Who’s life and death is it anyway?

Not sure how to eloquently start this post, so I’ll just tell the truth.

This is not a topic I generally think about but I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations the other day, and they were discussing the recent death and funeral of Kay Yow, historic women’s basketball coach.

She apparently recorded a video that was played at her funeral and the debate was “on” as to whether or not that was appropriate.

My initial and continued reaction to the discussion was how freakin’ selfish have we become in our society to think it an intrusion for the dead person to be making remarks at her own funeral? Screw whoever said the funeral was for the living and not the dead – why does it have to be that way? After all, the star of the funeral is the one who’s life it was that ended (or transcended somewhere else) – not ours.

No matter what you believe happens to our souls when our physical body dies, the death of the physical body is nonetheless a traumatic and life-altering event to the person suffering the actual death – much more so than the one watching.

So, I would hope that we all get our big girl panties on and deal with it.

And, you know what, maybe I’ll just make that music video I’ve always wanted to and sing for all to hear after I’m gone. (To those of you that think you know my vocal capabilities – stop shuttering!) How about Feelings? Something less torturous with a twinge of irony maybe? Every Breath You Take? Maybe I’ll stadium rock it with We Will Rock You/We are the Champions? How about one that I always wished someone would sing about me anyway – What’ll I Do?

Whatever I decide – it’ll be for me, since my name will be on the program for those sitting in the audience!

(It will especially not be for Kevin Kiley who will not be invited anyway since it would be too much for him.  Michael Irvin, however, is always welcome – to my funeral or any living party. And, they know what I’m talking about.)

(PS – I tried to call in but couldn’t get through…sorry for the delay…life goes on…)

Reasoning work versus Playful rhyme

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Entering the ring, wearing the blue silk, business casual trunks and weighing in at a whopping weight of the world status of four hundred and fifty seven pounds is our challenger!  She’s mean, she’s tough – she stomps on daisies and eats b-u-n-n-y  r-a-b-b-i-t-s for breakfast!! Give it up for the Queen of Restraint, the Bitch of the Boardroom – MS. AFFLICTED!!

[The capacity crowd boos and throws popcorn.]

And now, flying in to reclaim her original title – she’s calm, she’s beautiful – she makes us laugh and cry with her peaceful kind of love and takes her man’s b-r-e-a-t-h  a-w-a-y!!  Wearing tye-dye trunks and weighing in at a compact fighting feather weight as light as air is our people’s choice champion – put your hands together for our Woman of the World, Child of the Universe and the Zen Goddess – HARMONY’S CHILD!!

[The crowd goes wild – screams and cheers echo all the way to the moon.]

The two fighters are poised in their corners.  Ms. Afflicted is snarling and blood is pouring from her mouth as she has just bitten the head off of a baby chick. She is already dripping with a grimy, gray sweat and pounding her fists together. Harmony’s Child hovers above the canvas in the lotus position, eyes closed chanting the love of the ages oblivious to not only Ms. Afflicted, but the millions of eyes and hearts on her every breath. She glows with a light of serenity that secures her place in life.

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

The bell sounds.


And, by bell, I mean the alarm clock goes off and I start my day which frequently resembles the equivalent of a Rocky Balboa sized prize fight with me battling the demons of responsibility, all cut up and swollen screaming for my family and love much like he did with Adrian.

My reality lies somewhere in between harmony and affliction.  I don’t think I am much different from most folks trying to live their lives amid the human race. And yet, I masterfully convince myself that I am the only one who struggles, who is unable to work an eight hour day, get the kids to/from school, make dinner, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, walk the dog, please the husband and fulfill creative desires without neglecting the ones she loves. My affliction is adept at making sure I feel unworthy to have these children or the true love of a husband or even the talent to write a blog. So, I don’t do any of it and the house becomes a mess, the kids watch TV and a stoic silence erupts between my husband and I. I become brainwashed to believe that my children despise me, that my husband only tolerates me because it would be too difficult to leave, and that no one will ever understand and appreciate my writing much less consider it genius enough to publish.

I read another woman’s blog the other day – clusterfook.com, which I highly recommend – and someone apparently accused her of being depressing.  She has been fighting cancer for over five years (I believe) and is chronicling her journey through a blog. I am fighting having a day job wishing I was at home writing Nobel Laurette poetry and those interminable ten pounds that I cannot seem to get rid of off my ass. My site is depressing – hers is remarkable. And the most remarkable part is that she would probably not compare our two struggles in the way I do.

The truth is that we both receive some sort of relief from writing about our lives and pain and joys and sorrows. We both carry on the tradition of humanity that began in caves thousands and thousands of years ago with simple figures drawn on the rock and grunts around a warming fire that turned into many languages of expression.

My prayers are for Lisa’s voice to delight the fires of her family for many, many more years as well as the rest of us peeking into her world through our brightly lit LCDs and keyboards.

And me?  Well, I’ll keep on-keeping on.  I’ll try new things like a joint writing project with another blogger and maybe playing at photography and work on old ones like accepting and trusting life, each other and the universe.

Proof of my proving abilities

I have perfected an annoying art form of attempting to prove the unprovable.

For me, trying to do something – anything – in order to prove a point I have neither been asked nor have any reality-based need to prove is like trying to force an elephant through the exhaust of a mini-cooper. I might actually be able to get it to fit, but I would have to chop up the entire beast into small pieces, stick it in a blender until liquefied and then let it boil into a gaseous state. By that time, there is nothing left of the originally magnificent creature I so desperately wanted to prove I am of kindred benevolence.

I know this because I have metaphorically killed more magnanimous creations than I am admittedly capable of calculating.  I will either make half-failed (or half-successful, depending on your optimism vs. pessimism tendencies) efforts to do it myself, actually do it myself with varying levels of success (or failure), or sit paralyzed in fear of not doing it perfectly thereby not doing it.  The only way I won’t do it is to let someone else do it for me.  I have some switch inside that pulls the choke out at the slightest indication that I may feel left out of whatever wondrous triumph is about to occur.  Unfortunately, I pull so hard that I open up too much and inevitably stall out creating a self made vacuum bag full of words never shared, works of almost art, plays produced in my head, and songs never sung outside my car.

Want proof?

Hollis and Jolleen – a children’s book about two best friends and their adventures through a knot-hole in a tree to the world below filled with talking frogs, daisies and a mole.  Partially written with a TYPEWRITER.

A Way Home – a play I began writing while living in NYC and had a staged reading of in like 2003.  It still needs final edits.  (PS – I lived in NYC from early 1995 to early 1997…;o|)

Bhogobaan ekane ache – a written account of my spiritual journey – first written in 2003 with minor updates over the years.  Sent to some publishers and a monologue from it got me cast in Ochen Chotto Schpiel (see next point).

One Woman’s Voice – a compilation of about 40 poems of mine up until about 2004.  Sent it to a few publishers but figured work got in the way.  And my playwright’s revival in Ochen Chotto Schpiel (which did generate quite a bulk of very short plays that now reside only in my memories – both cranial and hard disk.)

Dreaming Tales of This and That and a Splashing Humpback – another compilation of over 30 poems for kids of all ages.  24 are done, the rest almost – but I need to illustrate it, although I don’t really draw very well.

Numerous visual arts – paintings, fabric, mixed media – that I have more supplies for than actual completed pieces.

Very brief foray into the possibility of an artistic tye-dye business.

This blog which I almost started for years and now only update periodically.

And, oh yeah, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Drama – emphasis Acting.

Whew!  That’s a lot of almosts to cram into one old four-drawer metal filing cabinet stuck in my home office!  And it doesn’t even include the lists of aspirations I swallow deep down underneath rolls of Tums and diet coke – dancer, singer, cellist, elected official, world news anchor, race car driver, motivational speaker, smoking hot babe with perfect cha-chas, covert spy and mime extraordinaire.

Okay – really sounds like I’m headed towards the typical mid-life crisis, doesn’t it?  Yipes.

Katie – Bar the door.  No, seriously – bar it, lock it, nail it shut – goodness knows where this line of opening up and spreading my mid-life cheer will send me!

P.P.S. Truly just kidding about the mime part.

P.P.P.S.  See my point?