Laurie Markvart's Diary of Nothing Left Unsaid

Change. Embrace It? Steer It? Challenge It? or Just Get the Hell out of the Way. You Do Have a Choice.

I’m going through some changes and trying to figure stuff out. Yup, me and every one of you is too. Daily. Big ones, small ones. But let’s keep this about me. Okay, kidding. Yes, this is for all of us. But I need to talk about my quest to understand change and then if it resonates with you…please throw it back to me with a comment, and by all means, give me a great quote on change ’cause if I know one thing…there are never enough quotes on the subject!

If you Google “sayings about change” you have 20,500,000 results to play with. Goodreads alone has 4,597 quotes. There are pages dedicated to “awesome quotes,” “life changing quotes,” “inspiring quotes” and naturally they are supportive and positive. I didn’t find too many pages on “nasty quotes” or “go f yourself quotes” or “you suck quotes.” Those would actually be quite funny. Please share if you’ve found some!

Quotes about change are meant to uplift and elevate you and by all means…make you feel you are not alone. And sometimes they do ’cause you think okay…if someone else is saying it they must be feeling it too. And they probably are but, when it comes to you and your experience just like me and mine…we are alone on the deepest level when it comes to change. A quote ain’t gonna get you out of it. It might make you think differently or approach it differently which is great but believe me…no one is holding your hand. More on that debilitating thought in a second…

During my Google search, I must admit the one page I clicked on was “30 Famous Quotes About Change” because if has narrowed it down to thirty, they’ve done the work for all of us! Of course, quotes are from famous poets, writers, philosophers, even Confucius! I mean if Confucius said: They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Well, we must concur, yes? I mean, I’m not going to question Confucius. Actually, there are some lovely quotes within the 30 but by the time I got to the bottom of the page to the last quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – For, after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain. I thought…oh hell, really?!  I didn’t realize we had an option on rain?! But yes, I get the metaphor. And it’s true! But after that, I decided enough of the quotes. As well, I was then distracted by what came next on ecosalon’s page:  ALSO CHECK THESE OUT: 30 Best Quotes About Sex. I was SO curious, but I did NOT click and go down that rabbit hole. But if YOU want to, here’s the page:

Okay, back to change and my debilitating comment about how we are alone on the deepest level when it comes to change. But you see, it’s not debilitating nor sad but actually kinda cool if approached openly, and no I’m not going to provide a quote here. Just state my own feelings…if we understand that change is not necessarily about what has happened but how we react to it and that we are the masters and in the driver’s seat (you can only have ONE driver) then we have a choice. The choice is not the change itself but how we react to it. Because even if we make the change…we still need to respond to it! And that is what it’s all about.

Change can come like a nasty curveball. I can decide to dodge it, get hit by it (not always a choice) or catch it and throw the damn thing back. I own how I react to change. And yes, change can also be the most blessed warm and lovely moment in life in which YOU chose to make. But you still must react to it! In my life, many times I’ve wanted change. I chose love, I chose to have a baby (talk about a change! And the two people involved (yes, we who “made” said baby)…we both reacted differently to that change!), I chose to make a significant career change. These are all beautiful things, and they changed me, and I continue to react to them!

But in stark comparison to the beautiful changes, I’ve also had some nasty curveballs. I didn’t choose to lose a baby (not the same one mentioned above!), lose my parents or lose my marriage or endure heartbreak in which I thought I would never recover. THESE are the life altering ones that over the years started my quest for quotes on change; change that is so large it shifts your consciousness and total being. But I realized with each quote I found they filled my head with words but made only a small dent on my heart. Maybe if I read more quotes, it would fill my heart? No, what I realized is I need to start reacting to the change and take action. Make a choice. While I’m alone on “my” journey, reading quotes, reaching out to friends, writing music, loving and being loved and talking it out…all help. But the most assistance is to recognize I am in the driver’s seat and I can make a choice on how I REACT to all the changes. With that knowledge, I feel a lot better. I’m not a victim, nor a victor. I am the navigator.

So, thank you, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I may not be able to stop the rain, but I learned I can choose to find an umbrella or say screw it…I’m going to dance in the rain.

Valentine’s Day from a Different Perspective…How Do They Make You Feel? What’s It Feel like to Love Someone? It’s a Challenge I Give to You…

Ah…Valentine’s Day. It’s the day held aside to celebrate love. Most especially for lovers. If anything it’s dominated by lovers. With media and retail targeting lovers to buy the largest bouquet of roses or candies or a giant stuffed bear, to prove how much you love someone. Well, I call total bullshit on all of it. There is far more to love than an expression of a store-bought card or flowers, set aside for one day.

And no, I’m not at a loss because I did not receive flowers today or something related to Valentines. I have a guy who fills my life with so much love on the daily that I would feel overindulged if he caved to the marketing schemes. I know how much we love each other…we live it and share it all the other 364 days.

NOW, if you did receive flowers or an expression of love from your lover or someone you care about-beautiful and ENJOY! But, I challenge all of you to this…look around and take notice that Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers and store bought cards and dinner reservations. It is being loved and for loving. Loving your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, your family, your neighbor, whoever is important to you and of course…YOURSELF. The hardest one of all!

But that’s not just it – HOW DOES THEIR LOVE MAKE YOU FEEL? And HOW DOES YOUR LOVE MAKE THEM FEEL? The words I LOVE YOU are sometimes not enough to truly express how you totally feel. And sometimes they are the hardest words to say.

Years ago I wrote a song called I WANT TO TELL YOU. I wanted to tell someone I loved them but I couldn’t muster up the courage to simply say I love you. The words seemed too heavy, too bold, too exposing. So, I decided instead to write a song (as all songwriters do), describing how their love makes me feel. Listen below if you’d like. If it inspires you to tell someone how their love makes you feel…AWESOME!

So, people…just love and share and don’t let the f’n media or advertisers make you feel like shit about this day. Feel empowered. It’s meant for love on all levels. Let those you love know how their love makes you feel. And btw…if you’ve read this far…I love you. You make me feel humbled and happy!

xo, L

I WANT TO TELL YOU by Laurie Markvart

I never thought I’d struggle to say
Such tempting words
At times they just seem empty
At times they mean the world

I want to tell you how this feels
You’re everything to me
I want to tell you how this feels
I really want you to know
What it’s like to love you.

I hesitate to think of it
It all seems so surreal
But does it really matter
If I never even utter a breath

I bite my lip when I touch you
I close my eyes and hold my breath
I hope you feel as I do
Nothing else could matter quite like this

My First – If WordPress Doesn’t Piss Me off It May Be My Last…But It’s Important. It’s My Mother.

This is my very first post. Strangely enough, it’s on an older subject. Although, the issue isn’t that old, eight months to be exact. To the date, a matter of fact. To the damn date. I didn’t plan this, swear.

So, in the span of a lifetime of loving someone…the eight months…are a raindrop. And the severity, the clarity of the subject is absolutely forefront and as tender as the day I spoke these words further below. These are the words I used to memorialize my mother, Mary Ann Archie. My mom, this quick-witted, sensitive, tough as nails (how can you be both? I don’t know, but she was) or as my teenage son says…”she was a beast,” beautiful woman left our family on June 9, 2016. She was 77. Old enough to know better but young enough to still start trouble. Dammit!

I spoke of her at her memorial, exactly a week and two days after her passing, still retched with disbelief that she was gone even though I was with her when she passed. But how can she be gone? I saw her go! Like a train leaving a station! Like a wave leaving the beach! I saw her leave. And yet, I still ached for her to be there. And I still ache for her today. Endlessly.

For her eulogy, at first I did not have words, then I had too many. In the end, there is never enough words, or too little, or time or feelings for that matter. We just are. We go with the flow of what we feel on that given day. Today I feel like shit about her not being here. Tomorrow I may feel absolutely free and glorious in knowing she is…free! The beauty is in accepting whatever you may be feeling in that day and being damn right okay with it. Difficult to do, but needed.

But as for that eulogy, maybe if I wrote her eulogy a day or two earlier or a day or two later it would have been different. But that day, the flow poured out, and I did not stand in its way. This was how I felt about my mom Mary Ann on the day of her memorial. And actually, I still feel the same, and I wish I could hug her. Hug her like only a daughter could hug a mom and a mom hug a daughter. Breathlessly.

Please don’t expect many of my posts to be of such grave nature. There will be a lot of joy, sarcasm, poetry, song lyrics, love and lots of bullshit mixed in. This world needs bullshit. That would be my mother’s contribution coming through me. And I don’t mean bullshit as in…to pull the wool over one’s eyes or to deceive, but I mean good old fashioned fun as she would say, “Let’s sit around and bullshit for awhile.”

So, I must start this blog where I feel there is life. And that was with her. She was the beginning of me but not the end. She planted a seed I now water. Life you see is endless. And I hope this eulogy below brings comfort, joy or just pure love to anyone who reads it. As many can relate when losing someone who is so fucking impactful on your life, you’re dumbfounded by their absence. Or maybe more so…dumbfounded by their constant presence within you. This is love.

Eulogy for Mary Ann Archie: 

Nothing can prepare you for how much others love the one you love. I’ll say it again cause it’s a messy one. Nothing can prepare you for how much others love the one you love. I’ve realized this recently when reconnecting with family and my mother’s friends and discovering their depth of love for my mother. Love isn’t singular. It is broad and it is beautiful and expressed and exchanged fluidly, and my mom did that with everyone she met. Everyone meant something to her. And those closest to her she loved immensely and they returned that love to her. Again, nothing can prepare you for love others have for the one you love. And then you find it so extraordinary because it makes you love them that much more.

And my mother was love. She lived it and deeply. She was an incredibly sensitive soul, and she could only love deeply. She invested her whole heart to those she cared for. In turn her heart would break to the same depth if they were hurt or if they hurt her. That is the way she loved, and that is the way she taught me to love. Boldly. She would say, “If you love fully, you can hurt fully but why would you love any less?” My mother never did anything “less”. She really didn’t. She lived passionately and honestly…and full of love.

I can only honestly talk about Mary Ann as a mother and a friend (in my adult life), but I witnessed her as a daughter, a wife, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a cousin, a mother-in-law and a friend to many…but of course so important as a grandmother. Her most prized role that of a parent and grandparent. She endeared her life to her children and her grandchildren and in turn, she formed eternal bonds with us through small joking ways which were very common with my mother or through deep, meaningful, spiritual heartfelt conversations that if anyone knew Mary Ann, they knew they could have them safely and intimately with her. As her children and grandchildren we were extraordinarily blessed to find her as our confidant and guide. As a teenager, I rented my mother out to my friends frequently. There were times my friends would call and ask to talk to my mom! Yes, they didn’t want me, they wanted her! They could speak to her about things they couldn’t share with their parents. And she did it lovingly and with honor. If you found her available to you, you found yourself in the beauty of a gentle soul willing to give herself to you.

There is an enormity of losing a parent. Especially when you’ve had the blessing of having them around in your adult life to consider them a friend. She was my teacher, a willing subject to listen to my rants and raves, my heartaches, my happiness. She was my biggest fan. Literally. As a musician…I think she had more of my CDs and promotional pictures than I do! She used to come out to my rock shows, wearing my band’s T-shirt and hang with the band or the fans. She never had trouble fitting in. In any situation…any situation…she was the first to say hello and the last to say goodbye. She was…remarkable.

So, how do you sum up the life of someone who has impacted yours so greatly that you can’t imagine the world without them? All you can do is live with them as part of your soul and all their teachings a part of you and your character. And your body from them, you are them. My mother…truly from whom I came. I am a part of her. I look at my hands, and I see her. I look at my reflection, and I see her. More than anything I feel her in my heart and hear her in my words. She is with me everywhere. I look at my family, and I see her in my brother in his hearty laugh, I see her in her grandchildren with their quick humor and snarky comments. But of course, their sensitivity and sweetness that I know she impressed upon them. Most of all I see her in her granddaughter, my niece, Amanda. Amanda and my mother had a special bond. A genuine, loving sweet fondness for each other. Amanda took care of her grandmother to the depths most young women could not endure. And I know my mother was grateful. Beyond grateful, because my mom was able to bond with her granddaughter. There may not even be a word that can describe how much Amanda meant to my mother. But…love. My mother was love.

So, again, how do you sum up the life of someone who has impacted yours so greatly that you can’t imagine the world without them? Well, through hugs. My mom’s approach to all people was always genuine and usually started with a hug. She had a colorful language that amused most, and she used it frequently and most of the time appropriately. Most of the time. Okay, some of the time. You could call her… robustly truthful. You always knew were you stood with Mary Ann. AND Especially if she greeted you with a hug.

Back in the ’80s, my mom loved an author and motivational speaker named LEO BUSCAGLIA. He was called Dr. Love, and he endlessly promoted the power of a hug. He said, “Hugging is good medicine. It transfers energy and gives the person hugged an emotional lift. And the nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can’t give one without getting one.” My mom took me to one of Leo Buscaglia’s speeches back in the ’80s. At the end of his speech, he said he would give hugs to as many people in the audience as possible. There were hundreds of people there so my mom and I jumped up to get in line to get a hug. We were both thrilled for the opportunity, but unfortunately they cut the line off right after my mom and before me. But my mom unselfishly pushed me in front of her and told me to get the hug from him. I argued and stated that she was the bigger fan. She, in turn, said, “You get the hug from him, then hug me and then I get it too.” She was like that. Always put everyone else first. So how do I sum up a life and that of up Mary Ann? Through a hug. So as a family we’d like all of you to leave with a hug card. My mom used to carry these around with her and randomly hand them out to people. Please take a card and share the card. And HUG! Sharing the card and hugging with be sharing her legacy.

I leave you with this…please turn to the person next to you, both sides and give them a hug! We all knew and loved Mary Ann. My mother. And she would want us to hug. Thank you. 

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