This might be one of my favorite serendipitous photographs ever. I'm sure I've shared it at some point in my LJ life, but it always brings me pleasure to revisit it. Once, when I was in a very dark place emotionally, I found this cassette tape on the sidewalk in a place not generally prone to random cassette tapes on the ground, and indeed in an era when cassette tapes of any kind were increasingly rare. Furthermore, it wasn't a place where I usually walked, and I happened upon it just when I needed it. Thus, the serendipity.
The description on the tape is as follows: "This cassette contains the original hits of your favorite artist. It is made with maximum quality, thinking of you. Thank you for your preference." Note the fact that it uses the familiar form - "tu artista" (rather than more formal "su artista"). This is even further evidence that I was meant to find it.
I've never played the tape, and I never will. I prefer the line of magical thinking wherein whoever picks it up is rewarded with their favorite hits from their favorite artist. And furthermore, since very few of us have but one favorite artist, that the tape will sense what is necessary in the moment, and present the musical selections accordingly. If I were to pass it off to someone new, their preferences would be represented. It is an instant spirit lifter for anyone and everyone. Whenever I need a smile, I visit my magical cassette tape and know that it was made thinking of me... and you, and you, and you, and you too.
There were many signs today that the timing was auspicious to begin this new journal. It was the first day of the month, the first day of the fiscal year, the first day of my new (but not-so-new) job, the cliched but very real first day of the rest of my life. And I heard this song on the radio. It all fit, so here I am.
A few days ago I returned from a trip to see my family -- the annual pilgrimage to bring my kids to see the grandparents. We also spent a good deal of time with my 96 year old great grandmother. Each time I go I find that she has become more and more bitter and angry and difficult to be around. At one point my 6 year old son was being difficult in the way that 6 year old boys can be, and pitching a fit in a restaurant about something seemingly unimportant to us adults, but clearly crucial to his well being. She turned to him and warned that he better stop because, "The restaurant locks bad boys like you down in the basement until they behave." Then, she couldn't understand why he didn't want to sit next to her anymore.
I love my grandmother, and understand that some of her behavior comes from the very real knowledge that her physical time on this earth is coming to an end. She has fears, regrets, sadnesses. However, I also know that she's always been bitter. She has always scared 6 year old boys, and she scared me when I was young. That is her way of interacting with the world.
I returned from my trip with a strong, new (but not-so-new) goal for my life: I do not want to be a bitter older woman, or a bitter younger woman either. I want to be a joyful, creative, and effervescent crone with attitude. It seems to me that I'm on a path towards that goal, and this feels good.
I'm going to keep my croneitude friends-only for now, but give a knock if you want to come in. I promise not to scare you.