Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Can I Get an Amen?

...meaning, respond if you "hear me!" Say something back to me, because I don't want to be out here on my own. I've heard this saying in churches for many years...been on both ends of it, though I was less inclined to ask for an 'amen.' Amen, by the way, simply means: let it be so, or in plain English a confirmation or agreement. From the perspective of a preacher or minister, declaring 'truths' and often in a position to speak in "God's stead," we have to say what sounds like words of condemnation. "Truth" is like a full length, well lit mirror; it's purpose often shines light on all of us. That includes both the parts we like and those we don't. Truth is like that and depending on one's self image, you may not like what you see! But one's personal feelings won't matter when 'truth' hits.

From the perspective of a minister of the Gospel, it's a lonely place. Those words, these 'truths' are as convicting to us as they are to our audience. The issue is, when we are saying it, "are we in this together?" Can we help one another go get renewed, revived and change as the words of conviction indicate we should?

I rarely asked for an amen...mostly felt like I was "up there" alone; as if the audience, when silent, didn't identify with me. But that prevent me from saying what I said. And it didn't change what had to be said. So I said it, regardless.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Liner Notes and Streets and Sanitation

I miss both of them. Back in the day, while the music was great and the album had to be flipped mid-way through to hear the remainder, there was liner notes. I didn't read every line and certainly not every artist's musings, but the music that stirred me, rustled the dusty corners of my soul, those I read line for line. I read the gratitude for ____ _____ appearing on song: "_________." I read how they were inspired and read the list of personnel who helped to bring this project together. Everyone from the sound engineer and studio, to the various musicians who sat in. Details...

Drive nearly any street, in any city these days; take note of the grass and plants growing through cracks in the street. Here in Chicago, we have learned to 'tip' down the street and dodge potholes and resurfaced potholes and streets where no new street work will ever happen! But there was a time in this same city where the running joke was we had two seasons: Winter and Construction season! There was a time when "No Parking" signs were taped to a light pole telling you street cleaning was happening on Tuesday between 10:00 and 2:00. There was a time when streets were not only repaved, but many streets you drive now, you aren't sure if there is one or two lanes! Details...

Life, for all it's simplicity, is full of details. The dash between the year you were born and the year you die, can't possibly capture the time you heard your child playing in their room, mimicking you and your spouse, tone and word-for-word! Even after the 'fact' of the memory fades, your child's 'sense' of you never fades from your mind. Or the time you danced with your first love, kissed for the first time or get the picture. Details

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Plan To...

Call it procrastination, call it fear, call it laziness or name it any number of other things... I can rise each day, go to the gym as if it were my 'religion.' Do the same for a job I say I don't like (felt this way about every level of school, as well); get up, prepare, nearly no conscious thought, just action. But I sit in this room, this studio and...

Lot of work to be done, lot of planning, lot of insights, visions, images flashing across the 'tv' screen of my imagination like completed works. And yet...laundry, errands, "what's going on in the furthermost parts of the world (and what can I really do about it)..." plague my thoughts...


That 'activity' is where dreaming, planning find balance with this world. In my mind, I am the world's greatest communicator; in my mind I don't know a damned thing - I am not heard or felt of known by anyone! My actions, my writing, my creativity can easily fade into the woodwork, the 'ethernet' of billions of nanobytes of conversations and blogs...

But one simple stroke of pastel, pencil, paint laden brush and intangible becomes tangible; unseen become seen an a message immediately understood or words that need a month to sink in...communicated, shared, heard and felt.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fear is Okay

No joke. I've been afraid many, many times. I have "died" a thousand deaths ("a coward dies a thousand deaths")! But then again, I have faced fear a thousand times as well. I have walked up to death, fear and 'failure,' stared 'em down and got my ass handed to me! I have faced 'em down and walked away with victory as well.

I have these 'expectations' of me; these goals. Had them a long time. The ones that are truly mine have reformed, reshaped and yet remained. One of them is this 'writing thing;' the other is my art.

I'm writing this because I just had a moment...I started this 'fun' project a few weeks ago - see the attached picture and didn't realize how 'big' it was. Tonight this was one of those stare down moments. It's easier to walk away than to continue staring at it. But...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Starting Where I Left Off

Posting earlier today, I notice the last post made, in 2015, was of similar emotions: down. I kind of accept that's my 'default.' But life teaches us, even if your default is the standard, always - and I literally mean every second of each day (yes, MUCH easier said than done) we can choose to be and do better!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Stuck in Winter

Hunkered down...

Chicago isn't the place it used to be, but it is 'home.' It seemed normal to me, to us, that winter began in October and ended in May, weather wise. I remember my father and his coworkers 'betting' when the first snowfall would come. I hear from others that are worst winters were nothing compared to say Maine, Minnesota or the Dakotas. Winters of white out condition, where the cold weather started in August and lasted until June...not for me at all.

I have heard people talk about "water tables," mostly a farmer's reference for how much water or moisture was needed to sustain crops through the summer and a dry fall. I don't know anything about that. I know that it seems like winter has lasted a very long time. That time where you spend most of your time in thoughts and feelings that keep you isolated and insulated. Winter came - was it a hundred years ago - and never left. "We" still have to function, we still have provisions to gather, clothes to clean and of course, the ever present 'job' to hold down. We rise early, prepare for long, dark days and go about our daily tasks, hoping (secretly) for at least one moment of laughter. In the back of our heads, we are planning spring plantings and summer barbecues. But that doesn't come soon enough...

Take small steps
Evaluate progress



...winter ends...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time Changes

Where you're sitting now, may very well be your cage. It might the trap, the spring having sprung and secured you until...

Too much time is spent waiting for time to change. Or circumstances. Or our children, or the politicians and our spouses and the weather.

The chimes and alarms have sounded already! When you realize that "something" needs to happen it's time to make it so!