It is August. What could I possibly write about other than to say: “It is hot down in Texas!” But I’ve learned to love August for one reason: a whole bunch of my favorite months are just around the corner.
As my blog isn’t journal style, I tend not to write when I have no blog-worthy photos or stories. But I decided it was time to summarize these past three weeks, and then move ahead.
The only blog-post title that came to mind was a week of music, a week of noise, and another week of music (of a different kind).
The first week’s music was the loveliest kind: one of my sibs and one of his nieces came for a visit. The sib stayed the weekend; his niece stayed a good bit of the week that followed. We three had not been together in over a year and so fun and laughter and the goodness of time together spilled over into a lovely melody.
My little stick home came alive with a week of a young adult’s energy. Sib’s niece especially likes to cook and so I handed over the keys to my kitchen, sitting back and enjoying the smells and creations that came forth. I won’t soon forget the music of that week.
What followed has been more than a week of the terrible noise that many around the world have stopped, and listened, and found no answer for the discord.
For me it started as I found my way back to the gym, after a week of visitors and house cleaning afterward. I climbed up on my least favorite method of walking (the treadmill in the air conditioned gym), and looked up at the silent row of TVs.
Every TV station showed the same picture; the same words: Robin Williams was dead. And as so many others, I seemed to shut down. I wanted to get off the treadmill and go home. But the story that came out that week could not provide what we all longed to hear: Bring him back to life! Why would he? Where is the answer?
And of course the noise of stories and opinions and unanswered questions continue. Robin Williams was, and is, a national treasure. But first, and last, he was a human being that only the closest of his loved ones could come close to knowing.
My only two comments are: depression is talked about; manic depression (or bi-polar disorder) is not so frequently talked about—and it should be. And secondly, addictions and alcoholism are talked about, but the serious side effects of prescription drugs, especially antidepressants are not.
If we have a loved one using prescription drugs, whether for asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, depression, or ANY other reason—we should understand the details of that medication and its common—and rare side effects. Every prescription and over-the-counter drug has an impact on our body. And for the aging, as well as the very young, the side effects are often magnified.
The noise got worse: Missouri exploded into all the ugliness that is created by anger; by fear; by grief; by prejudice; AND by people behaving badly. Racial is still a word that must be in our vocabulary; oh how I wish it were not so.
We’ve watched the daily and nightly videos of a LOT of people behaving badly, some as not-so-peaceful protestors; and some as not-so-peaceful paid peacekeepers.
I used to work with someone who’d frequently say “there’s plenty of stupid going around.” But when the stupid becomes violent; when the stupid involves loss of life; threats to life; damage to property and chaos, I am overwhelmed by the noise.
And the only thing that seemed to dampen the noise of Americans (on American soil) behaving badly was the screaming noise of the age-old country-against-country-against-terrorism noise coming from the Middle East and other foreign soils. And this noise seems to continue the same theme, rooted in hatred; fear; anger; grief and prejudice. I have plenty of thoughts but nothing to blog-speak.
But a healthy life seems to seek music instead of noise. And so music began flowing back into my little neck-of-the-woods, reminding me of the goodness of people. Two of my friends, Susan and Celia, contacted me and treated me to an evening out at a place called “Painting with a Twist”.
Now I have NO artistic talent. But for $35 dollars one can show up at an art studio, and with music playing, and with people laughing and talking, a non-artistic person can spend the evening painting, with no goal other than to have fun! Bring-your-own drink, including alcohol, is allowed and encouraged. A fun-loving paint instructor provides some “guidance” but enforces no rules to hinder painting a blank canvas to one’s own liking.
That one evening of paint and music was great fun: Laughing at myself; listening to music; and “dancing” as I painted. All I could think about was what I’d give to have invited Robin Williams. “Painting with a Twist” is the perfect pill for depression.
And this week the music (OK, maybe also noise) is growing stronger in my life. The mandolin I ordered last spring finally arrived and was worth the wait! I’m beginning my transition from mountain dulcimer to mandolin (not letting go of my beloved Mountain Dulcimer relationship). But my fret-board fingertips are so sore from new-mandolin beginnings that it hurts to put my hands in warm water. Wonderful excuse to leave dirty dishes!
And so now I look forward. I’ll soon be in the field: Hawks and Fall migration; cool breeze and binoculars; and Mother Nature welcoming me to join Her on long walks. Mother Nature’s music is the best; the most complicated; and sometimes, the most tragic by human standards.
But Mother Nature is never cowered by human noise.