22 March 2007

Divorce Yourself

I work at a library. Lucky, lucky me. One of the benefits (and sometimes deficits) of this, is that I get to handle an abundance of material to which I would probably not otherwise give a second thought, as a patron.

Each day that I work, I'm subject to "Library Osmosis." Just by sheer exposure to the variety of items that patrons leave in our book drop or request for check-out, I see many interesting, wonderful and sometimes disturbing things. Movies, books, magazines, CDs, and well you've been to a library, you understand the concept.

Today, I was handling a book called Divorce Yourself. It caught the eye of a patron nearby and he was tickled at the concept of divorcing one's self. Being in the non-whimsical mood I was, I had assumed the book was about the process of ending a marriage. Kind of a do-it-yourself kit. And indeed it was, but the idea of divorcing one's self began to swirl around in my head. And for the rest of my day, it caused a constant and mischievous smirk on my face.

Would I divorce myself? I instantly know the answer to this question but I indulge myself with the mental debate. What would it say about me if the answer is yes? If it were possible, and I'm not saying it isn't, what would I be left with, after the dissolution? Should I try a trial separation from myself first? Would I then be better or worse off, than I am now? Am I so terrible as a life-partner for myself? Are my differences irreconcilable?

The answer is YES! Yes. I believe with cement-strength surety that most, if not all, of my problems are self-induced. It is cliche but true, I am my own worst enemy. I know that I know that I know, that if I would just step aside and get out of my own way, I'd be unstoppable. My universe would be mine for the taking.

And I do not think I am alone in this. Of course in life, things happen to us. But I suspect that for most of our run-of-the-mill, garden variety, everyday trip-ups, we have only ourselves to blame. (Although I'll tell you from personal experience and immediate family members, that this sure doesn't stop some individuals from blaming everyone within a fifty mile radius for their woes. Which in turn, then leads to even more problems for them to blame on others.)

So, with the delicious fantasy of divorcing myself fresh and alive inside me, what is my first step? How does one go about getting out of one's own way? Is there a book or a chant or a pill for this? This is not a rhetorical question. Tell me what you think. I want to know. Think about it for a couple of days, ask around, but then get back to me. I want suggestions, feedback. Wisdom or speculation, it's all good.

But hurry if you can, there is much at stake, since I failed to get a pre-nuptual agreement.

07 March 2007

A Musical Legacy

Of my three children, my middle child is probably the most musical. He seems to have music sewn into his marrow. He started with piano, dabbled in school choir, excels at the drums and is getting a good start on the bass guitar. Now, at twenty years old, he belongs to a garage band, that in my opinion 'rocks.' And does so in my garage, so I would know. One of the experiences I enjoy most on this planet is watching this young man play the drums. It seems to just flow from his energy. Like the beat of his heart. I see music as a crucial and non-negotiable part of his future. I hope he does, too.

My daughter also started with piano. I still love when she sits down and plays for fun. She stood out in her school choir and went on to join a community choir. She plays the flute and fiddled around with the french horn for a bit, as well. She is now more of a dancer than a musician but music continues to be a big part of her high school years. That's what the Fallout Boys are here for, right? Music may not end up being as big a part of her adult life as my son, but she has had a healthy, balanced exposure and can make that choice knowingly.

I sometimes wonder at how they have become the musicians they are. I do not play an instrument. I am not a musician by any one's standards. I started violin lessons in third grade. It probably lasted a month or two. I'm sure my parents decided it wasn't worth the battles of forced practice. Then I started saxophone lessons in fifth grade. This may have lasted all of four months. My short sax career ended in an unfortunate school recital that we never speak of. I started guitar lessons in high school, with a really cute instructor. At my first lesson, he told me I would need to keep my fingernails short to play guitar. That was my last lesson. Knowing how to read music, I attempted to teach myself piano. I think that ended when I noticed there were dishes to be done. So much for playing an instrument.

What I can do, is (*drumrolllllllllllllllll*) sing in my car. That's right. Without apology, at the top of my lungs and sometimes with choreography, as a bonus. I can belt it out with Aretha, John & Paul, Green Day, Annie Lenox, Nirvana and others. (And they are lucky to have me.) I used to be a closet car rockstar and pretend like I was simply chewing some really good gum when a car would pull up beside me. But then I decided, as with many things in my life lately, that life is just too short NOT to sing in the car. I also play a little steering wheel drums and piano but my specialty is the vocals. I harmonize and wave my hands around like I don't care that anyone sees. Because I do not care. In fact, I hope they'll see. Maybe this will give them the permission slip they need to sing in their own car. (Just don't be singing in mine because there is only room for one car rockstar in my Mazda. Zoom, zoom, zoom.)

So, this is my musical legacy to my children. I have no doubts that without growing up under the tutelage of my automobile rock operas, they would never have embraced music to it's full extent.
My third child? I suspect that he too sings in his vehicle, he just hasn't come out quite yet.

So, the next time you pull up to a car with a driver cool enough to sing, no matter who observes, give them some sign of your encouragement. Go Car Rockstars! Be proud. Sing out loud! There are more embarrassing things to be caught doing in your car. (Helpful Hint: Just because you are alone in your car does not mean you are invisible. For goodness sake and the sake of your fellow motorists, use a Kleenex.)

Some great songs to sing in the car: Bohemian Rhapsody, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Holiday, Respect