This ain’t a song for the brokenhearted
No silent prayer for the faith departed
And I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd
You’re gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I’m alive
I just wanna live while I’m alive.
There’s a lone tomato growing into its later moments — in my backyard — and I swear it’s singing Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life, swaying to a soulful desert breeze, a little Bic lighter marking time to the moment.
And where am I? Where have I been all these days and weeks?
Pretty much not living while I’m alive. Jon Bon Jovi would be ashamed of me.
I’ve been lying on Greta Garbo’s fainting couch with a sour mood heavier than all the days of one’s life. Living out the lines of her Camille with the back of my hand placed over my forehead, regret and anguish spilling into my heart, whispering that famous retort, “You who are so young–where can you have learned all you know about women like me?”
I’ve certainly not been rocking it out like that brave late-into-the-fall tomato in my yard.
And why all this broken sadness? All this regret and madness?
I’ll get to that later.
Right now I want to talk about what any of us would do if we had only five — FIVE — days in which to do our life’s work. What’s our five-day bucket list? Here are the rules: We’re healthy and strong enough, like teenager-strong, to do anything we physically want. We’re amazingly smart enough to accomplish anything we can think of. We’re football stars and movie stars and rock stars and geek stars. We’re able to do whatever good or evil we wish … but we only have five days in which to do it. Our list can be extensive or it can be exclusively singular. We can do ANYTHING we want.
So GO! What would you do?
Here’s my list:
- Haul my heavy backside off the couch and go do something to make myself sweat at the gym. Not just a little sweat, but pouring down my temples and into my eyes sweat until my legs no longer work and my arms are noodles and I break apart and fall into a million little depressionless shards of get-up-and-go.
- Find a woman (maybe in the grocery line) who’s hair looks like mine — you know, hair that looks like those little fuzzy baby chicken feathers that stick up from the head because there aren’t enough of them left to curl or style or hide all that sticky scalp — and strike up a conversation with that beautiful woman simply because I love her bravery so much I can’t stand it.
- Walk into the church I no longer attend because of its narrow minded bigotry and fall on my knees because of sadness for its frailty and its desperate need for little women like me to pray for its sad heart.
- Take back number 3 and pray for tolerance because I need it first.
- Dye what’s left of my hair a wild and sensuous blond because that’s how I’d like to go out — a wild and woolly blond!
- Go sky diving — Hah! Just kidding.
- Spend my entire week’s food budget on a family that could use healthiness and something better than donated Velveeta and Wonder Bread. If Mr. Backyard Tomato Rock Star is ready, he’ll have a new purpose in life too.
- Take Wilson to visit our beautiful little ladies and gentlemen at the skilled nursing facility — and spend so much time with them that the staff will think we’re patients too.
- Sit quietly with another hurting woman, hold her hand, cry with her, heal with her.
- Go sky diving — Nope! Still not a chance on God’s green earth that will I jump from a perfectly good airplane.
I could go on, but ten things is a good enough start with only five days in which to accomplish my premise.
So, what’s on your list? Please don’t tell me you’re going sky diving. ANYTHING but sky diving. May I suggest spelunking? That would be lovely. I like caves. Nice, cool, I-need-a-sweater caves.
So, back up to the middle of this bloggy thing … and the question of why I’ve been so saddened lately. Let’s just say, if I do even half of the things on my list, I’ll be happy, happy, happy. And the couch will no longer have my impression stamped into its leather every day, and Notre Dame will win every game from this day forward.