10 months of planning – oh Texas … you ain’t going to know whats hit you… move over Thelma and Louise … The Boss and the General are comin’ to town!
Source: And so the planning begins…
10 months of planning – oh Texas … you ain’t going to know whats hit you… move over Thelma and Louise … The Boss and the General are comin’ to town!
Source: And so the planning begins…
My life allows me to listen to a lot of music. At work I have the luxury of being able to control what music is played in my space. My phone is on blue tooth to my speaker and it is on shuffle. From the moment I walk out to the vehicle at 0500 to when I walk back in the door of my single accom at the camp at 1900hrs my music is playing. An eclectic mix from instrumental movie sound tracks, to 70’s, 80’s, Australian bands, pop, electronica, Coastal Chill and country music. A shuffle that embraces and touches almost all genres with the exception of heavy metal. Interspersed amongst the tunes are sound bites from favoured movies and inspirational passages from leaders and free thinkers. It all swirls about and through my day.
When I am home from work my days have music playing and I will often pull up songs and just belt them out in the kitchen. I am lucky my neighbours work during the day giving me the freedom to only assault the ears of random strangers walking their dogs past the front of my house. There are times though that I find the songs actually change my train of thought. Where I was considering my shopping list or evening engagement I was now standing eyes closed remembering a cold crisp evening in Ohio from a song where the lyrics literally told the story of a 3 day spontaneous interlude that no one could have known about – but someone wrote the song – or feeling an insane need to drain my bank account to get to New York because a song described 55th and 3rd and I just NEED to be on that corner right now.
The words of a song can bring tears to my eyes – let out the butterflies in my stomach – make me grin like a prankster. A song will bring back the smells, the sounds, the actual feel of a moment long passed in time. It can floor me, raise me up or just whisper in my ear. It has the power to influence a decision and even create a new vision or opportunity.
In LA I stood in a record store (do we still call them record stores now? Or is it a CD store?) and sang a song to the man behind the counter, because I knew the song – I just didn’t know who sang it or what it was called. I needed to buy it. That song was the soundtrack to my visit to San Antonio. I finished the chorus and just stopped and looked at him expectantly. I remember him leaning on his elbows with a smile on his face before telling me that it was Lonestar and the song was called Amazing. I bought the CD and as I turned to leave to head to the airport to check in for my flight home he touched my arm and said I had just given him a new song. Never saw that man before – and I will never see him again. But we shared a moment – and we share a song. He got it. Without having to discuss it he just understood that you can have a soundtrack to a day. Hell you can have several soundtracks to a day!
For the last few months it has been Kenny Chesney providing my soundtrack. His songs telling me where I need to be putting my feet to keep moving forward. In a rough time last year I made a huge leap and took off to Texas for a few weeks. The trip was a little weird to be honest – but with my frame of mind at the time it was to be expected – but while I was in Dallas Fort Worth a chance conversation told me Kenny was playing right there the next night. I had to go. I had to be there at the opening concert of his summer tour. Well it took some doing and it took some serious cash – but I got to go to a concert and watch that man own his fans. Watched that artist preach his words and pour out his soul to a stadium of people. I stood in an elevator heading down to the arena floor and in walked the one person I had flown to Texas to see but couldn’t – right there in the elevator at the concert I didn’t know was on til the night prior – that I couldn’t get a ticket to until 5 mins before we walked in the door. That if the nice man called Greg in the box office at the stadium didn’t upgrade the tickets I had originally tried to buy I wouldn’t have been on the arena floor – and therefore in that elevator. It was my own validation that I was on my path. That things were going to be fine. In a stadium of 50000 people – in a State of millions – we were in the elevator at the same time. I was exactly where I needed to be and learning the lessons I needed to learn.
I am now planning my next trip to the States. Back to Texas of course with a little sidetrip to Superbowl LII in Minneapolis. Texas – my second home – the place I would move too if I needed to leave Australia. Road tripping with one of my close girlfriends who is in need of her own validation and adventure. A lady who needs the salvation of a few weeks in a State that doesn’t judge you. Lets you be anonymous if you wish and just live and feel. Our tunes will be pumping from sun up to sun down – and there will be a new soundtrack every day. Kenny will be with me – but hopefully for the both of us the vibe will be moving more to Dierks Bentley. A little more adventurous and spontaneous. As Granger Smith sings – íf the boot fits… who’s up for a road trip?
When you really start analysing why you are still single and turning to Tinder – you run into a few home truths….
After a few years of silence – I suddenly feel the need to write again. It’s not like words haven’t been constantly flowing through my head. Road trips with the tunes playing, long haul air trips with my ear buds in, dusky summer evenings when the heat finally recedes and the back veranda is the coolest place to sit and sip a wine… that’s where my self talk is the loudest – my characters fighting in my head to tell me their story (no it’s not a split personality!!). I just haven’t been writing it down.
I don’t know why.
My hands just went … silent.
This last few months though – this last year to be exact – so much has been happening – so much has changed. I feel like I am on the precipice of another move. Another direction. The butterflies in my tummy doing barrel rolls are a dead giveaway – if only I could see the future.
I have been single now for longer than I can remember (Umm 2004?). There has perhaps been some flirting in that time – not that I could remember it or probably even recognize it. I totally lost my way in the world of man, woman and relationships. I turned inwards and I guess almost shunned any kind of possibility. One could say that perhaps I have been burnt in the past. Yes – that would be true. Burnt to the point that you would turn your back on any future relationship? I wouldn’t have thought so – but perhaps I don’t know my own psyche as well as I would wish.
On a recent long haul air trip (I take many) my mind drifted to the first of my loves. A true mans man – yet the kindest, gentlest soul you could hope to ever encounter in life. Good lord I crushed hard on that man. Just a high school girl with NO IDEA on how I supposed to address those feelings. All I knew was that I idolised this totally unattainable wonderful man. I thought we were best friends – apparently, so I was told by many others later, we were both completely useless when it came to sorting out the fact that we SHOULD have been together. By the time I worked it out he was gone. Off to his career (which let me tell you has been amazing and I am so proud of his accomplishments) and onward with his life. Not that it would have made any difference if I had ‘worked it out’earlier – remember, I am totally useless at the whole dating game. Although a make out session in the driveway that can only be pulled off by teenagers says perhaps we did both know – and perhaps I was just not mature enough to roll with the new status quo between us.
The next I remember was a beautiful, intelligent, funny and handsome RAAF member. That man made me hold my stomach with laughter everytime we spoke. He was married. He was completely faithful and completely a gentleman. We moved around what we knew was there like shadows around a campfire. Unable to not have our friendship – unable to ever do anything other than push it all down into a dark secure place to never be analysed or spoken about. Over the years life drifts you apart. This is in the time before Facebook and just at the beginning of the mobile phone era. Drifting apart was actually easy to do – it took effort to stay in touch back then – rather than just perusing a virtual wall and pressing a like button. You had to send a letter. Pick up the phone and call – as it got easier you could send an email. So my married unattainable funny air force man continued with his life and his very lucky lucky wife and I continued on my merry way. A few years later and I found out he was divorced. We ended up at a military exercise together and the old connection was still there alive and well – but living in different states just made it impossible. Plus now that he was actually available it was like there was this huge pressure on me – that now I couldn’t be myself or say exactly what I felt – because he might actually want to take it further. Like I had lost the protection around my heart of him being unattainable. He was now openly available and knocking on my door – which I was rapidly shutting and reinforcing with whatever table, cupboard or couch I could shove up behind it. I was an idiot who needed someone else in that room to smack me in the ear. Or at least tackle me while I was running hell for leather in the other direction from what was only an opportunity to be loved and adored by an amazing man. As I said – I was an idiot.
Now inserted here a little ways down the track is a young man – a US Marine who lived overseas – who happened to be visiting Australia. This was a whirlwind. A totally unexpected, meeting eyes across a room- heart and time standing still, and spending the next 8 days together whirlwind. Remember the whole no facebook or email thing? When he shipped out I had an address in Okinawa and it was only a few months before he posted back to the US to Florida. I was totally smitten with this man. Like the sun just didn’t shine as bright the next day after he left. Tall, assertive, totally confident in himself and I am sure believed 100% that he was ten foot tall and bullet proof. Yet kind, generous, open and honest with any subject being spoken about, and have I mentioned was just the hottest man I had EVER laid eyes on. and I mean EVER! – think a young Tom Cruise with gray blue eyes. A planned trip to Florida to visit never eventuated due to the consequences of some playing the field on his part – but hey – we weren’t exclusive – I had no judgement there – just disappointment because I knew this Mid West country boy was going to do exactly what his Mama and Pa expected him to do and marry this girl. Another lucky girl out there. Fast forward 15 years and we are in touch. That is a chapter that will never be closed – and will always be a gorgeous memory of young love and impetuous spontaneity. A beautiful time in my life that I will forever cherish as something only the young seem to able to embrace and take on. To just lock eyes and jump in. No thoughts about ‘too soon’or what will they think. It just feels right so you dive on in to the delicious emotions and feelings that are pouring over you like a waterfall of young lusty love. Every woman deserves at least one of these experiences in her life.
A soldier followed who broke my heart after he returned from active duty overseas. He really broke my heart. Like tore it out of my chest, ripped it in two and then threw it on the ground broke my heart. I still to this day don’t actually know what happened. He returned and within 2 weeks we were apart. He never spoke to me again. I now know a lot more about PTSD and what returning vets have to deal with when they come home. I can say from a place of honesty that I may not have given the support or understanding that he needed – nor did I fight for the relationship. He told me to walk – and I did. Bawling and sobbing my heart out – but I walked. I regret that. A year of waiting and worrying, a year of 3 letters a week from him with so many promises of the future. Yes, I regret not having the courage to fight for what (who) I wanted. I still think about my soldier – 17 years later.
Then a few years later I was living and working overseas and there I met a helicopter crewman – oh my lord – was that just a total mess! A lot of fun – but there were some mind games going on there – that continued for a long time. We were together when he was single – but then he decided he needed to go back to his Ex and I was relegated back to ‘best friend’. Not that I really knew what was going on. It wasn’t actually put on the table in so many words – I kind of had to figure it out as we went. That was rough. Somehow he was able to just switch it all off to being friends – and I wasn’t allowed to ‘not be friends’. The group of friends and colleagues surrounding us got whiplash from what they thought they understood was going on – and I’m not surprised – I was part of it and I had no idea! I couldn’t go out and drink with others without a judgement about getting too drunk or that ‘that guy you were hanging with is just a player’, but the alternative was sitting in his hotel room watching platonic tv and drinking cups of tea. Coming home to Australia on a holiday and having text messages and phone calls to chat – emails welcoming me home – emails while I was at work – I had everything a girlfriend got – except the sex and the actual relationship! It even continued when I moved to a job in Africa. Getting phone calls while I was on holiday in a B&B in France. It was 3 years of mind games – that took me years to really work out. It’s hard to pick a mind fuck when you are in the middle of the chaos. We really need an app for that.
Since then I have done nothing but have platonic friendships or a sneaky one nighter that no one ever hears the light of day about. Like it is easier to just avoid the whole deal than go through it you know? Yes – I hear you – therapy. I think there is definately some therapy in my future. Apparently it helps…
Ask the question of my girlfriends – I dare you – you will get a ginormous eye roll and shake of the head with some mumbling about ‘blind’, ‘clueless’, and possibly a ‘lost cause’thrown in there. They are so used to me turning up single to functions and parties that they no longer notice. Except for that engagement party where I dragged an old friend along with me – THE WHOLE ROOM STOPPED AND STARED. Seriously – the entire room just turned and looked at us like what the hell? Did something just interrupt the space and time continuum? Oh no – I just walked in to a party with a date. No biggie. Don’t worry that my date is like my little brother. Just go right ahead and make this awkward..
So approximately 10 days ago I decided that I am doing nothing but wasting time sitting at home on Friday and Saturday nights because all my friends are loved up and married (and apparently have no single friends except me…). So how can I get out and about to a movie or a coffee and meet new people? How do I increase this social circle of mine? I decided to check out what this Tinder is. I’d never seen it – just knew that there was ‘swiping’involved. So here I am. Now signed up to Tinder. Jury is out on how I feel about it yet. So far it has involved a lot of matches – but very few messages. Or some messages that go the distance for a day or two – but then suddenly stop. Like they could have just saved the effort of the prior 20 messages and asked me for coffee. Save the finger cramp you know?
Still – I have now officially thrown myself back into the pond – put myself back into the metaphorical sea – along with plenty of other fish! I am sure there will be a plethora of blog fodder to come out of this – with all names changed to protect the innocent of course. 😉 I think I might have to steer clear of Marines, Soldiers, Air Force and Helicopter Crewman though… perhaps I need to start looking at stockbrokers and carpenters?
I’ll make you a star baby …….
Famous last words, heard by many a young starlet looking for a foot in the door into the entertainment industry. Will Connard get away with it this time? Will his wife Chienne finally open her eyes and see his behaviour and actions as the insult it is? Will Angel allow Connard to make her a star…. it comes with a pretty big price tag….
www.taztix.com.au Book tickets for the new Caberet theatre production by Dark Psychic Productions — opening October 25 2013.
So there is no ‘prize’ …
There is no fanfare or press release…
I get a warm gooey feeling inside whenever someone publicly praises my images…. so I’ll take this SILVER MEDAL and relish it!
I love Mother Nature and her ability to softly blend colours. Intense lush greens, rough to smooth browns and endless pops and splashes of colour from all through the spectrum — effortlessly providing the perfect backdrop to a flower of yellow, red and orange – which culminates in tips of regal purple. Only in Mother Natures garden does this just appear so … effortlessly. Like an artist standing in a room and painting from a soul that only knows passion and beauty. THEN – she adds the fragrance… if only I could photograph the fragrance… magic.
Summer just isn’t fun unless it involves barefeet, bubbles and a park…
It was only while going through my photo files that I realised how many pictures I’ve taken of childrens hands and feet. There is something about their chubby innocence. Like the hands and fingers haven’t had the opportunity to be tainted by the dirt and crud of the world. Their little feet with their This Little Pig toes have been too busy, learning the art of balance and motion to be lined and stained by hard paths walked.
Everything about them is beautiful and fresh.
The simplest action of picking something up or reaching out is mesmorising and as a rule engenders gasps of awe and pleasure from family and friends in the immediate vicinity.
We need to learn to keep that pleasure – when the hands lose their baby fat, the feet start to show the lines and scars from rocks and stones on the paths walked through life – because those hands and feet – they will continue to reach out and they will continue to walk – hopefully it’s towards you.