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Posted in Life and Encouragement, Misc Notes

Sooooo….This is my blogsite for….everything.

What’s in a name?

I once played the role of Richard Noakes in Tom Stoppard’s play, ARCADIA.  Having my director give me “notes” on my performance got me thinking that “Noakes’ Notes” would make a great title for an online blog or column.

“Mishaguyas” is a word than means “craziness” or “nonsensical” and life is certainly full of its crazy, nonsensical moments and people.

Since I have a lot if ideas, experiences…and questions….I decided I needed a place to post my writings….my thoughts….my poetry…my songs…my struggles….my pains…my joys and my delights…all the things that make me, “me” and run through my head.

That is why this is here, and where the name comes from.

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Posted in Thankfulness Journal

98/365 & 99/365 – Gratitude Journal

98/365 & 99/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

Once again, I’m combining two days.

98/365 –

Today I am grateful for unexpected changes in plans. One of the reasons for the delay in my journal was the unexpected change in my plans for the day. I found out recently that many people I care about are dealing with various issues that are quite serious. Now, planning is a good thing, it sets goals for things to get done, but it’s important to be flexible. Most things can wait, especially when people around me…especially those close to me…are hurting. As it turns out, I could adjust and make myself more available to be there for them. When the day was over, I felt really good, other people were feeling really good, and my day was better than if it had gone how I planned. Unexpected changes in plans are not bad; if you let them be, they can be so much more rewarding than staying the course. For that, I am grateful.

I am grateful for comfort and trust. People apologize for sharing their problems with me, but I am always honored when someone feels comfortable sharing their struggles and issues with me. I know that there are many untrustworthy people out there, so I am grateful that I can be worthy of that trust and comfort, and I will always do my best to retain it and not violate the trust that is bestowed on me. I’m grateful for that trust and comfort..

I’m grateful for smiles and lifted burdens. There’s a saying, “A shared joy is a double joy. A shared sorrow is a half sorrow.” I am always grateful when I can make someone laugh and smile; in fact that is a daily goal that I set for myself years ago. Every day I aim to learn at least one new thing, and to make at least three people smile because I’ve made a positive difference in their lives. What a joy it is for me when I see she smiles, hear the laughter, and feel the spirit lift of people I come across who struggle. It’s a reward for me to see that and feel it, and I’m always grateful when I’m given the chance to help.

I’m also grateful for the art of movement. I’m really grateful for the dance and Pilate’s classes that I have taken, and I highly recommend to everyone that you take one. I’m convinced that the flexibility, balance and strength that I have gained through these classes allowed me to be less injured from the accident I was in, and are helping me to bounce back more quickly. My physical therapist commented on how impressed he was with the strides I’m making, how much balance I have, and how I am able to hold my form and alignment when I exercise. These are things I learned through those movement classes. In a matter of days I’ve moved from having to use a walker, to being able to use just a cane, to needing no extra support. I actually was able to go in the yard and do some Tai Chi type dance movement and balancing, today. I was up and able to go for about an hour and a half, as compared to barely being able to move for 30 minutes less than a week ago. For all this, I am grateful.

99/365

Today I am grateful for sunshine and nice breezes. It was a nice day today, as we had a break in the rain. Now I love the rain, but rain just makes you appreciate the sun so much more. Add a gentile breeze to the warm sun and you have a day that’s a nice contrast to days past.

I’m also grateful for hugs and smiling faces. Yes, I know I say it a lot, but I love hugs and smiles. I’m always open for hugs and a smile makes my day….and when there’s a room full of them, life just feels so wonderful.

There is just so much to be grateful for today…flowers, and wonderful scents, the coo of the turtle doves, butterflies, ladybugs, chocolate, delicious food, music, song, and the thing that makes it most wonderful of all……you, my Family of Friends. What would life be without people to share with? Life is about connection, sharing experiences and burdens, lifting each other up……community, and family. I am grateful that I can be a part of your life, if even for a moment, and that you can be a part of mine.

Thank you!

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below, and thank you for being you.

Posted in Life and Encouragement, Personal Reflections, The Arts-Theatre (Live)

The Character and Me: King Basillio of Spain.

Last year I started a series of articles (I said) that would explore characters I have been in plays, or seen in plays, and how I do or don’t relate to them. In my first edition, I wrote about Norbert Garstecki from The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Today, I write about King Basillio from “Sueno.” “Sueno” is an modern adaption of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s play “La Vida es Sueno” by playwright Jose Rivera. It’s interesting to note that both plays involve a father (me in both cases) who must face decisions (poor ones) that he made in the past. In both places, those choices come back and may (or may not) end in his death. It’s also amusing to note that the same actor played my son in both plays.

King Basillio is king of a very old, and feudal Spain. He is a man who feels the duty to his country so strongly, that he’s willing to sacrifice himself and his family to save it. Basillio is a big believer in astrology and numerology, so when his astrologers bring him word that his son will be born a monster, and will destroy him, his kingdom ,and everything that this king has held dear, he freaks out. On the day his wife is giving birth, there is an eclipse and all kinds of chaos in the heavens. Basillio struggles with uncertainty until he is presented, simultaneously, his new born son and the news that his wife is dead…she died giving birth to the son who is predicted to destroy his kingdom. The King freaks out. He orders the new baby, Segismundo, to be locked away in a hidden tower where no one will ever find him. Basillio’s advisor, Clotaldo, is given charge of ensuring the boy is fed, but that he never sees a human face. Anyone who gets close to where Prince Segismundo is incarcerated, it to be immediately put to death.

Flash forward twenty five years. Segismundo has been locked away, never seeing a real human, but rather humanoid forms (masked and robed people) and has been taught language and the Bible by Clotaldo. Basillio has become a little crazy, and paraniod. He’s spent the time studying stars and numbers and fearing that his son will get out. But the King must have an heir, and he’s getting old. There are those who are plotting to try and take the throne. Basillio knows this, but he’s also become less sure about his decision to lock his only heir up. He devises a plan to drug Segismundo, bring him to the palace, tell him everything, and then see if he is the animal that was predicted or if he can be reasoned with and act like a King should. Well, suffice to say that if Segismundo was regal and kind and gentile, there wouldn’t be much of a play.

Sueno is a story about many things, love, fear, betrayal, redemption, and self-fulfilling prophecies. King Basillio feared what was predicted. To try and stop it, he took drastic measures. Rather than prevent the prophesied disaster, he actually causes it to happen. Without saying too much, the king sees all of his worst nightmares come true, and ultimately faces his own death at the hands of his son.

As I sit here writing, I am still moved to tears from that play. Even though it’s six months past, the message and the feeling of being Basillio still sit deep and fresh within me. I can relate to Basillio, perhaps more than I realized until now. I don’t have a kingdom or an empire under my care, but I do have people around me for whom I care. I do not have children, but I’ve had stepchildren and step-grandchildren. I can imagine how I would feel if they came in and started killing and destroying everything and everyone I know.

One area I can totally relate, is Basillio’s sense of duty and honor. He cares deeply for those around him and for his county. He’s willing to do what it takes to save them and protect them, even at his own expense. I hate knowing someone around me is hurting. I grieve when I cannot do anything to help alieve suffering that I see. I’ll give of my time and energy to my own downfall. People are important to me, all people.

Another area I can relate to Basillio is his level of fear. He is convinced things will happen, so he takes steps to prevent it, and causes everything he feared to happen. My dad died when I was young; we buried him on his 34th birthday. I was convinced I was going to end up the same. I’ll say that I beat that one and am much older than 34, but I almost did end up dead. There are other things that I have faced in my life that I have lived in fear of happening. In the last month I have had to stand up and face all of those that I have previously faced. I have found in my life, as Basillio found in his, that the things you fear will come and make you face them one day. The best thing is to let the fear go, or (if you can’t let it go) go and stand face-to-face with it. I have been forced to stand up and face my fears, and now I can say that they don’t have power over me.

All of us have a Basillio inside of us. We can learn from this example that fearing something will cause it to happen….I didn’t believe it, but I do now because I’ve experienced it. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Yes, it’s scary, and tough, and may be a miserable experience as you go through it. I can say that it’s not as bad as I feared it would be.

If you ever have a chance to see the play, I encourage you to do so. Meanwhile, embrace the fear before it swallows you.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

96&97/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

96/365 and 97/365

I fell asleep before writing yesterdays gratitude journal, so I’m combining two into one rather than making two different posts.

96/365

Tonight I am grateful for measurable progress. My Physical Therapist came today. We walked in the yard for a short while. He was so impressed by the progress I’ve been making in my movement, that he decided to see if I could walk down the street. Using only a cane for assistance (I’ve graduated out of the walker for the most part) we took a slow walk down the street and back. Overall I probably walked about 100 yards. How wonderful felt to get out…to see measurable progress toward normal movement. Life is full of obstacles and challenges; we all have areas where we struggle. Any progress towards bettering ourselves and improving is something to rejoice over and be grateful for. When we look at places in our lives and compare it to where we are now, we may see large areas of improvement, or only slight improvement. Reflecting back on where I was a week ago, two weeks ago, or three weeks ago, I can see progress. If I look back a year, I can see areas where perhaps I was better then, than I am now (like in my physical ability, or that I had a car) but I can see that I have made so much progress in other areas of my life. A year ago, I felt much more like a desert island (even though I was surrounded by people) than I do now (even though I have less people around). A year ago I don’t think I had the clarity of purpose that I do now. A year ago, I was full of fears…..I have faced those fears, and they now have no power over me. These are measurable steps, for which I am grateful.

I am also grateful for the aroma of cleansing rain. While I walked, the rain began to fall. What a wonderful smell the fresh drops leave as they dance by, leaving behind only the sweet scent of their perfume. The aroma leaves me in such exquisite ecstasy. Those cleansing drops fall and wash away the old, the dirt, and bring newness and life. I am always grateful for that. As I lay in bed listening to those drops dance on the roof, I am filled with such peace and tranquility. For all this, I am grateful.

97/365

Tonight I am grateful for all the minute details. I got my glasses today! After nearly a month of seeing a world that looked like a moving Monet painting, I can see everything so clearly…even the smallest detail. How we take our ability to see for granted! We tend to just look around and see things and never really give it much thought…until it’s gone. Look around you now…..go ahead. There are things around you that have details about them that you may not have ever really seen. Take the time to study things with a fresh perspective and an inquisitive eye. You’ll find things you’ve never seen before, or maybe find a new appreciation for them. You can also turn that inquisitive eye on yourself, and your life….your past and your future. For this, I am grateful.

I am grateful for hindsight. There’s a saying that “hindsight is 20/20” or that we can see clearly in retrospect. I am grateful that I can look back and see those minute details. The last 30 days I have been without the ability to see anything clearly. So, I have spent a lot of time looking back at those minute details. Now that I can see clearly, I can look forward and see clearly where I am going next. For all this, I am grateful.

I am grateful for all the people I have seen and continue to see. As I look back, and forward, I see all the people that I have crossed paths with. I see how we have interacted. I see how we have hurt each other. Pain is a terrible thing. I grieve over pain I have caused, and would undo it if I could. The experiences, however, I would not part with. Yes, terrible things have been done to me, but I have learned from these and become the person I am today. I can help people and understand people that others can’t. I hold no judgements against people…at least not for long. Everyone has a story, everyone has pains and plans for a better tomorrow. I love people and find all stories (if they are open and honest) to be fascinating. I love the healthy and I love the hurting, because we’re all people who hurt, and we all have areas that need to become healthy. I am grateful for everyone whom I’ve crossed paths with, everyone who is around me now, and all who I have yet to encounter.

I am so grateful for you every day, my Family of Friends. You make my life rich, and give me joy and purpose. I think through my day about how things I experience may be benefit for you as much as they benefit me. I do hear from some of you how these journals make a difference, and I’m grateful that you are allowing me to share this moment with you. Thank you.

If you are enjoying this, or found something I said to be particularly meaningful, feel free to leave a comment, or a question below.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

95/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

95/365 Gratitude Journal

Today I am grateful for sleep. A good night’s sleep refreshes and restores your body, soul, and mind. During sleep, your body does most of it’s healing. Your mind clears, refreshes, and processes your day. Sleep allows your body to flush toxins from your brain. Sleep is just so important, and when you miss it you start to suffer…..I’ve been functioning on less than three hours sleep, today, and I’m feeling it. I’m grateful that I can go to bed early, and get a full sleep.

I’m grateful for compassion. I have encountered so many wonderful, loving, compassionate people today. The world is so much better when you care for and love on people.

I’m grateful for hugs! I’m a hugger….I love to give and get hugs. I shared hugs with so many people today. I love to share hugs. They are comforting, and share so much. I’m grateful anytime I can share one.

I am grateful for you. As we share the hug of these words, I am just so grateful for you. What a wonder you are to me. You are beautiful and loved so much. You are part of my family of friends, and I am thankful for you.

I welcome your comments! If you’re enjoying my posts, feel free to like and comment below….and thanks for the love.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

93/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

93/365

Tonight I am grateful for the little things in life. So many days we have and do things that we take for granted….a bed, a home, sun, food, temperature controlled rooms, hot and cold running water, clean water, internet, phones, my hands, arms, legs, eyes, ears, lights, electricity, friends, laughter, music, smiles, sleep, rest, times to refresh. Life is full of wondrous things that we take for granted….flowers, clouds, wind, rain…..I am grateful for these.

I’m also grateful for less common things. Trials and problems, because they let us learn and grow. Fears, because once we face them, we can say to them, “You have no power over me anymore.” I’m grateful for wrongs, because they give us a chance to make things right. I’m grateful for conflict, for it allows us to make and enjoy peace.

At the end of each day, I’m grateful for the quiet times, when we can sit and reflect. I think about the day that’s past, and the day that’s to come. I give thanks for it all….the bad and the good….the usual and the unique. Most of all, I’m always grateful for those who make my life so rich and full….all of you. All that I have, all that I learn, and all that I endure would mean nothing without someone to share it with. One can and should love themselves….but we need to share the love with others. I love you, am grateful for, and appreciate each and every one of you, my family of friends.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

94/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

94/365

Tonight I am grateful for life. It was a busy day. I went and saw the place where I crashed on March 11, 2018, today. I gazed down (as best I could without my glasses) at the place where my car stopped and cradled me. I realized that I am so much more lucky to be alive. According to the CHP, I was 32 feet down, which was further than I guessed. I came home to hear about a shooter at the YouTube headquarters. People being murdered….dieing. I realized that I have been given a precious gift….life. I am alive when I could (should) be dead. I have come close to death so many times in my life, and I am grateful to be here. Yes, the world is a dark and frightening place, but as long as there is life, there is a chance for change.

I am also grateful for all those around me, and the comfort and support we can give each other. When I got home, I hopped on Facebook and found that many of my friends are struggling with serious issues. As I reached out to those who were hurting, other people were reaching out to me to let me know that I was not forgotten. This is what being a family of friends is all about; reaching out to support each other. We all need each other; no person can be alone forever and survive. We must reach out to each other, with love, patience and understanding. We may not all agree with each other all the time on everything…but we must let our differences fall away, and join together to support an love each other…this is how life can grow and peace will come.

I am so grateful for you. I am so blessed to be able to be able to know you and have a chance to cross paths with you. My life is so much richer because you are here. You are part of my Family of Friends, and I am grateful that you are you.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

92/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

92/365

Tonight I am thankful for revelation and clarification of purpose. Wow, what a chaotic period the last 23 days have been. The last 3 days in particular have been a whirlwind of facing fears, vulnerability, chaos, release of pain, life reflection, introspection, and time of change….and staying the same. Through it all, I have come to receive clarification and revelation of why I am here. I know what I want, I know why I am here, and I am ready to let everything that doesn’t matter fall away. We are all placed on this earth for a reason. We are in this time and place to make a difference. It does not matter whether it was chance, the universe, God, evolution, or just fate. I am here, just as you are here, to serve a purpose; there is no one exactly like you. I know that I am here to touch and change the world for good. I’m here, and there is no one else exactly like me. There are things only I can do. I am ready, willing, and able….bring it on…for this, I am grateful.

As I’ve said before, I’m grateful for mobility. Today I was able to move around a lot better than I’ve been able to do in the past. I appreciate each step so much more. Take a step…it’s so marvelous. Run, jump, kneel, stand….we take these abilities for granted. Tonight I appreciate and am so grateful for each new step.

I am grateful for all the love and support from you, and or each and every one of you. How could I serve and love on people if there was no one around? We have crossed paths for a reason. Maybe this is the first time you’ve read my blog. You’re here for a reason, you are important to me, I am grateful for you and love you. You are now part of my family of friends. Welcome. I am grateful for you.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

91/365 #365DaysOfGratitude

91/365

Tonight, I am grateful for the kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness of my friends. I posted in yesterdays journal about loneliness…that I thought seeing another person in front of me would be like staring at the face of God. When my friend, Kristin, who had set a date and time to bring me a meal today, arrived early… Well, I opened the door and there was God, with food in her hands. Not only did God bring me lunch, but enough of it that I ate and gave thanks all day. Later more friends, Angels of mercy, came over and helped me retrieve cans of ready-soup that were out of reach. They then offered to come back tomorrow and hang out. I think it was Hillary Clinton who coined the phrase “it takes a village” when talking about caring for people. Even though I believe she was referring to taking care of children, it certainly applies to helping each other. I understand that, especially tonight. For that, I am grateful.

I am grateful for the pain. I am in an immense amount of pain tonight, for which I am grateful. I’m grateful because it’s telling me I’ve done too much. Also, it’s making me appreciate the times when the pain is less…more. For that, I am grateful.

I’m grateful for time and changes. Today I sent time writing and thinking….processing….continuing what I started last night. Yes, I even finished the journal that I started last night and then fell asleep while finishing and posting. It was valuable time. I also watched and listened to some inspirational videos and other recordings. There is another blue moon, tonight. Whatever you believe, there is a belief out there that this is especially good for Aries babies…of which I am. I can feel the changes going on right now. I am excited as time goes by to see what happens. I know that it will be good. I feel it, though I don’t know where it’s going. I am ready for change. I am ready, and I welcome it. I am ready to go it alone…I don’t want to…and I don’t believe I will have to.

As I close out this evenings blog, I give thanks for you. Words can never fully express what can be expressed when you add voice inflection and tone…or when you can see a persons face….so I’ll tell you that I write this last paragraph with tears of gratitude flowing down my face….. I am so, so, sooo very grateful for you, each of you. You are my Family of Friends, and I love and care about each of you so much. Yes, I am #grateful365days for each of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, and for sharing this moment with me, for reading my words, and sending your love back. Someday, I hope to see everyone face to face and hug you. For now, though, I must sign off.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

90/365 #365DaysOfGratitude – Lonliness

Tonight, I am grateful for loneliness. You read that right. I do not mean “to be alone,” and I do not mean, “singleness” as in “being single, not in a romantic relationship.” I mean “loneliness” as in the “affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome, destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship”…kind of “loneliness.” Now, I would normally despise this feeling…..I don’t mind being alone as in “by myself in a room, building or other space..” but the “loneliness” I feel I normally despise, as most people would. Tonight I am grateful for it though.

Why would I possibly be be grateful to feel “depressingly alone?” I can give you many reasons. Today’s blog is dedicated to that. I have experienced some of the most horrible and terrifying things you can imagine. I have also experienced amazing successes and triumphs. I would not trade any of those experiences because they have built empathy, understanding, patience and tolerance in me. The loneliness I feel right now is teaching me. It’s a bad experience, but I know that there are those who deal with this every day. I understand now, what others are feeling. One of my purposes in life, is to try and help others who feel what I feel or are in places that I have been. I get it.

I’m also facing one of my own fears. I’ve been married and divorced four times. I don’t want to be alone, and have feared finding myself alone while facing a critical injury or illness and having no one around for help. Tonight I am living that fear. Now, there are people around who have been helping, but no one is around this evening. I will be alone for several days. I have people who have committed to bring me meals and check in on me…though only one has actually committed and set a time and day to bring me food… This has left me feeling more lonely. I haven’t seen anyone since this morning and probably won’t until tomorrow afternoon. I am already grateful for the visit and meal I’ll be getting, since my injury prevents me from food prep of any kind. I am eating, but it’s snack type foods. This is what I have feared….being alone, injured, unable to care for myself. I am grateful for this because I’m doing it. I’m facing, overcoming, and pushing through my fears. I’m learning, what it really feels like to be here….it sucks. I’m grateful for it because I’ll remember this the next time I encounter someone who’s where I am now. I’ll be able to use this in the future to reach out to others, relate to them, and help them. If I’m ever back here again, I’ll be able to remember that I made it through, and smile.

I’m also grateful for the loneliness, because it will make me appreciate when I have people around so much more! We often take the people around us for granted. We don’t take notice of them as much because we just get used to the fact that they are there. I try to never take anyone for granted, and am excited to see people I know…and ones I don’t. I love people and find everyone I meet fascinating. Despite this, I know that the next person I see is going to look to me like God has just shown up at my door. I know they probably won’t stay, but it does not matter. I imagine I’m kinda like the guy who’s marooned on a desert island and suddenly finds people waling on his beach.

I’m grateful for loneliness because this time and experience are allowing me time to pause and reflect. I lay here…or sit here.. and think back on my life in this time. I do this often, but particularly at major crossroads, milestones in life, and at holidays or other yearly markers. This particular time is allowing more. I sit and think and look back, but I also think about my future. What if I suddenly lost it all and was here again? What would I do or have done differently? What should I do in the future? What should I change? What will I change? On whom can I trust…or not? If this, now, is my future what will I do? This is a time of critical thought that I would not have if I was not feeling this lonely.

In all things one can find gratitude. I hate feeling the way I feel and I don’t want anyone else to feel like this. However, I am grateful that I am going through this. I know that in the end I will come out a better person, and will be even more grateful for each of you….my Family of Friends.

Posted in Thankfulness Journal

89/365 #365 DaysOfGratitude

Tonight, I am grateful for milestones. I took my first shower by myself (since before the accident) today. I was able to make it through the day with fewer painkillers and muscle relaxers. I was up and about for over 3 hours. I went into a grocery store for the first time since.

I’m grateful for my friends. The love and support I am getting is amazing.

I’m grateful for friends who are working to help with fees and my future. I now have a fundraising page https://www.youcaring.com/ourfriendkevinklay-1149730 thanks to the efforts of you all.

I am grateful for sleep, which is quickly claiming me as I write.

I am so very grateful for all of you, my Family of friends. Thank you for being you and doing all you do.