Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Although released the year that I graduated from high school, this song takes me a shorter way back to when one of my kids was in high school. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” was released by the Clash in 1982. While I was familiar with the song, I wouldn’t have much interest in the song or the group performing it until my own kid became hooked on punk rock for a good portion of his teen years.

clashMy son’s interest in punk rock introduced us to an entirely new culture- one that I, personally, would have been happy to skip. Along with his interest in punk rock bands, his clothing changed. He was ahead of the trendsetters, creating his own skinny jeans long before boys wore them. He and his friends would take their jeans apart and piece them back together for a tighter fit, meticulously hand-sewing them. His favorite band t-shirts were also altered for a more streamlined fit.

There have been defining moments in my parenting career. These are phases or individual events that stand out even more so than fond memories. In this case, it was a turning point and over ten years later, it still resonates as one of the “big” ones. My teenage son seemed to turn into a stranger overnight. His clothes were tight and sometimes strange. His hair was longer than mine. He was rocking an attitude that can only be described as surly . His music was new, unfamiliar and because of his appearance and demeanor, scary to me. My sweet boy was gone and I did not like the kid who took his place. If I didn’t know him, I would have thought that he was one of those kids out partying and getting into trouble. I didn’t want to think that he was one of those kids. But I have always been very realistic, and I did not want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that there was not every possibility that he was one of those kids. I was terrified that I was going to lose him to a lifestyle that I could not condone. I remember reaching a point where all I could do was hope and pray that we had built a strong enough foundation to see him through.

I remember it like it was yesterday and one reason it is at the forefront of my mind this morning is this song.

As I was contemplating songs for this post, scrolling through our music library, which contains every album any of us in the family has ever downloaded, I came across our punk rock offerings. They are quite extensive.

I was interrupted when the kid who is the subject of this post stopped by on his way home from work. I don’t write about him much. More often than not his kids make appearances in my posts, either in anecdotes or photos. He was still wearing his uniform from work, which is emergency services. He is clean cut and often mistaken for a police officer. There is no limit to the number of times that I can say how proud I am of the man he is today.

So when we were amidst that horrible phase, I guess you could say that this song represents more than just my son’s taste in music because we (my son, husband and I) all were faced with the choice of staying or going. I’m really glad we stayed.

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This week Hugh shared a song with a dramatic opening for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past.  This post was inspired by Hugh’s. I would like to thank Hugh for this cool feature on his blog. I’ve been introduced to many new songs and reminded of oldies that I had forgotten. I can’t wait to see where Hugh takes us next in his time machine.

Happy Sunday!

Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 28: Billy Joel- Piano Man

The minute I read Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past, I knew which song I would share featuring my favorite instrument. Hugh and I share a love of piano music, so my selection this week probably comes as no surprise:

Released by Billy Joel in 1973, it was his first single AND his first big hit. Talk about hitting the ground running! This song kicked off a successful career by a talented musician. That he plays the piano is just bonus.

I’ve always been a sucker for a song with a strong piano presence and Piano Man fits the bill!

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Have a beautiful day!

-Kat

The Space Between

“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” -Nancy Levin

This is where I am. The space between. I’m not sure when I got here. I am certain that I did not wake up one morning to find myself in a different place. This leaves me to believe that it was a gradual shift over time.

I have always been aware of different phases of my life. Childhood. Teen years. Young adult…… Married. And then subs appeared- children, new home owner….. and sub subs- young children, school age children, teen children and now adult children (both independent and straddling the fence independent) and grandchildren.

But this space I am in now. I don’t remember ever being in a place like this. I’ve always been in the middle of something or if one thing was ending, three others were in different stages…. until now.

I don’t recognize this space. I’ve been here awhile now. I know that it is not permanent. I also know that I’m not sure what it is. And the “not yet” referred to in the quote above is on the horizon. Just not here yet.

So, until it’s time to move on, I’m going to do my best to “honor the space between” – whatever this is!

-Kat

7.2.17

“It’s okay if every weekend doesn’t lead to big moments and campfires and laughter that carries on for hours and hours. Some weekends might be quiet, still, with plenty of room to contemplate. And in that contemplation room, there is room to grow. So hold those weekends dear. Don’t see them as less or as threats to the more exciting times. There is beauty and truth even in the seemingly mundane.”          -Morgan Harper Nichols

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I need this.

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 26: Walter Murphy- A Fifth of Beethoven

A favorite song that does not feature lyrics- that’s what Hugh shared for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. Here’s mine-

Just the facts:

  • Adaptation of the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
  • Recorded by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band
  • Released in 1976
  • Included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
  •  A snippet of “A Fifth of Beethoven” is played at Chicago Bulls games when the opposing team loses possession of the ball.

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Looking at the year it was released, I’m thinking that this might have been my introduction to Beethoven. I had been taking piano lessons for a short time by this time and had just began encountering the classics in my studies. I have always been drawn to powerful pieces and this adaptation fits the bill.

Have a great day!

-Kat 

On Privacy

As I’m typing this post, I hear a sound from somewhere nearby. The first thought that crosses my mind is that it is my little two year old buddy. He has been my constant companion for days now but it’s not him I hear. He is with his parents this morning. My second thought, which quickly follows the first, is that Andrew is moving around upstairs. But no, my son is safely up in the air, en route to sunny California. Ari sleeps soundly on her pillow, not even an ear twitch. Then I realize that the sound was probably much farther away, having been heard through an open window in my house. And more importantly, I realize that I’m alone.

For the first time in over two months, I am in my house all alone (save Ari, of course). Finding the time and privacy to write has been a challenge. The combination of a constant presence of other people and the lack of a place to go (due to work being done around the house) has resulted in my lack of writing. I love my family and the work needs to be done but boy, do I need some time with no one around so I can just sit and let the words do whatever they want.

But there is more in play than just a lack of private space/time to write.

“I’m a very private person. I find it very daunting to have to give private parts of myself away to people, you know?”    –-Emily Browning

When I began this post, over a month ago, it was inspired from two conversations I had with people I am close with. Although both delivered their messages quite differently, I was surprised to hear the same thing from both. What it boiled down to was that since I preferred to not share my blog with them, the reason was because I was keeping something secret from them, hiding parts of myself from them.

Their perception gave me pause. It triggered two different responses in me. One was defensiveness. I felt that I had to explain myself but I couldn’t give a complete explanation. Is that confusing? Let me see if I can clarify it- if someone who really knows me were to read my blog, they would not find out anything new about me. There is nothing written here that I haven’t said to the closest people in my life time and time again. (And I did explain this part to both people.) What I couldn’t say was that one of the reasons (and there are many) that I don’t want people I know in my day to day life reading what I write is because I don’t want to hear what they have to say about it. Now, before you rush to say that you are sure they would be very kind and never criticize my writing, let me tell you that is the exact reason why I don’t want them to read it. I want the sincere response of people who are reading what Kat writes. If they choose to comment, that tells me what I might want to know. I don’t want to hear from people I know patting me on the back and complimenting me because they know how hard it was for me to have them read my writing  and they want to be encouraging. Okay, maybe I sound slightly nuts about right now, but that’s the truth. It’s not the only reason but it’s a biggie.

Then there is the second response triggered. This was a comment thrown out in anger? possibly- “Well, you know I could find your blog if I wanted to.” And that is why I have not tried harder to secure time to write. Because I was well aware of this small fact. To be completely honest with you, for days I was frozen with my mind racing wildly from one thought to another, trying to decide whether I should delete everything from my computer after transferring it to completely different location along with deleting Dandelion Fuzz and starting fresh under a new name all around. Yup, fight or flight was set into motion. And if I didn’t sound nuts before, I’m pretty sure I do now.

Here’s the thing. Privacy is a big deal to me. And my writing means everything to me. I am so protective of my words. When I started thinking about writing a blog, I thought about it for a long time. Then I created a blog under a different name but didn’t publish it. After that I started thinking about it again and researched which platform to use. When I finally created this blog, it began as just my name. Dandelion Fuzz didn’t get its name until I participated in the Blogging U classes. Needless to say, it took me many years to get to this point. Pursuing my dream of writing has been a very slow process. It has forced me to step out of my comfort zone but it has been a good thing.

So I need privacy to write. It’s imperative that I have a private space where I feel safe and uninterrupted to write. Also, I need the emotional space and freedom to write without fear of someone lurking in the corner trying to discover something about me. If you know me…..really know me., then you already know me and you also already know that this is not the way to find out something you might not know because the loss of my trust threatens the ease in which I might share things in the future.

I understand their curiosity but I am hopeful that the integrity of our relationships will be more important than snooping to realize that I wasn’t hiding a thing. And going back to the Emily Browning quote above- any private parts that I have not shared with someone are not going to be shared on a public blog.

As for the future of Dandelion Fuzz? I do want to hold on to it. I don’t want to start over again. I guess that remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts? Am I too paranoid? Or nuts?

Have a good one!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 24: Bonnie Tyler- Total Eclipse of the Heart

This song was released in 1983. It came out when I had just entered what would be one of the most trying times of my life.  I had fallen in love and it was incredible and terrifying and painful and just plain awful. At the time I didn’t realize that it would take me on a roller coaster ride that would last just a little too long. I didn’t know that I had the power to get off the ride and walk away.

And this song seemed to put into both music and words what I was experiencing. It made me cry at the time. It still tugs at my heart when I hear it but it really is a great song. At least, I think so!

I would like to thank Hugh for sharing songs with us each week. 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past has given me the opportunity to look at songs with fresh eyes.

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Ah, first love…..there’s nothing like it, huh?

-Kat