Trulia is my travel agent of emotional escapes and several times a week I am a voyeur into other people’s lives. There are several settings to consider before I go on my trip: price, location, amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage, and one that I always take seriously which is fireplaces. Once I have made my selection, I begin my voyage. I prefer houses that range in price from 10 to 20 million with at least seven bedrooms because then I have a lot to manage. It’s important to have staff rooms as well. Yesterday I transported myself into a mansion in Pebble Beach, California. The rooms were large and had heavily ornate little metal crosses on the walls and enormous arrangements of dried flowers in dark, muted colors like vampire rooms.There was a dining room with a stand in the corner for reading the Bible and at least three kitchens spread throughout the house. My very favorite room, however, gave me the inspiration that I had been looking for. The master bedroom. There was an enormous bed with a headboard covered in powder and silk and a duvet also covered in the same silk spread over the feet. The nightstands consisted of pieces of glass balance upon carved gold wood made to look like unicorns who are slightly crazed. There, above the fireplace, was a portrait of the mistress of the house and when I saw the portrait I knew I had found my true self. She was blonde with babe hair that hung to her waist and was thick and wavy.She wore a black knit dress, unbuttoned, and a black lace bra under that. The black dress clung to her curves and she was leaning forward with both hands holding onto a couch breasts pressed forward as if to say I’ve got you in the palm of my hand. She was a dame. She was a slut. She was in control. There was no question that this was her House. Oh! How I wanted to be her! Powerful! Sexy! Men falling at her feet! She probably had a gun underneath that black dress. She never suffered from loneliness or despair or depression or anxiety. No way Jose. She just lived in this giant house and swished around the hallways in her black dress and bossed people, Particularly men. It was really hard to leave that Trulia house.I figured if I stayed long enough staring at those photos I would end out being just like her.Fearless and powerful and as a woman who had never been victimized.
Letting Go When There’s No Rope Left
I have a friend who is trying to get divorced. This has been going on for two years. The marriage was a good length, (ten years), and a good part of it was not unhappy but the divorce has turned into a nightmare of hatred, accusations, bitterness, anger, paranoia and deep despair on the part of both parties.
There were no children involved, several properties purchased together, and a long stream of expenses for their life paid for by my friend who gave his partner free rein to do what she wanted in terms of the household accounts. By the time he realized most of his money was gone it was too late for reason or recompense: his life had become unbearable as daily verbal abuse had escalated to the point of physical pain. There was no surviving the atmosphere in the house, no love left between the two marital participants, and so my friend left.
His partner filed for divorce immediately and thus began the long history of demands for money, property, shares in imagined earnings, financial reports, tax returns, and appearances in court, depositions and more depositions. Interestingly enough, at this point in time my friend’s net worth had diminished to one tenth that of his wife’s yet she continued to threaten, hire new lawyers, fire old accountants, make new lists about what she wanted, hide possessions from my friend, and make her life’s goal destroying her husband.
Now I ask myself “Why?” If I were in the same position would I behave in the same way? Of course not. I am a reasonable person who likes to work things out and find reasonable solutions to problems. I like to have situations that are emotionally complicated solved as smoothly and expediently as possible as drawing them out only serves to upset one’s health and make oneself look like a fool in the community. People that continually fight over nothing and act in irrational ways are usually ostracized by others and find them alone and unloved in their lives. Who would actively make a choice to live like this?
Why am I writing about this today? I think it’s a really good lesson to all of us about how to destroy your life and your Karma. Holding anger, retribution and bitterness inside yourself is a good mechanism to destroy your own life. I think it does more damage than smoking. Imagine inhaling all that rage each day with every breath and then imagine not being able to release it. Imagine getting into arguments with everyone that surrounds you and then not having any real friends left. Imagine acting in a way that is dangerous to you and to others. Then take a breath and wonder why.
I think people get so caught up in their battles they forget why they began them in the first place. Much like all the needless wars we have been involved with we often can’t remember why we started to hate each other. We forget our compassion towards others and towards ourselves. We exist on our own fear and we can’t even see how it is destroying our lives. We lose all reason and all awareness of our own behavior and become fearful individuals who are living solitary lives as it becomes too risky to trust anyone else.
How many stories out there are like that of my friend? How many people hold on to old stuff as its familiar: pain is familiar. It may not be pleasant but sometimes fear makes us choose the familiar rather than the new as the new cannot be predicted.
I am no angel. Believe me I know that and I am aware of my own failings just as others are. I am writing this to make sense of the situation to me as well as to you as it seems so insane. The only thing I do know to be absolutely true is that operating from a fear based self will ultimately ruin your life and leave you with no friends or family to support you. In the end as they say we die alone but I hope when I die there are people who love me all around who can send me on my way to a new plane with love and joy. After all, there is really nothing else worthwhile in life but love.
Lament to Valentine’s Day
I am not sure why it exists but do realize it has something to do with St Valentine, maybe Cupid, and definitely Hallmark cards. I start to worry about Valentine’s Day a few weeks before it happens. Why do I worry, you might ask? Right. Normal people don’t worry. Normal people just laugh at the reoccurrence of this holiday and sometimes buy chocolate, or send a sappy card, or maybe invite their significant other to dinner and then forget about it.
Single people get stressed! It is another example of how the whole world appears to be in love and you are the only loser who has no one to have dinner with on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of admirers or even a big support system, being unable to count on a Valentine’s Day date is a problem.
I am in a vacation spot at the moment and it is filled with red, heart shaped objects. I can’t identify the origin of some of them. Most seem faintly pornographic to me. I know this is a bad sign and probably represents a huge jealous streak but it is the absolute truth. I am embarrassed to look into these windows feeling as if I am not entitled to look. I find this a really interesting feeling. I know if you want to find a partner you are supposed to visualize what that would feel and look like in your life. Sometimes it is hard to take this seriously as it gets tiresome. Most things that feel too serious to me are abandoned into humor.
So I have been working on this Valentine’s Day issue and thinking of what it means. I guess to many of us single people holidays remind us anyway of our lack of a partner and this is the worst one. Yes, it’s superficial and ridiculous and faintly pornographic as I said before but it still is bothersome to many. I found that even married people don’t like it as their expectations are often dashed and they are disappointed but unwilling to say anything. This applies to both men and women.
Love is not just a word. It’s a constantly changing force between two people whether mother and child, father and son, husband and wife, or two people who are slowly falling in love. Why do we call it “falling in love”? Think about it. You have the sense of falling and having no control at all. You can’t control the object of your affection nor can you make them behave in the way you think you want them to. In the beginning of a love affair nothing can be counted on, not even reciprocal love. Everything has to go on faith and for most of us this is really hard. The older you get the harder this becomes.
I wish I had an answer but I don’t. I think the only way to approach anything stressful is to remind yourself to detach all the time and to remember that longing or grasping or wanting is only doing harm to yourself. It feels much better to just observe and notice what’s going on and to love whomever you feel like loving without looking for something in return.
Why The Razor’s Edge is still so appealing….
Recently a good friend of mine recommended that I read The Razor’s Edge and so I picked it up on my way to Lenox, Massachusetts. Once I began to read the book, I was hooked as I found it to be a great story about the meaning of life. Unlike the popular hit of paper and film. “Eat, Pray, Love”, I was engrossed in the movement of the main character and his approach to and passion for understanding life and finding purpose. Why did this book so deeply touch me? I recommend that you read it if you haven’t already.
I have always believed that if I tried hard enough and kept searching long enough I would reach a place of understanding of my life and my purpose on this earth. I assumed that others felt the same way as I do. As life has gone on I have begun to understand that some share this quest of mine while others are content to merely live out their lives and do what is expected of them, rarely questioning the path they find themselves on. If you are lucky enough to have been born into a family with resources it is obviously easier to be on this quest for meaning as you have more time on your hands. Let’s face it, if you have to struggle to pay your bills or have serious health issues, or have been fired from a solid job after 20 years as many have today, you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and reflecting on what the meaning of life should be. Your focus is on basic survival and what it means rather than what your path should be.
Having children also prevents a lot of reflection as once you have a child you will never again be responsible for just yourself: you will always have someone more important than you to look out for. While I understand that it isn’t a good idea to put the life of your child above your own, I think it is practically impossible to avoid not doing this once you have one. My father used to say, “You are only as happy as your most unhappy child.” And I think there is some truth to that statement.
The Razor’s Edge resonated with me as I have never been able to lead a life of leisure, even now at my advanced age. I find parties exhausting and cocktail parties, the most exhausting. I hate having to dress in “appropriate” clothing though I love beautiful clothes. When I find myself in lovely restaurants I often feel frozen as if I am an actress in a play. It is extremely rare for me to be able to sit at a table with someone for more than an hour or so and when I find I have done that I know I have found a treasure of a human being.
This novel speaks of society and our role in whatever society we are a part of, and examines the value of a life within certain groups versus a life lived without expectations of behavior and only a quest for meaning. Taking the path of enlightenment may mean giving up structure as well as acceptable behavior in order to find one’s soul.
Recently I have been feeling as if I am not sure where I should live or what my path should be. I have lived on both coasts: one is better for me socially and the other, professionally. I find myself dissatisfied with only a good social life and long for satisfying work, and when I am happily working I feel lonely returning home at night to an empty house. I know there is a reason I am facing this challenge as I know I have to make a decision about where to live very soon. I think as you get older you find yourself thinking about how many years you have left on this planet and what kind of life you want to have. To me, the best life is one filled with love and where you believe you are making a contribution to the world around you. Finding that life is what I am up to now.
I loved the book because I am also searching for a meaningful life and I feel as if I have to make a type of vision quest to do it. Most of my life I have been too easily influenced by the opinion of others, though no one that knows me would agree with that statement. I think we all are. Finding our bliss, as Joseph Campbell stated, can only be done by focusing on what it is that brings us joy. For me, it is often helping others, making them laugh, donating to charities, or just having someone in my life that I cherish and love to come home to at the end of the day. In my heart I am a pretty simple person. I started out that way and find that the older I get. The simpler I become.
The happiest life I can imagine is to live with someone you love very much and have work that brings you great joy, whether it is a certain regular job or more creative endeavors. I wonder how many of you agree with me and are lucky enough to have both.
If you take something off the stove after it boils and let it sit, after a while it will cool off.
This is my latest credo in life.
It works for everything.
It is just a great mantra for life.
If something feels too hot to handle then let it sit and you will understand it better.
If you meet someone who makes you speechless, wait and see how you feel after a few days without thinking of them.
If you argue with someone you love, don’t be needy and dependant, give them the space to heal.
If you have to make a decision that fills you with anxiety, wait until you know the answer.
Don’t send emails immediately.
Don’t kiss on the first date.
Hold your breath and believe in magic and buy some Dalmatian stones for joy and fun.
Take a drive out to Marshal and stay at Nick’s Cove and you will believe again in Nick and Nora or Bogie and Bacall and all your dreams will be revitalized.
In our house in Maine there is a family wall where many memories are drawn or painted. The first measurement of a child’s height was done about 35 years ago when my daughter, Christina, was 2 years old. The wall is now covered with lots of memories and people who visit continue to make more of them. This house is the only house I own which I have owned for this long a period of time. In my real life outside of the months of summer I buy and sell real estate like a grass hopper. I love to move. I love exploring the new property and finding new nooks and crannies to hide in or hide things in. It makes me feel as if I am reinventing myself all over again which is a good feeling. I have noticed there are two different groups when it comes to houses: those that move and those that do not move. Neither group is better than the other , just a different mind-set. I think I like to move because movement seems to be a better feeling than stillness. Stillness can be sobering.
We are in an economy now where there is a lot of stillness interjected without sharp periods of insane fluctuation in the financial markets. Many still believe we are on an upswing. I do not and have not as you will know from my older posts. How can we pull ourselves out of this recession with so much accumulated debt in our government and those of other countries in the world?
So I say “STORE NUTS!”
Just like the squirrels do in time for a long winter we all need to store nuts. Don’t suggest this, our government officials tell us as we ned people to spend to end the recession That seems like a Catch 22 to me. Tell everyone to spend their savings so our economy will improve but what about what happens if people do just that and our economy gets even worse? We all need nuts in our trees to survive what looks like a very long winter.
So I have an idea. What if we all stored nuts and then added a few more for people who didn’t have enough?Wouldn’t that be a good plan? The world is different now and will become more different and less safe. If we band together and help each other life would be better for most.
I don’t have a huge network of family where I live but I do have a large network of friends I am grateful for. I would like to have a wall in my house here of all my friends heights and their small drawings as it would keep me company at night. Maybe I will begin that project soon.
The Stress of Attraction…The Fear of Abandonment
It doesn’t get any easier to find someone…everyone thinks it will get easier as they get older, but guess what? It feels worse. The other night I was minding my own business, well kindove minding my own business, and circulating at a wonderful dinner by the Truckee River in Lake Tahoe when across a crowded room I saw a guy! It was hard not to miss him. Tall, cool, like the Marlboro man but in an artistic mode. I was entranced and captivated and though I am close to retirement age I couldn’t help but get a little short of breath. Subversively I watched the man. No wedding ring. No sign of a hovering female. No apparent behavior that said, “I am weird.”
I said to myself don’t even think of it, Lucinda. I sounded very strict, even to me. I have made a pact, you see, to not even think of getting involved with a man again unless there is a chance of a lifetime commitment. Let’s face it, there’s not much of a lifetime left for me. So maybe that’s not much of a wish, but I am taking it very seriously. I am not going to be swayed by shoulders, beautiful bone structure or tiny hips. Well, maybe I will take them in, but not be swayed by them. Oh no, I am looking for a serious heart companion. Someone who will watch my back. Someone who will adore me and I will adore back in the same amount. Well, maybe he will adore me a tiny bit more because it is always better to be the beloved rather than the lover.
Anyway, back to my story. I refused to acknowledge in any way I was interested in this man and asked the universe to be in control of the attraction. Before I knew it we were sitting side by side having dinner. I swear I am innocent in this. I did not bat an eye nor beckon a baby finger. I just sat back and allowed it to happen. I found him fascinating. Everything we spoke of seemed to resonate with me which was so weird I couldn’t eat any of the meat which was the feature of the evening. That’s another story. Large haunches of meat roasting over a fire. A meat spectacle!
Any way I had no idea how to respond at the end of the evening when he gave me his card and asked me to contact him. I think I made a joke but to tell the truth I have no idea what I said. I felt like I was 14. The next morning I ran into him again as I was hanging out with an old friend of his. We had lunch together and there it was again. That sense of knowing all about someone and wanting to know more. I really wanted to hold his hand. 24 hours later I sit at home after a three hour drive and have no idea what to think.
Do I email Him? Will he email me? The whole thing is so wonderfully silly but also painful and frightening. Most people would say just enjoy it and have fun but I can’t do that. I find it incredibly stressful and I feel tired and somewhat hopeless. Just after I meet this wonderful creature who seems very interested in me and what do I do? Want to run away and hide or have him immediately come over here and live with me for the rest of my life. This is insanity. I can’t do this dance which is why I made that commitment to myself about finding a lifetime companion but I have no idea how I am going to find one if I can’t stand the initial heat?
So what is my point here? I guess my point is that we are presented opportunities in life that require attention and taking a risk and though I am longing for a partner of my heart, I find the feelings so intense I am often unable to comprehend them.
Stay tuned for the next part of this story.
Just another Saturday Night
So tonight let’s take a bottle of that nice wine someone gave us down to the shore while the sun sets as it will set for a very long time up here and when it has left us to go on to some other friends lets still stay here and hold hands and you can kiss me like you did one winter and I will be enchanted again by the endless possibilities of it all because that’s what I do in Maine in the summertime and wine is important and can you imagine people who date people who don’t drink as I think that would be so difficult as then there would be no sunset or no kiss maybe I am wrong about this but I have a feeling it would be like watching a musical on Broadway and the orchestra has gone home for the night but the cast is still desperately trying to sing to us all and it seems a little bit to me like the time I was in bed with a man who had hearing problems and he turned and removed his hearing aids placing them carefully on the night table before turning back to me to make love and I was thinking why did he do that is he so used to making love without hearing what his partner is saying maybe he doesn’t care or maybe that’s just how he has done it for years so I got out of bed and left the house.