when my grandma was a young woman she and her friends used to pick out their best dresses and do up their hair and put on their gloves and go ride the streetcars downtown in detroit to dance with handsome soldiers to live big band music
once, she saw sinatra perform live
“grandma,” i said, “what was he like???”
“he was very…” she paused, searching for the right words. i leaned forward. “…skinny,” she said, mouth twisted in derision. “i never understood what girls saw in him. standing behind a microphone, he just about disappeared.”
grandma lived to be 93 and she was fiercely loyal and she had such a warm, sweet love for her family but let’s take a moment to remember her like this, too: standing there with her whole life ahead of her, dressed to the nines and surrounded by friends, 1000% fucking unimpressed with frank sinatra
NOTES/WARNINGS: I linked the titles of the songs in the story for those who may not heard them before :)
New city, new life… you thought while walking in the city centre. You moved here recently and everything was new to you. It didn’t look like the place you lived before. Old buildings, little streets with small cosy cafes were feeling like home. It almost looked like the XIX century though people with phones were distracting.
You wandered on the quite little street with few cosy cafes when you heard the soft sound of saxophone. You were walking to the sound of it and saw a group of people. You approached the group and stand in the front row so you could see the artist. There were two men – saxophonist and singer. You watched at the singer and unconsciously decided to stay here to the end. He was dressed in the black suit with shirt and tie in the same colour. His raven hair was carefully laid behind his ears. This whole scene was like from the 1940s and you even couldn’t think about going away. There weren’t any benches so people had to stand. You, though, decided to stay for long so you just sat down on the brick road with legs bended in knees and crossed.
beauty can be a weapon or a curse. It is up to you to decide how to use it. If you use it to your advantage, you can destroy cities, create wars, cause chaos. Look what happened because of Helen of Troy. But beauty will never make someone love you. Beauty only sparks desire, never love.
music is important. It can heal and energize you. Take time out of your day to turn your favourite music on or try something new. Pick up an instrument, you may want to try to make your own music. Sit in the sun, with the light on your face, and relax.
you will always be able to fight. You will always have victories, whatever the size. They may be as small as getting out of bed in the morning when depression pressures you to stay in. We all have the strength to continue on and fight the battles set before us.
do not be afraid of the night. The moon and the stars are always with you, even if you cannot see them. Remember the things that go bump in the night are only animals, an owl hunting or a raccoon scavenging. Animals are living things, with the same fears as humans, and they are to be respected.
wisdom is not always found in books and can be scored by tests. You are not stupid. You know more about something than your teachers and professors, whether it be your favourite sport or video game. Though you may feel like what you are learning may be useless now, it may be useful eventually. Knowledge is power in whatever form. Seize what you can and never give it back.
enjoy nature. Go for walks in the woods during a hot afternoon to be cooled by the shade the trees will give you. Dig your toes into the sand on a beach and watch the sunset. Eat organic, delicious fruit and let the juices drip down your chin like you are a child again. Respect the earth and it will respect you.
sometimes you have to let go. Take a step back from the stresses of life and let yourself have fun. Go with your friends to that new club that opened downtown, dance the entire night until you have blisters on your feet, and drink as much as you want, even if that means your friends have to drag you home in a cab. Being able to forget, if only for a short time, is therapy in itself.
do not be afraid of death. It comes to us all. Death is not cold. It is peace and resolution. It is much needed rest after a long day of labor. It is coming home after a lifetime of struggles. Accept it but do not forget to cherish life while you have it.
being able to work with your hands is a gift. It might be fixing cars or it could be creating beautiful art, it does not matter. If you like your gift, pursue it at all costs and never let other people try to hold you back from it. You are not crippled, you are not helpless, and they do not have that kind of power over you.
family is something that does not last forever. Love them if they are good to you, but even family can be toxic. No one deserves to have toxic people in their life even if they are blood. Never forget that you can create a family of your own.
travel the world. See as much as you can, try exotic foods, give gifts to people with no regards to the cost, learn jokes in foreign languages, play tricks on your friends, and experience everything life has to offer. It is vital to be knowledgeable about the world around you, and even more to be able to experience it firsthand.
find your home and place in the world. A home could be found with a person, or your family, or your childhood house, or somewhere on the opposite side of the globe. When the traveling is over and you are weary, you will want a familiar bed to crawl into and a space to call your own. You will know it in your bones when you have found your true home. Keep your hearth burning and take in those in need.
the ocean is not something to be trifled with. It is fierce storms and unknown creatures hiding in its darkest depths, but it is also a glittering mirror and lapping waves against a sandy shore. The beauty and ferocity of the ocean goes unparalleled throughout the world. Keep both of those in mind, or it may swallow you whole.
having power over others is a serious responsiblity. It is not everything, either. Gaining power should not be a goal or an obsession. The power of the heavens could back you but it does not make people truly loyal or trustworthy. They can slip a dagger between your ribs when you turn your back. If you do possess some power, respect and honor your subjects and treat them as equals. After all, you are human too.