Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Goodbye, Pequot Cafe!

Friday, August 28, 2009. GROTON, CT. Today, I would like to say goodbye to the end of an "era." An era that lasted two years. May 2007 until May 2009. Many meals at Pequot Cafe, within Pequot Health Center. Just down the street from the Groton Library where I've spent the afternoon today. Only rain can keep me from Ocean Beach! I can hardly believe it, but today is the final day that Pequot Cafe will be open. Today, Pequot Cafe is closing for good. I can hardly believe it. A place I went just about every day, it was open five days a week and has played a strong role in my healing. I would also like to say "Thank You, Ron." For the great food, "real food" at reasonable prices. For a time, too tired to walk through the aisles of the grocery store, Pequot Cafe was a great alternative for me, to supplement extensive grocery shopping as I recouperated from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Diabetes (mixed in with the Great Depression). Along with the good food served up by Ron, the cook and food services manager, he served up just the right amount of compassion and control. I will miss him very much, but I wish him luck in his future endeavors. I hope to see him again in a future venue. Thank You, Ron! I wish you the best of luck! ...Denise...Denise Dances...2009.

"Walkin' into de Light!"

I've started to heal since the two-year anniversary of my best friend's Memorial Service. I don't need to be reminded of the sorry state of affairs immediately surrounding her death, as was the case on a certain day, upon returning to shop at a certain familiar grocery store and making the acquaintance of a certain someone who knew her (one of the fortunate few). On at least two separate occasions this summer, I've had the feeling of walking into the Light, as my car drove headfirst into the sun. On the morning of Tuesday, July 7th, around 6am, on my way to Pequot Health Center in Groton for routine bloodwork, I drove down the hill onto Pequot Avenue. As I did, the sun shone so brightly before me, on the horizon, I felt as if my car were bathed in bright light. On the next such occasion, it was a beautiful late Sunday afternoon in August. I'd spent the whole day resting in my air-conditioned apartment, overdone by the sun and crowds during the week. As I recall, the date was August 2nd around 4:00 pm. Interrupting my late day nap, I heard that familiar voice say: "C'mon, Denise. Get up! Get ready to walk into de Light! C'mon, Denise! It's time to start livin' again!" Sure enough. I rounded the corner and turning into the Ocean Beach parking lot, I drove headfirst into the sun, shining low on the horizon over a full parking lot. CRUISE NIGHT, New London, CT (Ocean Beach) -- Monday, Aug. 24, 2009: I visited "our spot" on the boardwalk. As I walked toward the evening celebration, the sun shone low and bright, so bright over the boardwalk. I felt ready to walk my friend closer to the Light, so that she could be home soon, with her family and friends who've gone before her. (The first time was in early February 2009.) But that she wouldn't leave until I was taken care of. That she would be leaving me soon, to go on ahead of me and walk into the Light. That things were going to work out for me soon. So she could go on ahead o' me and walk into de Light...on Cruise Night this past Monday, August 24th, I had the opportunity for an impromptu dance performance. Evening entertainment was provided by C.L. Showtime. I was fortunate to run into a few friends familiar to me from Shoreline Swing, an organization for social dancing. Stan played the "Duke of Earl," sporting a cape on stage, giving a great performance. Kathy, Debbie and I were recruited for an impromptu performance replete with dancing and lip-syncing to "Leader of the Pack" and "Soldier Boy" (along with Stan). While my mother proudly took pictures (herself an avid dancer), my father looked uncomfortable. Oh, well! What else is new? There's just no pleasing some people! :)...Oh, well, they DID meet at the motorcycle races...Judging from the enthusiastic applause and friendly hello I received from a neighbor this morning, I think they liked it!!!......(The Artist Known as Denise.)

Life's a Beach!

LIFE'S A BEACH! Going to the beach is so much work. You have to pack a lunch and snacks to get through a hot afternoon. Yo never know what the weather is going to be like. You have to lug all of your stuff including beach towel, sand chair, the lunch you packed, bottled water, suntan lotion, wide-tooth comb, the book you've been reading, a pen or two...across a hot parking lot. The busloads of kids can be so noisy. They form such a long line at the concession stands. I have to wait in line in the hot sun for that soft serve ice cream cone. Then it melts all over the place. Some of the people are so obnoxious. Take the toxic mother-daughter duo that come usually on Tuesdays and sometimes Fridays. They take over my spot at the end of the boardwalk. They re-arrange "the furniture." They argue over the stupidest things. They remind me of how my best friend Paula and I used to argue when she was alive. (Like how I wanted to eat lunch at Fred's Shanty and she wanted to eat lunch at Subway or Wendy's. Or should we go to the pool or the beach?) It makes me laugh to remember how well we got on. (Don't get me wrong. I still hate summer.) The mother who adopted that cute baby boy with the curly blond hair. She tried to convert me. She asked me if I belong to a particular religion. She asked me what I like most about it. Then she asked me if I practice it. Maybe I could read a pamphlet she had. The newly renovated boardwalk is so long. The lines of the new boards make me dizzy if I walk on it for too long. The summer sun is so hot. I get heat stroke if I stay in it too long. I have these crazy friends that always come to see me. The first two weeks of July were sunny, cool, and breezy. It was the perfect weather for me, but too cool to go swimming. The middle of July was so rainy and humid. Late July was hot and dry, perfect for swimming in the ocean. But then the jellyfish came. After that, the strong winds of Hurricane Bill caused waves so huge, they knocked me over. The Cruise Nights every Monday are so crowded. Everyone who goes to the Magic Show on Wednesday nights has kids but me. The music they play for the Sock Hop on Thursday nights is so loud. I don't usually have anyone to dance with on Friday nights when they have those good live rock 'n' roll bands. The Spray Park used to be for everyone, but now it's for kids only. I can't afford the $5 cover charge to go in the Olympic swimming pool. The kids that play miniature golf are so noisy. It's distracting. So is the banging of the golf balls against the tunnels. Some people are always interrupting me when I try to have conversations with Paula at the Nature Walk Observation Deck. I've had to collect dirty, sticky soda cans on the beach in the late afternoon so that I can put gas in my car; because I spent all my money to go to Block Island on two separate occasions. Summer! Ugh! It can be such a draaaaag. (Tick, tick, tick, tick...) Denise...Denise Dances...2009.THIIIIIINK SUNSHINE!!!

"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"

...succession of creative ideas...light-headed...low blood sugar...extreme shyness...with a song in my head and joy in my heart...OK, here it goes! OCEAN BEACH, New London, CT (Song written on Wednesday morning, August 26, 2009) -- I'm gonna walk around/ the beach by Long Island Sound/ Gonna plan to just hang out!/ Wanna make some waves/ Really get some raves/ Yeah, I want to go all out!/ Oh, oh, oh! Perfect weather conditions! Got some inner inhibitions!/ Sure wish I could have a good time./ Never been politically correct -- Sure wish I could have a real good time!/ The worst thing about being a woman/ Is the ability to turn around and run (Run! Run!)/ Oh, oh, oh! To go totally crazy! (Forget I'm a lady.)/ Tank top, short shorts -- Oh, oh, oh! To go really wild! (Yeah, doin' it in style.) OH, oh, oh! To get in on the action! Feel the attraction!/ Not really care -- Do what I dare!/ Oh, oh, oh! I wanna be free, yeah!/ To feel the way I feel. (Man! I feel like a woman!) REFRAIN: Nuh na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!/ Nuh na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!/ Seagulls all around/ The beach on Long Island Sound/ All I want is romance! All I've done is dance!/ Gotta let my hair hang down!(Man! I Feel Like a Woman!)/ The worst thing about being a woman/ Is the ability to turn around and run (Run! Run!)/ Oh, oh, oh! To go totally crazy! (Forget I'm a lady.)/ Tank top, short shorts -- Oh, oh, oh! To go really wild! (Yeah, doin' it in style.)/ Oh, oh, oh! Get in on the action! Feel the attraction! Not really care -- Do what I dare!/ Oh, oh, oh! I wanna be free, yeah!/ To feel the way I feel. (Man! I feel like a woman!)/ The worst thing about being a woman/ Is the ability to turn around and run (Run! Away from the fun!) Oh, oh, oh! To go totally crazy! (Forget I'm a lady.) Tank top, short shorts -- Oh, oh, oh! To go really wild!/(Yeah, doin' it in style!) Oh, oh, oh! To get in on the action! Feel the attraction!/ Not give a care-- do what I dare!/ Oh, oh, oh! I wanna be free, yeah! To feel the way I feel. (Man! I feel like a woman!) REFRAIN: Nuh na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!/ Nuh-na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!/ I get totally crazy! Can ya feel it? Come, come, come on, Baby! I feel like a woman! (Nuh na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!)...(Song sung by Shania Twain, re-written by Denise Hickey. Inspired on July 15, 2009. Written on 8-26-09. On July 31, I googled the lyrics...a familiar voice whispered in my ear: Go to the printer. See if someone left enough change to print the lyrics...Nuh-na, na, na, na, na! Nuh-na!....Denise...Denise Dances...2009.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Echinacea Purpurea"

Hi! For all of you avid horticulturalists out there, and perhaps a few of you avid gardeners, I bet you know what "echinacea purpurea" means. It's Latin for -- but before I tell you, my story today. Saturday, August 21, 2009. New London, CT -- OCEAN BEACH. The day bloomed bright and beautiful with blue skies and pleasant cool breezes. I decided to go swimming. But the ocean spit me up! "Love is a Many Splendored Thing?" "From Here to Eternity?" The rip-roaring waves seemed to suggest opening scenes to a popular daytime soap (I believe) and a hypnotic scene from a classic movie. I wanted to swim, to be enveloped by it. But the sea spit me back out! The approaching waves were powerful as I approached the shore of Long Island Sound. I swayed with the powerful motion of the brine and sank into a hole in the quicksand. That was enough for me. Safe and sound back on my spot, at the end of the boardwalk, where Fisher's Island Sound meets Long Island Sound, where cool and tranquil breezes always flow, adjacent to the mini golf course, and where my commemorative board to my friendship with Paula lies -- I decided to stay for a while. Later in the day, I had the pleasure to see my cousin Pat, several years younger than me, and his son, Nolan, and two of Nolan's young friends. We chatted, went our separate ways. Later, the Muse hit me, as it always does. Earlier in the day, the Muse returned. I was able to take some photos of scenes for future artistic projects, which I've had in mind since mid-July. The Muse returned for a second time that day. Finally! I was able to do some mid-afternoon sketching before I became "overcome" with heat exhaustion once again! "Echinacea Purpurea," the pale pink and purple painted daisies with orange-red spiny centers have fascinated me with their form since early July. Shaded beneath some ornamental grass and the lush August overgrowth outside the MBM Fun Center Arcade, a few of this species remains at summer's end. Bright yellow daisies are rapidly replacing them. I started sketching. The composition, the pencil strokes came more naturally to me now, as if "body memory." Conveniently, I spied my cousin Pat and his pre-teen charges at the concession stand. He gladly bought me a soft serve ice cream in a cone! I showed him my drawing of the painted daisies, "Echinacea Purpurea." He said "That's good." He seemed to like my unfinished drawing, my rendering of the scene. I revealed my ambitions to him. He agreed that they might make great notecards, mentioned the flea markets I am aspiring to do in the future. Encouragement! Sometimes, that's all it takes. Even so, ya can't go anywhere on an empty tank of gas! CAN you dig it? (NOT profitable enough.) As Mr. Russell Cavanaugh said recently, "Health is first. What good is money if you can't enjoy it?" But at this time I would like to add that...I WOULD consider my return to perfect health payment enough! -- with prosperity!!! ...Did ya get the memo? :)....Denise...Denise Dances...2009. Step out from that lens, my friend!