Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

A/N: Well today’s post is much later than anticipated, but I’m happy to be posting, nonetheless. This essay was written in several different parts, over several different days, from various locations. I started writing when I  was down in L.A. for Bobby Long’s show. But since, I’ve traveled back home and have experienced several events that urged me to keep writing, despite any issues with continuity. In other words, it’s how I roll. Thanks for flowin with me, Lovelies, and thanks for not being too hard on me for being a complete fail with comment and email replies. My goal is to finish them this weekend!…Anyhoo, Let’s go forth, mmmkay?

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A soul connection is a resonance between two people who see each other’s essential beauty, behind their facades…a sacred alliance, whose purpose is to help both partners realize their deepest potentials

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

Well this very spur-of-the-moment trip down to my hometown found me in possession of several outfit options for various weather, including scarves and hats, though it is so mild and perfect here in SoCal, I fear I’ll be lynched by those of you in blizzard country experiencing heinous conditions. As indicated, I’m only kinda prepared. I have makeup (which I only really wear when I go out to shows or in meetings), though no makeup remover; my phone and wall charger, but no car charger, which proved to be a hindrance as I charged my phone in a public bathroom at an L.A. shopping center during lunchtime yesterday. I have my trusty MacBook Pro (and charger, yippee!), but not my usual Musings Notebook; no books of poetry and psychotherapy to prompt me, not even a spiral notebook. I don’t even have a pen!  You Office Supply Junkies know WhatImmaSayin when I mention needing the right writing utensil in order to truly produce good work.

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

I am of course struck with inspiration to write and to create after  yesterday’s jam-packed day of travel, good food,  and unbelievably dazzling stills from On The Road. Top the night off with attending Bobby Long’s show at The Troubadour and we’ll call it a good, good day, my friends.

Let’s talk about the just-released OTR stills a minute, ok? Or not. Really, I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the rush of euphoria that overtook me when I first saw them. I had been away from my phone and the internet for most of the day since I was flying in and enjoying a lovely day of catch-up with @Edmett and @RobKris13. I checked my email/Twittah timeline and saw these pics, each one more breathtaking than the last.

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

And I nearly caused poor @Edmett to swerve off the 405 as I screamed and showed her this still on my iPhone:

I cant even.... *sputtering*....legs. Garrett. Sam #INeedThisMovieNOW

The  third picture–you know what I’m talking about–features our Reigning Other Queen in a suspended moment of exquisite magnificence. I literally moaned and chanted OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODDESS over and over when I pulled it up on my phone’s decidedly too-small screen.  I had just basically handed our lives over to @Edmett in showing her this picture while crawling through L.A.’s Rush-Hour Traffic. How we didn’t slam into another car in that moment I’ll never know, but MAD PROPS to my friend’s stellar navigation skills. Because…LOOK. AT. THIS!!!

...And if we would have died that day, I would have been ok with that

“… because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

Not only is this picture sensual and visceral, and captures our Rebel Royal Kristen in a moment  of oneness with her Inner Beatnik Beauty, but to me this scene depicts exactly what I envisioned the jazz club scenes to look like as I read On The Road so many years ago. Kristen appears glorious as the sweaty, heady, possessed and unfurling MaryLou(Stew). This moment just drips with spontaneous creative expression and liberation. She is completely enslaved by the music she hears, having no choice but to undulate. I will admit to you that I moaned when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous film still. The Beats, in their celebration of creativity, sexuality, music, prose, and non-conformity were some serious trailblazing Others were they not? I cannot even begin to describe my elation at knowing Kristen is in this movie, along with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. It cannot be here fast enough, in my opinion.

Oh, and speaking of magical moments,  let me say how soulful and brilliant I find Mr Bobby Long (singer, songwriter, harmonica-and-guitar-playing, Britpack-rolling-shy guy) to be. He felt all the notes in every cell of his body. With grimaces, gyrations, body-sways, he appeared consumed entirely and I was enraptured. I hadn’t seen him live before, just via YouTube, and I was utterly captivated  by his gritty, passionate voice and his talented guitar-playing.

It also struck me that I hadn’t been to this particular  L.A. Venue for at least three years. The last time I’d been at The Troubadour, I had arrived extremely intoxicated via limousine for a birthday party and a live show. I technically wasn’t single, as N and I were trying like Hell to keep our über long-distance relationship afloat, but it was a darker time in our courtship.

I swear Bobby was on par with me this week as he performed his breathtaking song “Who Have You Been Loving”. The night was already enchanted as I got to spend a teeny bit of time with dear friends (big waves to my KSIBTU Crew Girls Iris & Kim) and  enjoy the company of my sister Mari/Pai, @RobKris13 (whose pictures of Bobby I’m featuring) and @edmett while participating in one of my favorite activities: watching brilliant singer-songwriters perform live.

Love as a Transformative Path

So let me go back to the beginning and  tell you that I knew I was going to write about love and relationships this week, and not because we’re approaching that obnoxious-pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears-day, February fourteenth. I wanted to address Kristen’s admirable poise as she sidesteps the intense scrutiny and curiosity into her  own love life, and I wanted explore the question that arises in relationships in general: Is this relationship worth the struggle?

So while in SoCal, I had hoped to write, severely lacking in notebooks and writing utensils, even as I was bursting on the subject of Amore (Italian)! I stayed in my childhood bedroom while down in L.A., which is peppered with baskets and drawers of little treasures I couldn’t part with. In one basket I found an old journal, started two years ago. There was only one entry in it. It began with the line:

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

To my joy, I discovered that this is my traditional airplane journal entry commencing the start of a new travel adventure. This time, N and I were embarking on our honeymoon. Perfect. Just another confirmation to write about the faith and consistency of love, despite setbacks, challenges, immigration and wild speculation from external naysayers–obstacles that Kristen and her partner Robert have to address nearly every day.

Let me inject briefly with a clarifying statement.  I do not believe in “Valentine’s Day”. I believe in love, I believe in declaring it as often as possible to my beloveds and I believe  in sacred contracts with numerous soul mates (see last week’s Musings). But I do not need a specific day, decked out in cut-out hearts and boxes of chocolate to dictate how I express my fondness for those in my life. So again, I’m not writing about Liebe (German) in reaction to the event that occurs next Monday. Instead, I am writing about  Szeretet (Hungarian) because I believe loving someone is always worth any struggle… And because N and I are going through the next phase in the permanent residency/Green Card process. And because I had a mind-blowing lunch with a childhood girlfriend while I was in town. (Meg is a newlywed, and is discovering who she is as a married woman). . .and because our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her chosen consort Mr Pattinson are trying to navigate the pitfalls of being in a relationship under the telescopic spotlight amongst cynics, set stalkers, “nerdy bloggers” and the spectacle that is our society’s expectations.

Swear that youre in it to win it

Our Majestic Misfit Kristen is only 20 years old. I know it’s easy to forget this when we witness her stunning transformation into MaryLou(Stew), or when we realize she’s portrayed more sage, battered old souls then most of us have had jobs (most of us. I’m into my twenty-something job since I’ve been seventeen). But it’s true Kristen is just out of her teen years, chronologically. I ask us all to remember what it was like to be in our early twenties, attempting to negotiate a career, decipher what we want to do with our lives, falling in and out of infatuation with the gorgeous kid at our work or in our classes.

John Welwood–author, psychotherapist, and founder of the field that is my doctoral studies currently: East/West Psychology–notices that  most beliefs about love, commitment and marriage have been altered drastically today. Welwood writes in his article Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path, that the definition and function of loving relationships and marriage in particular, were prescribed by family, society and religion, and upheld (supported? Whaaa?) steadfastly by the community. Today, however, perhaps due to cues from television, movies, and new media, the loving relationship has become the wild frontier and almost the exception.

Ummmmmm. So what happens when your “community” is Hollywood, land of the 5-times-divorced-but-let’s-have-a-reality-TV-show-about-our-crumbling-relationship-mentality?  What happens when you’re trying to grapple with social networking sites, Tweets, twits, gossip blogs, camera phones and your own “fans” fighting, plotting and sorta-kinda hoping/wagering that your relationship fails?

It may be frustrating to some, but Kristen and Rob’s policy of keeping their personal lives to themselves is a policy that is effective. The curiosity may be at an all-time high right now, but the rabidity will fade eventually, and the bond that exists between our Royal Rebels is probably only strengthening as they face the challenges purported by being outrageously famous, together as a partnership. John Welwood’s thoughts on long-lasting couples echo this:

“What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

“But all I’ve ever learned from love, was how to shoot at someone who out-drew you.”

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I cannot imagine the horror Kristen and Robert must feel when they recognize they cannot even hold hands in public for fear of retribution, of the Vultures swooping in and pecking away at their still-warm forms. I  have great admiration for  how they both have waded through the speculation and obscene invasion of privacy. Could you say you’d handle it with the same finesse? At age 20 and 24, what were (or are–Musings has Readers of all ages, ranging from 15 to 65+) you doing, and how did (do) you view love and intimacy? What cultural, familial or religious factors govern your views on love, commitment, marriage…?

When I was 20, I was a junior in college, just having declared my major for the sixtieth time (Sociology. English. Journalism. Psychology. Music. ) Speech Communication was the winner…for about 1 semester until I stumbled upon Counseling Psychology. I was in the final months of my relationship with my first  boyfriend as an “adult”. I was already experiencing the heartbreak of first love, first loss, the first discussions of marriage, and why or how it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet (if ever). I can’t imagine trying to process these overwhelming emotions while in the public eye, with my face splashed across every rag mag counting down the minutes to my demise.

As Mr. Welwood asserts, times have changed in how society views love and relationships. No one culture or religion views Mahal (Filipino/Tagalog) and marriage in the exact same way. In India and some African villages your soon-to-be spouse is chosen for you and you don’t meet your new honey until a family-chaperoned meal is arranged. In 1950’s America, the ultimate act of love a woman could display is finding a husband for whom she can immediately birth children and tend his home.

I never believed I would get married. I was raised by a spectacularly efficient single-mother and I had no example of marriage to draw experience from. I grew up surrounded by peers who all were married and having kids by the time they were 24, which is great since these girls and guys have always, always envisioned their lives playing out exactly so. I looked upon my future in love as nebulous. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine settling in one place long enough to anyone’s liking–I have expansive dreams of traveling and an impulsive nature to boot–hence the  reason I carry a passport in my purse nearly all the time.

But this is not always acceptable, even today. I have friends who recount to me how patronizing and judgmental people are  because they are single. One of my Possum (aka Aussie) Besties, @Justice_Aussie (Jai) came home one afternoon after a doctor’s visit. The nurse receptionist called Jai …wait for it..“Socially Infertile”. Meaning, she is single, and not able to hang onto a partner, and most likely decreasing any chances that Jai could have children, whether naturally or with some help. My friend Jai, granted, I’m biased, but I still speak truth, is a beautiful, intelligent, snarky, accomplished lawyer in her twenties. For some stranger to offer up her opinion (a narrow, cruel and uninformed one at that) unsolicited, is an abomination. And it rocked Jai’s confidence. My beautiful, strong Possum felt a moment of uncertainty.

Oh, fuck no.

Now. Can you imagine the onslaught of unsolicited opinions that our divine, royal Queen Kristen must receive on a daily basis?

Creating A New Definition

I met my now-husband N when I was single and traveling on a personal quest. I spent 3 weeks wandering through China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with my mother. Then I spent one week solo traveling through a few places within my Motherland, The Philippines. I was 27 years old (waaaay too old for some people’s liking and waaaaay too single) seeking some understanding of a culture that is mine but little experienced since I was not raised within it. N was working as a dining room steward on the cruise ship my mother and I toured with. We met in Osaka, Japan. It was not Love, or Cinta (Indonesian) at first sight, but it definitely was a bond of respect upon first meeting. After I left Asia, N and I kept in touch with the assistance of modern technology: Skype, Chat, long-distance calling cards. Long, wonderful, movie-worthy story short, despite ungainly obstacles (cultural differences, religious differences, nearly insurmountable long-distances–like all the time; our family’s skepticism, and our respective communities’ concerns), N and I are now in the home stretch of his garnering permanent residency and his green card. We just have to pass this second interview proving that we indeed are a genuine, married couple and have been for the past two years. We’ve worked hard these two years, fought for this, defended this. And we two wanderers just created a love story of unconventional means. But it works. And I have a single journal entry detailing our honeymoon flight to Maui.  SCORE.

So again, I bring attention to our stunning Rebel Queen Kristen and bow humbly at her feet for the incredible strength and grace she endures to have her personal life include one Mr Pattinson. How do we know she’s in this relationship for the long haul? Well we don’t know as an absolute, nor should we, but from what I’ve observed, our Queen has withstood great distances, public criticisms and concerns, meddling film studios and co-workers, stalkerazzi, obsessed and delusional “fans”, all while in the spotlight. They’re defying predictions and excruciating scrutiny, and they’re making it work. And it’s so pretty.

Reminiscent of the fair Snow White and her prince, no...?

Kristen, Rob, and our Featured Rebel have explored ways of creating a new definition of old values. While the idea and concept of Amour (French) is as old as time, the way we practice it, protect it, and live it is all our own accord. Others refuse to be labeled or pigeonholed in one identity, despite external pressures to choose just one definition. Others continue to refuse compliance  to industry and societal expectations in their work and in their expression of values.

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

This beautiful, multi-talented man not only worked with Kristen in On the Road this summer, but his name is attached to the new film project Snow White and the Huntsman, which would feature Reigning Queen Kristen in the titular role of Snow (if she accepts the offer) and Mr Mortensen as The Huntsman. Viggo alone would be enough for me to want Kristen to do this film. Everything that he produces is just better. He caught my attention first when he was the sexy, hippie vagabond in A Walk On The Moon with Diane Lane, but Viggo Mortensen has been on the scene for much longer than that. He is a Danish-American actor, writer, painter and musician boasting an incredible list of accomplishments and an array of exotic locales in which he lived. Perhaps he is best known for his work as Aragorn in epic and one of my personal favorites: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (yes I apparently was a geeky fan girl for much longer than you knew), but it was his most recent work in a series of esteemed director David Cronenberg’s films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (for which he earned an Academy Award nod) that elevated Viggo’s status to glorious heights.

Mr Mortensen always provided glimpses into his Otherness, even from his childhood. His mother is American with family from Nova Scotia Canada, and his father is Danish. Perhaps Viggo was destined to be a wanderer and seeker of more since his parents met while traveling through Norway. The first eleven years of his life, the artist lived first in Denmark, then Argentina, where his father managed chicken farms and Viggo learned Spanish, the language he speaks fluently today and is the language in which he reports feeling most comfortable communicating. His parent’s divorce prompted Viggo and his brothers and mother to return to the States, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in New York. To address his restless spirit in which he reported needing “to define purpose of life” (very appropriate he is in On the Road, no?), Viggo chose to travel and live in Europe, including Spain, England and Denmark after he graduated from university in New York. He held miscellaneous jobs such as truck driver and flower seller until he returned to The States after two years, to pursue acting as a career.

His first film role was as an Amish farmer in Witness alongside Harrison Ford, and since this film Viggo Mortensen has produced a steady string of well-received movies over three decades.  His  film work includes The Portrait of a Lady, Crimson Tide, A Perfect Murder, Hidalgo and Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner among so many others. He has cultivated a career that is highly diverse as well as intriguing and it would take maybe three more pages for me to list his incredible hobbies and rewards. In addition to acting, Viggo is a poet, a jazz musician and a painter. He refuses to comply with Hollywood’s expectations with statements like, “I wouldn’t do any more movies, quite frankly.” He also declined his agents’ suggestions to change his name to Vic Mort. He has been knighted in Norway, he is a published poet and writer, a musician who has released at least three CDs, an accomplished equestrian, mural painter and linguist (he speaks French, Spanish, English, Italian and Swedish fluently). He’s a translator, a hockey buff (big supporter of the Montreal Canadiens), and a skilled swordsman (residual from The Lord of The Rings). And he is a co-parent to a now 22-year-old son, with his ex-wife Punk singer Exene Cervenka (of the band X). Throw on top of that the honors he’s received in being named Sexiest, Hottest or among the Most Beautiful nearly every year for the past decade. He indeed created his own idea of what it means to be an artist. Neither fame nor money are of importance to Mr Mortensen, only the opportunity to express some facet of himself creatively. One of my favorite quotes I’ve read from him is in his musings on being an actor:

“It comes down to the fact that you supply the blue, and other people supply the other colors…and mix them with your blue. Maybe there is some blue that wasn’t there before. Maybe there wasn’t supposed to be any there in the first place. So have fun, and make a good blue.”

Offenses of Otherness:

*Hadn’t pursued the now-legendary role of Aragorn for LoTR until his 14-year old son convinced him to reconsider

*Does not approach filmmakers for new roles, prefers to “wait to see what comes” to him

“Life is short. I like to pay attention while I’m going through it. I will create and filter my own idea of what that means”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So in this fairly long Musings on redefining an idea or identity despite age-old expectations, we sidestepped the antiquated Valentine’s Day-like title of Love and discussed different definitions of that ubiquitous emotion, verb, title. We applauded our Majestic Misfit Kristen because she reminds us that falling in Love, and expressing Love “Ninakupenda” (‘I Love You’ in Swahili)  can look very different from what we expect. We all are informed and influenced by our childhood/cultural/religious communities  in constructing meaning for a concept or title, whether it be:

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

Kristen also reminds us that only one facet of her being is in-tuned with portraying Bella Swan…Kristen has the means and the courage to embrace her inner MaryLouStew as well. This is doubly and triply confirmed by some of Kristen’s OTR costars: Amy Adams, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. Maybe (hopefully) Ms Stewart will embrace the true role of a Rebel Queen by the name of Snow White, as well as embody the role of a transgendered prison inmate (K-11) this year. Maybe she’ll take the time she wants to write and direct. Maybe she’ll arrive at the BAFTAs this Sunday with Robert on her arm as she passes the torch of Rising Star to this year’s deserving recipient (Maybe to fellow Others Emma Stone…Or Andrew?). Whatever role or creative plan she chooses to share with us, I do not doubt it will be all Kristen. As she defines it. And that is seriously beautiful.

Role Call: Other Queen? HERE. . . P.S. Thank Buff & N again for this photo/edit collab. Its my very favorite.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

“You should have the opportunity to be more than one person with different people – because you have that within you.”

Go on. Go and challenge what you’ve been taught about expressing yourself, expressing your emotions, expressing your gifts. Take your “blue” and make it the best blue you can. Question and defy the critics who label you “socially infertile”, give the double-bird salute to anyone who tells you that Valentine’s Day must somehow involve paper heart cutouts and flower delivery companies. Remind yourself what it’s like to fall in love, fall out of love; to seek identity and direction and to create a new model, a new culture, a new language. Redefine and REPRESENT Otherness.

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

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Question: What factors influence your beliefs about Love, Creativity, Expression, Individuality? Do you ever challenge these factors?

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A/N: Again, I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make peace with a new posting schedule. It may be bi-weekly now for a while as I tackle 3D happenings such as Immigration interviews, MOO Missions and a fledgling Private Practice. The response and support for the last essay was unprecedented and I am stunned.

You read the glorious and genius KStew Is Better Than You, yes? Well it’s KSIBTU’s BIRTHDAY today, February 10! One year ago, CC blessed us with her gift of humor and intellectual sexy and altered everything. I count her among the inspirations and co-creators of Musings. I’m kinda indebted to CC for life because she first found the courage to publish her brilliant and effective defense of Queen Kristen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KSIBTU!!! To many, many more years of laughter and Cat Quotas.


This Essay is For: Possum Bestie Jai, to my friend and beloved sister, CC of @KStewsBtrThanU, to Ree (my warrior), Megs (I could spend hours with you), Cheermom (You’ve been blessed by Angels) and N (I’ll gladly challenge immigration with you any day, Babylove).

Big thanks to @RobKris13 and @edmett  for an incredible day-long adventure in L.A.

To Bouffant: You’re my brand of Cray-Cray. Love you.

To Mari/Pai: We’ll need to make it a tradition, our girls nights out. Love spending time with you, mi hermana.

To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: Muchas muchas gracias, Te Amo.

Check out the New Resources for Beauty Page….I’ll be adding new material often, and hopefully including links and videos.

See you soon. Yours, KJ


37 Responses to “Redefining the Learnings of Love”

  1. Christine February 20, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Hi KJ. I’m Christine and I’m a new reader. I first stumbled upon your blog when I was going through the comments about a post regarding Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. It goes something like “hey guys ckeck it out, KJ has a new post on ‘musings on other queens’!”. It caught my attention so I googled it and found this site. Honestly speaking, there were a few things that I immediately noticed from your posts. One was that your grammar was flawless. Now, I’m not hating on anyone but I’ve been around fanfiction for a while now and I have to admit that even though some of the writers were from the US or UK, they were still having a hard time spelling and differentiating a few words that might sound the same but differ in meaning. I was happy to not find one mispelled word on your posts. Second, your posts were full of meaning. I swear that as soon as I finished that first post of yours that I read, the one where you posted Natalie Portman as the Featured Royal Rebel, I browsed through your previous posts and found them interesting as well. I have read blogs where there were more pictures than words. But yours…I am left speechless. I have never thought that I would ever read a blog wherein the words in my head regarding Rob and Kristen will be verbalized and posted on the internet. Through my *cough* mild *cough* obsessing about the two, I have formed ideas that were often left unsaid in my head. Thoughts just keep on piling up in my mind after reading anything about them and I always thought that it was best to leave those words to the imagination. I guess I just really wanted to thank you for digging in deeper and writing all these stuff about Rob and Kristen especially since not everyone understands why some of us were fascinated by them. Or the things that most people mock, like how Kristen was too young and how it was hard for them to be in a relationship in the middle of this chaos and still strive hard to be together. If Rose’s (do you know her?) Robert Pattinson Intoxication was straight-forward, and kinda bitchy, in beating the haters for ridiculing those two, you were the more sensible and articulate side that I need whenever I’m missing Rob and Kristen and I need to read posts with a gentle, yet firm approach. Lastly, the thing I just figured out several minutes ago was that you’re a Filipino. I don’t know whether you are a full or half Filipino, but heck, I don’t really intend to turn this into some racial thing. I am a Filipino too. It’s not as important as the last two things I mentioned I’d noticed but hey, it’s just great to meet you. Or at least, read about your posts. Mahal ni Robert si Kristen, at si Kristen ay mahal din si Rob, iyon ang pinakamahalaga na bagay. (Rob loves Kristen and Kristen loves Rob, that is the most important thing) 🙂

    • KJ February 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      Dear Christine, Thank you so very much for stopping in and checking out my ramblings, but also for leaving such kind words in response. I’m a little intimidated and equally proud that you noticed “flawless” grammar on my part, but I can understand completely how …unsettling it can be when there are repeated grammatical issues in stories and articles we read. So thank you for your commendations on mine–though I assure you, there are bobbles and fumbles, but I just flood you with words and pretty pictures to distract *wink* I have always, always been interested in the “story” behind an event or a person. This innate curiosity is what actually prompted the creation of Musings. It was one thing to be admiring and fascinated by Kristen and Rob’s stories (at least the little shared by them publicly), but it was another to witness some of the fandom’s expression of that fascination. I found that when I spoke aloud my observations, there were so many folks who held the same thoughts. I am pleased and honored that you find Musings as “gentle yet firm”, because in this passionate community, sensitivity and gentleness isn’t always present. I am indeed part Filipino, and I am so very proud and honored to meet fellow Filipinos, because I was not raised in the culture at all. I am in awe of who I’ve encountered and met through this journey–everyone has been so welcoming and kind to me. It’s so nice to “meet” you as well, and I look forward to hearing more from you soon. So much appreciation, xo, KJ

  2. Crystal February 13, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Alright – twenty four hours later I am finally collected and ready to write this…. As I told you last night on Twitter while beginning, devouring, and finishing The Blessing & The Curse, I listened to the Musings Playlist for a good eight hours, never tiring of it and only loving it more by the second. ‘Be Be Your Love’ was so appropriate. One of my favorite Valentines memories, I had just started dating someone and it didn’t even last very long, just a couple of weeks but on Valentines after several martinis at a lounge near my apartment, we went back to my place and put music on… this song began to play and he asked me to dance. I thought it was silly at first. My apartment was so tiny – no room for dancing but there we were, slowly turning between the tv and the coffee table to Rachel Yamagata… Its certainly a favorite memory as most Feb 14ths have paled in comparison even with longterm boyfriends.

    The story of your friend deemed “socially infertile” broke my heart. As a fellow young woman in her late twenties, successful and I hope intelligent haha, I would be crushed if someone told me the same. I cannot wait to get married and have children but every time someone looks at me as though if I don’t hurry my ass up it won’t happen – the walls crumble a little. Most times, I laugh it off but then the hopeless romantic in me worries ‘what if it doesn’t happen?’. Of course, then I remind myself of beautiful love stories like you and N – and I know what will be, will be. Patience is key.

    I did NOT know Viggo had ties in Nova Scotia! After living there for six years during university, part of my heart belongs in Nova Scotia. It is truly a beautiful place.

    Lastly, the Buff/N collaboration in the subway? HOLYGAWDGORGEOUS.

    I might need to put that as my wallpaper – no lie.

    As always, inspiring post lovely! Until next time, sending mad love your way from up North ❤

    • KJ February 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

      My beautiful Crystal, you always leave the kindest, warmest words of thoughtfulness and heart. I’m so glad you loved the playlist (8hours!), I did too. It tends to sneak up on me as I’m writing, and this playlist was not an exception. So every song carries a personal association for me as well. I loved your story of your Valentine’s memory and Rachael’s ‘Be Be Your Love’…there shall never be limitations on a place to dance. As for the judgement and public lashing of being ‘socially infertile’, I share your heartbreak. We can construct and maintain a positive understanding of our gifts and contributions, but the minute someone shoots it down in malevolence (or ignorance), it can cause some lasting damage. I rec’vd my share of it as I married “later” in life (29), and now as I explore my views on having children. Which is why I know we can rally to construct and create a new definition. Make a new “blue”, says Viggo, who YES, has Nova Scotia ties! Have I told you I’ve been to Nova Scotia and ADORED it? Love and light to you, my friend. Thank you, as always. xo, K

  3. robkris13 February 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Once again your words are truly filled with wisdom and enlightment!

    I’ve been a Viggo fan for a long while. The first time I saw him I was amazed by his quiet spirituality…it sorta oozes from him…even when he’s in a role that requires violence or anger. I love how he just IS and doesn’t try to BE anything.

    Perhaps you’ve read the interview with him in Vanity Fair 2004 http://tinyurl.com/45p7go7 he truly is “Other”! I can’t wait to see him and Kristen in OTR and possibly in Snow White…it will be amazing!

    His quote about “blue” reminded me of this pic:

    http://tinyurl.com/4shu9dj

    It was so much fun seeing you again and sharing a Bobby experience! He’s really talented and I know someday we’ll be able to say “I saw him at the Troubadour when he was just getting started!” Thank you for using one of my pics…very honored you would use it in Musings!

    His music is so good…love the stories told in each song. It’s wonderful how Bobby and his music brings so many diverse people together. There was a full house, women and men, from many different countries. The shouts and cheers before, during and afer his performance were proof good music…Bobby’s music…unites us all.

    It was a fun day with you and @edmett! I love how every time you and I get together “wow” pics of one or both of our Royals are posted! Perhaps we should get together more often…to see each other AND to get more great pics of Rob and Kristen! :)) I’m sure glad we had the car windows up because our screams after seeing those pics!

    Wonderful to meet KSIBTU Crew Iris & Kim and Mari/Pai! Looking forward to meeting Mari again in the near future!

    Sweet Sister, thank you for everthing! “Ninakupenda”

    • KJ February 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      It was just a splendid day, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing my first live Bobby Long experience, and for capturing a few beautiful photos! It’s true, every time you and I get together stunning pics are released of our Reigning Royals, this time being no exception. We shall not deny the power any longer, ok? And such love for Viggo! He indeed is a special spirit. Thank you for your constant support and kindness over the past year, you’re a source of calm and reason. xo, KJ

  4. true love February 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    goodness gracious woman..i’m speechless..once again..just WOW..!!!..

    I’m glad you and the girls had fun..;0)..i was just laughing at your experience while you were looking at the pictures and driving..crz girl..luf u..keep it up..;0)..Dios te Bendiga..xoxo

    true love

    • KJ February 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      Hi True! You’re so kind to always come by and lend your voice of support and kindness not only to Musings but also to Kristen and Rob as well. The OTR stills released were glorious and perhaps trying to drive and ogle them wasn’t the smartest idea…Thanks honey for your kind words! Muchas gracias, mi hermana! xo, KJ

  5. nail February 11, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    love the quote from Sal/OTR………because it is always about the burn………burn..burn..burn. thanks Kai

    • KJ February 11, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Hiya, Nai! It really is always about the burn, isn’t it? Consuming, conflictual but renewing. thank YOU, m’dear.

  6. Peri February 11, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    KJ, my dear, your posts leave me feeling emotionally refreshed. Thank you for another insightful blog entry. I am so happy for you in your progress for N’s green card, and I am rooting for you both. I also thank you for personifying this Otherness and reminding us through your examples how things can be more… we can be more. It’s nice to have that extra little nudge and remind us that life is more than the drudgery we sometimes find ourselves in or the mold others expect us to fall into and stay put. xoxo

    • KJ February 11, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      Peri my sweet, your responses always leave me speechless. If I am personifying Otherness, it’s because I’m taking cues from you loveliest Other Rebels, and from Kristen and Rob. There is always more we can do..and be. The molds created for us are meant to be questioned, I think, to prevent stagnation and carelessness. Keep going, bb girl! xx, K

  7. DeeDreamer February 11, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Speechless, as always, after reading this moving essay. Thank YOU for all the time you put into your words. They mean more than you could ever imagine. Always inspiring. Much love!! xoxo ~DD

    • KJ February 11, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      So much love to you, my friend. I think that you have been with Musings since its inception, and you have always left kind, inspiring and generous words for me. You can’t possibly know how appreciative I am for that. You are a gifted wordsmith yourself, and always thoughtfully checking in on me (and N)! Thank you for your constancy. And for your courage. Yours, K

  8. ladybug February 11, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    I love that your posts always make me feel better about myself!

    I don’t know a lot about what it’s like to struggle for Amor (Portuguese/Spanish). I’ve been with R since I was 17 and I’m now 23. We always had everybody’s support but we still had to learn how to deal with a relationship that took us from teenagers to early adults. And that’s a whole lot of change happening in just a few years! I cannot fathom what it would be like to do it in the public eye. The fact that K and R are managing to do it on a daily basis is both amazing and inspirational.

    It’s true that everything around you influences your decisions and toughts but Others express themselves by marching to their own beat. That’s what I try to do!

    Lots of good toughts going your (and N’s) way for a sucessful process!

    • KJ February 11, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      And I love that you come back each week and share a piece of your own journey with us, my dear! The thing is, you do know a lot about Amor because of your experiences with R, and in your joint efforts to navigate that heartbreaking and exhilarating time between new love and established love. It is INDEED a whole lot of change you’ve encountered! You are the expert in your own relationship, not anyone else. Thanks for your kind wishes on our immigration adventure! March on, my girl! xx, KJ

  9. dano328 February 11, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Nice one, KJ. Values are way more important than fitting into the boxes society expects us to conform ourselves too. What wins out with K & R are old fashioned values. It’s ironic they are rebels for having higher character then the conformist they rebel against. I sure hope our girl reads you to know that some of us are in awe…. danO

    • KJ February 11, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      You never fail to stun me with your eloquence, Dan. Its absolutely true, that K & R’s somewhat old-school values throws today’s society and their industry into confusion and chaos. Love, respect and longevity are considered rebellious traits? Then long, live the Rebel Royals! Thanks for your always calming and kind words, my friend. xx, KJ

  10. Cheermom February 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Oh KJ…I just want you to know, that while I gained two angels in heaven this week, I have lots of angels on earth as well…including you. You have no idea how much I needed this musings this week. Love truly makes the world go round. This post really hits home for me this week. Although my friends are now at peace, they loved and were loved. They endured painful illnesses for many years, but in the end, love is all that mattered and what kept them fighting. Thank you for helping me get through this painful week.

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

      You have been dealt an excruciatingly tough hand of cards this week, my friend. You have handled it with grace, gentleness and strength. You are absolutely surrounded by and gifted with LOVE by any definition. Sending you light and strength for the weekend. Talk with you when you return. xx, K

  11. Emma February 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Reading and sobbing. Thanks a million.

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      Thank YOU Emma. You’ve been here from the very beginning supporting, encouraging, embracing and cheering. Means so much to me, words cannot convey. xo, KJ

  12. MattB February 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    It’s interesting how two well-lettered women, like CC and yourself, can use the same central theme in very different ways and both be so successful. I always get a kick out of CC and her stories and strong and humorous defense of Kristen. I always get a sense of peace from you. I love how you use Kristen’s story to provide learned and heartfelt lessons in how to live a more complete and fulfilling life.

    And as for the picture of the dancing MaryLouStew, words fail. Just that sense of letting go, of becoming the music…. She is beautiful and timeless. No wonder we love her.

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

      Hello my friend, Matt. Thank you as always for your encouraging and incredibly kind words. CC’s ferocious wit and my hapless hope for the greater good creates a defense and admiration of Kristen in stereo. You’ve said it already, Matt: MaryLouStew is beautiful and timeless. She is worth preservation and championing. Really, we all are. So much gratitude for you, my friend. xo, KJ

  13. 1redsoc February 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Articulate, lyrical, poignant, insightful. I run the risk of hyperbole, but every word is true. A lovely blog about creative souls who possess the courage to blaze their own trails, particularly darling KStew. The DH often chuckles that he expects me to adopt her… little does he know that I want to emulate her! Her innate intelligence, her old soul wisdom, her youthful, spontaneous cool… At 20, she is already an accomplished [and award winning] actress, musician, cook & fashion maven. Am deliciously looking forward to what she does in the next 20 –

    As an old [very happily] married lady of 20+ years, this quote took my breath away:

    “What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

    To have articulated a feeling I’ve held about the sacred nature of our marriage was heart rending. And I do see the same for R/K. They’ll have it all, if that’s what they wish –

    Thank you for a stunning post –

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      Thank you for your exquisite, eloquent comment, my dear! Kristen, at 20 is already a trailblazer and I, like you, have great admiration for how she proceeds through the chaos, so regally. I am soaring high because you and your partner inspire each other to be you authentic selves. I see it too for R and K. 🙂 Bowing down to you in gratitude. xo, KJ

  14. april February 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    what i love about you and your words kj is that it always come from the heart. we, readers, feel the love that comes from these words. thanks for sharing.

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

      My sweet April, thank you for always responding with genuine heart and kindness. Thank you for your generosity and courage as well. You are so very greatly appreciated. xo, KJ

  15. Mari aka PR aka Pai February 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Loved spending time with you too. Thanks for nurturing my soul with your blissful words.

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      Thank YOU for nurturing my soul with your company and your spirit. I think we will make this a new tradition, my sister. Bobby Long, Coronas, soulful inspiration. Adore you, Pai. xo, Kai

  16. Justice (Jai) February 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Once again Possum Kai you rock my world. I am sitting here literally sobbing. You have led me to grow in my own skin, to appreciate my otherness and embrace those around me who are Others.

    Comments from the snarky receptionist hurt, oh boy do they hurt, but I hold my head high and move on from the haters. Yep, no time for haters.

    Luff you Kai.

    Justice xx

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      As always my Possum Jai you rock ME. Thank you for showing the rest of us how to gracefully and fiercely carry on despite stinging remarks from unfortunate receptionists. You inspire. Have I told you ever that your writing music (Jem’s It’s Amazing) sparked my own writing playlist? You give and support me more than you’ll ever know. Love you too, Jai. Always, Kai xx

  17. MyCleverAlias February 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Is there a love that’s more beautiful than triumphant love? (may the final immigration steps be smooth for N and you)

    Mmmmmm, feeling better already after a totally crap day, just thinking about all of my different selves and the people who love me enough to let me be them. Perspective: gained. So much to celebrate, on Feb. 14 and every. other. day.

    If you feel like a healthy cry, btw, check out this article. Love in its most pure and devastating form: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/02/08/2011-02-08_liam_witt_6_inspired_others_in_his_cancer_battle_by_providing_a_bravest_example.html

    And on a lighter note, oh friend, if you expected any of us to have reading comprehension skills after the MaryLouStew dancing pic, then surely you knew they’d be gone altogether by the first pic of Mr. Mortensen *fans self*

    Thanks as always. Reading Musings = read-smile-read-smile-read-sigh-read. Stop. Turn things over. Pull a few key things to keep. Walk away refreshed. 🙂

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      I admit, I am a little intimated by you, my dear. Your comments and observations are always so poignant and eloquent, I’m often rendered speechless and ineffective. What can I say that you already haven’t just said but…prettier? I’m glad you MOO provided a pick-me-up from your totally crap day. Thank you for sending the piece about Liam and reminding me with tears and perspective that there is always more. Always something further to strive for. And thank you for understanding– of course you understand– how powerless we are to the DancingMaryLouStew. I adore you, darlin. Thank YOU for your constant support and for your willingness to courageously embrace Otherness. xx, KJ

      • BookNerdBecca February 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

        KJ you make ME feel like that. I read your words that describe everything so perfectly that I feel totally ineffective… I write for a living and I just do not, cannot do what you do.
        Your words are incredible. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  18. BookNerdBecca February 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I saw Bobby Long this weekend. First show. I am in love. He is awkward and adorkable, giggly and sarcastic, sweet and in love with his family, and has the most lovely voice! I want so badly to see him again!!!! I have vids and pics if you want 🙂

    • KJ February 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Hey Becca, I agree with you wholly. Bobby is truly lovely. I instantly fell for him as well, and the passion with which he performs. Thanks for the offers of vids and pics, I may take you up on that. Thanks for stopping in and saying hi! xx, KJ

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