Life is Out to Get Me

So we’ve packed the car with Pull and Peel Licorice, Tootsie Pops, something from the salty food group, lots of Diet Pop, and off we go on our road trip. BUT we can’t get out of our parking space because some assholes are parked an inch away from both bumpers, all our tires are flat and the car won’t start.  We are going nowhere!  In situations such as this, I cycle between rage and despair and neither gets me even close to problem solving. This last week has been an exercise in practicing patience, and learning that rage and/or despair are not conducive to serenity or problem solving.

It all began Saturday, November 17th at 12:30 p.m. in the middle of the intersection of College Avenue and Swallow Road. I was in one of two cars that met in the intersection and my forward motion was abruptly stopped. Nothing like the sound of a car being crunched. I was O.k.the other driver was O.K. (Thank God),  but our cars were not. I was able to get my car off of College, the busiest street in Fort Collins, but the crunch impeded turning my right front tire more than a few inches. After the police came to visit and assess people and cars, the other driver was cited for an improper left turn and my car was towed to a lot awaiting an estimate and repair. 

It gets worst. Snafus with the claim with State Farm, and State Farm determined that their driver was 85% liable and I was 15% liable. I was expected to pay 15% of repair and rental car. How is  liability divided like this? Why not 90% for their driver and 10% for me. Or even better—100% liability for their driver and 0% for me. Fed up, I filed a claim with my insurance and asked them to fight it out with State Farm. I needed a rental car, so since last Tuesday, 1 week ago, I am on my third rental car. One was too big, one had a leaky tire and finally today I found a car that is just right. I am feeling like Goldilocks, but my fingers are crossed.

On the tip of my tongue is a good whine: Why is everything always so screwed up for me? A sure path to resentment is feeling like bad luck always hits the bullseye on my backside. Is God or the Universe really paying the shit forward to only me?  I have thought about this theory and have concluded I am not that important for so much personal attention focused on my ledger of positives and negatives.

 It’s not personal!  Rage and despair are not my only options when things don’t go the way I think they should. I will have some more stories to tell after this experience and maybe it will seem funny even. I deal with it, do the next right thing and keep it in perspective. I remain calm and carry on. Shit Happens!

Midterm Elections

I lost the election. I didn’t ride the blue wave, nor did I claim a seat in the House of the Homeowners Association. There will be no recounts, but I am suspicious of election fraud. The biggest fallout from the election is my sense of shame at losing, and rage at the current board President who is not “doing the right thing”.  You know how it feels when you are the last person picked to be on the team, that’s how I feel.  It’s all about power, who has it and who doesn’t. If you don’t have a seat at the table you may only get scraps. Cynical? Maybe.

Power, what is it and who has it?  power: the ability or right to control people or things

Some people are powerful because the electorate has voted them into power. Some people are powerful because they have billions of dollars, they buy their way into power.  Some people are powerful because they have superior physical strength. I don’t have enough votes, bucks or physical strength, so what power do I have? I have to think about this because it’s hard to see myself as powerful.

Lately I keep hearing “words matter”, I think this means that words can be powerful. I know that some writers and speakers have moved me to tears, laughter, awe, or rage. I read or hear their words and I am inspired to open my heart and/or my mind. I may take action in response to what I read and felt. Words that inspire are very powerful. The influence that a well written piece or a good speech can have is not easily measured, but we have all felt it. In the current social climate I can only hope that the truth is more powerful than propaganda. Are words of love and tolerance more powerful than words of hate and racism?  Are my words powerful? You decide.

Kindness can change the course of a day or even a lifetime. A hand offered in kindness can save a person in despair or stop a fist raised in anger— that’s powerful in my view. When words are being spewed at us, kindness may be the last thing we think of, but we do have the power to pause and consider our response. Kindness is soft and quiet but wields more power than hard and loud anger or indifference. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Theodore Roosevelt,   “carry a big stick” part means be willing and able to defend yourself if you have to. Pragmatic power! I worry the “big stick” would be too available and may not be the last resort.

I don’t have the power to change other people. Oh, how I wish I did. My power lies in being able to control my own actions and attitudes, and much of the time I can’t even do that. A work in progress for sure. Another view of power is “Knowledge is Power”. I am kind of an egg-head so I subscribe to this theory. The danger is that my  “knowledge” may lead me to think I know best, or if I just know enough I will be able to stop bad things from happening. And then we have the school of thought that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. It’s all very confusing.

Power (plural:powers)  The Powers are an order of angels in the hierarchy of angels. The Powers have power over the devil and can prevent demons from harming anyone. They can help humans repulse temptations too. Now this is real POWER.

Sing the Chorus with Me

I am writing a song.  If you’re thinking, “I didn’t know Danita knew how to write a song”, you’re right! I don’t have a clue, but I do have a teacher, a great deal of motivation and something I need to say. I have gotten this far, 66 years old as of Halloween, and it seems to me that making a life is all about learning, having mentors and teachers and lots of motivation. I’ve got a sharp pencil, a good eraser and blank music sheets.  I have good hearing but I doubt I have what’s referred to as a “good ear” for music; what I do have is “”me” and the desire to write my song come hell or high water . I don’t have to create my song as much as I need to uncover it and write it down.”I got the music in me.”

Lyrics and a melody are the first elements of a song. I play banjo so I use a  scale on my banjo to find notes to arrange into a melody. Those years of piano lessons really pay off now and I can use my keyboard too. Notes is notes whether on a banjo or a piano. Mozart, Bach and Lennon and McCarthy all had the same raw materials to work with but their music is vastly different. Of course I will not ever be in such talented company. Do I want to write my song country, or rock and roll or folksy? I could rap it, but banjo and rap do NOT go together. I want to use Adele and Lady Gaga as my muses. The song in me is one of a kind, boisterous and wonderful. I may write a bad song but the cost of not writing even a bad song is too high.

So I play a note and question how it fits in my song and with my lyrics. Which pitch is better-like an eye exam, “1or 2?” fiddling with the lens and again “1or 2?” These choices get the doctor to the best correction for my eyes and this seems to work for writing my song too. There have been lots of times in my life when I have been unconscious of myself in the world, but I am very conscious of my process right now. I am closer to the end of my life and wasting moments is turning my back on myself. When is now.

There’s a mess on my kitchen table, which is always the epi-center of my home.  My keyboard, my music sheets, my lamp and that ever present cup of coffee. Oh yeah there’s also some beads that I am threading unto the fringe of a cowl I crocheted.  My banjo is in its stand next to the table. I sit in the chair that gives me the best view out the window and let my fingers do the talking. A lot of the time I sit and look out the window and listen to the sounds in my head  I hope I can channel onto my music sheets. 

What’s the point? The chances of my song becoming a hit song are 1 in a million, unless of course Lady Gaga sings it. It’s an experiment, it’s learning something new, and right now it gives me joy. Reason enough. It does seem to be banging me on the head lately, Sing Me!

My Star was born a long time ago and my light is finally reaching the earth. We are all stars, everyone of us. Join me on the chorus!