Monday, January 22, 2018

This Blog has Moved

Dear Readers, Family, Friends, Trolls, and Robots,

This blog has moved to a new home at theshagbarkspeaks.com.

As of today's date, I am few days into a 30 day writing challenge. You can read my latest here:

Flipper, Otters, Girlfriends, and Love
What's Goin' On: Marvin Gaye, Love and Rockets, and Barack Obama
A Child's Query ("Why doesn't anyone listen to any good music anymore these days?"): Lauren Hill

Or, check me out on Facebook.

With spirit,
Rachel


https://www.theshagbarkspeaks.com/

Friday, January 5, 2018

Eric Clapton Lyrics Impress Middle Aged Woman

Signs of advancing age: 

Wrinkles - Yes
Grey Hairs - Yes
Creaking Joints - Yes
Enjoying Flavors of Ice Cream Other Than Chocolate - Yes
Hearing Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and Thinking, You Know, That's Kind of Nice - Yes

I used to hate, hate, hate that song. Sappy. Unremarkable songwriting and instrumentation. There is a guitar, but are there other instruments? I never bothered to listen closely enough. The wheedling guitar is at the forefront, obscuring all otther sounds.

Oh, the tuneless vocals. Sure, the singing enhances the message: Wife = Total Babe. Husband = Lucky Loser. Of course, the husband is Eric Clapton. Not really a loser, but he poses as one and lets his wife be the "beautiful lay-dee" in this song. In the background, my conscience says, This guy also did "Tears From Heaven", a tribute to his child-son who died tragically, so go easy. Don't invite bad luck!

The song remains all that it is. And yet, on the way home from the grocery store one afternoon, a classic rock station played "Wonderful Tonight". Knowing there was nothing else besides country, Popular R&B, and NPR that would come in as I drove along the red shale bluffs that rise from the Delaware River, I chose Eric Clapton. 

"You know, this is a nice song," I thought. Hm? Wait. This is no "Night Moves" by Bob Seeger. This is "Wonderful Tonight". 

I sang along. I just a little teeny bit imagined myself as the oblivious, modest, and pretty lady in the lyrics. 

I admitted this to my husband. I figured he would be both ok with my slip up (liking an awful pop song) and find it amusing. I could never admit that I teensy weensy imagined my husband thinking of me as the pretty lady. But, shucks, the cat's outta the bag now. Anyone, including my husband, will know my secret. The little part I didn't admit. 

I could never admit liking "Wonderful Tonight" to one of our longtime friends. John K. John K. would laugh, shake his head, and say, "Oh, Jesus Christ, Rachel, you are getting old. Living out in the woods is making you go soft!" 

Luckily, John K. does not use the internet. But because John is a wise ass and good friend with whom I like to share good laughs, I may just tell him and let him bust my chops.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Winter Book Review

Notice how short my tail is? Winter kicks my tail.

What is helping me: warm beverages, girlfriends, living room dance parties with husband and child, snacks, sex, snacks, the wood stove. Snacks. Snacks.

And, the book Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun. So funny. Laughed out loud at the library multiple times. I showed Jared the passage on "Marriage Math", a special method of financial accounting. He snorted and later stole the book for his own.

I stole it back and am now in deeper, deeper into the pages and the content gets deeper, too. It is funny, tender, and real.

I admire Ada's writing style. Personal, funny, poetic, and she's well-read, too. An inspiration.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A night in the life

Along a more mundane and typical road:

We intended to get Beren to bed early, but instead i combed the knots from his hair, got him in the tub, applied shampoo to the back (only) of his head, and soaped his back and chest. Victory.

Meanhile, Jared stole my library book.

To do:
Set mouse traps
Cat in basement
Modem off
Cups of water upstairs
Make bed
Salsa to fridge
Overtired kid to bed

Monday, January 1, 2018

Road Maps

Camera, Rest In Peace. 
I regret the day I took you out for field work and scratched your lens on my clipboard.


New Years Day 2018

A road map to the heart. The phrase came to mind a day or two ago. I think the complete thought was: Finding a road map to the heart is difficult.

The phrase stuck, at least parts of it did. Other parts fell away. 'Finding' and 'difficult' fell away. Perhaps they will be back.

I do not make New Years resolutions. By the end of 2018, I will be a different person. I shiver with the thought. Looking out on the horizon. Startling.

Be in the now, they say. Sure. I am in the now. Then, I am in the worry or fear of the next moment. Then, I am back in the now. Sometimes, the now is just too mundane, too cluttered. Man, look upon that horizon. Or, forget about it, and the horizon will swallow you up.

The horizon, that it exists alone, is enough to stun me back into the now. Make it good. Speak from the heart. Laugh. Apologize. Take good care. Take good care of it all. The body, the memories, the heart, the bonds.

If I were to have a resolution, if I were forced, my resolution is to spend this year following, drawing, and redrawing a roadmap to my heart.

My plan was to transfer my writing to a new website by today, New Years Day and the full moon. It seems auspicious.

To reawaken, Rachel, the artist, who has taken a break and yet has felt a creative nerve this autumn. Rachel, in midst of preparing her writing and photographs for the new web page, watched her laptop screen go blank. A week prior, Rachel, the artist, dropped her camera, which is now broken.

The husband of Rachel is known as Jared, the musician. He tried to fix Rachel's lap top. Alas, he could not. Rachel took her laptop to DTown Tech (recommended, by the way). Rachel left the store to browse LPS at Siren Records (also recommended) while the owner of the computer store performed an examination of the laptop.

Rachel returned to DTown a half hour later and sunk into a chair in the waiting area. The line was long, iPhones needed batteries and screens. Desktops needed CPR. "PURPLE PANTS!" the owner shouted, and Rachel, wearing purple pants, rose.

"Purple pants, that's how you've come to be called," he said. Rachel laughed and he added, "It's fried. Done. It's the motherboard."

Rachel asked questions. Refurbish? Do you sell computers here? No to both. Then the owner asked in a loud and friendly voice, "What are you doing with your computer? You look like a creative type." 

Rachel smiled, stepped back from the counter, and looked down at myself. She performed a brief routine for him and for the crowded store. "Me? Creative? What makes you say that?" Boots, purple pants, colorful poncho and scarf.

"I'm psychic, right? I'm just intuitive like that," he said, laughing.

Rachel described what she would use the laptop for. "You know B&H Photo?" he asked. "Yeah. I don't have to go there do I?" Rachel said. She had been there many, many times for film, chemistry, photo paper over a dozen years ago.

"No, they ship. This is what you want," he said showing Rachel a laptop on B&H Photo's website. "If you find anything else you might get instead, you can run it by me. Just send me an email." Gesturing to Rachel's dead laptop, he said, "Don't throw it against the wall. It still has parts worth money in it."

And so, Rachel had plans for today, and the roadmap changed. A small, subtle change. A change based on the loss of things. Nothing shiver-worthy. Nothing she won't forget when the new laptop arrives. Nothing that changed the horizon.

And, I think of the two guys dancing around to Swedish folk music downstairs while I write. I think of my friends who have become so dear to me. I think of my father's side of the family who I spent the day with yesterday - my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousin and her newborn baby. I think of I love them all so very much.

I think of road maps.