It is the end of the year. Past Christmas, not quite to New Year's yet. . . and it has proven to be a time for rumination.
So, in no particular order or form, here are some thoughts.
Yesterday was a busy Christmas Day, full of storms (literal, not figurative), and by the end of the day I was drenched with rain, my pink Chuck's were muddy (and not really pink any more), and I was just super-duper-happy to climb into bed with my husband and talk and giggle.
. . . and somehow we got around to talking about Michael Franti, and Mister was telling me about a performance he had seen that they had filmed in Folsom Prison. He said the show was amazing, and the crowd really enjoyed it, and Franti (true to form) was preaching peace. And that the warden had said a few words to thank Franti, and said that he was certain that those cells were going to feel a lot bigger that night.
. . .
And so I've been turning that over in my mind, and thinking about the healing and restorative powers of music. . .
It really is an amazing thing, that we make music. Particularly when you think about how we do it to express joy, pain, sorrow. . . the whole range of human emotions, really.
We pick up tools that make different noises, and create sympathetic sounds, so that other members of our species may experience our lives for a moment.
We really are remarkable creatures.
(And I know what you're going to say:
"Oh! Danielle!! What about BIRDS??? BIRDS sing songs. They sing songs, too. You forgot about BIRDS."
But you have clearly overlooked the fact that birds also get to fly.
They both sing. . . and get to friggin' FLY.
Birds are ASSHOLES.)
I was discussing with Mister how Franti, in my humble opinion, has it figured out.
As in. . . seriously.
To those that are familiar with him, and if you follow him on any social media, you are probably aware of what I'm talking about.
He is one of those very rare people that seems to be completely and utterly genuine. Void of all pretense. Full of love. Not only talks the talk. . . but walks the walk, as well.
And given the state of our world today (or ever), I think that is something that is really deserving of mention.
If you ever watch interviews of Franti, you quickly discover that he talks a lot about peace and love.
. . . And honestly, I'm getting a little bit weary of people who roll their eyes every time the phrase "peace and love" comes up.
The only people that are ever going to achieve peace are the people that believe they CAN.
The people that are committed to it.
The people that LIVE it, all day long. Every day.
Not peace on a global scale, naturally. Not yet.
But people like Franti try to remind all the rest of us that it IS within our reach. It can be.
And it starts in every home. By a lot of people committed to it, one moment at a time.
So I get behind his message.
However. . . one note about the video clip above:
I think it is in poor taste.
I mean. . . the video itself is pretty fantastic, and after viewing it I've decided that once Took starts school, and my weekdays are pretty free, I am SO going to start roller skating around our neighborhood in a cape.
But speaking as someone who has never actually learned how to whistle. . . I felt the people in the video are just being overly braggy.
There's no need to shove my lack of whistling ability in my face like that.
Poor taste, Franti. Poor taste. =<
Other than that, the video's golden. Good for many happy feels.
7 out of 8 bananas.
So yeah. . . I've been listening to musics all morning.
My husband sent me a link to the one above, and I sent him this one:
I'm not afraid to be alone.
But being alone is
better with you.
Life is better with you."
Oh, silly Michael Franti, with your horse heads and sweet heart.
You make me smile. =)
And remember how grateful I am.
Because I've read enough to be acquainted with a few different schools of thought, and have a just-decent-enough memory to recall pieces and snips and bits of some of the greats.
"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul."
"Tis long since we've had any hope."
"Fear shrinks the brain."
--The Walking Dead
"Be excellent to each other."
--Ted "Theodore" Logan
"What I am looking for is not out there. It is in me."
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference."
"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."
"These days, all I ask of Fate is that the people she hurls into my life, whether they be evil or good or morally bipolar, be amusing to one degree or another."
"I'll keep it short and sweet: Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."
--C. Montgomery Burns
So those are just a handful of the ones that circle around my head every day. Voices and snippets from here and there.
And I think I'm managing to piece them into a lovely little quilt.
Managing quite nicely.
We all have troubles.
We own our troubles.
They do not own us.
They do not define us.
If you're like me. . . you fall down.
I'm pretty well-acquainted with the ground by now, and have the knots and bruises to prove it.
I'll say it simply:
It has made me better.
So final thoughts for the year:
I love my family.
And my friends, too, who form a collective extended family of misfits and weirdos.
I love you all so much.
A goldfish will only grow as big as it's bowl.
And WE are the bowl, for everyone around us.
Because of my family and friends, my husband, my kids. . . everyone who forms the fabric of my life. . . I feel comfortable.
Comfortable enough to be my real Me.
Comfortable enough to share my weirdest thoughts.
Comfortable enough to sing and dance, to slip and fall, and to laugh at my own stupidity, and get back up and try again.
Because of all the lovely and wonderful people I know, I'm comfortable enough to be my real, genuine self.
(Even if that self is kind of embarrassing at times.)
And most of all, it makes me comfortable enough to look at those around me. And wonder what I can do for THEM. To wonder how I could help them. To try and dream up ways to make their passing through this life a little easier.
We are the light for each other.
That is a powerful thing. And a great, and noble, responsibility.
Thank you, friends.
I'm a world-class screw-up sometimes.
I'm super-impatient at others.
. . . And, at times, my tongue is sharper than I intended.
Flawed and imperfect.
But I feel like I'm on the right path.
I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be.
Eager to learn more.
Figuring out how to love. The right way.
Finding and forging new paths to peace, just in my personal old ordinary life.
If you're reading this. . . my wish to you is as follows:
I hope you forge your own paths.
I hope you do it differently.
I hope you hold your head high.
I hope you talk -- LOUDLY -- about what is right. And then you transform your talk into action.
I hope you discuss peace and love. Earnestly.
I hope you find someone that you can be your most You with.
I hope you feel comfortable enough to sing.
I hope you feel comfortable enough to dance.
I hope you get out your capes, and your roller skates, and I hope you zoom around like you don't know you have bones.
I hope you give love, and I hope you live peacefully.
There are millions of people out there to love.
Go find one of them.
Get bouncy, bitch.
"Oh I've got
A little bit longer.
I've got a ways to go-o."
"Everybody wants me to be who they want me to be except you.
And all I wanna do
Is be with you."