Friday, July 30, 2010

in the den of lions. [thieves & salesmen]

It’s these moments where I’m most convinced I may be crazy. Where you’re uncomfortable in your own skin and there’s not another to put on. These moments when you realize you are not in control… and even the things in your body you should be able to control, decide to lapse and prove you wrong. The progress falters and becomes a dormant place. There is a thief who stole my joy. I took it back from him, and just while I was singing in it, he crept up unaware behind... his footsteps not heard for the handclaps and shouts and songs. Like a London pickpocket that is so quick and skilled with his hands, the CCTV is unable to detect his movements. A ghost crook. And his shadow has blocked out the sun… yet it’s hotter than ever. There’s an itch I cannot scratch. And I'm evermore aware of myself. I am given a mirror. It's distorted. I know this, but I can't help but look... and I want to hide. Remorse for every mistake, misstep, mishap, every miss is now your cloak, but hiding isn't possible. There is guilt for everything for the past, for the food you ate the night before, for the conversation you had with this person, for the message you received, for everything you did and didn’t have anything to do with. And where there was peace there is now worry. It comes in waves, each one a little more violent than the last. Every wrong is illuminated and made to look larger against this spotlight. Every flaw exacerbated. Grace is turned down and Judgment blares in my ear buds. Just a moment ago, I was reveling in the wide open space of freedom… and now, I am grasping frantically for control. I am too tired to fight it. My exhaustion the foothold and I am paralyzed by fear. My insecurities blown out of proportion until they become the essence of my being. And all I want is to make these things disappear. They block the view of everything. This is how the panic attacks begin. This is how it all creeps in. Like the door flies open and the lions I’ve starved start walking in. The corpses resurrected. They are foaming at the mouth, roaring. I am hunted. I am naked and ashamed and afraid.
Heart beats louder. Eyes fly shut. Crescendo bottoms out into silence.
Only one voice left and it whispers,

“Who told you that you were naked?”

The lions’ mouths shut. Chaos is overwhelmed.
They are sent away.
It’s just you and me here now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

let them bake cakes! [cocoa box]

dearest london friends,
when i return to your fair shores in september, this is where we shall be going:
the cocoa box.
while we are there, we shall be making treats like the ones seen here:


tempted? good. save your pounds and mark your calendars, because this is going to happen.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

we have signal.

Doing something extraordinary should never make complete sense to everyone in your life.
-
John Acuff

once upon a time, namely this morning, i stumbled across my friend Arley's friend MeLissa's blog. did you follow that? good. on it, there was the above quote, along with a lot of other ridiculously encouraging things. this morning, i needed some courage.

there are a lot of changes about to take place in my world... actually a lot of things are in the process of changing right now. funny, the plan was to move home and get out of debt, and that hasn't really happened. my finances are more organized, but the debt is still a mountain looming... and all the extra money has gone to chipping away at that mountain and to flights and recording and photoshoots and things of that nature. essentially to my music career. my plan was to be with my family and get built back up. lord. if i'd have had any idea what the last couple of years were going to be like... i would've thought you were reading me a cwtv drama script. what happened was the death of so many things... a refining... a time where a newness came to the relational dynamics of my family. what came was a time of grief that was unspeakable... and random adventures in music and in london that i am still glowing from. when the go-getter is learning to wait and persevere and be content in all things, you can't forget to keep your eyes on the prize. i think sometimes there has to be a knock at the door... vision has to show up holding hands with wisdom. and usually they'll hug you and give you some cabin fever. just to remind you not to get too comfortable in the waiting. maybe it's just to remind you of the need to find rest in the tension.

i've known for some time that i wanted to call nashville home on this side of the atlantic. i am still madly in love with london and i will run to her arms whenever she calls my name. coming home to virginia was necessary. absolutely vital. but it's time to pack up and create a home of my own. it's time to think outside of the box and get incredibly creative with this vision. it's time to give this one last run. everything has been dormant and sleeping and dying. i've been screaming and yelling at nature trying to stop winter from happening. i finally just laid my head down and went to sleep like a good little bear and let everything go. but i've just been stirred from my bed and the resurrection of spring is in the air. thing is, you don't wake up one morning and see the fullness of spring. growth is a gradual thing. you've got to see the spring before it arrives... and trust that the seeds are breaking beneath the soil.
and so i've taken weeks to think and reflect and discuss and pray and ponder and wish and resolve...
basically, it's time to get ready to go.
it's hard to do that. stepping back out into the unknown, on your own... away from family.
i am very much 2 people inside. i am a girl with massive dreams and goals... with an adventurous heart. i'm also a girl with very deep roots who just wants to be home.
i'm very very excited.
i am very afraid.
oh and just because it's time to start moving, doesn't mean i need to pick up my 3D glasses that provide my illusion of control.

and so, in the words of Nelson Mandela:

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

that one they love and i.

We were on first name basis. That one they love and I. That tortured soul began to want me. That troubled heart began to hear my beat. Those weary arms began to weave themselves around me. Carbon copy of Mr. Adams and all of the elite misunderstood.
But in word and deed in principle that darling boy was good.
They work so hard to prove themselves to those who’ll never care. They let alone the ones who will forevermore be there. They shroud themselves in darkness lest the light should overcome their doubts… doubts in themselves. Comparatively speaking, just as good if not better. But the cards and chips have fallen down around the real go-getter, and created mountains calling all they are to overcome. And they sing til they’re undone and curse the place where they are from.
Some just tell good stories about how dark their days have been and dive headlong into trouble so it just sounds interesting. Some of us had demons in our cradles as we slept while heaven sang lullabies to sooth our troubled heads.
He was invited but he heard the words all wrong. So when I said, 'come in', he heard me say ‘get gone'.
We were on a first name basis. That one they love and I. He begged for me, then fled and left me in the angry night.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the coat of my dreams.



burberry prorsum is killing me. again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1: art machine. [or doldrums vs. equatorial calms]

dol·drums [dohl-druhmz, dol-, dawl-]
–noun ( used with a plural verb )
1. a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art:
August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.
2. the doldrums,
a. a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of the equator between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
b. the weather prevailing in this area.
3. a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

Origin:
1795–1805; obs. dold stupid ( see dolt) + -rum ( s ) (pl.)
n. suffix ( see tantrum)
—Synonyms
3. depression, gloom, melancholy, dejection.


oh hello dictionary. could there be a word any more fitting for this season? this neverending season? i exaggerate. there is an end. but, even etymology realises it's stupid. STUPID. storms and stillness. going nowhere, but needing to be somewhere. it's also known for the equatorial calms. this is what happens when perspective steps in.

i need some wind in these sails. i got a loaded ship. perishable items (i.e. music career). mannnnn.
i'm knocking on doors, and no one is answering. i'm seeking and i'm not finding.
i'm doing all that i know to do... and the work of my hands/voice/heart/errrrythang feels like it's failing.
i'm sure as heck not giving up or giving in. but it's beyond frustrating.
especially, when you are just standing against a wall, brimming with excitement, waiting to be picked...and you just keep getting passed over.

patience & perseverance.
wonderful. i'm just frustrated by the lack of breakthrough.
[and now for some lessons in narnia]
i never understood why everyone was so upset about nonstop winter in narnia with the white witch. i mean, she was definitely a mean one - super grinch. ok, more than that. straight evil. but, i was madly in love with snow as a kid. probably because it rarely happened in fredericksburg. (i still am after a couple of proper blizzards) it just clicked, though. winter is magical because of christmastime and all that. (in narnia witchy said no christmas... so that in itself is LAME.) but it needs to happen. a time to rest and go inside and slow down. i heard rob bell once say, that maybe there's something to be learned from nature, when it takes a rest... slows down... just for a season. everything dies, or goes into a coma-like sleep. and in spring, it just bursts forth with a newness. so imagine being stuck in winter. stuck in a season of sleep, but without the sugarplum fairies dancing in your head and visions of the future. no end to the death... no springtime resurrection. that will kill your hope in a big way. it steals your heart. in a word, it sucks.
i've done my very best to embrace this season. but i'm bursting at the seams. it feels frightfully long. and i'm aching for spring.
again, i'm not giving up. i'm not despairing. just frustrated and putting my thoughts in a semi-ordered rant.
making my requests known.
surely this winter will be made into spring & something beyond wonderful will come of all this.

oh and if you know anyone who's got what it takes to captain this musical ship; i'll give them my coordinates.

2: introducing. [post script]

i would like for you to meet my friend jordan. he makes me laugh at least once a day...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

c is for coffee and cats.

my mom, grandma and i blocked all of the possible escape routes and catnapped the kitten that has taken residence in our back yard. i think my grandma was a bit over-prepared, as i believe she had a mission in her head that would play out much like wrangling an unbroken stallion or at least a feisty jack russell terrier. nonetheless, we caught little lemony (as i've so eloquently dubbed it). why lemony you ask? well... simply because it has encountered a series of unfortunate events. you see, little baby lemony has a very large injury on it's left eye. (shoulda named it left eye. no. not happening.) lemony was also trapped for a couple of days under a bunch of things in the neighbour's yard. sigh. nevertheless, lemony has taken shelter in our back yard, and was catnapped for a trip to the vet this morning. i also managed to pamper the kitten by lacing it's kitty food with premium tuna annnd brita water, and we lined the bed with part of my grandma's old night gown. commmmfy. also! a kitty litter. smart little lemony is well aware of how to use it already. i only stopped short of letting it sleep in my bed. which, after a flea dip and a good scrub down and clean bill of health, i will probably allow... if it promises not to shred my blanket. yes.

since when did i like kittens again? it does make sense, considering my first pet was a cat. and she was wild... her mom would scratch your eyes out if you thought about getting near her. angel was less nutso, but she did her thing. and being carried and cuddled would not happen quite as easily. so, you know when people cuddle their cats and things? i've never understood that. love bites were frequent. and i tried to be respectful of her ways from the day i was born, except that one time when i tried to walk her, because i wanted a dog so bad... and the time i pulled her tail out of utter mischief. she bit me in response. and that was not loving. and i laughed and deserved it... felt a tinge of guilt and never did it again. i loved her like mad. but i am really a dog person. til now.

much like i'm a coffee & cream person. til now.
in fact, i love my daily starbucks latte. but gotta save that cash. so i got some yummy stuff from frothy monkey when last in nashville, and it's french press. black. with a little sugar.
i ask you now, friends. WHAT HAVE I BECOME?

Monday, July 19, 2010

greetings from weirdland.

  • a woman quite literally screamed at me on the phone. i remained calm, attempted to help as much as i could and then hung up on her, as instructed by the powers that be.
  • i received the strangest text.
  • i was almost scammed by a fraud on craigslist.
  • was subject to the relentless nature of 'the salesperson' personified. she wouldn't listen, she just kept tallllllllllllllllllllking.
  • relieved, i went on my lunch break, only to be honked at by guys in a car with blacked out windows. at which point, they stopped and began driving slowly next to me as i walked down the street.
  • i have discovered there is a sign on my forehead that says, i love creepy attention. this is the way to my heart. if anyone knows how to get invisible tattoos removed, i'd be appreciative of the help.
  • someone things i'm being skeptical of them. but i'm not. just because i'm not the uber lovebear dropping honeypies, baby's and sweetypants everywhere... (baby, maybe. the rest, not so much. lovebear, i say now.)... doesn't mean i'm skeptical of you.
  • having said that, i'm finding myself being far more affectionate again. hopefully the sweetheart is coming back with a vengeance, albeit an edge of dry wit maybe? lord. i've no time or energy to figure myself out. i'll let someone else do that & let it be. :)

goodnight. oh wait! it's 2 in the afternoon! craaaaap.
p.s. i'm mostly laughing because it's just the silliest day ever.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

cheer up sleepy jean, oh what can it mean?

I saw them in my dreams last night:
First you. Familiar face that stood for someone else. Tall, dark and gorgeous as per usual. I was the one you wanted. However, my defences were up. I wouldn’t give in. I couldn’t look you in the eye, and I don’t really know why. You were in such a hurry to announce to everyone that I was your girl. Believe me, everything wanted you to. It’s something that would make me giddy. Trumpets blown from the rooftops and romantic declarations and adventurous invitations. But my trust was cracked, and I wouldn’t believe you loved me. (In waking state this is so very something I’d do.) I wish I understood who you are. I wish I didn’t make you angry… no not angry… frustrated with my resistance. Because if this place in which I stand were a cliff inviting me to jump to the waters below, you’re the only one I’d jump for.

Then you showed up. There was a baby there too. I’ve seen her before, actually. She’s always the most beautiful girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. Every time she shows up and I try to explain her, I end up teary… and at a loss for words for expression of the depth of my love for her. I dote upon her in my sleep. I don’t even know her name. and back to you… wanting to come back to me. I’d hear nothing of it. But you’d recite my dreams and desires. Every time you have this way of making me overlook all I shouldn’t. Forgive and forget what’s already forgiven. But the keys to my heart, I cannot give you. will not give you. stop asking. The answer won’t change.

I wake up and this same old ghost is trying to scare me. And mostly you aren’t afraid anymore. But sometimes, when you least expect it, it speaks and you start listening. And you have to remember it’s just lying again.

My life feels a bit like a rubix cube. It’s not a frantic thing, it’s just you keep moving the pieces. Just looking at it. And thinking, maybe if I shift this? And you do, and it’s just about right, only to turn it over and see it’s all wrong. And you want to put it back on the shelf. But you really can’t. Like Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop. Or Lays – can’t eat just one.
This is probably because they, along with the rubix cube are laced with crack.

It should feel like an adventure. Instead, it’s an easter egg hunt with hidden eggs and the eggs are invisible.

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to Godspeed you! Black Emperor.
Aaaand I’m kind of unable to stop.
Thanks, Gareth. xxxxxxxxxx



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

watching and waiting.

i feel like the muppets in treasure island when they get cabin fever.
doldrums are not fun.
because you can make all the plans you want, but if the wind blows in another direction, welp... there's that.

meanwhile. working & writing. sketching plans. making friends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"i'm not getting old; i'm getting new." - elliott worley, age 2

songs in the night. [lost count of days and pages]


[photo: barbara vidal]

Ran inside a burnt orange field
Just to get from behind the wheel
Tell me the time and place
Sing hallelujah in the face of disgrace
I took the thief by the hand
And said you’re gonna give me back my land
Cos underneath your disguise
We’re the same blood I can see in your eyes

Let it carry us away
Carry us away, my love
Fling wide all of these gates
Carry us away, my love

Something good is gonna come
Swing low and let the sorrow be done
Tell me the time and the place
Sing hallelujah in the face of disgrace
Thrown inside a prison cell
Oh our bodies they weren’t feeling so well
But we are still the dangerous kind
Makin bright songs in the dead of the night

Let it carry us away
Carry us away, my love
Fling wide all of these gates and
Carry us away, my love

Monday, July 12, 2010

where do we go now?


i think it's times like these when it would be nice to sit down in a comfy chair with a dad... just lay all the cards on the table and see what he has to say about things.
i want to make nashville home on this side of the atlantic.
but i am incapable of ignoring the constant heart swell dragging me back to london.
do i stay in virginia a bit longer?
or take a nanny position and get myself to nashville super soon?
do i get a 2nd job here to get myself out of debt faster/get to london more frequently?
i am only certain about the fact that i cannot keep living like this for very long. no friends. dull job. i just simply cannot. but what to do next?
if only i could inherit just a little bit of money. sign a publishing deal? something.
that would be ever so helpful in all of this.
any ideas?

Friday, July 9, 2010

kisses for your pockets.

photos from the trip are up on the bookface.

painted nails and beautiful losers


it seems i am finally growing up. i have painted my nails on my own and somehow managed for them not to look so bad! excellent.

i would like to say that i'm a massive fan of the english summertime. it's like warm spring in virginia. toasty, sunny days made for long walks and lounging in the park and exploration. as soon as the sun goes down, there comes a perfect chill... to remind you that winter has only fallen asleep.

i knew this trip would be short, but i never anticipate how much will be begging to be done while i'm there... so many people you want to see and spend facetime with. so many places to go. and you make new friends and mean to reconnect before leaving... but there's only so much time in a day. kind of sad, but i'd much rather revel in the knowledge that i have wonderful wonderful people in my life. and that i can't wait to get back to them.

on one particular evening of the trip, i had this moment while walking 'home'... this wave of clarity... and got some perspective... the blurriness got really sharp. want collided with the need.
i needed that moment.
doesn't mean you've got every detail sorted. and you know what? it's really best when you don't. the rest will be sorted out on the way. it would steal the adventure of it all, otherwise.
there's peace in the tension. and a clearer vision of this path i'm on. and though it is the one less travelled... it will be made straight.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

postcard [wish you were here]

my birthday was wonderful. absolutely wonderful.
in all of my life there has never been such a cool (as in temperature) 2nd of july. it felt like autumn. after sleepless nights in the heat, i opened my window and slept in a chill under my thick down comforter.
little things.
after a morning at the spa getting an amazing massage and then an amaaaaaaazing lunch with the family complete with a dessert at coldstone... i raced home and started the manic scrambling of packing last minute things.
and here i am in londontown. one sleepy sleepy little girl. just about as sleepy as camden looks at this time of the morning. sleepy, due to a fullllll flight and trying to put the seat back and sleep is always the most impossible of tasks.
i have noticed something about myself... i get motion sickness lately. i'm not sure when this started, but it makes me nuts.
nevertheless, i am here and just finished reading sweet birthday messages. all is well.
plan?
breakfast.
phone purchase.
nap.
then climb out of bed and make plans for the celebrations to begin...
and i've got a new canon camera to document my travels, if i'll only be disciplined enough to use it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

you pull the strings and i'm in the clouds.

love will not keep us away.

(ara133photography)

t - 24 hours until birthday celebrations begin.
meanwhile...
i am writing songs like i'm in love.
and i cannot stop listening to canon blue.