my heart

I often take song lyrics to suit my circumstances. And I think that’s okay. Music and song soothe my soul, make me think, make me cry, ease my pain and bring me joy.

I’ve taken these lyrics as my own:

What do I get when I find out I am nothing?
Who am I without my name?
How do I stop this emptiness from growing?
The dumb instructions coming from my brain

I go to my heart on my knees

I know I am not nothing, but I feel like a half these days. I still have my name, but it’s no longer wife. And yes, there are a lot of dumb instructions coming from my brain.

I go to my heart, frail as it is. On my knees in prayer.



My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

This Song – Not Just for July 4th

Last October Chuck and I waited excitedly for our copy of Closer Than Together on vinyl to arrive. I’d heard a few songs ahead of time, others were brand new the first time we listened. Some songs took a while to grow on me, but I came to love them all, with New Woman’s World being the exception. But, a few packed a real punch. Like We Americans. The more I listened, the more I loved it. A few weeks after our record arrived, we got to hear it sung in concert (and sing along)  in Pelham, Alabama. It was powerful.

The music of the Avett Brothers makes me happy and sad all at once. It will forever be their music that brings me back to these last few years Chuck and I had together.

Say Love

I wish I could sing, I wish I could play

I’ve been inspired by creative kids to come up with lyrics to fit these trying times.

The song in the video below came to me this morning and I wrote another verse for it. If I could play an instrument or carry a tune in a bucket I’d perform for you. But, here’s my verse for you to sing.

I know a guy who dreams of work

He’d love to be there

About to go berserk

He doesn’t have gloves

He doesn’t have masks

He doesn’t have toilet paper 

Although he asks

He uses Quarantine

Quarantine

Quarantine

 

Hello, Goodbye

Word Art 17

So, I was talking to 2019:

She said, “Goodbye”

I said, “High.”

She said, “Low.”

“But, these are my goals for 2020,”  I told her. “If not high, at least higher. In three categories: books read, miles hiked, blog posts written. So, 2019, let’s take a look and you’ll see what I mean.”

“With you, I read or listened to 43 books. That averages 3 1/2 a month. With you, I hiked 132 miles. That’s an average of only 2 1/2 a week. With you, I wrote 67 blog posts. That’s about 5 1/2 a month.”

She said, “Why?” And I said, “I don’t know” 

She said, “Stop”.

I said,  “Okay. I’m done with you. Finished. You are kaput!”

So, I talked to 2020 for a bit.

“Hey, 2020!” I said,  “Hello, hello, hello.”

I said, “Go, go, go.” At first she misunderstood me.  

“No, no, don’t go away. I mean go WITH me. We’ve got some goals to take care of to beat 2019. We need to read at least four books a month. And hike at least 3 miles a week.  And write at least six posts a month.” 

2020 said, “Yes.”

 

Tell the Truth

Word Art 14

TAB

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”- Chief Joseph, Nex Perce, from  The Wisdom of Native Americans, compiled by Kent Nerburn

 

So I have listened to The Avett Brothers new album Closer Than Together over and over, and my favorite song keeps changing. Tell the Truth has been a fav for a few weeks. I feel like there is a message in it for me. So I keep listening.

“I wanna make amends, but where do I start?
Tell the truth to yourself
And the rest will fall in place” 

“The Scott Avett-penned Tell the Truth, is a song about, ‘Well, where do I start? How do I start to change things?'” he muses. “The only thing I can do is with me.” –The Boot
“It’s one of these songs where one phrase is like the thesis statement. I think it’s a powerful concept that if you will just tell the truth to yourself, the rest will fall in place.” –Paste Magazine

 

 

Thanks for the Memories

Word Art 74

So, the Avett Brothers concert last night was great!  I’ll write more about it later. They played a song that I wasn’t real familiar with: Distraction #74.  There was a verse  that took me back to my freshman year of college.

So give me a try at describing just how difficult it is.
When you kinda love two girls to figure out which one you miss.
Stumble away from your stairway with your perfume on my clothes.
Well I kinda loved two girls but now I’ve kinda lost ’em both.

This could have been sung by Jack, though he didn’t really love me. He came to school on the heels of his high school girlfriend, Kathy. But, she was having none of it. Kathy and I lived in the same dorm, same floor, and were familiar with each other.

So, Jack and I met and started dating. His fraternity “Big Brother” and my sorority “Big Sister” were engaged, and that threw us together even more. By and by he and Kathy began dating again, also. Around Valentine’s Day he had the bright idea to send us both flowers. On the same day. To the same dorm. The girls at the front desk figured out what was going on and called us both down to get our flowers. Instead of the expected cat fight, we talked it out, decided he was an idiot, and we became friends. Jack did not like that one bit!

The following year (1978) I got married and Kathy was there to help serve the cake and punch. The last time I saw her was in 1985. I would love to find her now. I haven’t seen Jack since I left school in 1978. All that hilarious drama came flooding back last night when I heard that song.

Thanks, TAB.  🙂

 

Avetts in October #22: Brothers

 

 

Katherine Paterson is another one of my favorite children’s authors. Many of you may be familiar with her book, Bridge to Terabithia, which has been made into a movie. Twice. Two others that are also wonderful are The Great Gilly Hopkins (also a movie) and Jip, His Story.

 

“…among  children who grow up together in a family there run depths of feeling that will permeate their souls for both good and ill as long as they live.”  – The Invisible Child- On Reading and Writing Books for Children by Katherine Paterson

One of the first TAB songs I ever heard was Murder in the City. It’s still one of my favorites.

 

“I wonder which brother is better

Which one our parents loved the most

I sure did get in lots of trouble

They seemed to let the other go

A tear fell from my father’s eyes

I wondered what my dad would say

He said, “I love you and I’m proud of you both

In so many different ways”

 

 

 

Avetts in October #21: A Sock Without a Boot

 

“And Tiller? Without you, I’m just a sock without a boot” – Sairy from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is one of my very favorite children’s authors. Her books are full of endearing characters and heartwarming stories. Just like The Avett Brothers’ Songs.

Sairy’s words to her husband, Tiller, remind me of these lyrics from I Wish I Was.

 

I’m not a song

I am not a sweater

I’m not a fire

I am something better

I’m a man in love writing you a letter

Will you take it

Will you keep it

Will you read it

Believe it

I love you

I’m sorry

 

I love watching the thought process as the song is put together. As a poet I can so relate to this.

 

Avetts in October #19: Winter In My Heart

IMG_6679

Asheville, 2009

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I’ve been writing  a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

I’d tell myself to stop judging others. And then thirty seconds later, I’d do it again. This, I realized, is why I don’t like going to crowded parks. It’s not just that I don’t like all the other people. I don’t like the person I become.  – Lassoing the Sun – Mark Woods

I think there are times for many of us that we don’t care for the person we’ve become. There can be many reasons, such as  grief, loneliness, stress, or other reasons, that cause us to act like someone that we wouldn’t want to be friends with.  In Winter In My Heart, I feel the sadness and helplessness. I’ve been there. And the line, “I don’t know what the reasons are” is gripping. But, winter is a season, though it can sometimes a long one.

 

It must be winter in my heart

There’s nothing warm in there at all

I missed the summer and the spring

The floating yellow leaves of fall

 

 

Avetts in October #17: Loss of a Dream

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I am writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

 

“Until I can mourn the loss of a dream I cannot be comforted enough to have vision for a fresh one.”  from The Irrational Season (1977)  by Madeleine L’Engle

 

There have been so many times over the years that things just didn’t turn out like I thought they would. But I’m a better woman for having gone through it.

 

I remember crying over you,

and I don’t mean like a couple of tears and I’m blue.

I’m talking about collapsing and screaming at the moon,

but I’m a better man for having gone through it.

Yes, I’m a better man for having gone through.