Dying with the Music Inside

Last night I had a late dinner, 10ish. Normally I watch tv or listen to the radio while I eat. I surfed but didn’t find any of the usual suspects. For some reason I stopped on PBS, thinking it was CBC, and there was Wayne Dwyer selling his whole enchiladas to raise money for public television. Having just watched a Cheryl Richardson dvd with Mom on Sunday, something clicked in my brain and reminded me that Stacy had also given me some Wayne Dwyer cds I’d never had time to listen to yet.

So I put the first one in, thinking I’ll just listen to a track or two and see what this is all about. The first thing he talks about is the work he does for PBS selling the whole enchilada. Hmm, I thought, since there’s no such thing as coincidences maybe I’m supposed to watch PBS tonight or listen to this cd. They were still in intermission on PBS, so I chose the cd.

One of the things he talks about on that first cd is how our thoughts manifest into our reality, which is essentially the same thing Cheryl Richardson was saying on Sunday. All of these personal development type coaches and motivational speakers say the same stuff, it’s just a matter of finding the one you can stand to listen to. I like Dwyer because he’s straight-forward and a little funny. He’s also a bit more spiritual than some other ones but he’s not a Jesus freak. He says stuff like our soul mates are like the turds that won’t flush. Conrad from Grand Falls put me onto him about a year or so ago when he gave me a cd at a mighty meeting.

Anyway, one of the things he says is to not die with your music inside, which is a really simple concept we’ve all heard before but I really needed to hear this last night. Everyone has a purpose, something we were put on this earth to do or share, and deep down inside we all know what our purpose is, just think of the time when you were most at peace in your life, the most happy, and identify what you were doing.

We tend to live our lives in denial that we’re ever going to die, the infinity of death scares the crap out of us so we live like we’re going to live forever, like we have all the time in the world. Meanwhile, the only thing we know with absolute certainty is that everyone dies. And whether you believe in reincarnation or heaven or six feet under and that’s all folks doesn’t matter, the fact is you’ll never live this life again — when it’s over, it’s over forever. And forever is such a huge concept we can’t get our heads around it, it’s terribly frightening. If we only died for a million years or a billion, we’d be okay with that, we’d be prepared to wait it out . . . but forever? How does one do infinity?

Don’t die with your music inside. So simple.

I was most happy and at peace that year I took off to write fiction full-time. Writing the stories I wanted to tell brought me a healing inner peace that has been lacking in my life. Not that I’m unhappy or anything like that, life has been pretty damn good for me, I’m doing a lot of the stuff I always wanted . . . but I haven’t been writing much fiction, I haven’t been creating many of the stories I want to tell, I haven’t been dedicating much time to fulfilling my purpose, if I died today that music would still be inside. And I don’t want that to happen. There’s no reason for it to happen. I can and will make the time.

So late last night I took out the notebook and returned to the tools I know work, the list of six things that must be done tomorrow — 2 for mighty, 1 for wfnb, 1 mundane maintenance, and 1 for me. Then I went to bed, set the alarm for one of the first times since my move and when it went off at 6:30 I got up, made coffee and thanked the universe for the opportunity to fulfill my purpose today.

Mood: chipper & optimistic
Drinking: coffee, the good kind, with cream
Listening To: the dryer tumble
Hair: messy bed head

Home Again (tidbits)

It’s good to be home again. No snow here. Green grass still. Warmer temps. Wore my winter coat on a little runaround this afternoon and nearly suffocated. Rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Sackville may be the perfect spot, cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter . . . if you don’t mind all the dark and dreary rainy days. I have antibiotics! Thank you jesus! I can’t wait until I get my head clear again, it’s been WAY too long. Also have some spray thingy I’m supposed to do a couple of times per day. Coinciding with any outings might be a good thing. Got my hair cut, but not too short, still longer layers, very Jon Bon circa 1995, no bangs, to my shoulders, thinned out (which is still thick) more healthy looking now, I had some serious split endz going on. Kind of liking this shade of blonde more now that it’s shorter, might keep it for a bit . . . tho going dark in spring is not likely to happen. While in Miramichi I saw Walk the Line and absolutely loved it! Did not get to the new restaurant with the amazing wine cellar or the teahouse. Didn’t even see Samuel and Jules, though me and Anna had a great day on Thursday. My workshop was snowed out. Next one in January, right on the heels of toronto. I’ll get off the train in miramichi instead of sackville, do the workshop that night, then go to freddy for wfnb board stuff. Can I handle living out of the suitcase for that long? I think so.

Mood: a little weird
Drinking: coffee with baxter cream
Listening To: System of a Down, Radio/Video
Hair: seems to be getting blonder daily and without any help

Da Girlz

Taking advantage of the Keenan’s family portrait absence to check email and blog. Sherry, Jenn, Marilyn, Carol, Liane, Raelene, Janice and myself in attendance last night. Good times! Confessions of firsts, an airing of the list. Usual suspects in common — Jon Bon, Tommy boy, the Pittster, etc. Some rare birds . . . John Goodman? Like seriously, what is up with that? And I see nothing wrong with having both Brad and Angelina on mine. Like if she knocks on my door I’m going to send her away!? The list of locals wanted but didn’t was somewhat shorter. I couldn’t think of anyone, at first, but there is only one. Does this make me pro-active? My secret ones weren’t revealed, though Sherry’s was a common thread. When the conversation lulled, the games came out. Played one where you walk into a room and have to guess who you are from what everyone says to you or how they treat you. I walked in to applause and a Good Morning! Guessed Katie Couric right away and was accused of cheating. Wrongfully! Can I help it if I’m just really good at that game?! Played some Act One and I got to be Farrah and do a little Charlie’s Angels. Only one clue though and Marilyn guessed it so I didn’t get to be Charlie or Bosley. The pop culture junkies amongst us had a lot of fun with that one. Had a round of Outburst where I have to say my team got all the hard topics . . . I’m sure forgeting Brazil was in South America had nothing to do with our loss . . . Taboo was really fun, though I never got to buzz Jenn properly. Not sure we kept score on that one. Only one bottle of wine consumed, and a few glasses of Navan. Sucked back quite a bit of pineapple, some gherkins in a raspberry vinegrette, cheese, crackers, and a plate of nachos with black olives, green onions and salsa. Yum! We really should do these girly get-togethers more often.

Mood: headachy
Drinking: nothing
Listening To: the damn aquarium
Hair: woo-hoo! light n lively! (but not pixied)

Callum Speaks Again

Bloody hell! Just as I was starting to get used to being ignored, my Irishman reared his head today and spoke for the first time in months. But what is it? An ending? A new path? Melancholic crap? Unexpected regardless. Probably useless prewriting.


In the distance children scream as they play on the playground and swim in the pool. Nobody swims in the river here anymore. The currents are too dangerous, the water destroyed by the pulp mill. When the wind blows the right way, Callum can smell the mill like rotten eggs, an embarassing fart.

He opens his cooler and pops the top off a beer as he listens to the sounds of families. It seems everyone had the same idea, to go for a picnic and enjoy the warm air. The smell of BBQs, the sizzle of frying meat.

“Supper!” Mothers call to their children.

Callum sits alone in the deserted part of the picnic area. The wind takes to the trees and he hears the leaves shaking. Listening to the sounds of families he sees his family all those years ago. Him, just a boy, and Melissa the Ontarian cousin who knew nothing about the river.

“Bet I can swim to the other side.”

“Better not try it, better not, Missy.”

“There’s undercurrents out there.”


“Missy’s the strongest swimmer in her class. She’s so good they moved her up a grade. If she continues, the coaches think she’ll have an excellent chance to make the Olympic team. We’re very proud of our Melissa.”

Melissa’s head bobbing, bobbing on the river. Then thrashing arms. Arms flailing, striking the water. Then nothing. Gone.

It happened so fast, he couldn’t be sure it had happened at all. It happened so slow, he should have been able to save her. He should have called for help sooner.
All his Aunts packing up cousins, taking them home. And him, motherless, nobody left to take him home.

He shivered by the fire. Missy’s mother shook and muttered. “Strong swimmer. Smart girl. Advanced. Olympics. So proud. Our Missy . . . ” Hours passed before the men returned, lucky to have found the body so soon.

A couple more drownings and mishaps before swimming was banned.

His beer has gone skunky in the sun. He sets it aside and pops another, taking a swig. The park is calm now, everyone settled in for food. Murmurs from supper tables and the sun beginning its descent. A hint of evening chill.

Then the whistle of wind taking flight and he sees the Dust Devil begin to form, growing, gathering last year’s dead leaves and tossing them round and round in the air. And there is Trey. Trey in the Devil, twisting, circling round, his small hands linked with Missy’s.

Ring around the rosy.

Hands linked with Grandma, and her smiling. Smiling and looking so fit, dancing round with the children.

Pocket full of posey.

And there, his own mother completing the circle. Every bit as beautiful as her photograph.

Ashes. Ashes.

All four smiling. Hair whipping. Trey’s eyes sparkling, a mischievous grin on his lips like he might pull a toad from his back pocket at any moment and scare the girls.

We all fall down.

Then gone, as suddenly as it appeared.

“Makes you wonder what the wind is, doesn’t it?”

Callum jumps. A girl sits on a blanket a few feet behind him.

“Beautiful,” she sighs.

He can’t tell her it’s anything but beautiful for him. He can’t tell her his heart is broken and he doesn’t know how to fix it.

“Angel twister. That’s what my grandmother always said.”

“What’s that?”

“Oh nothing, just an old story,” she shrugs.

“What are you doing there?” Callum asks.

The girl is surrounded by pads of paper, crayons and pencils.

“Drawing. I like to draw. Hope to be an artist one day. I’ve been sitting here all day waiting for the angels so I could sketch them. You probably think I’m crazy,” she laughs.

“Try me.” Callum shrugs and steps toward her.

“Well, grandmother always said when you see a tiny wind funnel in springtime, like the one we just saw, it’s a sign of good luck. She said it was the angels letting you watch them play for a few seconds and you would be blessed. Sort of stupid, I know. But I’ve never forgotten it.” She smiles. “Want to see?” She holds out her sketchpad.

Callum crouches and takes the pad from her dainty hands. There they are. Trey, Missy, Grandma, Mama, heads thrown back in laughter, hands linked as they dance round and round, leaves floating all around them, each one of them glowing with peace, each one of them wearing angel wings. Callum’s throat closes.

“It isn’t very good,” she blushes.

Callum swallows hard. “It’s nice,” he says. He looks into her blue eyes as he returns the sketch to her. The face of an angel, heart-shaped and smiling, full of life and hope.

“My name’s Vikki.”

“Callum,” he replies taking her outstretched hand. “Would you like a beer?”

Mood: nervous
Drinking: tea
Listening To: keyboard clacking
Hair: up and down

Your Eyes Should Be Green

Your eyes reflect: Striking attractiveness and danger

What’s hidden behind your eyes: A vivid inner world

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick

You do things your own way – and it’s made for colorful times.
Your life hasn’t turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!

Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite

Today’s Horoscope

Incredible feelings of enthusiasm, optimism, and sheer joy could fill your heart and mind today, Kellie. Your life is changing in a positive way, and even though it may not be readily apparent, you’re sensing it intuitively. Romance with someone from far away could be in the offing. If you’re a writer, publishing is right around the corner. The only downside is that occasionally you might feel panic, as if all this will disappear. Stay focused!

Well, they’ve got the panic thing right at least. No enthusiasm, optimism or sheer joy happening here yet. Focus is certainly hard to come by. I have awakened to a life change this morning, but failing to see the positive in it right at the moment. Definitely holding off on any dance of joy or anything like that. Right now I could just as easily go puke my guts out.

Mood: tense
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: coffee machine gurgle
Hair: getting washed shortly