Non parliamo di Trump o del tempo! Parliamo dell’amore!

Yes, indeed! Why talk about Trump or the weather, when we can talk about love??!!

I’m not really sure what to do about me and my Italian lessons, gang. I do great on all my many quizzes.  But the moment I’m not looking at the app, I pretty much forget every single Italian word I know.

Okay. The Fall Issue of The Exterminating Press Magazine, Heavens Revealed,  is now online.  So, at long last, here is the link to the excerpt they published from my new novel, Blessed By Light. It is Chapter 18: The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

Well, apparently every single solitary soul in Minneapolis follows rules to a “t”.  Because not a single solitary post from inside Nick Cave’s Conversation last night has been posted to Instagram. Only photos from outside the venue have posted. These, of course, are meaningless to me!

However, people did indeed say that the show was incredible. So I’m going strictly on word-of-mouth for this one, gang. It’s really nice, though, that people are finally putting their phones away. (I’m guessing this means that we get to redo the Town Hall show in NYC, and this time have it be phone free!! Yay!! I’m so excited!!)

Okay, well. As I sit here waiting for pigs to fly… (Honestly, I wouldn’t trade the memory of Town Hall for anything, even with its annoyances. Of course, I had that amazing time at Lincoln Center, too, so it’s not like I’ve been deprived of anything.)

I’m doing really good here today, gang. I’m feeling really quiet at the soul level.  I finally slept good. No coughing at all, so I think the cold is at long last gone.

At the breakfast table this morning, listening of course to Tom Petty and thinking about the nature of Life and how it not only ends and moves on but it also constantly circles back in these predictable seasons; I noticed that the sun is taking a while to come up now. At 7 a.m. the sky was just barely light, so it is clearly really fall.  And I am doing okay with it. With the summer being gone, I mean.

I’m feeling like I can handle everything again.  Or maybe even for the first time, ever. I think that it actually is for the first time ever. What I have normally done all my life is cope and survive. And now what I feel like I’m doing is actually living. So that’s pretty cool, right?

I spent several hours hanging out on my bed in the dark last night, being okay with saying goodbye to the wonderful “dead guy”. I didn’t even feel his spirit in my room, as I sometimes do. But I was okay with it. And I was remembering the most amazing summer of my life with him (spent entirely in my bedroom and in my kitchen). And I cannot tell you just how grateful I am that he even came into my world so unexpectedly and so briefly, because it truly changed me.

I was sitting on my bed in the dark, looking out my window at the night and thinking about just how different I actually am now. He taught me so many things about myself. Things I wasn’t happy with and so I changed. I actually changed.

One thing he did was taught me about boundaries, in this very interesting way. Very self-affirming. I had this way of making self-disparaging remarks and it really bothered him that I did that. And I had no clue just how often I did that — said negative things about myself. Early on, he said there were going to be boundaries — things I wasn’t allowed to say anymore.  I simply couldn’t say them; he didn’t want to hear these things coming out of my mouth ever again.

So then, when I would even start to make a negative comment about myself, he would just say, “Boundaries…” and I’d have to shut up. Like, immediately. And that was when I realized just how negative I was about myself, you know? Because he was constantly saying, “Boundaries…” and I’d have to shut up.

And then when I would shut up – you know, sudden dead silence — then I’d be forced to think about what I’d been getting ready to say. And it totally trained me to stop talking that way about myself. And eventually, I  stopped even thinking in that really negative way.

The hardest thing I ever had to do was this other thing he came up with. I had this deep-rooted understanding about my life, as I was growing up, that I was not loved. And from that, I determined that I was never going to be loved. Love just did not exist for me. I knew people felt grateful to me, appreciated me, and all that, and I had a huge capacity to give love, but being loved never entered into it. I could not even imagine being loved. 57 years of that.

My mind could go to some really dark places very quickly back then. My whole demeanor could turn on a dime. Stuff that really alarmed him because he was just not a negative person, at all. I really wanted to be loved. I really, really did. But I literally could not believe that I was. Long story short, whenever I would even begin to go someplace dark or say something that indicated I couldn’t accept that he loved me, I had to make direct eye contact with him and say to him, “Thank you for loving me” ten times!!

I actually really had to do this. He would count up to ten! And I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to do that those first few times. It was nearly impossible. It was as if my brain was completely re-wiring itself. It was so hard. But as the process went on, it not only became easier, but I actually believed him. And things inside me permanently changed. I finally understood myself to be someone who was loved.

Anyway. That is only a drop in the bucket of things he helped me break free of.  Helped me restore to myself. And I know that it’s important now for me to live my life — to actually live it and not go on to the next realm prematurely. But stay here and get the most joy out of being physical as I can until it’s really time to go.

So. Back to Tom Petty. Back to October — the month that he was born in and died in. I’ll close with the song that ended up really defining him — the song he wrote when he was finally able to process the death of his mom. He allegedly wrote the song in one fell swoop. He woke up at 3 in the morning, hearing it inside his head. Got out of bed, went to the piano, turned on the tape recorder and the entire song just came out; he never had to change a word. Then he went back to bed and woke up his wife, Jane, and said, “Listen to what just came out of me!” And so she listened to the tape and said, “That’s nice, dear,” and rolled over and went back to sleep.

And the rest is history. There isn’t a single Tom Petty fan anywhere who doesn’t know every single word to this song –we could sing it in our sleep. And we process his beautiful mom’s death right along with him, eternally. Forever and ever.

Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang.  Have a great Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys! See ya.

“Southern Accents”

There’s a southern accent, where I come from
The young ‘uns call it country, the yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talking, but everything gets done
With a southern accent, where I come from

Now that drunk tank in Atlanta, is just a motel room to me
Think I might go work Orlando, if them orange groves don’t freeze
Got my own way of working, but everything is run
With a southern accent, where I come from

For just a minute there I was dreaming
For just a minute it was all so real
For just a minute she was standing there, with me

There’s a dream I keep having, where my mama comes to me
And kneels down over by the window, and says a prayer for me
Got my own way of praying, but every one’s begun
With a southern accent, where I come from

Got my own way of living, but everything gets done
With a southern accent, where I come from

c- 1985 Tom Petty

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