Bandage. Bandana.

If you’ve been there, it doesn’t matter how removed you are, how not-too-close you are, to the situation.

You don’t need to be there, or even slightly on the fringe.

Miles away holds the same cosmic shock as standing toe-to-toe.

In a flash. Flashback.

It’s all real, again. Not exactly the same, but you’re tossed that way.

Way back there, to that little box on the board that emotionlessly announces: This is where you are. This is your new beginning.

A new, non-optional, previously unimaginable, reluctantly occupied space becomes the jumping point.

Because the circular shift, the spin of the table, turns you dizzy.

The rules have completely changed, now, into a language you don’t understand. You thought you were winning.

This is the new precipice – the launch of the unimaginable.

Everything looks dully the same here in the realm of faded all.

The elimination of Point A to Point B, negates any previously planned paths.

The rebirth is deficient doors that will not take – that will never take – you where you want to go.

Open or closed; not one of them will stop the flow.

There’s no portal to the past. Only provenance.

Prior plans do not matter; there’s no map for this journey. No perfectly sized torniquet, either.

Bandage. Bandana. The heart bleeds through just the same.

with sympathy.

Joy, Mia

It’s been an unbelievable year since the dusty little furball I now call Nala-Mia showed up.

She’s been with HBlu and I during some rough times. She was with us the day that leashed Blu was attacked by an unleashed dog. Interestingly, she showed no fear, waiting and watching. She followed us home, as she had been for a few weeks. I already worried about her at night; was relieved when she’d show up for breakfast. Was overjoyed the first day she let me touch her; the first day she ate from my hand.

We’ve been through a few twists and turns, barely avoiding craters of disaster. When she showed signs of respiratory distress, I feared the worst. I wasn’t able to get her into the carrier the first two times I tried. The third time wasn’t easy or graceful, but, it was successful. I figured she’d be annoyed with me, after that. I didn’t figure she’d be lost for three days in an animal hospital, and end up traumatized and unexamined.

Much like Harley Blu after his encounter, she just wasn’t the same when I got her back. She’s still a bit skittish if I move too fast toward her standing up. If I’m sitting, reclining, sleeping – she’s a love-bug.

Much like Harley Blu, I want her back the way she was before she was damaged. He’s getting there with the help of meds and chiropractic therapy. She’s in love with him, and he seems to be more understanding of that, lately.

I’ll confess, at times, I feel badly for them, both. HB was an only cat-child for almost 9 years. His breed has a preference for being the sole focus of attention. She just doesn’t completely understand the cat world. She has learned to play – as opposed to being terrified of strings and catnip mice. She has learned to interpret the exact moment when Blu has had enough play, and she scurries away.

I know Blu doesn’t like sharing. I know Nala-Mia wanted back out for several months. She’s not pursuing that as much. With hope, I interpret that as she is comfortable rather than defeated. I also know that the pre-yawn snap of her isn’t a real reflection of joy.

It is however, a real reflection of my joy. It is a comfort that she is safe – not hungry, not frozen, and bot likely to get run-over by a car.

I’ve mentioned before, COVID gave me the time to be patient with her. Afforded me hours of adjustment while working from home. So, I was particularly excited to see a call for Pandemic Pet Adoption stories. Our short-story appeared in Michigan Medicine Headlines this week. In fact, that brief (very brief), 223-word, 2 paragraph “caption,” turned into a more concise 165 word account.

So, maybe it may not have had to take as many words to summarize.

The struggle to reduce is still real. I’m still all for details, and, maybe, mildly less distrustful of edits.

My big-picture presentation will always be a gloriously detailed meal. Though, I concede, an edit is admirable as a taste-tempting appetizer.

Find our shorter story here: Pandemic Pet Adoption – Mia’s Story Short

Quote for the Week:

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Moving On. The Challenge.

On October 13, 2020, I told you this: Last week, someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.

There’s been a change in the playlist.

The internet loves challenges like I love music. It thrives on them. It discovers dozens each day. But, only a few are worth it.

Mmmm. Like this one. #blueoctober #movingon #challenge .

I prefer not to start in the middle, but in this case, urgence of participation (gasp) makes sense.

I’ve had the wrong song in my #1 will-do spot for decades. Not my fault.

The right song hadn’t been written, yet. Now, it has.

Moved out of the first slot: I’m Moving On.

I believe in this song. For many years, it’s been an anthem excuse of self-promising, a someday in-waiting. Not an action wanting.

A melancholy sing along, every time, where I want the words to be real. A prelude to the reach, wanting lets me waltz. Feelings play along with well-curated reels in my mind. I can picture it, but I can’t do exactly that.

Now seen for what I really want it to be: the after, the explainer. Not every line is perfect. Some are so false that I’ll address them, later.

Moving into First Place: Moving On, though, is a rearranger – an artfully arranged mind-matter mover with an oddly perfect, happy melody.

Brought to me by Tuesday Night Recovery. Live weekly sessions hosted by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, featuring steps and music and supports.

Yes, plural. Discussions, viewer comments, one-day-at-a-time preaching. I have no idea how I got God-smacked into this mecca of inclusive anonymous help, where my anti-social not-group-joining self can join-in and be communed, but unobserved.

If it hadn’t been explained, I never would have though it to be what it is. To the writer, it’s not a love gone-wrong song. It’s a get-out-of -my-life I am never going back to (insert vice here.) It’s a sterner, angrier, get off of my life, pulling away from the surround, bursting my own bubble song.

Reminded me so much of this. Re-capping, quickly; a grief therapy session, where someone else said something that clicked.

Discussing my already 8-year-old grief. “Sometimes, I can’t keep it in.” I admitted. “It. Just. Wants Out.”

“Well, what do you want?” was the question, asked.

Firmly answered, “I want it gone.” “So,” he astutely concluded. “You and your grief want the same thing.”

I have to move on. I’m not saying goodbye to you or our memories or our friendships or him.

I’m saying goodbye to my crippling 15-year-old cloak in full-on ‘What Not to Wear Style’. It’s coming with a cost though.

An emotionally expensive fear, which I have avoided (or so I thought) until now. Because moving on is terrifying and de-cloaking is soul exposing.

I’ve taken advantage of grief to be comfortable, to exist in solitary. Guaranteeing no furtherly inflicted love or loss.

I have no faith that things will be different in six months.

I have faith that I will be. Different. In six months, when my grief turns 15.

This Week’s

Exploration Links:

Blue October: two videos, because something worth doing is worth doing, again and again. One of them will speak to you. I’m sure.

Moving On Live Tuesday Night Recovery Version

Moving On Fan Participation Video Version

And then there’s this one… Fear

Kelly Clarkson  I’m Moving On  False: “They’ll never allow me to change.” You’ve all always wanted me to change.

Music We Keep

There’s a lot to be said about the music we keep in our hearts.

There’s a reason we love the music we love.

It speaks to us on an intimate level, no matter cadence or rhythm or volume.

Jeff kept quite a few in his. Many of enthusiasm.

Funeral planning, I chose hymns he’d always comment on. “Oh, good!” Jeff’d exclaim when the church bulletin listed one of his favorites. He’d sometimes sigh, “Oh.” Thoughtfully noting hymns of importance. Those his mother Sally and grandmother Nannee loved.

“Oh, How I Love Jesus”

There is a name I love to hear

I love to sing its worth

It sounds like music in my ear

The sweetest name on earth

“Jesus Loves Me”

Jesus loves me!

This I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

I don’t think I chose this one. I’ve sung it before, and the pretty melody randomly pops-in to remind me from time to time.

“Hymn of Promise”

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.

I talk to time about my love; my greatest listener.

When music talks to me, I listen for the beats and counts; steady rhythms to regulate my heart, with words that understand.

Quote for the Week: 2020 08 25 what an amazing thing a song is jakorte