Broken…

“Look past the brokenness of others-because, quite frankly, we are all beautifully broken.”

This reached out to me after a friend’s post recently.  Although I’m not very religious, there was just something about so much of what’s behind these simple words.

Life can break us in ways large and small.   The damage may lie deep within, hidden from others who are often quick to judge what they cannot see.   Being, and staying, broken leaves us hurt, angry, and confused. Being broken open leads to self-awareness, empathy, and compassion.   Ultimately, it leads to healing, always for ourselves and sometimes for others.

Ernest Hemingway wrote in his novel A Farewell to Arms: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” Not only are some strong there . . . some are down right beautiful.

Be beautiful, broken, wonderful, whole, and help someone else with your hope and love.

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From Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts….Write a post in exactly 11 lines. 

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Back…in the bloggle again!

One of the very first things I learned with my first computer was from a friend who stated that “cyberspace is a dangerous place!”.  It most definitely is just that.  And, for many reasons.

The days of plugging-along with MS-DOS are long past and many of us have survived many Windows OS upgrades, choosing even to avoid a few.  Today, various social media apps rule everyone’s daily schedule and, given the current political climate, these internet gathering spots for friends have turned into cold war zones with opinions firing back and forth from everywhere in the universe.

And then there are the scammers who lurk in the web shadows.  Trolls, most of them.  We’ve all dealt with these characters who slither out of nowhere with a comment or request.  They gather personal information where they can and often present a clear and present danger to unsuspecting individuals.  Some of the worst are associated with websites; hosting providers and web designers for starters.  Where am I going with this?  Read on.

Last November, my former hosting provider, HostGator, along with its partner company, SiteLock, hit thousands of clients with a “security/malware” scam in an attempt to force clients into contracting with SiteLock for an indecent amount of money in order to “remove said malware” and for continued website security.  If site owners chose not to comply, websites were shut down.  Mine was one.  I immediately cancelled my hosting services and advise anyone dealing with HostGator to tread carefully!

It gets better.

On Facebook, I belonged to a group called “The WordPress Support Group” and one of the administrators of the page was the woman who assisted with my initial web design years ago.  I shared my situation with group members and this woman advised me to contact her to discuss getting my site up and running again.   That…was last December.  Discussion, payment of requested fee, followed by explanations from the designer regarding two personal situations which caused understandable delays.  Then…nothing but hollow delay tactics…claims of sending me emails which I never received and, after that, no response at all to any communications.

Last week, I shared my grievance on that same Facebook group page.  No names were mentioned, just an overview of the issues at hand.  Shortly after, I was banned from the group and from the web designer’s personal Facebook space but not before finding out similar experiences from many others who dealt with this individual.  Rather than make a very bad wrong, right, this woman joined the ranks of too many other internet trolls who thrive on defrauding people.

The worst part of it all was trusting this individual to do the right thing based on previous experience.  Situations happen and can affect anyone but, when you are running any business, the failure to keep the lines of communication open sets the stage for an adverse reaction from any client.  It became time for the proverbial gloves to come off and I set the necessary wheels-in-motion to deal with this nightmare. 

The best part of it all is that…I’m back!  After waiting more than seven months, all it took was just a few days after reaching out to the right person to get me back in the bloggle again!

I am beyond grateful! 

 

 

 

 

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Words and Music…

When MTV first became popular, I remember sitting with my children and watching the array of music videos offered by the network. It was 1981 and groups like A Flock of Seagulls, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Scandal danced across the television screen but, the more it played,  I found myself connected to the words and music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

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“Breakdown”, “Here Comes My Girl”, “You Got Lucky”, “The Waiting”, “A Woman in Love”….all with Tom Petty’s smooth Southern rock style.  And, the totally out-of-the-box “Don’t Come Around Here No More” with its Alice in Wonderland theme and bizarre Alice “cake” served at the video’s end.  Disturbing but oh, so entertaining! 

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There was something about his spunk, his refuse-to-be defeated attitude in dealing with his professional life and the record establishment who, all too often, exerted a choke-hold on the contracted performer. When he toured on the East Coast and was in the New York area, I rushed to get tickets to every concert available and, like a typical groupie, made it a point to buy a souvenir shirt from each concert venue.  

One of the most memorable (and there were a few) was his Full Moon Fever concert at Jones Beach and the long rainy drive out where I feared the event might get cancelled.  The summer showers finally gave way to an overcast sky as the concert started. Tom strolled onto the theater’s stage and the clouds parted to reveal the most magnificent full moon.  He just put his guitar down, looked up at the moon and held his arms up to the heavens. The crowd must have yelled and cheered for more than fifteen minutes before the music could begin.

And there was his appearance at Irving Plaza in New York City in April of 1999 during his Echo tour and a trip to the concert with my very-pregnant daughter.  Neither of us realized that it was an SRO event and not a comfy environment for a woman almost eight months along the baby highway. Once inside, good old Braxton Hicks came knocking and two of the theater personnel RAN to get my daughter a chair and escorted her to sit upstairs in the balcony.  But, there I was, down on the floor looking back and waving to my daughter, determined to hold my place right in front of the stage as Tom Petty came out and started playing.  It was my moment…until I looked back again, saw her sad face, grimacing with pain, and the fun was over.  Of course, once we headed home, the contractions ceased. Of course.

Yes, it was all about his words and music.  Tom combined both elements in his own poetic way although he felt he was anything but someone possessing special powers of imagination or expression.  

I came across an interview where he told the stories behind his songs and stated that his friend Bob Dylan once told him he was a poet and Petty was flustered. “I couldn’t help feel it was like being told you’re an archer and you know you don’t even own a bow.” His reluctance to consider himself a poet is probably one of the reasons he endured as such an extraordinary and prolific songwriter. Relatively unburdened by the label of genius that has been more frequently attached to Dylan, Simon, Springsteen, and others, Petty easily leapfrogged past his first hits into a realm of previously unimagined, unencumbered songwriting, creating new songs as joyously free-falling and uncontrived as the best that rock and roll could be. Tom shared his feelings, stating that…“It’s not supposed to be that good. It’s an alternative music, rock and roll. It’s dissonant. It’s blue. It bends the notes. So how much are we going to worry about it? As long as it’s got some soul to it, it’s going to be fine. It’s so simple you can walk right by it.”

I started writing this post on October 2nd, a horrific day that dawned with a nightmare in Las Vegas and the senseless murders of 58 innocent people and injuries of hundreds more by a madman, a coward,  perched in a hotel window, intent on killing. During the day, the hapless mainstream media managed to trip and fall with reports of Tom Petty’s passing; CBS News led the group of media idiots and, late in the day, retracted their statements.  Tom was on life support but the inevitable loomed.  

He died at 8:40 p.m.  66 years young.  The music so many of us loved died with him.

#heartbroken

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