Seminally yours…

According to my dictionary widget, “Seminal” means “(of a work, event, moment, or figure) strongly influencing later developments.” Now, I’ve no idea where I came up with that word when suggesting to Jen the Twisted Mix-Tap Tuesday prompt for this week, but… Oh wait, actually I do. I heard it way back when, during the days when I used to listen desperately to the radio, in the hopes of finding through it a new life. I heard it from DJ’s who were hell-bent on impressing their audience with the use of big words. An audience, mind you, that wouldn’t recognize a big word even if it jumped out of the dictionary and gave them a right-good drubbing. But we didn’t care, the words sounded cool anyway, and provided us fodder to name all of the imaginary bands to come that never quite did.

But I digress. Or as my college professor recently said, “I regress.”

Seriously.

Anywho, below you’ll find (5) lil’ ditties that made me who I am today – or in other words – had I never heard these, I would most likely be happily married, successful, and sitting around combing my pounds and pounds of luxurious hair while sampling a steak right now, instead of writing this post late at night while shoving chips and vodka into my soup cooler instead.

But alas, I did hear these songs. And as a result – well, much like the ghost in the machine – “‘ere I am, Jack…”

Too cliché to start off with? Maybe, but this truly was the song that first got me off my duffless duff, and on my way. Or at least it alerted me that it could be done – some sort of Grand Journey – once and if the good Lord allowed me to hit the golden age of 18. This song had so much impact in fact, that it was the first and only one I considered using to start off my musical autobiography with…

OK, I had no real idea what this song was about at the time, but to me it meant (2) things – 1) I would forever more see myself as much more of a Punk than a Head, and 2) I now knew that there were others who longed like I did. There were others who held themselves to standards normally frowned upon by the “popular.” There was – at long last – the possibility of tribe at least somewhere out there…

And it was Tribe that I would find. Tribe that I thought I would never lose. Even though I eventually did. At least for a spell…

Fast forward quite a number of years, and we can find a troy who is now a father, a husband, a self-perceived failure and a man on the edge of a breakdown. A breakdown I eventually muscled through (and to a certain extent, still am) all by my lonesome, or so I thought. Leave it to the boys of Therapy? to come to my aid in embracing that particular darkness…

And leave it to the boys of Pearl Jam – plus an unexpected groundswell of previously forgotten and new tribe, all of whom came rushing to my salvation – to pull me back out. Much like the rubber band that has been my life, there is Someone Up There who seemingly likes me, and that Someone never allows me to stick around in the gloomy spaces for too long, before “snapping” me back into The Real.

And yes, that brings us to your bonus track for this week…

This track, while seemingly a counter-balance to the cliché that started this post, is not. No, this song has been with me throughout my journey. Spurring me on to cross every bridge that has snuck up upon me along the way. That’s what life is after all, right? A series of bridges that we can either cross or not. Regardless of our choice, isn’t it nice to have a song in your heart to help you along on your travels? All the better still, if they’re musical milestones that will guide along your way…

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PS: As life doesn’t stop when our generational interest in music does, this bonus-bonus track is brought to you by an old man who refuses to totally give up, and one of his dearest friends, who said that this makes her think of him. My incoming New Life is now coming up on a rough patch wherein there is much to do, and little time with which to do it in. As such, I apologize if I’m not around here as often as I would like, kids. My hope is that until we hook up again, you will all stay…

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To The Eye of The Beholder

Daddy… Are you crying?

You’d be surprised at how often I hear that question.

And you’d be similarly surprised at how often I am forced to squeak out a dishonest “no” from my phelgm-filled throat, whilst hastily wiping away any evidence to the contrary from my moistened eyes.

Today, Jen’s Tuesdayer Army celebrates “Beautiful” on Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and for this prompt I could literally litter you with song samplings to last well over the next several months.

But I won’t.

I haven’t enough tears.

My song bucket this week is filled with choices that to me, express my belief that beauty lies in hope. But it also lies in sorrow. It lies in the sun, and it lies in the thunder storm. It lies in victory, and it lies in defeat. In short, beauty lies at either end of life’s spectrum, versus the muddy monontonous middle – the very area where most of us feel “safe” enough to normally reside. Following is a mere sampling of what I see Beauty as being.

First, we have hope…

Followed by sorrow…

Then we have sun…

Followed by thunder…

Victory…

Then defeat…

And then, if you are among the very bravest of the brave, and the wisest of the wise, you recognize the aforementioned belief that the middle is the very last place to be, as it’s both ends of the spectrum that bring beauty to life. For it is only through the constant interplay between this absolute darkness and the purest light – the sun and the rain – that the brilliant rainbow that Life truly is, can come bursting through…

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And to the eye of this one beholder at least; that, my friends, is what Beauty truly is.

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Happy Feet

She is an inspiring artist, and a wonderful sport. I love her vision, and have longed to use more than one of her pieces as prompts. With one of her more recent works I blurted out my desire, and instead of politely ignoring me (as she should have), she actually invited me instead to go ahead and do as I wished. Dear Elena, I truly hope I don’t disappoint you with the following…

Copyright - Elena Caravela

Copyright – Elena Caravela

The shoes are key.

You see, it’s the shoes that always point forward, never back.

And my friend, if you’ve even one that points in the yesterday direction, then I should think it high time that you invest in a new pair!

No, it’s the shoes that point forward. Ever looking towards the horizon. Ever hoping for the next step instead of the last, scary monsters and super creeps be damned.

Be they jaunty or clunky, tight tipped or broad-nosed, dirty or clean, new or old, they carry you on your journey. They are – if you’ll pardon the deplorable, yet necessary pun – with you every step of the blessed (or damned, as the case may be) way.

For you see, while the shoes may point the direction, tis you who decides how they’ll get you to where they’re going. Tis you who decides whether they’ll bounce or thud, whether they’ll crisply cut the low air, or drag along the concrete sulkily. Tis you who decides whether they will move with purpose and speed, lounge along casually with a certain ease of mind, or trawl dead-weighted from moment to moment in sullen despair.

You see, whether you turn to the left or turn to the right is not the thing. The thing is in the very fashion with which you make that turn, and in the passion with which you tarry forth.

And best of all, tis you who decides that, my friend – YOU!

As for yours truly, I had decided several epiphanies back to slap the smile on my face, and screw my best hat – yes, the flouncy one – securely to my noggin just prior to heading out my mind’s door.

True, the rain still comes, and the weather must still be weathered. But I’ve come to learn that it’s not so much the rain that stops me, as it is these very drops of salty wetness that serve to create me – making me who I am and who I might someday be.

The smudges these sky-fallen tears leave are worn with pride, not embarrassment. And much like the shoes that are charged with moving both them and my own good self along, on our way forward we all march gaily to the ‘morrow!

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I hope you come along too.

And yes, I am ending today with this…