helloooooo

Hello new re-fabbed site!

And how’s THIS for a chuckle? My internet is down today. I had plans for a true welcome/celebratory post, but iPhone posting? No fun. For now, I’ll celebrate with a walk in this awesome spring day. More writing tomorrow. Welcome to the new site. (and thanks francesca – link to be inserted later – for your awesome work on fabulous re-fabbing!)

i’m coming out …

I’ve been keeping a secret for a while.

Hiding beneath the “live out loud” and “express unapologetically” mantras that feed the work that I do here in Writer Babe-land, there’s something I haven’t been saying, and not saying it made me feel like a bit of a fraud.

I’ve been working in non-profit arts off-and-on for most of my 35+ year career – mostly doing PR and marketing for theaters and an organization that supports theaters. My work with the Writer Babes has been a part-time passion project for close to 14 of those years. It all started when I was living in California and working for the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).  I soon went through the entire CTI certification and leadership program, and started offering workshops and coaching and blending my every-present love of journaling and writing with those two new passions. Soon, I was dreaming of doing this – and only this – all the time.

Then I moved back east – back in the day when people still screwed up their brows like you must be some kinda nut-job when you said you were coaching. (“what sport?” was a frequent response …). It was an uphill climb to get the biz going as it was, but after my mom got sick (and then, damn it, died), I just didn’t have the energy to keep going, and I wound up taking some detours. I worked in the private sector; I did freelance PR and writing, but like Michael Corleone and the mob, just when I thought I was out, the non-profit arts world pulled me back in.

I kept the writing workshops going on the side, because … well, it was my THING; I didn’t want to let it go. And though I’d still do talks and work one-on-one with clients from time to time, I wasn’t out pushing that work. When people asked the “what do you do?” question, I’d say: I’m the Director of Markting and Public Relations for a non-profit arts organization. Sometimes I’d tell them about my side thing. Sometimes I didn’t.

There’s a lot about the job that I’ve liked. I’ve had opportunities to use my skills to promote a cause I believe in, and I’ve worked with some amazing, committed and creative people. But over the years, my passion for the work – and the job itself – began to wane. At the same time, my love of working with writers and journalers and people who were trying to live more meaningful, mindful lives just kept growing. The Writer Babes were looking for more opportunities to write, and folks who had signed on to my list years and years ago would often email and ask when I was going to start offering virtual courses so THEY could be Writer Babes too. Friends in far-away towns wondered if I’d do a monthly group in their neck of the woods, and friends from other states would ask if I’d come visit and do a workshop for them.

And I wanted to (i really wanted to) … I was just spread too thinly with work and life to plan and prepare and get my website looking like anything more than a do-it-yourself corner of the cyber-universe..

But guess what? Behind the scenes, I’ve been plotting and planning and thinking that one day (someday. maybe.) I would make this work my only work.

And guess what? That day is coming soon. It’s coming in June. (ooh, look: i rhymed.)

Yes peeps: I’ve been working behind the scenes, saving some bucks, getting the support and encouragement from the hubster and over the December holiday, I got clear that now was the time. I gave my notice at the “day-job” in early February, and – because I’ve been with that organization nearly 8 years, I wanted to make a graceful transition – so when the Executive Director asked me to stick around until the end of the fiscal year and get us through a couple of projects I said OK. My last day? Lucky Friday the 13th of June. (squee)

Over the last month or so I’ve been finishing up the work to get the website spruced up (with a big shout-out and thanks to francesca, my fab web designer). We’ll be launching in a matter of days (i can hardly wait!), and then I’ll be launching a new e-book … and more. I’m also in the early stages of planning an autumn weekend retreat … and, so much more.

I’m super-excited and a little scared to go from a full-time job and a side-biz to a full-on solopreneur, but in my experience, the scary-good things are some of the best out there.

And so … I’m finally ready to come out.  Me: full-out solopreneur; pied-piper of journaling awesome … it’s on. T-minus 80 days and counting.

Wanna dance w/me (and ms. ross)?

i’d like to thank the academy

I used to love watching awards shows as a kid. In my younger years I had dreams of being an actress and singer and, like the old cliché about aspiring performers, I’d stand in front of the mirror in our blue tiled bathroom holding a brush, practicing my Tony/Emmy/Oscar acceptance speeches.

As I got older and realized what the life of a performer was like, the dream lost its glow. In time, I found that the things that I loved about performing: community, collaboration, being allowed – no, not just allowed – encouraged and celebrated for sharing big emotions, stories and truths … these things didn’t require a stage, a costume and a different character. I learned that I didn’t have to tell someone else’s stories, and I could collaborate and create community and shine on with all my own stuff on the page, in writing workshops, speaking engagements and readings.

Still, sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to have that public platform to thank all the important people who brought me to this time and place in my life. So, inspired by a couple of awesome Academy Award acceptance speeches from last weekend …

I’d like to thank my parents, for giving me love, love and more love; for giving me something to push up against in my teen years (and sometimes beyond), and support, encouragement and understanding always.

To my sister and brother for the same, only different. And to time, for making our sibling challenges fade into love, understanding and respect. For remembering things differently, but the same, and for the way those shared stories have made us into a unique, special club. And for giving me one of the best roles of my life: Uncle Debbie (and to all the little – and not-quite-so-little-anymore – people who call me that.)

To my aunts, uncles and cousins, for many of the same reasons, and to one particular “loovely coozin” for all the shared experiences and stories along the path. (here’s to more.)

To the friends I grew up with; the ones who knew me when I wore blue cats eye glasses; through the teen years, the drama, the growth spurts and the hurts. And to the ones who are still in that inner circle of call-at-any-hour/come-running-in-a-pinch and who will laugh uncontrollably when we each remember different lines from the old songs from 5th grade chorus, among other things.

To all the boyfriends, crushes, and ‘the one(s) that got away,’ as well as my dear, wonderful ex-husband: for teaching me about love, and relationship, and for helping me see that love doesn’t always conquer all, but it IS better to have loved and lost than not at all. And yes, for making some songs still kick my ass and break my heart years later (oh, those damn songs).

And to the hubster: for all the foot rubs, and for helping me see that a tsunami is not a requirement (and as a matter of fact … uh: tsunami = destruction/pain. duh), and for being “in” with my theory that relationships really are the biggest personal growth workshop ever.

To my step-son, for still calling me his step-mother, long after his dad and I split up, and for “whatever Debbie”ing me when I remind him of his little self, but stilling putting up with me and letting me have what I have, and what I had. (and to his mom, for helping all that.)

To the places I’ve lived, for helping me see what matters in my community and in my space. For reminding me (sometimes too many times) that I can create space, breath into, love and rest just about anywhere I go. (and ok, so a little closer to NY would be nice now, but y’know: the hubster/compromise/the aforementioned personal growth workshop of relationship …)

To my beloved Writer Babes. Each and every one of them. From the early days to today. For helping me see what I’m doing on this planet; for appreciating what I do and paying me to do it (yay). For reminding me every time they show up with pens poised that the power of writing in community and being seen, acknowledged and appreciated for their unapologetic selves is one of the best self-help gifts ever. And that my evangelism around this practice is important and worth doing.

To pop culture for countless references, hours of entertainment, songs to sing, and inspiration, insight and delight. (where would i be without the force and yoda? really …)

To my teachers, coaches, friends and inspiration (some of them are all four) including, but certainly not limited to: Pat SchneiderAnne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Brenda Ueland and Maya Angelou; Lorrie Schneider, Lori Mazan, Sue Coleman, Ruth Flohr, Sandi Davis, Gail Barrie, Kathy Miller, “the Corals,” my “Goldies” (and tanya and michelle for bringing us all together), to my blog buddies (‘specially those from the early days), the peeps I worked with during my time with The Coaches Training Institute, my Clubhouse buds (and again, thanks, michelle), my poet teachers (rumi, billy collins, mary oliver, david whyte, and on and on and on …) for everything. Everything.

And to the person who gave me my first journal – even though I don’t remember who you are: thank you, thank you, thank you.

And, since the music would SO have been playing me off by now, so … like Maureen Stapleton said when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Reds: “I want to thank … my family, my friends … and everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life.”

Ever tried writing your own ‘I’d like to thank the Academy’ speech? (why not today?)

throw-down thursday (8-1)

Many moons ago, in the presence of my eldest niece (who was 11 or 12 at the time), I said (for some reason i can’t remember) “time flies” … to which she replied: “Oh Uncle Debbie,* only old people say ‘time flies’.”

Today, she turns 24 (or is it 23? i forget). Talk about “time flies.”

Maybe it’s time to throw-down about that. (tick-tock, tick-tock …)

*Of all the dozens or so nicknames that I have, Uncle Debbie is probably the most widely used … and the aforementioned niece is the one who gave it to me.
 
When she was really little, she didn’t understand the difference between aunts and uncles, and began referring to me as Uncle Debbie. It was so cute – and in a weird way, the best possible name for me: the slightly off-center auntie – so we never corrected her. And it stuck. Twenty-some years later, it’s just about my favorite nickname, and just about my favorite role too.
(but note: the only way people get away with calling me ‘debbie’ is: 1 – if i love them and they love me, or 2 – if they put ‘uncle’ in front of it.) 

when self-care looks like a kvetch-fest

This post is part of the “Blog Lovin’ Tour” for Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift’s awesome new book The Declaration of You. The tour is an 8 week celebration where tons-o-bloggers are going to write in support and celebration of this fab book – and on some of the themes within. This week, I’m writing on “Self Care.”
 
I pre-ordered a copy, so I’ve been digging in for a couple of days now, and I’m loving it. If you’re here because you already know my stuff, trust me, it’ll resonate with you. (seriously. go get it.)
 
And if you’re here because you found me through one of the blog-loving tour links: Yee ha! Hiya, and thanks for stopping by. (and did you get the book? seriously. go get it.)

 

(ok, now … about self-care …)

I’m exhausted.

First, there’s the day-job – which is intense and demanding and can take a lot out of me.

Then there’s the side-biz that I’m working on (with an eye on making it my only biz sometime down the road).

Then, last week (after weeks and weeks of house-hunting) my partner and I put bid out on an awesome house, and we’re set to close in early August … so now we’re scheduling inspections and appraisals and a move (oh my).

And when I say that “we” are doing this, I actually mean mostly me. He’s a therapist and he’s with patients all day so I’m the main errand runner, lawyer caller, and all that fun stuff. Arg.

Did I also mention that said partner and I got hitched last weekend with a backyard wedding that we orchestrated ourselves?

Oy.

Sometimes it feels like I’m competing for the gold in the Crazy-Busy Olympics.

To add to the excitement of these Olympics, I go and make a commitment
to write for Jessica and Michelle’s Blog-Tour.

On the topic of self-care.

Self-care.

Right.

Self-care? What the fargin farg is THAT?  Who has TIME for that?
I’m in training for the Crazy-Busy Olympics, right? Hello?

So, yeah, it’s true that I’m feeling kind of overloaded, streched and stressed. Aaaand, all that blahblahblah is just me having a vent-fest. And that vent-fest IS my self-care.

Cause the truth is: self-care is so ingrained in my life that I sometimes forget that I do it all the time. But it’s not bubble baths and spa treatments or a bi-weekly yoga date that keep me from going completely wacknoid when I’m in the midst of stress and change and to-do lists a mile long. Sometimes my self-care looks like a grade A bitching and moaning kvetch-fest.

Cause my self-care practice is writing.

Self-care happens every time I pick up a pen and a notebook and write out my feelings; the crankiness, the frustrations, the challenges and the oh-my-god-how-am-I-going-to-get-through-this-week weeks. Self care happens when I bitch about my schedule and how I had a crappy night sleep cause the hubster was snoring and damnit-I-need-sleep. (kvetch, kvetch, kvetch.)

Not to say that self care doesn’t also happen beyond crankiness and kvetching. It happens when I’m slowing down and paying attention; noticing the way the birds are swooping and diving on the bird feeder; how good the coffee smells; how I’m looking forward to dinner with friends on Saturday.

Self-care can be reporting on the events of the day or just turning down the noise in mind. (yeah, i just quoted carly simon …) Sometimes self-care is a stream-of-consciousness rant about things that I know don’t really matter in the big picture, but they’re pulling my attention just the same. Sometimes its a pep-talk to myself about sticking with my fitness goals when I really want to stay in bed.* Sometimes self-care is about getting down my latest thank you/more please … or honing in on those things that Michelle and Jessica call The Big Likes.

Y’know how – during their safety announcements – flight attendants always say that: “… in the event of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first …” …?

Well, writing is my oxygen mask. It’s self-care in the form of a chronicle, a vent-fest and a celebration. It’s the thing that keeps me from losing my shit when I’m feeling like I’m losing my shit.

It’s my self-care spa-date, a walk on the beach and candles in my bath. It’s the aromatic tea, the Pinot Grigo, the rich, dark chocolate. Writing is the way I clear out the clutter and make space for myself among the to-dos, the shoulds, the oughttas, the challenges, the celebrations, the stresses and the stretching.

Writing is the sanity in my wackanetta … that sometimes (and lately, all the time …) looks like a kvetch-fest. 


*Wanna join a super-beta Write Yourself Awesome group to get on the road to improve your habits and health in 30 days? Shoot me an email at info (at) debcooperman (dot) com for deets of this super-small, super-affordable (like sliding scale affordable), test run of this new program. (ie: it could be messy … but it will be awesome.) Just four spots left; starting in July. 

walking the path …

A friend posted this Chinese proverb on Twitter today: “I dreamed a thousand paths; I woke and walked my own.” It made me think of yesterday’s throw-down prompt, and I’ve been feeling like a bit of a weenie for not participating in the throw-down’s beyond commenting on other’s contributions, so … with the photo, and this quote in mind …

 

I have been dreaming a lot of paths. If I do this, then ___ ? when I do this, what? … what about? … what if I hadn’t? … why didn’t I? … should I/shouldn’t I? I simmer and simmer, and go back and forth. I replay steps, I wonder and wander. I dream of leaping. I dream of leaping now instead of later, even though I know I need to wait a while longer. I do my best in given circumstances, but sometimes I wind up looking at the result thinking: nope, you should have done this or that.

I had one of those experiences this week. I should have known better (i did know better), but I made the choice. And there I go, learning the same lesson again for the third (or is it the fourth … or fifth?) time. (i hope i don’t have to learn this one again.)

And so I plod along, going bit by bit. I make mistakes and I try to forgive myself. Most of the time I can. I see the work I do impacting other people and I practically squeal with delight. I say “thank you/more please” several times a day; it’s so easy cause there’s so much.

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky that the path unfolds so lusciously in spite of all my fuck-ups and missteps. I can still get cranky and stuck in the muck, but then I’ll look out the kitchen window as Ash makes coffee – the birds dancing around the bird-feeder with the backyard still gray, but starting to show signs of the impending spring – and I think: I’m the luckiest girl ever.

Life is far from perfect. I fuck up, I fall down, I do things that aren’t always good for me. But I keep writing; I keep walking; the path is mine; I’m on the right road.

(how ’bout you? how are things on your path?)

wrestle, write, notice, write, shine (gettin’ golden)

If you’re a regular reader here, you know my mini-mantra for Throw-down Thursdays (a weekly writing playdate) is: notice/write. But sometimes, when you’re writing about your own life, and facing big goals and mega-personal mountains, other steps come in: steps like ‘wrestle,’ and sometimes ‘struggle.’  Y’know that old phrase: Physician heal thyself? In these cases, it’s usually: Writer Babe, write thy own way out of your mess, and Writer Babe, shine thy own frikkin’ awesome

I’ve been working that muscle like crazy lately. All because I signed up for a business awesomizing program. Created and faciliated by fablicious coaches Michelle Ward and Tanya Geisler and called the Golden Ticket, this non-Wonka-related (but magically wonky-ish) program wrapped with an event in NYC where each of the participating women would have the opportunity to share a short talk, or their “about me” story … something that would be filmed to potentially use on their website and social media.

Setting up …
(photo by fellow goldie kylie bellard)

But before we met-up in NY, we rallied for 12 weeks with every-other-week calls, weekly assignments and conversations in a private membership space. We sifted through exercises to get us thinking about the essence of what we delivered, what kinda nasty-ass stuff was getting in the way of us delivering it full-throttle (besides the obvious “i-work-a-day-job” stuff that several of us have), and then brainstorming, masterminding, and otherwise supporting one another as we figured out how to reach the peeps who might just need our particular brand of awesome.

And while all of those things did happen, and I am currently taking more confident and slightly bigger baby-steps toward my dreamed-of-down-the-road-more-fleshed-out-biz as a result, the Golden Ticket also wound up being one of the most intense personal growth workshops I’ve ever been part of. (and i’ve taken a quite a few …)

Almost every week I’d slam up against my own limitations and the voices in my head that seem determined to tell me I can’t do this business thing beyond the small (loyal and awesome) community of in-person Writer Babe workshops I already deliver. Why not? I’m working a full-time job, I’m not a techie, or maybe … (and this was a tough one to admit) … because there are other people – bigger/more famous/with prettier, fancier websites – who are delivering similar content; so why would any one want to work with me over them?

Let me rephrase that in case you (like me, at first) didn’t catch the hysterical irony on the first read …

Moi – ze grand poobah Writer Babe – she who LIVES to get people putting their lives on the page so they really SEE themselves, see their uniqueness and their patterns and their beauty so they stop hiding their light under an I’m-not-good-enough or an I-need-to-be-different-somehow kinda cloud … (yeah, THAT woman: me) … I was … (ohmyfargingod) … holding back and hiding under an I’m-not-unique/special/expert-enough cloud. Holy crap-a-netta.

Though I’d been hitting up against this in bits and pieces throughout the program, things got even more intense as we got closer and closer to our NY meet-up. Because, as I said, it wasn’t just any meet-up. We were all going to take the stuff we’d been working on and learning, and translate it to a talk that we were going to give to the rest of the group. And it was going to be filmed. To use on our website.

Doin’ my “sinking in” thing before the shoot.
(photo by fellow goldie kelly wagner)

Yeah, no pressure.

So … on top of the “what if you don’t have anything unique to say” or “It’s not like you’re SARK or Anne Lamott or anything …” that was swirling around in my head, I also had to contend with the ego/vanity crap of “but I’ve gained weight and I look like crap” that was coming up too. And after working with all of these awesome women for weeks: “what if all the other women are total rock-stars and I suck and forget everything I have to say?”

Eventually, through writing, writing, writing and boatloads of sharing with my fellow Goldie’s, I saw that I was doing something that we Writer Babes work on over and over and over again: Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. The things you say and the way you say them are YOURS. Your experience and expression? Yours. I don’t have to be like Anne Lamott (i’d look like a dork in dreadlocks, for one …) or SARK or … anyone else but me. It became clear that we ALL go through variations on this theme when we’re getting close to our own personal gold. We WANT the dream SO MUCH we get scared, and maybe we freeze. We think (who knows why?) that we aren’t deserving or worthy of carrying the torch for the cause we live for.

When I saw that I wasn’t the only one – that a lot of the Goldie’s were stressing our talks, wondering what to wear, concerned we might blow this great opportunity – I realized two things: that this was not the only chance I’d ever have to create a video, and that this process was a metaphor for just about everything. It’s also stuff I “preach” all the time: No use comparing. Just get stuff down; do the work and show up. Pay attention, notice, write, and shine. Right?

So I decided to just show up, say the stuff I know – the stuff I talk to people about on airplanes and in grocery stores and at parties. I’d just talk to the women in the room – women I’d come to know and love over the course of this course – and if the video turned out well, I’d put it up on the site, and if it sucked, well, it was still an incredible learning and growth opportunity. (and maybe i wouldn’t be so flipped out next time …)

Post-filming toast with ze fab Tanya and Michelle

Giving myself permission to suck really helped. (it’s also one of the first lessons i do with the writer babes: ask them to try writing badly – it’s a way to get them to unload their perfection demons …) (note to self: writer babe, write thy own permission slip for farg sake …)

And the good news? I’m pretty sure I didn’t suck. I’ll know better when the videos are edited (by the awesome monica mccarthy of ‘show and tell stories‘), but the feedback, and the opportunity to support and be supported by the community of women that day was so great, it reminded me that I KNOW this STUFF. And the details are just that: details. I’ll keep chugging along building the biz, sharing the stuff that I learn and learn and learn again. Because I know that the more we pay attention, notice and write, the more we’re able to shine. 

Isn’t it nice when the universe reminds you of things you already know … that you forget so easily? (notice, write, shine …) 

yeah. that’s kinda how the day felt.
photo by kylie bellard

(links to the golden goddesses [above] to come; stay tuned …)

 

another go ’round the sun

calendarThe last day of 2012. And how are you spending it? Are you a resolution person? Do you reflect, set intentions, or have a ritual to mark the end of the year? Do you go to a New Years Eve party, or watch whatever television something that has replaced Dick Clark and the ball dropping thingie? (i never got that: standing around in times square – where it’s probably bloody freezing – or sitting on the couch to watch a huge metal ball lit up by loads of light bulbs drop a few feet.) (and really, it doesn’t even drop; it slooowlly inches down a track where it says 2012 at the top, and when it falls, the 2 changes to a 3. oh, the excitement!) (… but i digress.)

The older I get, the more mixed I feel about the significance (or lack of it) around the changing of the year. Does magic happen when the clock strikes twelve on December 31st? Do we get a clean slate? More energy? Forgiveness? Cause really, it’s just another day … with no greater power to grant renewal than any other.

But we forget that, of course. In the process of managing the details of our lives, it’s easy to get distracted (not that i would know anything about that … [see dick clark/ball drop musing above ...]). So maybe because of all these distractions in our lives, we embrace the opportunity to reflect, and use whatever collective energy is swirling around for change and improvement. I know I do.

I had a nice stretch of time off from work with the x-mas and New Year holiday falling as they did, and that gave me a lot of time to think about the coming year; from big-picture visioning and dreaming to nitty-gritty details around my work, to personal self-care type stuff. You’ll hear more from me on all that in the coming months: more opportunities to play, explore and unleash your awesome along with me … but in the meantime …

… to start off this next go ’round the sun, I decided to dip back into a little something I wrote a few years ago at the turning of the year. Same as it ever was, though so much has changed.


On the turning of the year
(2012/13 revisited) 

Days go by, we meet people, we buy groceries. We work, we sleep, we eat, we drink coffee, we wish for more, we strive to do better. We wonder why some things are so damn hard; other times we think about people who are really suffering and struggling, and we feel lucky, soft and grateful.  And we are grateful.

And sometimes we still forget.

We wish we’d said something when we had the chance, other times we wish we hadn’t said it when we did. People get sick, and people get well; some don’t. Fear is sold on the news and there is plenty to go around. There is also magic and beauty to go around. And sometimes we forget.

We do laundry, we hang out with  family and friends, we move and we procrastinate. We can’t get that stupid song out of our head. We triumph, we fail, we let people go. We rise to challenges and we hide our heads in the sand. We get the mail, we pay the bills, we bitch about the price of gas. We dream, we stretch, we take out the garbage, check email, laugh and cry. We hug the people we love.

Deadlines loom, deadlines pass, and new ones grow in their place. We come home at the end of a long day and get into comfy clothes, light candles, listen to music, and have a glass of wine. We wrestle our demons, we wrestle each other. (sometimes that wrestling stuff is fun.)

We choose, we second guess, we choose some more, we plow forward hopefully. We move with purpose, we hesitate, we adjust, we plow forward some more, we fall down and get up. We dance with the unknown even if we don’t ever think about it.

Tomorrow the calendar flips to a new number, but nothing else is really different. It’s another new day; a chance to choose, to dream anew, to take bold steps, to shine on. There’s much to celebrate: it’s the same complicated, challenging, magic and beautiful world … and never the same river twice.


Happy New moment, new day and new year, friends.  Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for participating – whether by reading my schtuff, coming to my in-person workshops, working with me one-on-one, adding your thoughts to the weekly writing party we call Throw-down Thursday, or emailing, commenting here on the blog, following me on Twitter, or being part of the Facebook page/community.

And yes, “more please” too. “More please” of each one of you. “More please” of your awesome, “more please” of your vulnerability, your bravery, your writing, your living full-out. With much love, thanks, and lots more “more please.”
Deb

throw-down thursday (12-20)

So … the Mayan calendar ends tomorrow;  is it the end of the world as we know it?

If everything really was going to go kaplooie tomorrow, how would you be spending this last day? Are you doing any of that NOW? Could be that it’s time to get clear on those things that would matter at the end … and do them now. Cause, y’never know.

Let’s write about that …
(and share your writing/thoughts in the comments, why don’tcha?)

(and a coda …)
Over the years I managed to figure out various snippets of what Michael Stipe was singing in that fabulous REM song, but I never got the whole thing, so today I decided to google it. While there are several variations floating around (*book neck? bug net? but neck?) … this synthesis looked about right to me. (but if it’s the end of the world, then really, does it matter?)

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT
That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane
Lenny Bruce is not afraid
eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
world serves its own needs, don’t mis-serve your own needs
feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no strength
no ladder structure, clatter with fear of height, down height
wire in a fire, representing seven games
in a government for hire and a combat site left her
wasn’t coming in a hurry with the Furies breathing down your neck
Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered, crop
look at that low plane, fine, then
uh, oh, overflow, population, common group
but it’ll do, save yourself, serve yourself
world serves its own needs listen to your heart bleed
tell me with the rapture and the revered and the right
right you vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light
feeling pretty psyched
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
Six o’clock, TV hour, don’t get caught in foreign towers
slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn,
lock him in uniform and book burning, blood letting
every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
watch your heel crush, crush, uh, oh, this means
no fear, cavalier, renegade, steer clear
a tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide
mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom
you symbiotic, patriotic, slam, *bug net, right? Right
It’s the end of the world as we know it (it’s time i had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (it’s time i had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (it’s time i had some time alone)
And I feel fine
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
(it’s time i had some time alone)
And I feel fine