Tag Archives: Mary Caliendo

Of Faces and Places In the Heart

My favorite past time of all is people watching. I have always been intrigued by people and their facial reactions, how they walk and talk and carry themselves.  I simply enjoy watching people.

Everyone, I mean everyone, has attributes that are lovely.  I find them. Sometimes, it’s their beautiful hair, their smile, it may be their whole package; how they are wrapped before us, the world, as they pass by us in a single millisecond of time.

There are times and places that we find along our travels where things rest peacefully in our hearts, simply waiting for that someday when they’ll jump right out of our chests and into the world for all to see. To be then on the witnessing end firsthand is to be graced by something I think very special.

Here then standing at an arrival gate in an international airport, I find such special things. Here, people watchers such as myself, rejoice. So much to see, there are so many lives walking by intersecting, touching, not physically; perhaps metaphysically. There are so many differences that they become the same or similar and at least commonalities.

Here, right here in this airport are many hearts slowly leaking, seeping, jumping and leaping out of their chests! We are unlike faces, we are unlike languages but we are alike in smiles and heartfelt touches of humanity.

Hearts that are seen leaping happen in the recognition of one’s family, distant relatives, and long -time friends. Each person filing off flights with hugs awaiting them burst as happiness fills their faces. It is uncanny how suddenly all of those unlike faces become more alike than ever and how this is so immediate. Eyes finding eyes and smiles finding smiles, filling full the faces of the tired and weary, the young and tiny, the ensconced elder in the wheelchair, the saddened, even if just briefly, smiling with their hearts leaping!

Some will receive balloons, flowers, and hugs. There are the lovelorn whose hugs are tight and lips are locked, with tears of joy leaping with their hearts. Those full-kisses have the power of missed weeks, months or even years to be immediately wiped away with new lives started or restarted and love rekindled or just started.

Let it be known, that in this place I stand, all those attributes we all have that I have witnessed firsthand, that they meld into each other and that the lovely I found before still exists only now as my own daughter comes out the arrival door and we see each other’s eyes, I can only hope that someone just witnessed a millisecond of my life as my heart leaps from my chest!

Just my thoughts, just my opinions, and always in a ConversationalTone!

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Road Trippin…..

Road Trippin

 

There’s the rumble of the tires on the asphalt road, the wind blowing across the car with deafening sound and sweaty hair stuck to faces, as kids in the back seat ask, “When are we going to get there?”

There’s a stop for gas and a Polaroid camera, the station with a general store attached to it has salt water taffy and I am happy; all the flavors are my favorites! The man came out and began to fill my dad’s car up with gas and he washed the bugs off the windshield too! He and my dad chatted as the man pointed here and there as they were both looking at the atlas.

My mom sprayed her hair with hairspray and went back to reading her romance paperback. I don’t know why she keeps doing that we’re all choking back here! Also my mother thinks we can’t read too, it’s a book about kissing I am sure of it!

My brothers argue and wrestle, but me, I just peered out into the sky above me. I’m watching the clouds; they somehow look different out here. I suppose being out in the middle of nowhere means there just might be a little more sky!

I see there is way more room to play, but it doesn’t look like there are any kids around, just miles of corn and behind that  miles more of corn!  By the time my dad has gotten back into the car, I have already spotted an entire zoo worth of animals in those clouds, and I can even swear I see my grandmother’s face there too!

Time to go back onto the humming road now and count the thwamps and rumbles on the different pavements and undoubtedly I will fall fast asleep and miss the Native Americans on the plains that I think I might see.  I will also miss the license plate game my mom will play or 50 guesses question game, but who cares I’ll have my dreams of being a prairie girl like in my story books.

I’ll dream of what could be in the next town and the town after that!  And from this day on I will always have a sense of wonder, of what that next town will bring, more flavors of taffy pulled; I hope, or maybe just maybe, how many more miles of unfound zoo animals or grandmothers faces will be in the sky above me.

Dunes Beach Party

 

Oh how I remember those fun times so fondly, where teenage hanging out reigned supreme!

Summer was always so short (i.e. having fun), so gather your friends and get it together! Parties, bonfires in the woods and of course beach party flings were filling the calendar quickly and soon I’d be a senior in high school. There wasn’t a minute to waste, no not thinking about even making future plans like college or classes to take, but I mean getting to the mall (yes even back then there was one)!  There were new bikinis to buy and lip gloss and records (yes I’m that old, also shut up!) and possible concert tickets! Oh those were the days when the minimum wage was low and stuff cost less and I was skinny enough to make a halter out of knotted together bandanas and shoes were always optional!

Within two days of the last day of school car loads of teens made mass exoduses out of their respective subdivisions and out into the wanderlust of their souls. The forest preserves back then were filled with excellent music blasting and super championships of Frisbee, and if one wanted to, there was a guy in a van that would give you an excellent tattoo! How innocent were those that actually did that kind of stuff (no, I didn’t) but actually one never heard of blood borne diseases just yet. Nor did anyone actually die of such an adventure, that we were aware.

So the Frisbees flew and the days were long and the music was as hot as the pavement and it was all good. Especially if one could pack in at least six friends at one time into your car or jeep or special guy’s muscle car and cruise anywhere!  There were nice beaches along Chicago’s lakefront, but the older one got the further from home we wanted to go.

So, the Dunes of Indiana or Michigan called our names. Plans were made, cars were loaded with Styrofoam coolers of Pepsi and bags of Lays chips and with Coppertone oil and chewing gum, sunglasses, cigarettes, transistor radio and towels were filled. As our parents waved a quick goodbye, a virtual parade of cars gather at the station to fill the tanks with gas and on the road we went!  Our heads and arms hanging out open windows, bare feet on dashboards and smiles from ear to ear. The parade proceeded following the one and only guy who knew how to get there! (No google maps people…just handwritten directions or yes an atlas/map was used). The car I was in had one because my dad threw it at me before I left; dad telling me to “give it to the guy driving” because you will get lost!

We arrive! Fabulous expanse of beach lay before us, the weather was hot, we scoped our spots and laid down our blankets as far from people as we could. We nicknamed our spot Camp Beach!  We had the best time, all of use sunburnt tan lines and happiness tired; the girls decide to go to find the beach house to use the washroom. When we came out with freshly rinsed feet (shower was free) we headed back to our blanket camp. Dunes contain ups and downs and they sometimes go for miles and miles but your feet were baby smooth (no pedicures needed the sand provided them) we four were nearly back when we realized we were being followed by four guys we did not know! When we approached our blankets, the followers tried to talk to us and we expressed that we were taken by these guys here, they said oh ok. But they proceeded to park themselves right next to us! Well yes, you guessed it a horrible fight ensued and punches in our honor were thrown. A melee of sand was tossed and naturally a park ranger happened by, all was ended and everyone went their separate ways. We had enough of sun and fun and packed up Camp Beach. As we did this the boys were getting in their respective cars to drive and asked me for their wallets (the boys put their wallets into my beach bag for safe keeping so they didn’t lose them or get them wet)!! But when I reached into the bag, they were all gone! Every single wallet was stolen by those creepy guys! It was the worst ending a beautiful day could have. Not one of us ever recovered any of our wallet contents and lessons were learned that day!

We all could not wait to get home, and now with sunburn all I wanted was my mommy! So much for growing up!

Reconnect

I ran into someone,  or I nearly fell over someone, ok….I didn’t even recognize her; she did me! How awful I felt for the better part of the whole week after that! I used to be really good close friends with this person and the very fact that it took her to actually say her name, did I then (and only then) realize who she was.

I’m in no way forgetful and memories of great times, parties and events immediately flooded me as I stood there. As far back as Girl Scouts and elementary school functions, not to mention high school, we did a lot together~ then quickly after graduation we drifted, more precisely,  we never saw each other again!

Now as I stand before her with a manufactured smile and sweaty palms, I listen to her recall some of those fun times and I then see her face light up~ “Oh Wow, we had a blast back then”!  Now I’m actually engaged and truly smiling~  Thank you friend from days gone by, you’ve “rebooted” me! You threw me back to fond memories and while you said I haven’t changed at all; perhaps it really was me I didn’t recognize~

Keep in touch.

Just my thoughts, just my opinion, and always in a Conversationaltone!

 

 

 

Cancer….You Suck

….You rear your ugly head……like a monster you destroy everything in your path…….

Cancer you suck!!

 

I delve into the age old question, why?  I’m sure that each one of you has known someone or has been personally touched by cancer in some way. It hurts. And again, it has touched me up close and personal; with one of my family members currently going through it. As I sit here in the cancer center looking around thinking of each person I say a small good vibes prayer.

I see that each of them is at different stages of life as well as different stages of cancer. It hurts. I see the people who are expressionless sitting next to their loved one and friend accompanying them for support and love. I see the end of the line and now I can recognize the beginning so easily.

I also see spirit, and in the eyes of so so many I see hope~ I wish I had some type of superpower because this would be it; the ability to eradicate cancer, all of them in one quick scoop! The sheer suffering and pain of each of them fills the air, one can feel it. The beeps of the machines when the I.V. drip is done, keeps my mind from drifting too far, as I imagine that each one sitting here in this center, is floating on a crystal blue surf at a tropical white sandy beach, where each of them is being served the tastiest foods and drinks all while feeling never a pain. Is this too much to ask?

Cancer is a surreal thing just as dreams are. The treatments follow a protocol, that’s simple enough but people are as different as their disease is too. You’re a creepy monster cancer and I dislike you so much. I see now why you are so hard to cure. If it has to be, then why can’t you just be quick? Spare them, spare us~

Take care each of us, live today and laugh, be happy. Share if you can goodwill to another, for tomorrow is not guaranteed~

A Little Bit of Something

So much to bitch about and there’s so little time!

The holiday’s are coming, so I’m sure my ire will be elevated, and I’ll be willing to bet that yours will be too!  After all, it’s time to hit the stores to buy food,(and booze) and presents and more food and way more (booze) (notice how I’m trying to whisper in parenthesis?) Anyway, a certain amount of the bah hum bugs happens because there are people out and about that barely ever come out of their houses to do much of anything, let alone to shop for kids presents or food for a family gathering. That means the couch potato has left its nest, and that could be an ugly thing.

So once you step over the door threshold and step into a midnight sale or a holiday deep discount two for one thingy, remember shopping basket road rage is a definite thing! And if you can get a jolly at all~  remember there’s actually  people out with their morning jammies and slippers on! This is great for a laugh or ten, or perhaps an istagram post or two. Have fun shopping and hanging out, but mostly remember the looks on their faces knowing you tirelessly shopped, picked out and tailored a gift for them!!

Haha to be continued….

Just my thoughts, just my opinions, and always in a Conversationaltone.

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

The forest calls me by name and asks me to hike within it. As I travel slowly breathing deeply

of its rustic scents, I am energized. I’d love to walk here forever. I continue into the still heavily

leafed area, where I feel enveloped with hugs from the trees above me. I guess if you can see me

right now, you’d see a happy smile and lifted heart and a joyful spirit. For it is here, around this

crag and near the natural small waterfall that is fed off the river a long way away, that I chose to

sit.

I am not known to meditate, in fact, some will ask me, and do you ever sit down? Yep, here.

I could do this every day, but life has a way of getting in the middle of my happy place and me.

So, when I can, I’ll go here, even if it’s just in my mind. Now I rest; I sit on this old

withered timber that has fallen due to age and forest disease, because it was needed to house the

squirrel or the beaver or even provide winter housing for the small fox family, each of these

I have seen in my little forest.  I’ll close my eyes and I will breathe listening to the little waterfall

before me. I can hear the rustle of the winds and you as you call me and my brothers’ home to eat.

I can hear you call my name as I did not do my chores. I recall the way you answered the phone.

I know that my mortality is now being challenged. I am nearing past mid-life and I ask you

that when that day comes that you’ll be standing and waiting, calling me home to dinner; not

because I’ve missed you~ But there’s so much I want to tell you about!

Shoes of Dreams

The door tumbler turned, a key inserted into the lock,

where can she hide? As her legs shook instantly and her knees

began to knock uncontrollably, the door began to move now.

She leaned against the wall of bookcases in hopes to disappear into

them, she spotted it, the closet!

Inside the master closet she suddenly felt safe. Being amongst its size and finery

from around the world, the little girl of ten was delighted!

There were shoes of all kinds and colors. There in the corner, an overly worn pair of ballet shoes

hung by a wisp of ribbon. She assumed the ballerina was once a very gorgeous woman, twirling

and dancing and dreaming. There were delicate and dainty dress shoes, perhaps Cinderella danced in

those.

But there were also shoes of a hard working woman. They were scuffed black and terribly worn

and some had crooked heels. All in a neat little row, seven pairs in all. She was sure these had all

walked at least a hundred miles or so!

And so unlike the fancy and delicate shoes of dreams, these are the only one’s she’s ever

seen on her grandmother’s feet!

Identity

My thoughts on identity.

Identity, it’s a source of self. Identity defined is simply being who or what a person or a thing is.

But wait, it is also a close similarity or affinity to something. So much lately has been in the news about

one’s self and our human attachment to an identity. I’m guessing people have been thinking way

outside the box!

Sense of self is important to us; it is where we find our personal security. It is for our sense of comfort.

Lately though, the extreme examples of finding one’s identity have been exhibited for all to see. Human

beings are creatures that crave identities because I think that people gravitate toward each other in

seeking out themselves. This is why we have clubs, support groups, and otherwise genres of t.v.

programming.

For example, taking reality t.v. into account and the types of people who watch them are perhaps

as “on the edge” as those on the shows and somehow the viewer is striving to see themselves.  The

subject matter of changing genders or assigning a gender to ourselves is an interesting one. While there

are people out there somewhere whom are choosing to be this or that, there still are as many more

born to be someone or something else. These people time and again, say they knew for themselves

they were not the appropriate gender, or knew that somehow they were not comfortable in the role

they had been living Or that they sought out love from an undisclosed gender for

example.  Or still yet, that they find themselves somehow being a “misfit” of sorts.

Identity is also something that fits you like a personal glove:  be it your job, or your life course

and sometimes, as we very recently have witnessed the racial identity of a person. One can identify with

the life that one is living. With job loss there is an identity loss, perhaps due to circumstances we squash

all that we want to be for what we have to be. Now, these subject matters bring me to understanding

and the compassion part of it to this essay. I just say let live because although I may not like a

particular thing that is happening  to someone else, I cannot control it nor can I possibly imagine what

that person is feeling  or the freedom they get once expressing themselves~ I just can’t “identify” with

it!!

Identity is where we call ourselves comfortably home and the loss of it, or the real discovery of it may be

exactly what one needs to think way out of the box on this one~

 

Just my thoughts, just my opinions, and always in a Conversationaltone!