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Love, Loss and Luck in Gotham City.


batsignalEvening in Gotham City.

No crime spree that we know of yet, but you can never call it quiet in this section of town. Darkish, yes, because here in the Batcave we’re half-underground: enough to let the daylight in, but once yon sun calls it quits, there’s no doubt about it: darkness rises.

Smoke rises, too, and all but one of us does, so the two windows – screenless, natch – are open a crack, whether the weather, so bring thou a sweater (or grab one of the skull-adorned hoodies tossed all over the place) and so, too, the studio tends to have a few more visitors: of the genus Insecta.

Tonight we tried to get Takeshi to summon his Japanese Ninja Warrior Side and decimate a 3-inch Something that strongly resembled a Flying Dragon, but he was deeply involved in summoning his Japanese Zen Peaceful Monk Side, instead.

Also, Takeshi has a new laptop, and the password to my wireless network, so there’s a strong possibility that he was summoning his Japanese Pokémon Cheat Hack side, too. I didn’t look, so I can’t say for sure. As the Zen parable, “The Farmer’s Luck” goes: “Maybe. Maybe not.”

Aris and Psycho Cherry are currently sharing a MacBook, and were therefore IM-ing and DJ-ing at the same time, which was terrific for me, since when they AREN’T here, I’m usually too focused on what I’m doing to remember even to launch my iTunes, despite the icon in the dock of my own MacBookPro staring me right smack in the face.

Really.

No, really.

That peppy little CD with the blue music notes on it, just leers at me, going: “Uh, hello? Musician? Tunes?” Then shakes its digital little head at me, as if I am hopeless.

But when Aris and Psycho Cherry are here, the ambiance changes radically from a simple one-human digital sweatshop to a working party of discussion and delight. My daughters – who refer reverently to my posse as “The Cool People” – love it. Everyone gets magically fed, watered, intellectually stimulated, and entertained.

Those who grace my studio cherish my daughters, too, as mutually as my daughters cherish them: this past week, when my youngest’s much-beloved, much-too-young cat died suddenly, my daughter overheard them laughing in the Batcave as she and I were upstairs, preparing for the backyard funeral.

“Tell them they don’t have to come,” my 10-year-old said, fighting the most recent round of tears. “They sound so happy. I don’t want to make them come to a sad funeral.”

At that point, my own throat started to close.

Of my two daughters, the oldest, would throw herself in front of a train for you if ever you needed it, but from her manner, her bearing and her Dorothy Parker wit, you’d never know it.

My youngest? Her devastating but selfish charm would allow her to skip lightly over your bleeding body and make you want to thank her for it.

Ergo, lump in my throat.

Down with message went I to Batcave.

Up I returned: No way. All for one, one for all.

The ragged gypsy band of us lined up at the back fence grave, my youngest as “chief mourner,” asking only for a moment of silence in Toufou’s honor.

We all took turns trying to console the little one, especially Aris and myself, who have each suffered private losses recently; losses the little one could not yet understand, yet still our freshly-wounded hearts bled for her, our own scars only just beginning to form.

We resonated like tuning forks for her, grief upon grief, vibrations that we knew would lessen with time. Could the little one be made to understand? That time, and thankfulness, were all that ever help, in the end?

Time.

And gratitude.

“Gratitude?” My youngest was totally confused.

“Look around you,” I whispered into her silken, golden brown hair, as she wept into my lap. “Look at all the people who love you. Be thankful, even though right now you can’t be happy.”

“But I want Toufou,” she protested.

“You’ll have Toufou as long as you love and remember her,” I said.

“I can’t see her. I can’t talk to her. I can’t touch her. It’s not enough,” she said.

“Not now,” I said. “But eventually, it will be.”

It will have to be, I thought, my own heart quickening a bit.

“Eventually doesn’t come soon enough.”

“It never does, darling,” I said, “but that’s what Gotham City is here for.”

We fell asleep together for the next few nights on the futon in the Batcave, hanging on to each other, each, alternately mourning, alternately celebrating, the love of each other, basking in the glory of our friendships, the sunshine, the comfort of darkness, and the hope of time.

 

 

The Farmer’s Luck

A Zen Parable

Once there was a farmer whose horse ran away.

All the village came to him: “What terrible luck!” they said.

The farmer calmly said: “Maybe. Maybe not.”

The next day, the horse returned — with another horse.

All the village came to him: “What wonderful luck!” they said.

The farmer calmly said: “Maybe. Maybe not.”

The farmer’s son tried to ride the second horse — and broke his leg.

All the village came to him: “What terrible luck!” they said.

The farmer calmly said: “Maybe. Maybe not.”

The country was at war, and the next day, the army came to collect young men to fight: all but the farmer’s son — whose leg was broken.

All the village came to him: “What wonderful luck!” they said.

The farmer calmly said: “Maybe. Maybe not.”

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Tweets to the Tweet: Tank You, Twitterers, for the Twittergasm.


Follow me on Twitter.

Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

For those yet new to Twitter, let me start by introducing a word that I desperately hope makes it into the Oxford English Dictionary as soon as possible: “twittergasm.” Coined by a woman I’ve paged through but can no longer find, thanks to the proliferation of “tweets” on my Twitter page, I find the term charming and titillating – and perfect to describe the feeling you get when something you read on Twitter really works for you.

 

If you haven’t heard of Twitter, then stop reading this right now and turn instead to the page of this blog titled: “Elizabeth Williams Bushey is making fun of you.”

Maybe you’ve heard of Twitter, though, and you just pretend at parties and other gatherings that you know what it’s all about – you know, the same way that you pretend that you know what “CPU” and “RAM” means when people who DO know what it means talk to you about it. You get that faux-confident head bobble, like “yeah, man, I know…”

Maybe you even have a MySpace, but your only friend is Tom. (If you don’t get that, see above: “Elizabeth Bushey is making fun of you.”)

Then again, maybe in reaction to your ignorance, you’ve taken a pretend stand against all this “dang” technology, and protested that all this “social media” really “keeps us apart.”

Maybe you lumber up on top of a soapbox and proselytize for the days of old, when people had to proselytize from real soapboxes, on real streets, hassling flesh-and-blood passers-by, getting arrested by flesh-and-blood police officers.

You poor thing. If you haven’t gotten the hang of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, etc., you’re missing out on some cool opportunities to expand your network of some very cool people you’d otherwise never in a million years meet.

For instance, I just did a “virtual” school visit with a sixth-grade class in Alabama. I’m in New York, but I was able to answer all their questions, see their sweet faces, and play my guitar and sing for them – all from my studio at home. We used Skype, and it cost us nothing. And it was easy – for the teacher, and for me. (I pretty much just sat there, worked in between classes, and waited for the “calls.”)

Via Facebook, I’ve connected with some old college buddies that I haven’t talked to in years.

Via Gmail’s new video conferencing, I can see and speak with people – just like Judy Jetson – instead of devouring minutes on my cell phone.

Coolest of all: I’ve been struggling my ass off to build two sites using an open source technology called Joomla. Everyone in the known universe, every page I’ve Googled, says how easy it is. Somehow, though, despite changing web hosts, even, I haven’t been able to get it to work. Which is weird – since although I can’t do everything really well, the one thing I DO do pretty well is build web sites, and work with software. No matter how many times I installed and reinstalled it, at least one major thing went wrong.

As in, REALLY wrong. Like: the registration page would fail. Something particularly catastrophic like that.

So I called an old friend of mine up – she’s the web diva at a college, and I used to be, which is how we met – only now I’m an artist, and she’s now a SUPER diva. She listened compassionately to my problem, and went straight to Twitter. She has something like seventeen bazillion fans following her on Twitter.

Within the hour, I had at least four or five experts offering me help. People who didn’t even know her personally – let alone ME. I hooked up with this TERRIFICALLY fun guy – who has a charming gift for cussing, which totally works for me. Never would have met him without Twitter.

Talk about Twittergasm.

Talk about social media.

If you haven’t gotten on board yet – you’re gonna miss the train. Wave, though, from the platform. We’ll miss you!

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