Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Key To Life

The Dalai Lama told me (however indirectly) that the key to a fulfilled life is happiness…and from this comes a memory, a memory repeated again and again. (Now I am a superstitious person so probably should not share this but for the sake of relevance, I will – for now, unless I decide otherwise later, in which case you will not be reading this.)

The excitement of the day has come to a peak, voices of the ones I love crack as they half-whisper half-sing, whole-heartedly, “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you…” This special, once-a-year moment, has again arrived and it is the time to take that breath to cease the fire that glows just before a birthday wish is granted. The wish so many people believe in; the wish so many say must be kept to one’s self in order to come true. But since I have learned what the Dalai Lama has taught me, I feel I can share my one almost-constant wish. I say almost-constant because from the time I can first remember wishing this wish until now I am almost sure that I wavered and wished for a pony or something of the sort. I take this wish very seriously – doesn’t everybody – a chance for a wish to be granted, your very own genie, and one rub of the lantern? Far more important than New Year’s resolutions, which by nature are made to be broken, more important than thank you notes, though my mother would cringe to hear this be said, even more important whispering into Santa’s ear, though my son would never agree.

First because these are things that are said to someone, maybe promised, thanked, or requested of someone. Whereas a wish, a true birthday wish, is as magical as birth itself. An overwhelming how, or wow, or ahh! Or could it possibly be? To whom are you wishing? Audience unknown, destination devine? To say the least it is not a last minute thought because what if that wish really will come true? If wishes really do come true? Would you waste yours on some material thing? Only a fool would fretter away such a gift, such a chance, such an opportunity. Even skeptics must have a thought in their mind as they release that big birthday puff. A birthday wish can only be equated to wishing on a shooting star, which can prove even more exciting because its frequency, or even the very possibility of it ever occurring again that exact moment that you just may happen to be looking up, can never be determined, scheduled, or predicted making these wishes that get sent into the universe wishes of the moment wishes determined by circumstance, may be arguably be less significant. Some may say, to those inclined to believe in things larger than they, a wish may be a passive way to pray.

But the birthday wish may also hold this importance because of the day. Amazingly, somehow, however many years ago, on this very day, you were brought onto this earth, you breathed that very first breath that now is expelled again in the hopes that some fragment of a miracle might again occur.

So with this breath I wish for happiness, as I said, for as long as my mind allows me to recall. Prompted by this lesson taught, the key to a fulfilled life is happiness, is the memory of this scheduled release of hope through breath over flickering wax sticks of light quickly pressed through frosting to cake, as a way to celebrate me, my life, my being on earth - with them, to my being me. This thought is that of the cake, the celebration, the gathering, and the breath released the same moment as my repeated wish for happiness, to be happy. Why wish for this? Is it because I was unhappy? Because I did not have happiness? Or was it more simply, my life felt unfulfilled? What purpose did I have? What good did I serve?

The key to a fulfilled life is happiness, from this grows a memory. It is a memory of a breath filled with hope, not of regret or want. If the ultimate goal is happiness, happiness must have various levels because at that moment, with that breath was not the release of sorrow but that of the belief that what could then be defined as happiness was no where close to the level of fulfillment. My knowing, my unconscious knowing, that there was more to life than cakes and candles and brightly wrapped boxes of wants astounds me, so simplistic yet so complex. The pleasure derived from this day is just that, pleasure. Maybe happiness in knowing I am loved and pleasure in rich chocolate cake and unwrapping prizes, the need for the bread, the blood of life and the desire for the things that might make it better.

Can a thing bring happiness or is it just pleasure? Why is it the things that give us pleasure may be eliminated and yet eliminating those bringing us happiness are as essential as water itself?

Pure pleasure. Sustained happiness. Are those not oxymorons? Should it not be sustained pleasure and pure happiness? Could it be I have always known the key? That the struggle, the frustration, the pain were to get me where I need to be? The key to life is happiness. It does not come in a jar, in a can, a pill, or a drink. There is no phrase magical enough, no wish important enough, no star bright enough to bring happiness to one who’s life is unfulfilled.

The key, as the Dalai Lama told me, is to want what you have, to love who you are and to desire nothing.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big HUGE Golf Ball Moon

My little wordsmith loves to say, "Big HUGE..."

Big HUGE golf ball moon.

Big HUGE boo boo on his belly.

Big HUGE cheese.

Charlie and the big HUGE golf ball moon. The full moon lies in the beach sky. Venus shines high over the water. Uncle Jon points out Orion's belt, sword, arms and a leg. My eyes go straight to the belt, find the sword, and then thoughts fleet to elsewhere.

The sun rises over Bayshore in the strawberry sky.

Big HUGE pain in the butt.

Bug HUGE sweet heart.

Big HUGE love of my life.

Perfect Love

All my life I’ve been waiting to meet you
Waiting to have you
Waiting to hold you

Now that you’re here –
I can’t get enough of you
Don’t want to spend a minute away from you

You sleep and I watch you
You breathe; I exhale…
Your smile wells my eyes with tears

My smile is made for you
My ears created to hear just you
I could spend forever with only you
-- Only you’d grow tired of that.

I’ll grow old thinking of you
Loving you, smelling you, hugging you
Holding you

I loved the thought of you
And love the flesh of you
Forever love you is what I’ll forever do.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

To My Dear, Dear Friend

May 24th, 2006

To My Dear, Dear Friend,
Three days after getting engaged.


Thank you for being who you are to me.
You deserve every wonderful thing that is happening to you.

Be proud of who you are and what you have.
You are who you are because of the life you have lived.
Embrace this.
Reward yourself with joy and love.

Treat yourself well.
Treat yourself as well as you treat others and as well as others treat you.
Being married will become a part of you, it will not take over who you are.
You will retain your shape and enrich your life.

Cry when you want to cry.
Laugh when you want to laugh.
Love as you need to be loved.
Give what you may not have gotten.
Forgive what needs to be forgotten.
Find a happy medium, don’t forget your friends, or yourself, but never forget your Love.

You now are a part of a pair.
You are two crystal champagne glasses sitting in a china closet.
Full of fun.
Together, surrounded by other treasured things.

Let yourself be who you are.
Don’t be sorry for having it all.
Work hard to keep what you have.
Strive for more,
But most of all, love, love, love.


The Master

We have a routine, Charlie and I. Every morning as I am changing him he tells me about the dreams he had the night before. Last night there were frogs in the closet, one was Aunt Sadie.
On the drive to school, he sometimes tells me a story. This morning's was precious:

"Where’d the puppy go?" This was Charlie’s response to my pointing out a stocky, peppy, white spotted Jack Russell terrier who anxiously pulled his owner across the road.

To this, one of his many, tireless questions, was my response, "He’s on a walk with his master." Normally when I respond to his questions, I try to prompt a further response, or at least give more information, which usually inspires yet another question. So I went on to say, "Do you know who Rudy’s master is?"

Charlie said he did not know. "You are Rudy’s master." I said. "That means you are the boss of Rudy, that he loves you the most."

Barely a second passed, when he asked, "Who is the Dame?"

"Baa, baa, black sheep lives down the lane."

Smiling into my rear-view mirror, I told him that I am the dame.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The way it used to be


How is it that I have gotten here? 30, single. Oh so very single, embarrassingly in fact…through bad decisions, compromise, sheer stubbornness. Single, born of solitude and the ease of being alone, in not having to be accountable. Being single means being a kid.

I am a kid. A 30-year-old-kid. Oh sure, I have a house and a dog and a big tv and a stereo to make noise, to keep the silent still house full, with noise. The thing I miss most about not living alone; is getting to be alone, to have the entire house to myself, it was special, but then thrilling to hear the garage door open. Empty but full; knowing that soon enough someone would be there to share the space, the air, to breathe with the breaths of someone else. That’s why I have Jake.

I lie. I did not have a choice in having Jake. Jake was chosen for me, or at least, Jake chose me. But either way, I had no choice in the matter. But back to breath. It soothes me. He breathes deeply, weighted, slowly, so close to a snore but not, just a deep steady in-and-out breath.

Have I said today is wonderful? That’s my word, wonderful. I love words. How they sound…what they mean, just love them. But wonderful because; you make your day. You decide the outcome. If you keep saying, why did this happen to me, or poor, poor me, or just have a crappy attitude in general; you will make crap. So, something wonderful is bound to happen today. (Say it everyday.)

But to contradict myself, miserable is absolutely my favorite word. Love the way it sounds when you draw it out all slow. Mizzzzz-errrrr-uhhhh-bulll. M-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. Even said with a half-scowl. It’s simply wonderful. Ah, but I digress again, or maybe for the first time (here) but definitely not the last. So where was I?

How could I forget? Single. Not suddenly single like the freakishly tall Brooke Shields, stepping over small houses, just plain single. But dating. So how are people supposed to meet each other anyway? At the gym? in the grocery store? through the friends? at school (now work?) while driving? or worse, at a bar? Where. ‘Cause I’ve tried them all. Am constantly talking to people, smiling, saying “hi”, being outgoing, going out, not talking on my cell phone, being available, looking available; but not too available, never too available. Too available is not good.

Ever look too long? Get caught looking, not looking because you necessarily are interested in knowing that person but looking because they happen to be where you were looking. They were in your space, and still are. And because it is your space, you keep looking back. So much that they catch you looking, at them! Even though you weren’t! But busted anyway.

So being single sucks. It makes for long lazy days of doing nothing and getting nothing done even though there’re a million things to do. Sure, there are sudden manic bursts of energy with profuse cleaning or exercise or writing. It’s not that I ‘m lazy but that I focus my energy towards other things, in other directions. Like for instance, towards going out...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Charlie and the Plastic Potty

One night when Charlie was getting ready to get in the tub, he decided, 'now, this is the time to shriek!'

Without another thought, he was off!

At first Mommy tried to catch the shrieking, naked child, but soon relented and retreated to filling the tub with Elmo's pirate ship, "Aargh!" and the remaining ships from the Big Potty Toy Ship Brigade - another story in itself. The shrieking and running proceeded until the tub was nearly ready, when around the corner came a very proud, completely naked, Charlie. With a shocked face, he said, "Mama come look, I went Pee Pee in the potty!"

He took Mommy by the soapy hand, led her into the kitchen, and they both peered into the plastic potty sitting on the kitchen floor. "Hallelujah!" in the potty there was Pee Pee. Mommy and Charlie were so excited they both jumped up and down. They were both shrieking now, "Hurray! Hurray! Charlie went Pee Pee in the potty!"

The celebrating continued, for although this was not the first time Charlie had Pee Peed into the potty, it was the first time he had gone shrieking and running naked around the house and not peed on say the Thomas the Train magical Aqua Doodle invisible train track. (Would that be a Diddle Doodle?)

What had become the night time ritual continued, the toy boat brigade battled pirates and Charlie discovered invisible bugs in the faucet of the tub, Brave Charlie nosed right up to one and said, "Hello bug! I went Pee Pee in the potty!"

Soon a damp towel snuggle, new diapey and jammies, brushy, brushy, brushy, a few squirts of monster spray, then finally the first three pages of, The Velveteen Rabbit, followed by a weak, "take book to bed mama?" and a kiss and a hug.

Snuggled under star blanket, ouchey blankey, 'nother blankie, and finally the long requested, misinterpreted blue dog blankie rug and Charlie-bear blanket to top it all off, Charlie, just two, squshed his Binky, Maggie Simpson style, slightly lifted his head and said, "Night, night."

Later, in the kitchen, Exhausted Mommy -- who had just taught a day of "silent school" (just proceeding "sock day" because of an unfortunate toe-meet-bed-in-the-dark occurrence) followed by "Silent Princeton Review Online, " and a good game of whispering Publix shopping cart catch, because when she spoke, coughing erupting until the gag reflex occurred -- cleaned the Pee Pee off the floor smiling inside because her big boy got most of it into the pot.

And that is the story of Charlie and the Plastic Potty.

The end. (Ok, so I added the bug part, give me a little creative justice here, I am a fiction writer. Composite.)

**Note: Silent school - a day with no teacher talking due to illness - where the student get directions from the board. The first stating. "Silent Activity! Do NOT make me talk! Or I will puke! Comprende?"

Their response? "This is fun!", "Like charades!", "Can we do this more often?"

Today kids, you are in lucky! Today is "Silent Song Lyric Poem Brainstorming Day." Good thing creativity is my lifeblood.