Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The New Normal For Communal Gatherings

 I’ve been watching The Healing Kitchen. It’s a series of 9 episodes designed to teach food as medicine and healing.

Along the way I’ve learned things that I think are amazing.

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, whom I have great respect for as a health professional, said something that shocked me.

She said that she’d prefer to see someone eating a Twinkie in a group of family and friends  rather than something healthier alone.

She was not promoting junk food consumption. She was emphasizing what she sees as more important than the food itself – eating communally.

Recently I have developed an interest in Blue Zones and living to one hundred and beyond with good health and faculties intact. I’ve watched several documentaries about the subject and all of them echo that sentiment.

How do I apply that to my life? My friends and family are all over the planet.

There are a lot of people who believe that online connections are not real. I disagree with that. I have solid online connections with people in a couple of ways.

Firstly, I have friends that I have never met in person. And yet, I’ve known them for years. Two women in particular I met on a website called Shelfari in 2006. Shelfari was a website where you maintained a bookshelf with books you had read and there was discussion of the books.

When Shelfari was taken down, Jane and Natasha and I moved our friendship to Facebook. I’ve corresponded with them several times a week for 17 years. I have talked on the phone with them. I have a solid connection with both of them that I don’t think is lessened by not having met them in person.

Solid connections about reading and life.

Then there is arghink.com, the blog community that Jennifer Crusie provides for her fans. There are women who have commented on her blogposts for years. I am one of them. I met Jenny in person several years ago when she did a book signing in Louisville, KY. She gave a talk and then answered questions before people stood in line to get books signed.

When it was my time to get my book signed she asked who to make it out to. I told her she could use my name, Judy, or she could use the name I commented on arghink with, Clever Cherry. As soon as she heard my Cherry name she knew who I was and she came around the desk to give me a hug.

Solid connections about writing and life.

Pinellas Writers is a Zoom group I belong to. Every Tuesday night we meet and read something we have written to be critiqued. I’ve made friends that I have contact with beyond the parameters of the group.

More solid connections about writing and life.

I live 800 miles away from one of my daughters and her family. We do Skype game nights and Skype dinners. Sunday we ate tacos together. My daughter Ruthie, my son-in-law and grandson were on their back porch In Kentucky. My daughter Liz and I were at home in Florida.

It was chaotic with dogs barking and too many people talking at once and laughter and tacos consumed.

It sure felt like a communal meal. I would like to think Dr. Low Dog would recognize it as such.

And, in my life, it is a way of connecting that I am most grateful for.

Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkel

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Vivid Flashes Of Light


Author: Judith Ann Jennings

Illustrations: Tracey Hudson Countz

Light cracks:

From Nick Drake - whose light was gone way too soon:

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Earworms and the collective consciousness: B.E.E.

Lately when I hear words said or sung my mind questions – what do these words add to the collective consciousness? Would they build a world I want to live in?

  I am prone to earworms. A catchy tune will stick with me and when I start to really hear the lyrics I am frequently appalled.

 There is a song stuck in my head that is irresistible. It makes me want to sing along even though the words are truly awful.

  So – I decided to rewrite them. It took a while. And now, it is taking more time to cement them in my mind so when I hear that song I hear MY words.

  The rewriting was fun. The original song is about a gangster thief who sometimes kills people in the course of robbing them. Uh no. Not promoting that world in the collective consciousness.

 My version is about bees. Instead of the gangster wanting to take my money, the bee wants to make some honey.

 Here are the lyrics to my version:

 I fly like bees, get high in trees

 If you see me in a flower I got pollen on my knees

 If you come around here, I’m buzzing all day

 I’ll pollinate something in a second if you wait


Sometimes I think sitting in tubes

 Every stop I’m depositing food

 Everyone’s a winner, I’m dropping off dinner

 Bona fide hustler making my name


  All I wanna do is-*(bang, bang, bang, bang)

 And a-*(gun cock sound, cash register)

 And make some honey

 (repeat 3x more)

 Daisies and cherry blossoms

 Carrots, squash and beans and corn

 Sunning when we sit ‘em

 Healthy nectar for the system


 No one on the corner has a nose like us

 Attracting pollen to our body of fuzz

 We roll it in balls, store it in our legs

 Fly to the hive so the honey can gush


 All I wanna do is-* (bang, bang, bang, bang)

 And a-* (gun cock, cash register)

 And make some honey

 (repeat 3 x more)


 We serve the queen

 We got more drones than linked or indeed

 So, no funny business and we won’t swarm


Some, some, some I, some I land on

 Some, I some I let go

 Some, some, some I, some I land on

 Some I, some I let go


All I wanna do is-*(bang, bang, bang, bang)

 And a-* (gun cock, cash register)

 And make some honey

 (repeat 3x more)


 If you’ve heard the song, you will recognize it by the meter. I don’t think it would be legal or respectful to name the song here. Curious people who know me can text or email me and I will tell you title and artist.

 My dad used to do this. Not in the same way or for the same reason. He would hear a song and he wanted to sing along but he didn’t know the words – so he would make them up. Usually his version would be bizarre and random, often funny.

There’s a song by Stephen Foster titled Jeannie with the light brown hair. My mother’s middle name was Jeannie. Somewhere in almost all of my dad’s made up songs was the line – “I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair”. If my mother was present when he was singing she would roll her eyes but she would also smile.

Although what I did here is not like what my dad did, I envision myself doing this a lot in the future. My small way of cancelling out the negative world that words or lyrics can create.

Here's a song for a kind world:

Put A Little Love In Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon