WHAT ARE THESE LISTS...  the long list is the list you started as a youth without even knowing you were making plans for your future. This is the list that does not have to be in writing, keyed in a Blackberry or posted on the calendar.

The long list is about cutting out, shocking the system and coming back unharmed. It is an exceptional adventure sensation we visualize while waiting for a flight at the airport, for the neighbor to turn off the leaf blower, for the light to turn green.

All of the things we monitor in our lives, like the need to have a cavity filled or checking the coolant level is multiplying and that short list is so long we rarely have time to consider the long list.  None of those items will make any difference in ten years, not one.

The short list is a big obstacle in the way of the long list. By the time we get to the long list, we may be crippled by fear, turned into a sofa shouting grumpy cynic or, worse than all the above, we may have forgotten what we wanted.

Waiting too long to start an adventure on the long list is looking at me in the face. It is  September, t128_2887his is the month of change. It  is going to be autumn, and if you live in a seasonal climate, it is going to land on your front porch.  Before the fall is scooped up in garbage bags and placed by the dumpster, my next  adventure is moving to the short list.



           I‘ve been stalked by a sensation and image of Loulou, scrambled up in whistles blowing, each one commanding me in a different direction. The annoyance of conflicting orders robs me of my Aladdin ( magic moments), DICE LOGO

sURREALISM 2 (Photo credit: Nesster)

 AS I CLEAR OUT THE FEAR OF NEW FEELINGS .  I feel like time is  belted with interior stop lights, instructions, and preparation for a new passage to go through.  What happens is subtle, but when so much time is placed in introspection,  life looses it’s Aladdin. It is time to polish my gold lamp and follow an  unknown light. Do you know what I mean?


The waking of an adult in a unwilling woman
Forever young is an idiom that I enjoy reading and humming in a song. In the honesty of thoughts, I feel the adult pushing through, and clawing it’s way into my perceptions, spirit, and creativity. The struggle is constant, because the adult has proven to be a protector, but lately she is interfering with my favorite toys. There it is, finally surfacing, and sounding off about trite irritations, suspecting, unyielding, distant, scrutinizing, and cowardly for being a little selfish.

This adult is more concerned with dust, and neat piles, then the sun beckoning my soul to a dance in the light, a trip to Greece, or a two-hour lunch and trip to the museum. The adult is pressing through the work plan, publication, interviews, the emails, and bills, the laundry, and a, the rain soaked rugs left outside, the weeds, and in between these tasks of productivity, the mind is rumbling like a tea kettle about to boil, about bumper sticker things I’d rather be doing. The rather be doing list drops down just before I go to sleep. I look at it blankly, and ask someone who never seems to answer; when am I going to begin the begin. If there is an absence of time to write, and the avoidance of time to play, then I am left with a very dry outlook. In the presence of my admission, is the sweep of rage that crosses over the keyboard. Yes, there is madness in an obsession to produce great things, bundles of money, inventions and art. In replacement, there would be gossip, self-absorption boredom, complacency, and trashy novels. Balance, as we know it today, means the consumption of everything we yearn for at more than moderate levels. That is also an idiom that I read about and hum in a tune, but it passes, and I am back to uneven feelings, and imbalances between laughter, and shouting.


2013101095112653Photo credit to: LOREN TUPLER aka White Wolf.


The throw of the dice this week lands on adventures in livingness; friendships.

The subject pierced me yesterday morning, and came by way of Anais Nin, a passage in her diary. 
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934    Today, the first in several months that the atmosphere is ripe with thought, and has brought me back to the writing of the moment. The delivery trucks have not opened their doors and dropped their ramps, the garbage trucks have already passed, and the traffic is so slight it feels like Sunday.

Fall is brushing nature with a varnish of  sunshine all day, the sky is swimming pool blue,  and so I sit in the garden on the lounge chair, shaded by the droopy elm tree.  I hear some cheerful shouting on the sidewalk, a horn breaks the sanctuary, and then a dove lands on the wooden lattice and we watch each other.  I breathe deep, close my eyes, and feel my noon time tuna sandwich thumping in my belly.

The stream of consciousness is threaded to the deeper blanket of anxiousness. I am going in circles, not physically like I have been moving from one bedroom to another, one closet to another to accommodate, the vacation rental guests. I am in the circle of chaos that seeps into every day activities. Tempers are flaring, combative street encounters rouse the hum of music on my porch, authoritarian behavior is exhuming from Managers and Owners, employees are jumping ship everywhere. People are relocating, selling possessions,  or using succulent lips and breasts to lease men for financial support. We are all a bit edgy.

 Just as we adapt to one highland of composure we lose another. On Yom Kippur I attended synagogue in Santa Fe. There were only a few empty seats, so I took one and opened my prayer-book. I tried to read the portion I missed but the two women behind me were chatting. The expectation of searching your soul does not come easy when two women are talking. The same annoyance follows me everywhere; I always end up seated next to the talkers. Whether it’s in on an airplane, a restaurant, or a movie theater, the talkers seem to trail me. The passages from Yom Kippur service remind us of: sensitivity, tolerance, love of thy neighbor, selflessness, jealously, and trust. There I sat, silently scolding the two women who continued to chatter and laugh. Rather than deter my soul-searching, I changed seats, and asked forgiveness for my intolerance. Above all my flaws and quirks, the altar of shame lies in the hiss of distrust. It is a hiss that rises from my gut, and enters my brain. It wasn’t always a malignancy; as a young adult I trusted everyone, unless they asked me questions about my Dad. In recent years, the tumor of trust has splintered  friendships.  The Rabbi chose the subject of trust as his closing narrative. He said that a person who suffers from lack of trust, runs the risk of becoming paranoid.  I sank lower on my inner backbone. Yes, that seepage of paranoia has invaded my trusting heart.   When I got home  Rudy was painting the new double pane door to my room. 

“How was the service? Hand me that screw will you?” He asked

“Guess what the Rabbi talked about?” I said and handed him the screw.


“Well of course that’s embedded in the Torah. But his personal message was about trust.”

Rudy continued to insert the door into the archway with his screw-gun.   “You inherited distrust from your father, I don’t know if you can rid yourself of it.”

“I have to!”

“Good. I’m so hurt when you don’t trust me, I mean after thirty years.”

“You still lie.”

“They’re not lies; they’re white lies, so people don’t get hurt.”

“But I know when you’re lying.”

“I know you do.”

“And the lies really hurt.”

“Well then we’re both guilty.”

“You still don’t get it.”

“Yes, I do. You’re not listening to me.”

“You’re right. I’m about feeling, and you’re about telling. ”

 Why do we lie; is it to protect the other person’s feelings or

is it because we use deceit and dishonesty to get what we want,  If we could change a single human gene; it would be the fib factor. Just imagine how different our life would be.


No Pleasantries
No Pleasantries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a short piece.  I haven’t written anything besides the script for the last two months, and my head is empty of imagery and illumination.  I got the script done as right as I could until such time as a more experienced screenwriter explains what I’ve missed. It’s like looking in the mirror and deflecting the flaws, until the big mirrored light swings over and all is revealed. .
Last Saturday after I printed the script out I went into a cocoon of pleasantries.  Studying my home-nested wild birds, nudge the bird feeder, peck each other out of order, eat alongside the chipmunk, the doves, and the squirrel on the porch and Rick, the pavement glory of La Posada waving from across the street as he jogged to retrieve a guest’s car.    I envied Loren on the porch, sunglasses and hat tipping slang narrating life as he sees it from a valet, go to guy,  perspective, and watching Rudy on the roof pitching leaves, and listening to Ray Baretto.   I drank up Gloria’s laughter at Geronimo when Sam Shepard sat next to me, and she nudged me to talk, talk talk. I watched the fireplace rising into flames and the sunlight at dusk in the melon room .I rose to morning air so fresh it numbed my tongue, my nose and eyes, and inside my San Francisco kimono, draping over my arms I could see the blossoms of color.
Lounging in lavender and lilac oil, soaps and salts in my claw foot tub listening to Nancy Wilson and then later with the TV on to TCM and my head on the pillow, I snuggled the pleasantry of a warm bed and heat rising through the vents.
If you write down the pleasantries
Surrounding your life
Your blessings rise up and
Give you comfort.
The sweet peace may vanish the next day, or be intercepted by the news, a wreck in the street, an unexpected phone call. The crossroads of everyday life comes and goes. Between all of these uncontrollable incidents we are writing our stories. Stories that some day will be told in conversation, or written in journals and books. The essence of our changing lives is worth telling, so you loyal readers write to me and tell me yours.


Remember your pleasantries, and the ones that swim through your days, with smiles and laughter, pats on the backs, jokes and tales. We all have clutter of the mind but we have the power to sift out the deranged deviations. I have come to believe the only will I want is the power to be a real good sifter.



Nicholas Ray
Nicholas Ray (Photo credit: www_ukberri_net)
Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross (19...
Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross (1961 June 27) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE THROW OF THE DICE  this week lands on tumbling dice and poets, writers, musicians, photographers, directors, visual artists, composers, choreographers, actors and the untitled and unrecognized that squeeze in between.  Kipling, Salinger ( my all time favorite) Mozart, the Beatles, Stieglitz,  Nicholas RayKandinsky, Johnny MercerMartha Graham, and James Dean.

Composition VI (1913)
Composition VI (1913) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They were all lovers before they were artists.

LOVERS travel mentally and physically through life with all the windows open; awaiting a sight, sound, or feeling that draws them to their art. The feelings are what count on our life ledger.  I have to thank Billy, my first love at eighteen. He was an artist of music,Gothic charcoal sketches, comic humor, and life. He opened my window to the arts.

That life ledger is always in the red because an appetite of feelings, and emotions eventually depreciate the spirit. Some of us rise above, and the flow of printed green paper comforts that spirit, but emotions continue to dominate all the success.

I have to write this in short sequence, as I am moving between, the loss of a remarkable woman, a flood in the house, hotel rooms, and the possibility of ever falling in love again.

To be continued later.