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Thursday, December 31, 2009

That was some decade, huh?

What a rapid ten years it has been...Y2K turned out to be OK, and my fear of no money was vanquished by my fear of dying on the job. never heard of a blog in 2000, and now I are one (?). Palm Springs and Sedona and writing groups and neighbors who like my cooking, and, always, Barbara. Film festivals and film societies and Netflix and TCM, and, always, Barbara. Hiking and painting and essays and poetry chapbooks, and, always, Barbara. New friends and old friends and comrades and allies, and, always, Barbara. Macy's and Chico's and Nordstrom's and Saks, and, definitely, Barbara.

What shall we call the next ten years, the teenagers of this century? I hope it is not a repeat of past centuries, with war the dominant thought, with silliness and depression not far behind. Maybe it will be years of the personal. Money and riches and material things haven't worked out too well, so maybe a more intimate and inward approach beckons.

For me, and for my friends of similar ages, it has to be personal, as we learn about aging on a day-to-day basis. It isn't that we resist aging so much - after all, we all have those pesky mirrors in our homes - it's more those daily surprises, a new ache or pain, a new victory for gravity, a new reason to feed the kitty of hypochondria. One thing for sure...we have all lived longer than we have left, and Time Remaining deserves some thought and conversation. Should we be more spiritual? Is there Service to perform? Nothing wrong with happiness and fun, either.

There's a lot I don't know, but one thing I have learned to 100% certainty...friends and family are everything, and communication is even more than everything. When someone enters your mind, don't pause for even a minute, See them, call them, write them, and tell them how your life is better for them having been in it. No time to waste, not a second left to dawdle. Hop to it, it's the Touching Teens!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Live a Good Life

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stopping By Palm Springs on a Sunny Day

This village mine, for ten years now
is making its most seasoned bow
to guests and locals, everyone,
its snowcapped peaks and sunshine wow.

We’ve grown accustomed to the sun,
we feel entitled, everyone.
The nights, while cool, still hold their cheer,
no holding back the year-end fun.

Our friends back east are very clear
about what matters, what is dear;
it’s family, and friends who please,
kept close at hand, in hearts, so near.

The snow is deep, and white, but please,
I have promised not e’er to freeze,
and rays to catch, snowbirds to tease,
and rays to catch, snowbirds to tease.

(yes, indeed, an homage to Robert Frost)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Invictus, The Road, A Single man, The Lovely Bones

Invictus - now wasn't that a fast 134 minutes...very enjoyable...could have easily become sappy and heavy handed, but it didn't...particularly liked how Damon and Freeman disappeared into their roles...Eastwood took a sport that 98% of the audience knows nothing about, educated us in terms of what we needed to know very quickly, then proceeded with a perfect metaphor for the human condition of South Africa, circa 1994

The Road - tough to watch, like Precious, but, unlike Kenneth Turan, I think the payoff was worth it, and it did a fine job of translating Cormac Mc Carthy's written work

A Single Man
- one of my top fims of the year, serious and thoughtful, yet also stylish, and Colin Firth & Julianna Moore are not to be believed, they are so good at their craft

The Lovely Bones - better than average, but a lesser light than the others coming out in awards season, though Stanley Tucci is so good he is unrecognizable

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another one from Mike

How does love feel?
Are you able to see
Or touch or taste it?
Why do I know so much?

I know love and live with it
In my heart and deep somewhere
Else. I know love and look
For it in every soul I meet.

Love is part of humanness
And I know it well.
But why do I know it?
Is love insistent?

I think I know. Love
Is a question about who
We are. Who I want
To be and who you are.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Early December

It’s been a peaceful month
in the low desert,
where the locals are old,
the snowbirds are grateful,
and the poets are all in good form.
It’s been a month of happy returns
and thanksgiving,
of many old friends
and a new few.
We live mostly for today,
knowing the gods will laugh
at foolish plans beyond
breakfast or lunch.
Winter’s not yet here,
at least not on the Badgers
calendar I got for the 25th time,
my annual reminder of
how wise we were to move,
yet how much we miss
our childhood friends,
our youth,
now mostly x-ed out,
just a few more weeks to
the midnight dance at nine p.m..
Yes, winter’s not here, but
don’t tell my aching legs and
shoulders that at dawn.
That’s our breath we see
in front of us in the morning,
leading the way to the newspaper.
No complaints heard, however;
not so much that they aren’t made,
just not heard.
There’s much to be learned in this age,
at this age as well.
A little loss of sound can be a blessing,
a chance to return to the
remarkable self-absorption of youth.
This month is a time for connection,
reconnection as well,
visits, phone calls, letters, cards and
e-mails, in that very descending order
of intimacy, and it really is too bad,
what that e-mail thing has done to
letter writing, ancient and loving art.
Visits require some degree of readiness,
at least a clean bathroom, but
phone calls, especially the random ones,
can find you in your pajamas,
heck, even on the toilet.
Cards are okay, when one does not
have time for a letter, but
letters have more heart, give more time
to the writer to be reflective,
like a poet,
searching, reaching, looking
for just the right words.
A writer of letters gets to reflect,
to muse a bit about the addressee, to
remember precious moments, to dream of
better moments yet to come,
maybe even to plan some, and say so.
It is a peaceful activity, letter writing,
perfect for the cocoa and comforter
days of year’s end.
We’re older now,
no longer big consumers;
rather, giving stuff away,
the things that have piled up
in closets and storage units over time,
so Black Friday means nothing,
Cyber Monday even less.
We still go to the parties,
ooh and aah over trees and menorahs,
eat too much cheese,
drink just the right amount of wine.
We arrive late, leave early,
talk about the coming film festival
and wish each other well.
We’ll tiptoe through
these next few weeks, and
soon, the new year will come
and we’ll make it our peaceful own.
My sweetie, the cats and me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Awards Season at the Movies

It's that time again - awards season at the local cinema, and, as usual, the Palm Springs International Film Society is ahead of the game. So far, we have screened many of the predicted contenders, including A Serious Man, Up In the Air, Precious, The Lovely Bones, A Single Man, and The Road. Still to come are Nine, It's Complicated and Invictus. Some fabulous individual and ensemble performances, many faithful presentations of literary works, and story lines which keep one talking, long after you've left the theater. Looking forward to the holiday films as well - Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, The Imaginarium og Doctor Parnassus, and The Young Victoria. The Palm Springs International Film Festival starts in earnest on January 8th, and there's no better event for filmgoers, where the most enjoyable conversations occur while standing in line.