Out of the Ashes

MedusoMuch has been written about the regenerative powers of the Phoenix, the myth of the fire bird. As the story goes, the Phoenix will burst into flame just before death so that it can rise from the ashes to a new life. I have not seen this ever happen in real life. But I have heard testimonies that this has in fact occurred. In Vegas. Let me elaborate. Continue reading

In Character

Mom was a bit of a diva, and I as I write that a chuckle escapes. A bit of a diva. For as long as I can remember, Elizabeth would prepare her day by getting into character. Her hair,  wardrobe, jewelry and accessories, were all considered carefully for the roles she would play over the next few hours. Was she going to talk her way into a job for which she was in no way qualified? Or did she need to blend in with the crowd while she played undercover detective? If she happened into Gucci that day, was she buying or selling? Continue reading

Portrait of an Artist

I admit it. I love the Stones and have for a long time. Most of all I am fascinated by Keith Richards. So when my mom offered to draw any one of them, I chose Keith, thinking that she would immediately be attracted to the wrinkles of his life, crevassing his edge-of-death, tour-worn face. I thought she would too be attracted to Keith’s story, his lows and his surprising survival. I gave her all kinds of pictures to use as inspiration, and even then I had a ton of Mick Jagger photos at the ready in case Keith wasn’t meaty enough a subject. Continue reading

Nature vs. Nurture

Sensory triggers – those sounds, sights and smells that anchor us to a meaningful time and place – wash over involuntarily throughout our lives, quickly and spontaneously, leaving a reminiscent connection to the original event. One would think the triggers would dissipate with time, but life seems to add to the meaningfulness as we go, adding new relevance to what once may have seemed unimportant at that time. Continue reading

Free Will

If you’ve ever attended a workshop in which you were tasked with figuring out what your true values were, you may have been surprised at what you learned about yourself. It is one thing to generate an idealistic list of what should be important, but when it came to the ranking of your personal values, you had to figure out what was the most important, often making difficult decisions between freedom, family, and sometimes god. Continue reading

A Little Bit Country

It wasn’t for many of my childhood years until I realized another kind of music existed beyond Country (and also Western, as the joke goes). I remember turning on a radio in someone else’s house and American Pie was playing. This wasn’t Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard or Jeannie C. Riley. I was intrigued. Of course, my mother came in the room and acted like I had set off a fire alarm. Turn that shit down honey. It’s too loud! But try as she might to suppress it, the cat was out of the bag. During our stay at that home – Grandma’s no less – I found out about Kansas and Boston and Elton John. Continue reading

Milk and Honey

During the 1960s, my mother was a closet Liberal, whispering to everyone not to tell her parents that she wasn’t going to vote for Goldwater. In the 70s, she would walk between the color lines proudly in support of school busing, (never minding what a target that made me each day). During the 80s her rebellious lifestyle necessitated that she live at least one foot off the grid, avoiding taxes and politics as best she could, surviving just under the radar. And in the 90s she would go on marches for PETA and abortion rights and environmentalism and the screenwriters’ union. I still have her tattered old hemp-woven grocery bag, some faded cause printed in green on one side. Continue reading

Invasion from Inner Space

On the scale of fact versus fiction, where do you tend to linger? Before you automatically jump to the superiority of scientific based thought (Oh and I’m with you on that), consider that it also takes a leap of imagination to invent, to discover, to progress at all. The great milestones of change occurred because somebody was able to transform What Is to What Could Be. Continue reading