Solar Solace

FullSizeRender 2 late September sunset in the Ozarks

“Some days are diamonds… some days are rocks.”  -Tom Petty

There’s no two ways around it– some days are just harder than others.  This past week has been absolutely abysmal.  I’m getting to the point where I can’t even watch the damn news– I’m consciously tuning it out like the numerous neglectful mothers I’ve witnessed ignoring their crying children in public.  I just don’t want to hear it anymore.

I’m tired of reading headlines about mass shootings and natural disasters and neo-nazis.  I’m tired of feeding my misanthropy with stories of how awful and cruel human beings can be to one another.  And I’m tired of hearing that yet another one of my heroes has died.  Social media and celebrity “news” culture has never been my thing, but it’s been impossible to ignore the in memoriam tributes over the last year or so, as it seems that damn near all of my childhood heroes are dying off.  I guess it’s just a part of growing older… I dunno.

Which is why I want to share a little beauty with everyone today.  We had a marvelous sunset here in Northwest Arkansas a few nights back– it carried a painterly quality with the colors of a Maxfield Parrish palette, so I snapped a few pics with my phone for posterity’s sake.  I’m thankful now that I did, as I’ve returned to those photos numerous times in the last few days for a fleeting moment of solace, and I’m hoping I can provide someone somewhere else the same.

IMG_5776closeup of said sunset

 

Time to Move On

My favorite Tom Petty song from my favorite Tom Petty album. Enjoy.

It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going
 
Broken skyline, movin’ through the airport
She’s an honest defector
Conscientious objector
Now her own protector
 
Broken skyline, which way to love land
Which way to something better
Which way to forgiveness
Which way do I go
 
It’s time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

Sometime later, getting the words wrong
Wasting the meaning and losing the rhyme
Nauseous adrenalin
Like breakin’ up a dogfight
Like a deer in the headlights
Frozen in real time
I’m losing my mind
 
It’s time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

(R.I.P. Tom Petty)

Regret (September 16th)

Regret

One asked of regret,
  And I made a reply:
To have held the bird,
  And let it fly;
To have seen the star
  For a moment nigh,
And lost it
  Through a slothful eye;
To have plucked the flower
  And cast it by;
To have one only hope—
  To die.

–Richard Le Gallienne

(apologies to Richard Le Gallienne and Mrs. D.G.S.)

Like The Weather

The color of the sky as far as I can see is coal gray
I lift my head from the pillow and then fall again
I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather
A quiver in my lip as if I might cry

And by the force of will my lungs are filled and so I breathe
Lately it seems this big bed is where I never leave
I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather
A quiver in my voice as I cry

What a cold and rainy day…
Where on earth is the sun hid away?

I hear the sound of a noon bell chime, well I’m far behind
you put in ’bout half a day while here I lie
With a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather
A quiver in my voice as if I might cry

What a cold and rainy day…
Where on earth is the sun hid away?

Do I need someone here to scold me?
Or do I need someone who’ll grab and pull me out of
Four poster, dull torpor pulling downward

For it’s such a long time since my better days
I say my prayers nightly, this will pass away

The color of the sky is gray as I can see through the blinds
Lift my head from the pillow and then fall again
I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather
A quiver in my voice as if I might cry

A cold and rainy day…
Where on earth is the sun hid away?

A cold and rainy day…
I shiver, quiver, and try to wake

(apologies to 10,000 Maniacs)

 

 

Babysitting Gig

Babysitting Gig“And He Was…”

Found myself thrown into an impromptu babysitting gig for a friend.  Seems her chain of emergency back-up babysitters all came up empty, and I was her last resort.  Needless to say, I’m a sucker for sacrifice, and since she’s one of the few people I’d do anything for, I said, “sure– what the hell.”

Her children were delightful.  The baby boy is the most cherubic child I’ve ever seen, and he was an absolute hoot.  Give that kid a napkin or a paper towel and he’s dancing around the room as if he’s doing a ribbon-twirling gymnastics floor exercise.  The little girl is also a sweetheart, despite the fact that she threatened to pour root beer over my head.  (I would’ve let her, honestly… I have no shame anymore.)  She was playing an iPad game at one point, and when the obligatory in-game purchase opportunity appeared, she shouted, “I DON’T WANT YOUR GARBAGE!”  Good girl.  I did feel for “Fabio,” the virtual chef in her culinary game, though… he was trying so hard to teach her how to make an omelette, in his over-the-top stereotypical Italian accent (“Mama Mia!”) when she dismissively said, “Fabio’s a failure.”  Damn, girl… that’s cold.  I immediately thought of one of my favorite moments from Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket, in which Anthony (Luke Wilson) visits his grade-school-aged little sister shortly after his release from a “nervous hospital.”  After the visit, Anthony tells his friend Dignan (Owen Wilson) that his little sister thinks he’s a failure.  Dignan replies:

“What?!?  She said you’re a failure?!?   What has she ever accomplished with her life that’s so great, man?”

Brilliant.

*********************

So anyway, in a moment of respite (shortly after the baby boy went down for his nap) I snapped the above photograph on my phone– an homage to both Julie Blackmon and The Talking Heads, I guess.

Close to Me

Close to Me

I’ve waited hours for this–
I’ve made myself so sick–
I wish I’d stayed asleep today.
I never thought that this day would end–
I never thought tonight could ever be
This close to me.

Just try to see in the dark–
Just try to make it work.
To feel the fear before you’re here,
I make the shapes come much too close–
I pull my eyes out,
Hold my breath,
And wait until I shake.

But if I had your faith,
Then I could make it safe and clean–
If only I was sure
That my head on the door was a dream.

I’ve waited hours for this,
I’ve made myself so sick–
I wish I’d stayed asleep today.
I never thought that this day would end,
I never thought tonight could ever be
This close to me.

But if I had your face,
I could make it safe and clean.
If only I was sure,
That my head on the door
Was a dream.

(apologies to Robert Smith and The Cure)