Down for the Count Up, 13

THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY OF THE END, OCTOBER 1, 2019

13 years ago today, I think I knew before I knew.

It was the strangest feeling.

It still is.

.

I took a 20-mile detour on the way home from Lansing this past weekend.

Accidentally, really. Not even on auto-pilot, since it’d been so long since I went that way.

Just a missed turn while I was thinking about the rain and Frosty Boy and my Brookside destination.

Odd to travel that same path so close to the same days. The thing is, the story goes on.

And, again, a warning.

It’s only the beginning of the story of the end.

The reality that followed wasn’t pleasant. It was shocking, bizarre, surreal and sadly, in a glass-half-empty way, expected.

February’d found us listening to a rundown how things might go. How Jeff’s disease and complications would likely progress.

The order was correct: first, he’d be alive, and then, he wouldn’t be.

The timing, though, was fundamentally far-off, greatly misjudged, significantly skewed.

Even when you know what to expect, it’s still unexpected. Quite unbelievable, and unbelievingly challenging for the mind to process.

It’s the sort of thing the heart is much quicker to recognize.

In the same way that Sadie was waiting for me to figure it out, my certain heart was forced to wait for my uncertain mind to follow.

I picked up the phone and dialed 911.

Quote for the week:

Down for the Count Up, 14

Still chronologically undecided, but waiting any longer won’t put the words where I want.

So, I’m walking myself backwards from now to where I started 14 years ago, one year in.

I’m also not sure any of it alone will make any sense. But, here goes, anyway…

~

The Scrambler, October 13, 2020.

At the end. Not really. There is no terminus.

We’re at the end of this line and it’s time to change tracks. Not sure if I’m going by train or plane or bus, on foot strolling or if I’m just going to stand here a while.

The funny stuff doesn’t end here. Some of it still continues. But, there’s this:

Last week someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.

Truly. Everything.

The technical base of this pre-recorded shared philosophy branches out beyond where we normally go.

Merriam-Webster: Addiction 2: a strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly.

The point of the moment was that addiction isn’t limited to drugs or alcohol. Food, gambling, smoking, shopping, sex, video games, internet, social media.

The scrambler? “You can be addicted to grief.”

Well, then.

I’ve felt this way for so long; too long, I admit.

And while it’s comfortable here, cocooned and non-expanding, I don’t think I want to be here anymore.

It’s been way longer than you think; then you know, too.

I’ve been writing pain since, always. I remember sharing a piece I was particularly pre-teen proud of, brought up short by the question: Does everything you write have to be so dark?

Of course, I’ve changed. I write about life: the known, unknown, bad, ugly, cliché.

I didn’t write for a few years. Guess which ones those were? Yep, that short little span of Jeff years.

I don’t think I’m incapable of happy prose. I’d like to think I was just too busy living happy.

Maybe. I don’t know. I just didn’t write. Much. I’ve found a few notes which are entirely inexplicable….

So, the shock of that. That word. Addiction.

I’ve wrapped my head around it, and yeah, I am completely sure. It is what I never considered it could be or would be or was or is.

I’m not nearly in the same spiritual place as when I was misunderstood 14 years ago.

I’m further away now then when I wasn’t at all.

I’m not sure how I’m gonna do this/how long its gonna take.

But, I’m kinda happy with my decision. And that feels … new.

Quote for the Week:

Selfish, is it?

I’m not 100% a silver-lining gal, but, in my book, there were a few good things to come out of last year.

One huge plus: Music makers making music.

I’ve been keeping some melodies to myself. Selfishly.

I think. At least that’s how I kinda feel about my hoarding/delayed sharing.

Sort of. Anyway. I’ve been digesting daily, ruminating repeatedly.

This here’s just the first of those COVID+’s I’m letting go, now. Because it’s a lot newer, and timeliness may matter.

May 28th, to be exact. Took a little longer to get to me; across the ocean.

Monday, May 31st at 13:05, to be exact. Through DHL, happily, and not some other hack-way delivery service that likes to leave packages places other than my front door or porch. (Yep, off track.)

Speaking of off-track, one of my favorite total freak-out fan-based things is B-sides and outtakes and the ‘what might have been’ of songs: mining the creative process and good humor.

Actually, there’s no mining when it’s handed to you on a silver-platter, or in this case, on a pink CD.

And, tempting packages for pre-order. (Dec 2020.) Bundles of every conceivable which-way, of which I chose:

CD: Fatal Mistakes

CD: Outtakes and B sides

Autographed insert (fan-girly, but it’ll look lovely in my office line-up.)

T-shirt. I probably didn’t need the t-shirt. Well, to be honest, I completely didn’t.

Don’t worry about my overstock. I’ll take advantage of the situation by off-loading one, holey, faded, stained monstrosity that I would never wear in public. Not even to the trash bin.

The kind of thing I’d only ever wear to cautionlessly paint or forcibly succumb to gardening pressures (if I had to.)

Hmm. Maybe I’ll keep that old one as a designated, doing messy, things shirt. Because I abs won’t mess in my new one.

Ok.

If you’ve been trooping along with the band’s progress posts, you’ll have seen a few videos, heard a few previews of the floaty-sounds radio airplay will make, for sure.

If ya, haven’t been following, it’s not too late. The moral of the music is that you can go back and do it again – 20 years later. Successfully, wonderfully. Barry, bonnie, lovely. Platinum worthy.

Quote for the Week:

  1. Current Fav Track: It’s Feelings
  2. Next, Start here: You Can’t Go Back
  3. Then, Go Back here:  Roll to Me

(Or vice-versa (3, 2) if you adventurously need an introduction to humor and the band.)

Frustrative License

I cannot be concise.

I try. Truly.

In fact, today, I sent out a brief (very brief), 223-word, 2 paragraph “caption.”

Details tell the truest story.

Seriously. I went to the store for milk.

vs.

I drove Granny’s beat-up powder-blue Buick to the corner market for milk to go with the Happy 99th Year birthday cake we ordered – in the shape of her car, including rust! The baker just had to have a photo!

Ok, well, anyway…

As usual. It’s all about how you look at it.

And how many layers you have to scrape through to find simplicity.

And the fact that you don’t know the strata sequence.

Or how many vision changes it took to finally finish.

Medium manipulation: words, paint, notes.

Stories, images and sound: Art.  

Ironically concise.

.

Quote for the Week:

demanding, cadence

It’s been a long time since anyone told me what to do in a fall-in-line school-sense. Referring to tasks for education: write an essay on, create a theme poem, and that horror of horrors – edit.

Edit wasn’t well loved or even liked in my elementary, high or college schooling. (Or now, honestly.)

I loved to write and was under the impression that writing loved me. Otherwise, how could it have been so easy? Words came to me and I dispensed them exactly as channeled through my psyche.

Any type of art, once emerged and recorded, immerged to the deep. Catalystic inspiration filed, it was perfect as it was. Whatever the medium, it came out of me divined and that’s how it would stay. I learned the phrase ‘Artistic License,’ and adopted it, fully.

Young ego. I didn’t understand the art of finessing. Observing, tweaking, seeing it from another point of view – there just wasn’t room in my head. I was always on to the next creative.

April was National Poetry Month. University of Michigan LSA Institute for Humanities popped up with a program and challenge called Poetry Blast. 22 days of noon-time poetry reading by and daily prompts.

Prompts are demands. Uncomfortable commands to self- challenge. When it is no longer about urgent feelings or excited insight, it’s a struggle to combat insincerity with what may not be talent, after all.

So, 22 chances. 22 struggles. Limited outcomes, due to topic, timing. Some just straight-up, staring blanks of ‘I don’t get it.

My total participation attempts yielded 6 submissions. Three of which, I think, are ridiculously weak, obviously forced.  To my credit, I analyzed the situation and accepted the call-to summons as an opportunity. An uncomfortable opportunity to struggle, but that was the point of trying.

Interestingly, I have found my ‘natural’ cadence to be obvious and boring. Admittedly, at times, outright contrived and imitatingly trite. I’ve been working tweaks. One line in particular irked me as being too children’s picture book rhymey. Another, I fear for its honesty.

Some fall into failure, considering way-off prompt tangled-up tangents of skipping from topic to … an anomalytic abyss of deep click diving, one thing leads to another, but doesn’t fulfill the requirement.

In the same way that dusting a 15-year-old multiply-moved, semi-busted lampshade interrupts cleaning mode in favor of shopping for a new one and you end up with shoes.

Quote for the Week:

Background & Links:

Take a few minutes to listen to a poem! April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. This year, the Institute for the Humanities is joining the tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, in marking poetry’s important place in our lives. Every weekday at noon in April, our Youtube channel will feature a U-M faculty member reading one of their poems. See below for today’s featured poet.

2021 Poetry Blast: Read. Write. Hear

Street Poems: Ann Arbor 2021 Poetry Blast Walking Tour

YouTube: Noon Readings