Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ladies, magic girls & learning to live

Lady when I'm with you I'm smiling
Give me all your love
Your hands build me up when I'm sinking
Touch me and my troubles all fade

Lady from the moment
I saw you standing all alone
You gave all the love that I needed
So shy like a child who had grown

You're my Lady of the morning
Love shines in your eyes
Sparkling, clear and lovely
You're my lady

Some lines from the song: "Lady"
written (and sung) by Dennis DeYoung,
of "Styx," about his wife, Suzanne

Live long and prosper, magic girls ....
I know that only yesterday I said, fair is fair, two photographs for London, two for Paris, two for Rome, but in every contest there must be a winner whether we wish it to be so or not. Therefore, tonight, we have a winner: No one other than a "magic girl" can represent the winner. Rather than say which city is the winner, please look up this young lady's current residency, if you do not already know. Learn, if you would, please, and appreciate.

My photo is dismal, as usual, in a technical sense, but it is mine, and to stand so close to this "magic girl/lady" requires nothing more than appreciation of the essence of female beauty and artistic talent. We might not have been alone together, but we were close together. Technology is not required, and I will leave that argument to the technocrats among us. No, I am not grouchy, simply questioning priorities, and am sort of sarcastic because it is required of me as a devotee of Ambrose "Bitter" Bierce.

May we all have mentors along the way ....
A few days ago, Etta, in her Depression Marathon blog, wrote about her mentoring experience with a teenage boy. I started following her blog not because I have problems with depression beyond the ordinary, but because I wanted to learn and to better understand how people live with depression and cope with it. I have known four people who were unable to cope. In this particular post about her teenage friend, Etta's words started me to thinking and remembering the differences between being young and being older, between naivety and experience, in my own life.

I was a Marine while I still was 18, and there were some younger than me. My immediate buddies were around the same age as I was, but I sought out men who were 15 or 20 years older than me to associate with as much as possible. Why? Because I knew that they not only had valuable knowledge about the Marine Corps, but also had significant experience about life that I did not. I wanted to learn.

When I went to college, the majority of my friends were in their late 20s and early 30s. Why? Because they were the people in my immediate world who had experience at things I did not. Many were, or had been, married. Some were parents. Many had worked construction or similar jobs before deciding a bachelor's degree could provide them with a better life. I wanted to learn.

When I entered newspaper work, it was the same. Most of the people I hung with were older than I was at that time. They could provide me with knowledge, both about the job and about life. I could learn from hearing about their triumphs and their failures and, through friendship with them, I could save myself from a few missteps and stumbles I otherwise most certainly would have made. I wanted to learn.

While I agree with the notion there is no substitute for experience, I also think there is no better way to get a head start on it than by having a few friends who already have been around the block, and by learning from them as well as from our own travails.

We all are learning every day, and we all have a great many choices about what we spend our time learning and, more importantly, many options whether or not we use what we learn to the benefit of ourselves and, maybe, to the benefit of a few others. Thus spake Fram, and here endith the sermon.

Sorry, I have already been down that road ....
So many times I have read or heard people say that if they could live their lives over, they would not change a thing. I would do exactly the opposite. Everywhere I turned left the first time, I would turn right the second time. Every time I said no before, I would say yes now. This does not imply regret; it suggests curiosity. There is not enough time to do everything, much less to do it twice. Except, maybe, some things, with a few very special people and for a few extraordinary events.

Music Note: Listening to and sort of watching "Styx" ....
Specifically, "Return to Paradise" ....

("Lady" & "Come Sail Away" .... what else?)


TheChicGeek said...

Hello Fram :) Nice posting.
First off, Styx rule and I love "Lady"...beautiful words.

Wasn't it great to be next to the Mona Lisa? I was so excited to be close enough to see the paint swirls....so beautiful!

Number three, you have a great attitude about lifelong learning...it's so important. I believe myself to be fairly intelligent, but I'm not as well educated as I would love to be. If I could do anything over I would have studied more in college. So I study now...better late than never, right? It's great to be around older, wiser people, they have so much to give to us. With life experience things do look different and so much richer.
Have a Great Day!

Fram said...

Kelly .... I heard Styx might be on tour this summer??? Reflecting on Mark Twain and regrets, my mood lately has been thinking of concerts I could have attended but chose not to for one reason or another. Styx is one such, Boston another .... silly, but ....

Yes, about Mona Lisa. There are places and things you hear about or read about for years, and then to find yourself actually standing there in the presence of a particular painting or a crumbling coliseum or an old battlefield is breathtaking and a whole bunch more of adjectives.

Study, study, learn, learn. Ignorance definitely is not bliss.

Katy said...

I've just read your post for a second time and am still pondering. If I had a time machine, would I go back and choose a different fork in the road than the one I selected first time round? I don't know. I don't think I have any regrets - made mistakes, yes, but regrets, no, not really. I shall ponder some more...

On lifelong learning, yes, absolutely. Except sometimes in the workplace, where I have been known to exercise some secret private canniness over which particular tasks to learn...

Fram said...

Katy, the night owl.

What I was trying to say is that if I were to return to live my life again, I would do things differently simply to experience the new. (Then, in a manner of speaking, I would have twice as many memories!) Regret and mistakes are not part of the equation. New experience is the only element, except for possibly repeating some special times.

Something special ....