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Tag: cocktail-writing

Cocktail Musings: The Slippage

Cocktail Musings: The Slippage

During the summer of 2016, I remember picking up a book called The Slippage by Ben Greenman, mainly because the title intrigued me, and I was curious to know what it meant and how it was connected to the story itself. I immediately thought that it might be related to a scientific term known as the slipping point, a vague memory from high school physics class about the force required for an object to move. Or was it closer to the slip point, otherwise known as the temperature at which a solid starts to melt? That one would have been a vague memory from senior year chemistry. Hmmm. I also considered the possibility that it was a reference to the clutch slipping in a manual transmission when idling at the top of a hill, a very familiar occurrence for me since my first car was a yellow Toyota Celica 5-speed. As it turned out, the author was referring to none of the above, and it was very important to him that we understand the exact meaning of the term before reading the book. He defined the idea of slippage as “the exact moment when we begin to lose our footing,” a feeling that is relatable for most of us at one point or another in our lives. Maybe it was a bad personal situation we were in where we trusted someone that we shouldn’t have, or a job that made us question our values, or something as simple as an unfortunate decision, a bad night, a dark weekend. The thing that all of these examples have in common is that when we reflect back, there is almost always a moment when we felt the ground give way, we heard the rocks falling, and we reached out to grab onto whatever was close by, only to feel the beginning of the tumble backwards into something completely unknowable.

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Cocktail Musings: A Certain House Revisited

Cocktail Musings: A Certain House Revisited

In my last post, I mentioned that it was the start of Pisces season, a sign that happens to occupy the place in my personal birth chart that helps me to understand the feeling of being home, and so I have found myself preoccupied with these ideas throughout this past week. Many of us move multiple times over the course of our lives and, as a result, we often understand the idea of home as being related to a particular house at a certain stage of our lives. Each time we move, it’s not exactly as though we’re starting over, although we sometimes say that, but more that we are adding on another layer to a base that is already rich with experience. When I think of my childhood houses, I recognize how foundational they were for my understanding of home, especially in terms of teaching me certain things that I wanted to carry forward, as well as others that I knew I had to leave behind. When I consider the two homes that I attempted to bring into being for my own family, first when they were young and then again later after my parents had died, I know that I did both well in many ways, but missed the mark in others. I am certain that these opposites are playing out in the homes my children are currently creating. I radically changed my own concept of home just over six years ago when I ventured out alone for the first time ever, not to start over but to make a necessary change that filled me with a combination of terror, sadness, and hope, often in unequal parts. Over time, I learned that it was possible to keep many of the things that mattered so much to me and still take my life in a direction that was different, so long as I remained fundamentally who I had always been. What couldn’t quite remain intact, however, was the idea of home that I had created for my children. I had toppled that, and because I was well aware of the pain that I had caused, I have tried to rebuild on our original foundation, albeit in ways that were small and very different. In my case, home could not yet be found in a house, but I have longed for the day when I could provide that sense again.

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Friday Musings: Liminal Space

Friday Musings: Liminal Space

It is a fairly normal occurrence for me to walk from my car to the door of my apartment transporting more bags than any human being should ever attempt to carry. Two on my right shoulder, one on my left, both hands full, and sometimes one more held in the fold of my right arm. Occasionally I’ll have a box too. And then inevitably I will drop my keys. I’ve often thought of how ridiculous I must look. Not long ago, I was trudging along in this typical fashion when a man walking towards me dropped his own bag on the ground and rushed over to me. “You look like someone who could use a hand.” I was so shocked that I didn’t even know how to answer, and since he was dressed all in black with a strange hat on his head, I almost thought he was some sort of an otherworldly apparition. I hesitated for just a moment, but then I allowed him to help me, I thanked him profusely, and we parted ways. I’ve thought about him a lot since that day, mainly because in the million and one trips that I’ve made from my car to my door, he is the only person who has ever offered to help me in any way. I guess it’s fair to say that I was officially the recipient of a random act of kindness, a fact that interests me differently right now because I just finished a book entitled Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. In it, a group of strangers find themselves thrown together in a way that could never be anticipated, and the acts of kindness they show to one another deeply affect each of them. They begin their day knowing nothing about anyone else in the room, but end it as profoundly connected as family or friends.

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Friday Musings: No Mask Required

Friday Musings: No Mask Required

As so many of you know, I spend quite a bit of time with my grandchildren. One of our favorite things to do involves discovering fabulous new movies that have just arrived on Netflix or Disney Plus. I am always amazed at the amount of wisdom that can be gleaned from characters that are 100% animated. Sometimes it’s even more than what we get from their live counterparts. One afternoon a few weeks ago we watched The Magician’s Elephant, a new Netflix release that was absolutely wonderful and had me reduced to a weepy mess by the end of it. Nora patted my knee knowingly. “It’s okay Freezie. You’re crying because you’re happy.” Indeed. The premise is complicated, but simple. A boy conjures up an elephant by wishing for a way to find his long lost sister. The town is terrified of the elephant, but the boy knows that she holds the answer he has been searching for throughout the entirety of his life. He needs the elephant desperately and wants to hold on to her, but he realizes along the way that the elephant can never really be his. She has a home to return to, a place where “she is known, and therefore she is loved.” Oh boy. That’s the line that got to me early on. As I began a bit of research for this post, I learned that the movie is based on a book by Kate DiCamillo, and the quote that I loved so much is actually even richer and more poignant in its written form. “She was working to remind herself of who she was. She was working to remember that somewhere in another place entirely, she was known and loved.”

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Friday Musings: In Abundance

Friday Musings: In Abundance

One night last week I had a dream that I found a large yellow and green turtle in the bathtub, which immediately sent me running to some of my favorite dream interpretation websites like AuntFlo.com and The Dream Encyclopedia. And what words of wisdom did I find?? A few meanings were obvious. Someone or something in my life needs protection. I am a pillar of strength and stability in the face of destruction. I’m going to need lots of patience to get through the next few months. While these were good, especially that second one, I found myself looking for a bit more, so I kept digging. As it turns out, the fact that my turtle was yellow is rather important, since golden turtles symbolize wealth, prosperity, and abundance. Well now. This sounded far more promising. Wealth and prosperity are both measurable things that we spend a lifetime seeking to some degree, but very few of us will have them at any kind of extraordinary level. For the majority of us, an excessive amount of material wealth remains out of reach. Abundance of things that are unrelated to finances or possessions, on the other hand, is far more subjective, far less measurable, and far more attainable, making it a totally different matter. People may say that they have an abundance of wealth or prosperity, but the term seems more appropriately applied to things like an abundance of friends, or happiness, or tomatoes in the garden. And while it would be grammatically correct to also say that someone has had an abundance of misfortune or grief in their lives, the connotation seems to be off. Abundance is simply not a word often used to describe negative situations.

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