Autumn sunshine and autumn leaves conspire to wrap my vision in blazing colors, filling the day with warmth like that of a roaring fire, a cozy wool scarf, a creamy mug of hot cocoa. As if to say yes, the heat of summer is leaving, but there is warmth in winter too. And oh by the way, here is summer’s Grand Finale! I pronounce my requisite oohs and aahs, and shop for pretty big mugs, and contemplate knitting with alpaca.
Everyone loses stuff. For starters, you probably lost a good handful of hair today.
No? Your wallet perhaps? Gosh I hope not. Losing your wallet is probably one of the worst things to lose, right?
Well I’m sure you lost something today. Maybe just a couple hairs. Your keys. Some time. Your way.
Sometimes though, you lose big things. Big, by virtue of the size or amount of stuff lost. Or big because the stuff lost was hard, or perhaps impossible, to replace. Stuff that makes losing your wallet kind of …well, not quite as bad.
Don’t get me wrong, losing your wallet gives you days of headaches while you replace things. I know, I’ve done it several times. It’s not fun. It sucks ass, in fact. But really, the most important thing you lose is your time.
I’ve lost a lot of stuff along the way. Lots. Stuff that’s hard to replace. And frankly, I’m glad about it. By losing all that stuff, all those times, I’ve learned acceptance, to live in the moment, to find peace. I’ve learned not to get attached to stuff. Because it’s just that, stuff. In the grand scheme of things, stuff is not what we’re here to collect. We’re here to learn, grow, and connect with each other. Losing those connections is a far bigger tragedy. Sadly, I’ve lost many of those too.
But there is one bit of stuff that I’ve never managed to come to terms with losing. Something I cannot ever replace. Something that has meaning only for me. In memory of that bit of stuff, I give you this, something I wrote long ago.
And love is light
And light is warm
And warmth is safe
And safety is knowing
And knowing is good
And goodness is laughter
And laughter is belonging
And belonging is love.
Remember a while back when I said I was creepily high on Google search for “surviving hanging”, and had an inordinate number of hits for that exact topic? Right? Well, not any more, my friends. Not anymore. Apparently web searches have gotten all cerebral and literate – or are at least making an attempt at it. Kudos, interwebs! Read stuff! And I’m here to help!
Lately, many of my search hits revolve around two particular phrases which I’ve used in my blog posts. I tend to do that occasionally, and rarely do I ever think to actually tell you from whence those particular snippets of juicy eruditeness originate. So I thought, since people are hitting my site for this info, well, I wouldn’t want them to be disappointed, right? I know how disappointed I’d be if say, I was searching for the lyrics to Hava Nagila, and all I could find was some blog post that said “He handed me a drink, and then I got all Hava Nagila on his ass” without any explanation of what the heck a hava nagila is, not to mention why it would get on some guy’s ass. And I’m still lyric-less.
So be disappointed no more, interwebs! Here’s the back story to the phrases:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
The first one that I keep getting hits for is “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” I paraphrased the first line from this poem by Elizabeth Barret Browning in my Valentine’s Day Crawl post. Appropriate, no? Anyway, the poem is #43 from her most famous collection, Sonnets from the Portuguese. From Wikipedia: “By far the most famous poem from this collection, with one of the most famous opening lines in the English language, is number 43”. Hey, I have high standards. For another one of my favourite Victorian-era love poems, I gotta go with that randy, haggis-eating Scottish chap, Robert Burns:
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
Good DAY sir. I said GOOD DAY!
The second search I noticed pinging my humble little blog is “I said GOOD DAY SIR. GOOD DAY!” which is the title for a blog post I wrote about being a bit miffed about some silly thing. Now that line comes pretty much straight from Gene Wilder’s lips in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. The full text:
Grandpa Joe: Mr. Wonka? Willy Wonka: [pointedly ignoring them] I am extraordinarily busy, sir. Grandpa Joe:[tentatively] I just wanted to ask about the chocolate – Uh, the lifetime supply of chocolate… for Charlie. When does he get it? Willy Wonka:He doesn’t. Grandpa Joe: Why not? Willy Wonka: Because he broke the rules. Grandpa Joe: What rules? We didn’t see any rules. Did we, Charlie? Willy Wonka:[springs up from his chair, angrily] Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if – and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy [grabs a magnifying glass and reads] Willy Wonka: – “I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained,” et cetera, et cetera…”Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum,” et cetera, et cetera…”Memo bis punitor delicatum!” [slams the magnifying glass down, shouts] Willy Wonka: It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get *NOTHING*! You lose! Good day sir! Grandpa Joe: [shocked] You’re a crook. You’re a cheat and a swindler! That’s what you are! [angrily] Grandpa Joe: How could you do a thing like this, build up a little boy’s hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces? You’re an inhuman monster! Willy Wonka:[shouts even louder]I said “Good day!” Grandpa Joe: Come on, Charlie, Let’s get out of here. I’ll get even with him if its the last thing I’ll ever do. If Slugworth wants a gobstopper, he’ll get one.
Yeah I switched it a little bit. But the effect remains the same, no?
So there you have it. All the literary references my readers have been clamoring – yes CLAMORING! – for. Look out! Next I’m gonna get all Shakespearean and translate into modern terms the most excellent tips Polonius imparted to his son Laertes before he went out into the big blue world. Because you need that, right? And don’t think I can’t! And from now on, I’ll let you know where I gleaned my little tidbits of literary goodness, never fear. Go read, interwebs!
I mean seriously, people. Half the country will remember where they were yesterday for the rest of their lives, for starters. For me, this week has been…Momentous. Thrilling. Moving. Confusing. Thought provoking. Surprising.
So how many blog posts have you seen about the Inauguration? I know, me too. Tons. And I kinda didn’t want to just add to the Obama mania noise with my piddly two cents. So this is just an amalgamation of a couple things swirling around my head, including (I mean really, come on, I have to say something, right?) my little Obama plug. Call it another house cleaning post.
So without furthur ado…OBAMA!
That's my president. Isn't he shiny and new?
I recorded the exact moment in his speech where I lost it. It was right about 10 minutes, 17 or so seconds into it:
“…to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more. ”
…and queue tears.
I’m resolving to get my carpentry on for Habitat for Humanity this year. That’s what I’m doing, for starters. What about you?
What the hell?? My twitter/FB community has been, well, a-twitter with the news of Sam Adams’ announcement, and the repurcussions. So he slept with an 18 year old intern. Big deal!! (as long as he was, in fact, 18.) He should not have lied about it. Especially when he was asked directly. He could have skirted the truth, but no, he flat out lied. And asked Beau Breedlove (yeah, what a name, huh?) to lie about it as well. Which says clearly, I’m afraid that people will use this against me because I’m gay. So I’m gonna hide my gay (legal) indiscretions. Sure, it may not demonstrate the best judgment in your personal life, but it’s your personal life. Your record of service speaks for itself. If you’re gonna be our out and proud mayor, Sam, be out and proud. You broke no law. But now, the city is clamoring for you to step down, because they feel betrayed. I personally don’t think so you should step down, despite my disappointment. I think the city would be best served by you staying in office, especially now that you will do your damnedest to improve your reputation.
I’ve been reminded just how much I love Portuguese. Such a beautiful language. I remember the first time I heard it. I was at a friends house, and she was playing some music. It was in a language that at first, I thought was French. But soon realized it couldn’t be French, since I couldn’t make out a single word. Spanish then? No, again, don’t recognize any words as Spanish. Yet I felt so sure that I should be able to understand what they were saying, it sounded so…familiar. Thus began my love of the Portuguese language. Mostly the Brazilian flavor.
I was also introduced to Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet. And I heard beautiful words, placed in such a way as to make my heart hum in rhythm with the sounds. Pitter pat, pitter pat:
If I could tell the future and if I knew all secrets,
and if I had all knowledge,
and if I had enough faith to move mountains,
but if I didn’t have love,
I would be nothing.
Eu tenho saudade.
I think I need to do something with those lines. Like, something that will go on my walls. I know, I’ll paint them, right on my wall. In big fancy letters. Big swirly fancy letters, that go across my walls. So I can be reminded every day of the essence of my heart.
I did a really hard thing. I told people that I had made something of a commitment to, that well, it doesn’t seem to be working out. It was a possible break up, and I was interested in someone else. Or at least, something else. I had to do it several times. No one freaked, and I didn’t get fired. Everyone was supportive, and understanding. It was not painless (I do develop loyalties tres quickly. Tres.), but they were at least conversations I could walk away from with my head held high, and no hard feelings, and mutual positive spin. And it wasn’t even really spin, really. I learned a lot. No really, my brain is full of stuff, and I’ll take that with me, and be better for it. But I have to follow my passion. And even better, I was told I *could* go back, if I wanted to.
I can be a total geek at work again. Joy! Yeah yeah all you open source peeps out there, it’s .NET. Yes, there is a bajillion hoops, some of them on fire, and politics and crap. But I understand it. I’ve maneuvered those roads, they’re familiar, and now that time has passed, they don’t seem so bad, in exchange for being able to be a code monkey again, and get PAID for it.
I haven’t decided for sure that I’m going back yet. But I can, if I want to, and everyone knows I’m thinking about it, and it didn’t hurt (much) to tell everyone.
Who came lurking in the nighttime to wake up grumbling don’t look at me? Folding scolding it came building folding up inside of me. I wake up bleary body weary slowly cruising sunless streets. Broken, tired uninspired folding up inside of me. Aching shoulders holding demons angels nowhere to be seen. Whispers nearer, closer dearer folding up inside of me.