Friday, March 23, 2012
So, So, Suck Your Toe/The Rainbow
So, so, suck your toe, all the way to Mexico. When you're there, kiss a bear, and don't forget your underwear! Lately I've taken to talking to myself - aloud. I started today with that little ditty that I taught my kids when they were little - other parents hated me for it after their kids, in turn, recited it over and over and over again. Say it aloud. It's fun on your tongue! So, yeah, I've taken to talking to myself each morning and sometimes other times during the day. I ask myself questions. I answer my questions. Sometimes the "dialogue" gets pretty lively. Thinking this is how strange old age starts. First you start talking to yourself, then you start cooking for your cats and playing Scrabble with them. You definitely wear a pedometer and, even though the device counts steps for you, you count each step you take just to be sure it's accurate. If you saw me walking along the lakefront, you would see my lips moving! What's next? I'm thinking I might have to cover my windows with aluminum foil to keep my brain from being scrambled further by alien thought waves! OK, I really am just having some fun! Truth is, I do have two cats but I don't cook for them nor fuss over them much (we don't play Scrabble - that would be weird. Any cat lover knows they're not good with language - that backgammon is their game!). I rarely count my steps and I'm not worried about aliens.
But the talking to myself, yeah, that I do. Only at home - never a crazy lady walking down the street arguing with herself (although these days we just assume the person is wearing a bluetooth, right?). This morning, I marveled at the day, listed all the things that were good and there is so much to be happy about! Working the 7 Habits. It's a work in progress but how good it feels to break from negative patterns and find new paths! The 10,000 steps is an incredible achievement. What's amazing about it is that, in under two weeks, I've gone from dreading and hating the steps to looking forward to them. I adore getting on my elliptical in the morning and donning my iPod, programmed with a random shuffle of music. Every morning is different. The music that presents itself to me is like my version of Tarot cards - significant meaning in the random selections. Today, the songs that really resonated were, Carol Kings, "Beautiful" (You've got to wake up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart, then people gonna treat you better...), and an instrumental version of "The End of a Romance" played by old flame and incredible Chicago pianist Tommy Muellner. That was my "tarot reading" of the day. I always look for signs.
One day, quite a while ago, stands out. It was a desperately sad day, missing Patrick. I had been to a client appointment near his house. I parked outside his house for about 15 minutes and had a long sob. Somehow I needed to feel his presence even though I knew he would be at work and not there. I thought it would help (it didn't). On the way home, I begged for a sign - something, anything, to show me what to do next. Driving down Dempster - looking, looking for the sign I was sure would come to me. "Please God, tell me what to do!" Right after I said that, I looked up at the street signs and there is was, the sign, the name of the cross street - Kilpatrick. At that point I burst into laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. Surely the gods didn't want me to compound my problems with murder! And why would I - I love the guy!!! Wise Kenneth said to me later, that WAS a sign and a good one - kill him in your heart. It worked as a metaphor.
Yesterday afternoon - feeling good - it was drizzling outside but I had 6,000 steps to go for the day so I decided, why not a rain walk? I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West (contrary to what some people on the dog beach may think!) - I don't melt from rain. So, a solitary rain walk it was - no one else ventured out - I had the lakefront to myself mostly. Then the rained thinned and the sun came out. Dare I hope for a rainbow ? It was the perfect conditions for it - rain and sunshine together. And then..........there it was - over the lake a full two sided rainbow! Incredible! I stopped and hugged myself in excitement. Then I looked around - I was giddy, the moment needed to be shared. A lone runner came toward me. Smiling, I blurted, "Look at the rainbow!" He stopped and stood next to me and said as we both gazed out to the lake, "Beautiful. Thank you so much." We said not another word - just took it in and then went our separate ways. It was a lovely, humbling moment. And an auspicious sign. Rain, troubles, flashes of sunshine, a cloud again, then the sun again and finally the ecstasy of a rainbow and the peace that comes when you find yourself in just the right time and place. At that moment I think he and I both felt like intentional brushstrokes in a beautiful painting.
Last night - the 3 Ellas: my friend, Spider Saloff, Frieda Lee and Dee Alexander - a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. The concert was held at my favorite music venue, Katerina's on Irving Park Rd. It was packed to the gills which was so cool - not an inch to spare and yet everyone properly situated at tables happy with drink and food and the anticipation of great entertainment. Then the gals did their thing and OH MY.....they were hot. They wore their life experiences on their sleeves, voices soaring or a controlled whisper, pain palpable, joy unleashed, humor, humor, humor. And what I loved was that they were all passed the age where being perfect and pretty is paramount - they WERE imperfectly beautiful which I think is way sexier. They inhabited their bodies with gusto and guts and just let it rip. They were women realized - pretty, gutsy, tragic, feminine, masculine, gritty to the point of ugliness sometimes, ball-busting but man loving - the full spectrum of a woman. Raw. Awe-inspiring.
The challenge today is taking a rain walk. You won't melt. Unless of course, you're not in Chicago and then who knows what your weather is. And how cool that there are people all over the world reading this blog. Who are you and how did you find me? I would love for you to reveal yourselves. Anyone who wants, can send me an e-mail to, first part, sbritton and then there's that little symbol for "at" and then the second part, brittoninfoservices (dot) com. You know why I had to give you my address that way, right? There are evil bots searching the internet for e-mail address so that they drown you in spam or worse.