Monthly Archives: January 2014

Never quite so sure…

Acrylic. Something small.

For the next nine Mondays I’ll be continuing with the NAMI Peer-to-Peer class I signed up for a month ago. The first class was just an introduction. There are lots of other people and I hope to make at least one friend, but whatever happens I look forward to whatever information we’ll be given. Relapse prevention is what I’m most interested in learning about. As we’ve been told, I’ll take what I need from the course and go on my way. It’s free so there is no loss.

I also had two interviews this week. Both were a bust, but I had to go since it’s been several months since my last interview. I cancelled the voice lesson this week because of them, but will try to pick it up next Friday and see how I feel…Today was nice though. Several new little songs. Nothing makes me feel as alive as when I’m singing at my piano. That might be a small thing to live for, but it’s enough for now.

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To mind the violent waves.

A watercolor portrait.

I wrote this poem with thoughts of a discussion in therapy having to do with identity. With the amount of reading I was doing before and after at that time,I needed some way to spill and this song was the result. This recording suffers for my lack of practice singing and playing with acoustic guitar. But I’ll probably go back one day and perfect what I can.


The Disturbance

Not the life I was meant to live…
It is pain to ask that I
Keep my patience –
To mind the violent waves
Thrown about by the storm within.

Enraged as I am told against
Such ungratefulness.
Why not fill me again?
With familiar desperations
Where hope becomes guilt by the
Will of my self-hatred –
How you kill me, again and again…

No one here will have me.
World, I will never please.
Love should not have to be won.
Hope I’ll neither believe nor want
When still so without what I need.

I had my second voice lesson today and reached a note I couldn’t believe I was able to. As pointless and place-less as I am in this world and lonely I’ve been left, some things can still ease these hurts and make me feel grateful I still breathe.

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Yes, I did it!

I just got back from having my first voice lesson ;)

The instructor was awesome and after I got through an awkward few seconds stumbling for an explanation of why I was there (and that old “tell me about yourself” thing) I finally explained how I wanted to gain confidence with singing in front of others/develop my performance. She later commented on how clenched in my voice and stance seemed at the very start and how much stronger I’d become during the practice she led me through.

I had to say it was all nerves. I was surprised with her reassurance she wasn’t there to judge when I stopped as I thought my vocal range was nearing its limit, scared to crack or screech…lol With her instruction in breath support though, I went far above my usual range and could not believe how well she said I was doing.

The fact that I have a lower female voice allowed her to share with me some songs she’d been waiting for the right sort of voice to teach with (most of her students are of a higher range). I now have a few pieces and artists songs to research, Ella Fitzgerald particularly, and next lesson we’ll pick up from where we left off if I decide to continue.

Over all the most important thing I’ve taken away from this first lesson is how much I’ve needed to hear and see from another an excitement that is shared about something I do. Actually being present with someone else as they listen- seeing how they feel and not just blindly hoping they were moved somehow. Actually, just this very thing is surprising…how much it indeed matters others are moved. As much as were aren’t supposed to allow our emotions to run our lives, for me there is no life without them.

So anyway, I will be going back in the next week or two- depending on my funds. It’s another sort of therapy for me to work with this instructor. Just the extra help I need to get over myself and out of my head.

Below is a song I wrote again about my therapist (I know it’s probably weird for how many songs he and our discussions are the topic of, but I just find them interesting for the changes I’ve seen with this kind of relationship) It’s titled “In Need”. The recorded demo here is not well practiced, but the best of my ideas for it:

In Need

If you let me know more
I will begin to see.
I’ll be taken away;
I will begin to dream.

Desperate to distance myself from this grief,
We know I won’t get what I want,
But I will always take what I need.

And your good soul has been waiting.
Your good soul says I’m worth saving…
You lift me up, over and through,
Never mind my unwillingness to move.

Never mind I’ve been using you to choose
What to do…what to do…what to do.
Nothing of myself is true –

Never mind what to do.
We know I won’t get what I want,
But I will always take what I need.

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Of What Will Be

Below here is the first song I wrote in collaboration with someone. I post new songs every now and then on craigslist with an offer to work with other musicians if a good match comes along. A singer named Dennise (her music and profile: http://www.reverbnation.com/dennisenicholedittman ) responded with a request to record some of my songs along with help writing lyrics. She told me about a family hardship she experienced where her father was diagnosed with cancer and how devastated and scared she was at the time the news was shared. I agreed to write lyrics using the lines she wrote in a draft. A month later I sent her the results which she appeared to be happy with, since the last we spoke.

I was very nervous about attempting to create a song from someone else’s experience, but I ended up really appreciating the challenge. I was able to put myself in her shoes and try to relate those feelings. I originally wrote a full poem then stripped the lines down for lyrics. The first recording was around 7 munutes long and I managed to scale that down to 6:30…lol The longest piece I’ve ever taken time with, but some ideas I didn’t want to cut corners with. Anyway…

Full Song:


Many tears I’ve shed
And now a sense of numb comes over me.
I’m so scared of what will be.
All that I’ve ever been afraid of is coming true.
And as I sit just across from your bed —
As we listen and the awful news is read —
I cannot reach you.
For what has fallen, I cannot break through.

Inside I scream.
A lifetime of memories,
But I need more time…
I am not ready to say goodbye.

The days go on and I don’t know anymore how to be.
And such grief there is, such grief there is…
How do I reach you now?
I cannot bear to let you down.

Show me the way of return
To a time and place I have prayed to see you
Whole once again, in the light of His love.
At peace once again
In our freedom.

How do I reach you now?
I cannot bear to let you down.

I look forward to another opportunity like this one day…

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Within the High.

A random acrylic painting as a break from water coloring. Now complete, the look of this painting overall reminds me of the “runner’s high” feeling every time I do long workouts on my bike. Not caring so much that I could be injuring my muscles/joints, the sense of well-being is hard to let go from so easily.

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The Effort

A few more of the Chicago photos.

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I have so many new songs I’d like to share. But I’m fully wishing I could kill that desire–to share–because it’s a constant reminder of a need that will never be fully met, or even close. Not to just have something to connect with others, but to be worth something to them as well. I’m only reminded that my own efforts are rarely unmarked by disappointment for what it’s failed to do and where I’ve fallen short.

I need to return to a reason that truly belongs to me and start to believe in that again. The art, the songs I sing to myself and any little thing created…If I didn’t take part, I wouldn’t be here at all. And with that I guess I understand how important it really is to me still–being here at all.

 

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Find your way away.

A recent song. Something I wrote in response to my therapist after a difficult session.

Years In

Wait a moment.
Ease away from him.
Open your eyes and find
Your way away from him…

Yes – I am angry.
Full of rage and fault.
Yes – I’ve been lying.
You are trying. I am not.

I forget why it is I’m here.
Years in and my purpose
Has yet to be made clear.
I tell you all,
My dying day is near.

As driven as the rain pours down.
And once there and found,
Might my spirit be kept sealed?
Be sound…

I had a quiet but enjoyable New Years Eve. I called in last night for today’s shift after I’d noticed a break out of a rash showing up again (likely stress related) and decided to take a break. Four hours will not make or break me financially–I’m only staying at my job because it gives me a cover for what I’m doing with my time and I hope 2014 leads to a better place.

Anyway, I’ve been coping with loneliness. Falling back into difficult habits and a little uncertain now. I plan to sign up for a peer to peer program sponsored by NAMI that will begin this month near where I live. It is a ten week course covering topics of mental illness, recovery and relapse prevention. It’s free and I just hope it may ease the isolation. I need something…New people, a new way to share and be heard I think.

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