Friday, May 23, 2008


That is a quote from Joni Mitchell at Woodstock. It seems apropos for some reason right now... plus I'm never all that good at coming up with titles for my blog.

I've had some things rolling around in my head lately, I've just been trying to find a way to convey them in a way that will do my thoughts justice on paper. Isn't that always the battle of the introspective, though? So now, I'm feeling peaceful and listening to some incredible music by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and I'm feeling brave...

I have been trying to figure out a way to determine myself as a person. I feel different on different days, and I think there should be a way to merge all these aspects of myself together in such a way that will make me feel like a whole person. I guess I've been feeling a little segmented lately. I have all these different things about me that make me who I am, but some of them are so vastly different I can't figure out how they even came to be.

I wonder how much of it is from personal influences in my life, as there have been some great ones. (I will stray from comparing the obvious family influences, that's not what I'm talking about anyway.)

Miss Cole, my 4th grade English teacher, who was the first person to show an interest in my writing and taught me the fundamentals that keep me going even today. She was such a positive person, always smiling and laughing and having fun with us. Even as a fourth grader, I always appreciated the fact that she didn't treat us like children, but like real people who were just beginning to emerge into the world. I often thought that she was the kind of person I would have wanted to be friends with... she was just that "cool" of a person, and someone I have always admired.

Ms. Williams, Senior English, who taught me to appreciate the real loves in life. She lost her husband late in their lives, and every time she thought of him she would put her hand on her face to "connect" with his memory. She became passionate about ballroom dancing, not because she was a dancer, but because it was beautiful, and magical, and her eyes sparkled every time she spoke of it, and it was incredibly INSPIRING!

John Lennon. Of course I didn't know him, but he was a man of passion, peace, innovation. He believed in a cause and educated himself in order to understand it better. He took ownership of his life and his actions and never gave up on what he believed in, not to mention the fact that he left us with some revolutionary, unprecedented music.

God, MUSIC... where to even start? The same innovation, uniquely formulated lyrics and sounds are the things that make me appreciate everything musically that I appreciate.

George Harrison (The Beatles in general really...), Clapton, Jeff Buckley, Robin Trower, Buffalo Springfield, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Deep Blue Something, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Ray Charles, BB King, The Band, Leon Russell, Jim Morrison, Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Frampton, Damien Rice, Matisyahu, Joss Stone, Deep Purple, Cream... my GOD I could go on forever...

Wow... that was a spiritual experience just replaying through all of that. But THAT'S what I'm talking about. I feel that fire, that passion, and that REAL connection to myself and to the world around me when I'm immersed in music. And not just any music. Can't say Britney Spears elicits that response, but the true artists of the music world. The ones who are baring their souls and doing so brilliantly in the process.

I wonder how much of me has been shaped by my own experiences as well. Would I still be the same person I am now if I hadn't been the 1st born child? If I hadn't been such a "straight-laced" teenager? If I had had everything handed to me? If I hadn't been the by-product of an adult divorce? If I had married young? If I hadn't moved to Houston? If I hadn't suffered through a devastating infidelity towards me? If I hadn't shouldered the responsibility of someone else's business venture? If I hadn't found love in my best friend?

My whole life (or at least since I learned anything about it) I have wanted to be like "a hippie in the 60's." I always felt, like "man, they've got it down." Nobody cared about money, nobody cared about rules or authority, and everyone just EXISTED together. It was the ultimate life of personal freedom and open-mindedness. And I'm not talking about the revolutionaries or the drug dealers, or the protesters. I'm talking about the flower wearing, pipe smoking, van driving hippies that believed in all things loving and harmonious. What an interestingly delightful way to carry on. Somewhere in my soul I have a piece of that. I don't know if it's because of being a product of my parents, who did live that life, or if I, in a "past life" or something of the sort was there too and my subconscious remembers it... I just don't know, but it's there and a part of me yearns for it.

Recently I have been contemplating how to reach that point of absolute harmony within myself. I am infatuated with the idea of just BEING. Most of the time I feel that way anyway. I don't get stressed about stuff anymore, because as they say "The Universe is unfolding exactly as it should be." We shouldn't stress about it, we shouldn't try to shape it into something it's not. It's happening all around us, and if we're smart, we will sit back, enjoy the ride, and soak it up. I suppose some of this is no different than any other human being's need to feel some absolution in his/her life, but I've never really felt quite a pull like this before.

It makes me feel alive and at the same time extremely tranquil and totally comfortable in my own skin.

It's pretty fantastic.

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