It Is Hot in This Hut

Too much heat is not safe for anyone and I like staying cool.  This heat is even riskier if you are older or have health problems like I have.  I made mistakes, I lost my house and I had to declare bankruptcy, but I never thought that I would end up living in a god-forsaken hut on desolation row.  I endured a loveless marriage, a job that never went anywhere, a family full of assholes and bastards, but living is this hut has become the rock bottom point of my life, a symbol of my complete disaster and constant humiliation.  There is no furniture, the rotting leaves on the roof stink to high heavens, there is actually moss growing on the floor and you can’t make this stuff up.  The raccoon ate my hat and I ran out of weed.  What I wouldn’t do for another hit, but there are some lines that I won’t cross, as I will always remain a heterosexual person.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where this week the prompt is hat, het, hit, hot, hut.

A Small Town

The café began to feel like her only real home.  That feeling of emptiness reared its ugly head and it contributed to her sense of loneliness, confusion and boredom and now it has taken a firm hold on every aspect of her life.  She felt a thumping in in her chest, yet she was unsure how to rid herself of this sadness.  Her hormone levels were constantly shifting, and those chemical messages were impacting the way the way that her brain was functioning.  She took this waitressing job to allow her time to give some thought to her dreams, passions and desires, but she knew that it would never give her the fulfillment and joy that she so desperately needed.  She left her husband and she wanted to start a new life and she wasn’t going back to that therapist anymore.  She took the cat with her, but it was not very good at conversation and she hoped that she could meet someone new at the café.  There wasn’t much going on in this town, but she liked it quiet and she was finally free and she felt that her husband would never find her here.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

I Can’t Dance

“How can I take her out dancing, if I don’t know how to dance” said Jim to his friend Bob while they were at the antique book store.  Bob replied, “Most of the people on a dance floor are doing basic, simple, repetitive steps and you can do this if you build up your confidence.  Dancing is always done with music, so you must feel the beat, and everyone feels awkward the first time that they dance.  Some people spend years taking dancing lessons and they are still uncomfortable dancing in front of others.  The people who are out there dancing are too busy worrying that they won’t make a mistake, so you won’t have to worry about them judging you.  Practice will help, but you can’t get into the rhythm of the music till you can discern the beat.”

Jim said, “I listen to a lot of music, but I am not sure what the beat is.”  Bob said, “Beat is the length of time which each note is played, which supplies the underlying pattern of a song.  Since the best way to track time is with a clock, you can think of the ticking sound of a clock.  The ticking of a clock is consistent and so is the beat of a song.  Although you don’t normally hear the clock ticking unless the room that you are in is really quiet and you intentionally focusing your concentration on that sound, finding the beat of a song is similar to that.  Once you can recognize the beat in a song, that means you have found the pattern and speed of the music.  Once you master this, every other element of music will be under your control.  A beat is a pulse of time that is measured in a unit called beat duration, it can change and that means that you are changing the tempo of the beat.”

Jim said, “Wait, this is getting complicated.”  Bob replied, “There are many elements to music, but the better you can understand it the more natural you will look trying to dance to it.  You just need to know a few things and since the fixed number of beats in a song is changeable, this means that you need to know what Time Signature is, so that you know how the music is to be counted.  This is illustrated as a fraction with the top number telling you how many beats there are in one measure.   The bottom number tells you what kind of note is considered one beat.”

Jim said, “Look Bob you can’t introduce a new word to me and explain it with other new terms, like you did with beat adding these two new words of measure and note.”   Bob said, “You make a good point Jim, so let me try and simplify this for you, most music is organized in regular rhythmic patterns of strong and weak beats.  Beats are grouped into bars, which also called measures.  Music is organized with consistency and structure to give you rhythm.  The tempo and the beat create a sort of skeleton on which you build a rhythm, a pattern of pulses that can be regular or irregular, but they will always bear some mathematical relation to the beat.  The rhythm is expressed in music as notes, which tells the musician what pitch to play and how long and how often to play them.  That is it for today with your music lesson, now we move onto dancing.”

Jim said, “Fine and I don’t need to look like Fred Astaire or John Travolta out there, I just want to be able to blend in when I am dancing.”  Bob said, “Good idea and in order for you to blend in with 80% of people on the dance floor, you need to do a combination of a few simple moves.  We better start with the top of your body and work are way down from there.  Try to nod your head subtly, not like you are a bobble-head or anything that resembles being jerky, just try to feel the groove.  Then move your shoulders with the beat and think simple, repetitive arm movements.  You could throw in a clap or maybe just snap your fingers, or possibly try subtly waving your arms back and forth.  No huge movements, remember that you are trying to blend.  Move your hips back and forth with the rhythm and bounce on your knees a little bit.  Try not to look like you are jumping up and down on a pogo-stick, just take small steps from side to side.  You don’t have to do all of these moves, but you need to be able to coordinate the movement of your head, with your shoulders, arms, hands, hips, knees and feet.  Once you feel comfortable moving one part of your body then go on to the next.  You need to combine your movements, because if you just stand there bouncing up and down, or you are just waving your arms, you’ll look silly.  The most important thing to remember when you are dancing is that you are doing this because it is fun, so go out there and get grooving.”

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #186 image prompt.

Victimless Crimes

Aging hippie Joni Mitchell never made it to Woodstock and yet she wrote the definitive song about this concert.  She was one of the biggest stars to emerge from the 1960s and she was ranked at #62 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists.  Joni has a long-standing image of being a tortured, restless soul at the mercy of doomed romance and maybe that is why she changed her style of music, evolving from being a folk singer/songwriter to an artist who has created a sound that includes jazz, classical, and rock.  She has always craved change, sought growth, and looked for ways to improve her work, treating it as an ongoing process of invention, rather than a series of discrete and final statements.

Joni encountered a lot of trouble in her life and maybe that is what drives her.  She spent a good portion of her childhood time bedridden with polio and in 1965 trouble caused her to give up her daughter for adoption.  In 2015, she suffered a brain aneurysm, and although she has made several recent public appearances as she recovers, according to some reports she is still learning to walk again, and she has not spoken in public.  Joni recently said that she is still struggling to walk, but her recovery is inching along.

On her 14th album Night Ride Home released in 1991, Joni Mitchell wrote the song ‘The Windfall (Everything for Nothing)’ which is a result of some trouble that she had with her house keeper.  Joni knew that the Guatemalan woman was ripping her off, and when she found out, she kicked her in the shin, which is something you can’t do when your whole life is public.  Joni paid for her to go home twice and the second time she didn’t go back to Guatemala, instead she went to Europe, and lied about her trip.  She went to criminal court to try to sue Mitchell for $5 million and she wouldn’t let go of this frivolous suit.  Finally, they settled out of court and Mitchell wrote this song as a way to vent her frustration on this incident.

Must I forgive you
Each time
And say you don’t know what you’re doing
There are no victimless crimes
I know of
Out here in these graffiti ruins
My love
Oh I am not old
I’m told
But I am not young
Oh and nothing can be done
Don’t start
My heart
Is a smoking gun
Oh and nothing can be done
I heard you leaving
Late last night
I heard you screaming down the mountain
Like you were running red lights
(Red lights)
You had some trash-can-rock-band pounding
Oh I am not old
I’m told
But I am not young
Oh and nothing can be done
Don’t start
My heart
Is a smoking gun
Oh and nothing can be done
Must I surrender
With grace
The things I loved when I was younger
(Sweet embrace)
Must I remember your face
So well
What do I do here with this hunger
Oh I am not old
I’m told
But I am not young
Oh and nothing can be done
Don’t start
My heart
Is a smoking gun
Oh and nothing can be done
Nothing can be done
Nothing can be done
Oh nothing can be done

Written for Thursday Inspiration #113 We Can Work It Out where the prompt is crime.

Thursday Inspiration #113 We Can Work It Out

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word crime, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘We Can Work It Out’, or by going with another song by The Beatles, or anything else that you think fits.  Back in the day, 7″ vinyl singles were pressed with the song that was supposed to receive more radio airplay on Side A and Side B of the record contained a bonus song.  The Beatles recorded singles and albums because their producer George Martin thought their fans who bought the single shouldn’t have to pay for those songs again when they came out on an album.  That policy on singles didn’t hold in America, and there were major differences between British and American albums.

‘We Can Work It Out’ was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and it was first issued as a double A-side single with ‘Day Tripper’ in December 1965.  This was the first official double A-side record that was ever released and both songs were promoted A-sides.  ‘We Can Work It Out’ also appeared on the 1966 US release Yesterday and Today album, their twelfth American release overall.  The song was recorded during the sessions for the band’s Rubber Soul album.  The single went to #1 in Britain (where it won the Ivor Novello Award for the top-selling A-side of 1965), America, Australia, Canada and Ireland.  In Britain, both sides became equal hits, but the US did things differently by charting each side of a single individually.  Over here, ‘Day Tripper’ peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts, while ‘We Can Work It Out’ made it all the way to #1 and stayed there for three weeks.  In the UK, it was the seventh highest selling single of the 1960s.

The Beatles were perfectionists and they spent an average of 20 hours on each song, with some taking longer than others.  ‘We Can Work It Out’ was recorded over two days, amounting to 11 hours, and this song became a symbol of tolerance for Paul, because it allowed him to exercise some of his demons.  Paul was filled with hope and optimism and he wrote this after getting into an argument with his girlfriend Jane Asher, thinking that they could talk about their problems which would make their relationship work.  Paul did the first half, then John took over and wrote, “Life is very short and there’s no time/ for fussing and fighting, my friend”, showing the difference in their personalities with Paul willing to wait and John being much more impatient.  McCartney wrote songs that were bubbly, oozing happiness and sunshine, while Lennon’s lyrics were filled with emotional turmoil and they contained an outlook on the world that was uncomfortable.  This beautiful balance of optimism and pessimism made ‘We Can Work It Out’ a really great song.

Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it’s a crime
So I will ask you once again

Looking Back

I never realized how important it is to have offspring and if I could do it all over again, I would have had some children.  When I was younger, I didn’t really want to have children, as I felt that they would just complicate my life.  My wife worked and she was on the pill, so we didn’t discuss having any children, till her biological clock started ticking louder, which was a byproduct of her egg production running low.  Now the race was on and she did get pregnant, but unbeknownst to us, she had a blockage in her uterary channel, which caused her to have several early term miscarriages.  She had an operation to remove the blockage, but she was never able to get pregnant after that and then we spent thousands on fertility treatments to no avail.

We gave up and realized that we were too old, but she really wanted to have a baby and she cried all the time about our misfortune.  I would have gone either way on the issue, as I enjoyed playing with my nephews, but I was always glad to get back to my home where it was more peaceful.  You can’t change the past and you have to stay on the path that you have taken.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #122 which is, “What is your biggest regret in life?”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Pain medication never seems to help reduce my abdominal cramps, so I resorted to yoga when my doctor informed me that there is no medical treatment for a stomach virus.  This is one of the more difficult positions, especially because of this insane hanging lizard stance that I assume in order to loosen up the muscles of my belly.  The trick is to apply just enough of the Flex Seal spray adhesive bonding product to the bottom of my feet which grabs and holds instantly to any surface, just before I jump up on the wall.  My wife usually helps me to get down, but she said that she would only help me if I do my yoga naked, because that is the best way to accept your body, let go of my insecurities about my physical appearance and put any body issues to rest.  I tried it her way and I found out that she is right, as when I removed my clothing, I was able to remove any restrictions and this in turn created a greater ease of movement for me, allowing me to focus on my own form.

I discovered that as soon as the fear of being naked faded away that I was able to focus more on the movement of my body.  I only do yoga naked now, as it feels more natural than being fully clothed.  I have been able to develop a very deep connection with my own body, which I had not experienced before.  Moving naked is completely different and every breath that I take increases my self-esteem.  I think this is the only way to experience yoga at its purest, learning to see your body, to look at it, and to accept it the way it is.  I found out that it is much more fun than wearing yoga outfits and it helps me to push the boundaries of what I ever thought was even possible.  Once I get naked, I begin to appreciate the wonderful weirdness of the moment and this has freed me from self-doubts that were holding me back and it has strengthened my ability to break through barriers and press forward to achieve my goals.

Yes, I know that you are wondering about the green body paint, well I can explain that.  My sister Donna came over one day and saw me in my lizard position and since she runs an avant-garde art studio downtown, she asked me if I would want to be part of her new exhibit, which she calls Futurism.  I told her that I was not sure this would fall in my comfort zone, as I am not looking to become the center of attention for a bunch of strangers.  Donna said that people would be staring at me and ogling my naked ass up in the air, but since she doesn’t allow any cameras in her studio, I would not have to worry about any of this following me after the exhibit.  Donna said that the purpose of her show was to get the general public to accept social nudity, because it makes everyone feel happier and that it is only seen as being weird because we don’t see it every day.  Donna said that I would not be the only naked model and that she would be naked in the exhibit with me painted purple posing in the downward dog position.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Nekneeraj’s Photo Challenge #370 that uses a photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com.

When You Stop and Think About It

What did you learn the hard way?
Hosting a challenge is much harder than it looks.  I enjoy participating in writing challenges, but when you are the host, you have to come up with ideas for other people to write about and that can be more challenging than the actual writing.

Which activities make you lose track of time?
Time exists whether or not I am paying attention to it, so it is impossible to lose track of it.  We tell time by clocks, but clocks were developed from observing planetary movement, so unless the heavens stop moving, I will never lose track of time.  When dealing with a complicated system such as time, it is important to understand the Hamiltonian, as the energy of the system is conserved and independent of time.  You might be saying, “Jim, what the hell is the Hamiltonian?”, but in order to explain that to you, we would have to first discuss the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, Lagrangian mechanics, eigenstates and eigenvalues and I just don’t have enough time for that today.

Why do we seem to think of others the most after they’re gone?
This actually has nothing to do with Newton’s third law of motion, which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, but in a way when someone is still here with you, it is easy to ignore them, but once they are gone, you can’t take them for granted any more.  This makes me wonder if anyone will miss me when I am gone.

Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
Experimentation must be done to determine truth, otherwise it is just an opinion, an assertion, a belief, a thought, or a proposition.  Truth does not exist without facts and it is a good idea to challenge facts, or else you may turn into Marjorie Green.

Gratitude
I am grateful for all of the wonderful bloggers that I have come to know here on WordPress.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.