The Sandbox Writing Challenge – When Garbage Become Treasure

THE QUESTION: If you could, what parts of yourself would you throw out?

Throw something out? This is what we’re asked in this week’s Sandbox Writing Challenge sent to us from Impromptu Promptlings, by Lady Calen. Though it’s not just anything. It’s what part of our own selves would we chuck?

Well, I’ve already done that way back in the Ice Age of my life. But now I’m working on retrieving it, so maybe the next question will be, how to reincarnate that which we swept beneath our rugs, put into the garbage disposal… you get the picture.

But let’s be honest, I threw that out when I was young and foolish. Now, being old and foolish, I might have tossed something other, given the chance. Well, it could happen.

Still, let’s take a look at my track record of throwing things out. I can’t, won’t, don’t. I wouldn’t classify myself as a hoarder – yet. But I’m loathe to sort through things and drop them into the big trash can outside our house. In fact, I came across a post a few weeks ago, which presented a guide book – of sorts – on the how to of doing it.

Here’s something interesting. I don’t have a problem throwing other people’s things out. I could work for people disposing of their unwanted, yet difficult to get rid of items.

Oh, you noticed that I’m avoiding this question, did you? HA! You’re right. I think, it might be connected to the fact that I find value in all parts of myself. Even if they are parts which may not be needed. But who am I to say if something is, or isn’t needed. I’m serious. I’m a terrible judge of stuff like that. It’s that kind of thing where I’d throw out the baby, and keep the bath water. See what I’m saying? The key word in the problem is deciding, with a capital D that rhymes with T and stands for Tool.

We need tools to work through these excavations. What if we throw out something that down the line we realize, oh, wow, I needed that? Example:  I’m playing a game (My Singing Monsters), and there’s places in the game where you are get the opportunity to ‘box’ something – which is equal to throwing it away. Well, the minute you click on that option, a warning pops up and says, once you do this, the process if irreversible. It makes you think twice. What if I throw out something – let’s say, fear – but I find out that it was given to me to learn an important lesson, to meet a very important challenge in my life?

Without it, I might be ‘cutting off my nose, to spite my face.’  What if what I’d consider throwing out is something that was from a ‘pre-birth planning’ session, but being incarnate, I’ve lost the ability to know that? Then there’d be something I could no longer learn from.

Yeah, I know, I could come up with a million other reasons why throwing a part of me out isn’t wise. But I think I’m onto something here. It’s too easy to consider throwing out that which feels like a thorn in my side. But that thorn may be an integral part of my inner journey, a reminder of something of which I’ll come to understand it’s need further down the road in my Earth Walk.

So, no, there isn’t anything I’d want to throw out. What I want to do is to mend it, fix what is broken about it and make it a useful part of that which is Fim.


The Monday Music Medicine Show – Closing a window, Opening a door

The Monday Music Medicine Show LOGO

Welcome to the Monday Music Medicine Show!

Continuing with seasonal tunes, and looking forward to the changing of the guard – aka the Gregorian Calendar – there’s one song which comes to mind from days of yore, with Guy Lumbardo holding the baton.

There’s something about this song, melodically, which speaks of gathering together, staying up late to watch the ball drop in Times Square, and toasting the new year with a kiss from your sweetie. Noise makers can be heard sounding the moment, and these days, the ever present fireworks – which I’m sure are the left overs from the 4th of July.

*Auld Lang Syne is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. While it has been used traditionally to ring in the new year, it can be heard/sung at graduations, funerals, as a farewell or ending to  other occasions, and in many countries, it’s used at the close of jamborees for the International Boy Sout youth movement.

The song’s Scots title may be translated into standard English as “Old long since” or more idiomatically, “long long ago,” “days gone by” or “old times.” Thus, “For auld lang syne” as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times.”

A year or so ago, I found this song, which I’ve added to my personal play list by Regina Spektor:

Giving a nod to the town I was born and raised in, one of the world’s well known countdowns (mentioned  above), takes place in Times Square, in the borough of Manhattan, New York City. The streets are packed and the reverie is as joyous as can be, even when the weather is blustery. As the ball touches down, the tradition, here has been to play the song that all New Yorkers have come to embrace as their anthem:

I don’t recall when they added this next song to the end-songs line-up, but it’s been one I’ve loved from the first moment I heard it. After New York, New York, they now sing a song of hope:

So my beautiful Monday Music Medicine Show friends, if it pleases you to play, share with us: What New Years specific tunes have you found speak for the moment when we leave one year behind, and  when we step across the border into new adventures and look forward? You know I want to hear it! Share it there (your own blog with a ping back), or share it here.

BYOM and  remember: It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Don’t Send That PING!

Music is the Medicine in my Soul and I hope yours is as healing and nurturing as mine!

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year, where hope lives and peace reigns.

*from Wikapedia

Singing Smiley

The Sandbox Writing Challenge – The Fear Factor

Oh look! The Sandbox Writing Challenge has arrived, direct from Lady Calen’s most excellent blog, Impromptu Promptlings. I read the first sentence. “This week we’re going to get a little serious again…” Uh oh.We all go through tough times in our lives. Some more so than others. Put your thinking caps on and sort through your experiences, then tell usWhat is one of the worst emotional storms you’ve weathered in your life?”

My first thought: Fear and Loathing on the Blog Trail.

Time to go shopping. I know just what I need. Though, I wonder where it can be bought? Home Depot, I’ll wager.

The clerk took a while to notice I needed help. “May I help you?”
This wasn’t one of those on the floor kinds. He was behind a counter. Couldn’t escape.

“Yes, please. I am looking for a pole.”

“What kind?”

“I’m not certain. I have never actually seen one. I don’t think it matters what it’s made of. But I do have dimensions.”

“Alright. What size will you be needing?”

“I need a ten foot pole.”

“As in I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole?”

I nodded, grinning. He understood.

Of course, figuring out how to get a ten foot pole into a wee half car, that was tricky. I thought for a moment, and realized the one he sold me was a cascading type of pole. Silly me. It had already been at its smallest length.

All the way home, I thought I was SO clever. Of course, there’s that expression, “hindsight is wiser than foresight.”

You see, this little cubby I am in, when communing with my computer, is really quite small. It takes up but a corner of the living room. Think birth on a train, and cut that in half, length wise. A yardstick might be too long.

But here I was with my ten foot pole which I meant to use here, in this very blog, on this very post.

I’m a cynic lately. You wouldn’t believe it if you knew me. I’m all smiles and yakkity yak, flittering from place to place, from here to there. That’s the fae. But there’s a dark forest beneath the skin. It’s a bottomless pit of fear and distress, and filled with goblin mud of the very thickest kind.

While this is all funny, ha ha, this is me running away from that question. That is a miazma of toxic waste, that is.

24 hours later:

I weathered the storm of thoughts which swirled inside and around my head, all the detritus (favorite word lately) of years of trying but not managing to ward off the onslaught of life’s challenges.

In the aftermath of it, I was left with what might be my defining struggle. I think it is normal to go straight to the loss of loved ones hanging out at the top of the charts of the bad days at Black Rock. Yet, I also realized, this being an exercise in my own struggles, with me, the worst that has happened has to be when my panic disorder morphed into agoraphobia.

Going off to think on this some more…

When fear drops by for a cup of tea, it might be simply for a reason. But, like all good leeches, fear can stretch his stay to a season. Fear is like a cloudy day, blotting out the sun, sucking up all the warmth. One day, you realize that fear has moved in, lock, stock and barrel, for a lifetime.

Yes, fear is actually one of those very things which can serve an important purpose in our lives. It’s part of our physiology. It comes when needed, and is bidden by many of it’s constituants, of which we are all a part, more often than not.

The evolution of fear in a person’s life is subtle.
Perhaps one might say that fear is like an addiction. Suddenly, while certainly not wanted, it settles in like a (goa’uld), slips into you and wraps itself around your central core.

That is when fear becomes a constant companion, the main feature in the theather of your life; the main course upon your table. This metamorphosis is what makes fear, anxiety and panic into phobias.

When I was a young child, I had my first panic attack. What frightened me is beyond memory.  It wasn’t often that I found fear to be a constant companion. I’m sure over the next decade or two, I’d had visits, an over night guest, perhaps, or a weekend visitor.

What shapes us to be a host to fear in such a way? I’m sure there are those who, having studied this constant to their satisfaction, feel they are experts. While I don’t have a degree in the study of fear, when you live with it long enough, there is a certain expertise which develops about how it works, what makes it show up, and that it certainly knows how to insinuate itself upon us.

I remember little about the earliest times when fear called upon me. The sense that fear is a pupetteer, and I am its puppet, was a development over time.

The actual day fear became a permanent resident, where I was fully conscious of it, was when I was in college. It was in the final years of my undergraduate work. It might have seemed a normal day when I first opened my eyes, and slid down from my bunk to begin getting ready for class. Somewhere between leaving my dorm, and my walk over to class at the Stuyvesant Street Building (NYU downtown campus in Greenwich Village), I lost awareness – not hard to do actually – of where I was. Literally, I suddenly woke up, as if from sleep. I was in the middle of a street. I looked around, yet nothing looked familiar. I was lost! I was immediately gripped by fear’s massive arms, pulled into it’s embrace. How I managed to find the building, and get inside, I don’t know. Once through the doors, I wandered into the office of the head of the OT department – my major course of study. I stood there, tears streaming down my face and declared that I was lost. The receptionist called She Who Was In Charge, and I was ushered into her office. She was very attentive, and gently questioned me about what happened. She got me something to eat, and a glass of orange juice.

Next stop, when she determined I’d had a dariance with Panic Attack, was the mental health office. They did the similar Q&A, and I was given a prescription for a tranquilizer. By the time I got back to my dorm room, while still shaken from the experience, I felt I could continue with my day and went about the business of being a student.

I sought help from a therapist in the neighborhood, and began a rather long relationship with the professional head shrinkers. I tried to get those I went to, over the years, to understand my only interest was in how to manage this problem. I didn’t need to, then, know the why and wherefore of my co-habitation with fear.

I found out about the phobic aspect of a long term relationship with panic, and anxiety which are simply levels of the measurement fear. Of course, being that everything takes longer for me to GET IT, my dance card was filled with this once and future king. We parlayed across the country, and back. I had not known that I had an accord with the ever ready battery of this mental malady.

The odd thing is, knowing that I was not comfortable in certain places, in the midst of crowds, like at the mall, or feeling the unparalelled need to the the hell out of Dodge – in the form of that eatery of all restaurants, when I was finished with a meal; that I could not stand to sit in the middle of the room – it had to be a booth, near a window, near the door, to make a fast get-away, as if I was there to rob a bank. None of it made sense. My best friend, who apparently knew what was happening, took her time in telling me that I had the panic monkey on my back! This is already forty years since that time of Fim the Early Days.

This was, of course, AFTER I’d moved upstate, and spent the week before the movers brought all the family heirlooms (aka stuff) up, here, just me and the cats, alone.  I found I was unable to actually leave the house. I was a prisoner of zenda. I had no clue why. I just could not make myself open that door. But that was child’s play, I found, because I had an appointment with the mother lode of the agoraphobic set down the road.

That came after I’d been living upstate for at least a year. Who can say when a physical condition is related to the psychological interloper? Not me. Still, I found some physical problems cropping up, and went to see a doctor, who prescribed an anti-inflamatory for what she believed ailed me. That drug totaled me like a car crash between a compact car and a mac truck. I was laying on the floor screaming to make it go away –  it being fear in the guise of a mountain troll. The toll keeper of the front door to my house was Agoraphobia, and I had no cheat sheet to the riddle of getting out of that front door. This time it lasted for a month.

The end result of that was becoming a card carrying memory of the tranq Society.

Thus continues the story, morning glory, of my inability to weather that storm of life. I believe it is my version of the “The Neverending Story.”

TBC – more than likely.

The Late Late Show Edition – MMMS!

Welcome to the Not Monday, but Tuesday Night Edition of the Music Medicine Show!

I was reminded that I’d been remiss in not including these two holiday songs.

Stragglers encouraged here.

It would not be, “tis the season,” without two favorites of mine.

For those celebrating this holiday season with a dreidel, Mr. Adam Sandler brings us this wonderful Chanukah song:

This second tune I found some years ago and we always include it in our holiday playlist. Enjoy this acapella version of The Twelve Days of Christmas from Straight, No Chaser:

Brought to you by The Chanuka and Twelve Days Union – a little known Defying Reason phenomenon.

The Monday Music Medicine Show – Holiday Edition

The Monday Music Medicine Show LOGO

Welcome to the Monday Music Medicine Show!

Week four of THE 42 hails in some special music, seasonal tunes we’ve grown up with, and which so often brings a wide range of emotions to listeners.

I have quite many favorite songs for this time of year, and the old traditional ones harken back to days filled with good cheer and sharing the fun filled activities of trimming trees, singing along with the music on the record player – yes, that’s right, the turntable kind. Food was especially good, and we were always at our very good friend’s home, folk who were just like family. Those memories are of the kind which I’d call, “Those were the days.”

It’s sad, because of those gathered together (their family and mine) only my ‘aunt’ and I are left. It’s been more years than not, since we made our annual trek out to Long Island for Christmas Eve celebration. But I can still envision the years of moments spent there.

I’m sure you know where this is going. The 42 (with the addition of a few other songs) presents my favorite holiday songs, and then some.

As the years go by, we often find new traditions evolving. As I found my inner path, my celebrations of the seasons changed. I follow the Wheel of the Year, as Nature is my Guide. While this is not the newest of songs of the season, it’s the one which represents best this time of year, this very day – The Solstice – for me.

Solstice Evergreen:

There has always been favorite music through the years. Back when I was a babe, and through my early winter seasons, these are the melodies which remind me of the wonder of the season.

Chestnuts Roasting on and open fire

Let It Snow


As the years passed, there were songs which came to hold a greater meaning for me at this time of year. My favorite of favorte holiday songs and the one I can’t live without listening to as many times as there are days in the season:

4. So This Is Christmas – John and Yoko

Some years later, I added this to my absolutly must hear list:

5.Do They Know Its Christmas Time At All – Band Aid

Within the last several years (while I know I heard years ago) this happy song is not only a favorite for now, but truly does belong to THE 42:

6. Christmas Vacation – from the movie of the same name

In the middle years, from one of my favorite groups, it wouldn’t be a holiday without this song. I have to add here, I can be a bit of a traditionalist at times. If I hear something by someone first, I often find remakes, or newer verions less appealing. This is the one I heard first, and I felt certain I’d stand by my band.

Please Come Home For Christmas – the Eagles

But suddenly one come along and I can’t think which version I like more.  I’m including this one as well.

Please Come Home For Christmas redux

Likewise,  on occasion, I’ll come across something that just tickles my fancy and actually makes the song more enjoyable and likeable for me. I’ll end with this song:

Deck the Halls by John Tesh

So my beautiful Monday Music Medicine Show friends, if it pleases you to play, share with us: songs from a memory, and then from today, and finally from a collection you don’t always play. You know I want to hear it! Share it there (your own blog with a ping back), or share it here.

BYOM and  remember: It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Don’t Send That PING!

Music is the Medicine in my Soul and I hope yours is as healing and nurturing as mine!

May your holiday be joyous and create memories you will treasure!

Singing Smiley

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