Monday, May 20, 2019

Celebrity Worship

They baptized me a Methodist but I really grew up in the Church of Celebrity. Oh, I loved Jesus, alright, but he was only a rank or two above Elvis. While I'm confessing, none of them could ever hold a candle to Brigitte Bardot.

My religion came to me honestly, passed down from my mom. Trying to make sense of it all now, she dreamed of Hollywood and Nashville. I suppose my arrival sealed those dreams. Birmingham was gonna have to do.

Here's a tip- if you've got stars in your eyes, you should probably get out of Birmingham. Now, me- I've got a college degree in geography. I feel qualified to tell you that you can substitute Tampa for Birmingham.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sue Me

When I was a kid, I thought the USA won all wars. I thought preachers were all holy and girls were all sweet. This is, in fact, my first rodeo.

Am I sorry that I'm naive, a chump, if you will?

Not really.

You see, I live in my own little Garden of Eden, and for the most part, it's not a bad neighborhood. Oh, I have my cynical periods. Discoveries about the nature of the government. The church. The music business. Romance. At this stage of life, it's a pretty long list and I'm grateful that it's not longer.

What keeps me from becoming a mordant recluse? Kids and dogs and cats, I suppose. Oh, and pie. I love pie.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Stars In My Pockets

It didn't take long for me to figure out that my mom was too sensitive for her own good. Honestly, it made life harder for her and for all of us around her. It has taken me a lot longer to understand that I'm just like her.

"Ronny, would you be willing to consider that you're just more sentimental than she is?" the therapist asked.

Let me help with the translation:

"Buck up, fool! Life's hard and you seem to be good at making it harder. For everybody."

Well, I'm hoping for a legacy. It's selfish and petty and self-serving, I know. I'm hoping that someday, if I'm remembered at all, I'll be remembered for loving. Not particularly well. Certainly not wisely.

It had never dawned on me until folks at my mother's little memorial service took my hand and reminded me that she had always ended every little get-together with, "I love you."

She left me a lot.

I love you.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

I'm Not Scared, You're Scared

When I was a kid, I was afraid of ghosts, monsters. I was scared that murderers were right outside my window. Of course we were trained in school to fear the atomic bomb and they tried their damndest to terrify me of hell every week in Sunday school. Yeah, I could go on. I'm guessing that you've got your own list.

Not much about the dark scares me now. I would welcome ghosts. It gets lonely around here.


Thanks to Rob Lorei for the lascivious art.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them

For somebody who tends to hold on to everything, I don't seem to have had much luck with the things that matter. Oh, I'm not whining. Complaining. They say that nobody's passion lasts forever. What do they know?

At various stages in my life my priorities have changed. I seem to end up here- pretty much where I started.

Do you want to know a secret? There are no secrets. This is it.

Monday, May 13, 2019

No Words

Words seem less adequate as life goes on. Oh, I don't think I'm losing anything. Not yet. Not much. It's just that my desire to communicate requires so very much more than any vocabulary that I'm likely to put together in this lifetime.

If I were Bo Diddley or Gauguin, Houdini or Mozart, maybe I could express what I have to tell you. It comes in light rays through the cosmos and it is stored in hearts and stars and museums. You can find hints and traces in oil slicks in rain puddles and you can hear it when the wind rustles in the palm trees.

I know that it's about love and I know that it changes color. Kids know- some of them. Animals and poets and scientists sometimes seem to get a glimpse. On the continuum of truth, it hides in the heart and in the soul.

Turns out, there's nothing funny about peace, love and understanding. The very idea surely makes me smile, though.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

My Worry Bucket

It occurs to me, at this stage in life, that my worry quota is somewhat under my control. My level of angst, anxiety, regret, dread seems to be independent, for the most part, of the actual circumstances in front of me. Behind me, too.

It's far too late to die young and I have already failed, by most standards, personally and professionally. Don't take that statement as an attempt to elicit pity. If I had it all to do over, I would fail more spectacularly. I certainly didn't do it Sinatra's way.

My fret meter generally stays at a tolerable point and I seem to have some bit of control by herding my memories to love that I've known. 

Oh, I still worry about every orphan. Every prisoner. Every soldier. I continue to lose sleep over that one-legged seagull on Indian Rocks Beach when I was five or six years old. Somehow I've made it this far with my old pal, the blues, and I suppose we'll make it to the finish line.

That old line, I love you- I've thrown it around. I don't take it lightly, though. I love you.