I moved to Texas from Europe in the late eighties. I didn’t take it well. I thought for sure I was being punished for some unspoken transgression.
Then the bluebonnets bloomed and I knew I had come home.
It’s been a while since my last real blog post. Even longer since my last “things I learned” post. I wondered at that.
But only for a nanosecond.
Let’s get to it. What have I learned?
1. I’ve missed yoga. Three years ago I took a yoga class to fulfill a college credit requirement. I registered for the beginning class even though I had previous experience and was probably more transitional intermediate than beginner. I did so out of fear.
A costly miscalculation on my part. As it happened, the instructor was the Antichrist and seemed woefully unaware the course was entitled “Yoga for Beginners.” Think wine-soaked ballerina with severe Adult Attention Deficient Disorder. Who teaches a yoga class set to swinging show tunes?…and sings along…and twirls…oh, so much twirling…She taught the class from her own private padded bubble, offered no modifications, and failed to understand the core principles of yoga.
I have many personality flaws. Chief on the list: Type A. I’m an overachiever. That is especially true if there is something I value at stake. At the time, it was my GPA. I wanted an A and it is not in my nature to quit once I’ve committed.
Oh, the clarity of hindsight.
Three years later, I am still suffering the repercussions of that earned A. My diagnosis: persistent grade 2 hip flexor strain with severe pain and limited ROM. Could be worse. Could be better. But I’m making progress with the help of some wonderful physical therapists. Last week, at their
badgering urging, I started to practice yoga again.
I’m not going to lie. The first few dozen sun salutations were rough. But, at the same time, it was an incredible feeling. Of course, I needed an extra day of physical therapy to recover, but they assure me it will get easier. I’m going to choose to believe they are right.
2. The X-Files is returning to television. I’m conflicted. I always loved the X-Files. It was great television. But reboots, remakes, and sequels annoy me. A few years ago, I wrote about it. On the one hand, I am curious to see Mulder, Scully, Skinner, and Cancer Man reunited. They were fascinating characters. On the other hand, I think it is often better to remember something beloved in its original, unblemished state. I probably won’t watch.
Of course, for all of my righteous indignation, I am a total hypocrite. There are two films looming on the horizon – one slated for release later this year, the other next year. Jason Bourne and James Bond. Both are sequels/remakes/reboots. Both make me giddy with excitement.
I thought about arguing the merits of these franchises and how they differ from all the unoriginal rubbish out there. But I don’t need to explain myself to you. Instead, I offer you a peek at the new Bond.
3. I don’t like cherries. I’m forty-two. I’ve spent most of my life believing that I don’t eat cherries because I am allergic to them. Turns out – not true. I just don’t like them.
4. Spring in Texas: Bluebonnets and bees. What else is there to say?
5. Miles Davis makes the perfect background for writing. As a general rule, I don’t listen to music when I write. It’s distracting. I do much better with everyday white noise. Well…unless, it’s “screaming toddler Tuesday” or “”where’s the damn coffee in this place’ octogenarian Thursday” at my favorite coffee shop. The latter is always a special treat. There’s nothing quite so entertaining as a group of filter-free, half-deaf senior citizens out for their weekly breakfast social.
Last week, I discovered Miles Davis. I’ve never been much of a jazz fan. I much prefer old-school soul, sixties R&B, anything touched by the hands of the almighty Sting, and Florence and the Machine. Jazz always seemed like too much work to fully appreciate. Does that make sense? Probably not. Sorry.
Anyway, I was researching Jazz artists/albums in reference to a character development I am doing for my current WIP and happened upon Sketches of Spain, a Miles Davis work conducted by Gil Evans (fun fact: Gil Evans and Sting recorded a live album, Last Session, in 1987). I liked the title; the cover art was warm and inviting. I took a listen.
It was spellbinding; yet, subtle and unobtrusive.
I bought it.
This week on “screaming toddler Tuesday”, I plugged in my headphones, turned up Sketches of Spain, set it to repeat, and just wrote.
Here. Have a listen for yourself.
I needed a little alone time today, so I loaded up my camera gear, grabbed a notebook and schlepped into the city. My destination? The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, of course. I spent this beautiful spring Sunday meandering through my favorite parts of the garden, dodging screaming toddlers and teenage girls in candy colored quinceanara dresses, jotting down an idea here – a splash of dialogue there, and taking way too many pictures – again.
Sadly, the tulips that were so breathtaking just two weeks ago have passed their prime. Here is one of the last of the season.
One of my favorite annual events at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is Dallas Blooms. For one month each spring, the gardens are transformed into a variable sea of color. Tulips and daffodils, narcissus and cherry blossoms burst forth in all their painted glory and put on a breathtaking show.
I love all the flowers, but this year the tulips stole the show.
Oh, and Happy Easter.
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