Thursday, April 12, 2012


Daisy Chain
It doesn't seem like it would be easy to rise to Beauty and the Beast, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Purple Violets. But Midnight in Paris did. Rose right to the top. Like froth. And when I wanted to talk to someone about it, the unnervingly perceptive person who recommended it, I couldn't. I can't imagine what a bloodline would do to that feeling of loss, an ugly crack across our lives.

My husband's namesake, responsible for half of of the person I love more than anyone, even quoted Paris director Woody Allen: "As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' - probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on." The thoughtful insight never stopped. Intelligent design. All sides of an issue. Giving. Positivity.


The crown city feels less royal these days. But the neighbors are still nosy, the streets still quiet at eight. It's almost like the Dido song. Daylight still comes. Tasks are still completed. Babies are born and all that jazz. And we still sleep and wake up again. I still have to find more work. Even though the sidewalks and dog beach, and human beach, call.

So freelancing is not what it sounds like. Not usually. Writing about travel, food, or fashion. Following exciting leads to other countries and taking your own photographs - without thinking about that crazy-ass expensive plane ticket you just bought, or how you abandoned your family somehow. Pitching successfully for decent amounts to reputable papers. Nope. It usually has something to do with a marketing dump. Website content that drones on about products and services. White papers that no one will ever read. PowerPoint presentations with too much of everything. Maybe one ad you're proud to call your own. Nope, wait - management didn't approve that one. They don't know why; something was just "not right."

The cool thing is when you reach that level of fed-up-ness, you can truly escape, maybe prowl for supplemental income elsewhere. Go try the local pubs, er publications. Consider joining the Navy. And there's always pro bono work like blogging and, well, other, sometimes less rewarding endeavors.

Or you can just go take a nap. Maybe read or hit up Facebook if you're feeling slightly above sloth-like.

(During one of these stints, when I ventured outside my bookmarks and started seriously trolling the web, I discovered a place called Honeydew, California. HEY! Far north. On the other side of the coastal mountains, in Humboldt County. Which reminded me of Humbert Humbert in Lolita. Which made me reconsider retiring there to be a stooped, wrinkled hermit with straggly, purple hair who writes something that will only be treasured in death.)

To snap out of these funks, I sometimes run. Then I get tired. And I have to think of someone like a Navy SEAL or Louis Zamperini, or my three-legged dog, to keep going. This morning it was Zamperini, a B-24 bombardier (pronounced bomb-ba-deer - so fun to say). Zamperini was an olympic runner, which you'd think would be "enough" - but then he goes on to be a warrior in one of the worst times and goes through Job-like experiences all in the name of life and friends and family and not being broken. His instinct and faith are more right and strong than anything I could plan or hope for. And Author Laura Hillenbrand is more victorious chronically ill than I could ever be in the best place in my life. Read some of her story. And read his story Unbroken if you want to gasp and laugh and gasp again every other page.

After bringing up Midnight in Paris, I would finish telling him about Unbroken, too - how it ends. How I liked that Woody Allen quote, among other things, and that he was right about running a marathon, writing a blog, and never giving up on things like wings.

Cat Lady


jw said...

At the risk of telling you twice, Aly, you're awesome. I feel privileged that you share your thoughts with us here.

Aly Lawson said...

[bright red blush]

Thanks, John. As usual, you're too kind.

TM said...

NOLO CONTENDERE. You are a better writer than I. Keep blogging for free; I'm told eventually it does pay off- eventually.

Aly Lawson said...

=). I doubt that but muchas gracias! And sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the post Aly. I'm glad you liked the book too! It's hard not to get caught up. To put things into perspective for me these days: "First world problems." Hey, I just had dinner. It was never a doubt that I wouldn't.


Aly Lawson said...

Oh good. Agreed. I just had lunch. =)