Saturday, August 20, 2011

Camus on Inspiration

"Great ideas come in to the world as gently as doves...if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar...a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope." ~ Albert Camus

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life is Sweet

"They told you life is hard
Misery from the start, it's dull
It's slow, it's painful.

But I tell you life is sweet
In spite of the misery
There's so much more, be grateful.

Well, who do you believe?
Who will you listen to, who will it be?
Because it's high time that you decide
In your own mind." ~ Natalie Merchant, Life is Sweet

Life is sweet for Bugsy, too.
The last six weeks has been a blur as the gentle wind swirls around me. It caresses and heals my psyche, that battleground of emotions and mental impulses upon which I had jousted so bravely, yet failed repeatedly.

I have come home. It's a different kind of home, one I knew was out there. I had hints and encouragements, signposts along the way and never lost hope. Yet time marched on as I careened through life looking, waiting, hoping, that hope growing thin and ragged.
But here he is, live and in color, bigger than life, more than I ever imagined.
My childhood friend Anita told me years ago that she and her husband of fifteen years (at the time) had never had an argument, much less a fight. I couldn't wrap my head around this information. I had never (ever) known a couple that didn't argue, spar, even scream and yell at each other on occasion.
And I certainly had never had a relationship without such drama. I thought that as humans it was our fate. But I have laid down my arms and thrown away my shield. For I no longer need them.

I bid adieu to fighting. Life is sweet.

And yes, it always was, as Natalie says, in spite of the misery. But now? It's sweeter still.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Than Magic

I've been hanging out quite a lot with a magic man. Did I know he was magic when I met him? No. Not then.

But somewhere after the third or fourth date I suspected. After six or seven, I knew.

He is magic. Not only has he turned back the hands of time (we're seventeen again), I trust him. And he adores me. Tonight I caught myself looking in to his baby blue eyes all googly-eyed, feeling that emotion sparkling out of my green ones.

Did I tell you he has six year-old twins? And that I've fallen madly in love with them and they with me?

He does. A little girl and little boy as different (and as similar) as tea and coffee. They might look, smell and taste different, but both hide a wallop in their murky depths. Playing with these two brings out my six year-old Self. What joy there is in the wild abandonment of being six!

This is for JP, my magic man.

I'm so glad you found me.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Monday, August 8, 2011

Street Riots and A New Hope

Two stories caught my attention today. Both relate to my latest post, The Thud Heard Round the World.

Today is Day 3 of the riots spreading around London. What strikes me most, is that the US is following the same path that Britain took to lead to these riots. These will be our streets, our neighborhoods, if we don't do something drastic to intervene.

I grew up believing in my country, proud to be an American. I was taught that we had morals, we looked out for the other guy and we left our citizens alone to do their own thing.

Today, that is far from the truth. And, like crazed mice stuck in a revolving wheel, we keep printing money trying to stay afloat. Our debt payments exceed our income.

As a retired accountant, I can assure you that when you pay out more than you make every day, and there are no savings from which to borrow, it doesn't take long to be bankrupt. Britain is in its current pickle, because it spent money it didn't have to bail out their banking system. Sound familiar?

There are no jobs in Britain and prices are rising in time to presses that steadily print money to service their staggering debt. Eerily familiar? In London, conditions have become unbearable and unemployed workers, mostly youths under twenty, are rioting. The stretched police are having a heck of a time containing the violence, looting and destruction.

I sit at home in Georgia, in my thrift store chair typing this missive. In my tiny town, I eek out a living from day to day, having long ago lost, sold or given away all my worldly assets thanks to this mess of an economy we created. At least I AM making a living. Many, many more aren't. Soon those riots could be in OUR streets.

Whose fault is it? I really don't care. I DO care that we can turn this 'Titanic' around. There are even concrete steps to do so.


Today I watched a taped CNN interview with the former two-term governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. He has a solid and proven track record for turning his deeply-in-debt state around to a substantial surplus. He's for getting the government out of our personal business and giving us back the civil liberties our country was founded upon. And he has charisma.

Even though the reporter in this interview is combative, this candidate for the Republican nomination remains calm, unruffled, focused and on point. I truly believe he might be special. He has something unflappable and extraordinary about him, and with each youtube interview/video I watch, I like him more. Plus, he looks a lot like Liam Neeson.

Yeah. This man actually seems to have some good old-fashioned horse sense and integrity.

He gives me hope.

And now, for something a little more light-hearted, the opening scene from "A New Hope".

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Thud Heard Round the World

"Too many shockwaves in the air to sleep tonight. Must be the aftermath of the thud." ~ Me

It's 3:43 a.m. and I can't sleep. For the first time in history, the United States of America's credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor's.

If you were shocked, why?

Have you not been listening? Paying attention?

I don't watch the news, nor listen to it on the radio. But I read enough alternative news to know this would happen.

I expect it will only get worse as the U.S. government continues printing money to service a staggering national debt on which the interest rate will exponentially grow, driving up all other interest rates. Hello rampant inflation. Already soaring prices will rocket. Goods will become harder to get. And eventually, our dollars will be so devalued they'll buy nada. Not-a damn thing.

On a happier note, I'm in love. Yep. Head over heels. With an extraordinary man and his six year-old twins. He is way ahead of me on tonight's grave subject. So I'm gonna let him tell it.

This excerpt is reprinted by permission from an email he wrote me earlier in the night:

"Today the market barely held on with a ginned up and fake government issued jobs report that ignored another 200,000 unemployed as discouraged. That taken with the late announcement conveniently timed after closure of the markets ought to make Monday quite the day. Can you say panic! Europe is also tottering badly. At this point it is a question of who takes who down first.

Many places I go on internet for predictive information picked August as the month it would all unravel back in March and April - I have been doing my quiet best to get ready - bought extra toilet paper and bar soap today for instance - sounds silly but just try doing without!

The signs of this have been apparent for a long time and people just want everything to stay the same, The media promulgates this everyday and as long as people hear the thing they most want to hear they go right back to snooze mode.

It's just an immediate example of the human need to ignore the facts so that your every day existence is not threatened. It's part of the whole when I contemplated and rejected the idea this problem would be fixed. It cannot be changed because the normal American is not ready or prepared to do what's needed. Politicians obviously know this and will not respond in any constructive way that would jeopardize their re-election.

In the "game" you and I have talked of this result is oh so predictable but sad.

I am pissed at politicians in control as all the drama last few weeks we were told something had to be done to prevent a downgrade - well they went off half-assed as usual and are once again screwing JQP [John Q Public]. There are no leaders any more!

They barely came up with 1 Trillion over ten years by funny bookkeeping, the real number needed was an actual real 750 billion now, another 750 billion next year in real honest spending cuts - not smoke and mirrors.

This is Thelma and Louise go to Washington - all we really got was 'do we go over the cliff at 85 mph or do we go 110 mph over the cliff' - that, in its essence, is what happened this week in Congress.

Only problem is we're stuck in the car with these idiots and we cannot completely ignore the consequences of their lack of action." ~ J.P. Metcalfe
Oh, no, say it ain't so? Sorry. I love you guys. And I just can't lie. We're in for a world of hurt coming up. It's time to wake up from the fantasy and dig ourselves in, lay in food and water, swap our green money for something that holds value and can be easily traded, plant a garden, get cosy with our neighbors, do whatever we can to come together in our own communities to help each other.

Because the government's broke. And they don't seem to care much about JQP anymore, anyway.

I'll share this last thought from Jim's email: "...I think its going to take some extraordinary people to hold together the next 10-20 years."

To all you extraordinary people out there, it's time to do what you do best.

Be extraordinary.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Birds, Belugas and Ballads

"Music is as air to life." ~ Olivia J. Herrell

A treat for you on this muggy Thursday evening. I saw this on Facebook and had to share.

My daddy loved the song, "Yellow Bird". It's a Haitian folk song, recorded many times through the years. In the video, a mariachi band playing for a wedding at the Aquarium stay and play for a beluga whale who swims, transfixed, swaying to the music.

Proof positive that music is universal.

Here's to JP, who at long last found his music.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Monday, August 1, 2011

Write? Work? Nada? Reconciling Differences

"Integrity is telling myself the Truth. And Honesty is telling the Truth to other people." ~ Spencer Johnson

I seem to be wandering in a twilight again. Some days I'm full-throttle, others, not so much. I have great ideas for my professional endeavors, but am lacking on follow-through. The more I slack, the slacker I become. At the moment, I'm bottom-rung.

Le Beau and I pulled angel cards yesterday, after spending time getting to know each other more. I shuffled, he drew first: Integrity. I pulled Honesty. Later in an email, he said, "Our cards pulled today, Integrity, honesty were prescient as it's key to everything - I was happy with those draws because all else springs from there!" So true.

Yet today, here I sit, after sleeping all morning and much of the afternoon, unable to leave my house for the office or make the phone call I've been needing to make for days. Commitments, policies, folders and files, notes and flyers litter my conscience as I do the only thing I can do at the moment. Sit. In this chair. Confessing to you.

The practice, nay, the profession I have mapped out in my head, the same one that needs little more than me moving and doing, showing up and being my Self, languishes, waiting. For me. The one ingredient without which it can never happen.

Integrity enters, calling me to task. Yet still, I sit. Unmoving. Unwilling. And unable.

Next comes Depression. Yeah. I can lean here, even hide, blame my lack of Integrity on 'the depression'. I dwell a bit, wondering if I should ask the doc about increasing my dosage of prozac. Would they bump me from 10 mg to 20? Or compromise at 15?

But I want to get off prozac, not take more.

Then Honesty knocks, enters, says, "Let's step back and look at the facts." 
"Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs." ~ Wikipedia
Okay. Account for the discrepancy. Or alter my beliefs.
Perfect honesty would have me walking away from any worldly practice in favor of my wordly one. Meaning, my heart's desire is to be a writer, and nothing more. Yet the world demands one pay her way and to hell with ones heart's desire.


So. In lieu of a patron (or hefty advance!) I must work. I love being a doctor and helping people feel better. I just want to write so much more. I pray that now I've gotten my writerly 'fix', I can show up tomorrow for Work.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Postscript: There's something to be said for laying it all out there. I showed up for a commitment tonight and left with two appointments for tomorrow: one a new patient, the other a returning one. Yeeehaaaa!
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