It has always been this way.  I know no different.  The colors that blend into blues.  The murky greens.  The foam coming up white when the winds whip up, matching my own frenetic, ever changing emotions. The calms before and the changes after… and the constant lessons on how to just ride the waves.

Sometimes I taste salt… And it burns my eyes and nostrils as I try to savor the fresh air.  I gladly glide here in wide open spaces, caught in a rhythm of constantly moving but feeling as though I never progress. It’s strange to feel so alone when I know there is so much existence beneath me, and when I see visitors soaring above me. Often it feels cold and hot at the same time. I don’t understand it, but I’ve grown accustomed.

Other times the air is so still as to be almost stale.  And I taste nothing and can barely breathe the heavy air in.  That’s when I begin to hear the buzzing.  A steady endless hum that I can feel but never understand.  And the pace is slow here and I don’t mind it so long as I teach myself to half-die. It feels impossible to move through it on certain days, and the danger feels near so I never let my limbs drift. I keep close and inside myself, and I begin to prefer my own company.

It’s never so perfect, though, as when the flow is steady, and I’m never in one place too long.  I just glide by and see new sights, smell delicious mysteries, and hear a thousand sounds pass by me on the banks.  The sounds of lines and reels as strangers attempt to bring in a catch.  The shouts and giggles of children playing on the edges and getting their toes nibbled by the braver, more curious inhabitants of the water. Every so often a voice shouts a greeting and I am happy to smile and acknowledge the connection. It’s a thought I have often that I wish I could be enveloped by the stability they know. And I realize that perhaps they wish to know what I witness.

There is no instruction manual for being a girl on a raft. But it is all I know.

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*By way of quick explanation, I select the lyric I’ll feature each day by hitting shuffle on my iPod and picking the first Neil Diamond song that comes up in rotation.

“Don’t know that I will, but until I can find me…
…I’ll be what I Am.  A Solitary Man.”
(“Solitary Man,” Neil Diamond)

I can remember reading a book called Anam Cara, that taught me to have no fear of being alone;  to enjoy solitude and refrain from racing rapidly to fill every quiet moment with noise.  It taught me that in the silence you can hear the voice of the divine in the form of intuition coming from within your own soul.

I took a bit of artistic license with the lyric and left a few words out because I loved the way the adjustment
read:  “Until I can find me, I’ll be what I AM.”  That phrase has become a very important sentiment for me.  I am always on a journey to learn who I am and to accept all the crazy bits of me.  When I need the most help understanding myself, I know I can sit alone in silence and let my intuition guide me.

I’ll forever be what I AM (which harkens the phrase “Wherever you go, there you are”) so I might as well get to accepting myself.  Some folks may not like my confidence,  they may feel uncomfortable with my security.  Because of their fears, others may cast me as a villain, some may talk about me.  Yet being true to myself hasn’t let me down yet, when faced with strife or sadness, joy or gladness.  I never have trouble sleeping at night, confident that I give everything I have to every day and every one.

A Solitary (Wo)Man… such a beautiful state of being.  Especially when I can bring back the peace of my soul and share it with others.

“Stay with me awhile, I only want to talk to you.
We’ve traveled halfway ’round the world, to find ourselves again.”
(“September Morn”- Neil Diamond)

I haven’t had it happen to me often, if ever:  Running into somebody who knew your heart so long ago.  What happens when you are in the grocery store or in line at the movies and you happen upon an old love or a friend whom you haven’t talked to in years?

Perhaps you resume your last conversation… pick up where you last left off, talking about the ideas that made your spirit soar.  Maybe you are interested in all of the good that has happened for them.  Maybe you ache to hear their hurts.  If a lover, does your heart speed up and beat loudly in your ears when they move to hug you?  Do you blush at the sight of their familiar smile?

Maybe friends and lovers bring back to you a piece of yourself that was lost with passing time.  They remind you of who you were for them, of who you always wanted to be.  Hearing their recollections fills in the missing memories of your soul.  While they are with you, you feel whole again… and want that to last for just a few more precious seconds.

In dreams or in days, I’d love for old friends to find me.  To talk to me and laugh with me.  To reveal how they’ve carried the pieces of my heart I gave to them in a perfect moment.

And certainly I’d ask them to stay with me awhile.

As promised, the renewed direction of my blog begins today.

“She shines with her own kind of light
She’d look at you once
and a day that’s all wrong
looks alright.”
(“Kentucky Woman,” Neil Diamond)

Human attraction, to me, is one of the best examples of synchronicity.  What attracts certain people to one another?  Is it like minds?  The surroundings and moments in time in which we meet?  The respective circumstances of each of our lives?  We are unrelated, but can suddenly find ourselves in a scenario fraught with meaning… an ‘us‘ where moments before no ‘us‘ existed.

And we can bring out the loveliness in one another.  A look at our reflection in a mirror or window can show us our attractiveness.  Yet more marvelous is seeing ourselves in the glance of another.  Those particular reflections radiate an inner glow, a peek at the divine that resides in our souls.  When those reflections lead to secret smiles and a whispered “I love you,” the moment, the day and the world can look different than it did just moments before.

It took a girls trip to the city, and front row seats at an amazing show to make me want to blog again.  I’ve been so wrapped up in the horror of the last 6 months (horror may be too strong, but I’m not feeling like grabbing the thesaurus) that I have not wanted to write anything I’ve been thinking or feeling down.  But on Friday night I got to live in the moment and drown out all the sadness, worry and despair (again, despair may be too strong but I’ve explained my lack of grammatical options).

An amazing tribute band and the high decibels at which they played their music helped immensely with drowning thoughts out.  The showmanship of all 6 performers (one guitarist in particular) helped infuse me with wonder and delight at something special.  The lyrics they sang helped awaken my poetic spirit.

So, thanks to Super Diamond and the lyrical genius of one Mr. Neil Diamond… I have a new direction for my blog.  I’m not going to change the name of my blog, or create a new one.  I don’t want to lose the flavor of what I started, and I can’t manage multiple blogs anymore.  Besides, I imagine a great mind like Mr. Diamond’s is well-versed in the psychology of Synchronicity:  two unrelated events that occur together in a meaningful way.  A happy accident.  Serendipity.  I won’t describe all of my unrelated events that have occurred together here… not sure anybody is reading them anyway.  But I can unveil the new direction of this blog (and by no means do I think this idea is unique, or not already being done by someone more clever than I).

I would like to take one Neil Diamond lyric a day and write a reflection on it.  I would like the posts to be happy and sad, striking and thoughtful.  I would like to keep captured close the sense of wonder I felt on Friday night, standing next to my friends… all of us captivated by an energy born from the synchronistic way that poetic words, beautiful music and random people came together.

Dear Mr. Thoreau,

I read your book in an attempt to not only feel smarter, but to find some inspiration in my efforts to find meaning in simplicity. I swam in Walden Pond the summer before I entered college, and can remember the beauty and stillness I felt as I moved through the water. So I thought I’d be able to totally identify with you as I moved through your writing.

May I say, with much respect, that while your first and last chapters were thought provoking and game changing, the entire middle of your book was as fascinating as watching grass grow. Or to use an example from your book, like watching ants fight.

Lest I come off a total snob or moron, I will highlight just a couple of my favorite observations.

“Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make believe.”

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

“There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.”

I found those within the last five pages.

Warmly,
Betty

It’s been so long since the last post.  I feel like I’ve been missing out on club meetings.

Random observation:  it is flipping hard opening a new business.  I’m sure that’s not news to business-owners, but I’ve never had the opportunity to start a ground-up operation before.  It’s crazy work, crazy hours, but something you can look back on and say ‘holy crap…  we did it.’

In other news…  I feel different.  With every book I read, every film I see, every new song I hear and every new person I talk to the fiber of my understanding changes.  I’m sure it has always been thus, but I am so hyper-aware of it lately.  (the use of the word ‘thus’ was not to come off pretentious, but was meant as a replacement for the more boring phrase ‘this way.’)

Somebody alerted me to the fact that there is a song by The Police called “Synchronicity.”  I had no idea.  So I took a listen and found it catchy…  then I looked up the lyrics and was pleasantly surprised.  I’ll have to link it to my page so that it plays when you visit.

With one breath, with one flow
You will know
Synchronicity

A sleep trance, a dream dance
A shared romance
Synchronicity

A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Causally connectible
Yet nothing is invincible

If we share this nightmare
Then we can dream
Spiritus mundi

If you act, as you think
The missing link
Synchronicity

We know you, they know me
Extrasensory
Synchronicity

A star fall, a phone call
It joins all
Synchronicity

Serendipity is my favorite word- not just because it’s fun to say- but also because the meaning is rooted in hope and balance: “a fortunate accident.”

I am taking this postaday thing to heart- I am hoping once February crunch time is over I’ll be back to once a day versus once a week. I am just at the limits of my personal capacity by the end of the work day. I’m loving every minute of opening the Market, though, and feel fortunate to be a part of a unique project.

Random thought for the day: one of my favorite songs is “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. I love how it tells a story, but draws out such intimate details of the human condition. I think that’s the formula Garth Brooks was pretty amazing at as well.

More mundane details from my brain will be forthcoming.

My dream vacation would be to hop on a train in Northern Europe and travel as far south as I could get. I would want to know as many languages as possible, and would love to have a sleeping car for traveling overnight. When I reached the furthest southern point, I would commit to the round trip and go all the way north again. I wonder if that won’t take as long as I’m thinking it will.

My last vacation was a road trip to SoCal, so it seems as if my dream vacation is not far off. My dream, though, allows for someone else to do the driving- and time for me to sightsee, to read, to write and to wonder.

I never believed that a place I had never been could immediately feel like home. Yet, when my plane touched down in Ireland, the very dust in my bones vibrated and I felt like I had returned property of my ancestors to the place of their birth. When my plane back to the states departed, I cried with abandon and didn’t understand why.

What did I used to believe but had disproven? That institutions of religion are interested in helping people walk through life. After my years of experience, I’d much rather hand everyone a copy of Viktor Frankls “Mans Search for Meaning” and empower them to work towards balance and purpose.