Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Life's a journey, not a destination
~Steven Tyler

More and more I am starting to believe that life is just a never ending journey. For years I kept thinking that one day I would finally reach that place where I was supposed to end up in life. When I reached that place I would be happy and content because the path I took was divine and meant to be. I've had all of these happy, sad, crazy, beautiful, thoughtful moments over the last 40 years and I truly believed that it was just a part of the adventure and there would eventually be a final destination. I don't believe that anymore. I believe that the journey never ends and that life will continue to have so many more wonderful, sad, joyous, heartbreaking and lovely moments until we leave the Earth.

I've lived with the philosophy that "everything happens for a reason" and I suppose I never really stopped to think of what that means until recently. I do think that everything happens for a reason and when you have an experience it just makes you stronger and better prepared for your next hurdle... but only if you stop to remember where you came from.

The past couple of weeks have been busy, but quiet. I like times like this. The quiet has allowed me to be reflective about all of the things that have happened to me over the last couple of years. Most of the things were hard and very trying and I've wondered how those hurdles changed me as a person. Am I stronger? More vulnerable? More patient? Less trusting? More cautious? I think I hit the lottery when it comes to life experience. I'm the friend that "it" has happened to... no matter what "it" is, really! Would I have been all that happy with a quiet life? I think not. So... I reflect, process and move on.

When I was in St. Louis my Grandfather's wife, Mil, told me that she found a "spot" but didn't really specify where it was or what kind of spot. She told me that she hadn't told anyone about it and swore me to secrecy. With everything going on with my Uncle and the fact that my Grandfather had to go in to get a lesion of skin cancer removed, she said she didn't want to worry anyone or cause any undue stress on the family. Well, that was a couple of weeks ago and after her biopsy they found out she had breast cancer. Today she had a mastectomy. I swear I will never again ask "what next??"

Die Sonne scheint noch
(The sun still shines)
~Sophie Scholl

On a lighter note, can I just say how much I love the sun and the ocean? I was at my friend Troy's house last night and he lives feet away from salt water marsh. When I pulled into the drive I just sat there and inhaled. God, I missed that smell when I was in the Midwest! I've gone to the beach a couple of times since it's gotten warmer. I normally go to this spot at the tip of Sullivan's Island that's normally less crowded if you walk far enough.

It has a perfect view of Fort Sumter
... and of the new Ravenel Bridge

I really must have lost practice on how to protect myself from sun exposure while up North. I put sunscreen on but I think my technique was a bit out of whack. The day after my last beach trip I had the most splotchy and abnormal tan lines. I wasn't very thorough with the coverage, I'm afraid. There were white patches here and there and burned areas all over. I looked like the victim of some horrible disease. My back was the worst part of the whole situation. I blame it on the fact that I didn't have a "beach friend" to rub lotion on me. It got a little crispy. I think I fixed the problem by buying spray on lotion. Hopefully that will work.

Besides relaxing at the beach I have been busy hanging out with friends. This past weekend I met Teresa and her friend Brenda at The Chart, which is the local lesbian bar. The band Jamison Alley was playing. The band was okay and I was actually quite surprised when they played a Cowboy Mouth song and two Concrete Blonde songs. I had never been to The Chart before but had wanted to go for a while! I've been wanting to disprove my theory about all the lesbians in Charleston being members of the underground lesbian mafia but sadly, Friday was not the night I was going to upset that theory. There was an odd mix of women there... none of which I was attracted to (with the exception of Teresa, or course!!) and crazily enough, most of the people in this lesbian bar were actually men! Go figure! My theory stands!

Last night my friend Troy and I hung out for the first time since my return to Charleston. We decided to go to dinner and I let him choose. Bad idea. He chose Rue de Jean which is a French restaurant. I decided that after one look at the menu I would have to bring snacks with me if I ever visited Paris. There was absolutely nothing on the menu that appealed to me. Rabbit? I think not! We decided to go around the corner to Coast Bar & Grill although still a stretch, I was able to find something that I could eat. Troy told me that after years of living in Manhattan that it's hard to eat at bad restaurants. I told Troy to stop being so snobby! I love a good restaurant, but Charleston is filled with seafood - blech!

After dinner we strolled over to Dudley's which used to be one of the oldest, hole in the wall gay bars in Charleston. They've moved over to Ann Street and surprisingly it's now quite nice! We walked in and there were about 15 people at the bar. All eyes were on the television sets over the bar. No one paid any attention to us. We stood there for a few moments suddenly realizing that we were in some sort of Twilight Zone episode where the world was filled with people possessed by televisions. We focused in on the TV's also and realized that it was American Idol. If we'd have spoke I am quite sure we would have been shushed. We actually had to wait until commercial break to get a cocktail. wow! When we were finally served we took our cocktails to the back of the bar to shoot a game of pool and to talk about the weirdness that just happened. It was nice seeing Troy again. Hopefully we will be able to get together more often!

As promised, here are pictures from the Great Turtle Rescue 2009 in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Duste the "Snake Warrior" helps move a very slow turtle out of the road.

This is a really fun time in Charleston because Spoleto is about to start! Well, to most locals it's NOT fun if you have to do anything downtown because it's a total madhouse with wacky tourist traffic! Most locals avoid downtown for the 17 days of the festival if they can! Not me!

I'm pretty excited about the festival. Through a long-time friend in NYC, I've met someone who lives in Mt Pleasant. We've been talking back and forth on Facebook but haven't yet met. We decided to go to the performance of Noche Flamenca on Saturday June 6th and on Sunday May 31st I have tickets to Addicted to Bad Ideas. There is actually an ulterior motive to my going to Addicted to Bad Ideas... Brian Viglione from the Dresden Dolls is preforming with them! Justin mentioned several months ago that the Dresden Dolls website said he was going to be in Charleston and it turns out it is for Spoleto. I don't really know much about the show except that it's some sort of "punk cabaret" - sounds fun! I can't wait! I'm SO ready for some fun and the Summer!

In the meantime, I've stopped trying to figure out the world (and people!) and am just learning to take it one day at a time. I'm not letting those people with negative energy get to me and I'm just trying to be happy on my journey. It's all I can do.

-Thanks for the pictures Teresa! :)


Clytie said...

Sounds like you got some interesting tan lines :=} - and some beautiful photos. I like the ones of the turtle. I can remember rescuing one when we lived in Georgia. Why is it they always end up on the road?

Pamela said...

My tan lines look very, um... artistic! :) I've been going to the tanning bed to even them out! My legs were stark white and from the ankle down totally tan! I looked ridiculous!

The turtle pics and the pic of me were actually take by Teresa :)

Beth Niquette said...

Hahaa...I remember the last time I forgot the lotion--I looked rather like a lobster!

We also rescued a huge turtle from the midle of the road a few years ago--we did not know they actually breed and thrive in our area. I've lived here all my life and I've never seen one.

I wonder, as does Clytie, why they seem to end up in the middle of the road??? maybe it is warm?

Anyhow, happy life's journey to you!