Saturday, August 29, 2009

Alte Liebe (Old Love)

Responding to a prompt via
Weave a story around a 60 year old photograph:

He walked down the quiet hallway, cradling the ancient wooden box in his arms with the utmost of care. After seating himself on the edge of the bed, he ran his hands over the brittle wood, pausing to encircle each notch with his finger before unfastening the latch. It opened with a faint creak, breath bated in anticipation. With a shaky hand he lifted the old photograph out from its storing place and gently blew away the dust which had gathered with the passing years. The old man's heart quickened as the memories began to flood back to him.

Smiling up at him from the portrait was a beautiful woman with auburn hair, falling in curly tangles around her shoulders, eyes bright with youth. Her nose was wrinkled with laughter and her cheeks were flushed as she stood outdoors in an open garden. Her arm was outstretched, showing proudly the tiny golden band with a glimmer of a diamond on her left ring finger.

The man closed his eyes and remembered. The scent of the breeze blowing through her hair, she always smelled of lavender and soap. He remembered the feeling of the soft grass on his trousers as he knelt before her. The racing of his heart as he struggled with the pocket of his jacket, and the surprise on her face as he displayed the ring. He opened his eyes and stood from the bed, turning to gaze out the window, listening to the light drizzle of the falling rain. The man felt a drop of wetness on his finger, and reached down to wipe away the tear which had fallen onto the beloved photo, before placing it gently back into the old keepsake box.

He crossed the room to his dresser, and put the box on top of it, propping the lid open so the picture would remain on display. He dressed slowly, fastening the buttons on his pressed white shirt with the difficulty that comes with old age and exhaustion. As he made his way down the stairs, he slipped the black suit jacket over each arm and over his shoulders. Grabbing the umbrella from the closet, he opened the door to the house they had shared for 60 years.

The black town car was waiting for him in the driveway. He opened the umbrella and stepped out into the drizzle, forcing back tears that threatened to out pour the rain. As the car made its way through the winding hills, he closed his eyes again and smiled. A lifetime of laughter, kisses, and scents of lavender and soap played in his mind. His aching heart was comforted by only one thought;
Goodbyes are temporary when love is strong.
Author's Note: I'm terrible at ending things.
Listen to: Alte Liebe by Brahms, one of my favorite German pieces in my repertoire. I couldn't find it online to add to my playlist (below), but it'll be worth the download, I promise! One of my favorite recordings is by Sarah Connolly, you can purchase it using Napster:

Good Morning

via @writingpromt on Twitter
Writing Promt: the best morning
I wake up early to no alarm
a kiss on the forehead and a familiar smile welcomes me
Morning creeps through the windows
and bounces off the fabric with shades of deep pink
the room is filled with rosy light
Flecks of gold in a chestnut gaze
Our eyes meet and I am lost.
Our lips meet and I am home.



"Good Morning" John Legend

Monday, August 24, 2009

Go BOLDLY in the direction of your dreams.

...Reality =)

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's a Sin To Tell a Lie...

Answering a prompt from @writing_prompts on Twitter:
"When was the last time you lied and why?"

What immediately comes to mind:
the lyrics to "It's a Sin To Tell a Lie" from Ain't Misbehavin'
Be sure it's true when you say
"I love you"
It's a sin to tell a lie
Millions of hearts have been broken
Just because these words were spoken
I love you
Yes I do
I love you
If you break my heart I'll die
So be sure that it's true when you say
"I love you"
It's a sin to tell a lie
Of course. My brain would go straight to a Broadway show. =) Okay; here goes.
The last lie I told was not to a friend. It was not to a coworker, family member, or to the one I love. The last lie I told was to myself. As women, I think we lie to ourselves more than we realize, or admit. From trivial, vain lies such as; I can't eat this brownie because I'll automatically gain five pounds and everyone will think poorly of me! (or conversely; I can just skip my morning workout today, I'll make up for it tomorrow) to more important lies such as; He'll change, I just have to give it time. I am guilty of all of the above, and then some!

I am currently involved in a self-woven web of lies. Centering around, of course, a guy. Not really a guy, the guy. The same guy who has been both the love in my life and the bane of my existence for the past few years. Seems longer. The relationship started out easy enough. We were both liars, convincing ourselves (and each other) that we were ready to be together. In truth, neither of us were fit to be with anyone-both lost in internal worlds of hurt for vastly different reasons.

And now, after almost three years and countless memories, kisses, fights, break-ups, reunions, car rides, and phone calls later, I've become ensnared in a trap of my own design. My mind is so full of lies that I'm unable to tell fact from fiction. I've made innumerable broken promises to myself, vowing that this, truly, will be the last time. The last time I allow myself to be pierced by the arrows of duplicity and mistrust. Lie. I don't want to venture a guess on how many times I've broken that contract.

Even statements of emotion are hazy. Do I love you? Okay yes, but in what way? At this point, we've played every roll in the human spectrum in each other's lives. He has been my love, best friend, counselor, and at times, my adversary and the wrecker of my heart. I have been to him the same. Do YOU love ME? I haven't a clue. Lie. I know the answer, but sometimes loving someone isn't enough. Life is full of seemingly more important matters than that of the heart.

Lies, lies, lies. I have grown tired of lies. I understand that there are certain necessary evils in this world, but lying to oneself should NOT be among them. Sure, I'll tell my co-worker that her horrendous new haircut looks cute on her, but I refuse to play a game of deceit within my own mind. That sounds slightly unhinged, doesn't it? It is time that my habitual abuse of the 9th Commandment ends. Today I will put down the brownie, tie my running shoes, delete the unsent text messages, and focus on what is true. I have decisions to make and goals to achieve. Nothing will weaken my resolve.

Monday, August 17, 2009

the HEART of the matter.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

-Neil Gaiman (English born American Novelist)

We've all been through it. The relationship that never really should have started, and by all logic shouldn't have lasted for the past 2-3 years. This is what your head is telling you, but ah, the heart. I've often wondered why our Western tradition has chosen the heart as the seat of emotion. It is not the same in all cultures or periods of time. Perhaps it is because without it we would cease to exist. How many love songs, sappy or otherwise, proclaim the impossibility of life without the one they love? "How do I LIVE without you?", "I will ALWAYS love you", and more recently and aptly put by a particular American Idol; "My life would SUCK without you". Gotta love the poignancy of popular music.

So we have this blood-pumping, life-giving muscle inside our chests. And though it has no IQ, no thoughts or desires, I for one, tend to let it dictate many of my decisions. Oftentimes in a new relationship, my brain will figure it out right away. Warning, Warning, Red Flags Everywhere! Sometimes I listen, go with instinct, and end the budding relationship before it can ruin me. Sometimes though, I ignore the frantic warnings of my head and barrel on down the road, damn the consequences, and when all is said and done, I've crashed and I'm left lying on the side of the road, broken, crying and asking; "Why?". It's that pesky heart thing again.

What I'd really like to know is; can we control it? Can I lead my heart, or am I a prisoner to this wonderfully destructive thing called love? Maybe this is something that will come with age, or maybe I will one day awaken, and find myself in charge of my emotion-wouldn't that be lovely? I have learned how to bite my tongue when I am angry, how to blink back the tears until I am alone; on several occasions I have been successful in pushing them back all together (how grown up). I have yet to learn how to "fall out of love". It's like this; once I decide that I love someone, I stick. 'Better or Worse, Come What May' kind of thing. It's obnoxious.

I have been slowly coming to the realization that perhaps it really IS me. I have impossibly high standards for love. I'm not a dolt, I know that movies and novels are fictional for a reason, they do not exist in our real world. My faith is deeply rooted in the bible, which tells me that "love never fails". What I fail to remind myself however, is that in Corinthians, Paul is talking about true love, like the love our Heavenly Father has for us. This is not the usual human experience of love, but an illustration to emulate.

Love is fallible. It's not easy and sometimes, it hurts. We have to accept the object as our affection as human, not sitting on some pedestal of righteousness. Our beloved will undoubtedly fail, disappoint us, maybe even break our heart. The key, I guess, is to find a somebody who will minimize the damage, love and accept us, and bring more laughter than tears. This is not pessimism, it is the world in which we live. I have never liked the term 'hopeless romantic'. I prefer to think of myself as hopeFULL. If I continue to live life with my heart and mind open, yet aware, perhaps my hopeful romanticism will attract another dreamer. Happily ever after, and all that mush.
"The Heart of the Matter" India.Arie

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love NEVER fails

Remember boys and girls...

...don't settle.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I bless the rains down in Africa...

The other night I had THE BEST driving experience possible. I roll in a supafly '97 Ford Taurus, so I don't have a CD player...or even a cassette player in my car. =) Therefore, I am at the mercy of the radio DJs for my auditory enjoyment.

While driving home from work I heard my two of my favorite driving songs of all time-in a row! Driving songs to me are a big deal. They're the tunes that I enjoy best when I'm in my car alone or with a close friend, and I can just crank up the volume and rock out! I've been thinking about the first one for awhile. It's "Africa" by Toto. Freakin' gnarly song. I have no idea why, but it's exactly the type of tune I can seriously groove out to. And I did. I turned the key just as the first chords started to play. Score! My poor little Tori's (that's what I call my car, Tori, Taurus, get it?) speakers were about to bust out. Good times.

Next, I glance out the window (at a red light of course, safety first!) and notice that it's a full moon tonight. My musician's brain immediately thinks that I need to hear Werewolves of London. Guess which song played next? I swear to you. Awooo! Werewolves of London. Hand on the Bible. My life was complete for the next four minutes. I guarantee the person at the stoplight next to me thought I was having a seizure or something. I couldnt've cared less.

As I arrived home, I decided that I've been taking life too seriously of late. I haven't been taking adequate time to stop and appreciate the little happinesses that make life worth living. Yes, I'm a HUGE dork for getting so excited about quite possibly two of the most random songs ever playing back-to-back. But LIFE is random. It makes no sense sometimes. And the sooner we realize this, stop trying to control EVERYTHING and try to just go with the flow, the better off we will be.

So, that's my epiphany of the week. Not exactly Ghandi-level stuff, but it'll do.
Song: "Africa" Toto

Thursday, August 13, 2009

music saves my soul

stumbled upon this somewhere in this worldwide web...thought it was neat =)

i heart the music of the 1950's

sometimes i feel that i have an old soul. sometimes i feel that i'm a twelve year old, but today is an old soul kind of day. i frequently have random lyrics running through my head. not entire songs, just a line or two that will lodge itself in my brain and follow me around all day.

earworms of the day:

"many a tear has to fall, but it's all in the game."
from "it's all in the game" by tommy edwards

"look at me. i'm as helpless as a kitten up a tree. and i feel like i'm clinging to a cloud. i can't understand, i get misty, just holding your hand."
from "misty" by ella fitzgerald

"they asked me how i knew, our true love was true. i of course replied, something here inside cannot be denied..."
from "smoke gets in your eyes" by the platters

all of these songs are from the 50's. classics. love 'em. live 'em.
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