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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pablo Fanques' Fair

I didn't hit the ground running on New Year's. My readers and followers know I like a lot of song lyrics, and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" plays (virtually) in my ears right now. No, I did not jump into 2010 " . . . over men and horses, hoops and garters, and lastly through a hogshead of real fire." Unlike" Mr. K(ite)", I entered the new decade presenting the world with no challenge whatsoever.

Unlike "Messrs. K and H", my production was not second to none. Instead I went quiet on New Year's Eve. Not using words. I'd already written my post. Then I stopped talking, mostly. It was noticed. "What's going on, Les? You're nearly silent." "Nothing, homes. Year ending. Year beginning." There's also the fact that my life broke into its two separate pieces (so far) at the holidays. It does still color things, somewhat.

I become contemplative at year's end. What good things have happened? What happened that I'd never want to repeat? What can I do (what's within my own power) to draw nearer where I want to be? What can I do to make someone else's burden lighter? What can I do to make the time I was privileged to spend here meaningful? Although I shut my mouth and listen to the voices inside my head during this one hallowed season, I don't always land on definitive answers to all the questions. I try.

Oh, and have I mentioned that immediately upon the close of the holidays comes the first week in January when both my mother and my daughter have birthdays? The rest of the year is a skate in the park, dear reader, after getting through its beginning.

Twenty years ago at this moment, I was very pregnant. This pregnancy had astounded a large number of people, as we'd hoped to have a child for nearly 20 years. All the fertility treatments failed us and we'd moved on to other fixations. When I became ill at pretty close to 40 years of age, we were concerned because it simply wouldn't go away. My family doctor finally threw his hands in the air and said, "Pleeez, I'll run the $2 pregnancy test . . . , " and it came back very positive. At 6:18 p.m., in La Mesa, CA, on this date, my daughter was born. Giving birth to a human being is undoubtedly the most profound thing I've ever done. And I got the best one because I waited the longest. I've been asked why I don't rave about her excessively (there's that word again) on my blog. Easy answer. She doesn't want me to, despite being very rave-worthy. If she wants to be presented in a blog, I imagine she'll start her own, as she is a fine writer and artist.

So, "20 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play" and 20 years ago today, I had a child who isn't a child any more. I've spent some time both up and down as I've contemplated this number of years and what has become of us all. I admit it to the reader, I spent a day or two with my chin dragging on the concrete. This happens to me sometimes during these weeks. They burden me more than I can express.

And then, Mother Badger sent an e-mail so much like a blog post, I'm going to start applying pressure to her to publish. Like this little rock is going be able to move that hard place, but I shall be heard. And then I had a moment of lightning bright clarity: if I asked someone with whom I share a problem (it's not just my problem) to help me find the way, I'd be carrying less on my narrow shoulders. He came up with something brilliant! The wheels were put into motion today. If I carefully explain how much a camping date circled on the calendar means to me, one is established! I don't care how far ahead it is ~ it's there to be seen. "Going camping again, Les?" "I am, homes!" Las Vegas has become startlingly mild while much of the rest of the country suffers in cold. I don't wish anyone else ill. I just enjoy the warm sunshine. I'm humbly reminded that one doesn't have to go it alone. It's OK to say, "I need help. I don't know everything. I can't do everything alone." And then the clouds part.

In my ears right now: I already told you at the start of this, "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." I believe I'll post it on my sidebar.

Something that charmed me: I returned to work and the phones are jangling non-stop. I'm no longer used to it. My arms windmill as I take the information and book the jobs we need so desperately. What? They were all waiting for after the holidays? It's not like we're having a fire sale! I'll take them anyway I can get them, and I've been damned flirtatious!


  1. Nice to hear your voice again. I'm glad to hear of your daughter's birth. Is she in Vegas? My son was born 34 years ago today. I have 3 sons who are 34, 35, and 36 (the daughter is 31). Yikes! The 36-year-old turns 37 on the 17th, but it sounds cool (or stupid, depending how you look at it) to say these ages for a couple of weeks.
    Who is Homes?
    If I come out to Vegas to escape the frozen tundra, will you take me camping?
    I clicked on the contemplative quote and found it very interesting. Did you really contemplate all those things?

  2. OH, Kass, that we share children born on the 12th day of Christmas jsut floors me! Four children! You were blessed. My brother Gary's birthday is January 16th and my mom's (and Elvis's - same year) is the 8th. Amber's in San Diego. She's lived in the same zip code for 20 years.

    "Homes" are my collective "Home dudes" - the carpet technicians. They were always "homes" to each other and Matt finally dubbed me "home girl". We're "homes". No I do not use that figure of speech anywhere else in life. But it's endearing.

    No, I didn't contemplate any of that lofty stuff. I contemplated my line of demarcation and how miserable I felt handling a problem alone. I re-read The Solace of Open Spaces and insisted I needed an X on the calendar that meant "camping soon". I believe that quote is a Stephen Hawking piece. I've heard it read on film. I'm not Stephen Hawking. He's more intelligent than I am.

    Kass, if you came to Vegas, I'd take you everywhere. I'd show you glitz, squalor, the neon boneyard, my little carpet cleaning company and some of the most glorious desert on the planet. Now get down here!

    I thank you for the nudging e-mails of encouragement. I had a rough patch. Your friend, Les

  3. I may respond to what else you've written as questions and comments occur to me, but right now I have to ask you about that picture in the upper left hand corner. I once read in an interview that Lennon gave that he came up with idea for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" from an 19th century circus poster that he came across. Is that the poster? I can't magnify it large enough to see.

  4. VERY good, Kirk, for one so young! It's true about the poster. By Sgt. Pepper (1967) the lads were very wealthy and bought up the popular Victorian antiques. Here's a link to what I believe to be the poster. The one I could grab for free for my blog appears to be a snippet of the text from the poster. Many of the vivid Sgt. Pepper images came from posters and ephemera they found antiquing and then psychedelisized. Here's where to go look: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dbeing%2Bfor%2Bthe%2Bbenefit%2Bof%2Bmr.%2Bkite%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3Dyfp-t-701&w=258&h=500&imgurl=static.flickr.com%2F128%2F317538031_14d498806b.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fsandrino%2F317538031%2F&size=138k&name=Being+for+the+Be...&p=being+for+the+benefit+of+mr.+kite&oid=4a385bd21724289e&fr2=&fusr=sandrino&no=1&tt=145&sigr=11gqddj8c&sigi=11e1ln7rf&sigb=136754emr

  5. Thanks for the links. Much of that '60s "look" seems to be psychedelisized Victorian design. Kind of ironic when you think about it.

  6. I was going to tidy up that ugly url address, but you got there so I'll just leave it and show what a hillbilly I am (sometimes).

    Watching them, Kirk, the swinging young Londoners is what got me so rabid about Victoriana and Edwardian things (more Edwardian for me, than Victorian). First it was just cool because they had it and liked it. Then it became my true taste. I love some movies that make grown men run screaming. I'd love to have lived in the era.

  7. This is such a wonderful post, Limes. Is this what I should call you.

    I found your words here moving and funny and heart wrenching all in one.

    What you say about your beloved and much awaited daughter not wanting to be raved about on line resonates with my experience of my daughters. All four of them have made it clear that they do not want to be described in too much detail here.

    It's funny for me coming from a family of nine I have sometimes thought that I'd love it were my mother to write in any depth about me. She did not have time. But maybe if she did write about me, I'd feel differently. It's strange seeing what other people write about you. It can be disturbing.

    Anyhow I'm intrigued here by your silence over the holidays given the beauty of your voice and the depth of your allusions. It's good to hear your voice and to her that it feels better for you now with the promise of camping ahead.

    All my best wishes for the new year.

  8. Hi, Elisabeth, and welcome. You may call me Limes, LimesNow, Leslie or Les, for I have revealed myself recently.

    I want to tell you that when I read anything you write, I am stopped dead in my tracks. I have to go away and CONSIDER what you've said. Sometimes I've thought to comment, but I had to consider so long that when I returned, no one was speaking on the same subject any longer. I need to consider your words, but respond more quickly, I think!

    I would say you got my portrait in one sentence: ".. moving and funny and heart wrenching all in one" is probably one of the better descriptions of me. I wonder if you do that so well because of your line of work.

    The younger ones are ironic to me. They don't want us to reveal things about them in our blogs, but they're all over MySpace and Facebook, both of which freak me out. I don't go to those much.

    Funny about the mothers and what we carry away, isn't it? Yours was busy. Mine never saw me. I don't believe she COULD write about me. She doesn't know me.

    I thank you for such kind words. I'm doing OK. I'm one of those who suffers in this way: 1) Square the shoulders and try to take it alone and silently (never works); 2) start making a plan for how to deal with it (hard going, for me); 3) tell it out, loudly (ask for support); 4) relief and gratitude, because, mostly, connecting with others is the best answer for me.

    I'm so glad you found me and offer your comments. Thank you.

  9. Limes! School started and life is hectic again. I just now got around to checking your blog for the first time in...I dunno...too long. What a surprise to discover that your daughter and my sister share a birthday! My favorite big sister turned 56 on the 6th--Epiphany, my mom calls it. My sweet Katie will be 23 on the 13th--she was born smack dab between her 2 grandpas' birthdays, one on the 3rd and the other on the 23rd. A good month for birthdays. I read your lastest post first, then came to this one. So glad to hear the happy in your voice now. I may have something to say this weekend...my blog has been very neglected lately. (Oh and I MUST watch The Big Lebowski...somehow I have managed to miss that one.) WV--puncibbe. Puncibbe I will wite sumpin interstin.

  10. @ Doozyanner ~ Lady, I'm so attuned to school year calendars, I don't even look for you or the Badger or TOB at peak times! I know it well.

    How can it be that you and I share so many significant birthdays among important people in our lives? That is fascinating to me. Would it be Arlene who turned 56? And your mother is right - 1/6 IS Epiphany.

    Re: Lebowski ~ it's not for everyone. It's base and sly and crude and utterly hilarious. I think one has to be really bright to understand everything going on in it. It interests me that many blogger profiles of really bright people show Lebowski as a favorite movie. I have to mention, it's not Sense & Sensibility that we both love!

    Looking forward to your next post!