oh, to be in falling, falling love

In real life I’m pragmatic and not very good at romance in relationships.
small heart and key

I like the idea of hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day, but when it comes right down to it, wow, that’s a lot of money I’m not sure any man I’m dating should be spending in that way. There are probably other things I might appreciate just as much that would be far more practical, and I’m not crazy about roses anyway.

 today the minutes seem like hours/
the hours go so slowly/
and still the sky is light/
oh moon grow bright/
and make this endless day, endless night…

(from “Tonight, Tonight”)

But romantic songs, oh, I’m a goner. The musical West Side Story has a few good ones, and just recently I discovered that Jay & the Americans, that singing sensation from the 60s (“Cara Mia” “This Magic Moment”) had their first hit with this version of “Tonight, Tonight.” (below)

As my friend Bill says, Leonard Bernstein, who wrote the music, probably is turning in his grave every time it plays (it’s not exactly the way he wrote it), but it’s a great rendition. And listen to the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Does it get any better? (yes, it does, with “Somewhere,” from the same musical).

I suppose no one over the age of, I’m not sure, but fairly early into young adulthood, can have too many illusions about lasting romance. I’m not talking lasting love, because that exists, and I’m not saying romance leaves a relationship. But that falling, falling feeling fades and real life takes over eventually.

But I think everyone, married or single, should be allowed to recapture that emotion once in a while,

to believe in the beauty and hope that comes with falling in love. Songs of the heart resonate for different reasons, if they do at all, but here’s a new favorite of mine, an old classic, I hope will bring a smile to your face.

By the way, the original lead singer of Jay & the Americans, the one performing on this single, was Jay Traynor, not the better known Jay Black. Because there’s such a difference in their voices and styles, and, well, I’m a huge fan of this romantic song as well, I’m including “This Magic Moment” also by Jay & the Americans, with lead singer Jay Black.

Image Credit (heart & key) GraphicStock.com

the power of momentum

Ah, one of my favorite quotes, most often abbreviated to “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”:

“Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” — William Congreve, The Mourning Bride

That shortened form keeps part of the original thought intact, but it overlooks another important idea: there is no one we despise more than the one we once loved the most.

Something every divorce attorney knows, and the best make a fine living on that understanding. The rest of us can learn from it, too. Why do I hate him so much? He shouldn’t have this hold on me anymore.

Mobile mit Herzen - der Ansto zur Liebe, PartnerschaftBecause the pendulum has swung. Once upon a time, you would have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge for him. Now, you want to push him off it.

There’s good news about pendulums. They swing to one extreme, and then to another. Then the arc of the swing is smaller, until finally, there’s no more momentum. Unless, of course, something happens to start the swing all over again.

We’ve all seen that happen, and if you pay attention, it usually happens while the pendulum still has a pretty good arc. Once it’s stopped, it’s hard to start things up again.

A thought that has application both for you who dream of the day the passion will end and you who dream of the day it will begin again with the one who’s got the power over your pendulum.

Image Credit: ©blobbotronic — fotolia.com

teach me to ponder

“You study, study, study, and at the end, you are lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education: that you know nothing at all.” — EJ Koh

I’ve heard this thought, expressed one hundred different ways, a thousand different times since I’ve left college. It rings true if you’re an honest student of your chosen profession, assuming, that is, your chosen profession requires any depth of knowledge for expertise.

keyYet there are those who never cease to set themselves up as ultimate experts. I know one man who relies on Wikipedia for all knowledge, and we laugh at his “degree” from the “university of Wikipedia.”

It’s not my intention to disparage the information you can find there, because I reference it myself frequently, but it’s not always balanced and is rarely complete. It doesn’t even claim to be. It is, after all, an encyclopedia, and that’s a center of knowledge best known for abstract pieces of truth that ultimately teach you nothing.

A quality education, therefore, is not what you learn, but how you learn it. The value comes from leaving not with a packet of notes, but a mind that discerns and questions. The source of your knowledge is not your textbooks or reference material provided by a single professor, but by the world of information available to you.

If I had only one course to take in college, it would be Logic, for that was the course that taught me to think and sort through the drudge and mire that surrounds so much of the information out there today.

A pile of information makes you an interesting, albeit limited, conversationalist. The ability to discern makes you a greater mind than most.

Photo Credit: © Denis Razumnly — Fotolia.com

if I trust you…

 

I have friends, true friends, who have stood by me when I fully believed they would walk away, and frankly, they had every right to, given the perceived circumstances. But I was more important than my presumed actions, and they stood by who I’d proved to be, not who others claimed I was.

You find out who your friends are when you have nothing left to hold ocat with mausen to but the people in your life.

It isn’t as though there weren’t clues beforehand about the coming betrayal, but sometimes we’re blind to them for one reason or the other, and other times we’re naïve in our beliefs. I always trusted authority, and now I shake my head at that foolish blind faith. I haven’t completely lost my trust of those in charge, but I’m much more cautious, far less willing to believe they’re always worth my confidence.

Shortly before the man I believed was my friend turned on me, I had a vivid dream of a wolf wearing a mask, dancing on a dark road. There were other elements, dark, foreboding images I’ve since forgotten. Far, far down that road were some white flowers.

While I didn’t, and for the most part still don’t, believe in dream interpretation, this one was so vivid I decided to look up the imagery. It was clear: someone close to me was going to betray me. But the white flowers meant there was hope further along the way.

snowflake-275367_1920-croppedI haven’t lost my confidence in everyone. In fact, in some ways I’m still the same person, inclined to believe in and trust others. But I’m wary, and yes, a little angry.

I’m clinging to that hope. Things are better, but they are not what they should be, and the future frightens me. This is where my faith kicks in. I’ve had faith most of my life, but I’ve never had to draw on it like I do now, to say: I trust in God, a God who provides for me, a God who conquers with faith, hope and love. And I trust in those friends who’ve stood by me when I needed them most.


Image Credit (cat and mouse) © wegener07 – Fotolia; (flowers) courtesy of Pixabay

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devious secrets of my childhood

Emergency vehicle sirens terrified my brother, two years my junior, throughout his childhood.

He’d run crying and hide in a closet, refusing the comfort offered by my confused mother. For years both suffered his pain in their own way.

All the while the guilty culprits, those who prompted and perhaps cultivated this fear, went on with their lives and for a good long time kind of police carforgot what they’d done.

You guessed it – I was one of the guilty. My sister, the middle child, was the other. We were mean at the age of four and five, although our round faces and wide eyes belied that fact. And hey, Santa ALWAYS showed up. So just how bad were we?

Well, you be the judge: It’s a sunny day. The three of us are playing in our yard with a few friends. A siren is heard in the distance, perhaps a fire truck, perhaps a squad car.

the four of us and dad taking the picture

Mom and the three of us, with Dad taking the picture.

We amble over to our brother, age three. “Thommmmm,” we whisper. “They’re coming to get you. Those sirens? They’re going to take you away. We’ll never see you again.” Who knows how many times this happened, why we started or why we finally stopped.

As I write this, I’m mortified. That was really, really mean. After a short time, my brother forgot our threats, but clung to the fear,  and never could tell our mom why he was afraid. Eventually (in our early twenties) we confessed to him what we’d done. I think he forgave us. By that time, there was likely a heap of other things to make him angrier.

My mom, however, not knowing the truth, held on to the pain of not being able to help her son with his greatest fear. We had no idea how difficult that had been for her, and it was another twenty years after our initial confession before she found out the truth. I’m not sure what she thought about it, and I have no desire to bring it up, not being particularly proud of it.

Surprisingly, I grew up to be nice to a fault. So parents, never fear, you’re not necessarily raising sociopaths. I don’t know how you do it, the constant pressure to bring your kids up right, and the pain when you think you’ve failed in one way or the other. There are always those facts we don’t have, and maybe never will have, so don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, your kids will do that for you.

And who knows just how much of it in reality is their fault anyway.


In case you’re wondering about my relationship with my brother today, it all worked out. Here’s a post I wrote about it a few months ago: sibling revelry
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ten things I’ve learned along the way

Random lessons…some of it wisdom shared from others…

Obviously, not a comprehensive list of what life (and my dad) has taught me, but here are ten thoughts:

  • Whether times are good or times are bad, they always change.
  • Listen when someone you respect tells you another person is not to be trusted.
  • Every generation thinks they invented sex and swearing.
  • You cannot save the world, so choose your obligations wisely.
  • Life is better with a loving pet, and the most loving pets are rescued animals.
  • Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.
  • It’s wrong to always need to be right. You wear people out, lose friends and anger those forced to be around you.
  • You are known by the company you keep.
  • Quality, classic clothing is worth the extra money. It lasts longer, looks better and is more honorable for worldwide humanitarian reasons.
  • No one wants to listen to you do all the talking, no matter how fascinating you think you are. They would rather talk about themselves.

sing to me a lifetime song lr

Image Credit: (hourglass) © kuzmafoto – DollarPhotoClub.com; (sky background) © Pakhnyushchyy – DollarPhotoClub.com

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what the pen reveals

Sometimes, when I start to write, I’m surprised, even shocked, by what comes out.

I’ve learned something about myself I didn’t imagine was true. I work through those thoughts, and maybe I realize I’ve been holding on to some foolish beliefs without even realizing it. Other times I laugh at my words. I may only believe what I’ve written for as long as it’s taken me to write it. It rings true until I finish typing.

If I’m lucky, I find I’m wiser than I knew. Over time I’ve discovered the truth is easier to write than what I want to be true, even if the truth is painful.

I write to discover what the pen reveals. I write because it’s a part of me, a talent I was born with that needs to be honed and refined. I feel better after writing, even if what I’ve written isn’t all I think it should be.

I write because it fulfills me.

Image Credit: (typewriter) Denis Topal — Fotolia; (background) flas100 — Fotolia

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