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  • Writer's pictureHeather Simmons

Stream of Consciousness Volume III

Carl Broemel doesn't know it, but he's created a soundtrack to my life. His album All Birds Say profoundly changed me. It's the most hypnotic, melodious, woodsy, and beautiful music that you can find. It's magic. Year after year I come back to this album for it's ease and optimism. He also plays and sings back-up vocals for My Morning Jacket, so talk about range. If I could I would shake his hand and tell him thank you for making the world a better place through music. Please do yourself the very biggest favor and check this album out. It's dreamy.

I have realized that I have a three-year maximum before I'm ready to burn everything to the ground and start all over. Not with my relationships (I love you, Joshua.) but with just about everything else. Do we think this is a normal reinvention of self, or should I be concerned? My Madre has been in her same home for 35 years and was at her same job for 35 years, and I wonder if she had moments where she wanted to start all over. Not without us obviously, but just go and be somewhere new. Is this why women have Pinterest boards? Everyone has all the same feelings but we don't actually pull the trigger? Instead we daydream on the internet and pin that perfect home in that new city on a pretend dream board? Am I just the one who says the quiet part out loud? I feel like I always have matches at the ready, and I don't know if this makes me brave or foolish.

Scenes from Lake Blue Ridge, GA 01/08/22

Jack Johnson has a song called Breakdown that resonates deep within me when I'm feeling pulled in too many directions. It talks about wanting the train to break down so he can take a walk around. He could obviously just get off the train at any ole time, but he won't. He'll stay on the train as it goes faster and faster and all the images from the window blur and he just wishes the train would break down and force him to get off. I often feel this way. Fingers crossed the train at least needs some scheduled maintenance this year. I mean - I don't want to derail - I just want a little time off to grease the wheels and wash the windows, ya know?

I talk to my dog and my grandmother almost every day, even though they both passed away over a year ago and almost three years ago, respectively. I don't know if this is completely normal or if I should be worried. I silently (in my mind) mention things that I know they'd notice. Granny, didn't I do a good job with that pie? I bet you'd like it. Oscar, you would be so frisky and excited about this snowfall. It's so powdery and fine that you'd probably try to eat it. They say that grief is a continuation of love once someone is gone, but I've turned it into an eternal conversation instead. I enjoy talking to myself more than sobbing.

I wonder if this practice will only increase as those I love pass away. I still have gobs and gobs of people I love dearly (I know - lucky duck) but I think this might be the cadence of the life of the last person standing. I don't know if I want to be the last person standing. I also wonder what people will "tell" me if indeed I am not the last one standing. Hezzy, isn't that the most beautiful shade of pink? Isn't the ocean just lovely today? I know you'd love it.

I have precisely seven keys on a keychain and I have no idea to which doors they belong. I've made it my mission this year to try all the doors to all the homes in all the states in which I once had access and whittle away at this collection.

Do people who live at the beach actually go to the beach once they're permanently there? Asking for the match-wielding friend above...

Three friends and I started a zoom Friday game night back at the start of the pandemic as a way to be together without "being together". Two years later we still do this on a monthly basis and it is always the highlight of my month. My sister and another bestie and I are in a zoom book club that I adore. Forever friends are a rare gift. These computer moments are the one and only upshot of the past two years. I hope we continue to zoom with one another well into the next few decades until we can just teleport into one another's homes.

In my mind's eye I look how I looked at age 26. Sometimes I catch a glimpse in the mirror and am startled by who is looking back. Not that I don't like who I am today; it's just for some reason my self-image has been suspended in amber for 10 years. This makes me wonder if everyone experiences some version of this. Do you? Will I continue to be 26 in my mind's eye when I'm 80, or will that version of myself be so far away that my mind will readjust at some point to me at 44? I need someone in their sixties to fill me in here...

I bought five boxes of girl scout cookies from a friend's daughter online and had them shipped directly to my house. The tagalongs lasted about 48 hours. Yesterday a second friend's daughter announced that she is also selling girl scout cookies, but when I clicked the link the only options are pseudo-girl scout cookies with vegan formulas whose pictures look like real girl scout cookies but are named something else. IDK what's going on but it upset me more than I care to admit.

Sometimes I consider writing to Sarah Koening to tell her just how much the world needs another season of Serial to make it through the rest of winter. I vote that she release one every January, right after we've all come down from the holiday highs and need something to collectively focus on and armchair investigate as a nation. I'll draft the petition.

Sidenote: Serial is releasing The Trojan Horse Affair on February 3rd, which I did not know until after I drafted this post. It's like she heard me whisper through the universe, y'all. I now believe in manifestation and will name it and claim it from here on out.

The talent and the beauty and the gifting of my peers has just been astonishing me lately. I believe we've reached the age where we've blossomed into who we're going to be and have just hit that sweet spot of identity mixed with know-how mixed with gravitas. Whether you're making babies or making art or making policy, know that I see it and applaud your work. I'm so very proud of you.

One of the biggest comments from last year's post was on the color lovat. If you don't know what I'm referencing, please click here to refresh your mems. This year I thought I'd continue the colorful commentary and share another terrible hue with you: Pantone 448 C. It's dubbed the "ugliest color in the world" and is "used for cigarette and tobacco packaging in Australia, once market researchers determined that it was the least attractive color." (all quotes from Wikipedia). So there's that.



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