spiralflames: (black_cat)

Just finished being harangued by patty for an hour and a half, after which, when she finally reduced me to ugly crying, she hung up. So evidently i have to the twins an ultimatum that either they deal with patty in her effort to avoid the parents' total financial collapse, or she quits being involved and everything just falls apart.

I CANNOT FIX THIS. this whole situation started 25 years ago when the parents started subsidising the twins' rent free life style, and has culminated in mom defending the twins no matter what because she doesn't want to lose her little buddies in her little suburban bubble, dad spending every cent he had plus more to support a family of 4 into his 91st year, and me trying to keep things organized and finally admitting i can't do it.

I would totally walk away from all of this if it weren't for leaving 2 vulnerable 90 year olds alone. The twins have bullied, harassed and threatened to the point where i an afraid of everyone, and mom has let both patty and i know, in no uncertain terms, that we are supposed to not upset her babies. If i let everything just blow up, i am sentencing my parents to death. If i make ultimatums, i am losing access to the rest of my family.

I an hysterical and i don't know what to do.


Oct. 7th, 2016 10:17 pm
spiralflames: (black_cat)
it's the best time of the year...i refuse to sink into grimness because of the impending DARKNESS that will really kick in once we lose an hour to the time change...but i am not a cave woman, i am living in the 21st century, and there are LIGHTS and there is caffeine! huzzah!
i've shyly started practicing, doing good work on brahms op 117 and relearning rorem's _poems of love and the rain_. which deserves more appreciation. i'm without a rudder- no lover to play for, no smart adult students to teach, no teacher. and i don't say that in a self-pitying way, either-- for the first time...damn...EVER..i'm not fighting for anyone, not fighting against anyone, not trying to prove myself to anyone. i admitted to richard in a phone conversation "i don't know who i am as a musician!" I was always trying to please someone, always the dutiful student, even when rebelling- even the act of rebelling is still working AGAINST someone, and they're more present when you're shouting "fuck you!" than they are when they say "good girl."
time to quite trying so hard to be anyone's "good girl." there are some that do that naturally. i was always uncomfortable there. i'll save the less meaningful for FB.
spiralflames: (black_cat)

BOY did i ever misjudge a situation last night at drum circle. I usually pride myself on not being totally socially inept..in fact keeping quiet when i could blab just because i want to make sure I'm not taking up too much time in a group.

So..the group leader asked if anyone wanted to drum with him during meditation/journey time. First time ever, i volunteered. So he sets up a steady beat. I started doing different rhythm patterns, different accents...at one time he started drumming louder and we turned to each other..wow cool! Bonding. So after awhile it was done...i felt energized and excellent. Woo!

So afterwards while we were chatting and having treats, i said, it was great drumming with you tonight ! He said yeah, about that? When you went off on your own rhythms like that? It really broke my concentration. I know they do all kinds of different things in thailand (!!) and places, but here it's just a steady heartbeat.


i apologized (and sent him a note later on fb)..he was mellow and said he hoped I'd drum with him again sometime. Yeah RIGHT, now that I've had my handies slapped and been told to be a GOOD GIRL and not make waves!

Crap. On one hand, i feel like being the 70s feminist i am and saying no, you don't get too SHAME me for not doing things the same as you do. And then of course i realize this is not my group, i didn't ask him, and he can run his groups however he wants to. And either way i lose, because once again I'm shown that i really am clueless when it comes to behaving well among basic people and that i am best with animals or one on one..at best.. with people.

But damn, it's been a long time since i felt like such a moron.

spiralflames: (black_cat)
lakewood autumn, mpls MN142
ok. here's the second music dream- this one came about a week after the master class dream i talked about last entry. this one was more philosophical- i woke up remembering ideas rather than events. but i've never quite thought about music this way before.

i learned: there are 3 basic kinds of music. (there would be combos, exceptions etc, but this is the main point-) and as musicians, it's up to us to decide at which frequency the music resonates- what vibe it has. if this happens and the music and the musician are in agreement, then there's a direct connection between composer, performer, audience. if this synchronicity doesn't happen, people get bored- impatient- cynical- sleepy- and all the things we've been when attending a concert.

SO: there are 3 "frequencies" of music, vibrationally- high, medium and low.

high= transcendental, celestial- brings us up out of ourselves and we are transformed.examples for me are: barber adagio. ravel GM piano concerto mvt 2. schubert CM quintet.

medium= music that has elements of more than one, moments or sections. each piece is different. most of chopin, most of beethoven. most lieder.

low= music that grabs you in an earthy, visceral way. mahler, most of it. bruckner. WAGNER.

so our job as performers- to decide where you want the piece to resonate, where in the body (chakras?) you want to feel it- and play it in a way where a listener can understand it that way as well. so- let's say something is "low frequency (root/sacral chakra.) does it stay there? do we focus on the sensuality and revel in it? (example: salome') does it get tempered by the middle frequency where intellect and emotion make sense of things? does it want to move one way or another (bernstein) or is it happy talking about us as humans and living right there?(brahms)... does it seek to transcend? (late schubert, mozart, some liszt) if so, is it successful? what about music that starts out in the ether-(arvo part, ravel?) is it less profound than wagner, who slogs away for 13 hrs before the world comes to a full stop and everything is somehow made simple in the last 3 minutes of the Ring? or more so, since it never dealt with lower basic stuff at all? and what about the mid-range stuff...beautiful and all, but which never plumbs the depths nor does it ascend past human experience? after all, is that not where most of us live our lives?

so it's not at all arbitrary- or simple- or easy- and it has everything to do with who we are either as performers or listeners at any given time, and also to do with how much "self" we invest...whose vision is it? composer's? performer's? audience? 2 people sitting next to one another at the same concert- one is checking his phone and making laundry lists- the next person is openly sobbing and wondering if she can make it through the performance without making a scene. or other things. or not.

but it's up to us. writer- performer, listener- all are important. WE HAVE TO DECIDE.
spiralflames: (black_cat)
ready for my close-up, mr dogMille...
behold my excellent boy!!
ok. don't send mental health workers to check on me, i'm really quite OK...but.. lately, my subconscious has been giving me very specific piano lessons in my dreams. i kiddest thou not. they've been very realistic, not at all fanciful (no ghosts of beethoven or other fantasy characters) and i've learned a lot. here's the first one: i dreamt i was performing in a master class given by pianist andrei gavrilov. (he's friended me on facebook, so i see his name quite often.) i was playing the mozart c minor fantasy. it starts with a slow intro in open octaves. about 3 lines in, he interrupted me....stop, stop, STOP for god's sake!!!! needless to say, i did. "really? this is all you're going to do? start again, and make me believe that not only your own life, but the lives of the whole free world depended on your making them pay attention!" Andrei can be quite intimidating when he's in the mood.
i thought, i gathered force, i felt myself concentrate into a pinpoint of white light and......
C OCTAVES. like the final tolling of the bell before heaven. E-FLATS.. everything went dark except for a circle of light containing my hands and the keyboard. F-SHARPS. i felt all the extraneous sound suck out of the room as into a vacuum. i made it about 3 lines. i was so exhausted i couldn't continue. a drop of sweat gathered on the tip of my nose and dropped on to middle c. "WHY DID YOU STOP?" he said from outside of the vacuum. "that's all i had." i replied. "it was too much work! if i were to play like that, like every note is the most important sound in an otherwise silent world, i would die!"

"great." Andrei said, his face relaxing into a big grin, letting me know he actually hadn't been that pissed at all, and that it really wasn't his nature to come across like an avenging norwegian god...but just wanted to push to see if i had it in me. "now play like that ALL the time."


Oct. 24th, 2015 10:31 pm
spiralflames: (black_cat)
my 2nd cousin ben's funeral happened today. he killed himself. he was only 29. i can't say anything to mitigate the harshness of those statements.
spiralflames: (black_cat)

TD, (Tom, Tommy) Mischke. used to host a late-night local talk radio program. he wasn't political- his programming would be about anything and everything: interviews with people from authors and musicians to baseball players, occasional improvised manic beat-boxing raps, stories about "big time Minneapolis" and "good old St.Paul." he had a cast of regulars who'd call in almost nightly: greatgreatgreatgreat grandma, calling from her nursing home. undertaker fred, who'd want to sing an old-time song with him. a catholic priest who was raising money for an orphanage. jim the cabbie, who seemed to be more than a few sheets to the wind and who every couple of sentences would say "hey mitch!"...never actually knew what mischke's name was, and somehow never quite believed anyone was listening. i'd tune in on the way home from work, and got used to hearing his voice most late nights. i somehow always imagined tommy in a darkened studio with only a single light burning, talking about his home town. he was family. he'd tell stories, we'd listen and nod, and it was good. hanging out with mischke was like talking to an old friend- you'd meet only seldom, but when you did, you'd be Yourselves again in no time and not question it.

https://youtu.be/bBux_DMBvxE poem

once (twice?) he left the air for months- no explanation. when he came back, he talked about his depression. it surprised me- someone so inventive, so sharp? now we're smarter- we experienced the shock of robin williams' death. and we know inner life and outer life diverge.

but tommy came back. KSTP changed its format altogether (i think they're running a sports station now) and Tom went to work across the river at WCCO. it was on at a different time, i was working, so i lost track of him. after awhile, he left that broadcast, saying he was just radioed-out.. didn't know where his future lie, but he didn't think it was in nightly talk radio any more. here's his farewell:

https://youtu.be/80uXvn2NOIE farewell

so. fast foward a few years. my sister karen texts me: "nan! there was something from mischke on my FB friends feed today- he's got a podcast and he's asking people who have had a terminal cancer diagnosis and survived to write to him! do it!!!"

so i did. feigned casual, told him i was 10 yrs cancer-free from stage IV ovarian cancer, where i'd found out there was a 15% chance of me making it alive 5 years.

he wrote back.

i suggested coffee, figuring he'd want to know if my story was what he was looking for. "nah, too noisy for a recorded interview. can you come to my place, or can i come to yours?"

i said i'd go there- my cat freaks out with strangers who come to the house, and i didn't want him (cat, not mischke) latching on to my leg with teeth bared as i tried to talk about Serious Stuff. so i drove to his house in Good Ol' St Paul. comfortable house. comfortable man. we sat at his dining room table, set with a glass of water on each side and a recorder in a flowerpot in the middle.

i talked, high-speed and close to non-stop. he'd ask a question and i'd be on to another part of the story. he was easy to be around, and i've had almost 10 years to think about my story.

there were two questions he asked that stopped me short: (interestingly, neither made it into the edited broadcast) 1) you were sick for such a long time...that makes me wonder, didn't you care about your life? 2) you don't mention having much of a support network throughout all of this...

i don't remember the answers i gave. they should've been simple: 1) fear trumps everything in my life. i was terrified and felt i might lose everything from my life on down to the dishware. once this got started- and trust me, i KNEW i was sick- there'd be no retreat. 2) i felt totally abandoned by the people i loved most, and whom i thought loved me. parents? scared. sisters? absent- also scared. my biggest supporters were people i hardly knew, who in a way had the least to lose- my nurse friend patti in kentucky. bob, who i'd met online years ago and who i'd get together with to watch movies. then, there was the time factor. by the time i got out of the hospital and started my chemo, people were DONE with me. i went through that alone. nobody ever offered to bring a meal or clean my house.

the next morning, i wrote mischke a long email: (lightly edited for continuity)

dear tommy-
warning: brain dump ahead...

i've been thinking over yesterday's talk with you. part of me wishes i could do it again- part of me wishes i could've responded more thoughtfully and been more profound, since that's probably what you were looking for from someone who'd been to the moon and back...but so it goes.

a few things, tho, because you asked me 2 questions (when i let you get a word in edgewise...(nervous much? radio celeb, recording...aiee!) that threw me a bit, and that's what i wanted to address tonight.

first, you remarked that when i said i'd been sick so long ("woman" problems, lack of energy, depression) that it almost seemed like i didn't care. not true at all- i'm the only one that keeps my life going, and i'm all i have. part of it was that lonnnnnng and minuscule down-swing..there was no drama, just "issues"...and i'd been taught not to complain, because i wasn't Interesting if i did, and who else was going to pay the rent? i've built up a sweet little world here- business, piano, cat...but it's all hinging on me to keep it going. nobody else can teach my students- pay my bills- take photos with my eye and camera, make the music i've made. so it seemed reasonable that my greatest fear was losing my life. i'm a suburban girl. i wouldn't do well being homeless. sometimes i'd get on the road and just drive and drive- as long as i was in my car, i'd feel enclosed and safe from that scary "what if."

so i cared. i cared a lot. i was just plain terrified.

the 2nd Q was when you said you hadn't heard me mention a support network too much. you're right- i felt like i was in this totally alone. which, to me, i was. people like to do safe, colorful things to "support" people- banners on FB, 5-K runs to raise funds. happy, productive stuff. they don't want to visit people who haven't taken a shower in awhile because they're too weak to stand up, and nobody knows what's wrong, and they can't be "hopeful" because there aren't any more platitudes to offer. when someone WOULD get in to see me, i'd see their sad faces...omg, she looks AWFUL! well yeah, i did. i'd been in bed for 6 weeks and in the hospital for a month. good to see you, could you help me to the bathroom? thanks for the candy, but i really can't eat it, and what i NEED to do is get to the bathroom. i couldn't subject my friends to that.

i also found that people want to hear about you....twice. the first time, it's shock, info-gathering, and suggestions- special foods, books, treatments, clinics. oh...and stories. who in their lives got better because of, got worse in spite of. after that, when nothing has changed? silence. i would've liked someone to come and not talk, bring a book or something and watch bad tv with me. nobody got it. you want company, not talk, and for GOD'S sake not advice.

scuze me, dammit, i'm crying now. there was still and always an expectation that someone i was going to "beat this" to "figure it out" to buck up, little buckaroo, listen nan, when my MOM was sick once, she...

i couldn't do it. before surgery, i was too sick. afterwords, i needed to come back to my Self and my writing and my music. staying at the nursing home for three months helped that happen. i don't know how it was determined that i could stay there that long, but i did, with one last complication from surgery, a huge pelvic abcess/infection, which landed me in the hospital for another 7 days over halloween, with 21 days of IV antibiotics and tests after that. grim.

but finally before christmas i was home. nobody really volunteered to sit w/me through chemo- later, i made plans for a celebration at the end of my 8 months chemo- then at my last appointment, dr boente said, as long as this is going so well, let's really kill this thing- and go for another year.

party canceled.

in january i went back to work, scheduled chemo on tues and thurs, and taught piano lessons after that. buck up, little buckaroo!

damn. i'm bawling like a baby. yesterday's chat w/you was a weird deal- almost like a job interview or coffee date where you put your best foot forward and don't want someone to think you are still obsessing about something that happened ten (TEN!) yrs ago. "but aren't you SO GRATEFUL to BE ALIVE????" someone might ask. well shit yes. but they can't know how scary it is. how sad you are, how you can't let yourself think about how hopeless this seems, how..hell..you should've cleaned your house better, you didn't KNOW you were gonna be gone for 6 months! it was 7 years before i even got a kitty- i was afraid to take responsibility for another little life when i couldn't be sure of my own.

so mostly, i don't talk about what's inside. it wouldn't make any difference if i did or didn't. i don't know what i'd do if cancer did re-appear- boente said, "if we get it all, and your numbers are low, then we might talk about a cure. if it comes back, then you're out of chances."

so i don't know if my life is "changed" or not. people seem to expect that it has. it makes them relieved when i say yes, when what they're really thinking is "wow, i don't think *I* could go through all that." we all go though "that" in one way or another. sometimes we make it, sometimes we don't. one wednesday, you have an ice cream cone. the next weds, someone aces your car and you're a quadriplegic. it's all one cosmic crap-shoot. i'm thankful for my life- i'll never take any sweet moment, any sunset, any ice cream cone in august, for granted again.

but then, mischke, i've always been that way.

thanks for letting me babble. don't worry, i won't bug you regularly. but i thank you sincerely for the serendipity of asking me questions, and i hope the surface responses to your questions didn't bug you too much.

best to you,


Td Mischke responded:

I am happy you wrote. It's something I too would have done after such an interview. Don't apologize. I think you're going to very much like the show in its edited form. In fact, I'm sure of it. All that time with you gets edited down to the real essence of it all, which is about 15 minutes. Same with the other two people i interviewed. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the presentation, I believe.

i wrote back:

Thanks, Tommy. That all brought up some stuff I really hadn't processed before, which surprised me...I wrote through 12 journals in about 2.5 years after I got back home..and really thought I was "done"...guess I wasn't. Thank you so much. (btw, won't be really "done" til I'm in the ground, and even then, there are people who deserve haunting) (as she puts the grown-up, civil mask back on and prepares to teach little fingers how to play.) Someday maybe I can play Brahms for you.
Take care.
spiralflames: (emotions)

january was a hella awful month in all ways.

here's to lunar new year 2014, a blessed Imbolc, and february...all for the better!

spiralflames: (Default)

west, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Jul. 15th, 2013 07:02 pm
spiralflames: (black_cat)

Today when I was waiting for my dad to finish cardio therapy a lady turned to me and asked "how old are you?" i answered her truthfully without thinking how weird it was that she would ask. she went on to say that she thought I was beautiful and had a "glow from within."


damn, that sure made my day! wack that she might have been...

spiralflames: (black_cat)

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Spiralflmz!

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I am interested in - do tell me about


Jun. 30th, 2013 11:27 pm
spiralflames: (Default)

FSCN3303b, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

calming, settling down, regaining ground. thank You.

spiralflames: (goddess)

Odd...looking at my LJ thru this mobile app, I appear to have user icons for popfiend and manifestress adorning my personal entries. I'm assuming this is just a glitch in the mobile app, but in case you are seeing others' icons on my posts, it wasn't my choice or my intent.

lj app

Jul. 4th, 2012 03:27 pm
spiralflames: (Default)

anyone use the new lj android app? it's more user friendly then its predecessors...but damned if i can figure out where the POST button is! can't seem to post a comment or an entry. any one have advice for the obvious-impaired? bueller?


note:.figured it out. onward!


Apr. 17th, 2012 06:42 pm
spiralflames: (question)

Hello!.was going to wait till I had time for a long entry..and something major to say.


So here I am,.short entry but a little deep. Deal.

Out to lunch with my sweet dad. ”tell me about your life.” I said, quasi-jokingly. ” start from the beginning, continue til finished.”

He started talking about going to visit his  grandpa on the farm,.sitting around the stove telling stories.

” what kind of man was your grandpa?” I asked. ” in the pictures he always looked kinda stern.”

Dad thought a bit.” he was the kind of man you almost wanted to call Sir. He was very gentle and very quiet.”


And dad, being the type of man HE is, didn't realize he'd totally just described himself.

Life? Good.

Here's a pic of dad..86 yrs young..with a Cosmo at lunch today.,

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

for O

Mar. 5th, 2012 10:45 pm
spiralflames: (Default)
so devastated for [livejournal.com profile] popfiend

love to him, and to you all.

LJ back-up

Feb. 29th, 2012 10:45 pm
spiralflames: (solitude)
what, if anything, are people using to back up their LJs these days? i just realize that LJArchive has been dead ever since January 2011.
spiralflames: (Default)
lately, via [livejournal.com profile] a_joyous_life but also it seems i'm getting this thrown at me- in email, in r/l, on fb...over and over, so it's time to start working this through...

Be Impeccable with Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Impeccable means “without sin” and a sin is something you do or believe that goes against yourself. It means not speaking against yourself, to yourself or to others. It means not rejecting yourself. To be impeccable means to take responsibility for yourself, to not participate in “the blame game.”

Regarding the word, the rules of “action-reaction” apply. What you put out energetically will return to you. Proper use of the word creates proper use of energy, putting out love and gratitude perpetuates the same in the universe. The converse is also true.

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
We take things personally when we agree with what others have said. If we didn't agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behavior could not affect us.

Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal dream.

Our personal “Book of Law” and belief system makes us feel safe. When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others. If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared. They need to defend their point of view. Why become angry, create conflict, and expend energy arguing when you are aware of this?

Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
When we make assumptions it is because we believe we know what others are thinking and feeling. We believe we know their point of view, their dream. We forget that our beliefs are just our point of view based on our belief system and personal experiences and have nothing to do with what others think and feel.

We make the assumption that everybody judges us, abuses us, victimizes us, and blames us the way we do ourselves. As a result we reject ourselves before others have the chance to reject us. When we think this way, it becomes difficult to be ourselves in the world.

Take action and be clear to others about what you want or do not want; do not gossip and make assumptions about things others tell you. Respect other points of view and avoid arguing just to be right. Respect yourself and be honest with yourself. Stop expecting the people around you to know what is in your head.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Doing your best means enjoying the action without expecting a reward. The pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun, not from how much you get paid. Enjoy the path traveled and the destination will take care of itself.

Living in the moment and releasing the past helps us to do the best we can in the moment. It allows us to be fully alive right now, enjoying what is present, not worrying about the past or the future.
spiralflames: (Default)
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i do not understand zees words.


spiralflames: (Default)

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