Sometimes when I am painting, I get discouraged and think what I am doing is trash. Sometimes it probably looks like it. At times like this, I want to stop painting. However, I remember someone I once knew who is no longer living. I think about how he ended his life. I know his singing, music and talking is missed to many people. He was an artist too.
I regret the world will not hear his voice and the tender words he had to say again in this lifetime. This deep, sad song. This deep, sad man. He dedicated this song to me many years ago. I pray we will walk in fields of gold in Heaven someday. Instead as a brother and sister this time. I will remember him always- his deep, expressive ways- until we walk those fields of gold.
When life feels too hard and who I am doesn't seem very great or worthy, I remember him. I remember his gifts and talents. I know somehow, he would want me to keep going, doing art and living.
Today I did not have much energy. I didn't really want to do or be with anyone and I wasn't sure why. I tried to sleep after guests had left and the rest of the family was doing their own thing, but I could not shake or pray this feeling away.
So sometimes when I feel like this, I listen to music. Actually, everyday I listen to a lot of music, no matter what mood I am in. l love music. But this was intentional, as a specific song came to mind- "The Water is Wide". I listened to probably 10 different versions and artists doing this song, but I am downloading this one in honor of some precious relationships I have lost. Who I love, and who I think once loved me. It is done by two Norwegian artists. It may not be the best version, but it is for them and the whole other side I have lost.
As I played the many versions, I cried and cried. My son, who is sweet and kind, said, "Mom, you have your sound bar...". Of course he hooked it up for me when I asked, as I was bawling and unable to move. Music sounds so much better this way instead of through my computer. My intuitive son understood my crying wasn't something he had caused or needed to fix. It was the only cry I think he has seen me cry this deep and hard in a very long time. For me, it had been almost a year ago, since I drove out in the country to cry this hard. I didn't know today, I needed to cry. I didn't know this was what was pulling me down and bottled up inside. But I guess it was. And music is another way I can express myself without using my words- like my art. I paint my feelings instead of putting them to words, sometimes.
I cried for a deep loss. My greatest loss and sadness so far in this life. I am grateful today for music - it's deep healing power to move and touch me. I am grateful on this Sabbath, as I sit in our old, comfortable, familiar recliner, for this healing art.
If you need to cry about something in your life too, I hope you can. You can close your eyes and sing along. It is a tender way to grieve. I am sure you already know this...
Years ago I met a funny man who could sing so very well. He sang so deep and with all his soul and heart. I sing with all my heart too, but singing was his true gift. He was meant to do it and I liked to listen when he sang. When he played his music liked to jump and dance around the house. He wrote songs. It was his thing to do. It was inspiring!
I felt very creative around him when he did his singing, music, writing thing. It was contagious. I would get out my paper and paint on his living room floor. Later it became my floor too...
Hearing this old song again today, I cried. Then I laughed and laughed. Deep healing laughter. This is how I remember those creative, artistic days. Singing, laughing and dancing. Someday I want to sing this funny old song with that funny old man and jump and dance around the place again.
When you sing, I cry. Good tears. Tears of joy and emotion. I am inspired! I draw and paint. You dance. I sing. I feel whole inside. When you laugh, I jump all around the place... This is how the Mockingbird song really is to me.
When I was little I use to envy the kids who had nice houses and cars. We lived off and on with my grandparents in Canada, and I longed for my own bedroom instead of sleeping on a mattress on the floor in their living room. We rarely had kids over, but when we did, I cringed when they would ask to see my bedroom. I would take them to a small bedroom which my parents used, which also had the washer and dryer in it. I would cover the appliances with large towels, hoping to conceal them, but looking back, I am sure they knew.
I prayed God would help my parents get a house. I wanted a place to play with my sisters during the long winters indoors. The summer and fall were good seasons we could spend in the garden and in the pastures beside my grandparent's house, but the winters were long, even with many hours to ice skate, sled, and play in the snow. God didn't seem to give me what I wanted. I wondered why He wouldn't. It seemed like something reasonable and normal to pray for and want.
During those cramped, hard years, I drew a lot. I also day-dreamed a lot and I became creative. I am so grateful the time I had with my grandparents who spoke German and shared their generosity in the form of plenty of rich homemade food and affection. I also liked living in the country where things smelled good and fresh, and where it was quiet.
I can look back now and see the answers God gave to me without imposing His will upon my parents and their choices. He gave me my grandparents, our heritage, country life, creativity, art and my imagination. These are the best gifts and answers to prayers.
I'm getting ready to head out on a walk this morning with our dog Cisco before it gets too hot. I meant to be on the road already, but it is nice sitting in my recliner reading, drawing, praying and writing. I like early mornings as they are quiet, peaceful and have a sacred feeling. I feel closest to God then too.
But now its time to walk.
I'm thinking where I would like to walk today, considering it is hot and I have walked this part of town so many times, and I don't really feel inspired to head in any certain direction.
I am looking at the clock and I am diddling around.
Looking at this pretty and bright photo I took a couple of weeks ago on a walk, I know if I just get my shoes on and start walking I will head in some direction and there will be something delightful and special to see. Like these happy flowers I was surprised to find planted near the sidewalk.
I think life is like this often for me. I think and pray and plan, but sometimes, no real strong impression stirs me, so I am tempted to just wait for a strong nudge and conviction. I wait and wait and wait. However, like today, as I am sitting here wondering where to go, and getting no real urge, I have to get up and just start walking in any possible direction and God will redirect me, and guide me down the path He most wants for me. He will lead me where it is best for my family, our good, a good change in me and character growth.
He just asks I surrender to Him so He can lead me where I need to go. He will teach me, and never leave me.
I have walked down this road at least a thousand times or more over the past 23 years. I have often gotten tired of it's familiar, expected sights and sounds many times. I then skip this road for a few weeks or so, as I dread the boredom of retracing the same path again and again. I will want a new path. I want new sights to see.
However, there is a comforting, restful feeling I get when walking down this road. I know where I am. I am almost home. I know what there is to expect. I can walk this road, day or night, and I am pretty sure I am safe. I think I could call for help and I would be helped. I wouldn't be lost. On this road I could be found. It is shady in the summer heat. It is protected from cold winter winds. The heavy branches over the sidewalk keep me dry when it is raining. These are nice things I know I can count on when I head down this road.
It is a road I pray on while I walk alone or with my dog. I have cried, sworn, and fretted here many, many times. I have had great dreams here. My step has hurried home with good news to share with family that I love, to the next part of my day to continue, and to someone to hug me back.
I have walked hand in hand with my boys, when they were still small. I have spent countless hours pushing one in the stroller, while packing the other one on my chest and our dog on a leash on the other hand. Many sweet outings with my sons. We have all walked down this road. This is a special place.
I lost someone near this road. I wished, after that horrible moment, that I had never come to the place near here. I deeply regretted and lamented all the pain I could have spared my family and myself had I not come here. I wept sorrow and heartache. Even though this old road was silent, this great loss was loud and true. It was the most bitter part of my wanderings through this life. Part of the road I wished never existed. But also the best parts of my life, I would never want to have missed.
Today, I am headed out on a new road to run. I will let this tender road rest from me today. Maybe tonight, when the town is slow and quiet, I will make my way down this road, and thank God. He met me here. I will thank God for never leaving me here, and thank him for the good which came out of this road for me.
Jesus, keep walking with me down this road. I can't bear it, so please, will you also take this heavy load?
Jesus said to me, "Come unto me, you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for you soul". Matthew 11.
He also said to me, "...and be content with such things as you have: for I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". Hebrews 13:5
Artist & Storyteller
"The grass fadeth and the flower, but the word of our God shall stand forever." -Isaiah 40:8