Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

THIS DAY. Holocaust Remembrance Day….. A very, very, very important day that we must remember. ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE MUST REMEMBER THIS PART OF HISTORY EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. 

When I was growing up learning about the Holocaust was a part of history class but I believe I found and read Anne Frank on my own (I know I did a book report at one time on her diary). My mom had a copy, then I asked for my own copy for Christmas.

Unbeknownst to my soul I have always had the deepest connection with Jewish people, the Holocaust, and a feeling for what happened. I have always had an interest in learning more and wanting to help out in some way–to spread the word–to make sure this would never happen again. HOW was the question, how in the world could someone do something so fucking horrible like this? I always wondered. Why. Hate? Why? Just why?! The feelings and emotions I have had as I think about this are still as strong as when I learned about them.

I’ve watched Anne Frank (the movie) thousands of times, and each time, I still cry so hard. I’ve read her diary so many times. I even wrote a book called “Dear Anne Frank” about when I went to DC and wrote to her my experiences, especially what I was feeling when I was at the Holocaust Museum when someone was disrespecting the person who was speaking. I still remember wanting to turn around and smack them and tell them they should listen because it’s really important.

The more someone tries to deny something like this, the more apt it is to happen. The more someone tries to forget this happened, the more it can happen. This is how history is repeated. This is WHY it is sooooooo important to get the word out. To share. To stop what should be stopped before it can happen again. Whether it’s today, tomorrow or one hundred years from now. The signs of hate and bigotry and separation needs to stop! REGARDLESS of what you believe in—-those things are so wrong for a trying-to-be-functioning society. That’s WHY we have the issues we do because people like that STILL exist!

I saw something posted online various places in reference to if her family and her could’ve gotten out and survived…..You think about these things. This had to of happened, her diary left behind, to possibly teach everyone in the future? The people who left anything behind. Then you think, what kind of a difference could they have made if they were alive now? It angers me that there were millions of people’s lives destroyed because of something like this.

I can’t say it enough—-we must remember what happened, and teach those younger than us, so that something like this shall never happen again. TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR… we must EDUCATE ourselves on how to surf through those hiding their true soul. We must NEVER lose our identity, we must FIGHT for what is right and for our SOULS. We MUST LEARN to think on our own and be able to sniff out when this will happen again… and we must STOP IT this time!!!!

There is an older based-on-a-true-story movie called Freedom Writers that really spoke to me on many levels. If you’ve never seen it–basically a brand new teacher goes to an “at risk” school that is having so many racial issues. She tries really hard to teach them, all the while they are so used to being disruptive, not learning, drugs, drive-by’s and other things like that from their community. She decides to teach them about the Holocaust, and gives them journals to write their own issues. She helps them change their lives, and teaches them in the meantime to change what they can change to be better. A lot of her students were the first in their families to graduate.

THAT is why I say…

EVERYONE HAS A STORY. 

EVERYONE 
HAS 

STORY 

Get out there and share! SHARE what your heart and soul is telling you! This is the future, this is the only way, the only way people are going to be helped and will learn about anything that is important is by true life stories. Everyone has a story, and 2017 is the time to share it. 

Souls Enlightenment
© Karen Maeby 1.27.17

Our souls sought survival yesterday,
as we’re caught in the middle of learning
the life lessons our ages bring to us
when passed down from generation to generation.

We must learn about our past–
to meet, greet and shake hands with history.
Tell history, share OUR history:
to make sure we don’t live the history, again.

My soul becomes unraveled and my heart
nearly stops—with every siren I hear.
Every moment, are we getting closer and closer
to having our names and our personalities erased
to be replaced with numbers that’ll never define us?

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children. – This is a quote–that I’ll never forget–from a postcard I got at the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Tonight I read my poetry out loud for the first time.

I bet you gasped at the title, aye? I’ve been writing poetry for years and years and have never attended something like this where I read my poetry. Mostly because I’m better writing the words than speaking them. (I’m sure that’ll change eventually, as I do need to become a model speaker.) 

TONIGHT the mayor of Gulfport accepted the role of Poet Laureate for the year. I missed last year’s initiation reading due to me being sick, so it was a treat tonight to go and still be able to hear the first PL. I was probably one of the youngest people there by at least 10 something years.

I was nervous and only read one poem, but still, I did it. And people thanked me for reading. Which–that–in itself was strange, but nice… and the comments–like–keep writing.

What did I read? I read the poem I wrote about the Summer One Acts in homage to the one thing that changed my life for the better. Forget everything else, I owe a lot of everything to my family at the Gulfport Community Theatre for giving me the opportunity to work with them and find what I’ve found so far.

I saw the inside of this year’s book, and unfortunately, only a handful of people submitted their poetry.

This is the 2nd year in a row that I’m in the book, and in “A” book other than my own self published ones. A couple of goals checked off over this one, for sure!

There are two things that’s important to me in my life and that’s a) helping find a solution for the large gap in the boating industry and b) supporting the arts, and most important of all, literature/writing poetry. And, if I’m lucky, as BoatShowGirl I will some how magically be able to combine both of them to be some sort of life changing thing.

I know a lot of people I’m around don’t really understand poetry, but they’ve told me the stuff I write grows on them, and maybe one day… they’ll understand. I hope. We need more people to write. Writing is therapeutic, writing sometimes saves people’s lives… especially mine… in all of these years that bad things have happened.

WE – THIS WORLD – have to be more PUSHING towards written literature! It’s a way of life for many! And I intend on being one of those people! {In time.}

Here’s a poem I came up with tonight as I was listening to the others. In direct result to what’s going on right now….

Premature Goodbye
by Karen Maeby © 1.26.17

she’s considering packing her belongings
in her 1920s suitcases
and leaving everything else behind.

she knows she belongs somewhere,
but doubts it’s here anymore.
a brand new start yet again
is probably what her heart needs
after being left alone and wondering
why he broke her so fucking hard–

and the world, her world
came crashing down like a beautiful
chandelier falling from the ceiling
during a tornado that randomly passed through
without warning.

he left her speechless, but full of words
as he gave her everything
and then took it all away!
she’s looking to the moon tonight
to give her a reason to stay
maybe he’ll come back to her one day.

‘god, i missed you so much’
they’ll say to one another
as they realized it was meant to be.
but she’s really leaving
is it really worth it to stay?
he doesn’t care one bit–he walks away.

she decided it’s best to pack her bags,
it’ll be soon she’ll say goodbye
and off on her merry little way. 

I bid farewell to Parfumerie.

At last, there will be no more Christmas music, no more mention of Christmas, and no more looking at Christmas anything (except for the fact that my tree is still up here at home). I will explain later why I am severely glad that part is over.

The cast/crew of Parfumerie are all beautiful people–made up of new faces, same faces from Summer One Acts, and ones I’ve just never met but everyone else knew. Everyone’s very talented and I am so happy to have been a part of it. OH and since this was my 3rd time to help backstage, I finally got my GP Tech shirt that I lovelovelovelovelove soooooooo much! 

The stage design–if I had a house–that is exactly how I would want at least my parlor to look like: pink, with a poof seat, shadow box, lots of glitter, perfume bottles, a chandelier, and the like. Perfection! Needless to say, I LOVED IT.

The story itself is a sweet story. Most people in the millennial age would know You’ve Got Mail to be the 2nd rendition of this story with Shop Around the Corner being right before that one. I’m glad I was introduced to Parfumerie in this way as a play. It has two overlying stories about the shop owner and then about two shop clerks but at the end it’s a love story. That’s as much as I want to say without giving it away.

If you had no idea about Parfumerie but you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail you would definitely pick it out at the end just like I did. I’m like, “I SEE IT. I TOTALLY SEE YOU’VE GOT MAIL!”

And now… is the part where I explain that this play just isn’t a play to me, it’s a little piece of life. 

It’s funny–that. This same weekend nine years ago I was still working at my first job in retail and we were completely closing the store down. I often referred to You’ve Got Mail — big bad Fox books large retailer taking over the mom&pop ‘shop around the corner’ — and I would look to this movie over and over for answers about my future… of where I was going to go, what I was going to do, and so on once our store closed.. and oddly enough, this same week THIS year, I have been asked that again in a different circumstance, and once again, I am so up in the air. None of this is by coincidence. It’s the universe sending signals of some sort, and I need to figure out out. I need to actually have answers this time. It’s all too funny that the same message comes back around nine years later but in a totally different way. 

The director of Parfumerie had a talk with everyone prior to opening show and he said that “everyone has a story”. I keep seeing that everywhere. It’s a sign. I need to run with this. It’s relative to what I’m trying to do in my life, and for my projects, especially my BoatShowGirl stuff. Now, he was actually talking about the characters but it’s for real life too. When I think about our characters (customers) in this show, I remember my favorite customers when I worked at that job before I left, and what ever happened with them. There was this cute little Jewish couple that would come in late and try on shoes, there was a lady with long gray hair, there was another one that always wore skirts, there was one crazy lady that gave me her phone number, and the one guy that came in every.single.day to buy a shirt. There were several others but those memories have since faded. Some of our decorations in this play reminded me of our themed Christmas one year of “Shake Your Goodys” of which I still have some of the souvenirs at my parent’s house.

And, if anyone wondered what happened to me after our store officially closed, I got another retail job inside the mall and then left that for another job a few months later in the outdoor mall just down the street. I never had any regular customers after that, I never saw any of them again, and there was never another “staff like family” like there had been at my first job. At least I knew in my heart of all hearts that those were the good days and I took it all in before it was gone, but I also knew it was time to say goodbye.  

I finally introduced my Eisenhower to theatre last night, and must I say, he really truly enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to the show from backstage. For those who didn’t see him, his shell was raised up the entire show, and that’s how you know he’s paying attention. I know that he appreciates the kindness that came everyone because he didn’t hide and wasn’t scared. And I appreciate all of you for acting kind towards him, and asking questions. I’m extremely proud to be raising a hermit crab with experiences in the human world. 🙂

I’ve said very little to anyone about this but it was incredibly hard to work a show that continued with Christmas 4 weeks past when it should’ve been boxed up and a love story unraveling right in front of my face. This Christmas someone that I trusted, knew on a soulful level, and loved very deeply shoved the largest knife right into my heart straight down to the core where I am bleeding for all eternity, cut my heart into little tiny pieces and spit me away just like I never meant anything to them. I am still hurting, and will be hurting for a really long time. Some people were meant to be loved, and some, well, are like me.

Thank you to everyone in Parfumerie for making my third show amazing. Thank you also for the weird mental picture moments today because it’s well worth it to remember. Until the next show, I bid thee farewell my sweets. 

Always, Maeby

Filling up the bottles with emotions.

Today we moved Parfumerie into the Catherine Hickman Theater and after lunch we had fun pouring our mixtures of blue/pink-red/gold into each perfume bottle. Opening up the perfumes that still had something in it from a long time ago… whew, whew, whew. I just kept smelling it and asking the others if they remember that smell. There were a lot of the same scents that reminded me of the perfume I’d find in my grandma’s house either in her room or my mom’s room. But still, ew, how in the world did we ever find those scents to be yummy? 

I don’t know. Beats me. Now I have a headache many hours later from it. I think I’ll just stick with my pumpkin-whatever-the-flavor from Bath&Body Works because that’s the only stuff I can really stand these days.

So……working with perfume reminds me of a poem that I wrote with inspiration from a boat show book that had images of yacht baths and sinks in it. Here goes:

Perfume and Cologne
© Karen Maeby 5/25/14 

A book is laid on the seat of a chair
and a bookcase nearly empty.
White and gold objects
lay above the seat
and a photo frame without a photo.

Women’s perfume and men’s cologne,
smells mixed together.

A bar of soap
sitting there, unopened.
And a rose sits singularly on the white counter.
Sugar just as thick on your lips.
I crave. You know, I tease.

Gold slated walls, a shower
with glass separation and
a flat sprout sink faucet.
Silk lace…
finger tips that burn with passion.

A walkthrough
of a slideshow of lite romantic jazz.

Times up – you take my hand
and the floor becomes soaked.
We grab all of the towels
and make a mess all over the floor.
Now, we enter complication.

In all seriousness though, Parfumerie’s last performance will be super sad for me. It’s my last play for a while so that I can truly focus on BoatShowGirl and get it to the point where it doesn’t need to be babysat, or worked on in the beginning stages like it has been lately as I try to develop my brand. I’ve made some good professional connections and they seem to be leading me on the right path of where I want to go. BUT, I have a lot more work to do to get to where I (think) I want to go. HOPEFULLY, I will announcing a release of my BSG book in the next few months. I’m looking at going to Miami Boat Show because truthfully, I really need to be there, even though I think if I had to choose I’d rather go to Palm Beach in March.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t published anything in such a long time. It’s been something that’s weighing heavily on my mind–which is why one of my main ‘goals’ or ‘desires for every day’ is to ‘BE A WRITER FIRST.’ It’s helping. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went through a lot of my older poetry and deleted half of it. I felt better afterwards. Eventually this year, there will be a book with all of my older unpublished stuff so that I can move on from many years ago. I keep thinking I’ll make up some story or something with the older stuff but all it’s doing is reeking havoc on my present-day thoughts. Just like I could never go back to the moment of my first book ‘Maeby it’s only the beginning’ or ‘In Love With a Sailor / The Captain in Me.’ I want to focus on jazz, not depression poetry or anything else. Just jazz. Soulful stuff. Unique. I want to focus on the today moments mixed with the happier times of my short-term past.

Something I hadn’t thought about doing in a long time is to make out a yearly plan for what I want to do with BSG / new brand ILBS / writing. It came from the inspiration of doing BSG stuff for my new contract / guest blogging work… and it seems to really put the focus on the goals. Not only breakdown of goals, but actually know ahead of time what I need to be doing. All of this is really good. I’m feeling better already. Now, if I can just stick with it.

I had something random to happen at work on Friday. I took a call about a father looking for a boat for his son. The boat type was unrelated to my company’s boat lines, but I helped him anyway. He said he couldn’t find the number online so I found it for him. He responded with sincere gratitude and a promise of a note to me of some sorts. I’m not sure what it was about, but maybe… there is a purpose to this random call? I guess I’ll find out next week. It was strange indeed.

Betty–a family member who I used to visit all the time when I lived in Kentucky–passed away. Feels like I’m always losing someone in one way or another. First Bella the day after Christmas, then her.

Anddddd in times like this, it really hurts feeling like I cannot reach out to the one person I really care about, and share what’s been happening lately. Maybe it’s too soon, maybe not. I don’t know. I just wish things could be different…and maybe it will be in time. I hope. Boy do I hope so. 🙁

Eisenhower is driving me batshit crazy. He keeps trying to make his way up to the tallest point in his aquarium and then he hits the glass and falls back down. So. Many. Times. He’s been the reason for my waking up in the middle of the night because he’s being so loud in the other room. I should really learn from him though, no matter how many times he has fallen, he gets right back up and tries it again. Looks like “giving up” is not in his vocabulary and success is where he wants to be. Could it be that his brain is too big for his tiny little shell? Possibly.

-Until next time, Karen Maeby

Searching for where I belong.

It’s a brand new year, and in order to come to terms with anything, I really need to release this to the universe instead of keeping it inside. Plus, I guess it should be my unspoken resolution (out of five thousand) to be dangerously vulnerable, opening myself up to whatever may come my way, but this time around know and understand what’s going to happen because that’s what always happens to me.

All of my life I’ve pretty much lived like my hermit crab baby–barely opening my shell to anyone–and when I do, they have to be very special with something built out of connection on some soul level and trust. I’ve been hurt by so many circumstances in my life that it’s a struggle to continue to open to anyone, and that is extremely difficult when I am needing to be a profile personality for the work that I want to do (BoatShowGirl) and to go into my first love in the arts/theatre. So every single day is a really big battle for me. 

It was when I was 27 years old that I stopped caring what people thought when I did something, because I always have a purpose or reason. Life is too short to care. I understand enough to know that if someone doesn’t support you as you are or as you change, they’re not really a friend, and you need to cut them out of your life. Just because it doesn’t suit someone else’s life doesn’t mean it won’t suit mine or make mine better. I live how I want to live and that’s that. If I don’t like something, you’ll know, and instantly it’ll be changed. I choose my relationships due to a person’s personality and what we have in common. The more you care about together, the more you share, and the happier the life. Same with friends but on a different level, of course.

Most of the time I truly am busy but when things are overwhelming or I feel like a major depression is coming on, I don’t mean to go into hiding or cut people off, but it’s what I do…unfortunately. I don’t want to be seen as the black sheep that brings everyone down due to negativity. It’s difficult for me to reach out to anyone mostly, because if I do, I’m afraid–like in my past–one won’t have time for me, not really care to hear from me, or the group doesn’t really want to see me outside of wherever I’ve met them. I want to be included, but rejection. I shut down, and I have no issue shutting a chapter and just picking up and moving on…to make my next go around until it happens again, and then, I continue until I feel like I’m getting closer to where I’m supposed to be. It’s just what I’m used to.

I don’t do traditional. I knew at a younger age that I didn’t want that, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life or live in the same general area. To be free and open gives the chance to chase a dream or opportunity. I want to live life odd, strange, out of context, and have days like out of RENT that really teaches lessons. I want my experiences to be very unique and my TRUE stories to be unforgettable. I feel like some of my purpose here on Earth is to share my stories with people and make a difference in their life. Be some sort of guidance, a helping hand, or for future generations.

I’m an only child born to older parents. Not only was I alone most of the time, I was raised differently, like it was another era. I’m grateful, but it’s also been extremely difficult fitting in…. I’m an old soul–I know this and I’ve been told multiple times. I get along with much older people. I get along with younger people. I don’t really fit in my age group. Never really have, no offense to anyone my age, I still love you.

It’s difficult being 30 years old, looking like I’m 15, and feeling like I’m 40 or something due to goals and what I really want in life. It ruined something great for me, I wish it turned out differently, and I really don’t know how to handle that right now.

I feel like I’ve walked this Earth many times before. The ballroom gown days where proper English was spoken, classical music/opera were the nightly shows, and letters were sent by the Pony Express. The 1920s where my soul belongs, I found the love of my life and I had to let him go after a dance to jazz at our dinner party, that suddenly went up in the overcast of cigarette smoke and booze. The 1970s where every photo comes out looking like vintage, I play my vinyl records, and dance in my head like I’m a hippie. The era of Pirates where I was one of the only female Pirate on board the beautiful ship…. I died on the Titanic, and my heart/bones can be found with the treasure at the bottom of the Sea.

But yet, I live and breathe in the 21st century and I have none of my past, except for the memories. Or dreams. And present day, where a few years ago, I had a very lively dream that I was in a concentration camp in this lifetime, and my heart/soul pours out to Anne Frank’s ghost because I have had such a mysterious connection with her for as long as I can remember.

This is what I feel, and I haven’t really talked about it to too many people over my years. I hope you know that I am very serious and I’m not living in a dream world. I only wish I could relive some of those eras that my soul has been so that maybe.. just maybe I can find what I’m searching for in my future. But maybe, just maybe… truth be told, if I find my future, I won’t be here any longer. Then, it’s like Catch-22 or something. I just keep barely existing until I am found.

I really do love life no matter how hard it’s been, especially the opportunities I’ve been blessed with because of my talents and my dreams that have come true because I never, ever gave up. I love being an adult, and never ever have I ever wished to be a kid again because it was easy. I don’t like easy. I am challenged when things get hard and difficult, I may shut down and go to sleep, but it’s my puzzle to figure out how to solve until something good happens again.

I really hope that in 2017 I can really live out that path of where I’m going with my work personality of BoatShowGirl and really show the world my creative side of Karen Maeby. I am one of the most confusing, deep, and complex people on this Earth, and trying to dissect me….well, as you can see, is difficult.

Here’s to 2017.

-Karen Maeby