December, 2007 Archives

31
Dec

Inventory

by Pj in Random

Let’s review.

After all is said and done, what still matters is that relationships have been strengthened.

Of the many lessons I have learned this year, the one I will share is the realization that I do not love everyone and not everyone loves me and that is okay. Altruistically, I still believe that if we took the time to really get to know one another, we would care deeply for each other — but, realistically, that is not going to happen. Lack of time and now, at midlife, lack of desire.

What I finally appreciate is the nucleus of people who do know me and love me as I am. I depend on them and I believe they know and understand they can depend on me.

At the end of every day, no matter what has happened, we are there for one another. This brings comfort and strength. It is also liberating. I am no longer interested in spending my time in the pursuit of being loved and understood by others. I am interested in spending time in the pursuit of my dreams. I found out this year that I count too. Not more than you, but most assuredly, not less!

orangemarathon.jpgI find that those who truly love me support me as I support them. Not by walking the road for each other, but by cheering each other on, throwing out the proverbial orange or at times dousing me with a water bottle.

It is in the doing for self that I find the personal satisfaction I seek. It is in the arms of those who love me I share my joys, struggles and theirs as well. The relationship with myself has been strengthened through this year of struggles and has enabled me to more appropriately “support” others as well.

I count and so do you.

30
Dec

“Less Than” No More

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – A friend told me recently that she feels like she is always in wait mode. Waiting for others to do what they are supposed to do so she can do what she wants to do. I have often felt like that myself. This last year, I decided to stop waiting. Some would beg to differ as I wait on my kids, husband, friends … but I feel I have taken more control of my life. Imagine what it must have been like before!

A friend expressed that she feels she was fearful of being all she is supposed to be because then others might not love her. She told me that I was fearful as well but for another reason. I was fearful of making others feel “less than” and, since I always felt “less than others”, I would never want to make others feel that way. Don’t you hate it when friends are honest with their perception of you?

brodge020.jpgMore thoughts to end this tumultuous year and to begin the new one. My older sister sent me a thoughtful gift for Christmas. A lovely photo of a bridge. A reminder for me every day that all I have to do is cross over to get to the other side. The bridge only waits for me.

23
Dec

Slam Dunk the Mama

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – three.jpgI guess my wrestling days are over. Ben slammed dunked me and when my head hit the amplifier Chris heard it upstairs in the kitchen! I don’t think I have ever been a patient in Urgent Care before. Interesting experience. I am not sure why, but I could not stop crying. It didn’t help that my head couldn’t stop bleeding! OUCHHHH!

The positive thing, and there is always a positive thing, is that my doctor ended up being from East Africa. Between the x-rays and the stitches, I was able to subtly interview him and managed to find out that his wife is from Africa, also. So, if we need a voice over, I found another potential voice!

So now when my head stops pounding I can get back to editing this puppy! As far as wrestling … I think I need to get back in the saddle! No matter how big my boys get, they have to know that I’m still willing to go mano-a-mano with them!

21
Dec

HOME FREE

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA – Twenty-five years ago, I had one of those wonderfully magical days. In the morning, I found out that I was expecting my first child. That evening, my husband had bought tickets to see a musical artist I deeply respected. It was a wonderful day, a day that began with a smile that lasted all day long.

After the concert, I was lying in bed listening to the radio. The announcer introduced his guest. It was this same artist. He rarely gave interviews. And yet here he was expressing his views on music and life experiences.

“Tell me Dan, which song do you feel never received the attention you felt it deserved,” the disk jockey said.

Immediately, I said out loud, “Be On Your Way.” I also laughed at myself. Of his many songs why would he pick this simple yet beautiful, touching, wonderful song. I willed him to validate my own personal choice.

“That would be … ‘Be On Your Way.’ I might even release it again on an upcoming album,” he said.

danf.jpgThen, right there, with the moon high in the sky and with my hands embracing my still flat tummy, they played it. I laid there sharing a smile with myself. I had connected with, in my opinion, a musical genius. Maybe what I feel and think and write could inspire and uplift others as his work had inspired me. Maybe, just maybe I had creative gifts too.

This week, Dan Fogelberg died from cancer. Those of us who have loved his words and music have known of his illness. Many had hoped his treatments would be successful and he would once again write more words and sing new songs that would express musically what so many feel. Over the last few years, I hope he was able to have moments of self-expression in whatever artistic form he enjoyed. He deserved that and so much more.

My daughter, Wisteria, called me this week to ask why I hadn’t told her of his death. He was not a personal friend. He was not a relative. He was an artist. His words, his music changed me. They still do. Dan, you are “home free.”

13
Dec

Lifeline

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – This week, we had the opportunity of assisting a young filmmaker shoot his first short film. We went to Phoenix Childrens Hospital where (13 years ago) he was born with persistent pulmonary hypertension. He was in intensive care for over two weeks. It was touch and go for quite a few days. Finally, he responded to the medical care.

Through the years, his parents have generously shown their appreciation with monetary contributions to PCH. This year, he was able to make his own contribution. We toured the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and we filmed him talking to and handing a generous contribution to a nurse that was there when he was a newborn. We walked among the tiny beds with tubes and wires hooked up to preemies and saw the look of fear and hope in the desperate eyes of young parents as they hovered next to their tiny newborns.

As we experienced our young friend’s life-affirming generosity, I realized that all around us were families who were living in fear of each moment. No one can know how the other feels in such circumstances. I cannot imagine, nor do I want to know, what it feels like to be the lifeline between life and death.

Every day we experience life situations that can teach us about ourselves if we are open to the lessons taught.

Today my business partner signed a legal document that has ended her teaching career in this state’s college system. I cannot begin to relate the sadness and disillusionment this situation has created for her, me, students and other faculty.

I do not have to ask Cyndi how she feels. Her silent tears reveal to the world and me how alone and lonely she feels. Her eyes are dimmed as her “lifeline,” teaching, has been removed.

This last year, she chose to produce two films and study animation so she could develop media arts at the college. As a result of that choice, she sold her house to pay for that real-world education. Her eight-year relationship ended. She rented a small condominium, slept on a mattress on the floor and ate on a card table. She said she enjoyed living a more austere life as she educated herself for the coming year.

On a beautiful Monday afternoon, she received notice from her employer of intent to dismiss and a seize and desist order on her personal web pages that were created to generate funds for future movie projects. She had never been reprimanded in any way. She had never been contacted by anyone prior to the delivery of the notice. It seemed that every day more and more of her lifeline was cut.

After all of this, her name is forever tarnished with lies that have been proven false. Sadly, the false accusations plant a seed of doubt that lingers in the stale and stagnant air. Her supportive son has moved to New York. She minimizes what is going on so hardly anyone seems to understand how dire her situation is. She has received letters from her former students expressing their disbelief and discontent that their mentor and at times, lifeline, has been removed from the world of academia. They’ve requested to take classes in her living room.

I sit and stew and wonder about those who are responsible. I wonder how they are able to sit comfortably in front of their fireplaces with gifts under their trees, knowing a good, kind human has been so terribly wronged because of their actions. Do they have night terrors knowing what they have caused? Can they appreciate that they have destroyed the life of a dedicated teacher and prevented students from leaning the skills they need to pursue their dreams? What was their motive? What motivates such evil in the face of good?

Tomorrow will be a new day. The holidays are upon us. Cyndi will be out and about helping those she knows and those she meets in any way she can. She will dissolve her retirement account to pay her legal fees. She does not want to owe anyone anything. The irony is that there are many who owe her everything because of all they learned from her. As 2007 comes to a close, she will have much less than she had at the start of the year. There is one thing, however, that she never lost. Her integrity. She retains the ability to look at herself in the mirror of your eyes.

She will remain our lifeline.

9
Dec

Last Dance

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA — One of the things I most enjoy in my life is watching my adult children interact with their significant others.

Saac went to a “formal” affair the other night. It was a dance and that boy LOVES to dance. He is very good at it. We were all talking about how unusual it is for guys to like to dance. Ben said he would love to dance if he knew how. He doesn’t like to “look” stupid out there.

So, in my infinite wisdom I have come up with a litmus test for women. If you really want to know if a guy is secure in who he is and REALLY doesn’t give a flip about what people think of him, take him dancing.

hitch.jpgInstantly, you will discover if he is all about looking good. You will find out if he thinks people are always watching him and if they might catch him pulling an Albert Brennaman (HITCH). If my litmus test is accurate, when the fellow gets out there on the floor, he’s letting you know he is more about having fun and sharing a good time with you than making sure he looks good.

In the meantime, Ben is interested in taking dance lessons. Leave it to Ben to figure how to look good AND have fun. That is a smart boy. Sounds like I found a great Christmas gift for someone. More time to enjoy watching my kids!

3
Dec

The Beat Goes On

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — It is not news that I love music. I often spend hours listening to new artists as I search for the perfect song or songs when editing. We are at the point of placing music into our doc and feature. It is amazing and magical to watch a flat scene come to life with the “sound of music.”

Jeniece sends me more current trends. Sometimes I listen and recognize right away that it doesn’t fit me. Today she sent me two new songs from two different artists. One sounds familiar to me, kind of like an early James Taylor. Both have lyrics that touched me.

Thanks Jeniece for sharing.

Music can say things we would like to say or hear what we want to believe. Sometimes we have to listen to the beat without to recognize what motivates us to keep beating within. And sometimes it’s just fun to discover a new song before anyone else has had the experience. I passed these on to Wistie. She hasn’t told me what she felt yet. It is just a matter of time. You can’t keep the beat to yourself. It will keep pounding away until you give it away.

Beat, beat, beat, beat.

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