Dark Blonde – book of poems, coming to a remainder table near you!

I. Sorcerers and Thieves (1980-2000)

II.  Decade of Night (2000-2010)

III.  Lightening Up (2011 – )

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Body and mind, heart and soul

Sometimes (and those of you who know me will bear this out), I can be a ding-a ling. Tonight I am a revelatory ding-a-ling; allow me to elaborate.

Last night I took my LBD (little black dog, in case you weren’t aware) to the vet, because his little eye was was kind of squishy looking, and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t have an allergic reaction to something.  Fortunately, the hospital wasn’t crowded, and while I was waiting, a couple came in with their cat – the woman was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, she had long, straight hair that was dyed pink – may I say here that I love when anyone does anything with their hair that is different from the usual, and this was a very pretty pink.  Second, she didn’t have what you would call a perfect body – she was big, and had some areas that could have been more toned.

After thinking these two thoughts, I had a third one – the first two things didn’t matter. Her boyfriend (husband, significant other) was with her, and comforting her, and her body didn’t enter into how he was treating her, because he was there for her when she needed him.

Now I know that I have long-standing issues with my physical appearance; I like very few photos of myself, and for a long time, I wouldn’t let anyone photograph me without covering up the bottom half of my face.  (More issues, and I’m not going to get into it, because then you will know what bothers me, and you will look for what bothers me, and….let’s just keep it a mystery.)

So what I’m getting to here is that I’m working on taking another little step away from the self-loathing that I seem to wallow in so often, and liking myself a little more, the way that I see other women do so well. It’s hard to erase decades of treating myself worse than my worst enemy, but maybe now that I’m a woman of a certain age –  yes, 50, all right? Happy now? (I’m told that I’m allowed to be cranky after 50; I prefer to wear the cranky pants only on special occasions, or else nobody listens), I will give myself a break.  Just thinking today about living without being self-critical and nit-picky made me feel lighter, like the kid in “Up” with the balloons.  A little lightness sounds good right now —-

On another note, today marks the fifteenth year that I have been without my friend and sister-in-law, Naomi Toma Thorpe. I first met Naomi when I was 13, and she was 17, and friends with my brother at Jordan High.  She and I became close friends, and then she became my sister-in-law in 1980. Naomi was a beautiful, funny, brilliant, silly, strong woman who matched my brother in intellect and talent.  She was my confidante and my touchstone, and I treasure every single second that I was fortunate enough to have known her. Here’s to you, my friend; I’m getting along without you, but it’s harder without you….

High-wire

He always kisses like it’s the first time,

and maybe the last time;

She knows it could be, and yet

She holds her balance, and walks the tightrope,

doing flips, always landing right side up,

knowing that to stay on the wire keeps him watching,

courts immortality,

and keeps her from falling into a finite sea.

Valentine’s Day (sponsored by Visa)

I woke up with a sore throat and sniffles this morning, which makes perfect sense, because almost everyone I know is either sick right now or just getting over being sick, and I always get sick in February, so I’m right on schedule.  Since I started to feel a little better this afternoon, I thought that I would go out and take care of a few things (including a quick trip to the Cerritos Mall for a new cell phone cover).

The mall was packed to the rafters, and as I headed for the far corner of the parking lot (I don’t drive around for spaces that are close, and I don’t sit and wait for a space; a little walk isn’t going to kill me, even when evil microbes have invaded my system), I realized why – Valentine’s Day is Monday. Oh, is it ever, friends – and it’s no longer a candy-and-flowers day, evidently.  Now it’s an iPhone-MacBookPro-open heart necklace (whatever that is) kind of day.

Before you say “Julie! Why so bitter?”, let me say that I am a big fan of love. Big. Love is lovely, it’s all you need, it’s like oxygen, and have I told you lately that I…honestly? What I’m not wild about is the retail industry pumping hormones into the day that used to be about home-made valentines and a box of See’s.  Like everything else, Valentine’s Day is now BIG business: “Here, honey; I bought you a Victoria’s Secret gift card and a new (fill in latest electronic gadget). And here’s a card that someone else wrote.  I love you, baby!”  (OK, I guess I am a little bitter; I prefer to think of it as idealistic, which can often result in bitterness after a big gulp of reality, but you call it whatever you want. I can live with it.)

I know it’s a new age, and this is the way that we express our love now, and if you receive a new toy from your beloved and it makes you happy, I say, God bless. Not everyone is a poet, and it is fun to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with presents (gotten a few myself; very nice), or so the media tells us.

I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here – gifts are special, and each couple gives gifts to celebrate their love in their own way.  I guess it is disappointing to me that Valentine’s Day appears to have become another day in which romance is done by-the-numbers, according to what’s on sale at the mall.  I’m looking for evidence of unique expressions of romance that make me believe in Valentine’s Day again.  And I know that the mall would be the last place to find unique expressions of anything, let alone romance, but the fact that it was so crowded today underscores the idea that in romance, as in most everything else, a lot of us have become complacent and more than willing to let someone else do our thinking for us. I’m just now watching the commercial where the couple is watching a commercial for the “stunning heart pendant” available from K-Mart for $9.99, and the woman keeps rewinding it, until the man says “Is that a hint?” Again, not to step on anyone’s toes, but really? Is this what advertisers think women want?

Dunno, maybe some women do; for myself, I like a nice meal, a little music…and long walks on the beach (hah!) Enjoy your Valentine’s Day on Monday, and if you don’t have a valentine, you can be mine!