Typewriter photo courtesy of Pinterest.
I have witnessed people go through life’s ‘transitions,’ and the challenges life has to offer. Some people live with very difficult challenges including Cancer and Leukemia. Despite it all, they hold down jobs, they have relationships, they carry on with their lives. Some of them even carry on with faith and a smile every single day. I have also witnessed people marry, have kids, become writers and playwrights, move to new states our out of country, get a new apartment or home. Despite life’s “challenges,” these folks have found their “BLISS” basically.
As for me, achieving my bliss is a constant struggle, not ashamed to admit it. But, I am working hard on achieving it. For instance, I am writing, well I have been for the past couple of years, my first fiction novel. I am grateful my “bliss,” writing AND knitting, has stayed with me all these years. My bliss is what keeps me centered and somewhat stress-free. The bad news; as I chase my bliss I am far behind with reading other people’s blogs and “thumbing up” or liking people’s posts on Facebook and Twitter and clicking on the “hearts” of people pictures on Instagram. I apologize for that; I will support more when I can.
Before I get back to writing I want the world to know, or whomever reads my posts, as I try to focus on my bliss I will take a brief “blog pause.” Until I return to blogging I hope everyone out there is focused on finding their own bliss, if you haven’t done so already. It truly is a wonderful feeling doing what you love and what keeps you centered.
Here’s to being blissful and fully centered. Have a great 4th! LDS
I was born and raised on a tiny island that sits nearly 49 square miles on top of the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays unfortunately San Francisco is nothing more than a place I outgrew. I no longer feel like I can flourish and shine here, all I do is pay bills, eat and pay rent, been doing that for years. I have always been practical, but lately while practicality is a necessity, it is also very tiresome, boring and unfulfilling.
It was time for me to move on years ago, but I never had enough encouragement, help and money to do so. And COURAGE, I am so afraid to take that “leap” only to find myself without food and shelter, the thought renders me physically sick. But, I am not without hope, I just need an incentive.
Well, that “incentive” is the high cost of living and constant loss of small businesses that I enjoyed frequenting. Plus, I have grown older and more set in my ways, that might be part of it, but the beauty that once was my city and the opportunities to flourish for an artist and writer like myself are all long gone.
Sure, online business are a great way to make money and thrive, but closer and more tactile businesses, places that used to be within reach including “mom and pop” stores are no longer a staple here and that saddens me. “Working class” can no longer afford to live in a city where Twitter, Silicon Valley and greedy, rude, evil landlords’ money is more valued. Course, it has always been the case where rich bowls over working class, I get it, but now the “sting” feels worse, mainly because working to pay bills never dies while doing what makes one happy usually becomes more of a dream than a reality. ~sigh~
One of the things that made me very happy was to visit a bead store when I worked for the City & County years ago. I spent almost all of my lunch hour at Beyond Beads at 1251 Howard Street, my only respite that was housed down the block from my job. I dreamed creations in my head as I sifted through strands and porcelain jars, trays and table settings filled with glass, stone, pearl and Austrian crystal beads to name a few. And, all the tools, chains and supplies I needed to make up whatever I imagined.
It was a small collection compared to a larger bead store, but I love the intimacy of Beyond Beads and the design and decor, high beamed white ceilings and odd drawings and paintings on the walls behind the counter had me feeling like I was in a creative artists’ abode rather than a retail shop.
Beyond Beads is owned by a quiet man who when I first met him was rather stiff, serious and slightly unfriendly at first glance. But, over time Gal Ben Shaul warmed up to me, well, I can be a chatty handful when I am in my zone. He was especially friendly when I visited after having recently learned Gal was closing shop.
I had not seen Gal in over four years since I was laid off work from the City & County. I learned Gal’s rent nearly tripled and I learned from one of the employees at General Bead that they owned the building Beyond Beads was housed in. Most of San Francisco commercial and residential rents have gone up, my rent goes up a percentage every year or so. I was not surprised, but I was a bit sad.
I will miss visiting Gal’s Beyond Beads, but I am sure he and his wife will flourish and find their other passions whatever they may be. Until then I will continue to move forward in my goal to move to NYC and live my life doing what makes ME happy. ~sigh~ I keep saying I will LEAP, but I am not yet there, but I am determined.
And when I do move I know living in a city where everyone’s hustle and ambitions is very “real” will work out just fine with me. Although, hustling is not my forte, I do believe I will flourish and my dreams will see a positive fruition.
As for my hometown? I was born and raised on a tiny island that sits nearly 49 square miles on top of the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays unfortunately San Francisco is nothing more than a place I outgrew. But, I am good with that. Maybe one day I’ll return to visit SF, maybe to live, who knows? But for now Beyond Beads and LD must move on and find our passions where they will allow us to flourish and shine! And there it is. Cheers!
I am up late on Sunday evening not at all happy to have only two days off to write, create, knit, do laundry, grocery shopping, etc. I can’t sleep, basically and when I cannot sleep I think of odd things. In this case, I remembered an article I wrote years ago about a girl I used to know. The title of the article, “The Risk and Reward of Reaching Out” was published in the San Francisco Chronicle paper.
It is not very hard for me to believe that I made my way through middle and high school without getting caught up in the drug culture of San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s. Everyone I knew did them, but I simply was not interested. And I was not into “cliques” in school. Just because my friends did drugs did not mean I wanted to. I believed not doing drugs had to do with my mom, she never imbibed, nor did she drink while raising us. Unfortunately for many people including my old babysitters when I was a child and friends I grew up with, there was no escaping the drug fate.
In 2006 when I worked for the City and County of SF Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services as a clerk and I volunteered with homeless organizations, I was invited to write an article about the impact drugs had on me. The only thing I could think of was a cute little girl whom I grew up with in grade school, I called her “Cori” in the article. “Cori” was a cute caramel-complexioned chubby little girl, I was skinny as a rail. Seriously, my legs in knee high boots looked like pencils in cups, that’s how skinny I was. Kids teased us and called us “Cori and Lorrie, fat and skinny!” which we hated.
When I wrote the article I could not help but feel bad not just for “Cori”, but for the fact that I wrote about how tragic she turned out. I did not mean any malice, but it bothered me that she fell so hard. Of course, I later realized not everyone walks the same path, although the end result is and will always be the same. I am fine with what I wrote about “Cori.” And, although I no longer see her around anywhere I will always hope she left San Francisco for a better life somewhere. Hopefully that sentiment is true. If so, good luck to “Cori.”
“The Risk and Reward of Reaching Out” – by L.D. Sargent. Click HERE for article.
What is the color of healing?
Show me the color of HEALING
Of a heart filled with life, but broken
What is the color of faith?
Show me the color of FAITH
A faith so strong and unmovable, it quivers
What is the reason I exist?
Why am I here?
Shall I paint, draw, sketch the color of my existence above and beyond?
Shall I show you why I breathe?
What is the color of true love?
I never allowed a loss of control, but
Show me the color of true LOVE and I will
paint you the colors of my gratitude!
Whatever you are in your presence I will heal
Wherever you are
However you LOVE I will HEAL and
Because I know you are blessed.
And so am I.
Sweet light that bathes my soul,
With flowers in shabby pot.
Lavender and Pink
At the Lavender door, the entrance invites me.
Inside is where life takes stride.
Here’s a toast to longevity and strength within.
A drink of Pink Lavender cocktails!
I celebrate the beginning of freedom!!!!
Freedom is what drives courage within.
I create a design of Lavender and Pink
A “whatever” I choose to represent my soul!
I wear a Lavender stone for luck and hope.
I am resplendent in my Lavender world.
And I am free in my pink heart.
And I am free in my glowing warm soul and spirit.
Here is a post that I thought I had entered last year, but I did not. I have updated it as things in my life have changed. Enjoy, LDS
September 2015 I flew to NYC to visit friends and to see a concert by a man I never knew much about, or focused on over the years, Bruce Sudano. I was enamored of his wife Donna Summer who, when I was a teenager, flourished as a award winning singer/songwriter and musical icon. After his wife passed on in 2012, I was devastated, but I was also happy to discover that most of Donna’s immediate and extended family all have creative artistic talents, including Bruce Sudano who is an accomplished award-winning songwriter/singer just like his wife was. And, Donna’s three daughters and grandchildren all exhibit creative talents, singing, acting, crafts, etc. While the internet can sometimes seem very intrusive, one must be careful what one puts online, I was happy to have discovered countless pictures and videos online of Donna and her somewhat private family.
I never saw Donna in concert, something I deeply regret. But, in September I decided to attend her husband Bruce’s record release event to support his current album, The Burbank Sessions. (Here is my iTunes review – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-burbank-sessions/id1034595908). I am no music critic, keep that in mind.
The story of what happened at the venue where Bruce performed, Joe’s Pub, is kind of funny to me, so I will share it here. I purchased my ticket beforehand, picked it up at “will call.” When I arrived inside the club the table I was assigned to was occupied by a couple of people including three gentlemen who were friends. Tickets were ordered per seat and tables were communal. I was alone, therefore, I ended up sitting with strangers.
The hostess showed me to my table, but she was upset that some other people were seated there. The men politely assured the hostess they had purchased their tickets, but she was very strong and assured them they were mistakenly seated at MY table. I had to tell her, “Hey, I only have one ticket.” I was very embarrassed, I am not a fan of confrontation. The dust cleared and I sat down and apologized to the gentlemen one of whom was Bruce’s brother Barry, a very friendly and talkative man and a bit of a character.
LD and Barry Sudano 9/9/2015
Of course I prattled on and told Barry how upset I was when his sister-n-law passed and I talked about my mom who was then still alive, but very ill. We spoke only slightly about Donna, but I believe my delivery must have seemed sad to Barry because when his brother’s concert was nearly over Barry asked me if he could pray with me. Now, besides the fact that I am Catholic, although non-practicing, I normally don’t let strangers lay their hands on me, but….
Barry gently placed his hand on my shoulder and he prayed on me, or for me. I later learned Barry and Bruce have another brother, Father Glenn Sudano. Perhaps Barry was channeling his brother who did not make the event. Actually, I did fly back home safely, so perhaps Barry’s prayers work! I’m being silly here, but in all honesty, I appreciated Barry’s sincere offering. I also think Barry is genuinely kind and supportive, he proved that by cheering on his brother loudly and often during Bruce’s set. Barry applauded his beloved brother with a honest heart. It was a sweet thing to experience. It is obvious to me that Barry loves his family as does Bruce which is commendable. I see what Donna saw in the Sudanos.
Bruce’s set was very well done, very revealing and beautiful, sad in spots for me, but entertaining to say the least. Bruce is more talented then I knew especially as a writer, he has great command of words and emotion behind them. Bruce Sudano is successfully re-emerging as an artist and he reminds those of us who did not know him that he is in fact, alive, kickin’, writing, singing and performing. I personally respect Bruce for being faithful to his family, his wife and kids and to himself. I respect that he believes in his faith so strongly that he continues to move forward and flourish. I struggle with faith everyday, if I get a hangnail I literally run screaming for Jesus like someone stole my purse! (I say this about myself often). Listening to Bruce’s music makes me want to try harder to be more faithful and positive. Cheers to Bruce, Barry and their families.
* * * * * * * * *
Life is ever revolving, it does not care that humans are not always ready for “movement.” Life moves and we must move, quickly and firmly. We must keep going until it is our time to go like my beloved mother and my biological father. (photo taken of my parents 1996 at my college graduation). My father’s older sister and my favorite aunt whom I called “Auntie” passed on in late February 2016. (below photo of me and Auntie at her flat in San Francisco I believe in 1961 or 1962). My world is not getting smaller, it, in my mind, is making room for the latter half of my life to begin.
Doris Banbury (1930-2015 ) and Clyde Lee Sargent (1930-2014)
Annie Lee Sargent-Campbell (1928-2016)
And in my latter life I will always believe that music heals and it helps people to move forward. I enjoy and respect artists who not only exhibit their talents, but they share their lives of pain in song. It is encouraging how the music plays out and how the artists’ words resonate a bit of hope for me and for that I am grateful. Cheers! LDS
LD with Bruce Sudano 9/9/15
Here is the link to Bruce’s concert footage at Joe’s Pub, NYC. Bruce shares the cool story of the origins of the Multi-platinum song “Bad Girls,” written by Donna, Bruce and his Brooklyn Dreams band mates Joe Esposito and Eddie Hokenson. What’s Cher got to do with the “Bad Girls” song? Find out at 36:29 on the Joe’s Pub video.