Mad Men and New Moons

For a new moon Sunday, I can't say things kicked off to a stellar start.

Lillian kicked my butt at Scrabble.  Three games won, she spared me more trouncing by packing up the board and calling it a night. Meant to get over to Ulta to check out the latest step-up-from-the-drugstore cosmetics, but fell asleep during meditation instead and slept for two and a half hours.  In jeans.  (But it was a nice nap!)  Daisy's calling me right now -- sweetly, but loudly --  "Mommmmmy.....Mommmmmmy...."   I remember when she said DaDa all the time and never called me -- her primary caregiver -- by name.  She seems to have the hang of it these days.  

I usually take a few moments and write out my intentions for the next month when the new moon comes around.  It's always a good time to reflect and make a few decisions, but today the feeling just wasn't there.  (Again, the nap just seemed more pressing.)  I don't know what the official theme of this month is, but I can tell you our theme around chez Maziarz is going to be "Get the crap out of the house and get ready for a cozy, beautiful, creative winter."  Or something like that...  : )

Ah, Mad Men.  The respite of 1963, right here in our own remote controlled, Tivo-ed living rooms.  I'm fairly sure Mark and I are going to be Don and Betty Draper for Halloween if Mark can find a studly enough suit.  Me?  I got Betty Draper any night of the week in my closet. I love the vintage vibe. 

I'm not sure if the era of the early sixties is more simple or more complicated that the one we live in now.  Civil rights, women's liberation, sexual mores, workplace politics...is it really really better, or is modern culture better at hiding the inconsistencies, the problems?  Are we just keeping different things under the rug than the stuff that used to be there?  I don't know.  I'm really asking. 

Lillian asked the other day -- rhetorically, but also really, I think -- if anyone is really happy.  I keep thinking about it.   At dinner the other night, everyone discussed the antidepressants they've tried or are taking.  Grandparents, kids, dogs...is there anyone who isn't on something?  Or should I say, is anyone who's not on something happy?  In my cynical moments, I'm not sure.  Utah has the highest percentage of women on antidepressants in the country.  And we've got mountains, skiing, hiking, red rock canyons, fresh air, healthy industry -- what else could we want?  [Well, I guess the freedom to speak your truth.  In some Utah cultures, that one doesn't necessarily fly.]

In a recent O Magazine, Martha Beck writes about 'culprit issues' -- the ones we like to believe are the real root of our sadness or problems -- and how it's usually an illusion.  We're fat -- but if we weren't fat, everything would be perfect, right?  Our families make us nuts.  If we'd only been born to a more functional, normal family, we'd be able to handle everything that comes our way.  I guess it can be whatever.  So now I'm looking around me, listening carefully to both my own words and those of others, sorting out whether there are actually culprit issues at work all over the place.  Are they chronic?  Do we all take on serial issues from time to time?  Is this just life -- not reducible to a psychological life-coachy theory?  I'm not sure yet.  But as usual, Martha hits so close to home that I can barely dive in to the article at first flip through the magazine.  

Sometimes I suspect that the time and energy freed by modern conveniences has backfired on us a little.  Innovators imagined that humanity would do what?  The goal was never to make life so easy that we just sit around all day, was it?  Perhaps the hope was for people to think deeper thoughts, help others more, relieve suffering....surely we're meant to do something great with the extra hours and efforts saved by things like dishwashers and computers and cars.  Do we?  Maybe the key is to make sure that the way we spend the time and energy available to us is worthy of our best selves.  We must remember that we are not removed from the need for effort and time itself.  It feels good when we work out;  our bodies are happy to know what they can do.  When we cultivate a garden, we find more pleasure and pride in it than in the perhaps more aesthetically perfect work of professional landscapers.  We must find good work that we like to do.  Right livelihood.  We must sweat.  We must play on the floor with our kids.  We must make things with our hands that matter to somebody, even if that somebody is only us.  

Okay, so I guess I have an intention after all for this new moon.  I want to emerge from the world of my head and to engage in the world of the body, the heart, the hands more everyday.  And I want to notice when I'm happy, just as often as I note the times I'm not.

Today I'm Thankful For:
1.  New flavors at Starbucks.  Harvest Spice White Mocha and Toasted Marshmallow Latte, I can barely WAIT to try you.  (Though I do wonder if Starby's read my Tweets.  I've been having the baristas mix pumpkin spice and white chocolate for my lattes since September and freely commenting about it online.)
2.  Cool artists like Jeffery Lautenslager, whom Mark and I met in Encinitas after sending him an email about one of his amazing kinetic sculptures that we saw from the beach.  
3.  The internet.  That allowed us to find out the artist of that sculpture in about two minutes of Googling.
4.  To be going home tomorrow after a nice trip.  It always feels good to be home.  
5.  For my sweet nephew Quinn.  







2 comments

  • Hugs

    Hugs

    Mary Beth, thank you for playing at DV this summer. I so enjoy the music you create. You may remember that I walked up to request a song, but you were "out of time." I had hoped to make it to Zoom for your august gig, but a conflict came up. and you may remember the request on Main Street 2008 that generated a strong outpouring on your part. Anyway, you bring up some remarkable moving questions. Deep questions. We explore these in a PC continuing ed class called unlocking your authentic life. maybe you know Stephanie Barton...awesome lady. One thing I do know is that some of my most blissful times are listening to you sing and play on a waning summer day with a glass of wine and a companion by my side. on the transition days, those memories are some of my "medicine" to remind myself what makes me happy. Be assured there are many who appreciate all you do in a similar way. looking forward to your next show. hope the family is well. Bill

    Mary Beth,

    thank you for playing at DV this summer. I so enjoy the music you create. You may remember that I walked up to request a song, but you were "out of time." I had hoped to make it to Zoom for your august gig, but a conflict came up. and you may remember the request on Main Street 2008 that generated a strong outpouring on your part.

    Anyway, you bring up some remarkable moving questions. Deep questions. We explore these in a PC continuing ed class called unlocking your authentic life. maybe you know Stephanie Barton...awesome lady. One thing I do know is that some of my most blissful times are listening to you sing and play on a waning summer day with a glass of wine and a companion by my side. on the transition days, those memories are some of my "medicine" to remind myself what makes me happy. Be assured there are many who appreciate all you do in a similar way.
    looking forward to your next show.
    hope the family is well.
    Bill

  • Arthor

    Arthor

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