Life. It ain’t always sticky sweet.
When it’s hot as hell outside, when you’re suffocating under the pressure of your world and your semi-crooked sense of self and nothing makes sense, it’s time to ride.
Pull up to the bumper, baby, and look up. And reach up.
Spread your fingers, there’s power there. There’s a sparkly heaven above where everything’s free, and people don’t suck.
Bow down toward earth. Ride the yellow slip n’ slide down toward a Candy Cane Forest and over Gum Drop Mountain, passing through a dreamy landscape of every memory and every misstep you ever made along the way until this now.
I know what I might see: the murky bay at dusk by my childhood summer house. A photo of my parents at their wedding from 1959. A stack of old notebooks with nothing but nonsense inside—my first attempts at writing.
Life can break your heart, like an aria. It’s real, like a red ribbon on a bottle of pills. And it can sting, like a slap in the temple.
But think about your beautiful world, of all that you’ve been given, all that’s been taken and all that’s left until you’ve got nowhere to look but up, like the earthy Black Mamba. Deadly, like venom.
And lovely, like reincarnation.
Take it slowly up and back. And move over, Rover, let Jimi take over.
Music can save your soul. Crank the Hendrix, the Zeppelin and the Stevie Nicks and take this love, take it down Sunset Blvd all the way from Hollywood to the epic ocean, when you’ve apparently reached the end of the earth. I’ll be holding on to that dog-bone shaped silver tag around my neck with a name on one side, and my phone number on the other.
Like Johnny Cash once said of the spiritual music that helped bring him back from the despair of his addictions, “they’re powerful, those songs. At times they’ve been my only way back, the only door out of the dark, bad places the black dog calls home.”
Who knows the meaning of life and death, or anything else quasi-important? Maybe the starving poets on street corners and oceanside piers.
I’ll give you my last dollar to inspire me, so charm it up, Daddy-O.
Aldous Huxley said “maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” No wonder the water here in L.A. is in short supply. I’m thirsty for authenticity and softness, for gallantry and heart and everything good.
Take a brave step forward—you can do it. We’ll make it together. Rise up and lift your sword, peaceful warrior. Keep it strong and steady. You’ve already lived and fought a thousand battles, and you’re not here—again—to cower in fear and pain.
Love without conflict, fight for it without malice and keep an open heart…because what you came looking for, you came looking with.
And life ebbs and flows, sweeter now, like honey, and honest still, like torrent.
Author: Anne Clendening
Editor: Renée Picard