Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tomorrow is the day I begin.....again.

It's been a while since I blogged here at Veni, Vidi, Vici, Vickie....Sort of....Maybe.  In fact, the life I have now no longer resembles the life I had when I started this blog back in 2010.  Back then I was married, just starting college, had been retired from the service for one year and my son still lived at home.  What is clear now that was not so clear back then was that my life was already beginning to unravel, everything I thought my life had been about turned out to be an illusion: the family unit was coming undone. 

These last four years have been many things: challenging, rewarding, happy, sad, tough, peaceful, chaotic are but a few of the adjectives that I can think of to sum up my life.  I have lost a lot but I think I have gained a few things that are pretty substantial: independence, intelligence, compassion and wisdom.  The intuition that I was born with has made a return engagement and I am glad to have it back...and I am listening to it.

In 2010 I was 45, today I am 49 years and 5 days old.  Tomorrow I am leaving my beloved Mid-Century modern house, my son and my two Shelties (who will be staying with my former spouse who is a good friend) in the Southern California desert and driving 1400 miles to Texas, the land of my birth. I am taking a sabbatical from my life....it seems that a lot of other people are being called to do the same thing these days.  I am leaving everything that I have known for the last 15 years and venturing out to conduct a walk-thru of my childhood, to try and find and understand what it is back there that summons me. 

I will be making the drive with my 68 year old mother; she and I have had a somewhat complicated relationship from the moment of my birth.  5 days, 1400 miles, 2 dogs (two rescued Miniature Schnauzers) and my mom...a scenario that four years ago I would have never seen coming but here I am, on the eve of the journey. 

"Please don't retouch my wrinkles, it took me so long to earn them!"

Anna Magnani, you've got to love her. She didn't want her wrinkles retouched and her hair always looked like she just fell out of bed, a natural beauty, one of Italy's finest actresses. Check out Mama Roma, it's classic Magnani.

Black Orpheus....

We just finished watching Black Orpheus, I saw it many years ago with my parents, but this was my husband's first time seeing it. This 1959 classic won numerous awards (The Palm D'Or at Cannes and both an Academy Award and Golden Globe in 1960). The film is fondly remembered for introducing Bossa Nova music to the world as well as introducing us to one of the loveliest African American actresses to grace the silver screen: Marpessa Dawn. Born in Pennsylvania, she traveled to Europe as a teenager, eventually married the French Director Marcel Camus (controversial at the time, he was white) and went on to star in her husband's movie Black Orpheus. Ms. Dawn passed away in 2008, but she lives on in this wonderful film which captures the beauty of Rio De Janeiro during "Carnaval", the emergence of Bossa Nova music into the mainstream and Ms. Dawn in her absolute lovely celluloid prime. If you get the chance (and you can handle subtitles, the film is in Portuguese) watch Black Orpheus.

Coming Around Again aka "My Absence Proves A Point About Being Distracted"

In the word of inconsistent bloggers/blogging...I rule, I reign supreme.  What is it that gets in the way of setting aside time to just write down a few thoughts?  Or share an observation or two..or twenty? Life I say.

When I started this blog (3 or  6 years ago) the landscape of my life looked different from today.  As the world approaches the end of 2016 and faces what will surely be a year of uncertainty, what I have come to realize is that in the time since my blog was born what I was trying to do was identify who I am.  In that time I have changed my appearance, changed my mindsets and formed opinions (opinions are something I prefer not having..they are wasteful thoughts that manifest into wasted words), judged others, tried to convince myself that I was/am moving in the right direction and finding inner happiness. As I write this what I am seeing are all of the things I didn't get quite right and that's ok because what I have come to realize is that the reason they weren't right is because the intention behind those things was not right.

Materialistic wanting, wasteful spending, not being as present and mindful as I could or should have been..selfish and self-serving motives...these things will never produce a fruitful harvest for the heart, soul and mind.  It isn't that I have done anything criminal or so heinous that I could not recover from, it's more a feeling of having strayed from my path, having allowed myself to become distracted by the very thoughts and feelings that I had identified as barriers to growth and abundance.

I recently lost my beloved Schnauzer, Fritz, who was my teacher and a living, breathing 4-legged litmus test for gauging levels of distraction and mindlessness.  Fritz was the first dog I was rescued by, he was so old and rag-tag looking when I first saw his ad on the rescue website: it was love at first sight.

Five months after I was rescued by Fritz, another miniature Schnauzer named Ralphy, decided he too needed to join the effort to save me.

A month later the three of us left the home we had in California and set out into the unknown.  We had everything we needed to live in the trunk of the car; the only thing that was lacking was a sense of direction.  I lost Ralphy last year to Chronic Kidney Disease and Fritz died a little over week ago.  I now have Rex and Chesty, my two other Miniature Schnauzers who stepped in to do their part in rescuing me.  Fritz and Ralph were both from San Diego...Cali Dawgs.  Rex and Chesty on the other hand both found me in Oklahoma....I won't call them Sooner Dawgs.

I came to Oklahoma 2 years ago: I did not intend to stay in the Sooner State this long and am planning to leave it at some point in the next year or so.  Nothing against Oklahoma, it just isn't the place for me.  I am a city dweller...a surfer, artist, musician, culture-loving individual.  Oklahoma is just too rural for me: it is also too far away from the surf and the laid-back mentalities that I am used to.  I was born in Texas which is kind of like home but California IS home.  I love the West Coast...I love the West period.

In these last two years I have moved up at work, my disabilities have worsened significantly but I am doing alright..given the circumstances of still being a bit of a stranger in a strange land.  What I have come to realize in these two years is that I was trying to run away from who I thought I was back in California.  What else I have come to realize is that you cannot run away from yourself because if you do, guess who you end up running headlong and crashing into? Yeah: YOU. So...in 2017 I will be coming around again...a combination of the older California me and every version of me since then..infused with what I have learned during my journey thus far and slightly salted and seasoned with things to come.  Stay tuned..and please read. Thank You from my grateful dog human heart! It is good to be here again.