Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Thursday, February 27, 2014

10-8-13 RMB Fun First

10-8-13 RMB Fun First

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Today I saw an announcement about Rita Mae Brown’s latest release Litter of the Law. Nice. I am still trying to read all of your books chronologically, so it will be a while before I get to that one. You know how some people dive into what they like best with fervor?
I am not one of those people. I save the best for last, savoring the anticipation of it. Unfortunately, it is resulting in my taking far too long to read all of your vast array of works. Maybe it’s time for me to become one of those other people, or risk not being able to finish all your books in this lifetime, gasp!

Tonight I had my trio of nephews and after a walk in the park, they watched Wreck it Ralph. I have to give this movie three or five or whatever the magic number is these days, stars for an excellent all around film. I recommend it to adults and kids alike. There is a joy waiting be had there.

Go ahead have some fun first,


Sunday, February 23, 2014

10-7-13 RMB Acknowledging the Light

10-7-13 RMB Acknowledging the Light  

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

I must put a good word in for Gerri Hill’s books. Gulf Breeze is as fun as The Scorpion was exciting. Her characters are unique and likeable. Her writing is smooth, easy to fall into and let minutes and even hours slip away, sometimes taking on the form of a welcome retreat from one’s own universe.

What I am contemplating today is the concept of what ties one soul to another? What ties each individual to the tasks they take on? Why do some devote their life to saving a certain race, or bit of history, or work of art while others become completely consumed with only their own backyard, literally, the grass that grows there, the plants flowering and such.

What makes some promises lasting and others fade away?

In the multidimensional puzzle of life, there are a variety of answers to each question. Every individual has free will, hence their own values, goals, aspirations and sense of right and wrong. All we can hope for is that our answers dance in a friendly manor with one or two or more others’. We attempt not to step on too many toes, while still partaking in passion filled adventures, sometimes losing our heads, stepping on toes and paying the price.

There is a good place, where one can dance with abandon, where all outcomes can be weighed against the truth that we did our best. It is the finding of that place within ourselves and holding tight to it in times of strife that proves challenging, sometimes seemingly impossible.

It is the light that shines within that illuminates that good place. Yet, it appears to dim in life’s stresses. It is as bright as ever, it is that the direction we look has moved to darker places. A light, no matter how bright, will not bring us up, if we refuse to acknowledge it.

Here I sit, acknowledging it in anticipation of brighter days,

Friday, February 21, 2014

10-6-13 RMB Brave Roar

10-6-13 RMB Brave Roar

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

On this day my niece and namesake celebrates her birthday. She is one of the most honorable and brave people I know. You recall the saying “Out of the mouths of babes…”? She is one babe, thirty years my junior, that continues to amaze, surprise and inspire me with words of wisdom and acts of integrity.

Some people gather strength to stand up for themselves. Others are strong enough or wise enough, compassionate enough, and above all else, brave enough, to stand up for others. You are one so blessed, or perhaps cursed (smile), to stand up for others. She is as well.

Two songs released this year echo that strength, wisdom and bravery. Both are brought to us by “babes” that reach multitudes. Both remind me of you and of my Loraine. Information about the two songs follows below. I encourage anyone reading this to listen to them, to honor the young ladies that brought them to us, and most of all, to live by their words.

"Brave" is a song by American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles from her album, The Blessed Unrest (2013). The song was written by Bareilles and Jack Antonoff from the band Fun. The singer was inspired from the struggles that a close friend dealt with in regards to coming out. Antonoff described the song "as a real civil rights anthem at a time when there are no civil rights anthems…" Bareilles also discussed the song in interviews, revealing "there's so much honor and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are, [and] it's important to be brave because by doing that you also give others permission to do the same.”

"Brave" begins…
You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside with no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly. I wanna see you be brave

"Roar" is a song by American recording artist Katy Perry for her album, Prism (2013). The song was written and produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut, with additional songwriting provided by Perry and Bonnie McKee. The lyrics address standing up for oneself and self-empowerment.

"Roar" begins…
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

On this day, I am grateful to those who are “Brave”, to those who “Roar” in the face of oppression, to you, to my niece and these two young recording artists.

Wishing a Happy Birthday to RLI and a Happy Ever After for us all,