Note #9 ~ Don’t Set Sail on Someone Else’s Star…

Riverside Drive Entry/Doorman inside.
Riverside Drive Entry/Doorman inside.

“You must give up the life you planned…to have the life that is waiting for you.”   ~ Joseph Campbell

My grandfather used to say that to me all the time.  He would laugh and then explain that it is An African proverb meaning, “just because someone is successful at doing something doesn’t mean you will be just as successful. Follow your own dreams.  Second Chances ~ there is a first time for everything!   Between the Notes follows my personal transformation in 365 notes capturing how I actualized my writing life with jazz as my catalyst . I have planned this all on my own after the second game changer – Breast cancer.   When I was born dad decided that he would plan my life for me. Don’t get me wrong I adored parents (a.k.a.  rents from now on).  Dad was a successful arranger and composer who wrote a song for me and recorded it on one his Cha Cha Cha album in 1958.  I think of it as a blessing.   But just like the song, he wanted me to be a doctor, in his words, anything that has absolutely nothing to do with creativity i.e. writer, artist, musician, singer, I think you get the picture.   I was terrified of losing his love and that he would abandon me. Now mind you I am only 5 years old! Losing his love would be a fate worse than death. It was bad enough growing up in the ’50’s in a mixed race family in New York’s Upper East Side .  We relocated by Amtrak to Los Angeles in 1959.   We were a nuclear family of four, you know Dad, Mom, brother and me. The only way to get around was by subway or bus I am pretty much dependent on my rents to get us around, i.e., school, rehearsals, and to the store,

When I was 5 I grew suspicious when I would get the “Invisible Woman, Invisible Man, ear and eye” models and clothes for my birthday and Christmas presents.   One Christmas I got a microscope and much to my mother’s dismay; I dug up the dirt in the backyard for specimens and would bring them into the kitchen. No dolls except for “Barbie” with clothes, house and car and “Ken”.  On a road trip back to New York to visit my grandparents, we stopped in Chicago to visit friends of my parents.  Their daughter decided to take it and hide it in her room knowing that we were leaving at 4 am to drive the rest of the way to New York. I didn’t realize it until Pennsylvania. I was heartbroken. I didn’t want a replacement.

Because of dad’s determination to plan my life I would hole up in my room for hours.  It became my creative sanctuary where I felt safe to write in my journal, draw, watch old movies on my black and white TV and listen to folk music on my Mickey Mouse record player that my rents gave me. Dad became my wakeup call at five am every morning hearing him playing the piano.  It was a catalyst for writing and I knew the coast was clear until seven-thirty. Dad sheltered me from virtually everything outside our home. Looking back, I lived in an anesthetized state not trusting my instincts or following my dreams. I was a child back then; however it lasted until my second game changer, breast cancer in 2000 and my mom dying from the same disease in 2003 on Mother’s Day at Swedish Medical Center. That is when my journey to go for MY dream began. I start seeing things through Sunglasses and jazz was my muse.  Constantly looking through the rearview mirror, I realized I was still trapped and blinded by the past, and still hearing those old tapes that I will call the” itty bitty poseur committee” (“ibpc” for short) that are getting in my way. I am ready to meet the man, little “m” stands for dad and all the negative folks I meet along the way.  waking up and live in the present tense. Jazz is playing in the background allowing me to continuously fall in love with the sound of words.  The forecast is cloudy with thunderstorms throughout the day, I don’t care, I got my shades and umbrella to keep me jazzed and cool. Peace Out!