Don’t Think – Just Do – Mama Mia Mantra
Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
Note to my blog readers – I write a majority of my blog posts when Mr. C is still sleeping – very early in the morning. They are written fast, prior to me beginning to work on various, creative projects for my upcoming boutique. These letters are in rough draft format. Please be kind when reading them. I thought that I’d show the world a peek inside of the process of imperfection prior to something transcending into perfection. I would much rather start somewhere, correcting my mistakes as I go, than never starting because I’m fearful of showing the world my imperfections. The support of my readers encourages me to move forward upon my journey towards greatness and fulfilling my dreams. Thank you for supporting me. For those of you who have followed my blog for numerous years, thanks for remaining with me as I continue to adventure onward on this journey called – Life.
Good morning. I went to bed last night, completely exhausted, thinking about my life – past and present – my dreams, individuality, perseverance, and doing really brave things in my life, and never knowing just how brave my journey through this part of my life really was, until long after my acts of courage.
Before I speak about a wild adventure which I had in Las Vegas, a long time ago, I read about this contest Cyndi Lauper and Boy George are doing on Instagram. If a person donates $10 to their cause, one can win VIP back stage tickets. I recall my occupation assisting people with disabilities to locate and maintain employment. I worked with this very, unique, colorful individual – who possessed energy which shined like a star. I am going to name her –IWant2be-Boy George
“Sometimes we are here to lift up the lesser. We are not here to think that we are greater than anyone else.” Quote by Mr. Curmudgeon – from this morning’s deep conversation.
“She’s probably in denial that she’s a great big ball of insecurity and I’m quite well aware that I am one. – Quote by Boy George –
Some would say that Miss IWant2be – Boy George, was delusional, strange, very colorful and bizarre, as well as completely out of her head – coo coo for coco puffs – kind of strange. Her passion for music and for 1980’s controversial, music sensation – Boy George. This young lady glowed so bright, like the sun at high noon, that it scorched everyone who was in close proximity – especially the pious, conservative ones. Miss IWant2be – Boy George lived in a large, group home, where numerous individuals with disabilities live in the heart of Minneapolis. A majority of the staff who worked at this large, residential facility were completely burnt out – not having much to offer anyone, including themselves. Their work load was high, so were their student loans. There pay was low and so was their passion and dedication for their occupations and clients on their large caseloads. Their vacant eyes and non – joyous, blank faces appeared to me like exhausted, empty vessels.
My young, vivacious client had a huge passion for music – preferably if it had anything to do with the unique and charismatic – Boy George. I was very young and extremely passionate about my occupation as a vocational, case manager. I worked harder than some of my co-workers with advanced degrees from top colleges. I had my life experiences, much hands on, job experience, compassion, empathy, intelligence, and a Korean Mother who spoke very little English. It taught me to use my gut instinct and intuition – educating me to read body language in others and in animals, which I will tell you about later in another letter.
I was only the age of twenty-one, a very young, female, minority, who didn’t have a college degree. I knew that this young lady would never become famous like Boy George. I admired her passion and persistence. Why couldn’t I locate her some type of occupation doing menial tasks, like sweeping the floors in a record store, instead of working at Burger King? This client’s passion to dream big ignited my passion to dream big, continuing to do so in my present life. I have always enjoyed helping others achieve what they want, or to come close to it. I recall how draining my occupation could be, feeling as if I’d left the car headlights on, long after being parked, advocating for others struggling their way through the system. Most often it was much easier to give up and go with the flow of the norm. It didn’t take as much of my energy, courage, fortitude and inner strength.
Every time I had to write a rehabilitation plan about Miss IWant2be-Boy George, and discuss what her goals would be for the upcoming year, I attempted to bring up a plan that helped her inch towards her dreams. The team would shut me down, informing me that it was wrong to help a person who was delusional, mentally ill, mentally retarded, follow their dreams. I was told by a large team of highly educated professionals, who carried their HUGE ASS cell phones (early 1990’s) with self – importance, that I shouldn’t be fueling a crazy dream for a crazy person.
I wasn’t suggesting that Miss IWant2be – Boy George become a famous singer, or work directly with Boy George – or even work the cash register in the music section at Wal-Mart. I was just suggesting that we get her a job in an occupation that was more suitable to her passion – such as sweeping the floors at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, where she loved to be. No one would move an inch on this subject, speaking to me in bland, dispassionate, condescending tones.
“It’s not good to encourage her. Please remove that goal from her Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan, we do not support it.”
Near the end of my career as a vocation rehabilitation case manager, I gave up on my ambition to assist Miss Iwant2be-Boy George. My passion to change the world fizzled like a damp sparkler on the fourth of July. I succumbed, becoming one of the ordinary people who worked hard in an occupation that I didn’t enjoy, with vacancy in my eyes and heavy chains of regret weighing down my soul. I had become part of the collective – the fear based – BORG. Their negative toxins poisoned my soul, dimming my passion for life, devouring my self-motivation. The more that I told Miss IWant2be – Boy George, that she couldn’t pursue her dreams in the music industry – the worse her obsession to be Boy George or to meet him, became. Numerous years later, I greatly admire this person for remaining true to her dreams and never letting go. She has taught me so much.
I recall how burned out I felt after a long day at work, dealing with a large caseload of the worst clients in a non – profit agency. I remember one, late afternoon when I was driving home after a very long, exhausting day – listening to my favorite radio station during this time in my life- KDWB. Suddenly, my jumble of thoughts were interrupted when I heard a familiar voice, coming from a caller to the radio station, “Hello….will you please play Boy George…I want to meet him someday…someday, I’m going to be just like him. Can you tell him I called, please? Please play one of Boy George’s songs?”
I knew that familiar voice – very well. Back then, I became furious when I overheard Miss Iwant2be – Boy George’s voice. My face reddened with fury, every muscle in my body tensing with stressed out, irritation – my jaws clenching down like vice grips on metal, my teeth grinding in frustration. This morning, as I write this letter, I grin large – thinking fondly of that daring girl who let nothing stop her from achieving her dreams. I hope that she never stops dreaming big.
I wish that I had her brave spirit to imagine anything I want to be, without any fear – which reminds me of a very daring time I had in Las Vegas. I was celebrating life and turning the age of 30 – the beginning of the best decade in my life. This was my second trip to Las Vegas. I treated my boyfriend, during this chapter in my life, to a memorable adventure in a highly creative destination. It wasn’t a lavish vacation in an all exclusive resort on a Caribbean island. It was what I could afford. i made the best of what I had.
My boyfriend was a gentle, quiet man, who worked in the computer industry. He believed in science – not in a great, almighty sky fairy. He was the first person who made me search beyond what I had been told, brainwashed and believed by religious individuals for so many years. I think that he was a computer programmer. He loved the solitude of the deep, northern, Minnesota woods whenever he wasn’t working. A few months prior to our trip, he almost tragically died from a bee sting in the beautiful, Nemadji State Forest, near Duluth, Minnesota. My quick thinking, my ingenuity, my first aid training, my intuition and my previous experience being highly allergic to bug bites saved his life. I had Benadryl with me. Those were the days before cell phones. If we did have them, we would never have received cell phone service.
During this transition in my life, my grandfather was dying, with only a few months to live. I was entering a new chapter in my life – living it to the fullest.
I recall visiting the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino for the very first time. I believe that it’d just been constructed.
“Do you want to go on the Big Shot ride?” my boyfriend asked me.
“Sure,” I replied without thinking. I had absolutely no fucking clue what I was getting myself into.
I recall riding the elevator to the observation deck with several other people. My mind was in observe mode, I was not analyzing the danger before me and the courage which I would eventually require.
“Wow…You sure are brave.” I recall a plump, middle aged, woman, appearing somewhere from the Midwestern United States, telling me when she saw our tickets in our hands for the Big Shot ride. Her eyes appeared wide with amazement. I had no idea why.
I’m thinking, “So, what? It’s just another ride, like all of the other rides that I’ve just been on.” – The Star Trek ride, when it was located at the Hilton, off the strip, and all of the virtual reality rides inside the Luxor Hotel and Casino. I don’t generally go into to the casinos to gamble. I get bored easily. I feel my money is better spent giving it to the street performers or to enjoy new experiences. I feed my imagination by the creativity which surrounds those money sucking machines, black jack and poker tables, even if it’s cheap and fake, much like scenes on a Hollywood Movie set. I find it stimulating. I love to observe the variety of individuals who tour the strip. I love how this electrifying city was built with creativity, dreams, and hard work, on a desert terrain during the depression, where no one believed that anything could thrive.
I truly thought that we were going no further than the Stratosphere’s observation deck, Henry. All of my thoughts were completely vacant, my mind was recording this memory like a video camera, so that I could write about it later. I wasn’t paying attention to the present moment. When we get to the top of the Stratosphere, I’m admiring the view of Las Vegas, which appears itty – bitty below us. I’m stunned in awe by my view.
“Let’s go. It’s time.” My boyfriend said to me. I stood up straight, removing my face that was squished firmly against the glass – my thoughts lost somewhere deep in the magnificent skyline with the thick, fluffy clouds which appeared like light and airy, baking soda biscuits.
I’m nothing more than a robot, obediently following my boyfriend, outdoors – to a destination where the wind roared much like a lion at a predator. I concentrate on my breathing pattern, moving my feet forward, one step at a time. I couldn’t look down as we were being strapped down inside of a chair type thingy. My heart pounded in fucking fear, beating loudly in my ears like warrior drums. Yet, my mind remained a blank space. The writer in me was attempting to capture the complete essence of this truly, terrifying experience. I wanted to quit, but the curious side of me moved forward like an actress playing the part of a heroine in an Indiana Jones’ movie. I couldn’t resist moving forward on this heart pounding adventure – regardless of the horrors it may bring.
I had a piece of hard candy in my mouth, because I had just quit smoking cigarettes. When I’m completely secured into this strange contraption, high above one of my favorite cities, I’m still not fully comprehending what’s going to occur next and I have to pee really bad. I always have to pee – especially when I’m nervous. Suddenly, I’m shot 160 feet upwards towards the top of the Stratosphere steeple at 4G’s in 2 seconds. My life flashed quickly inside my mind in fast forward, the city of Las Vegas appeared like an ant village, small and insignificant, down below. The skin on my face was dragged downward by the diabolical G- force. My eyelids were squeezed tight. I thought that I had died in those brief seconds. My bladder wanted to release – my hoo – ha (vagina) muscles clench down fast and hard, like gates at a dam, so no urine could flow out, soaking my panties and my blue jeans. The hard piece of candy in my mouth is suddenly forced backwards, lodging in my fucking throat, blocking off all of my gasping air. My face turns blue after a shade of shocking red – my heart beat felt as if it had stopped after exploding in fear. I think that I’m floating over this city – a terrified soul who’s about to shit herself.
When the ride is over, and I’m being released from this NIGHTMARE – a horrific string of my swear words burst from my mouth, “Holy mother fucking cunt…shit! Oh my fucking god…what the fuck…what the fuck….fuck you…fuck you….what the fuck….I thought I was going to pee my fucking pants! Mother fucking …cock sucking bitch of a fucking whore…holy shit….this ride’s bullshit….fuck…fuck…fuck!! oh Hell no…fucking hell no!” My eyes had bulged out of my head like a frightened Chihuahua – my body trembled with the after – shock of experiencing the most horror which I have ever experienced in my entire life. My heart beat rapidly with an overload of intoxicating, fear fueled, rush of adrenaline. The inside of my head spun like Reagan in the iconic movie – The Exorcist. My mouth wanted burst with green, projectile vomit produced from sheer terror. My knees felt incredibly wobbly and very weak. My urine wanted to flow fast like the rapids of the Colorado River. My bowels wanted to release a hot, volcanic stream of shit that stank of pure trauma. I had PTSD – I wanted my mommy! I needed to get the fuck off the top of that almighty, Las Vegas Building – Now!
When I’m finally being released from the Big Shot ride, by men wearing, well made suits, I break the candy loose where it had been lodged in the back of my throat. I gulp for air, attempting to breath again and restart my poor heart, willing it to beat below 150,000 beats per minute. I am forced to do Kegel exercises, my butt cheeks clenched tight, my upper thighs are shaking, in order to contain my bowel movements and urine flow from escaping my weak body. I desperately pray to the fictional Gods who seemed only inches away, laughing at my pathetic existence, that I can rapidly locate a restroom, once we return inside. I knew that I would never repeat this moment in time, except with the written word. Numerous years later, I’m grateful for the wonderful and terrifying experience. I drifted off to sleep last night, with a smile on my face, thinking about it.
This morning as I typed this letter to you, Mr. C wondered why I was giggling and my body convulsing with laughter. I told him about the conversation which I had with my previous boyfriend, after we rode the Big Shot ride, soon after we entered the casino again.
“Your face doesn’t look so good when you are terrified. We aren’t going to buy these photos of you riding the Big Shot.”
The Stratosphere, Big Shot ride has a scary ranking of 8 out of 10. There are two, new rides on the top of this tall, casino – X Scream and Insanity. They rank 9 and 10. Fuck yeah to those who experience it. You’re much braver than I. Fuck you to those who tell me that I should try them or ride the Big Shot ride again – NOT GONNA FUCKING HAPPEN!
( This is the complete description of the ride…I was so scared that I didn’t recollect the entirety of this ride. I must have blocked out some of this ride to protect myself from the fear which was instilled. The Big Shot Ride s the one that made the Stratosphere famous. You’re strapped into a chair with your legs dangling, and then they shoot you straight up the tower’s steeple, 160 feet in two seconds, at four G’s. Then they free fall you so you get negative G’s, then shoot you up again, etc. If this ride started at ground level it would be scary, but add to that the fact that you’re a fifth of a mile from the ground and it’s terrifying. As you’re going up you worry that the brakes will fail and you’ll go straight off the steeple and land down the strip at the Sahara. Minimum height for this ride is 48″. (Notice in the picture that I posted above – before beginning this horrific tale – you can see Insanity on the right-hand side.)
Don’t think and just do…
Whenever I begin a new, creative project – I don’t attempt to over think what’s before me or how long the task might take me. I simply let go, as if I’m dancing high on a catwalk at Ground Zero Nightclub, surrendering to every moment in time, in synch with the music, and at peace with the world. I don’t think and just do. This has been my best tool to use surviving as an artist and a writer for over a decade of my life. I just begin whatever it is that I want to do, and don’t over think what’s before me – permitting my adventure to move onward, as if I were journeying into the beautiful pages of a story book.
When I began working on the Minneapolis Television Network Mural in the late summer – early fall – 2008, I didn’t think and just took the project one brush stroke at a time. I thought that my time there would be short. It took me six months to create the first wall in the main hallway at the MTN studios near the river front in NE Minneapolis. My muse or muses are fucking, obsessive-compulsive, sadistic monsters. After six months of creating in a dark, dim, dirty, depressing work space, where the energy and the lighting was low, I had to do something to bring some hope, happiness, and positive energy into a destination where so many creative minds thrived or wanted to thrive. I continued forward with the next walls on the second level and inside the Mars editing room. The walls were dirty and dark, I couldn’t stand looking at them, each time I passed by to go to the third level of MTN studios to clean my paint brushes. They called to me and I answered.
I thought to myself, “If I paint something basic and ordinary, it might or might not catch attention of many viewers. If I do that, then why am I here? I have a great opportunity before me. Why not take advantage of my opportunity and help others along the way. If I put everything I have inside of me, as well as my hard work and dedication, to this creative project – I would eventually be recognized as a Minneapolis artist. From day one, I took the Minneapolis Television Network Project – one brush stroke at a time, until the pain in my feet, neck and back became too severe to endure standing for so many hours a day, and my hand’s trembled uncontrollably. I felt dizzy – light headed, nauseous, and my heart beat near or over 100 beats per minute, much of the time. This mural was an obsession of mine for numerous years and some of the best years of my life. Near my end of this chapter in my life, it became difficult to type on my computer, return text messages, and hold a paint brush or marker in my hand to successfully create art.
I am inserting a link to a video, which the highly talented, video-agrapher and musician, Keith Porter aka Father Time, created for me, in dedication this my Minneapolis Television Network Project. Thank you for preserving this memory for me – https://youtu.be/tv2dv3NPc58
Today, I don’t take my gift to paint for granted of the ability to feel my fingers fly swiftly across my lap top keyboard, composing new letters to you, Henry. I had a thyroid condition and didn’t know about it. It’s something that runs in my family. My health issue was resolved, well over a year ago. Presently, I greatly appreciate every single moment in my fabulous life, especially when my hands can dance over a surface, with words or with paint, creating something magnificent out of nothing. Even though the Minneapolis Television Network mural no longer exists – I would’ve much rather lived my life attempting to create a tribute to television history, discovering so many new facts and learning a variety of television genres, learning new artistic styles and techniques along the way from past and present artists, than wasting my time sitting in a lazy boy chair, my muscles wasting away, watching television, playing video games, or reading non important stuff online – such as Facebook. I’d prefer to live my life as a great adventurer who has a thousand memories and life experiences. I want to be the woman who smiles because she’s loving her life.
I disappeared from the Minneapolis Television Network mural like a ghost in the night. My point in telling you about the Minneapolis Television Network Project is because I recall someone unique and beautiful, asking me one day as I was painting. I believe that she’s a unique someone who beams with so much passion that she overwhelms others who are unprepared for her indomitable force – Queen. She has a creative presence online and at Minneapolis Television Network.
“How do you endure such long hours, creating art with such intricacy and fine detail? Where do you get the patience to stand for so many long hours a day?” This beautiful woman with an amazing soul asked me one day, admiring my creation in progress. (I never think much of it, Henry. I just move forward until I feel my creation is done. I’m unaware of its magnitude, intricacy or difficulty, until I step away from the project for a long period of time.)
“I don’t think. I just begin. I just do – moving forward one brush stroke at a time. I’m always amazed at what I create, when I finish, knowing something more powerful than I, helped me create something unique and memorable. It’s like magic to me.….”( NO…it’s not God…please refrain from filling my blog comment form up trying to get me to think otherwise.)
I believe it was the power of the people who encouraged me a long the way, watching this mural be born, encouraging me with their words and appreciation for my talent, dedication and hard work. It was the first time that I had permitted others to observe my art being created from the beginning and to witness all of the mistakes I made a long the way, and how I rectified my errors, tried again, or completely changed my direction for the better of this project.
Presently, the MTN mural, Tribute to Television History – no longer exists. It was destroyed when Minneapolis Television Network moved to a new location in NE Minneapolis. I intended on returning to finish the mural once my thyroid issue was under control. My intentions when I first began, was for it to be a dedication to television history. I wanted it to be a place that educated others on how far television has come. I wanted to bring something nostalgic and light into a dark place, where hope and inspiration was needed. I don’t know if it helped others, or if it stirred other people’s creativity, but it taught me so much as an artist, as a human, and as an individual on a great adventure. I really loved quietly observing others go after what they were passionate about, using the resources which MTN offers. I observed Minneapolis Television Network as a busy hive for creative individuals from all walks of life.
Even though the mural no longer exists – I have my experience and my memories. Nothing can destroy them, not even Alzheimer’s Disease or other medical reasons, because I am taking the time to write my best memories down, versus watching Game of Thrones. This amazing project was a necessary step in my life, teaching me great things as an artist, making me grow as a human being, helping me become a better, stronger, more refined individual. I still have a long way to go….don’t we all.
Mr. C and I engage in numerous, profound conversations with each other, early in the morning. Most often we are silent, living our lives together in the same room, doing individual tasks. When we break the silence, our language is meaningful. Mr. C is a great teacher to me – my mentor, my hero – my inspiration. I hope to tell you more about why that I think so in another letter – very soon. Yesterday morning, he and I were recalling our struggle at the beginning of our marriage. Mr. C says, in between a burst of escaping laughter, “You know…I always fear the worst moments in my life right before I’m going to hurdle another fucking obstacle. When I get to the other side, I think to myself that it was those moments in my life which taught me the most important lessons in my life. I’ve met the most interesting and intriguing people. I’ve been astounded and disappointed. On my most difficult roads I’ve observed the most spectacular, unusual scenery.”
Mr. C also told me a tale which he heard from someone who has a business in the building where his office resides. He told me that this person has been in the presence of some of the most frightening individuals he has ever met. He told my husband with wisdom resonating in his voice, that once each person moves beyond their individual fears, finding a common ground to communicate with each other on – everyone is basically the same – we are all human.
I believe that I’m married to a man of great wisdom, as well as a man who surrounds himself with great wisdom. I feel fortunate.
Mr. C had to go to a funeral this morning. My heart’s a bit heavy for his loss and his friends, who live next door to us. Sometimes, the best one can do is move through life as fast as possible, taking a deep breath when the worst is over.
I want to work on the Picasso Project today, after composing this letter. It’s much larger than I anticipated. I’m enjoying the progress that I’m making on the Picasso Project. I’d rather work on it for a few hours today, than not at all. My old pal, Gia the Jack Russell, Rudy’s mama just puked, and I have to clean it up – Gag! Gross! Bleh! Don’t think…just do…don’t think…just do…Don’t think…just do…
*sidenote – The burlesque shows which I used to produce at Ground Zero Nightclub in NE Minneapolis – Dr. Farrago’s Burlesque Theater stream every Friday evening – Minneapolis time – 11:30pm – at MTN.com – enjoy!
Bisous, Mon Amour,
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
“Seeing bored – looking fans staring at you while you DJ is about as horrible as it gets.” – Boy George.
Bisous, Mon Amour