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Tagged ‘Help‘

Rise and Shine

Sunday sunup. Blurgh. Are you kidding me? Blinking unreasonably early. 5:30. Not even Hugh Jackman putting on a bucolic show in the old barn outside my window would make getting up at this idyllic hour worth it.

Well… maybe. It may be a beautiful morning. But I can’t tell. For one thing, it’s halfway dark. For the other, my windows are FILTHY!

A window is a wonderful thing. For you young whippersnappers, a window is how we used to gaze at the world before we found the “flat thing” (AKA electronic communication device) into which we currently face plant.

Today, I tell myself, is a big bright opportunity for fresh perspective. (This is how the motivator motivates herself to tackle a daunting task like washing the windows.) I dig in, but can’t figure how to get the storms off. And I’m too stubborn to ask for help.

For those of you in clement climates, “storms” are exterior plates of glass that protect your windows from the elements. “Storms” are another layer of energy efficiency. Very useful actually. And an apt allegory to my ability to armor up, add an extra layer of defense distancing me from the outside world when I feel like I might not present a pristine façade, or fall down, or look dumb, or not be in the know.

You wanna’ know what I know?
The less competent I feel, the more armor I pile on. Additional protective layers that provide me thicker insulation and isolation, and therefore make it tougher to ask for help.

You wanna’ know what I don’t know?
I’m elbow deep in squeegees and glass cleaner and I don’t know how to Wrassle. The. Dang. Storms. Off. These. Windows.

I’ve only wrecked one so far. Pretty good for just under an hour. Out of breath and patience, I sit down for a coffee and some perspective. Search YouTube for “How to clean a double hung window”, where I find this:


(I don’t know who this fella is, but he oughta have his own television show. He’s a hoot and a half.)

I get me some learnin’ right quick, and a laugh. I calm down and consider changing my name to Bubba. I still don’t know how to wrassle the storm windows from their casing, but I don’t care. Armed with fresh perspective, I take a fresh approach.

Go outside. Get a ladder. Shift to a new vantage point.

While I’m balanced on shaky ground, trying not to tumble into the soft patch of cypress between my cottage and the neighbor’s, or over-traumatize her yapping pug, she comes out to investigate. Turns out she has the same windows. And an owner’s manual. Which she offers to lend me.

We look at each other; shake hands across the short fence dividing our yards. I pet the pug, which remarkably stops barking and seems to like me fine. It is the closest we’ve been since I moved in. Up until now, we’ve just waved from a distance, through the window.

You go where you look, so look where you go.

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.

Oh, what a beautiful Mornin’
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I’ve got a beautiful feelin’
Everything’s goin’ my way.

Ninja Anniversary. Fab Four.

Today is the fourth anniversary of my unexpected induction into The Ninja Network. Today there will be celebration. I expect happy weeping. Perhaps some gleeful screaming. Conceivably, a chance of giddy fainting. Celebration. Maybe a cupcake. Four. Four is fab. Four is a good long time.

Way back a long time ago (1965 to be precise) there was happy weeping and gleeful screaming. Giddy fainting and packed performances. The occasion was fans finding another Fab Four anthem for a culture built on community.  The Beatles’ song “Help!” hit the airwaves, and became instantly chart-topping popular.  (Click here to hear the song and view the Fab Four being 1965-esque adorable.)

I couldn’t have cared a whit or a fiddle. The Beatles weren’t my cup of tea back in 1965. Not because they weren’t adorable and talented and compelling, but because I was so much younger then; a newborn actually. I expect I was more interested in sleeping. And eating. And sleeping some more. I bet I rocked “Rock-a-Bye Baby”, back in the day.

When I was a bit older – somewhere between the childhood moment of standing for my first unassisted steps and the many years later when my illusions that I could handle it all by myself came crashing down – I built a fortress of self-assurance. And isolation.

Not the super-swell fort you make when you’re look-at-me-I’m-four-years-old out of all the couch cushions dragged together, under a blanket, where you snuggle in and browse your beloved comic book while enjoying a juice box and the leftover Halloween candy. No, not that one. The super-sucky fort you make when you’re when-did-I-get-to-be-forty out of all the crappy bad self-talk, under the dining room table, where you isolate and lurk on Facebook while weeping over a box of cheap wine and the leftover mashed potatoes.

“I got this,” I told myself over and over. “I’m a grown-up. I got this.”  But the older I got, the more I found the world big, fast, overwhelming, intimidating, and lonely.

Then one day I got it. We aren’t intended to be isolated. A Ninja came and got me. Four years ago today. I let go of being alone, grabbed the hand held out for help, and haven’t looked back.

It was like a door opening to a new panorama, that day I peeked out from my fortress of isolation.

What is a Ninja? From my perspective, Ninjas are not stealthy mercenaries robed in inky-black and sneaking up behind your back to dispatch you to sweet oblivion. Ninjas are the people we know and rely on to take our hand and pull us from the wreckage of our illusions and our isolation. The people we trust who honor us by helping craft the anthem of a mighty and awesome community.

“Life needs to be lived in community, because we’re all at different stages.
We’re not meant to do this alone.”
~ Blessed Mari of the Margaritas, from the book The Ninja Network

The Beatles’ song “Help!” crossed my consciousness today, and I took a minute to look up the lyrics:

The Beatles ... Help!

“Ninja Invasion” – A rarely seen interpretation of the back cover of The Beatles’ album “Help!”

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now those days are gone, I’m not so self-assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ‘round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ‘round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me.
Won’t you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

Seems like a good anthem for today.

an·them noun ˈan(t)-thəm
Definition of ANTHEM
: a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view

I need somebody. Not just anybody. I need NINJAS!

Who helps you get your feet back on the ground?  Who do you appreciate being ’round?  Who are your NINJAS?  Make a list.  No really.  Go get a pen.  I’ll wait. … Got it?  Good.  First, write the names of your Ninjas.  Next, program their names into your speed dial.  Now, call each one and let them know that YOU NEED NINJAS!  

To mine I happily, gleefully, giddily shout out: THANK YOU NINJAS!  (I love you more than cupcakes!!!)

If we were all in London, I’d take you to Crumbs and Doilies for these adorable Beatles cupcakes! http://www.crumbsanddoilies.co.uk/