Seeing the Moon on a Clear Night

I was born into a world where Neil Armstrong had already walked on the moon.

It was a fact of life, a way of living established by people who had long ago lived out the wildest dreams of humanity.

So easy to forget sometimes that these adventurers made it to the moon and back with guts, grit and the practical equivalent of a few pieces of metal held together with chewing gum, duct tape and hope.

A few months ago, I ran across the speech President Nixon had ready to go in case of an Apollo 11 disaster where the men were unable to launch back off the moon.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

“These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.”

 

It wasn’t until I read those words that I really understood what they’d risked.  

Of course, they made it home to a hero’s welcome and a place in the world’s history books, splashing down into the Pacific Ocean and forever defining our history with before the moon and after. 

I have a short list I call my Happy List.  It’s a collection of songs, historical clips, movie moments, journal entries, even YouTube videos that I watch when I need to be reminded that there is good in the world.  There is hope.  That despite all of the truly horrific pieces of life, that sometimes we actually do come through with something breathtaking.

I like to imagine God laughing in delight with me.  Humanity is so weird, so funny.  So adventurous.  

One of my clips is Walter Cronkite’s anchoring of the moon landing. Here is this grown man –  smart, tactful, respectful, always pulled together.  He was the voice of reason for a country trying to make sense of where they were at as the world changed dramatically around them.

But when the Eagle touched down, he was once again the voice of a nation and the world – the giddy, unbelieving, laughing nation going, “Holy hell… Jules Verne was right.”  Walter Cronkite laughed like a little boy given the keys to the planet of Christmas.

Neil Armstrong – standing on the shoulders of giants – made our dreams come alive, then came home and lived.

I always wondered what he thought about when he looked up at the moon every night.  

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.  

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” 

– the family of Neil Armstrong

Good night, Mr. Armstrong, and godspeed….

  

 

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Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong…

” While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

— The Family of Neil Armstrong.

More thoughts from me coming later tonight. But I just wanted to share this first…

Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong

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The Impending Failure of a Watermelon

– Have you ever made your own watermelon water?  

I realized somewhere around the time that my watermelon juice was WAY over the ‘liquid fill line’ on my food processor that I was in a lot of trouble.  

By the end of my experiment, I had watermelon seeds in my hair, there was watermelon juice dripping down the side of my fridge, and half of my watermelon water had definitely turned to ‘counter water’.  

Wait. 

What?  

My kitchen is perfect.  All the time.  I don’t know what you’re talking about.  

And I most definitely did not burn my twice-baked sweet potato fries. 

Of course not.  

—————————————

Why is that funny?  

Why is it that when Luke came home tonight I couldn’t wait to tell him that part of my story?  Not – I made homemade ketchup and it was awesome.  (Sidenote – I made homemade ketchup and it. was. AWESOME.)  Not – I made us another batch of blueberry jam because I keep giving it away. No, no… I tell him that I looked like a complete idiot and got covered in sticky watermelon pulp from head to toe.  I tell him the part where I got so frustrated that I just gave up, took the watermelon juice I had, added a squeeze of lime and some triple sec and called it a day.  

(Next sidenote – I have created a new cocktail!) 

Why is it easy to admit those kind of creative failures?  

Sometimes I think it’s so much simpler to announce the tiny failures rather than the big ones where your heart and soul are at risk… 

Why is it so much harder to say – I’m so tired.  Today I just want to give up.  

I think that’s something no one ever told me when I announced I wanted to be a professional creative type.  I was going to write stories and sing and be in bands and maybe paint every once in a while.  One day, somewhere, somehow, someone was going to pay me to do the thing I loved to do.   And dang it, I was going to be the most happy, thrilled person on the planet.  Sparkles would follow me wherever I went, and joy would be beaming from my face at all times.  And there would probably even be a unicorn somewhere.  

This is now the point in the blog where everything has gone wildly off the rails.  

Watermelon.  Unicorns.  Where was I?  Oh yeah… 

Failures are just a normal part of being a professional creative type.  

I’m going to write stories that don’t work.  I’m going to paint something that looks like it fell off the preschool truck and got run over a couple times.  I’m going to sing the wrong harmony one of these days.  It just happens.  

When you practice things over and over, when you live them day in and day out, when you wake up breathing your creativity and ideas… you learn one thing pretty much immediately…. 

You still have so much to learn. 

Failures – or so I’ve been told – don’t mean that you’re totally unfit for whatever it is you’re trying for.  

Failures are the giant highlighters of life saying Look here!  Here’s the next step you’re going to take.  And here’s how you’re going to get around this massive screw up on the next go-around.  

And yeah, it’s totally embarrassing to fail in front of people.  Duh.  You learn that when you’re like 3 years old. 

But that doesn’t mean you stop.  

Because maybe next time is the time you succeed. 

                                           A Watermelon Fail

  

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3 in the morning…

– Did you know there is such a thing as 3 in the morning?? 

There is. 

And I know that, because I’m sitting at my kitchen table watching my computer clock click past 3:15. 

It’s one of those nights.  

I can honestly say it doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes you just wake up, you know?  And that’s madness.  I tried the ever-popular just go back to sleep trick.  No dice.  Then, because my brain was starting to spin and get ready for the day like it was 6am, I had the idea that I should probably read for a while.  So I popped out my iPad and started clicking through my favorite (and here unnamed) food blog.  

Mistake #2 of the day.  

It’s a great blog – and I will definitely mention it later.  But not here.  Because otherwise it sounds a little too much like, “Hey, here’s the blog to read when you never ever want to sleep again!”  And that would just be sad.  

This is the blog you read when you want to be so completely inspired and take risks with what happens in your kitchen.  I’m figuring out ways to combine coconut and avocado.  I’ve been making scones and quick jams like they’re going out of style.  I made my first three-layer cake last week.  I want to make my own ketchup. And rosemary syrup.  And gluten-free bread.  And corn tortillas. And homemade veggie sushi.  I want to eat chickpeas and avocados and arugula and scrambled eggs until the day I die.  I’m on a roll… and so I read this (unnamed) blog. I started making notes for Sunday lunch.  I started googling crazy ideas like marinara with peanuts and lime. (I’ve had it… thank you, Marcus Samuelsson.  Unbelievably good.  You have to try it. If I can find the recipe online, I’ll post it.  I’d also like to reiterate it is amazing! *) 

I’m blogging about a blog. 

This is why I don’t usually blog at 3am.  

Anyway…

My head is so full of dreams right now.  Big ones.  Little ones.  Quirky weird ones.  

Ones that look like the end of my first book.  Ones that look like a brand new pilot or two with a character named Eli Rain.  Ones that look like Africa.  Ones that look like the end of my season on Alphas.  It’s kind of scary to end a show.  You never know what’s coming just around the corner. And I have loved every moment of being on Alphas.  But there’s something new on its way. And I love living in the anticipation of my next adventure.  Makes it that much more awesome when I take that first official adventure-step.  

I just re-subscribed to a local CSA here, and my first box of 20 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables will be here on Sunday afternoon.  ($30 including delivery?  Come on now…)  

What am I going to do with 20 pounds of vegetables??? 

This is when you have people over for dinner.  Or brunch.  Or whatever bizarre meal you eat at 4 in the afternoon alongside your coconut coffee. 

Awesome friends.  Good food.  Good wine.  I think we have a winner.  

I want my feature script to sell.  I think it might just do that shortly… 

I want to sit by the pool for an entire afternoon and drink homemade blueberry italian soda.  I want to just enjoy the moment.  I want to get a little bit sunburned because I fell asleep by the pool listening to neighborhood kids laugh and love their summer.  

I want to write new music and sing with friends of mine in some tiny club where people drink old fashioneds and brandy. I miss being in a band.  

I want to be a part of whatever crazy thing God’s doing in Los Angeles.  Because he loves this place even more than I do, and honestly?  That’s hard to imagine…  I’m in love with my city. 

I want to stop freaking out about gluten-free baking and just get in there and get up to my elbows in rice flour cookies with roasted peaches and chocolate chips.  Are those a thing?  I just made them up.  If not, there should be.**

It’s 3a.m. and all’s well.  

Just thought you wonderful people who are asleep right now would like to know.  

Even in the midst of crazy, adventure is coming… Happy Friday!! 

xoxo

Lynn 

*mental notes for later! 

** [UPDATE!] surely these can be made with rice flour, substituting chocolate chips for the raisins. Thank you, internets…

  

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