Welcome to the Machine

Hello everyone. Welcome back. I apologize for my last couple posts being about how long I’ve been gone and hollow promises of getting back to this blog. Life has threw a couple wrenches in my gears lately, but I’ve been working hard to get all those cogs freed up and running smoothly. I could tell you all the sad, frustrating, hair pulling, banging my head against the wall stories that have kept me away from this blog and many things in general, and I might, but not today.

I know, as well as anyone, that life can get in the way. It’s a machine. It keeps chugging along, regardless of the parts falling off, needing greased, or repaired. It is a machine to be admired for its unwillingness to quit, regardless of how it falls apart. People are much the same. That is how I have felt lately, like a machine in need of a serious breakdown and rebuild. But I don’t have time for that, so I make small repairs where I can – on the side of the road, in the rain, in the gas station parking lot – because on this journey, you don’t always have time to stop. You have to evaluate the priority parts and make sure you keep those on par, everything else? Well, it just depends on where it is on the priority list.

Sometimes we think certain parts of the machine are important when they really aren’t. That is a problem. It leaves us blindsided when a part that is actually important blows up. This has happened to me a few times lately. So, I am trying to shave off some unnecessary parts and focus on the core of the machine. Because unfortunately, when some of those really important parts blow up, there’s no fixing them or replacing them. You  must simply move on without them and readjust the way the machine works.

In my re-evaluation, I have decided that I have neglected some major components of my machine called life for far too long. And I have lost some parts that cannot be replaced. So, I am changing the oil, lubing the chain, changing the air filter, and moving on.

When is the last time you re-evaluated your life? There is never a bad time to sit down and make a list of the people or things that you love but haven’t seen or done in a while. Our excuse is usually that there isn’t enough time right now, I’ll do it later. I promise you that the most important thing you can do is make time. Right now, before your machine blows, locks up, and leaves you stranded with a part that you’ve lost and cant’ replace. As a quote by Buddha says, “The problem is, you think you’ve got time.”

As my favorite band, Pink Floyd, says, “Welcome to the machine.” Be sure to take care of yours every once in a while.


 

“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” – Anonymous

“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything.” – Anonymous

“There is a kind of crying I hope you have not experienced, and it is not just crying about something terrible that has happened, but crying for all of the terrible things that have happened, not just to you but to everyone you know and to everyone you don’t know and even the people you don’t want to know. A crying that can not be diluted by a brave deed or a kind word, but only by someone holding you as your shoulders shake and your tears run down your face.” – Lemony Snicket

“Until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket

“February is the shortest month of the year, so if you are having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February.” – Anonymous

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” – Lemony Snicket

“There’s a history of heartbreak, Tucked in the creases of her eyes, A museum of the moments, That she’d watch just pass her by, And each tear that escaped her, Held the things she’d left unsaid, So the words she’d never spoken, Stained her dampened cheeks instead.” – e.h.

“I think there are two kinds of forgiveness, the kind that when you forgive you’re also giving then another chance, or the kind where you forgive, but move on without them. Use them both wisely.” – s.b.

“You told me that you had my back, And I thought that it was true, Now my shadow’s still behind me, But where on earth are you?” – e.h.

” ‘Love me slowly,’ she whispered, like the love I had for her, had limits. Like it could run out as easily as a grain of time. I could tell, by the sound of fear in her lungs, that she had a terrible past. The kind that no one talks about, the kind that remains bottled up inside of you, slowly and quietly, killing everything in your bones.” – Christopher Poindexter

“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.” – unknown

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” he said. – Rachel Wolchin

“Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizzar.)” – Charles Baudelaire

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.” – unknown

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Howl At The Moon & Keep Me In Your Heart.

Today, I’ve been listening to a particular artist over and over. So, I’ve decided to do an artist spotlight on this person. His name is Warren Zevon.

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If you’ve ever heard this song, you probably recognize the opening riff.  If you thought it was Kid Rock, today is not your day. I’ve heard this song all my life thanks to my dad. For a long time, I couldn’t tell you the artist responsible for this song, but I always knew it and loved it.

When I was watching a movie a few years ago, I heard a song that really resonated with me. My Dad is currently in the midst of some major health issues. If you’ve read my beginning blog entries, you know a little about this. He’s been diabetic all his life but has recently developed issues with his eyes and has gone into renal failure. It’s hit me really hard, especially since he gets tired and tells us he just wants to go home…

This movie was “Funny people” with Jonah Hill and Adam Sandler. In the movie, Adam’s character, George, is a comedian (go figure) who learns he has an incurable disease and forms a genuine friendship with a green comedian, Ira (Jonah’s character). He also hires him for his assistant. He breaks down, begging George (Adam Sandler) to tell the public about his condition. What struck me about this is when Ira makes a playlist for him. The song that plays is called “Keep me in your heart for a while.” I googled it at once. Guess who wrote it?

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Yep. Warren Zevon. This song really struck me as it seems to be by someone who knows their life is ending and is trying to tell their family that it will be ok, just don’t forget them. My favorite line is “If I leave you, it doesn’t mean I love you any less.” This one hit home with me because I know that at any time, my dad can decide to stop dialysis. It won’t be because he doesn’t love my mom, me, or my brother, but simply because he is too tired to go on. It is a hard thing to handle, but hearing it made me realize we wouldn’t be the only family to face this.

Curious as to why he would write such a sad, serious song, I decided to do some research. Here’s what I learned. Warren knew he was dying when he wrote this song. It is the last song on the last album he ever released. It is his good bye to his family. In 2002, he was diagnosed with inoperable peritoneal mesothelioma. He refused chemo, not only because of his phobia of doctors, but because he was afraid it might incapacitate him. Instead, he began recording his last album.

VH1 got permission for Nick Read to get access to these studio sessions and more of Warren’s last days to make an (Inside)Out documentary about him.  It’s very insightful as to the type of person Warren was and his dark sense of humor that is present in his music. If you have time, I’d really suggest watching it. If you have someone in your family with a terminal illness, be advised it may pull at your heartstrings. You can find it here.

His songs aren’t all sad, though most of them were a little on the dark side, such as “Roland, the headless Thompson gunner.”  He also has a song called Mr. Bad Example, with a line I love: “I’m very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins. I keep a very busy schedule trying to fit them in.” He also wrote a great one called My Shit’s Fucked Up. He certainly wasn’t perfect and had addictions of his own, so much so that one of the Rolling Stones journalists ( Paul Nelson) staged an intervention for him.

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There are a lot of great songs by this man and I feel like he goes unappreciated. If you aren’t familiar with him, please take time to listen to at least the songs I have posted here. If you are vaguely familiar with him, watch the documentary or just google some more of his songs. With friends like Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, several members of the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Brian Setzer, David Gilmour, Hunter S. Thompson, Billy Bob Thorton, and David Letterman, how can he not be someone worth learning about?

In closing, I’ll leave you with this final quote from Warren. When David Letterman asked him if he had learned anything about being on the brink of death, he said he probably shouldn’t have waited 20 years to see a physician, and to “Enjoy every sandwich”. I think that’s a good motto for life, don’t you?