Monday, January 28, 2013
There's much to say, much to share, and much to keep to myself. But, for my first blog of 2013, I'd like to share a song I wrote with you.
If you've followed me for a while, you know of this song. I released Please Hear My Prayer - Flood Version in 2010 after the May 1st flooding that ravaged Tennessee. What many of you don't know is that, the Flood Version is a re-write of a song I had previously written.
The original song was written during a very emotional and turbulent time for me. The song was deeply personal and it was one that I had difficulty performing. I attempted to record it, but I was never satisfied with what was produced. Eventually, I put the song aside because it was - for lack of a better phrase - too powerful and emotional.
During a recent songwriting session, I played the song for my co-writer and he was adamant that I record the song exactly like I had played it for him. I had a helluva time getting through it. He insisted the song was meant to be heard in that form and that it needed to be done. Suffice it to say, I resisted. It's not that the song itself is a difficult song to sing in the sense that the range is extensive. It's simply so emotionally charged that it's hard to get through.
Well, after some persistence on his part, I finally gathered the nerve to do it. I hunkered down in my little home studio and recorded it. I played the song through and recorded at least 6 vocal tracks. Ultimately, it came down to scrapping all but the first track because, the first vocal was honest.
This is the song, as it was meant to be performed. It is simple. There was no click track. No filters, not even a pop filter. No vocal booth. No pitch correction. Nothing but a splash of reverb and a girl with her guitar.
The story of how this song came to be is one that I am not prepared to share at this point in time. And, I cannot say that I will ever be prepared to share the story behind it outside my closest friends and family. Maybe one day...
Allow me to share with you Please Hear My Prayer. The original version.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
I can say that this year, so far, has been absolutely inundated with learning, growth, and revelation.
Page 226 is going to deal with something I've struggled with in the past and have run into a lot lately.
Let me preface by saying, I am so far from perfect that if you were look up imperfection in the dictionary, you would likely see my picture next to it. However, I do my very best not to be hypocritical. If ever I find myself in a moment of hypocrisy, I immediately do my very best to remedy the matter.
Recent encounters, experiences, and situations have left me thinking more on this issue. I'm really not going to elaborate on any details. I'm just going to cut to the chase on this pretty dang quick, because it really is something that I think more people need to pay attention to.
If you want a friend. BE a friend. If you want to be treated with dignity and respect, the BE the person who treats others with dignity and respect.
Don't sit there and talk shit about other people if you don't want people to talk shit about you.
If you want people to be welcoming and pleasant to you. Then you must be welcoming and pleasant to others.
Now, here's the best part of all this... if someone isn't that way with you, then SCREW 'EM!!!
Don't even think twice about it. I'm the worst at this... I tend to sit and worry and fret and wonder and come up with all sorts of reasons why they are being the way they are to me. But, the bottom line is - not everyone is going to like you. And that's ok. Just be someone that YOU would like and be the kind of person worth being liked and it'll all work out in the end.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
In the dwindling hours of what was left of an extra special day to celebrate and honor the Fathers in our lives, I lay awake in bed, beside the man who holds a very unique position in this family.
I would like to introduce you to this man.
This man... has sacrificed a life of time and leisure to commit to the next 10+ years of legal and fiscal responsibility for 7 additional children which he is not biologically responsible for creating.
This man... has provided these same children with the safety and security of a home of their own.
This man... has sacrificed his own needs and desires in abundance to provide these children with their own needs and desires.
This man... attends - and at times has even coached - every possible sport practice, game and/or academic function which he is physically able to attend.
This man... sits and helps these children with their homework, reviews every grade, and encourages their education.
This man... teaches them to work hard, the value of a dollar, and how to respect and care for what you are blessed to have in this world.
This man... wipes tears, mends owies, and fearlessly protects.
This man... holds on to every card, every picture, and every special token of their love and devotion to him.
This man... not only honorably serves in the United States Air Force Reserves, teaches these children the values of respect, honor and integrity in all things.
This man... each and every one of these children calls "Daddy", "Dad", and "Father".
This man... made the choice to be the Dad these children needed in their life so desperately and who loves them as though they are truly his own flesh and blood.
This man... chose to assume the honorable and noble role that the Universe had assigned to another who failed to appreciate and respect the value of the role.
This man... who has absolutely no legal obligation to be a Father to these children, happily and successfully performs and even excels in this position.
The law says that, in return for all the blood, sweat, tears, heartache, time, love and money that this man puts in to raising these children, and for doing all the things a Father SHOULD do - as honorable a man he is - has no legal rights pertaining to these 7 children.
The "Law" indicates that the biological paternal counterpart - the one who has failed to perform in any of the above roles because it didn't suit his lifestyle - is "entitled" to a relationship with these children who are, in all reality, complete strangers to him.
This is reality.
Yet in the face of this reality...
Knowing that he could just as soon really away and have no absolutely no legal responsibility to see this commitment through...
This man remains ever vigilant. Ever steadfast. Ever keeping guard over the hearts, minds, physical and emotional welfare of these children.
This MAN... is a FATHER.
I know this because I had a Father like this. And, by the power of the Universe, in reward for my Father's devotion to his role in my life, the law agreed and I was legally made his daughter. (Frankly, I'm convinced that I got the better end of THAT deal!)
I have always wished for my children to have the love and devotion of a true Father, as I had. That kind of commitment and devotion is not a guarantee in the biology of a man, although it can and frequently does occur within those genetic links. This kind of commitment and devotion happens in the heart and it is overpowering. Men who feel that "Father Power" for children without a biological connection... Well, that's something extra special.
Who says wishes don't come true?
To my Father, Arthur... I will forever and for always be a Daddy's girl...
To my soon-to-be-husband and a Father in every way that matters, even when you didn't have to be, Michael... I gave you my broken heart, my emotionally wounded children, and a you gave us back a family. You're not only magic, you're epic!
And, finally to his Father, Lou, who has that Father Power squared... If not for your Father Power in your own family, this family would not be what it is today. Y'all wired him right and THAT is worthy of my eternal gratitude.
People, any idiot can biologically create a life, but it takes a MAN to be a FATHER and turn that life into something splendid! These three men are the finest men among men.
I honor you all. I love you all. I thank you.all.
Monday, May 28, 2012
In my studio, my computer monitor sits on a stand mounted to the wall. On that stand, in front of my monitor, sits a dyecast model of a black '69 Corvette Stingray... My dream car. The car which I spent nearly two hours searching for at the Corvette Museum, only to discover that they did NOT have it in their collection, so I was left with the only option of purchasing a model of it. Pulling it backward winds up the wheels, and when you let go, then it goes forward.
When I'm stuck in my studio, there are plenty of times when I'm left thinking about where I'm going with the project I'm working on. During those times, I'll play with my little Stingray. I pull it back and let it go over and over until my head clears.
I guess you could say that my little Stingray is somewhat representative of my music career. It's been a tough, slow, and painfully emotional journey. Forever hoping, ever dreaming, ever seeking that elusive break that will allow me to spend the rest of my life supporting my family doing what I love, only to keep finding myself coming up short and/or empty handed, accepting a trinket in return for bruised dream and ego.
I suspect that everyone can relate to this in some way or another; even those who seemingly have it all. Like I said in a previous blog, The Universe has no prejudice. Sometimes it will smile down upon you and you will find yourself embracing your heart's desire.
Other times, it is gonna shit on you, without rhyme or reason, and you'll be left with your angry tears falling over what's left of your shattered dream, which you now hold in your hands.
When find yourself in the latter situation, you have very few options. But, be thankful that you at least HAVE options.
#1 - You can chuck those pieces of your broken dream right into the trash. Then, you can be bitter, angry and vow never to dream again.
#2 - You can take those pieces, wrap them up carefully in a hanky, put them gently into a box with some super glue, vowing to put it all back together when there's time. Then, never make time and let that dream just fade away in time as you forget.
#3 - You can take the pieces of that broken dream, salvage everything possible, and put it on display to remind you of what it is you ache for.
Let your dream live! It's your dream and no one can take that from you if you don't let them!
Here's how you do it...
Take all that pain, all that hurt, all that anger, all that resentment, and all that fear...
You just pull it back...
And let it go....
~ A very special thank you, fist bump, high five and booty smack to my new friend Kathy Bertram for helping inspire this blog entry! Google her to see her performance on Jay Leno and keep your eyes peeled for her upcoming audition to be broadcast on America's Got Talent!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
I love pets. Dogs. Cats. Bunnies. Horses. They are "Love Companions."
I remember my first pet. A lovable Persian mix with a flat face thick hair that was black on top, but stark white underneath. His name was Putt-Putt. Since then, I have had many pets, from cats to dogs. I even had a dog named Kitty. I've had hamsters, fish, lizards, snakes, and I even had a pet rock at one time. Ok, maybe it wasn't quite a "pet" persay, but it traveled with me for many years, through quite a but of my adult life and many moves. There's a short and entertaining story to that which shall be left for another blog.
Back to the topic at hand. Pets.
Owning a pet isnt easy, but it's rewarding. There's a certain bond that is formed that can't quite be explained in words. But it can be felt and, at times seen, thru the tears of a human who has lost their beloved companion, be it injury, illness, old age, or even theft.
For one of the first times in my life, I find myself desperately missing and needing that love and bond. I have always had a pet in my bed, which managed to help me thru the loneliness I felt for so many years.
We currently have in our home, two dogs and, outside our home, one cat.
The cat, Punkin', was inherited with the house. He's loving, for sure, but I have no real bond with him. He is my eldest son's special friend.
Next is Odie. Fredrick Odiferous Masticus Swineus Barkius Lickius Gluteus Maximus to be exact. He is my rescue baby. Obtained from the shelter at a mere six weeks old. He is a sharpei-shepherd mix.
Odie was my baby. He slept with me every night. He snuggled, with his head on my pillow, while I cried myself to sleep for so many years. He knows all my secrets and has protected me from many moments of danger. After we moved here to Tennessee, he somehow, gradually became my second oldest son's dog. Mainly, because I was gone a lot and he cared for Odie in my absence. Since my fiancée is severely allergic to Odie (something to do with the oils of a sharpei), he is restricted to the basement with my eldest boys and outside. He is happy.
Finally, there's Gracie. A 6 month old chocolate lab for which I exchanged a large sum of cash to provide my fiancée with companionship and love that I knew he had been missing since his ex was awarded his dog in the divorce. To add insult to injury, she quickly and cold heartedly gave it away. That dog saved his life and losing her broke his heart. Knowing how much the devout love of a pet has done for me, shortly after we moved into our new home, with his mother by my side, we went and picked out Gracie. She is definitely his love companion.
To be perfectly honest... Lately, I find myself jealous. I can't nail down if it's jealousy of how much he loves Gracie, plays with her, cares for her, dotes on her... Or if it's the love she has for him. A love and devotion which I don't have from a furry companion anymore. Or maybe I don't have it from him. All I know is that I simply feel like I'm on the losing end all around.
I had hoped that, since she was a female, he would consent to her having a single litter of chocolate lab puppies. Ultimately, I wanted to keep one for myself. I miss that companionship so desperately. And even more as of late. But, as is the way of life for me, I shall never experience that joy because Friday, she was spayed.
You would think that being engaged, having seven children, I would never feel lonely. But I do. More often than not these days. Everyone has their friends, activities, things to do, and even with everyone home, I am still alone.
And, here it is, past midnight, and I am wide awake, wishing so much for a pet of my own.
At this moment, I want warmth. I want touch. I want tenderness. Affection.
There is void in my heart... a loneliness I feel growing day by day as no one seems to want to be around me, talk to me spend time with me. And, I feel like my existence, my thoughts, my feelings, my needs, my fears... I honestly feel like no one gives a shit. No one values me. I'm worthless. I'm just an annoyance in their lives. One they'd sooner dispose of - or at the very least - eliminate as much interaction from.
If I matter to no one, not even an animal, well then, what's the point of mattering at all?