Tag Archives: Tom Petty

Here’s Hoping Today’s Wonderful!!

Because yesterday —  hmm, not so much.

It was another cry baby day. Even though I got good writing done,  I’m just not wanting Blessed By Light to end.

I’ve never experienced these types of feelings before with anything I’ve ever written. Usually I can’t wait for something to get out of me and onto the paper and out into the world. It’s a pretty joyful thing.

However, these last 10 months of writing this novel (albeit, with a ton of other projects stuffed in there, too) have been the most magical 10 months of my life. They really have.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the magical life ends because the novel gets completed. I’d like to think that once the novel is out of me, my life will get even more magical.

I have other projects directly on the heels of Blessed By Light that I will be focusing on next. And they’re all pretty exciting: 2 plays, the string of micro-short videos with Peitor for Abstract Absurdity, my Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, the magic realism murder mystery Down to the Meadows of Sleep (the Hurley Falls thing), and I’m still working on the TV pilot projects.  And then getting together that writers retreat in Perugia Italy for next year.

That’s a whole lot of stuff there. And all of it is exciting to me. It really is.

Still, the whole process of writing Blessed By Light has been so different from anything else I’ve gone through. It has just felt so beautiful and so unexpectedly personal, or intimate, really.

Last evening, after spending several hours on the novel yesterday, I got into my cry baby mode and could feel myself shutting down.

By shutting down, I start rejecting everything, emotionally turning my back on everything. And I really, really wanna stop doing that, forever. (I rarely let those things spiral anymore, but if/when I do, those are the things that lead to those horrific suicidal depressions and I just don’t ever want to go there anymore.  It’s all just old garbage, you know? Garbage that’s attached to people who supremely sucked.  I just don’t have any room for it.)

I finally forced myself to focus on my Italian, which is always really distracting and fun, and then I turned out the light and stared into the space of the summer night outside my open window. It was raining real quietly so that was nice. But I still felt a little like I was losing track of everything; the days are really just zipping by.

I’m forgetting birthdays, losing track of holidays, only remembering to pay bills at the last minute. Stuff like that. Everything is speeding past.  And pretty soon, you know, I’m actually going to be dead.

Not tomorrow or anything (I don’t think), but it’s now sort of being lifted up like scenery on the far horizon: the ending of this life. And I know it’ll be here in a heartbeat, even if it’s still 30 or 40 years away. Years are simply barreling past.

I recall vividly being in my late 20s and realizing for the first time, really, that at some point I would go through menopause and not be able to have children. At that juncture, I was dating 3 different men, each of whom really, really wanted to have a baby with me.  Even though I was attached to each of them in different ways, I couldn’t see myself committing to an actual child with any of them. even though I really, really wanted to have a baby.

And at that point I saw that women don’t just have an indefinite amount of time to make that kind of decision about having children. And it frightened me, you know, to realize for the first time, that time flies and things permanently change. But I was still singing with my band, and just starting to become a published fiction writer. I was poor. And, more importantly, I wasn’t in love.

And then in a heartbeat, a fleeting heartbeat, gang, it was all over for me. I went into perimenopause at 40 and was done with the whole process by age 46. WTF, right?

Unbelievable, how fast that came at me. It was so depressing.

And so now when I look at age 59 and realize that, even though I still feel 12 years old, I’m not. The last half of my life is well underway. And lots of my colleagues died in their 60s.  I don’t think I’m going to die in my 60s, but regardless, time just barrels on. And there are things I want to do in this life. Not just projects, but things I want to feel.

And when I feel myself losing track of so many things, it gets scary.  And I start to feel like the time is as good as gone and maybe I should just give up on everything. That I fucked-up this life and maybe I’ll do better in the next one, and I should just let time fly and not even try to keep up with it and find “happiness.”

And that’s sort of how I was feeling last night when I fell asleep.

Then I had a very interesting dream.

One of those dreams that you know for certain comes from that higher place – the Higher Self, Inner Being, God, whatever label you want to give to that personal Source that sustains you. The dream came from that place. I was with Tom Petty and I was deconstructing the Bluebird of Happiness.

Isn’t that kind of amazing? I mean, just how specific is that?

The Bluebird of Happiness was sort of put together like a wooden birdhouse and Tom Petty was helping me carefully take apart all the pieces so that I could really examine them. Then I put it all back together again and I was very happy with the result, because I knew that my happiness had meaning.

And then an actual bird began singing outside my window and woke me at 4am – which I believe was a way to ensure that I would remember the dream.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that right before I bought this house and moved here to Muskingum County, I was taking a walk in a park over by that house that I rented for awhile from a friend – back when I was trying to decide if I was going to move back to NY or not, and then decided not to.

I had had that series of weird near-death experiences, 2 of my beloved cats had died, I was muse-less and not expecting any more muses to arrive, ever.  I was working on a couple TV projects and 2 plays with Sandra, but I was thoroughly uninspired. I really just thought my life was over. That I was going to just sort of drift in vague contentment and eventually be done with it.

And that day, walking in the park, for the very first time in my life, I saw a bluebird. An actual bluebird. I’d seen millions of blue jays in my life, but had never seen an actual bluebird. It landed right at my feet.

And it was a beautiful summer day. I took it as a sign. A literal sign that this was the Bluebird of Happiness. Not to give up. That happiness could still come.

And right away this strange little village in Muskingum County came into my life and this wonderful old house that, in and of itself, made me so happy. The house and the town were filled with spirits that were so conducive to creating. And then I suddenly started writing Blessed By Light last August. And then in the early fall, BAM, you know? The muse arrived on all cylinders and absolutely took over my life.  Everything changed.

And so I took this dream last night as a sign. A true sign. That my happiness is viable, even up to the very end.

Even if I only live to be 65 or 70 (which I have no clue, I might live to be 117), even so, the years are going to fly. But it’s still important to fill those speeding years with joy and delight and desire, because I’m still here, you know.

I don’t imagine I’ll ever get married again; I don’t actually know. But I’m certainly not going to have children.  And even if all I do is put joy out in the world in the form of projects – you know, whether it’s erotic joy or spiritual joy, depending on the project. It’s still worth it.  And I might even fall in love. It could happen.  My private world could end up being about more than just living with 7 rescued feral cats who wish I would just go away!

All right. Long post here today! I’m gonna scoot now.  I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from today. The original version of “Trailer” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers from 1984 (not the version he did in 2015 with Mudcrutch).

Very upbeat and SO very fun! Addicting.

Okay. Have a terrific Thursday wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

I graduated high school
I bought her a trailer
In a little park by the side of the road
I could’ve had the army
I could’ve had the navy
But no I had to go for a mobile home

Yeah I guess I gave it all for you babe
There wasn’t room in that trailer for two babe

I kept up with my interest
I kept up with my payments
She never said goodbye
I never asked why
Man we used to dance to Lynyrd Skynyrd
Boy she used to look so good at times

But I guess I gave it all to you babe
There’s not room in no trailer for two babe

Well I guess I gave it all for you babe
All for you and your trailer too babe

c- 1984 Tom Petty

What Is It About Brides?!

I look good in the dress, you know.

I wear the wedding gown really well. But the moment it goes into storage…

Wow. I just don’t know what it is.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Tom Petty’s marriage to Dana York and she posted video footage of their wedding on Instagram and those two looked happier than you can possibly imagine. (Second marriages for both of them.)

I was happier on my first wedding day than I was on my second, but that’s still not saying a whole bunch. (I guess it says that I can be persuaded to do just about anything – twice.)

I awoke at 3:46am today – yes, awash in those wonderful waves of Eros, yet again. But then the first thing I thought of was that video of Tom & Dana’s wedding and of how happy they were. And I began wondering what (if anything) was the matter with me.

I have just never been the kind of gal who thought much about the idea of getting married.  Partly because I was born in that part of the 20th Century where men still owned everything imaginable, and I thought of marriage as ownership. And I have never wanted to be owned. The thought of being an ornament on someone’s arm has always horrified me.

The other part was of course my sexuality. Even as a young teenager (when I started getting raped by guys from the outside world and then men from inside my loving home), I could already tell that my sexuality was more than most people could really deal with.

At least, in Ohio.

When I moved to NYC everything changed. It was so great, so liberating, in the truest sense of the word.  Because  NYC in the 1980s – well, my sexuality fit right in.  Everyone was off the charts. I think Manhattan was not only the casual sex capital of the world at that point, but also the extreme casual sex capital of the world.

Then, of course, most of the people I knew got AIDS and died. I was certainly spared in that regard, but it was just really stupid of me to think that I could squeeze myself down into something that could fit into a marriage.

I always wanted to have kids. Even back as a very little girl, I just assumed I was going to have a lot of children. I really, really wanted children. But I never really wanted to get married.

Instead, I got married twice and had no children.

The only marriage that ever truly appealed to me was the marriage between E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Sergeant Angell White.

E.B. White is probably my favorite essayist of all time. He also wrote children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but his essays are literary gems that struck chords really deep in me and have stayed with me forever. (“Once More to the Lake” is probably everybody’s heartbreaking favorite, but I also really love his essay “Goodbye to 48th Street,” among many others.)

His wife was a legendary fiction editor for The New Yorker when that magazine was in its literary golden age.  They met, fell in love, she left her husband, they got married, moved to Maine and bought a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And then  seem to have done nothing but amazing things for each other’s literary lives.

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He was, of course, neurotic, and she was often the rudder keeping him pointed in the right direction.  But the part I always loved most about their marriage was that, in their house, they had offices across the hall from each other.  They’d each go into their offices in the morning, write all day, and then both emerge at 5 o’clock, have one martini and a cigarette, talk about what they’d written (or angst-ed over) and then have dinner together and go to bed. (Sadly, I don’t know what they did in bed, besides sleep, otherwise I would of course regale you with all those details here.)

To me, that has stuck with me as the idea of the most perfect (as well as unattainable) marriage.

Another “relationship” that has always really appealed to me was Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett’s. But it seems to have involved tons more booze & cigarettes and a lot of shouting.  I’m not big on the shouting stuff.  And they did not get married, but stayed together for 30 years and wrote various masterpieces. And that appeals to me enormously.

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I guess you can see that I am all about the writing.

It’s not that I am not all about love, or not into love, or a disbeliever in love. Love is everything to me. But love is woven in there inextricably with my writing. I don’t know why I can’t separate it. And I guess it does make me very self-involved, although I don’t feel like I am. I feel like my love is enormous and spills over into everything, benefiting everyone – and yet, more importantly, love helps me write better. And that means everything to me and so I guess it makes me self-involved.

But it’s still all about love.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt painfully aware that I am totally, 100%, thoroughly in love with my muse. He has changed my life – and so quickly, so unexpectedly. Came into my life on all cylinders, blasted open my writing and turned it completely around.

It’s not that he is my reason for being – the kind of thing that maybe people feel when they are wearing those beautiful clothes and having weddings; but he gives me clarity on my reason for being, which has wound up being the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped to receive.

Clarity on my reason for being.

I don’t know that I would have ever realized just how much I needed that if it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

You know, I watched that short video footage of Tom & Dana’s wedding on Instagram yesterday, over & over & over. And I was simply astounded by how happy they were. (Yes, I pondered it!)  And it wasn’t any kind of bullshit – those two were incredibly happy. You could just see it.  And I felt a little bit like a failure because I can only seem to feel that happy when I’m alone, finding the most perfect word.

So I don’t understand myself and my “alone-ness” any better than I ever did, but I still feel happier than I’ve ever been and just so blessed to have the most amazing muse.

It’s probably best to just not think about it too much. Because I think it’s going to end up being something good for the whole world; I really do.

Okay. I’ve got lunch today with the director of Tell My Bones at 12:30. So I’m gonna scoot now and try to get some writing done before that. I think today is going to be just another stunning day out there. I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope your Tuesday is just as splendid, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with this, the song Tom Petty wrote for Dana, long before they were married, back when he was heading towards some real dark times, but (he has said repeatedly in interviews) he was already in love with her & waiting. Okay! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys, See ya.

 

I dreamed you
I saw your face
Cut my lifeline
Went floating through space
I saw an angel
I saw my fate
I can only thank God it was not too late

Over mountains
I floated away
‘Cross an ocean
I dreamed her name
I followed an angel
Down through the gates
I can only thank God it was not too late

Sing a little song of
Loneliness
Sing one to make me smile
Another round for everyone
I’m here for a little while

Now I’m walking
This street on my own
But she’s with me
Everywhere I go
Yeah, I found an angel
I found my place
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late

c-1995 Tom Petty

Of Gods & Men & the Undecided

Man, the stuff with the new music material is getting so interesting. I am discovering just how much I already know but that I am now gaining conscious access to in a completely different way.

Everything is getting so much more simplified. (I don’t know – can something get “more” simplified? Wouldn’t it just be “simpler”? You figure it out and get back to me. My brain’s not completely awake yet.)

I cannot wait to see how this material actually works with someone who knows nothing about music. I think it’s going to be extremely interesting, and probably gratifying.

I’m having weird sinus stuff in my head today – well, since last night. I guess pain is the correct word for it. I rarely get headaches of any sort, so when I get weirdly intense, pressure-based ones deep in the center of my head, my first thought is always that a tumor is growing. But some sort of more rational voice (a voice I rarely ever listen to, so I usually don’t give credence to it) is telling me that it’s more likely all this relentless rain and humidity over the last 5 days that’s causing it.

Whichever: Life-threatening tumor or sinus headache; all I know is that my brain is functioning at less than ideal capacity this morning.

I wasn’t even going to blog today. I was going to save my creative brainstuff for the novel, since the writing went so well yesterday. But it seems that I have to get this stream of other words out first, before the Voice from the novel kicks in.

On Instagram yesterday morning, Dana Petty posted the most amazing photo of Tom  that I had ever seen. And he was a man who had thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures taken of him in the course of his 66 years of life. And this one was simply unbelievable to me.

He looked like a Spirit.  He truly did. Like a luminous Spirit. It was taken by Dana in a hotel room in Amsterdam a few years ago. It’s actually his reflection in an enormous mirror, while he’s sitting on the end of a king-sized bed. It looks like it’s the middle of the day. He seems to be intently watching an old black & white movie on a television that seems to be just a little bit above the mirror. It’s hard to figure out in the photo because the TV is reflected on something above and behind him. The whole thing is just ghostly, really.

He looks larger than life and yet not even part of life at the same time. I couldn’t stop looking at it.  All day long, I would go back onto Instagram and look at it – pondering it to no end.

It’s weird to think that I was actually a lot taller than he was, because, in my mind, he really was larger than life. All those rock & rollers from my girlhood that I absolutely worshiped – it turned out that I was a lot taller than all of them. Even when I wasn’t wearing heels, and I’m definitely a gal who likes to wear heels of some sort.

Even Cher, who I’d loved since I was about 5 years old – I thought of her as being the tallest woman ever. And I wound up towering over her, too.  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, too. A woman of mythical proportions, frankly. And she was just a wisp of a woman.

It does weird things to you, when you’re just towering over all these people who, in your private mind, should have been enormous.

Robert Redford. I mean, my gosh. I never worshiped him, or anything close to that, but he was iconic. An iconic actor from my girlhood! And I totally towered over that guy, to the point that I felt like I needed to back away. I simply didn’t want to know that I was way too tall to be standing next to him in public. And I wasn’t wearing heels, either. And I really don’t think of myself as that tall.  It was too freaky.

Thank goodness Keanu was taller than me – even when I was wearing high-heels. I met him at a party once and he was taller than me. Even though Keanu doesn’t actually mean anything to me, personally or emotionally; for some inexplicable reason, I just don’t want to be taller than Keanu.

This height thing I have is also why it’s been impossible for me to ever have any sort of “kittenish” demeanor, you know? Especially when I’m wearing heels. I’m always greeted more, like: Oh god, here comes trouble.

Many’s the time, folks, that I’ve wished I could be greeted more as “kittenish.” For sure. (Of course, part of it is my mouth; no one ever knows when I’ll be in a foul mood and cursing like a sailor. I have a real problem with the “f” word, even on a good day.)

Well!

In addition to the music material being really incredible yesterday, the Italian lessons went up a notch, too. So that was cool.  They are no longer just throwing words at me, with the occasional phrases.  They are sneaking grammar in now, too.

I’m glad that I already did study some Italian a long time ago, and of course, I’m relying a lot on my knowledge of French, too, so none of this is too difficult. Yet. And so it keeps it really fun. It’s not stressing me out, at all.

Which is good, because I have no shortage of areas within my life that heap stress on me if I so desire them to! At any given moment of any given hour of any given day! Or night!

Plenty-O-Stress, if I want it!

And I really do want to learn Italian this time around.  It’s funny, but it occurred to me recently that the reason I was trying to learn Italian 35 years ago was because Peitor and I had become friends and he wanted me to go to Italy with him.  But I gave up on Italian very early on because I found it too difficult.

(And yet I taught myself to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese, so that’s really weird, right? Who the hell knows what goes on in a brain – mine, specifically.)

When Peitor and I met, it was one of those things where we became instant friends – and very good friends. And, obviously, true friends since it is now 35 years later and we couldn’t be closer. We bonded immediately, and not in any sort of amorous way. We came to the conclusion that we were likely brother and sister in another life, since there is no erotic attraction between us at all, but we’ve been incredibly close since the absolute moment we met.

Anyway, all these decades later, I will likely be going to Italy now because of him but not with him, and I’ll be speaking Italian. Isn’t life strange?

Okay.

On that oft-regaled topic here of Nick Cave’s Conversations in Europe… He was in Belgium last night.  For 3 hours. Well, on stage for 3 hours. I’m guessing he was in Belgium a little longer than that, but I guess if all these people are right, and he is actually God, then maybe he’s good at teleporting or something.

HIM (as God): Into Belgium, out of Belgium, 3 hours, total.

I really just don’t know.

I do keep pondering this, though. Because so many people – in Europe, especially – refer to him in some way as God.

I woke up at 3:56am today and my first thought – aside from the aching headache that plagued me with fears of tumors – my first thought was: Does he want to be thought of as God? On some level? Maybe he is subconsciously perpetuating this idea. I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I don’t actually know.

And I don’t actually know that he isn’t God. I have no ready proof, or anything.  But I just keep coming back to this thought that he’s not God. And why would he want to be? It seems like it would surely be hard enough just being Nick Cave. (Or beautiful enough.) (And you are not the only ones I pester with these questions, gentle readers. I pester him with these questions, too.  I leave no stone unturned in my ponderings.)

However, that said. Someone posted another fantastic photo of him last night, again in black & white.  And just beautiful. But most of the postings were in Dutch so I have no clue what anybody said, except for the “3+ hours” part that he was on stage. That was in English.

All righty!!

I’m gonna take a look at Blessed By Light now. See where we’re going with that.  And I hope this headache just goes the fuck away because all I really want to do is go right back to bed.

I didn’t have any breakfast-listening music today because of the headache, but I did have staring-out-the-open-window music from last night. Another true gem (excuse the pun) from The Last DJ:  “Like A Diamond.” I streamed it about 20 times before drifting off to sleep.

And based on that ghostly photo of him that plagued me all day yesterday, it was a fitting end to the evening. It’s such a haunting sort of song about, well, not dying. Ever.

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

Madmen crawl
Across the wall
Knight gets away
Kings all fall
And queens chase men
And saints all sin
And good things
All must end

But she goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

Big full moon
Above the road
I’m a long long way
From tomorrow
Gotta light my way
Down this highway
To get to her

‘Cause she goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

Deacons steal
And Ma can’t feel
If you’re lonely
And behind the wheel
When the ground gives way
You have to pray
To the unknown
And hope it’s real

But she goes on forever
She goes on forever
She’s gonna shine forever

She goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

c – 2002 Tom Petty

Good Lord, I’m Back

What a fucking morning. And everything started out so good.

It began sliding downhill when I noticed that someone from overseas had come to my site during the night, looking for Michael Hemmingson. My dear colleague who is allegedly dead. And I visited the post from back in September that had brought them to the site, Me+ Reality = Never a Good Combination and it just broke my heart.

I still refuse to believe that Michael is dead.  I am simply not going to process that until they can show me a corpse or something, you know? And since it’s now been 5 years, I’m guessing that if there ever was a corpse, there certainly isn’t one now. But it just feels devastating and part of that is because I’m refusing to process his death. I know that. But a small part of that is that I honestly do not believe that he died, his politics were so dicey, so how do I process it?

And then I kept reading the post, and there was all that stuff I wrote about sex and fame and my writing career. And that was pretty disgusting but I’m not going to un-say it because it was true. And if the truth about myself sometimes makes me sick, oh well.

Then, a new video  was dropped today. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ For Real. This was a previously unreleased song that came out posthumously on The Best of Everything collection a couple months ago. They did a video of the song and it dropped today on YouTube.

And as much as I told myself, “Do not watch this, it’s gonna break your fucking heart!” I watched it anyway. And I just sobbed, you know? It broke my damn heart.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I steadfastly refuse to process Tom Petty’s death, too. I cannot accept it. I understand that he’s dead, logically I understand it, but I refuse to actually process it and let it move into some sort of bygone place.

I can accept that the 66-year-old version of him died, but I can’t watch any of that video footage from the Hollywood Bowl, when he died 7 days later. Can’t do it, even though I know that that man is dead. I can’t bear it. And when I see this stuff from his early career, when I, too, was so young and so full of dreams and loved him so much, it just devastates me to have to think even for a moment that that guy is dead, too. I can’t do it. It kills me.

Even though I begged myself not to watch that video… I could not resist the lure of how beautiful he was.

Oh well.

I guess you just never know what you’re going to do in the space of a morning, do you?

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Do You Wake-Up Dreaming?

Or is it just the muse??

Wow, what an incredible morning. I awoke at 4am, just as the first birds were starting to sing. Now that all the windows in the house are open, the sound of the birds singing fills the whole house.

It’s so beautiful, because, by 5am, you can hear thousands of birds singing all at once.

Out here in Crazeysburg, there literally are no other sounds at this hour for many miles in all directions, except an occasional car (or the barrelling freight train with that awesome train-whistle scream, but that had already come through around 3am). The “peace in the valley” out here really highlights just how many birds there are. And it’s overwhelming when they all sing at once.

It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to put air-conditioning into the house. Even though I had all the duct work and the furnace upgraded to handle air-conditioning. (The house is 118 years old, and didn’t even have electricity or indoor plumbing when it was first built.)  I can’t bear the thought of shutting out the sound of all those birds, or, as the summer goes on, the sound of the crickets and the cicadas.

The only time I even think about air-conditioning is when a heat wave comes through and my bedroom gets up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit and then in that soul-draining, mind-dulling, suffocating HEAT, I think, Why the FUCK haven’t I gotten this place air-conditioned yet??!!

But, anyway. I digress.

I awoke at 4am with the energy of the muses swirling all over me in the bed. It was breathtaking, really. It was such an erotic feeling. It made me think of how it might feel to spin a cocoon all around myself or something. Obviously, I don’t actually know if that would be an erotic sensation, having never spun a cocoon, but energetically, that’s what it brought to my mind. It was a really joyful feeling. Bordering on jubilation.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a really productive writing day if the muses are up and already so frisky at this hour.

The last thing I saw on Instagram last evening was a photo Dana Petty had posted of a butterfly landing on her thigh as she was sitting out in her garden. When I awoke today, in that incredible sort of erotic swoon, the first thing I thought of was that photo and it occurred to me that it was probably Tom Petty’s energy in that butterfly. Or his essence or something. Visiting her. Now that he’s off in the great beyond place, really “Learning to Fly.” That made me feel happy.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I usually meditate first thing in the morning, but recently I moved my meditation time to midday, right after lunch, and it seems to be helping me re-focus, or re-charge, in a more productive way.  And I come out of the meditations now inspired with a specific thing to do, so I get right back to work.

Yesterday, I came out of the meditation remembering that Peitor was waiting on me to send him a bunch of notes he’d lost on some scripts we were developing when I was in L.A. back in December. And I realized that all those notes were still in texts on my phone. So I went scrolling through 4 months of texts and got all those notes copied and sent to him, and then I remembered how, I don’t know, how sort of strange it was, when I was there in L.A. He was in his bed in the bedroom, I was on the futon in the living room, and we were texting each other script notes at 5am.

I mean, we could have easily spoken to each other if his bedroom door had been open. Yet we were texting. Still needing to communicate with each other even though neither one of us wanted to be out of bed yet; not wanting to commit, yet, to the day.

But what a great trip that was, oh my gosh. And I loved his apartment so much, the energy in it was so conducive to being creative. He used to have this great townhouse with a garden, by the corner of N. Fairfax and Sunset Boulevard. Then he and the guy he married got an apartment together right next door to the Sunset Marquis Hotel (which is such a cool hotel to hang out in),  and the new apartment is like straight out of 1967 or something like that. I didn’t think anything could be better than the townhouse was, but the new apartment is sort of magical – the energy inside it.

Plus, this trip, Peitor’s husband was off producing a TV show in Toronto, so we had the whole place to ourselves, which made us behave like unsupervised little kids or something.

That morning that he and I were texting at 5am, I had just discovered that Nick Cave’s The Ship Song sounded unbelievable in the earbuds of my new, upgraded iPhone and I was playing it over and over and over. It was mesmerizing, how good it sounded. I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to upgrade my iPhone. And the song had played “by accident.” I was listening to We Call upon the Author to Explain on Youtube, and I missed the repeat thing, and so The Ship Song suddenly came on and, it was like, Holy Fuck this sounds SO good!! It was like the Universe decided to suddenly give me this amazing gift, and the sun wasn’t even up yet. I had always loved that song, but this time I felt enveloped by it and the beauty of it was so powerfully overwhelming in those earbuds. And then I couldn’t stop playing it until Peitor finally came out of the bedroom.

So, you know, meditating midday not only helped me remember that Peitor needed those notes, but then all those beautiful memories unfolded, like a double gift from the Universe in the form of total recall.

Okay, well. I’m gonna get this day started over here. Chapter 21 in Blessed By Light awaits its erotic unveiling. I leave you with this really sexy little Tom Petty song from 1978, Casa Dega. I’ve been playing it down in my kitchen the last few mornings while having my breakfast. So, enjoy! It’s such a cool & sexy little song. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you! See ya.

Well the clouds go by in the big blue sky
As the sun beats down on casa dega
And the moon pulls the tide and the tide brings night
But night is more than just a night in casa dega
Oh baby now I think I’m starting to believe the things that I’ve heard
Cause tonight in casa dega I hang on every word
That she said to me as she holds my hand
And reads the lines of a stranger
Yeah and she knows my name yeah she knows my plan

In the past in the present and for the future

Oh honey now I think I’m starting to believe the things that I’ve heard
Cause tonight in casa dega I hang on every word

That she said…

Baby fools pay the price of a whisper in the night in casa dega
Time rolls by, night is only night, can I save you?

Yeah more than just a night…

It Was One of those Nights

I awoke at 2 a.m. and could not fall back to sleep until 3:30. Primarily thinking about Daddycakes and feeling like I didn’t do enough to save him and wondering if he was somewhere in the afterlife, angry at me for letting him die when he should have been in the prime of his kitty life.

It’s just so different when you’re dealing with rescued feral cats. They make the rules, because they are wild animals, and then you — or me actually; I am the one who has to try to figure out if I step aside and let them have their own connection to God’s world, or do I try to intervene somehow and make a decision about life and death?

Playing God, basically.  It got to the point where the cat was simply suffering too much and my heart couldn’t handle it so I had him put to sleep.

Then of course, by feeling guilty for the decisions I made regarding him, it means I think I am God: I should have known better, or I should have known more about that cat’s life or death and the quality of it or lack of it, and just done all sorts of different things that I can’t even imagine at this point.

Honestly, how can we possibly know those things?  We make those kinds of decisions through whatever filters we have in our brains that tell us we have answers to these sorts of questions and that’s not really saying very much at all. Because we don’t know how to create life; we know how to do away with it. We simply make a decision. And that’s not saying anything at all, in the scope of what is nonphysical, I mean.

Well, I finally made myself stop thinking about Daddycakes, and instead decided to worry about the novel.

I went to the grocery store late yesterday afternoon – always an investment of time because I live in the middle of the country and the grocery store is about 4 towns away.

It was a glorious spring day. It really was. The countryside was turning that tiny spring green.  Birds everywhere. Daffodils blooming in the most unlikely places. (And you know that a person had to plant those; daffodils don’t just spring up in the middle of nowhere along the highway. And that makes me love people, because I know I’m one of the passing strangers for which those daffodils were joyfully planted.) And all along the way, the farms had all their little baby calves out now, finding their footing in the green pastures.

It was just so beautiful. A testament to the renewal of life.

I’m guessing I was listening to something by Nick Cave, but I don’t recall what. It’s always either Nick Cave or Tom Petty. My little Honda fit is overflowing with CDs by either Nick Cave or Tom Petty and one single CD of Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits. (Inside my house is another story. In there, the world overflows with music of every possible stripe and persuasion. But for some reason, none of that makes it out to the car.)

(And to see me getting into the car is ridiculous: “Oh my god, what I am going to listen to?” If I’m going to the Dollar Store, it’s a 3-minute trip and the music is not so crucial. But everywhere else I go to from here in the middle of nowhere, is a journey. It requires a soundtrack. If I’m going far, far away, like to NY, then it’s hands down Tom Petty’s LIVE Anthology, because traveling on Interstate 80 is intensely American and so you need that American rock & roll; 3-minute awesome songs about falling in love or falling out of love, or chasing a dream and that’s basically it. It could not be better or more clear cut.

(But other journeys require Nick Cave, but he can be so dicey because you never know when he’s going to throw you under the fucking bus. Which is what I love about his writing, but it can get harrowing. You can be driving along at 95 MPH, which is what I tend to do out here on these highways, listening to “Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?” and at first you’re thinking, man what a song. Then the next minute, you have to pull over, grab your revolver from out of the glove compartment and shoot yourself because it’s just too fucking horribly SAD.

(Or, I guess, you can just turn the music off. But that’s the dilemma: you’re on a  journey that requires a soundtrack; you’re not supposed to turn it off. So I’ll sit there in the driver’s seat, engine on, looking at all the CDs and trying to figure out which one will not cause me to  want to shoot myself while going 95 mph?  Sometimes I sit there for several minutes, not going anywhere and driving myself insane.)

Anyway, I get to the grocery store, and in the parking lot, I get a message on my phone from the editor in NYC who is editing my novel, Blessed By Light.

She sends me updates, chapter by chapter, because it’s much easier to manage that way. And while all her comments thus far have been very positive, this particular message says: “This chapter kicks ass. Kudos.” Followed by comments on the next chapter: “Excellent chapter. He seems distraught, guilty, tired. Beautifully written.”

And while this made me feel good in the grocery store parking lot, at 3 a.m., alone in my bed in the guilt-ridden dark, all it did was make me wonder about the previous chapters, which were only “good”. Shouldn’t they all kick ass? Shouldn’t they all be beautifully written? Should I start all over from scratch? Am I a total failure now? I used to be a good writer.

You know, I start to doubt my sense of pacing, my sense of building a story arc, my sense of anything at all because I’ve suddenly forgotten what reality is even for. If I ever even knew, I mean.

Death does that to you. Even tiny little furry deaths.

Well, it’s another glorious spring day here in the Hinterlands. I’m going to give it all another shot and see how this day turns out.  As usual, no guarantees but I am tying so hard to be happy.  I have a wonderful novel in progress, that is sometimes good and sometimes it kicks ass.  I need to count my blessings today.

Have a good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting. I love you, gang. And I leave you with this! See ya.

 

More Good News!

Yes! Finally!

The original one-woman musical that I’ve been working on with Sandra Caldwell for the last 5 years — the play we finally finished when I went to work with her in Rhinebeck, NY this past October — might actually have a very exciting first run in Toronto, Canada, gang!

It’s too soon to go into the details, but it is extremely exciting and prestigious, and bodes very well for a comparable Off-Broadway opening in NYC.

I simply could not be happier, gang.  This means that, yes, both plays that I’ve been working steadily on with Sandra for the last few years are likely to have openings, in 2 different countries, at pretty much the same time!

I will keep you posted!!

In other good, but bittersweet news: Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever solo album was just entered into the Grammy’s Hall of Fame as a record of outstanding cultural significance for the last 25 years.

I beg to differ — surely it’s only been about 25 minutes, not 25 YEARS!! Oh, people! What the heck?? How can it possibly be 25 years already?

I loved that album. Still love that album. Still play it. Was, in fact, playing it yesterday morning in my kitchen when I read the Grammy news on my iPhone.

In fact, that part bothered me most.

ME: Wait a minute. This record I am listening to right now is already 25 years old? So, like, how old does that make me??!!

Please don’t feel compelled to answer that.

Anyway. I remember Full Moon Fever coming out like it was the proverbial yesterday. I loved the song Free Fallin’ but I remember not liking the video very much. I was not a huge fan of videos, in general. I felt that videos robbed a lot of imaginative power from the songs.  Anyone’s songs. I guess because I loved that song so much, the video could only irritate me.

But that album is full of amazing rock & roll songs. In fact, Running Down a Dream, which I think I posted here only yesterday (?) is from that album.

My favorite song on that album, though, is one that I feel speaks directly to me:  I have a near pathological issue with doubt. Doubt is something that plagues me. Over the years, it unraveled a lot of what should have been good things in my life. I still struggle with it, but I have been working really, really hard on it for the past couple months and making good progress with it — my debilitating struggles with doubt.

This is, in all honesty, the song I go to when I am really floundering. Some mornings have been so bad, doubt-wise, that I have to literally play this song really loudly before I can even get out of bed. It helps me kind of get back to reality, to realize that people are depending on me not to lose my fucking mind. (Sadly, it’s no joke.) This particular song is often the only thing that helps me.

And I leave you to it, gang!! And thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

A mish-mash of heartache

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve been able to get to this blog.  This month has just barreled along.  Every project imaginable seeming to intersect with one another, so that I have had way too much to do and am getting not a whole lot completed. Yet.

Still no official word on how much my mortgage has been pre-approved for, so this limbo I’ve been living in for one whole year now is really getting tiresome.  [Read: Depressing.] Now that I know for sure that I have to move again, I really, really, REALLY want to just move and unpack my boxes, take a look at all my cool STUFF once again, and start living my life.  Books, movies, music, furniture — there’s so much of my stuff that I’d like to have access to! And, yes, photo albums.

This weekend marks not only what would have been Tom Petty’s 67th birthday — (if you live in a cave, perhaps you don’t know that Tom Petty suddenly died a couple weeks ago) —

Tom Petty, as he looked a zillion years ago, on his first album cover; an album I bought when I was a wee bonny lass; an album I still have somewhere in deep storage and can’t get at…

But also, this weekend marks the anniversary of the death of my very best friend in all of life and the world as we knew it. Paul died 18 years ago tomorrow, and I am astounded that 18 years can disappear in the wink of eye. What went by even more quickly, gentle readers, were the 22 years that he and I were best friends.

I cannot imagine that I am old enough to have a best friend who has been dead for 18 years. And, no insults intended for any folks I know who are still alive, however, life has simply been pretty empty without him in it.

I knew it would be that way the day he died. That everything would be a little less beautiful from then on. He was so funny, so talented, so adventurous, so compassionate, kind, caring. And he always had my back. He was the living definition of a best friend. (We met in the high school drama department. He built our high school theater sets. He went on to work in the movies as a set designer/set builder.)

Anyway. I was hoping to find a digital photo of him to post here today, but alas, I could not find one. And ALL of my tons of non-digital photos of him are packed away in boxes that are in deep storage, too. So frustrating.  I want my life back.

However, while searching through tons of flash drives for possible JPEGS of Paul, I found a ton of other photos that broke my heart. So it’s been a  rough morning. But cathartic, too, I suppose.

Earlier this month would have been John Lennon’s 77th birthday, had he not been murdered, 37 years ago, only a handful of weeks after I had moved to New York City.  John Lennon was my very first hero, from the time I was 10 years old. I found this lovely photo of him on a flash drive:

John Lennon with son, Julian.

I also found 2 rather different photos of myself taken by my dear, departed friend Paul:

Me, on the porch of Paul’s beach house in North Carolina, when he was working on the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
Me, in the bedroom of my East Village apartment, in 1984, when Paul was visiting from DC for Thanksgiving. I’m a spry 24-year-old here.

I also found a digital photo of a photo from my long-ago wedding. Hard to remember that I used to not have a ton of silver hair…

And hard to believe we’ve been divorced now for 14 years, after having been together for 11 years before that. But we’ve managed to stay friends…

And a few years before one of my alleged “friends” turned out to be the most awesome b*tch, EVER, I used to have fond memories of Paris. I no longer have fond memories of Paris, so it was startling to discover these photos on a flash drive and to recall that I once loved Paris. From my first trip to Paris, when I was so happy:

Looking down at the street from my friend’s apartment on the Left Bank, late at night. I can still hear the laughter and the clanking dishes coming up from that cafe.
Her cottage in the country was right on the river. here’s a shot of her boat…
And — if you can believe how lovely this is!– the weeping willows at the edge of her yard, right on the river.

It was a strange feeling, to recall that I had once loved Paris. I guess it’s time to reclaim parts of my life from people who totally suck. What do you think, gang?

And then I also found this photo. This was the beginning of the feral cat madness! Here are Tom, Huckleberry, and Becky, on the swing in the backyard of my old house. This was when the 3 were stray kittens, abandoned by a neighbor who moved away and simply left them. The kittens began living in my backyard. In this photo, I hadn’t been able to trap them yet. This was before they had a truckload of un-adoptable feral kittens in my basement.  Yes, before my life was overtaken by the lovely 8 cats who now allow me to live with them (actually, I love them dearly):

Tom, Huckleberry, and Becky enjoying the great outdoors, as wild, untamed kittens! I think was in early fall of 2012.

I also found quite a big bunch of digital photos from the old house, back when the house & yard were beautiful, before the developers contracted to buy it (and never did, after dragging it on for 3 1/2 years) and then the house fell to pieces. Such a sad, sad thing for me. But here, again — I never allow myself to think of the old house, because it became such a nightmare of heartache for me. To suddenly see these photos of how lovely it was before it all fell to ruin. It awoke all those feelings I had buried away of how much I had loved that house.

Of course the saddest part was, that Bunny died the day after we moved from the old house and moved into the current rental that I’m in.

And that was exactly one year ago.

So this weekend also marks the first anniversary of Bunny’s death. I miss her so much.

A selfie of me and Bunny at the old house. I can’t remember which one of us snapped the candid shot! Probably me, since Bunny almost never had her phone with her.

Oh gosh. Well, all right. Life goes on, regardless of how happy I am, or often am not, about that idea.

However. On the happy front, a long-time friend of mine in NYC, Iris N. Schwartz, has a new book out! Keep glued to this blog for a great Q & A that I did with her earlier this month, in support of her new book.

Have a great weekend, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, gang. And keep in mind that time freakin’ FLIES, so love the heck out of whatever and whoever you love while it’s all still vibrantly alive in front of you. A word to the wise is sufficient, as the saying goes.

Thanks for visiting. See ya.

 

R.I.P. Tom Petty

It seems another one of my girlhood heroes has crossed over the Great Divide.

I tried to figure out which of Tom Petty’s songs could be considered my absolute favorite and it was too difficult to pin down. Instead, I regale you with my favorite song that he did with The Traveling Wilburys. (Another one of those songs that resonates more & more intensely, the older I get.)

Vaya con dios, amigoKiss the joy as it flies, gang. I’m just sayin’…