker, I still haven’t read all of that book, and I still haven’t DONE THE WORK therein.  There are a lot of highlighted portions in it, but the hard part?  Nope, not yet.  And that hard part equates to the piles in the closet, under which the ogre sleeps.  There are ogre moments everywhere, as evidenced by the one that came with a bite when I chanced upon that bookmark.  And still another the next day when I picked up an innocent looking folder upstairs in the studio – been there for months, years even – but not considered or noticed till I had time to get under the scraps of workstuff, and there it was, with that name and a folder full of possible ideas and concepts to consider.  The fact that it was here, and lost, says a lot about how far the concepts got – or at least what I thought they were to be.  Let’s now consider if I could possibly be painted with the Control Freak/Manipulation brush…. this could get ugly.

I’ve got to make the big move to sort through the piles, deal with them, what’s UNDER them, and face all the demons.  Especially the ones with his name on them.  And then, perhaps I won’t have to deal with the specter of the monster in the closet, just biding its time till I come across one of those little reminders unexpectedly.  I just have to put on my armor, pick up my sword, and sign up for Dragon Slaying 101.  How hard could it be?

Yeah, right.

However, it has dawned a new day, within the new year, and I think – I KNOW – I am ready to move on.  No more diversions, no more excuses, no more dragons in the closet.  I don’t know what it is, exactly, that has brought forth the sunshine, but I’m ready to shine that light into the dark corners.  I weary of fear, and grief and sorrow, and it’s time to take steps AWAY and TO.  Away from the past, anything that resembles keeping the dead horse on life support, and time to walk, run or skip into what comes next.  I’m no longer honoring what didn’t work, or lighting candles even to the things that I thought did.  It’s over.  Done and done.  Enough.

It’s hard to know when The Shift will announce its presence.  It might come with a big rumbling wave, or it might just be there looking you in the eye when you wake up on some given morning, having sneaked in during the night without a flutter.  It doesn’t matter.  It’ll be there when YOU are ready, maybe even if you thought you’d never be anything close to ready.  I hate to keep going back to chick movies, but by golly, I’ve discovered that within them there are often pearls.  And the one that comes to mind now, though I forget the source, is when one wise woman told another who was in some stage of grief: You know, Letting Go isn’t the hard thing.  It’s the Holding On that hurts us. (Or words resembling that effect.)  But think about it.  We let go – we fall or we fly or we go somewhere – to someplace different.  We hang on – we stay attached to the dead horse, the dead whatever it is, until we begin to smell like death ourselves.  And pretty soon it’s moved into our eyes, and they begin to look dead, too.  Pretty grim forecast, I’d say.  I’m ready to fly to the next thing, even if the next thing is the one sitting in my chair right this minute – me.  Let ME be the next thing, instead of servicing the dead.  Time to bury the dead, and turn my face toward the light.

Anybody coming with me?  If not, I’m OK on my own, but I have good friends, and those whose arms will hold me up if I stagger.  And stagger I might.  But as I said at the very beginning of this journey:  Stagger Onward Rejoicing.

Where’s that roadmap?  I’m ready.  Road trip.  To somewhere.  And I’m not afraid.  And yes, I’ll be getting into that book again, and yes, DOING THE WORK, because I’m not up to another false start, and I’d like to make peace with the dragon.  This time it’s for real.  This time it’s for keeps.  This time is for me…. and then I’ll pass it on.

We interrupt our regular programming…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2010 by Queenie

Well dearies – I had a nice little continuation working on the train of thought that was going here, (which I’m sure will show up soon), but I had to take that train off to the siding to pass on words of praise and profound jawdroppedness.

I have just returned from seeing the movie AVATAR.  I know, this isn’t supposed to be “that kind” of blog, but…. BUT…. I have to say, I do believe it was the best movie I’ve ever seen.  Big words, yes.  The kudos are flying in the reviews I now find out, and I’d heard it was good, but I’ve been so busy in other arenas of late that I hadn’t actually read or heard any of the interviews or print reports.  Oh my.  Going in not knowing so much – maybe it was even better that way.  No expectations or pre-conceived notions – I knew there were Blue People involved somehow – but I was totally captivated, involved, and stupefied at and by the special effects.  The story was a “standard one” – all the old heroes and villains – Good vs. Evil – love story – war – environmentalism – a righteous dose of UmmaGumma stuff – I don’t want to say or give away too much for those who haven’t seen it yet.  But GO.  There are allegories aplenty for so much that we do right, and wrong, as human beings.  It’s right-in-your-face obvious what the Message is, but you don’t care.  It just felt so rewarding to see that SOMEBODY out there gets it, too, and is presenting it in the most entertaining, sensory overload beautiful production that could, or really can’t, be imagined.  The sheer BEAUTY of it is mesmerizing, and I kept thinking to myself – as one who is continually disappointed in the progress (or lack of it) by human beings – that isn’t it downright amazing that such a thing could even be made, and put up there in front of our eyes and ears – and brains.  It was another “Lord of the Rings,” another “Star Wars,” but then it was something beyond that.  So timely, addressing what is happening on our planet RIGHT NOW, as we rape, pillage and plunder in the name of Honor and Good Guys, which is actually a sham for Greed and Power.  The heroes and villains are obviously drawn, and you want to hiss and boo, and I wanted to yell a lot… but (sigh), I didn’t.  If you live in or near enough a big enough city to offer an IMAX for the 3D experience, go for it.  It won’t disappoint.  I heard the people ahead of me talking as they exited the theatre – “Well, I have a new best movie…” —  Indeed.  I do, too.  (Of course there will always be Room With a View and The Long, Long Trailer, but…..)  There was solely one word in it that I found cheesy and beneath the intelligence of the entirety, but I won’t tell you and I bet you hear it, too.  James Cameron is forgiven for that, however, in the light of everything else he gifted us with.  Thank you, Mr. Cameron.

Go with friends, lovers, strangers even, alone if you have to.  Make time for a discussion over coffee and dinner or dessert afterwards.  Maybe take some Kleenex if you’re the emotional type.  I’ve already been told men have cried…..very special men, I’m sure.  I cried for a lot of reasons, but lately I’ve been a crier over most every little thing.  (It’s OK, I’m a Pisces – driven by emotion – I get a pass.)  But likely some of you other strong types will take a hit on this one.  It’s just magnificent, and I was telling strangers at the bookstore about it as I checked out there on my way home.  (By the way, I had stopped to get Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, hot off the presses for today’s opening sales.  Those who know me will be likewise rocked to hear the title: Commitment.  And believe me, THAT is a whole ‘nother subject.  Not going there today, but I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it before long, be sure of that!)

Alright, I suppose that is enough of this Public Service Announcement.  Who’d ever have thought I’d be doing this in this blog?  Well, there’s that Raul Malo thing, too.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled program….. well, maybe tomorrow.  I don’t think I’ve got the heart or the mind to go to that place now, and it’ll keep.  It’ll keep.

Wow.  What a movie.


Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2010 by Queenie

I feel like I may never get used to this 2010 thing.  It seems very inconvenient to type, or figure out how to say it:  Two thousand ten, or twenty ten.  Both seem somehow daunting.  However, it seems to be here, one way or another.  How apt a statement is that?

So here it is, beyond the first day of the year, and the bombast or whatever it was that was New Year’s Eve is past, and so far the year is offering nothing bombastic at all, (if I keep the news turned off), and I welcome any peace that can be obtained.

I just experienced yet another whack to the head, (heart, really), when I picked up one of my books, in the greater cause of finally getting around to cleaning house – always so high on the list, but easily cast aside in the pursuits of some rewarding diversion of art or fun, hopefully both – and I opened it to refresh myself to its contents as I walked to actually put it someplace, and there it was – a bookmark.  But it was oh so familiar – I had made it, actually – and it was the homegrown friendly little piece of paper, a business card, announcing the name and the supposed artistic profession of my recently left behind love – marking the place where he’d left off reading last year at his place, and I’d reclaimed the book because I thought it might get lost in the upcoming shuffle.  And yes, I suppose I did know there was a shuffle coming on.  It was yet another little arrow delivered to the psyche/heart/knowingness.  Does this never end?  I mean, is it not enough that every other character on TV or movies has his particular name, so I never get away from it?  I think the next time I fall in love I shall consider the attributes of someone named Huxley or Poindexter…. anything you might not hear EVERY flippin’ day.  Still a bit tense, am I?  I attribute it to the times – the season – the intenseness of the past few months.  So now I’ll get to see how I feel about things since life has quieted down a bit, and there is a shift in momentum and time to actually think.

But on receiving that little stab a while ago, I had occasion to ponder – just for pondering’s sake mind you…….. What if I have indeed lost the last man I shall ever love?  Can he really be the only one to touch my heart in that particular place?  (Warts – it’s time to think about the warts!  Ah, that’s better…. I remember now the whys of it all….)  It seems a totally preposterous thing to suppose — surely the Universe is vast enough to provide more entertainment if the last event didn’t play out exactly as I had imagined.  If it just is a matter of imagining “better,” as THEY would tell us is so….  (you know – They, Them, the ones who are supposed to know about such things)….  If it is indeed a matter of imagining what you want, and doing it well and perhaps RESPONSIBLY for a change, then surely the next chapter will be of much improved manifestations.  One can only hope.

I hesitate to go into the details of my recent bombardment of the little “coincidences” and events that almost hilariously keep occurring.  As is said in one of my favorite descriptions:  You couldn’t make this stuff up.  If you can, you’ve written an exceptional script for a very good movie.  Go with it, and good luck.  But my friends are privy to the ridiculous details, and if you get sick in the head funny about it – yep, it’s pretty laughable.  Oh well, more fodder for the book.  Or the blog, which is beginning to take a more personal bent on things now that the time pressure is lessened a lot, and I have more time to think, and rant, or ponder….. or just write.

So then, why all the reminders and cosmic gotchas and ridiculous coincidences that continue unabated to keep the “left behind” one from his righteous place at the back of the closet, under untended piles?  What exactly is this “testing” all about anyway?

Even after writing about considering the possible lastness of loving that one particular man, and no others ever showing up to override his memory, damned if the chick movie that I happened upon last night didn’t address EXACTLY THE SAME SUPPOSITION, WORD FOR WORD.  I’ve always known I’m a bit psychic, but this is getting ridiculous.  Said chick movie had the obvious conclusion – the very man who counseled and comforted our bereaved heroine turned out to be, (natch), the very one who would fill the void, having earnestly promised her that she indeed would fall in love again.  You could see this one coming like a train wreck.  I started a previous novella that was subtitled “Life Is Not A Chick Movie.”  Perhaps I should review it, for it’s all happening again.

And yet, I’m SUPPOSED to know that all this is just playful drama by the Universe, delivering unto me just what I ordered.  Oh really?  REALLY?  I mean, that’s quite a load of Responsibility that one has to shoulder and soldier on.  Damn.  It takes a lot of energy, and oh SO many more considerations of myriad kinds to get to that place of acceptance and peace.  It’s beginning to feel, well, what word is it that I want to use here? Holy seems entirely ponderous, and that has nothing to do with being worthy of pondering – not at all.  I think the word I want is sacred. It’s some sort of journey, no other way to describe it, and these words will bear witness to it, and I aim to continue with it, for it just seems necessary.  Perhaps names will be changed to protect the innocent… or the guilty.  I am as “guilty” as anybody when it comes to my choices.  We make them, and then we have to deal with them – and the CONSEQUENCES that ensue.  I wrote in the book that “The meaning of life is CHOICE.”  But it may end up being that the meaning of life is revealed at the hands of the CONSEQUENCES we get after we make the CHOICE.  Oh, that again.

Alright then, that’s enough pondering for one session.  Back to the project at hand and we’ll see if cleaning house continues to lead to any more of it.  But in the course of this – I’ve just come up with the title for  my NEXT book.  Aha, there will then indeed be another!

Happy New Year Everyone.  We’ve got to laugh at all this.  We have to.  And in thinking about laughing, I wish my dead friend were here.  I miss her.  We had nothing in common, yet we found such friendship and kinship in being able to make each other laugh, at terrible, horribly dark things, when we could do it with no one else.  We always joked that the best we could ever hope for was Semi-Happy, and every time we ever stepped too far over the line and actually approached Happy, then the Great Cosmic Gotcha was on its way – Zap!  And we both got zapped our fair share, but we made the choices that got us within range.  She’s dead now, gone too soon from too many cigarettes, too much alcohol, too much food, too much anger.  Hard to believe I’d love someone so much who was so different than I, but love her I did.  We had some silly times, and were lucky to have made it through some of them as unscathed as we did.  Lucky.  But she said she didn’t think she’d be around very long, and she must have believed it, (and the Universe took her up on it), for it happened.  In the end I think she was saddened by her choices, and somewhat incredulous, but then it was too late.  And now I think I’ve lived longer than she did, and I’m still a bit angry with her that I can’t pick up the phone and whine and then laugh.  I suppose she knows that, or I hope she does.  I broke up with TG  one time – (I suppose he needs some sort of identifying moniker if I persist in talking about him), on her birthday one year.  She would’ve been so pleased, a great birthday present, but she was already gone.  Another story.

And so, again, back to the trenches.  Raul Malo is singing to me as I tend to my piles, so how bad could it be?

Again, Happy New Year.  I wish us all very much laughter.  It’s good stuff, damn near necessary, I’d say.  And onward we go, into the mystery.