I mean it.
“All I ever wanted was to know was that you were dreaming.” – Stevie Nicks
So what exactly does a person say on a day like today?
Song 364 (Day 0)
On the Eve of a made up Holiday? Or on the Eve of an actual Holiday? On the Eve of nothing or maybe something? The day before some people plan on beginning a War? On the day you met Morrissey? On the day you attended a benefit for Girls Rock Chicago? I mean, how do you really FEEL about Thursdays anyway?
None of this means much to anyone anyway, if they don’t know why there is a light that will never go out. Or what it means to a little girl who traveled miles alone to hold a guitar for her first time. Or why a person feels compelled to “Remember, Remember the 5th of November.” If none of that rings a bell then maybe this means nothing. Or, maybe somehow, it does mean something.
So, if you’re me, you might as well start off with a simple reminder.
“I am terrible at Math.”
That is how, I am here at day Zero, still with one day to go.
And from there, I guess I just say whatever.
Don’t forget, it’s only Facebook.
This Non-Place that most people I know look at on a Semi-Regular Basis.
This slight turn, just past the fork, in the pretend road.
The pit stop. The gas station.
The little place in the middle of nowhere.
It all depends on how badly you need gas. Or a snack.
Or how badly you have to go pee.
It might mean nothing, or it might be a life saver.
Either way, here we are, together.
After you have procured yourself a computer. And established Internet Service. And registered your New Mailing Address with the Global Postal Service. Here you are, with me, Online. In our little town. Where we do exactly the same shit we always have done…just on a much, much larger scale.
We show each other pictures of the stuff we love. Our families and our kids and our homes and what we ate for dinner. We share information and we talk about current events. We make jokes. We make plans. We do business. We share joy and we share sadness. We show each other videos and sometimes we even play songs.
We. Make. Friends.
This might be the Futureworld.
But we have actually been at this for Centuries.
Just never the way you are experiencing it.
In your lifetime. In this lifetime.
The one we are in, no matter where life finds you on the surface of the planet.
It is still home. ♥
Here’s the thing. I only have three songs left. And part of me had decided what they might be. Especially, my last song.
But I made a rule a long time ago to only follow. To just go where that day went.
Condition Oakland indeed. Song 363 (Day 1)
There are many things that contributed to how I feel right now. It’s just like a math equation.
One Year Long.
+1 Many months ago I was stunned to discover that my beloved Chrissie Hynde had been a student at Kent State and was a friend of one of the people killed.
+1 I started reading things about the way you feel. And about the places your thoughts come from. Especially those that seem to come from nowhere. Like the one I had today, while walking the dog. “Two abroad and One at home.”
+1 I spent my birthday thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King, as has been my habit, since junior high when I noticed the line in the U2 song Pride. It seems that something terrible once happened on that day, ten years before I was born.
+1 There is a group of boys on my block that only get older. I watch them. They are small enough still to say things to like “Are you gonna pick that up?” But that day will pass. And then where do any of us go from there?
+1 I have been a part of and/or attended fundraisers this year to pay for: Medical Bills both for sick children and for women who were attacked on the streets I live on, for free After School Programs and Kids Camps all of which were set up by private individuals, for Sex Ed for teens, to Support Women’s Rights, to support Animal Rescue Organizations, to provide relief to people whose lives have been overturned by Natural Disasters the world over, to support various Environmental Causes and countless other things that the badass people I know are involved in. And don’t get me wrong, I love parties. But I have yet to attend any kind of function to pay for War, because apparently there is always plenty of money for that.
+1 I have watched strangers and friends being crushed by the housing market. And not because they did anything wrong. But because the market crumbled around them. And there is no relief to be had. No compromise and no bailout. I have also been a personal witness to how poorly large banks handle Foreclosure. From the mounds of paper work to the state of properties that they now own and do not properly mind to a bunch of people at a third party agency celebrating Halloween by dressing up as “Homeless Former Homeowners”.
+1 I have listened to more than one friend, ass deep in liquor, tell me how broke they are despite the fact they work 40 hours a week.
+1 I have listened to more than one friend, ass deep in liquor, tell me about how hard it is to find a job.
+1 I have watched things go down on Social Media that were not reported by the major news sources most people look at until it was SO public that they had to say something. And then a lot of them choose to say REALLY dumb shit.
+1 I have gotten in several Facebook “fights” with my beloved cousin, currently serving this country in Afghanistan. He is also disappointed with the Government, but we have very different views on the situation from there forward.
+1 I have watched a Peaceful Rally, in a major US city, thousands strong, fail to make headlines. And I have watched ones that turned violent spread through the Media like wildfire.
+1 I have been there while Protestors have had lovely conversations with the Police in my town, all of whom are facing budget cuts and closing stations.
+1 I have been there when other people chanted, “Fuck the Pigs” at those same cops.
+1 And, I have been told “how it is” more times than I can possibly count.
So, what does all of that equal? You. Tell. Me.
The only thing I know for certain is that it will all still be here when I get back. Sweet Jesus. ♥
The years go fast but the days go so slow.
That sentence has never left my head. Not since the day I first heard it.
To me, that’s poetry.
Song 362 (Day 2)
Ladydudes and Gentlemen, may I now present you with the one, the only…
Ms. Andrea Bauer.
November 6th, 2011 – November 6th, 2012.
“I wanted to do something, anything, but I didn’t know what to do. So I did this. This is my something.” –Jason Watt
Song 361 (Day 3)
A little while ago, I got a card in the mail. From my Mom. And that is what it said.
There are things I thought might happen if I kept a very public record of my life for one year. And being embarrassed was high on my list of possibilities. Par for the course I guess. I guess mostly, because I don’t play golf, so I am not really sure what that means.
But I assume it means that what comes along with what you do happens because of what you are doing.
I, for one, never thought that watching me complete a year, a difficult year, would mean so much to people. And never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would make someone say such lovely words.
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
One Post, for Every Single Day, of One Calendar Year.
You are officially up Ms. Bauer.
From the power vested in me by a giant pile of nonsense.
I can’t promise you an easy ride.
But I can tell you this.
You will end up somewhere you can’t even begin to dream of.
I had only planned on playing a song.
But if the words just start coming, here is my advice:
Let them. ♥
How on earth I am lucky enough to have so many people in my life who are willing to make complete fools of themselves, the world may never know.
Let’s dance this mess around indeed. Song 359 (Day 5)
There is this thing that keeps bugging me the more and more I say out loud about how this country seems to be working incorrectly. And it’s this one word.
Life should be fun. Because what else is there really? Fun for you and fun for those around you. And if there are people around you who are suffering, well then how much fun are you really having? And just what is anyone fighting for in the first place?
I am not saying you shouldn’t work hard. You should. Because if all you do is have fun how would you even know when you are having it? But on the other side of the same coin, if all you do is work and never find a way to have fun, or at least find a way to make work and even hard times funny, then I don’t know what else to say to you but this.
You’re doing it wrong.
People who are happy do better shit. They create more and they care more. And they don’t take themselves too seriously. It might sound silly, but it’s the key. Finding an inner happiness is what gives you enough space to remember that you are not on this planet alone. And that all it takes is one twist of fate for it to all be over anyway.
So keep telling me how it is. And how it has always been. And what can or can’t be done. And I will keep laughing at how silly you seem. So convinced that there is something you need to control, outside of yourself.
You can go ahead and make the world around you as crappy and as predetermined as you want.
Just don’t be surprised if nobody wants to live there with you.
A lady named By Bonnie Ware, who worked for years nursing the dying, once shared the top five things people said on their deathbeds along with her feelings on each point. And it’s some of the best goddamned advice I have ever heard. ♥
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.
Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.
There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love.
Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.
Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.