Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rescue Blues

I love Ryan Adams. I love to turn him up loud and sing along. I love his lyrics. Tonight as I drove home with the windows down (finally it wasn't 102 degrees when I left work) I listened to Rescue Blues. It made me think about Owen Wilson, and how hard it must be to be famous. Laugh if you will, say you would love to give fame a try, I still say it's not easy. So this is for you, Owen. I wish you a speedy recovery. You are my absolute favorite lovable rascal.

"Everybody wants you to be special
And everybody wants you to be high
They throw you down a rope when you're in trouble, Baby
Screamin' 'save me'
They then charge you with the rescue blues

And everybody wants to see you suffer
They know that you need the pain so much
They throw you up a rope when you're too high
To cruise, Baby
Lord, you lose Baby
Then they charge you with the rescue blues

And everybody wants to see you fall
That's why they always love to get you high
And everybody knows you need the pain so much, Baby
Well, keep in touch, Baby
Just don't charge me with your rescue blues"

Ryan Adams
Rescue Blues

The Ladies

Margaret Sanger, as featured in the 1950's series of This I Believe (see my last post if you don't know about this series) titles her essay When Children Are Wanted. She envisions a world that is a better place because it is filled with children who are wanted. How simple. How weighty.

I am a better person because I was wanted as a child. (Note, I said wanted- I'm not talking about planned. There is an immeasurable difference between being unwanted and unplanned -you can be unplanned and still wanted, don't take me wrong here!) I am a better person because someone wanted me to be. Because someone cared how I turned out. Because someone wanted the best for me. Because someone still does. That carries me through every thing I do, every single day of my life. It shaped my personality. It shaped my tolerances, my esteem, my confidence. It gave me a safe place to grow. It shaped my world.

I spent the weekend with 3 ladies who shaped my world, who wanted the best for me then, now and always. They were able to give that to their children because they are wanted children, too. The world is a better (and funnier) place because of them, and I'm thankful for them, and for their place in my life.

This I Believe

I bought a book a while back called This I Believe. I was drawn in first by the cover, an old wooden chair in yellow-green grass against a slate blue sky. Simple, yet strong. (This I Believe is based on the NPR series with the same name. It's a collection of 80 essays from people both famous and not, who complete the sentence, "This I believe...") I opened the book to a random spot and found Ted Gup's essay, "In Praise of The Wobblies," and I was sold. There I was. Right there in the middle of the book. You see, I'm a Wobbly. Always have been. But before I picked up this book, I had yet to run across anyone who was willing to admit they were a Wobbly, much less write about it in a book for the whole world to read.

As a young man, Ted Gup applied for an internship at the Washington Post. He felt that he badly flubbed the interview, that he paled in comparison to the Harvard kids who knew exactly where they stood on the hot issues of the day - Vietnam, the demonstrations, Nixon. He felt as if he had stumbled on every issue. He didn't get the position, but he did get a rejection letter from the editor who told him he liked his attitude and that he probably had a hell of a future. About that letter, and the change in how Ted felt about not always knowing where he stood, Ted says,
"It had let me know that it was okay to be perplexed, to be torn by issues, to look at the world and not feel inadequate because it would not sort itself out cleanly. In the company of the confident, I had always envied their certainty. I imagined myself some tiny sailboat, aimlessly tacking in whatever wind prevailed at the moment. But in time, I came to accept, even embrace, what I called 'my confusion,' and to recognize it as a friend and ally, no apologies needed. I preferred to listen rather than speak; to inquire, not crusade. As a noncombatant, I was welcomed at the tables of even bitterly divided foes. I came to recognize that I had my own compass and my own convictions, and if, at times, they took me in circles, at least they expanded outward."

So, I was sold, and I no longer feel so bad about being Wobbly. It takes an open mind, and sometimes an open heart, to see all sides of an issue. I don't mind being accused of having either.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I Need

Some people need to go, to do, to be on the move, to make plans and have plans. I need to be home. I need to remember how I love the color of my living room walls when the sun hits them, how I like to watch my bedroom curtain flutter in the breeze from the air vent, the little ceramic angels that my aunt bought for me, the way my house smells of spiced cider when I burn my favorite candle, the glass candle holders that I got at my wedding shower that catch the light through the kitchen window, the swirls in the marble top of my dresser. I need to just be. To relax. To drink coffee and read short stories. To sit on the back steps with my dogs. Or on the front steps and watch my husband wash my car. (He likes washing my car, really.) We go too much. We need too much entertainment, too much stimulus. It's nice to just be home. Really, really nice.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too Old for the Dentist?

I waited patiently in the dentist chair today, contentedly flipping through the latest Elle magazine. I do not have patience for many things, but I'm pretty good at waiting - as long as there is something to read, anyway. I'm a compulsive reader, especially when I know I'm on borrowed time. I quickly scan the cover, then the table of contents. OK....I want to read about the best jeans under $50 on page 154, how to tell if you have the right job for your personality on page 209, and how to redo your living room in three easy steps on page 67. 154,209,67. I repeat these numbers in my head as I quickly read each story. Then back to the table of contents to see if I missed anything. Ahhh, now I can relax and just flip the pages. Yeah, I'm weird, I know...

So I had read all of the must-read pages, and was now leisurely flipping through the magazine. The dentist enters. We discuss the reason for my visit today, and he tells me that he only has one advanced age. He tells me that wisdom teeth extraction is usually a procedure for younger people, and that at my age healing will be much slower. He tells me that if the tooth I needed extracted were on the bottom, that he would not even remove it because of my age. I have to laugh. Come on, I'm not 80, I tell him.

The actual procedure took approximatley one minute. I'm not kidding. He was lightning fast with the shots, one..two...three. Then a quick incision. Then a giant pair of pliers that I wish I had never seen, then he says I'm going to push, and then pull. Then it's over. No pain, really, just a small pricking sensation for the second shot, and some pressure when the tooth was coming out.

After the quick surgery, I drove myself to the pharmacy. Then I came home and changed clothes and painted my bathroom. About two hours after surgery I had chicken, potatoes, and cole slaw. I did some laundry and watched some TV. Tonight I had a full meal. Still no pain. So take that, dentist. I'm doing pretty well in my advanced age, I think!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


No title

I never been on a railroad,

as many times as they pass me by

I never crashed in the desert

or seen a rodeo.

I dont know much about the world wars or vietnam

I've yet to read about uncle tom

Never climbed a real rock

or seen Colorado......

Can't sing that song anymore (that's Train, by the way) ...not that I ever could. I mean, I've seen a rodeo....hello....I'm from Tennessee.....but Colorado I had not seen, not until this past Monday, anyway. I liked it, the little that I saw.