#Ten Things of Thankful, Girlie Style.

Greetings and salutations! I’m Girlie and you have found your way to the Edge – GirlieOnTheEdge. Welcome. This blog has been around a long time. It has grown, evolved, waned, almost disappeared…trying all the while to hone it’s voice. GirlieOnTheEdge began as a way of sharing. Like a ham radio operater, I sent words out into the airwaves hoping someone might pick up on the frequency and discover my words.  Words that always contained a message. Of hope, encouragement, humor (no, really! I wrote some humorful words once upon a time lol).  It was also a voice to share a life tool that to this day totally blows me away in it’s spot on perspective into why people act and do the things they do.  Amazingly helpful to me, how could I not share that with other people. That’s right! I’m talking about the Wakefield Doctrine aka the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers. Numero uno folks. How can it not be?! It has helped me navigate the crazy world of relationships – family, co-workers, friends….

Scrolling through my posts, as time and life wittled the wood of this place, there remained a constant. I would almost always write a 10 Things of Thankful post. As my readers know, it’s a bloghop offered by our recuperating wordsmistress Lizzi Lewis. She of Considerings fame shared a thing that has touched the lives of countless folks. Dos y dos Lizzi 😀

3. A safe return last weekend from my homeland.

4. Having a huge smile on my face when I went in to work after being on vacation. The office was decorated for Christmas! And that always makes me smile.

5. For my family. I am one lucky Girlie.

6. The generosity of friends. Old friends. Lifelong friends.

7. Canines!

8. My health and the wealth in my possession that is not of material or financial form.

9. the Cat.

10. Right here, right now. This day. A gift to me one more time.

Let’s step outside of ourselves today, get out of the way, and look around. Pretty amazing, eh?

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No Place Like Home

Good morning on this, the first day of not daylight savings time! I do not look forward to the sun setting today at 5:07 pm however! we have only 49  more days before the days start getting longer! You don’t have to tell me. I know. Don’t worry about 49 days from now. “Worry” about today. Today is what matters.

I don’t want to rush this post and yet I feel as if I should. I don’t want to languish on how to “best” say anything. How to phrase a sentence “better”. Hell.  Just want to write what I’m feeling. Except I’m not entirely sure of that these days. But you know what? This post? It’s not about me. Not really. It’s about you. It’s about being thankful. It’s about life and death and gifts. It’s about “seeing”. It’s about “doing”.

No clever listing. Simple, straight forward #’s. The order of which implies no level of priority of importance/significance. Thankfuls are thankfuls. Plain and simple. Powerful.

1) The condolences sent to me last week. I’m not overly adept at expressing my thanks during times of sadness. I tend to be a bit awkward dealing with “extreme” emotion. Thanks to all who came to the Edge and left me words of encouragement and commiseration.

2) Thankful the weather held last Wednesday. Funerals on a rainy day are the pits.

3) Gifts. Imo, there are gifts bestowed when a person close to us dies. Not monetary, not physical. There are gifts of renewal, insight, appreciation and generosity. There are gifts of opportunity and redemption. The duality of death is that it is also a celebration of life.

4) Family. In whatever form it takes.

5) Music and film and books/writing. The 3 primary sources of catharsis, creativity, expression and escape.

6) “Aunt Denise”.  As in 2nd generation. Children of the children. Special.

7) Lizzie for this bloghop. For an ever widening circle of community.

8) Steady employment. I say this even knowing I will be spending today in the office.

9) A place to stay while I find a place to live.

10) the Wakefield Doctrine. An invaluable life tool and resource.

 

Yeah, there must be…..

What does this particular clark have that sustains him? Through the years of….name changes, professional/personal controversy, on again off again fans/popularity. To be clear, I’m not a “fan” of Prince, he of no name, however, he has made music I like. A lot. This clip for instance. I really like this clip. Hm. Maybe I am a fan.

Why? What is it about this clip? There are times when a music video, a film, a scene from a film simply “resonates”. It evokes an….emotion, a reaction that is plain and simply, physical. No thinking involved. No “figuring”. It simply is a thing that causes a “reaction”. Hm. Think I just might be a fan of “pure” creativity.

This man, who hails from a musical background, has managed to live in the world of his choosing. The world of the arts. Music, film. Prince appears to have transcended prejudice, fair weather fandom, transitional phases…no doubt his own damn self. You know like us, only on a grander scale.

So one thing led to another, you know how that goes with the Tube.  I got to watching various music vids of Prince’s 2013 tour of Portugal and his 2014 tour of England. The one up there at the top of the post. It was filmed at a show in Manchester, England.(duhyeah Girlie, they can read). His audience adores him! They sing his lyrics, they clap their hands enthusiastically. Prince, his music, is infectious. There is sharing on a grand scale of something undescribable. It’s the same yet completely different. For each person.

Did you know he wrote the song Manic Monday? Silly me! I always thought it was writtne by the Bangles! I didn’t know this. Until today. I never would have guessed that Prince could write such a “girly” song. LOL  Come on, admit it! The man’s got charisma. And musical chops. And a rather consistent penchant for musical hooks.

Prince’s manifestation of his creativity has been pretty damned consistent for well over 2 decades. And I am ridiculoulsy impressed by this. It’s not often an artist can sustain a style, an energy ,over time… as they age. As much as I love, love Metallica there is no mistaking they’re no longer kids. The “edge” is gone. The edge of youth. The energy. Of youth. It’s different now that they’re middle age men.

Time does not necessarily erode creativity but it sure does affect it’s manifestation. Yes! I’m hooked on that word. Whadya want?! I’m a clark and when you get right down to it, our creativity never stops trying to manifest itself. The trick, the key is finding the one thing that keeps it all fresh. Maybe it’s more than one thing. Maybe it’s multiple things.

And then, maybe as Joey laments, “somebody put something in my drink“.

 

 

 

 

Alone but not alone, I’m an Outsider

This is weird. Being here. Typing. Here. Beginning this draft(y) page… I feel as if I’m opening a box closed a lifetime ago. Dusty and cobwebbed, it’s a pleasant box. Tastefully carved of wood, it is strong, it is sturdy. The “pen” and “paper” within are unchanged. I cannot say the same of me. Difficult to believe the last 4 posts were written by me. Seems it was more of a “hybrid” me.

That bit up there about a “lifetime ago”? That is my story. Life as I had known it for the previous 10.5 years or so ended on Tuesday October 22, 2013. That was the morning I packed my black 1997 Mercury Sable with as much as I could of those things I felt necessary to my comfort and headed north on Rt. 95. That was the morning I left the sleepy little beach town that is New Smyrna Beach, FL and headed back to the state I left, at this writing, nearly 11 years ago.  Everything changed that Tuesday. Forever.

I woke up  a little after 3:00 am having only fallen sleep around midnight. I’d pretty much packed most of what I was taking but there were still things to put together. You know, those last little odds and ends. The kind of  things you look for as an excuse to continue packing. To put off the inevitable.

I remember that I wanted to be on the road early. But, as my mother would say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  Man, did I hear that a lot growing up. LOL As it turned out, I didn’t leave, didn’t drive through the gate until a little after 7:00 am. It was no longer dark. I was glad for that.  There’s something sad and awful (sometimes) about leaving in the dark. On that morning I was able to see Man standing in the driveway from 6 10ths of a mile which is how long before I had to take a right. A right turn to a new life. Zoey was sleepy and clueless that I was not coming back that night. Little did I know then it would be the last time I would ever see her.

If you read any of the last 4 posts then you know of my late arrival to Northern Virginia that evening. Exhausted, it all seemed surreal. And all it took was 811 miles. To top that cake, the next day was my first day at the new job. To coin a rogerian expression by the progenitor roger, no sense in “baby coating” it. Afterall, I was here to work and get life back on track so let’s get to it. Who needs sleep?!

Thank you Zoe.  (she resides at Skip’s house here.) You challenged me this morning during today’s vid chat by asking me a “personal” question. (What? Oh, they don’t?) Hey! If you haven’t checked out any of the regular Wakefield Doctrine Vid Chats, either the Friday Night Party but Not (which tends to get crowded but no worries, being cyberspace an all there’s room ’nuff for everyone), or the more laid back International Sunday Morning Brunch Vid Chats, you should. It’s for your own good. Trust me.

Zoe’s interest in finding more about me led me to openly acknowledge that as a result of altering my timeline, I didn’t know if I could continue to write at GirlieOnTheEdge. It’s not as simple a logistical challenge as you might think. I literally am living a life completely different from the one only a few short months ago. Kinda messes things up a bit, ya know?

I still remember October 18, 2009 and what I felt launching the maiden post of GirlieOnTheEdge.  I think I’d really like to continue here but I’m thinkin’ I need to spend time at tube tops, tattoos and TimeLines. There is a challenge waiting for me there. Funny, the title came to me easily. I lifted it from a post I’d written back in 2011. A post I wrote in that other TimeLine. You can check it out here. (unfortunately, the vid from the Illustrated Man starring Rod Steiger, was removed) Perhaps you’d enjoy the “follow up” post here.

[Lizzi, the song is for you:)]

I cannot conclude whatever the hell this is today without mentioning  Michelle. She is a wonderful resource for elaborating on the oft times puzzling, sometimes frustrating ways of rogers. Her secondary clarklike aspect keeps her coming back for more. And I for one am better for it. Sunday Brunch wouldn’t be the same without you!

GirlieOnTheEdge is not gone. Hopefully, not forgotten. But she might be spending more time over at tube tops, tattoos and TimeLines in the coming weeks.

Wait. Clark! What about Clark? The author of the Wakefield Doctrine Blog, the creator of the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers, the host of various incarnations of hosted Wakefield Doctrine “events”.  If it were not for him, I would not know Zoe or Lizzi or Michelle or the other talented, funny and generous people I have been fortunate to meet  thus far.

If you stop by here or tube tops, tattoos and TimeLines, you may need a babel fish. I’m told all you have to do is stick it in your ear. I’m outta here……

The Gift that is Zoey

I took a walk a little earlier today, venturing from the small apartment where I now temporarily reside. I opened the door to the front lobby and stepped out and into a world that had changed. At 5:05 pm yesterday evening…

The weather folks had been calling for a wintery mix today, first snow then rain. Such is December weather in the mid-atlantic region.  As I gazed out of the bedroom window, eyes weary and swollen from the crying, I saw that it was snowing. Large, fluffy white flakes. Flakes that make you wonder: how can they fall to the earth? they’re so light. Falling silently, persistently, thickly, as if offering me a blanket with which to cover the “unbearable lightness” that was my pain.

I dressed as I have not since February 2003 when we moved from Virginia to Florida. I took no eye glasses with me because today I didn’t need them to see. Zoey would guide me. Hers is a special story. The story of an exceptional dog who changed my life, Dale’s life and Alex’s life at a time when all 3 of us needed something good. And she was all good…

I was supposed to have driven to Florida Thanksgiving Day to be with my little family. It was with tremendous, explosive excitment that I packed my car that morning, started the engine and began the 800 mile journey home.

I made it as far as Exit 82 in Virginia. I turned the car around, and with the help of the Cat, drove almost 100 miles at speeds no more than 20 mph only it was in the wrong direction. My car was sick. And so was I because it meant no reunion. No Dale, no Zoey. No holding and hugging them both until they begged me to stop. No walking in town, no walking in the park. I would have to wait until Christmas…..

I did not intend to write about me today (how rogerian of me lol). I wanted to write about Zoey. Her life. How she came to be with us. Those words are not with me today. Instead I find it important to speak of her last night, Friday, and what turned out to be her last day, yesterday with her Dad.

It all began one week ago this evening when I got a frantic and panicked call from Dale. Zoey couldn’t get up. At 11 years old we were used to her moving a little slower, taking longer to get up. Up until this night she had never lost her ability to walk.

It was an awful and sleepless night. By early morning Zoey was able to get herself up and walk, albeit tentatively. Dale took her to our vet. Tests were done. Medicine dispensed. Our dog was very, very sick.

It pains me that I was not there physically to be with my dog when she was in distress. I was not there with her when she died. It pains me that I was not with Dale physically to help him. However, it is to both of their credit I can sit and write these words knowing them to be true….

My dog walked a path with heart her last day on earth. But then, she knew of no other way. She took a stand, faced her death and she was impeccable…

She had not been eating all week.  Dale, at his wit’s end, prepared a steak for her on Friday evening. As it turns out, it was her last meal. She ate with pleasure and abandon…

The home we have lived in for the last 10+ years sits on 2.5 acres. One of our favorite features of the property is a tremendous, majestic live oak tree under which all of our dogs have loved to sit and lay. Whenever Dale and I would be outside working the property our dogs would never be far from us, content to simply have us in their sight. It was often under this tree that they waited…

After Alex left us in 2010 it was only Zoey. Not quite as much the outside dog as Alex Zoey nonetheless would spend time outdoors while we worked. She kept her eye on us. Kept us company. She always kept us within eyesight. Wherever we were, she was. When dusk arrived she made it quite evident that yard work should cease and the 3 of us needed to go in the house.  At times I would try and put her in the house but she wouldn’t budge until Dale came in. She would sit out in the dark until midnight if that’s what it took. 

It was beautiful Saturday, December 7, 2013. Sunny and 80 degrees. Dale went outside to mow for our Zo so she might walk about the yard more easily. Not that the grass was that long but nothing short of golf course green quality would do.

After a long week of illness and staying mostly in the house, Zoey enjoyed time outside. She lay by the side of the garage watching and waiting. Patiently. For Dale, for her Dad. Who checked on her regularly, talked to her of the steak dinner he was going to prepare for her again that evening. She seemed to be enjoying this time out of doors. Like old times. Like good times.

As he put everything away and prepared to go in, Dale watched Zoey get up on her own. She knew it was time to go in now and she was ready. She trotted down the hill to do her business but struggled her way back. She insisted on making it up that hill and to the front door.

“Wanna go in hon?” Dale asked her. Something in her eyes, the way she gazed at him in answer made him nervous.  She needed help getting in the house. Her last walk as a canine took everything she had. Dale helped her in. As he gently lay her down near one of her favorite spots in the foyer, Zoey lifted her head back, stretched her legs and there in her Dad’s arms departed this earth….

I don’t know if it’s weird for a person and dog to “have a song”.  But Zoey and I do/did. Back when Dale and I were getting into the Ramones, playing bass with them, this song in particular made me smile, put me in a great mood always …”lettuce and tomato”… It’s a happy song.  Zoey liked it. She and I always danced. To this song.

Johnny Winter. Girlie’s First Guitar Crush

“Don’t Panic!”  Really Douglas? (may you rest in peace)  Really? I can leave it “in the lap of the gods” on this “get the fuck out” Friday? What more can we say, eh Freddie? Speaking of studio versions, I prefer the original studio version of In the Lap of the Gods.  Of course. It’s rare when a live version of a song can rival that of the original studio version.  But it can happen.

Wasn’t sure what to write this GTFOF (new blog hop anyone? LOL).  I love the YouTube. Luv, luv, luv it!  Any mood, any song, concert, version of a song…..I could sit here all day and listen til I get it all out of my system. Maybe.

It’s all a maybe, isn’t it?  What happens.  How life turns out.  We can “hope for the best”. NOT!  Let’s face it.  It has nothing to do with hope.  Hope is one of those rogerian cliches that serves us well once in awhile but more often than not lulls us into acquiescence.  It’s about movement.  Forward.  Taking steps deliberately. Maybe not easy ones or the right ones.

Back to Johnny.  My man.  My first guitar crush.  My first concert.  Don’t think I was old enough to drive yet.  My brother begrudgingly? drove me and a friend of mine, who, God knows why, wanted to go with me.  A “cosmo” girl, a roger and my best friend, “B” had heard one of Johnny’s less “blue” songs one day while at my house and liked it. And surprisingly she enjoyed the show. Hey! did I mention that the very first opening act was none other than the Ramones!  Yes, they were famously booed off the stage in Providence. (reference has been made to this particular concert in both book and documentary footage).  And Girlie was there!

So even though today I’d like to “drown in my own tears”, drink a little “cheap tequila” (‘cuz sometimes “life is hard”), I’m just gonna leave it to Johnny. He can always work the magic.

It’s only an epiphany at the Edge…right?

I enjoy writing words and sentences that have the potential for more than one meaning.  Professionals might call it “word play” (yeah ok, “ambiguity” works too. lol).   I like when the interpretation of a group of words is wide open.  That is to say there are as many “meanings” as there are people reading those words.  

That being said, may I reiterate that it is both the challenge and fun of writing  to express a thing (ahem, excuse me – idea, feeling, concept, story, thought)  as purely as possible, as true to what is showing on the ticker tape looping ’round the old frontal lobe.  After that, and if I have done my part successfully, there are words in print waiting for interpretation, recognition and contemplation. Sure.  Except at this exact moment (and the ones preceding this one by…..x days) I can’t seem to facilitate the required transubstantiation from head to this here screen.   

My problem today is I keep hearing Joey Ramone singing “…we need change and we need it fast…..” (accompanied by that damn infectious melody. check it out).  This has been happening an awful lot lately – getting a song stuck in my head.  A few choice lyrics, part of the melody, or simply the hook.  It seems to set the tone for my day.  Whatever it is, it has power.  Yes, I know – it has as much power as I want/choose to give it.  You and I, as individuals, empower all manner and aspects of our lives.   

Being a clark, (and living all inside my head), I try to remind myself on a fairly regular basis that “power is a verb”.  It is an act.  It’s a non-physical concept with the potential to directly affect the physical.  No, this is not metaphysical Monday 2 days late (or 5 days early). It’s just been bugging me that in the last week + I’ve had the seeds of several posts begin to germinate in my all too goopy brain matter.  The problem? (aside from the constant Ramones loop) is I’m no where near a computer when the energy starts to coalesce.  Once the moment has passed, any creative coalescence is more like the steady, slow flow….of maple syrup out of a Maine tap.*  Or there’s too many outside interruptions… It’s just a case of “wrong time, wrong place”.  Then it all goes away – big time.  As in big top, Barnun & Bailey, circus time. 

So what about today’s title? The epiphany?  The power?  Affecting change? (didn’t mention that one?)  Good questions.  When I sat down in front of this screen today, I had every intention to write about the re-realization that I was first an individual, secondly the other half of a couple.  Part of a team.  I reminded myself:   moving forward in life has to be done first as an individual, then, if there is an “other half”, as a unit.  Without singularity first in mind, without the confidence in self, without cultivating power, without action/movement forward, there is no tapping for the sweetness that resides in the tree that is life.*

*What can I say?  Today is the official start of Spring.  Isn’t everyone out “tapping trees” today?