a lot to learn

I have had a lot to learn.

My mean Mom used to always say, and sometimes still says to me, "Boy, you've sure got a lot to learn."

My mom isn't as mean as she used to be, but that could be in part because I don't have as much to learn as I used to...haha!

Probably true.

I had a lot to learn about feeling ashamed about my Dad and what he did and what happened to him.

Before he lost everything and disappeared, my Dad went around acting like he was a big shot, "a showboat" as my mother used to say about him.

She used to tell him he had a lot to learn too. He did.

Also my Mom said often to me that I was just like my father, which meant that I was an arrogant self centered good time charlie showboat of a person.

I did a lot of bad things in my teens and twenties and thirties and forties. Not drugs and crime type things, just poor conduct, poor treatment of others kinds of things.

I was a good mother, thank God. I mustered everything I knew about being a good person and focused it all on my children.

I still made a lot of mistakes, but my kids and I are all very close, so again, thank God for that.

Before I could learn any lesson I first have had to identify what the fear is.

So, the fear of being a bad person who would in the end cause my own ruin and demise has been a real part of my life.

Also the fear, or presumption, that people wouldn't like me because of my shameful family history has hung around me like a shroud.

I have been angry at people, feeling misunderstood or not understood.

I have felt isolated.

I have felt embarrassed about my conduct, unable to control my actions, acting in ways I regret, out of resentment, anger, bitterness.

In some moments I have said too little, unsure of how to act.

In some moments I have said way too much, determined to show people who I am, what power I've got under the hood.

All this leads to shame and a guilty conscience and a lousy feeling you just can't shake.

Sometimes I think these are some of the ways people get depressed.

Trapped in your own way of thinking and relating that ain't working for nobody least of all yourself.

I am rising above this shit now.

I am rising above it but keeping my feelings and my expectations and my desires straight, like straight out from my heart, not up too high, not down too low, just straight out from my heart to the hearts of others.

My Dad died before I ever got back to him.

I will say to him today if he's listening, "Dad, I loved you. I love you still. You were a bad ass boss of a guy. I learned a lot from you, good and bad. I'm sorry we all turned on you. I'm sorry we never got back together. I'm gonna make it up to you the rest of my life. I'm gonna play your favorite music and I'm gonna do what you never were able to do. I'm gonna be a happy successful person. And I'm gonna always wear cool shoes like you did Dad."


Miracles happen when fear is replaced by love

Miracles happen every time when fear is replaced by love.

To make this less unbelievable I will also clarify that there are only two things for the human mind, fear and love.

What do you think of that?

I've read it from guru types for years, and guru types have been saying it since the dawn of man.

Certainly, Buddha and Jesus talked this way.

Yesterday I worked with a client who consults with me weekly to keep his creative writing project on track.

We both think it's working. He's writing his first novel; it's getting written and it's excellent.

Yesterday I thanked him for being one of the generous and kind souls who bailed me out in Chicago.

I thanked him and I added that if he would like, he could take a discount off of my next few sessions, in case he felt he would rather be reimbursed.

I told him that several people had given money, some of them kept giving after it was clear that I had the bare minimum of $60 for gas back to Mpls, and maybe $10 for a sandwich.

He said that my asking and his responding had set off a chain reaction and the three things he had been selling on ebay that weren't selling but were each priced at $60, the amount he had given me, suddenly all sold over the weekend after he gave me the $60 donation.

So he said that the giving of $60 had created a payback by the Universe and he was rewarded with a sale of $180.

Do you hate reading stories like this?

Are you fuming at how lame it is for me and my client to make these connections and decide to attribute these events to the working of miracles?

Well, get that chip off your God given shoulder and join the party of life! Jump in the beautiful spring fed lake of love.

It's awesome living with a joyful feeling of faith that makes everything possible and nothing shameful.

One thing too is to be able to recognize when you are thinking in terms of fear and to quickly turn your thoughts into thoughts of love.

Ten years ago I hated a lot of people, a lot of things, a lot of situations.

I don't any more.

I think all my touring and my endeavoring to succeed these last few years, and living with the humbling truth that I used up all the money I had, and all the credit I had, and still didn't turn around my career and make it profitable, these are humbling facts.

You can fake it until you make it, but if you run out of gas on the freeway to success you will be pushing that car and you can't fake that.

When things get tough like that you have to start working in the currency of miracles.

You have to start exchanging fear for love if you hope to survive.

If you don't want to end up with the red scarf or the bathrobe tie belt around your neck, you have to learn a way to turn your straw into gold.

Not money, feelings.

Fear into Love.

Will you be able to stave off depression and suicidal thoughts?

Maybe not.

Maybe you need medication for that.

Maybe even then, it will be bigger than you are.

I knew a lovely man who was a minister.

He had a very loving wife and teenage son.

He had a congregation of people who loved him, including me.

He became so overwhelmingly suicidal that he checked himself into the Mayo Clinic lock in psych ward in Rochester, MN.

One morning, accompanied at all times by a guardian because they knew he was suicidal, he was being guided from his room to the cafeteria for his breakfast.

He turned suddenly.

And in front of the attendant, and others, he threw himself through the plate glass window in the hall and plunged to his death four floors below.

This man loved his family, he loved his God.

But literally nothing was going to stop him from ending his life.

I have no idea why.

On this note, all I'm saying is give peace a chance.

Let Love Rule.

You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.

I hope some day you'll join us.

And the world will live as one.



creative again!

It feels good to be creative again! Yesterday I did some gardening finally in Rob's backyard.

I've been talking about gardening since I was in Germany and my beautiful fans there inspired me with one of their lovely gardens.

I got back saying that even though the house I live in isn't mine, it is my only home, and the home owner has said, "Garden away!"

But the work of the second "A Girl Called Sidney" book hung over me and kept me from doing anything else.

I was booking tours for my summer because that had to be done, I was continuing to make appearances for book events and music shows, and I was finishing the manuscript.

Those activities are all necessities.

But gardening is soulful pure joy.

So finally yesterday, the Chicago trip successfully completed, the manuscript turned in, I put on my bikini top and a pair of cut off jean shorts, a straw hat, a pair of flowered gardening gloves, and my knee high green Hunter rubber boots.

I got out of the garage my beloved Vermont style garden cart, my spade, my trowel, my small rake.

I found so many beautiful little plants coming up, some blossoming already.

The clump of raspberry bushes I planted last year has many blossoms, and many delightful yellow and black small fuzzy bees were there! Bees! thank God they aren't all dead, at least not yet!

Rob's back yard is the wilderness to Rob's front porch which is civilization comparably.

You all saw the porch fix up earlier this Spring.

That project felt like a necessity to me because I wanted to sit out there and write.

And I do!

But Rob's backyard is a city lot size, and fenced in with a tall wooden fence all around. The center is all grass but there are a wild variety of plants growing around the perimeter.

I am allowed to discern for myself what should stay and what should go.

Sadly, quite a few undesirables lost their lives yesterday, ending up in my brush pile in the far corner.

However, there were quite a few new volunteers, especially the Black Eyed Susans, who reseeded themselves along the stone path at the back by the garage and I let all of them stay right where they put themselves because they're so cute and cheerful.

I found a little Maple tree trying to grow from behind the fire pit.

The little Maple was very strong and brave to assert himself in such a difficult spot so I transplanted him, thinking he will have the fortitude to survive the move. He has a place of honor now in the middle of the grassy yard and will hopefully be there for a hundred years or more.

I hope he makes it.

It was a wonderful day. I felt like my old self again. Or like my favorite self.


ways of writing

I see from writing this daily blog that there are different ways of writing.

The post I wrote as an S.O.S. two days ago was written in haste while traveling.

The post I wrote yesterday was written back in Mpls after eight hours of driving.

Last night's post could be edited.

I could rework it to be clearer, to communicate more literally what I was thinking about on my eight hour drive.

But I like these posts that are more like a sketch that only alludes to the actual punch line but maybe never actually says it.

I think poetry can be that way.

Maybe people like to just have things gestured to, a wave of the hand in the direction of what the speaker would like you to see.

A photograph where something is happening but we cannot say for sure....maybe people find these things to be tantalizing.

My youngest child, my son, has been on a train from Budapest to Belgrade these past twenty-four hours.

He is living the strange magic of travel right now.

Travel can be insulated by money so that the traveler is shuttled from one oasis of wealth to another, from one beautiful brunch to another beautiful dinner.

But travel can be raw and exposing and can make you see, really see what it's all about.

Nothing can be explained fully, no person's inner life can be laid plain.

Nothing can be fleshed out to full satisfaction.

The best food, the best sex, the best love, the best music, the best gardens, the best conversations, it all slips through our fingers like sand.

What do we really have?

What can be captured?

The hummingbird comes to the hanging baskets on the front porch every day now and I can barely get a glimpse of his beauty before he is gone.




Tonight I'm back in Minneapolis at Rob's house contemplating the mysteries of this world.

Suicides this past week have me thinking about how we support each other in life.

People make all kinds of mistakes and errors in judgement, and we are holding people to high moral standards lately with the #MeToo movement and more.

But do we know how to help people deal with their failings and failures, their aberrant behaviors, their bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds?

Do we want people to have an overnight epiphany and change like Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol?

Are we able to give people the time and forgiveness it takes to change for the better?

I'm not saying that everyone has a guilty conscience.

But maybe everyone does.

I have grappled today with the way I panicked yesterday in Chicago.

There are many reasons why money has been such a challenge for me in recent years.

I have been honest about all of those reasons.

Some are about trying to make an artistic career full time late in life.

Some have to do with the way I left a conventional secure situation to more authentically pursue who I thought I could be.

I sent out an S.O.S. yesterday because being in Chicago with so little money scared me.

I felt that if anything, one little thing went wrong, that I'd be in real trouble.

I made a guess and asked my fans.

They responded with so much support, psychological and financial.

I am so grateful.

Do I deserve their help?

I don't know, but they knew and they gave it, and that means everything to me.



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