Travelling Mercies…or lack thereof

A friend of mine sent me this the other day…

GEORGIA: Secret camera investigation: every single hotel failed to wash your cups and glasses08.nov.07

Consumerist

Fox Atlanta set up secret cameras inside 5 different hotel chains from the Holiday Inn to the Ritz Carlton and caught every single one of them failing to properly wash the room’s glasses.At every single hotel, regardless of price, the glasses were simply rinsed out and left for the next guest. Some hotels used dirty bath towels to wipe the glasses. One hotel employee rinsed the glasses after cleaning the toilet—using the same gloves. Another one sprayed the glasses with blue cleaning fluid that was marked “Do not drink.”Fox Atlanta has turned the results of the investigation over to the local health department. Experts interviewed in the video maintain that this isn’t just a case of “ew, gross” but a very serious health code violation. Dirty glasses spread disease.

Just makes you want to go right out and book a room, doesn’t it?

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Music Appreciation

About 10 years ago or so I made an album. A friend produced it. He did a very nice job. I wrote all the songs and recorded the vocals and backup vocals but he arranged and recorded the tunes with studio musicians. Most of the time I was not even there when he recorded them. It was not exactly because I didn’t CARE to be there…it was more that I had discovered I was pregnant with my first child and I was totally geeked about it.Apparently I was more geeked about the human baby than I was about the musical baby, which I think is understandable and right.I have regrets now about this project.I wish I had spent more time in the crafting of the songs. I wish I had played the keyboard parts or added a cello part. Part of the reason I want to learn to play the guitar is not so much that I want to be able to “do it all myself” but rather to have an appreciation of it. Guitar appreciation, song production appreciation, studio musican appreciation…I don’t have designs on becoming the “next” 40 year old singer/songwriter to come out of nowhere and become popular on the charts, the “next” big thing..God forbid, the next Britney…ack. About the only “next” I want to be is the next step closer to the person I already was made to be. The next step closer to the very best version of me.That is why I want to learn to play the guitar this year.So, with that in mind, here is another of my old “tracks.” Enjoy!

The Nature of Community

I’ve been reading Walt Whitman this week.  I’ve been savoring it line by line.  I know you are all weary of my poetic rantings but I gotta share this piece of wonderful wording which best describes my love of community..

“I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,

To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,

To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?

I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them, and in the contact and odor of them,  that pleases the soul well,

All things please the soul well but these please the soul well.” 

Walt Whitman  “I sing the body electric” 

Radical Thoughts: Eye Contact

I was thinking today about making eye contact.  I was thinking about how often I avoid the eyes of people while talking to them.  When I first moved to Chicago from Cincinnati I’d walk down the street just looking at all the people I encountered, smiling, saying “Hello.”  After a time I got out of that habit.  Everyone else was walking with their head down, staring at the each footstep they took or perhaps looking far ahead, looking beyond, not present in the moment at all.This feels like a loss to me.  So today I thought I’d reclaim that.  Today as I took my change back from the Starbucks guy I looked him in the eye and said, “Thank you” and he smiled.  Then as the barrista handed me my drink I looked her in the eye and said, “Thank you” and she smiled.  It took an extra millisecond to produce that smile.  It was rather gratifying I must say. I’m going to give you non literary homework this week…and that is to make eye contact…with your children, your spouse, your barrista, your gas station attendant…anyone you come across in your daily life.  See how that feels this week. 

High Maintenance Angst

I’ve moved one step closer to “high maintenance.”  Just thought I’d let you all know…you, dear readers, who have seen the rise of my age spots cause utter chaos in my psyche…you, who have witnessed me turn that to waxing poetic about my grandmother.  Yes, the blogmama has glided one step further along the road so highly travelled with Southern women that it’s now the Superhighway of Silicone.I bought a “flat iron.”  Don’t worry, I bought a crappy flat iron but nonetheless I did buy one.  I’m just tired of that little cowlick in the front of my hair ruining things for all the rest of us.  So, there it is….I wash, I condition, I brush, I goop it up, I blow dry and I flat iron…Ack.What  next…

Mrs Simile

You knew it was coming…you did….after Mrs Metaphor’s “Write your own metaphor” and then “Mrs Haiku” how could you get through the year without having to also bear “Mrs Simile?”

Oh, come on….stop your bellyaching…it’s not so bad. This time you can actually use the words “like” and “as.” The very cool thing about the Similie is that it lilts along with such finesse and smoothness, like a tree blowing about in the wind…bending but not breaking…yes?

You may write as much or as little as you’d like…if you can make a comparison in one line then that is just as effective (maybe moreso) as an entire paragraph.

You know the drill…I’d like to see those similies breaking out in full force as the great bull breaks forth from it’s pen on bullfighting day! Your topic, my friends, this Thanksgiving week is well, Thanksgiving. For our friends who live outside the US  and have no reason to don the Pilgrim hat, eat turkey and watch football on Thursday then just tell me about something for which you are thankful at this time in your life.

Go to it…remember, technique is important and content is vital. I want to SEEEEEEE your similie…I want to FEEEEEEEL it in my bones.

Italian Spiderman

Once again I am faced with a long day to start my week so I am posting your MONDAY installment for NaBloPoMo on sunday evening…I wish I could come up with some very very clever metaphor to attach to this video I discovered last week. I have tried and tried and have not been able to read more deeply into it frankly. I think this is a good thing. After all, sometimes a cigar is JUST a cigar, yes? Just watch and love Italian Spiderman for what it is…whatever it is.  Now shut your mouth, pussycat and get me a macchiato, pronto!

Everything Belongs

Because it’s Sunday and I am a Christian I felt it was a good thing to put some soul stuff out there to you.  Tomorrow, I have something very fun for a post but TODAY…you have to read and just let it sink into your spiritual pores.

This comes from a book I’m reading about contemplative prayer, Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr.

Thus far, it’s my favorite quote and one that reminds me why I am even reading the book.  The focus here is to stay “present” in each moment.  Try it today as you go about your life…it’s harder than it seems but rewarding, I promise:

 “The present moment has no competition; it is not judged in comparison to any other. It has never happened before and will not happen again.”

So when a child pulls on your leg for attention turn and look into his eyes and be fully present.  See his face, every freckle, every feature…hear his words without thinking ahead to what’s for dinner or what tomorrow holds.  Take this moment and be FULLY present to it.

Cold Comfort

The other night my three year old woke up from a nightmare AND was experiencing leg cramps to boot. He was inconsolable. It was the middle of the night. He would not take ANY comfort measures from me; soft words, cuddling, kisses, gatorate, tylenol nothing. It was the worst feeling seeing him in pain and not being allowed to comfort him at all.

He just kept wailing and kicking at me each time I tried to pick him up. He looked at me and said, “I don’t want you…I don’t like you!” I knew that he didn’t really mean that….at least I knew that in my heart, my 2am brain was not so sure. It was hard to even imagine what to do next. All I could think was that he was still somewhat asleep and did not grasp the fact that I was there and that I was designed specifically to come to his aid at this point in his life.

I turned on the lights in the room nearly blinding us both. He continued to cry for a moment and then blinked up at me. Then his cry changed. He wasn’t angry anymore. He rubbed his calf and moaned “Oh, my poor, poor, leg.” At this point I sat next to him and asked softly if he would let me help him and he nodded yes. He was still in pain but he knew now from where his help would come.

That is where we begin. We cry out in pain, in anger, in desperation and in the dark. Sometimes comfort cannot happen while we are still a little asleep. Sometimes we need to really awaken and let the light nearly blind us before we can see that someone we love and trust is standing close, ready to love us. Sometimes it takes that awareness to move us from fear into comfort.