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Today, in a bookshop, I picked up two decks of cards, each decorated with a spirit animal that supposedly could lend guidance or strength for the day ahead. The second card I selected (I’ll let you wonder about the first) was this one:

Lighten up! Find Joy! (or else…)

Lighten up! Find Joy! (or else…)

Interesting. I actually consider the hummingbird my spirit animal. (Though I know nothing about how an animal becomes a spirit animal. Are there certain animals from which to choose? Is it a choice at all?) There is an Anna’s Hummingbird, which is pretty exciting, and I love watching them drum out their rhythms, so graceful and so intense.

I thought of this blog when I read the part about lightening up. It’s been a serious place lately, I know; I’ve seen it too. That’ll change in time, but it’s a reflective period in my life, and I’m glad you’re sticking with me through it.

I actually had a post planned for today about August itself, the word that – as an adjective – is defined as having an impressive or formal quality. I thought I was going to write about how we stand upon the cusp of this august August, the dawn of the month mere hours away. For this impressive, formal month, I thought I would say: I’m thinking of you and the tasks ahead for each of us, whether that is new adventure, new work, new play. It’s a notable month for many.

But then the Hummingbird spoke to me from the deck, and I thought I’d take a break from pontificating, though it sure looks right now like I’m failing.

So without further ado – and, as aside: is there a lesser ado? a greater ado? a closer ado? – I’d like to share some things I think about that have nothing to do with anything, except that they are part of my spirit-animal mind.

In honor of the Lighten Up Hummingbird:

1. Google takes the fun out of all sorts of things. Sometimes it drives me batty to have a well-meaning friend search for an answer that I don’t really want. (Other times, of course, I’m the one whipping out my phone.) My current favorite wondering is how puppies get their nutrients while in utero. They don’t have belly buttons; ergo, umbilical cords are not part of this design. Rather than squash the mystery by doing any research on the subject, I picture a system in which the puppies dangle in individual sacs from a little rack where all nutrition is equally divided and simultaneously delivered.

2. …which makes me remember how weird it is that we can still feel this little connector on the opposite side of our belly buttons. Where does that go? I also refuse to Google this. I’d rather just wonder about it from time to time. (I realize that perhaps there is an answer to this question that is Basic Knowledge, and that I may be revealing that I have some intellectual oversights.)

3. Belly button is a really weird name for anything on our bodies. It’s so accepted, like saying “Kleenex” instead of “facial tissue.” No one says “facial tissue.” Belly button: the brand name of navel.

4. Have you ever said your name over and over and over and over? Almost any name starts to sound really strange, like a foreign word just wandering onto our native tongues for the first visit. Anna. Anna. AnNA. ANNA. ANNa. ANNAANNANANNANNA.

5. I really, really like that my first name works so well with the “Anna Anna Fo-Fanna” song, and that it’s a palindrome.

6. Nicaragua. Galapagos. Rome. Maine. Jasper National Park. Queensland. India. Vietnam. Brazil. Cuba. Tanzania. Sweden. Turkey. I want to go to all of there.

7. I recently downloaded the Bill Withers song “Lovely Day,” and when I hear it, I imagine that it is 1977, and I am dancing in a white dress and my hair has little 70s wings flipping out to frame my lip-glossed lips and gold-hooped ears. (I wasn’t alive in 1977, for the record, though I’m sure it was a Lovely Year, Lovely Year, Lovely Year…)

8. Now I’m thinking about “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson, to which I always have to dance, regardless of the situation: in public or waiting for a bus or driving in my car, it doesn’t matter. Such a great song.

9. …and now I’m singing it in my head.

10. …still singing.

11. Speaking of, when I was a kid, my best friend and I created a whole dance routine to “Smooth Criminal.” It involved cowboy hats.

12. This is really starting to feel like one of the surveys that occasionally get passed around through email or on Facebook. I have always wanted to write one of those and pretend that I got it forwarded from someone else, partly to see if I could come up with good prompts, and partly to see if I could really get people to answer just about anything. (Why I haven’t done this particular thing that I’ve always wanted to do is beyond me. It’s a pretty easy one.)

13. Good phone interruption from the bike store telling me that my bike, recently injured in a crash, is ready for me to ride again. Nice.

14. I miss

So, there you go: a pretty random, more lighthearted post. As an aside, or you can call this #15 if you are so inclined, I bought postcard stamps today. Guess what they had on them?

Keep your eye on your mailboxes, folks; these aren't just going to sit around here looking pretty.

Keep your eye on your mailboxes, folks; these aren’t just going to sit around here looking pretty.

And there is something – well, dare I say it? – something quite august in that.


pssst: #14? I know I didn’t finish the sentence. My experiment was to see if you completed it for yourself as you read it, as if it was a prompt on a survey you’d just received during a boring day at work when your boss was out of town.

Did you finish it?

I bet you did.

2 comments on “Michael Jackson’s music stands the test of time

  1. Farah says:

    I love this blog!

  2. Danie says:

    I love your hummingbird-esque posts…they make me smile, except when i think about who I am going to miss soon…

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