Music Heals

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

MUSIC HEALS

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.

bcs ticket joesubThe 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.

IMG_2724LD 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.

parents at my graduation edit

Doris Banbury (1930-2015 ) and Clyde Lee Sargent (1930-2014)

me and Auntie_edited-5

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

IMG_2693Joes pub with B Sudano 9-9-15LD 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.

https://youtu.be/PQlACKKazYg

The Joy Queen

There is a very creative soul and spirit that

MUST roam free.

A busy moving creative soul, a spirit that is not bound

by the trappings and conditions of life.

The Joy Queen

blk and pink 5

The Joy Queen is a being of contentment.

blk and pink 1

Content as a happy bouquet.

blk and pink 2

Content as a happy bouquet that goes

anywhere it needs to be….FREE.

blk and pink 4

Content as a lovely scarf that wraps with  a

soft warm embrace. 

The Joy Queen…

blk and pink 3_edited

…Abounds.

The Joy Queen is in the air.  

The Joy Queen is in the earth.

The Joy Queen is a creative spirit deep within a loved soul 

that embraces and abounds and roams. 

And where The Joy Queen roams, 

The Joy Queen is free.

Free to breathe dust and wind

Free to bleed tears into soil

Free to wander and not know where

The Joy Queen is free to be the creative soul it MUST simply be.

And what The Joy Queen MUST be she will be… 

…FREE.

Still numb, but living. Back soon.  LDS

Yours very truly, Doris Banbury

Mom in the 80sDoris Banbury, 1980’s

I moved to Los Angeles when I was in my early 20’s, I felt I needed to break away from my mothers’ apron strings.  I originally wanted to go to NYC, but I was scared away by my native New Yorker mother Doris who often told me horror stories about the people, the weather, the “harsh living conditions.”

I lied to my mother so that I could move to Los Angeles.  I told her I had an audition for the touring production of Dreamgirls.  I had studied at American Conservatory Theater, fancied being a sitcom actress. I left San Francisco two years after Dreamgirls opened on Broadway in 1983.  I had no idea how hard it was to break into “show business.”

mom's letetrsDoris often phoned and we wrote letters to each other, well she typed and I saved them all.  Doris tried in her way to encourage me and she often sent me money when I was struggling.  Sometimes Doris, who was pretty much Velcroed to me and my younger brother David, but mainly to me, she would phone me after she saw something disturbing on the news.  She’d say, “You know I heard a woman was killed in…”  “mom, if I’m talking to you on the phone I’m not dead, right?”  “Well, of course you’re not dead, I was just calling to see how you’re doing!”

What was funny about Doris was that she often “signed off” on  her letters in quirky ways.  Sometimes she’d sign, “Love, Mom Terrific.”  Or, she’d sign, “Love Doris, mom.”  Once, and I can’t find that letter, she signed, “yours very truly, Doris Banbury.”  I teased her about it, “mom, you’re a Mcgillicuddy.”  “A what?”  “Remember Lucy Ricardo’s mother Mrs. Mcgillicuddy?  Remember how quirky she was?  I think that’s you.  I mean, why would you sign your name?  I’m your daughter, I know your name.”  “Well, I was a secretary for many years, wasn’t I?  I was a 1426 Sr. Clerk Typist, you see, and I had to sign my name, so I got used to doing it, that’s all.  No big deal!”

I stayed in Los Angeles for about 7 years and eventually came back home feeling defeated, sad, depressed and alone.  Lost my job, got evicted, etc.  Doris was kind at first, she even waited for me at the bus stop by our house when I came home.  But as soon as I set my things in my room and lay on the couch in the embryo position in the living room wondering what the hell happened to my life Doris chimed in with her motherly words of wisdom, her no-nonsense New York mentality and that “smart-ass” sense of humor I inherited from her.

Me:  “Mother, I just…I don’t know what happened.  I tried to make it as an actress, I failed.  I tried writing plays and I had a couple of shows, but nothing much came of it.” 

Doris:  “You lost your job, got evicted and your idiot fiancé hit you when you broke off the engagement.  Yet, you’re still standing, that has to mean something.”

Me:  “I just don’t understand what happened to me.  I just want to lay here and have a nervous breakdown, I don’t know what to do.”

Doris:  “Oh, I know, you had it hard, I know!  (mom said clutching her eye glass chain)  Meanwhile, by 1963 I was a single mother of two children by two different men, both who did not want to have anything to do with me or my kids.  That was at a time when having children without a husband was not cool.  What did I do?  I managed to take care of all of us with one paycheck.”

Me:   “Mom, I’m serious, I’m in real pain here!”

Doris:  “Oh, I know you are, my dear, I’ve got a pot on for some tea.  Did I tell you your brother was supposed to be a tumor?”

Me:  ~heavy sigh~ “Mom, c’mon.”

Doris:  “You see I did not know I was pregnant, well I didn’t know with you either, although I think with you the condom broke.  Anyway, with your brother, well I was six months pregnant and I developed a horrible pain in my stomach.  Anyway, I went to the doctor and was on the examining table when the doctor said, ‘you might have a tumor.’  Then when he left the room David started to crown butt first I believe.  Before you know it, I had a premature 3-pound baby boy that I went on welfare for the first three years of his life to support.  Well, I also had the help of the March of Dimes, God bless them.”

Me:  (defeated).  “I can’t…I can’t go on, ma, I’m serious.  I feel like such a failure.”

Doris:  “I didn’t raise you to fail, first of all.  Second, you can’t fail if you’re still living, Lorrie.  But, I can imagine how hard you had it in Los Angeles, poor baby.  Did I tell you when you were three years old I almost went to jail for writing a bad check at the grocery store?  David hadn’t been born yet, but I was humiliated, let me tell you! Thankfully and with the grace of God, the manager felt sorry for me and bought my bag of groceries.  I still tear up when I think about that.  Wonder whatever happened to that woman?”

Me:  “MOTHER I’M TALKING ABOUT MEEEEEE!!!”

Doris:  “I will kindly ask you to stop yelling at your mother, God you’re such a drama queen.  Look, it’s simple, you have two choices, work or school.  Or both!  That’s what you WILL do because you are in a country that gives black folks opportunities, unlike our ancestors before us, remember them?  Wow, what THEY went through!  (shook her head)  Big deal you didn’t make it as an actress, who cares?  You still have to live, you’re young, you’ll get a good job, you’ll find a good man, one who won’t hit you.  But, in the meantime while you’re under your mother’s roof, work…school…or both.  Those are your choices right now.  Oh, the tea’s ready!”

And with that stated Doris jumped up from the couch and scurried to the kitchen to turn off the screaming pot of water on the stove.  My mini break down was over.

There is so much to relay about Doris Banbury, a child of a British Canadian mother and Jamaican father who divorced when Doris was four years old.  But, I cannot possibly put it all into a blog.   What I will always remember about my mother Doris, however, is her funny sense of humor, her loving protective attention to her children whom she singlehandedly raised to a positive fruition, and her love for photography; she studied the works of Immogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams and Gordon Parks.

2 year old mom PIX 3

Glam Doris PIX 17

Diva mom PIX20????????????????????????????????????What will never leave me, including watching my mother pass away and be buried, is her telling me about herself, what little she offered.  What stuck with me; the stories she often told me about visiting the Bronx Zoo and telling her troubles to an aging Lion named King, she was about 8 years old at the time.  Years later when Dementia and Parkinson’s diseases set in, Doris told me she had been brutalized by her “godfather” for nearly a decade.  Never knew mom was a rape survivor.  Although, when we were kids and begged mom to give us a daddy she, and I swear this is true, she would flail her arms and scream, “NO, YOU’ll BE RAPED!”  

I understood why Doris made me promise that when she died I was to bury her with her mother Gladys who resides in a cemetery near White Plains NY.  Mom made all the arrangements for her mother and kept the receipts.  Doris’ beloved mother Gladys Peryl, my grandmother whom I never met, seemed a strong, determined and sweet and attentive mother to her sensitive child.  Gladys actually took Doris in the 1940s to abort the violators child, Doris was a young teen at that time, maybe 13 years old.  And a couple of years later when the violator was in the hospital on his death bed Gladys took Doris to get a verbal apology from him which he generously offered.  I understood why Doris adored Gladys, she often spoke highly of her.

I adored Doris, but in my own way.  While I was not overly affectionate I liked that she saw strength in me and perhaps determination when I did not see it in myself.  What I will remember of Doris is her kindness, her deeply-rooted vulnerability, her insecurities, of course her humor and her strength and love as a mother; she SHOWED my brother and me love, we rarely said “I love you.”  But, Doris attended every single freaking school recital, she was ALWAYS down in front with her camera to take a flash shot…always a FLASH shot!!!  Blinded the hell out of me, but that was Doris.  She kept all our school pictures and our report cards.

Doris showed encouragement and love rather than talk about it.  For that I am grateful. I am also grateful that I caught her last breath as I watched her pass away.  It was a most odd experience, but one I truly believe was meant to happen between mother and daughter.  And when they lowered her coffin into the ground a couple of weeks later, of course humor set in, the guy removed the strap too soon and mom tilted down head first into the earth.  At least the flowers that my brother bought for me to place onto the coffin remained. I am grateful for that as well.

As I write this I am listening to one of mom’s many CDs, mostly of “world” music, Cesaria Evora.  Mom loved good music and reading, she was a voracious reader.  At last count my brother who stored mom’s books, found about 390…so far.

Doris’ major true love besides music and books and of course her mother Gladys, was photography.  Doris loved to photograph animals, architecture, people.  When she was in her 20s Doris took celebrity photos in NYC, some of which I exhibited a few years ago.  In 2010 a select few of Doris’ celebrity photos were featured in a SF MOMA exhibit and were purchased by SF MOMA for their permanent photography collection.  Here is the museum link. 

(https://www.sfmoma.org/artist/Doris_Banbury

DSC02132Doris Banbury in front of a display showcasing three of her celebrity photos from 1950s that were featured in the exhibit: Exposed, by Sandra Phillips, SF MOMA.  Photo: Opening Night, 10-27-2010

moms exhibit 4 by Pudn her later years Doris enjoyed photographing lions and tigers, she loved going to the San Francisco Zoo.  And she loved photographing landscapes, San Francisco murals and her two grandchildren, Belinda May (L) and Denise Elizabeth (R).  Denise is my brother’s first born whom he named after me, Lorrie Denise.  moms birds moms ships, landscape, grandkids moms tigersMom and camera 1990s PIX 32

“Rest now, my dear.”

moms dressmom in coffinSunrise: 12-7-1930     Sunset:  12-27-2015     

coffin Earth:  1-8-2016

“Life moves forward, so shall we.”  Lorrie Denise Sargent, 2016

“Viewing” photo courtesy of David Banbury (SFMTA), Doris’ son;  SF MOMA photo of Doris courtesy of Denise Banbury, Doris’ granddaughter

Thank you for reading my most personal blog. LDS

A CREATIVE BLUE HOLIDAY TO YOU!

holidays 1Not always.  But, during the holidays – life can be very blue.  But, blue is not such a bad color and the blues is not such a bad emotion.  Especially when the blues is offered in the manner as the creative artists before me have offered.

 

Billie participated in life and,

Holidays 2Billie sang life’s blues

Billie breathed life’s blues

Billie lived life’s blues

Memphis Minnie  participated in life and,

Holidays 3Memphis Minnie played & sang life’s blues

Memphis Minnie breathed life’s blues

Memphis Minnie lived life’s blues

Etta participated in life and,

Holidays 4Etta sang life’s blues

Etta breathed life’s blues

Etta lived life’s blues

Janis participated in life and,

holidays 7aJanis sang life’s blues

Janis breathed life’s blues

Janis lived life’s blues

Upon observation of all those talented artists before me who participated in life to the fullest despite life’s often hard BLUE edges, I keep in mind that Holidays are not just for family and friends.  Holidays for me offer the keys to gratitude for my artistic soul that will forever

holidays 8open doors.

holidays 9Doors that open wide and offer all the imagination in life I need to create the life I choose.holidays 6blue yarn 2holiday blue

holidays 5blue royal

I WILL,

KNIT a creative life

CRAFT a creative life

PAINT a creative life

WRITE a creative life 

LIVE a creative life EVERY day

ALWAYS and FOREVER.

Happy BLUE Holidays

from a creative artist named L.D.

 

ART, SOUL, SPIRIT, SHINE

A day after yesterday’s dental surgery performed by a nice, somewhat gentle male dentist, I usually don’t have luck with male dentists; and with extremely painful mind-numbing Novocaine recovery I came to one conclusion; it takes great courage, strength, faith and energy to do everything on one’s own without having someone to lean on.  More importantly for me, I wish I wasn’t in so much pain so that I can indulge in my creative outlets, writing and knitting.sick me

It is my belief that when an artist on any level in any form is unable to create and be creative, their world becomes a death knell.  Creating drives the soul, it gives life, it is living, it is breathing without breathing one dies.   For those of you fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of making a living from being creative with your art you are truly blessed.  For me, making a living being creative is a still dream, mainly because I don’t subscribe to the idea of “starving for my art.”  I am practical, I work nine-2-five like everyone else because if I don’t work a “real” job I can’t support myself.  But, for the past few years I have thought about changing my way of thinking and simply diving in.  If I had starved for my art,  what might have happened?

ART

artDo what it takes to; MAKE TIME FOR YOUR ART

Give a little to whatever allows your spirit to shine.  Do what it takes to free your soul into the light of happiness and contentment.

Draw

Paint

Dance

Sing

Act

Meditate

Write

Add

Subtract

Multiply

Read

SOUL

soul

Do what it takes to; LET YOUR SOUL SHINE

“What is “SOUL?”

Is my soul strong, powerful and self-sufficient?

Is my soul powerful enough to propel me to remaining creative?

What does my soul look like?

Is my soul a mist?  Is it a sound?

Does my soul waft through the air like dust?

Is my SOUL my SPIRIT?  Are they one in the same?

I made it to the market and purchased enough ingredients for my version of chicken soup, squash; peppers; chicken; baby bok choy; jalapeno; garlic; tomato; celery; carrots and a few other goodies.  I got home, cooked my soup until it was nice and mushy for me to chew on one side.  My mouth continued to ache, so I took the prescribed meds and rested.chicken soup

Woke up and the meds wore off just enough to bring my mind back down to earth.

SHINE

Spirit

Shine and sing and win and rule and love and laugh and hope and dream and BELIEVE.  And let your SPIRIT guide your SOUL as you continue to pursue what drives you and keeps you alive.

As soon as the meds completely wear off and the pain subsides I will take into account my own words of encouragement.  Actually, I have a few friends to call on and a special (?) in the making, so I am almost at my bliss, but not quite.  Wish me luck.  Until then…

Happy Veteran’s Day and upcoming weekend to all!  LDS

Exposed Brick

I have a couple of plans in the making.  I plan to move to NYC because it is only about five hours from Paris.  Actually, I would LOVE to live the rest of my life in Paris, but I refuse to give up my American citizenship. So yea, I’m moving to NYC to be close to Paris, France basically. And, I want to live within exposed brick, I absolutely love the aesthetic of exposed brick!  If that means I will be an elderly woman walking up 15 flights of stairs in a 1910 Edwardian because the elevator never works, so be it.  Let me explain. brick bedroomNo one ever gets exactly what they want, I get that.  But, I WILL have what I want especially at this time in my life because I finally understand that if you don’t believe you deserve something you won’t get that something. I have finally learned to believe in what I want because I spent my entire life giving everyone and everything what they want.  I want what I call, Universal Reciprocity. 

I am a good, loving, dutiful and conscientious daughter; I am a good, loving and conscientious pet owner; I am a good employer; timely and honest taxpayer; I am a productive American citizen who volunteers at soup kitchens and I give some of my possessions away from time to time.  Why shouldn’t my universe give me reciprocity?

brick room 3What in hell does “exposed brick” have to do with U.R. you ask?  Well, in MY world, exposed brick  embraces earth to stone, earth tt or are buried beneath.  Brick is our flesh and soil and we respect it for what it is and from where it comes. I respect the earth not just as the interior of my domain or the exterior of an old building, but as a piece of the universe that I live amongst. I want Universal Reciprocity so that I may live where I choose to live and love whom I feel needs my love and I want to travel where I feel most comfortable. Well, I want that and money and a decent way to make a living that doesn’t suck up my entire being. But, that’s another blog. I want one other thing. I want acknowledgement from my so-called peers. Let me explain. brick bathroomIf I praise the works of established artists, I expect those artists to “follow” me and “tweet” me or whatever it is, Facebook, Twitter, Flashagram, stripagram, flipagram, whatever, and praise me the way I praise them. They don’t have to “in box” me or DM me, or whatever the hell the terminologies are. Just no more one-sided praise to people whom I don’t know or have anything invested in other than purchasing their works.  If I tell the world your CD or TeeVee show or movie is great, you should be telling the world my self-published book is great or that keychain I knitted is fabulous or my website is “cute” or something. Of course, I am not needing acknowledgement from people I already know, or bloggers who have connected with me, we all are in the same boat, giving away free publicity to artists who don’t even have the decency to call you by the sex that you are. I am female, yet I can’t state how many times I am referred to as “sir” because I acronym my name, LD. No one looks at my website where I placed pictures of me naked from the top up!? Really?

brick room 2So there it is, folks.  I want my universe to respect me the way I respect it and all that is around me, people, animals, the earth. Respect and acknowledge me as I respect and acknowledge the beauty of exposed brick and offer me reciprocity in many aspects of my life. I want give-and-take, ying-yang, re-ci-pro-ci-ty! Plain and simple! Course, this current rambling post is partially brought on by the remnants of a raging cold,  I am not even sure what I am writing here.   I think my point is that if I scream loudly enough to my universe I am sure I will have what I want, or at least something close it it.  But, the exposed brick, nope won’t back down on that.  I LOVE the aesthetic!

Until I write again, not sure when, have a great week ahead, all! LDS