Beach Baby


My view from the Balcony

My view from the Balcony

The Gulf of Mexico calls….no the sands aren’t sugary white.  No the place I stay isn’t tourist ridden.  But there is calm.  There is rest.  There are sand dollars.  There is time to think.  And there is my love.

See you in a week!

 

On the Beach at Night, Alone. by Walt Whitman
ON the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining—I think a thought of the clef of the
universes,
and of the future.
A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets,
asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same,
All distances of place, however wide,
All distances of time—all inanimate forms,
All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so different,
or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes—the fishes, the brutes,
All men and women—me also;
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages;
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe;
All lives and deaths—all of the past, present, future;
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, and shall forever
span them,
and compactly hold them, and enclose them.

 

 

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The Borgias and Rhetoric and Catholicism: Truth or Drama?


The Borgias:  A Showtime Series

The Borgias: A Showtime Series

 

Let’s face it.  Drama is interesting.  It is!  Think of what our lives would be like without it?  With whom would we compare our lives?  How would the more insecure of us find substance in our little lives without having a lessor one with which to compare?  Drama makes us feel better about ourselves.  Drama adds excitement to the mundane.  Drama makes us feel alive.

I was watching The Borgias last night yes, I’m admitting to it and reveled at how truly enticing this series is to me.  It’s not just that The Borgias were the first Mafia family.  It’s not just that the characters are so beautiful well most of them.  It’s not just the time in which it is set.  (one of my favorite historical times)  But what TRULY makes it worth watching is how the writers blur the lines between true history and “drama”.  In grad school I had an advisor that loved to debate the merits of what makes a perfect story (i.e. book or movie or play) I loved hanging out with him when I was writing a paper (Big props to you Dr. Litton)  He and I would debate every Rhetorician/Philosopher’s idea from Aristotle to Freud from  E.M. Forster to Nietzsche as to what made the perfect story.  We both had big dreams of being writers. What we both agreed upon, and what I have always kept is that Rhetoric is not just style over substance.  It is not just drama over reality.  Rhetoric is not just, as Plato so ridiculously stated, “mere flattery”.  No, Rhetoric is the blending of the black and white.  Rhetoric has a substantive as well as stylistic genome….and a good story, like good bone structure is a gift.

For the sake of today’s argument, and to keep you reading, I won’t dissect or re-educate you on the five canons of Rhetoric.  What I will do is explain why I think drama is necessary in our lives using rhetoric as my argument and the Showtime Series The Borgias as my subject.  Using some of the rhetorical and philosophical thoughts of greater thinkers than me, I will try to convince you of my argument:  Drama is a necessary evil.   Yeah okay, I may just be showing off my grad degree in Rhetoric, but shouldn’t I? Sheesh, I’m still paying for it!  Since literary devices are so akin to rhetorical devices, those of you who are purists may want to argue later….to that I say, “Bring it” with a smile.

 

Let’s start with Kenneth Burke who stated:

The most characteristic concern of rhetoric [is] the manipulation of men’s beliefs for political ends….the basic function of rhetoric [is] the use of words by human agents to form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents.

I don’t know much about the writers of The Borgias.  Are they Catholic?  Are they Jewish?  Are they Atheistic?  Or are they just hacks getting paid to write an almost semi-porn series with historical overtones?  In other words, what is their will for writing this series?  In watching it, and because I tend to be optimistic, I think they are truly attempting to appeal to the more educated viewer while also appealing to the “voyeur” viewer who really is just watching it for entertainment.  For instance, the Pope Rodrigo (Alexander VI) quotes Socrates while his son Cesare lustfully beds his daughter Lucrezia.  In skillfully blending the two appeals, the writers attract a larger audience through drama.  Personally, the show has made me want to know more about The House of Borgia in order to delineate between dramatic truth and manufactured drama.  Which leads me to the next definition of Rhetoric by Francis Bacon who wrote in (1561-1626): Advancement of Learning:

  The duty and office of rhetoric is to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will.

Using Bacon’s definition, this would mean the writers of The Borgias are forcing us, the viewers, to use our imagination to make willfull observations, right?  But are they for the better?  I am not Catholic, but I empathize with those who are in regards to this series.  Has the Catholic Church become the media darling of all things wrong with religion?  Is this series just another testament to the abuses of the Catholic Church?  As a Protestant, I have suffered and witnessed  the hypocrisy of those who feel their religious worldview is better than others. It just seems that the Catholic Church has a history of drama; from the Borgias to medieval relics to modern day pedophilic priests.   Has the Catholic Church publically asked for an apology from the writers for making their religion look like a God-ordained form of organized crime?  And would other religions react the same?  Or do the writers have a more noble, daresay, religious agenda by athey showing that though religious, we are all still sinners….and there is no sin greater than another? nota bene:  the Catholic Church DOES believe that some sins are greater than others and they are divided into mortal and venial sins. Just knowing that makes a difference in applying reason to imagination. So what indeed are the writers’ trying to persuade their audience to see or believe?  Which leads me to….Sappho who was far from being religious:

Persuasion is Aphrodite’s daughter: it is she who beguiles our mortal hearts (frg 90).

Good rhetoric, communication, poetry,  writing, film, and speech are designed to persuade someone to see the artist’s point of view.  I’m not always the most fun person to watch a movie with, and definitely not commercials.  I immediately try to pinpoint the persuasive element behind the words, images, sounds and actions of others.  This could also be a reason I have difficult times in relationships!  ssshh!!  What I do know, is that if you can beguile my mortal heart, you have my attention.  The writers of The Borgias have done that for me.  Though I don’t condone nudity and violence for the sake of shocking the viewer into watching more, I do appreciate the artful mixing of history and fantasy to tell a good story. And I also appreciate drama that has intellect.  And maybe that’s where I should end this, because in the end, The Borgias is just a dramatic television series meant to entertain.  Don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings…Parent Edition


motherhood

 

Those of you who know me know I’m neurotic.  I’m always second-guessing, worrying about things I have no control over and just, well, being me.  This lovely characteristic of mine makes me hard to live with at times.   When I found out that I was having a child in my late 30’s I worried how it would affect my daughter.  Then in my early 40’s when I became pregnant with my son, I was in worry overload.  After 17 years of parenting, I’m here to attest to any other parents that are like me out there….YOU WON’T HURT YOUR KIDS PSYCHES!

My last week has been a string of daily affirmations that I must be doing something right I’ll discuss all my wrongs in another post as a parent. If bragging parents get on your last nerve, you may want to quit reading here.   Indulge me, and let me bask for one more moment in the “I haven’t screwed my kids up yet” glory!

  • On Tuesday, my son was awarded for making the A honor roll all year.  ALL YEAR!
  • On Wednesday, my daughter was chosen to be the High School Television’s anchor AGAIN for her Senior year.
  • On Thursday, my son was again awarded with…wait for it….the Outstanding 7th Grader for his entire SCHOOL! he also won 2 teacher’s awards for Teen Leadership and PRE-AP Math.
  • On Friday, my son’s baseball team beat the team that has beat them all year long to win the City Championship.
  • On Saturday, my daughter took the SAT and didn’t freak out!
  • On Sunday, my son’s team won the Regional Championship and he batted in the winning run.

Yes, I can honestly say, for one shining week I have felt like a successful parent.  My kids aren’t hooked on drugs; my daughter isn’t a teenage pregnancy statistic; they aren’t wildly popular in school, they’re just normal; and the teachers love them both!  Even though their friends have labeled me a “hippie”.  Life is good!

The Sublimity of Techno-Communication


beach

Someone told me the other day that I’m more myself when I blog or write letters than I am when I tweet.  I suppose its the 140 character limit or maybe I’m just so verbose, I can get my point across better here sometimes!  Anyway, I just wanted to share a letter that I found very creative, very sweet and very thoughtful and edited for personal reasons!   I must admit, it was a bit of a corroboration as we had been discussing it for months.  But he beat me to it!  You have to click on the links to get the full effect, but I think it’s so sweet!   See what you think!  This is what I get for teasing someone about how little they say!  The links are underlined.

Dear Gayle,

I am so looking forward to our  vacation.  I’m so glad we are both enamored of the ocean and its music.   I know it will probably rain, but waves and rain are one of those communions you find romantic right? Wouldn’t it be nice  if we had thought of this years ago?  I just want you to know that I’m looking forward to that week more than a 40 day dream.  And since I know now what it really means to see, there are no more lies.  I want it that way.   And don’t worry, I still  find your BIG FIVE enticing but not as enticing as your green eyes!   Call me! xxooxx

I know, I’m a lucky person to have such creative people in my life aren’t I?  What do you think?

Thursday Thoughts


April was a horrible month for me. Not physically (like the 13 months previous) Not emotionally (like the 2+ years I spent with someone I thought loved me but didn’t) or the 12+ years I spent with the man I married who went from great to horrible to great to disappointing to great to ridiculously “who the heck did I marry?” to gone for a few years. April shouldn’t have been horrible. It was national Poetry month. It was the month Iris bloom. It was the atmospheric twilight in Texas when it’s still cool but gets warmer in the late afternoon. April is the beginning of baseball for all things Holy. April used to be one of my very favorite months. Not anymore. October is still the one. But since October is many months away, I decided to reflect (and ramble) about why my life is great today. Ready?

  • My new puppy Socrates has been great for my son and daughter.  Seriously great!  Not only has my daughter now decided she doesn’t want to have sex because if she had a baby, it would be so much harder than raising a puppy and raising a puppy is hard but my son is reveling in the fact that he can teach a puppy tricks and it’s good for the dog and good for him.  He’s also learning that disciplining a puppy isn’t much fun either but that he must or the puppy will grow into an oversized dog that can’t be handled.  He now knows how hard it has been for his father and me when we’ve had to discipline him.
  • My son not only was invited to join the National Junior Honor Society, but was elected Vice-President.
  • My daughter has been asked to be an anchor AGAIN next year for her high school News program.  This is a first as the right to be an anchor has normally been reserved for Juniors; the Seniors course study is film and producing.  The director of the Academy chose 4 Seniors to again be anchors and my gorgeous daughter is one of them.
  • I’ve sincerely forgiven my husband.  I understand that many men are weak, okay, LOTS of men are weak and cannot share their emotions without feeling weaker.  I don’t understand this, and never have.  Is it a flaw in their upbringing? Is it innate?  Is it societal demands?  I don’t know.  But he did something horrendous that I never thought I would get over.  I have.  And I’m happy now.  Though I still wish he had just had an affair….it would have been so much easier than dealing with what he did.  I guess I should be thankful that he didn’t while I’m being thankful.
  • I love that I have taken over the family business.  Now, if all my clients would be really nice and the appraisal districts really stupid, life would be greater!
  • And while I’m at it…Ponder this:  “No Pain no Gain isn’t a slogan meant only for your physical self”.

Is it Friday yet?

Date Night with Glen…Another Perfect Date


My GLEN

My GLEN

 

 

Glen has been calling me since Saturday.  As the condescending blonde I can often times be, I ignored his begging.  All women know that there are times when even the best of dates can be boring, and God knows I get bored easily. Also, sometimes  begging is a big ego boost for me.  After a horrific Saturday late night, a “God why did I do that” Sunday and a typical “I hate Mondays” I gladly and oh so willingly answered his call.  Why I resisted I don’t know.  I mean he is “THE”.  Right?

So after a few getting to know each other again hours,  and a few trivial discussions about baseball, The Texas Rangers of course,  egos and sincerity, he held me close in his barley arms and we got, as we always do deep.  At this point, I must confess:  I really like the smell of GlenLivet.  Usually, it’s Armani Code  Black that does it, but Glen’s natural essence is oh so sexy!  

I began to feel relaxed and less tense than I had in days.  Glen isn’t intimidated by me.  He loves all the things that every other masculine name except my son has disliked about me.  And then it happened.   Like a verbal orgasm,  my worries, fears, concerns and tears spilled out convulsively.  I’m not one of those obnoxious people who date aged single malts and get all blubbery.  I NEVER do that.  But I did on this date.  And you know what Glen did?  He listened.  And listened.  And then listened some more.  I suppose its his many years of being casked up that has made him so sultry and elegant.  I mean, if you spend that much time alone with your thoughts and pure Scottish mountain air, how could you not distill into something so wonderful as Glen?

Glen doesn’t talk, but when I looked into his amber eyes, he told me how beautiful I am.  He did!  Okay, so I was seeing my reflection in the tumbler, my boobs aren’t perky, I have a few more wrinkles and pounds, and can’t get out of tickets like I used to when I drive too fast, but by GOD I’m still damned hot!   He pleaded with me to release all my pent up stress.  He lauded me for being strong over the weekend for my kids.  He admired me for having conviction and for keeping my promises.  He even reminded me I am behind on my writing.  He made me not worry about my finances.

Glen understands me.  He doesn’t judge.  He knows I don’t have a dirty mind, just a sexy imagination.  He places my level of happiness directly proportionate to his availability.  He wants nothing more to please me.  He agrees with me that most people don’t really care about you, just themselves.   And when our fluids mingle and we become one, its warm, then hot, then free. And its that good kind of freedom, you know the one I mean?  The total freedom to say, do, feel the way you want without worry that you’re hurting someone’s feelings, sensibilities or security.  The freedom to uncover that smallest Russian doll that lives within us.  I don’t let many people see mine.  In fact, the last one I did ended badly and now I don’t know that I have it in me to do it again.  I need a strong person in my life. I also need and miss my Aristotle.

Glen knows these things about me.  I love him for that.  Unfortunately, his strength is a bit much for some and they become addicted to him.  Or maybe its just they become addicted to the fact he unlocks their inner doors and forces them to look at their earlier selves.  I don’t share him with people I know can’t handle his allure.  I don’t share him with people who aren’t ready to unlock when they’re not under his or any of his lesser cousins’ influence.  I told you I could be a condescending blonde at times.  I can be pushy and sneaky too.  Glen didn’t tell anyone when my batteries ran out and I stole one from the television remote and forgot to replace it.

Glenlivet keeps really good secrets.  It’s me that shares them.

 

 

 

 

Synchrony


I had it one time, okay maybe two. But never at the right time.
Or the right wing.
Or the right stuff. Because stuff is just that:
stuff.

It’s that woman who adores music you detest yet she has long blonde hair and a cleavage avatar. You adore her with social attention.
You don’t tell her you are nihilistic, unemployed and living with your Mother.
You stun the world with your wit and misspelled words because they give you character.
No degree, not even a high school one, but by God you have character. Americans appreciate such depth don’t they? Especially those behind the masks.

Simultaneously, a noble soul leaves the earth while you tap tap tap 140 characters to impress. The hole left in the souls of many can’t be dammed by the jargon juggernaut that holds no sincerity.
It’s just stuff. But you impress.

It’s mindless. It’s a catch-all. It’s the Lee Harvey Oswald of all conspiracies.

In the dark matter that holds my universe together is a clue. I sent you a map of it. I sent you a picture of it. I just need help to touch it again. I just need help that comes from nowhere to not lose it again.

And it spins in my mind like Binion’s million dollar makers. The reels always hitting bells
never any whistles. Or sometimes sweet cherries. They take the form of smiles, of understanding, of great sex. But that’s just stuff.

The stuff of dreams.

And I cry.

And you take off the mask, the sunglasses, the fake pride.
And you pull me up by the shoulders and wrap yourself around me because you feel my pain.

Coincidence? I think not.
It is Divine Synchrony.