Gratitude Sunday: My Beatles Birthday

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Squall, shower, bluster,
autumn falls wetly upon
thirsty ready earth.

Sunday Musings
Well, well, well, hello, October! My month. My favorite holiday: Halloween, because that day you can be any character you want to be (I’m a little bit witchy), you can legally beg for candy, and watch scary movies with impunity. My birthday, 13 days before my favorite holiday. While none of my birthday numbers are prime, both 13 and 31 are. I know, math. Because it’s all about me, you know? I’m the only thing I know. Oh, I can extend myself, think beyond myself, empathize, and sympathize, analyze, and synthesize. In the end, I live inside this body, what my brain calls my body, and this mobile bag of mostly water is driven by an (often) unreliable operator owned by the same. I can’t get away from it.

The body is tricky. If you move it too much it hurts. If you don’t move it enough it hurts. If you move in the wrong direction at the wrong time, you can make a big mess. If you take the body out and do exhilarating things with it, like water skiing or hang gliding or car racing, you risk even bigger messes. If you take the body out for pleasure runs (of whatever nature like swimming, hiking, or sex) you might experience pleasure, or it could boomerang on you and cause you pain. If you get to keep the body for long it goes through many cycles of changes and just when you start to get used to one change, wham, there’s another, for as long as you get to keep it. And the body betrays you, especially when you think you are in control.

The brain that drives the whole complicated body machine is so beyond tricky as to be ineffable. Sure, we have science to tell us about brain parts and how they work, the functions of synapses, and sodium-potassium pumps, and cellular permeability, and the electrical spark that keeps the heart pumping and the blood flowing. We have brilliant people who have the brains to figure out how to fix some bodies and their parts. We have behavior observers who hypothesize why we use the body and the brain to behave and think the way we do, generalities that can never cover every anomaly. After all is said and done we are each as uniquely different as we are inexorably the same.

I’m having my Beatles Birthday this year. I have abundance in my home (not to be confused with cash flow). I get to have the hubster with me who had his Beatles Birthday earlier this year. I made him a card, and bought him a steak he had to cook the way he likes it. I get to have the son who may or may not show up in the house that day, as he likes his paycheck and playing with friends, but every minute he is in my life I’m grateful. I’ll remember to note my birthday on the wall calendar, in hope they might remember. No pressure. I also get to have a little help from my friends, people who listen to me vent and tell me my wild theories are not all that wild, who share their own stories of challenge and survival. They do me the kindness of sharing civil discourse, a seemingly lost art these days, even when my passion is punctuated by expletives.

So, I’m going through one of those developmental cycles of aging in my life, and yesterday I began listening to the Beatles music I grew up with and reminiscing about the difficulties of adolescence, since this senior part of aging is its own special ticket to ride. Music can be one of those things that helps the body go through changes. I was not a screamer back in the day but I enjoyed The Beatles so much I could not decide which Beatle was mine. I wanted them all, all four for me, such a clever girl was I. Each one had his way about him: Paul so conventionally “cute” and thoughtful; John so brilliant and witty with that beautiful Roman nose; George’s dark and brooding eyes, introspective intelligence, and innovative lead guitar; Ringo’s happy smile and the way he shook his head when he played the drums. How could I possibly choose a favorite, therefore, all. As I watch old videos I realize how deeply the lyrics and tunes are buried in my body and how much my brain still loves their faces and words. I cannot hear their music and not start singing along or body-bopping to the rhythms.

Now in my Beatles year I see I do have them all, I still need them, every one of them cherished in my heart deep in my body. I cried when John was murdered and my brain sang Imagine for days. I cried openly at work when George died as co-workers made fun of me until one of them said she understood, it was like losing a neighborhood friend, and though I no longer play, my guitar gently wept. It was like losing cousins you’d grown up with, who you didn’t get to see often, but when you did they had such a great impact on your life. I’m not looking forward to losing the other two, and who knows, they might out-live me. Or not.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned I’m not one of those people who has to have music on 24/7. I can do silence. In fact, I do silence very well. I read and write better without music as I get too involved in the lyrics, though I can tolerate muted background noise like old TV programs. I like music in the car, or while I’m doing housework. All my life I’ve shared homes and space and worked with co-workers and it often seemed I didn’t have one moment of silence in my life, especially when you live in town with neighbors and sirens, and school buses and garbage trucks. Even when I lived in the country it was dogs and cows and farm machinery and hunting rifles. Now I’m doing less sharing of spaces, I’m finding a few moments of silence to enjoy and appreciate. If you ever see me standing there looking off into space, I’m probably merely enjoying the silence or the joy of the moment.

Now when I hear music from my adolescence, I listen to the words closely and remember why they were important to me then. What I pined for, what I desired, how so many of us wanted to change the world away from war, toward acceptance and tolerance, toward celebrating diversity rather than letting differences divide us, to give peace a chance. It’s been a long and winding road, and those Beatles were with me all the way. We’re still working it out.

Of course, we never got to meet in person. I never got to see them live. I don’t know what kind of people they are or how they behave in every-day life. It doesn’t matter; they are part of me, at least the part I know. I loved their music and still do, and we have another affinity: they were good at math, as Paul wrote, “And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Porches on neighbors’ houses take on a misty autumnal appearance. Red and green maple leaves. Creamy plumes of pampas grass. Yellow quince peeking out between shiny polished leaves. A late season yellow rosebud.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Still trying to watch Wiseguy (1987-1990, not rated) as fast as possible because I don’t want to order it again, but I keep falling asleep on the couch. * Binged through Ray Donovan (2016, rated TV – MA), so compelling I don’t fall asleep. Not a series for the soft-hearted, plenty of violence is part of the plot. * London Road (2015, rated TV – 14), five women are murdered in Ipswich and the story is told as a musical. Hmmm. * October is scary movie month and I’ll be re-watching some old favorites to see if they still intrigue and some new movies to see if they get put on my faves list. Watch this space.

Currently ReadingNutshell (2016, fiction) by Ian McEwan. What a clever author and at moments wickedly funny. The mother and her lover are opening another bottle of wine and our fetal narrator says “I can’t say no.” I burst into laughter at that one. The wit and intelligence of the fetus prevails but I haven’t quite finished the novel; this author may surprise me with a twist. * The Mother of all Questions (2017, psychology) by Rebecca Solnit. My apologies, earlier last month I had the title wrong, corrected today. Ms Solnit has such an eyes-wide-open-I-did-the-research way of telling her stories. When she is talking about her life, experiences, or family, her words are arranged forthrightly in a way you know she conveys truth, in the universal manner of truth, a truth laid bare from the heart. When she is talking about issues, politics, ethics, her research is clear and her words lead the reader on linearly, clearly connecting one fact to the next, one theory to another. One of America’s finest contemporary authors, I’ve never been disappointed with her work.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Doors wide open on the last warm day of early autumn. Warm air flowing across my skin.
  • Finding a corner to move a file cabinet to, in the game of 14. You remember, to move one thing you must move 14 other things first.
  • Getting to swim with the swim instructor’s 3 year old while mom showed off the new baby.
  • The windows at the pool and the bright clear half moon that watched over me.
  • Coming out of my local lending library and the tall evergreen tree full of birds singing after a rain shower. Birds singing after the rain has a happy sound to me. I had to stand there a few minutes to let the birdsong fill me.
  • The first flurries of leaf-fall.
  • My natural cleaning products: vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemons, limes, hot water. I like Dr Bronner’s and Mrs Meyers products, because I can dilute them and still have good effectiveness. Still nothing like Dawn dish detergent for cutting grease.
  • Getting a few kitchen decoration things cleaned of kitchen grime.
  • Recognizing the extra time it takes to get things done because of the changes of aging. Encouraging people, especially youngers, if you are able and capable now, do it now, enjoy it now.
  • The way my white hair curls and frizzes out on the sides after having straight hair for so many years. I rather like it being unruly.
  • Mild early autumn days.
  • The two little birds eating the berries in the red berried bushes in the parking lot island who did not fly away as I parked and exited the car toward them. We eyed each other and talked a while until they decided they’d had enough of me and flew to the other side of the bush. Good eats.
  • The joyful noise of children having fun playing together.
  • Some fat little black mission figs, and white nectarines so ripe the skin peeled right off.
  • Lovely green beans for Chinese green bean chicken. Yum.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Entertainment, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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