Beauty, Brokenness, and a Little In Between

I’m wrestling with dropping words onto my screen in a conventional, orderly fashion.

But I want to write.

I ache to write, and at the moment it feels like the only thing that’s just mine. It’s also typically the one place I go to be raw, unfiltered and let the thoughts fly.

But that won’t work at the moment.

It’s still too messy, wilted, dismal — the world, my personal life, kid conundrums.

I busted out a seven minute Vox to a friend today and immediately regretted it. (Voxer is a voice app that works like a walkie talkie on your phone.) So in other words, I bent her ear for seven minutes straight. She’s had to hear entirely too much of my baggage lately.

I’ve wanted to check in here, but every time I compose a draft it feels awkward and cluttered and blah.

The energy it takes to pound out something and arrange it to be more than my cerebral vomit is not something I possess in droves in these days.

So tonight I committed to writing and posting — now feels like a good time for that.

I’m trying to return to my favorite lyrics from my favorite Leonard Cohen song, Anthem, when I feel most down (which is often these days.)

“Every heart to love will come but like a refugee. Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

I discovered Cohen’s music just five or so years ago. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it here, but I’m a music freak. In my book music makes the world go ’round, and anytime I’m in a dark place, music is a source of solace and comfort.

As a writer and lover of language, I could climb into Cohen’s lyrics, roll around in them and smother myself with their eloquence and depth. Above all else, his artistic gift was his ability to make magic out of pain, ugly, and brokeness through words. I’ve yet to find lyrics that speak to me the way Cohen’s do.

Leonard Cohen died this week. He was 82, but his spirit will forever live through his music. I love the combination of visuals, displayed lyrics, and haunting quality of his aging voice in the following video. Warning: I shared this with a friend in a text message after she asked what the hell I was listening to, and she replied, “That’s some weird, depressing, shit, V, but whatever does it for you…carry on.”

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In other news, and on a happier note, the boys and I drove out to Tybee to see the super moon.

It was jolting and nothing short of magnificent. We crossed the bridge at dusk and as I mentally graphed the best place on the island to view this rare marvel, one of my kids yelled, “Mom, look!!! It’s coming out of the water!”

And that’s an excellent description. It looked like a giant florescent ball slowing emerging from the river. I didn’t get pictures but after scouring the web for a shot I could use that closely represented the picture in my mind, this was the closest, minus the river.

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(Here’s a link to the CNN article with a gallery of additional blood moon images. There was no watermark on any of the photographs. I get anxious on the rare occasion that I use an image that’s not mine and always want to give credit. Grrr. Copyright savvy readers, please let me know if I need to take this down. I  really don’t want to be an ass and snag art that isn’t mine.)

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I’ve been playing my guitar a lot and I’m teaching the kids piano, so I guess you could say I’m channeling my angst into music — I can certainly think of worse ways.

I’ve also been snapping more random pictures with my phone. I like this one from beneath the Tybee Pier. I caught it on a chilly evening at dusk as my boys were having a very loud sword fight with some sticks they snagged from the marsh as we were walking down to the beach. Too bad I have no sound effects to offer.

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I had a pleasant interaction at the gas station with an optimistic stranger yesterday as I was putting air in my tires. (I think I might hate all things 2016, btw. Can it pull a Marvin K. Mooney and PLEASE GO NOW?! — come on Dr. Seuss fans; I know you’re with me.)

I was in line behind a large white guy with shaggy-but-neat silver hair and silently cursing him for taking three days to air up his own tires. My mind wandered as I gazed into space. He startled me by tapping on my window miming for me to roll it down. His enthusiasm was annoying, plus, why do I seem to encounter men who want to tell me what to do? I think I just have that look about me. I silently ponder full-arm tats, spiked black hair — something to make me look like a bad-ass.

I was especially on edge after a very negative run-in at the beach the night before with a beefy, lumberjack-looking dude (that’s a blog post for another day when I’m no longer still processing) and was in no mood to take an ounce of shit from this guy. I cracked my window slightly and in the process noticed the coiled, purple slinky key chain wrapped around his wrist that housed several other key chains. My eyes darted immediately to a rainbow one that said I’M SO GAY I can’t even drive straight. I relaxed then didn’t and thought, shit, do I look like I voted for Trump? Is he about to go off on me? Tense times around here, folks. Not kidding. His big smile proved otherwise and I relaxed.

“Hey, you headin’ towards town?”

“Um…no not right now, why?”

“Girl…you need to go check out the GORGEOUS bald eagles on the bridge as you cross over onto Whitemarsh. (pronounced Whit-marsh for you non-Savannah natives) I had to tell you about it. I committed to thirty days of seeking natural beauty and then sharing it with someone else. Did you see the super moon last night?!”

Y’all. He was jubilant. I’m grinning now remembering it. His aura was so radiant and joyful. I couldn’t stop smiling and told him how much I appreciated him taking the time to share that with me and that I sincerely needed a reminder to look for beauty.

I even took him up on the offer and drove “towards town” hoping to see the bald eagles. They were gone, but I popped the sunroof on my elderly-but-trusty Volvo wagon and breathed in the familiar smell of the salty marsh, inspired by my new friend to actively seek beauty in a broken world.

Has anything in nature moved you this week? Come on, think about my buddy and don’t keep it to yourself. Seriously, his encouragement and enthusiasm changed my entire outlook that day. What natural beauty is available to you that can lift your spirits?

 

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19 thoughts on “Beauty, Brokenness, and a Little In Between

  1. Loved your slice of life post, especially your awesome, attitude-adjusting gas station buddy – well, I also particularly loved the beautiful way you described Leonard Cohen’s songs/lyrics and how they’ve affected you.

    Here’s my answer to your question about nature: nature moves me almost every day because I take Lucy out to the redwoods, and I absolutely love it there. Especially if we’re the only ones on “our” trail, i.e. there aren’t any obnoxious people with their aggressive dogs racing towards us.

    However, getting stomach flu messed up that routine, and I missed our walk yesterday. It’s bad to miss my walks for my mood, let me tell ya! The day before that, I was sick, but I had a brief respite from the ickies, so I foolishly went there when it was getting dark – that’s a huge no no since mountain lions also hang out there! That’s how out of it I’ve been…..as much as I appreciate those magnificent animals, I’m very glad I didn’t have a “panther encounter” and I hope I never will!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you are feeling better this week. I had a bit of 24 stomach thing, but thankfully it’s gone. The redwoods are so beautiful. Oh how I need to make a trip out to CA. I miss it so. It’s been a better week around here. The temperature has dropped and it’s pleasant and fall-like — somewhat unusual so I welcome this weather with open arms. I sure am thankful for you. Wishing you and your family a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving. I had to tell you now in case I get distracted (highly likely) between now and Thursday. Much love, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An injured seal has pulled itself out of the water and sun baked around my home for the last week or so.
    They used to be here in many numbers years ago, and it is only now that we are beginning to see the odd one ‘drop in’.
    It is very comforting to see that if ‘we’ change, the world will change around us too 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. Interesting that you guys didn’t get a supermoon. As for the blah and angst, is it this time of year? Are we all lacking in Vitamin D? I suppose it’s a variety of things and certainly there are individual elements. This has been a better week for me, and yes, warmth and hope pull me on as well. Take care and thanks for reading. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The moon also excited me. I went on an expedition since there are too many trees that block our view of the horizon—also, the mountains in Georgia are hills and there aren’t many of them. I couldn’t think of a better place to see the moonrise than Tybee. I’ll bet it was a sight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was breathtaking. Our plan to sit at the beach was sort of botched & by the time we got down to the water, the moon was full but looked like a regular full moon only larger, but when I saw it peeking out of the water, giant and this glowing red color, it was incredible. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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