war is hell

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

I am beyond ill with being told to preform as instructed or else.

I am beyond ill with my silence being defined by people who happen to know nothing of me or my lack of a spitting, sputtering, clumsy reaction to the ridiculous excess of stimuli around me.

I am beyond ill with the experience of debilitating fear of exhaling incorrectly.

Give me a break. Give me a breath. Please? Your highness? Your grace? Can I be allowed, please, to speak when I’m ready to?

This mess is too much. I need a beat. And far be it from me to go out passing out prescriptions for anyone other than myself, but…I dare say, I think we all need a moment or two of silence.

leave it there

Because it’s just been one of those days when I *need* it.

 

Read about Bradley Walker via Rory Feek’s Blog, This Life I Live here

Excerpt: 

It was her last request.

The last thing on the list Joey gave me, of what she wanted at her funeral service… when the time came.  And we both knew that time was coming soon.

“I’d like for someone to sing the hymn Leave It There at my graveside”, Joey said.  And then she stopped and added, “no… not someone”, and she looked at me and smiled, “I want Bradley Walker to sing it for me”.

There were other things that she’d requested too…“a simple service in our concert hall” so her hometown pastor could share the gospel… ‘a plain wooden box’ that our friend Thomas would build for her by hand, …‘lined with a quilt’ made by her seventy-five year old friend, Ms. Joan.  Just those few things… and a song.  Sung to her by one of the sweetest men, and voices she’d ever known.

A week-and-a-half later, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in March, we all gathered together around the simple wooden box, lined with a quilt, and we said goodbye to my beautiful wife… with a song.  KEEP READING

trash to Toyland

I got really crazed with stress earlier and I needed to get out of the house, so I drove down the road to the Center of Hope thrift store and poked around in one man’s trash.

I like and collect records, especially old Disney ones. I found this one labeled with an oil pen 39 cents. I thought that was awesome. When I got to the counter, it was 25 cents. I thought that was even better.

The cover says A magnificent full-color illustrated book and long-playing record, Walt Disney’s Story and Songs From Babes in Toyland, copyright 1961. Music based on the Victor Herbert Operetta, adapted by George Bruns, with new lyrics by Mel Leven. And it does have a super-sweet storybook inside, with crazy-cute retro illustrations.

I haven’t played the whole thing through yet, but I’m going to in a little while so I have something fun and nostalgic to play while I try and polish up my manuscript. Can’t wait! 🙂 Then I might watch the 1986 version of the movie, because I haven’t seen it since I was very small, and this record reminded me of how fun it was.

Until next time.

 

ceiling bumps

I was in high school. Junior year? Probably earlier.

We had tornado drills. The same bell as the tardy bell or the ones to signal class changes, just rapid fire, repetitive. In the part of the world I live in, tornadoes are just something you deal with, more so in March and April, but throughout the year.

When the warning went off, we’d line up, leave the class room and follow the teacher out into the hall where everyone would line up against the lockers, push their knees up and drop their faces against their legs. Legs up, heads down. And wait. Between kindergarten and the final graduation in 12th grade, I’m sure I endured a few hundred of these drills. They weren’t bad, just scary for anyone who’d ever actually survived being in a building that was hit by a tornado (we had a few in my class who became hysterical each and every time, because they did, in fact, survive a terrible tornado that hit their church, like they ended up under pews in the rubble of what was left of the building, but this is another story, maybe).

The exact year eludes me. Is that the right word? Elude? I don’t know what year it was, is what I mean, but that’s not that important anyway.

I was sitting on the tile floor, hugging my legs, glad to be missing out on class, not feeling overly threatened by the weather at all. The kids were quiet, whispering, complaining that the floor was dirty or struggling not to nod off, the usual quiet clamor.

The classroom across from me opened up and out came a small cluster of students from a special needs class. They found seats with their teachers across from me. As always, I forced a smile when one of them caught me staring, then I looked away (I wasn’t a social butterfly which shouldn’t shock you because if you’ve met me…).

He was a kid from the trailer park down the road from where I lived. He had the wrong haircut and definitely the wrong shoes. Being a girl who most definitely always had the wrong haircut and the wrong shoes, I knew well enough how to identify these things. He pulled his legs up to his middle and between his hands and his cargo pants, he was hugging a big black book with Holy Bible written in gold uppercase lettering.

He smiled at his teacher, a little bit jittery and uneasy. And he said something along the lines of, I’m not scared, God will protect me.

Kind of off the wall but, I remember that instance so well, it’s remarkable.

I had been in church all my life. The sight of someone holding a bible was nothing if not normal to me. That being said, the sound of someone mentioning God’s name in my presence was so natural, I shouldn’t have thought twice about what the kid said. But I did.

I felt sorry for him. I immediately looked around to see who was laughing at him, because I expected it and for good reason. And then I wondered what was wrong with him–why did he say something that sounded so innocent it should have come from a child’s mouth instead of a teenager. I can say that now because I’ve thought about this so much over the years and I’ve made peace with the reality behind what I thought and how I felt, the confusion and quite frankly, disappointment I felt with myself in hindsight.

This kid sat down in front of me and proudly professed his faith, a faith I suppose I thought I shared. And my question was, what was wrong with him? Almost immediately after the question crossed my mind, I think a better one arose. What’s wrong with *me*?

I don’t think the issue here was that I didn’t agree with what the boy said. I mean, it is and always has been my understanding that just because you believe doesn’t mean you’ll always be kept from harm’s way. I remember going to my grandmother with that question whenever I saw a video about the Holocaust when I was younger. Does bad things happen to good people? Yes. Why? So he had faith that he’d be kept safe even though we’re not always guaranteed to be? Not the issue. What he said wasn’t the problem. My reaction to it was.

The problem was, I was, like maybe most kids are, so concerned with protecting myself from ridicule from my peers, I had actually allowed that fear to push me into living a double life, of sorts. I was too scared to be at school who I was at home and at church on Sundays. Not only that, but I was judging someone else for not being inhibited the way I was. Maybe.

Perhaps I’ve spent way too much time thinking about this whole ordeal, but I have to say something happened inside me that day that caused me to really take a look at myself and rethink what I was doing and how I was doing it, and as trivial as it might sound to other people, I think what happened during that tornado drill that morning actually changed me, for the better, maybe forever.

Random. Winding. Ranty. Rambly. Maybe even weird. But it feels good to put it all on paper after all this time. And it’s nice to remind myself to stay true to myself and how rotten it feels whenever you lose yourself, then what a blessing it is to see in someone else whatever it is you’ve been missing, yourself. 😉

 

mixed metaphors & musical matrimony

I’ve been hitting the playlist kind of heavy lately. You don’t have to guess what song that reminds me of. Suffice to say, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about just how much joy we as humans seem to get from sharing our favorite music with other humans. There’s a long list of reasons, but they all eventually lead back to one explanation. When our own words fail us (or when we fail them?) music speaks and we all know, no matter what you’re going through in life, somewhere somehow there’s a song for it–kind of like those greeting cards at the drug store in the 2 for $1 section.

As for my writing, I suffered through a couple of drought-style weeks of barely any writing at all. I was uninspired and thirsty as all get out, which is funny because the weather here was so rainy during that time that maybe talking floods and droughts is inappropriate. I’m already starting to feel dizzy. Hang in there, I’ll try and bring this one home before I crash and burn. 😉 Blah, blah, blah, when it rains it pours. This story is gushing out of me from all openings. I can’t get it down on paper quick enough. And by the way, lately, I feel like one of those witches on the vampire shows who has used all of her power up doing some crazy intense witchy-woo and when it’s all said and done and she’s saved the day, she falls over and curls up, sweaty and mentally drained of every last ounce of energy…Is this a thing that happens to other writers? Maybe I’m just weak in the head. I should do brain aerobics or something. That could be a post for another day.

#nowplaying Eric Church, Record Year

& now, a word from our sponsors

I totally just randomly picked an artist in my library this morning because I wanted to listen to something while I did my writing, and holy cow, do I just now remember why I have every album the Fray ever did?! Took me to church, they did. Present mood 100% elevated, so I’m sharing.

He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

*Best opening to a song ever.*

I found God on the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west was all but won
All alone
Smoking his last cigarette…

 

Back to making things up. 🙂

sweet dreams

Tonight, my lullaby is Patsy Cline. She died at age 30, over 20 years before I was born, and I don’t remember a time in my life I wasn’t listening to her and feeling like she just had to be a kindred spirit.

I’ve been to the historic Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole Opry House 1943-1974, Union Gospel Tabernacle) a few times. The feeling you get sitting in that dusty old room is just eerie and magical. To think of all the incredible talent that flooded in and out of that place in such a short amount of time. Just haunted with history and incredible experiences. Really cool! 🙂

Sweet Dreams for Wednesday.

sober

I’m listening to Little Big Town while I do my writing before bed. I’ve always liked them. Kimberly Schlapman is so sweet and bubbly, and full of joy, just listening to her sing or speak makes me want to be a better person. Sober is my sweet, southern lullaby tonight. 😉 Just feeling especially blessed and wanted to share, hoping it’ll spread. There’s so much going wrong in the world right now, but we get to be here, trying to make it just a little bit better–in my book, that’s something to be thankful for.

the sound

unsplash

This rain is no joke. Every single day, for months, thunder and lightning, the bottom falls out. Exactly 2pm. Exactly 4:20 pm.

I had a talk with a friend for over an hour. She insisted. I argued. Back and forth. Stubborn. Unmoving. Back and forth. She was sweet and accepting, appreciative. I was…something else.

Thinking back, I have decided my friend enjoyed speaking her heart and maybe that’s why she was so warm and positive, almost joyful about her argument. Me? I was uncomfortable and frustrated. It actually pained me to feel and hear the roaring thunder behind my very own words, bouncing off the walls of a stormy, cluttered mind.

Why is it I always feel the need to apologize for standing by my beliefs? Why is it I always feel like I’m doing something wrong whenever I don’t just agree with what other people say? It’s so odd to me. Reminds me of that poem by Lily Myers, Shrinking Women. She said,  I asked five questions in Genetics class and all of them started with the word ‘sorry’.

Stop apologizing for nothing, I tell myself. There’s lots of reasons to be sorry. Sometimes I am rude. Sometimes I am pushy. Sometimes I am crabby. Sometimes get skittish and accidentally hurt people who deserve the least to be hurt. Sometimes my temper gets me. Sometimes I bump into things and people. I deliberately do or say something hurtful or offensive, when I’m in the middle of a mental meltdown.  All good reasons to apologize, in my book. Telling the truth because there’s conviction in my heart compelling me to do so? Kind of a silly reason to apologize, now that I think of it.

Oh well. I’ll say it now, for the record. I am 30 years old and still learning every single day.

Til next time.

 

 

Shrinking Women, Lily Myers lyrics

-Shrinking Women, Lily Myers Button Poetry video

#nowplaying Ariela Jacobs, The Sound