Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[question] number 1.

why am i just seeing this?
clearly i will have to have a word with arran (their wonderful drummer) next week in london about how such delays are pretty unacceptable.
nevertheless... i'm kind of in love with it.

hearts beat loud. [icecream scoops]

Today is my last full day of work. I'm so excited/weirded out/nervous/DISTRACTED.
OK ok. let's begin at the beginning... When I woke up at 4:10 am on Saturday morning to get the last bits of overtime in. Came home and took a couple of catnaps. Had a lunch by the river with blues music that Clive would've loved, hit Starbucks and sang my lungs out on back roads to warm up properly. Warm up for what? you say... Well, I had a going-away show at church, and... I don't have any words. It went so well. It was so much fun...and I am overwhelmed by the extravagant giving of my family and friends and acquaintances in this little town of Fredericksburg. Everyone was so encouraging. As always, I was nervous at first, and then it just fell away... I love when practise makes for a good performance. Made a couple of contacts (in Fredericksburg? I mean, who knew, right?) AND through the sale of cds & donations to support what I'm doing, I can now breathe a little easier about the move in the financial sense... and get the computer I need to keep things moving. :) Afterward, Dan and I went to a place called Firebird for the most surprisingly lovely salad & creme brulee cheesecake. Hello new obsession. That night I was followed around by Motown, which mostly made me think of a certain Nashvillain. This turned into a phone conversation which was highly amusing among other things and because of this, I FINALLY laid my head down around 3:30am. 5 hours later, I was awake, and not cursing anyone or anything, because I was just a happy girl.
Sunday morning, was extra wonderful... can't say why. Just was. My grandma, Dan and I went to brunch at Bravo's. LORD. Crabcakes Eggs Benedict. GLORY. Our server was this older gentleman with some ridiculous energy and the most amazing personality I've encountered in a long time. He happened to be from Nottingham annnd used to be a biker. Do I need to say more? Not really. Had he remembered the phone number of one of his friends, he would've given it to me for my upcoming trip... just in case I needed anything. (i can't even... so sweet.) From there, Dan and I went to Weigmans (another favourite thing that isn't in Nashville. boo.) where I purchased some raw honey for a mask. (thank you Elle UK for the idea. annnd it kiind of is awesome) All the while experiencing a giddy 3rd wind before exhaustion hit me like one of those acme tons in a looney tunes cartoon.
Which brings me to Sunday evening which involved body aches and fever... I kept hallucinating (woke up and swore I saw the cat next to me, but i'm not sure that happened) had the craziest dreams... including one where I was drumming on a table with silverware and kept making this older man angry. I thought it was kind of amusing, though I hated to have someone upset... Needless to say I called out of work yesterday morning (fail.) and slept for about 13 hours. I now feel much better. I managed to book myself a gig in London (lock tavern, sept 9 - 8pm - FREE) and had a chat with Lucy which was very encouraging, indeed. Got a few little things up my sleeve... meetings and whatnot, and let's all petition the heavens for something good to come of it. I think I'm mostly excited that interest is being stirred and that something is moving. I'm also excited about the fact that I took the bull by the horns and got the ball rolling. Whatever happens will happen, but I'll be landing on the fair shores of England on Friday morning... and who KNOWS what will happen. Could be a little. Could be a lot. but it WILL be good.

In just a couple of weeks I'm moving to Nashville... east nasty to be specific, in a really cute little house with my lovely friend Emilia. But more on that later...

Meanwhile, my co-worker Josie is making things difficult, by sending cute cards with snoopy on it! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. and giving hugs. The guy at the bank even got real sober yesterday, at the fact he "wouldn't see my smiling face." I've fallen in love with 2 kids on my street... These little babes climbed up in my car yesterday and proceeded to "drive" us to chuck e cheese. I then let them jump out of the driver seat into my arms where they were swung through the air like superman. I received a round of applause. I'd say my kid magnet is still working... MaryPoppins v. 2.0. My family and friends and everyone is so encouraging, and yet letting me know how sad they are that I'm leaving. This makes it so hard... but it's the nicest hard I'd like to encounter. My heart is swelling. I feel so full. This is good.

p.s - I'll let you in on a secret. i've got butterflies & rosy cheeks too. eeeeeep!

number three. [camilla akrans]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So, with him on my side I'm fearless.

"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You."

time will tell all... but it isn't a fast talker.

patience is usually considered one of the worst words ever made up. but, i have decided, i want more of the stuff. i'm tired of seeing it as a negative... like, oh... you want more patience? you clearly are a glutton for punishment. think the over-zealous monk types who scourge themselves in penance for their sins. bleh.
ok but think about this...

  • you know when you sit down to tell someone a story and they just jump to conclusions throughout the whole thing? it's like they never react to what you're saying, because they are trying to figure out what you could possibly come out with next?
  • or most microwavable foods. so fast. so easy. it's good microwave pizza! om nom nom.
    yeah and what happens when you turn on that oven or go to the italian place with the old school italian wood fire oven... yeah you multiply your wait time by like 20, but how does it taste?
  • or my favourite thing in the world... traffic. you can think about where you need to be whilst fuming about the hecticness of the day you've had... and miss an opportunity to call some people and catch up while having nothing else to do... or get lost in that album you've been meaning to sit down and really listen to.
  • power nap vs. no-place-to-be-saturday-morning sleep in.
  • we get impatient with ourselves when our hearts don't heal fast enough... so we rush into another relationship to get over the last one. only to find out we've probably set ourselves up for heartache bigstyle, because we've forgotten to be intentional with our love rather than reactionary.
  • we're impatient with our bodies and go on crazy fad diets to lose a bunch of weight. and thennn, you gain it back...
  • we're impatient with saving money, so we borrow and have to pay back more than we'd ever imagine...
impatience always carries a pricetag. stress. money. the time of going back to do it again. more pain. just more ridiculousness.

love and patience are impossible to separate, because love is a slow reveal. there is no time lapse footage to see how a flower opens. and in order to get that time lapse footage, someone had to set up the camera and wait... so often, i'm too busy replaying/rehashing and over-analyzing the past while putting myself through mental trauma of worst-case-scenario-ing the future. don't get me wrong, it's smart to look ahead. and it's real smart to look back every so often. but, i have these situations where i'm just about to get excited, and i'm unable to, because i am afraid that the shadows of the past will block out the light. often i'm scared to enjoy good things because i'm afraid it will be taken away.
bottom line is, you don't want to be hurt again, and so you start protecting yourself from that possibility... and love is too bloody dangerous, so we do what C.S. Lewis describes and bury our hearts in an airtight coffin and hide away in hell. Which is SUCH a good time... yeah not so much.
so fearful... you don't get to enjoy much of anything, which is heartbreaking, because every single day is ripe with flavour... waiting for you to savour it.

i was talking to a friend the other day... and she was saying that she just didn't know what to do. and she was so anxious and so fearful. and gosh it made so much sense, because you just want to make everything work out right... and i found these words coming out of my mouth... "don't do anything out of a motivation of fear. chase after peace. if you're talking out of fear then, be silent. if you're being silent out of fear, then speak. and if you don't know the difference, then simply wait."

or in the words of radiohead, "hey man, slow down."
don't be afraid little sheep. psalm 23.
yes.yes.y'all. and we don't stop.

Friday, August 27, 2010

the unbeaten path got my soul so sore. [livid skin]

i thought i was doing so well. i thought i was handling things.

My skin has this way of telling me that I'm not, but that I'm simply internalizing. ANNND the hives are coming on... my skin is all sensitive and it only takes one wave of overwhelming thoughts for it to be unleashed. I was on the brink of tears a couple of times yesterday, but was simply too angry or frustrated to do anything of the sort. So, I called Christopher and laughed til my face hurt instead.
Last night, the old familiar places on my skin started welting up... ever so slightly. sigh. When this happens it's like my body lets me know, ok. This is really getting to you. You can't hold this in anymore. I think what makes things extra frustrating, is that this has been happening since I was a very small girl. My dad would be on his way to pick me up, and My mom would be crying her eyes out in the middle of the floor because she wasn't sure if she'd see me again. Let's just say that he wasn't the nicest man in the world, at that point. I mean, he loved me, but it wouldn't be long before visitation rights didn't exist for him and restraining orders were implemented and jail time would come into play for drug dealing and possession of concealed weapons... I fully grasped how dangerous the night was that I was being carried into, but would say to my fearful mom with full confidence in my two-year old manner of doing things, "Don't worry, Mommy. Angels are watching over me." I would come home from these trips... back into her arms... back to my Grandma and Grandad's house... and just break out into hives. Even then, I was trying so very hard to be strong... trying to remain still and be good... singing out songs of hope when I should be shaking and crying and freaking out. (I'd sing Jesus Loves Me to myself to fall asleep) I would internalize all of these things and there was no place for it to go, but my skin. Except that one time, I absolutely trashed our bedroom. I was 2. I remember how angry I was and I couldn't verbalise it. My mom walked in and saw me and for an instant she was angry, and then she fell to pieces because she just knew, as most mothers do. I've never felt so sorry for almost anything in my life. (Yes, I have one of the most ridiculous vivid memories of early childhood.)

I just really need for all of this to be new. I need all of this to be worked out right. I'm scared of all of the changes. I have a million things to do and I simply cannot do all of this by myself... and I'm tired of trying. I'm frustrated, because I need help and I'm not getting the help I need. I'm weary. But, I won't give up. I won't stop. This is the part of the race where everything in you just wants to fall down and cry... but you clench your teeth and pull it out of the depths of you... I know I can be made strong. But sometimes you just would like a breather where things work out in a display of sun-rise gorgeousness.

This morning, I was driving to work and finished practising some, and decided to turn on The Roots - How I Got Over record. It's funny how the trigger is never the same... but this was the detonator which caused the dam to explode and the tears refused to stop coming... It felt good to release some of it.
So, I'll leave you with this goodness.
Hope everyone has an amazing Friday with record highs of loveliness.

the roots: dear god 2.0

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a song for someone else. [i cannot wait.]

exhibition : sept. 7th - london. redchurch st.

by : danny fox.
i cannot wait.

vogue anticipation.

is it alarming that this is my favourite?
can't help it. it's the bond girl in me...

conventional or avant garde... this woman amazes me every time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

part two. or [hit it home.]

"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and so, he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]."

(photo: bruno dayan - again. and yes. i am obsessed.)
"When you allow love to live life on your behalf, it will threaten and feel dangerous to that part of you that is always trying to preserve yourself. It will always feel dangerous but it is only an illusion. There is no threat to the deepest part of who you are. When our fears become protective and helpful to us, it is easy to become over-identified with the bars. And when the bars are taken away, we might mistake it as taking away our security... when, in fact, it is like opening the gates of a prison and you're being free'd. Shedding fear, opening and allowing love to live life for us is the ultimate liberation." - Shane Hipps

once upon an august 24th... [part 1]

I feel like I kept waking up in the middle of the night:
- I was texting and would start seeing and hearing things (dreaming) and then my phone would vibrate and freak the heck out of me... but I stayed in bed and went back to sleep.
- I woke up to these flashing lights... and ended up singing the song flashing lights via text. However, it wasn't R. Kelly or a remix or fiesta or a rave. It was cops. Live. Without the shaky camera. But I stayed in bed.
- I woke up to the heavens exploding with rain and thunder and lightning. It.was.GORGEOUS. I nearly flew down the stairs to rescue my kitten from the sounds of kitty apocalypse, but it calmed down quickly... and fell asleep again before I could get out of my bed.
- I woke up with a wretched stiff neck. I wonder how we do things like sleep on our necks wrong. So weird. Anyway, I'd like to be doing some yoga... but this time I couldn't stay in bed, I had to go to work.

I'd like to take a moment to say here that 4:15AM hurts to wake up to. Stiff neck or not. It hurts on a regular basis. That is, unless you've been a good girl and gone to bed before 8PM. This is a rarity... and as you may have gathered was not the case last night, as I was conversing with 2 favourites and laughing out loud at 'Eat. Pray. Love'. (So far the book is highly recommended. the film? mmm. not so much.)

My friend, Jack made the world aware that a horror film with komodo dragons hunting people exists. I'd like for everyone to know that this is essentially my worst nightmare come true on the silver screen. Whenever I explain this to most people they look at me incredulously. This is mostly because most people confuse komodo dragons with the pogona or the bearded dragon thing. Nope. Not the same. I'm speaking of the ugly beastly thing that has the deadliest saliva in the world. THIS, my dear friends, is why I can't watch animal planet. Inception happens and then I start dreaming about those massive bodied komono dragons and their gaping mouths of disease chasing me through my home or hiding in my bathtub ready to pounce. Thankfully, I did not wake up in a panic from said re-occurring nightmare of komodo dragons.

It's Tuesday, and I'm finding it increasingly hard to focus on my last week of work. I feel like my brain is roadrunner and I'm the coyote trying to catch it.
If you read the original version of this post, I laid a bunch of cards out on the table... and upon closer inspection, found they spelled out one word: fear. And the reason for this fear was stemmed in self-preservation.
Of course there was the perfect echo to this epiphany by the lovely Melissa. Apparently, we dream the same dreams and our souls are in the same inception. (Yes, this IS the second mention of that film in this post.) It’s kind of fun finishing each others' blogs... one unbeknownst to the other.
I'm not going to work tomorrow. My car and I are going for our respective check ups.

I do still mostly want to go back to bed, though... and sleep on my neck the right way this time.

excuse me, ladies [and gentlemen who know a lady]

As some of you may know, Victoria's Secret is my Tiffany's. The only place I can go for guilt-free shopping. It almost always makes me feel better and dispells any and all traces of the mean reds.
And so, my friends, I have 3 words for you:
Victoria's Secret INCREDIBLE.

they are not exaggerating.
Regular demi is crazy comfy. (seen above) I can't deal with how amazing it is...
The push up? You'll be all. dannnnnng girl, at yourself in the mirror.
It's... just go try it on.

Monday, August 23, 2010

this is causing a hot fuss in my heart.

more than skin and bone, no we're not alone.

"Control is an illusion and ALL things are being made new. "
This is the theme of the year, it seems.
It's unnerving and ever so frightening standing on the edge of the world.
But look again and you'll see it's the whole world spread before you like a silver platter...
Such wonder awaits beyond your wildest dreams and imagination.
You're never alone. You just have to say, "yes."

This is adventure.
This is the way my heart beats.

"...for He has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not! in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax my hold on you.) Assuredly not!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

actually, i prefer raindrops on glass with light glowing behind it.
lemony (my kitten) has cute whiskers... though some are missing. adds to the cute factor, i think.
reading a good book or getting lost in fashion magazines.
yoga. kickboxing. pilates.
and maybe take some dance classes and find a dance floor to put it into practice.
run through the woods listening to foals.
go for a very long swim til i can't feel my arms and legs (wanted to train for the olympics. chose music instead.)
explore my favourite cities and towns with my favourite people.
long conversations over coffee or wine.
laughter til my face hurts.
watching old movies with my mom.
these are a few of my recent cravings and favourite things.

Friday, August 20, 2010

you make beautiful things out of us.

Last year, I was recording a song I’d written called ‘Stay’ at Metropolis Studios in London. I’d played my heart out on this Fazioli piano that was given to the studio by Freddie Mercury. (not gonna lie, it’s one of the yummiest things I’ve played. In case you’d like a visual: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7H6VuHPkeM) I was trying my very best to put into practice all that I’ve ever learned and sing out with as much passion as I'd just played. I was trying to go to ‘that place’ of emotion, which wasn’t hard because the boy for whom the song was written was in the process of vanishing from my world and I could hear my heart cracking in my chest. I was asking him to stay and he was disappearing into his work and stretching himself as thin as possible on as many shoots and projects as possible.
Try as I might, I remember feelings of such frustration at the thin feel of my voice. How empty it felt against the piano, drums, bass, guitars and cello. I will never forget something that John (the producer) said to me when I was recording the vocal takes. I was singing my heart out. I was pushing as hard as I could… and he said something like, “You’re voice is so soft and sweet. It doesn’t get very strong, does it…?” He said it as an observation without any sort of ill-will. I didn’t take offense, but it hit like a slap in the face. I mean sure, there are a few songs of mine that are quite soft and sweet, purposefully. But this is the girl who goes to karaoke nights singing Alicia keys and who gets entire bar tabs comped by the owner in return for belting out Aretha Franklin – Natural Woman. My voice was gone, and I didn’t have any idea why. I was losing myself, nice and slow. The voice that used to be able to pull off most Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey tunes was struggling just to scream to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s in the car. My career did that standstill thing which I’ve been speaking of, which doesn’t help you to run to the piano and start belting out tunes, either.

Just as the sun was going down on this season and it started getting really dark, (It’s been one of those ‘dark nights of the soul’ – truly), I began to sing songs in the night. I don’t need to explain that part, you can simply go back through the last couple of months of blog entries and you’ll retrace my steps. The last couple of months, though, I’ve noticed a change. Along with the slow reveal of love, came a strength creeping back into my voice. I realized, I’d been so crippled by fear that I was actually being silenced by it. Pretty soon, I looked my fear of rejection in the face and announced I was no longer going to be ruled by it. Can you say, audacity? Lord. So, I went into the studio here in town and recorded the last 3 songs. 1 of which, “Outrun” is one of the strongest vocal takes I’ve done in a ridiculously long time. Probably the strongest since ‘Everything’s Not Lost’. I remember well the irony of 'Everything's Not Lost' being so hopeful and joyous and coming from a place that was so...anything and everything but that. It doesn’t even make sense how upbeat and strong it is. It came just after burying a relationship that had just had the life strangled out of it prematurely. It was one of the most lovely beginnings I’ve ever known, and it was snuffed out prematurely. At the time, I wept. I stopped eating. I was a miserable wreck and depression moved in for a little while. I begged for redemption. I begged for resurrection, but nothing changed. So, I just threw myself into an ocean of grace and sang that song out. I also remember the unabashed honesty about that song. I’m still nervous someone will figure out precisely what I’m saying… but they rarely do. However, as time went by, I shook myself from the grip of grace, lost the hope and ran to the arms of other lovers. I let depression move into my house and it sang me lullabies of despair and hopelessness every night. I allowed fear to take control…and it did a good job.
That is until Love came in and saved the day and told fear to get lost.
A Love that said, “I make all things new.”
A Love that announced it was “making a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”
For the record, I’m happy to say there is a bud that seems to have cracked the gravestone over that relationship. I have no idea what will become of it, but something has shifted.
In the meantime, I wrote a new song to that person, and it’s just as honest and bright and joyous and courageous as ever. Last night, I was working out that tune and practicing for the upcoming gigs and showcases and things… and I just let go. I was surprised at the sound of my own voice. I felt all of the songs deeply and sang them out without timidity. And yet, there was an undercurrent of peace… I was able to revisit the heartache and angst without singing it seizing my heart. there was a strength in my voice, a control with all of the emotion that’s usually there. I felt so at ease with the piano and my voice… not one fighting the other… a comfortable flow. Like, I wasn't singing for freedom, I was singing from it.
Something is changing…
I haven’t been this excited about my own music or felt this free artistically in a very long time.
I can’t wait to see what comes of all of this.

the twentieth of august.

Time hangs around my neck
Like a charm
Only for you it’s defenses
Will disarm
And I bowed my head in silence
Begged to hear you still
Or split the earth with violent love
Let us be filled

Quiet down in disarray
Make the shaking hearts feel brave
Winding paths to be made straight
Please don’t let this stay the same

In half an hour this could all
Look wrong again
So heal my eyes and keep the fear
From closing in
You cause life to spring up from
The broken ground
Then let this barren place be
Filled with a new sound

Quiet down in disarray
Make the shaking hearts feel brave
Winding paths to be made straight
Please don’t let this stay the same

Thursday, August 19, 2010

when i wake up [on the other hand]

Do you know this feeling?

It's like...
- hearing a symphony orchestra play a rachmaninov piano concerto (or rework foals spanish sahara)
- that first taste of Crème brûlée after you crack the shell...
- a rich glass of red wine
- seeing a shooting star
- when someone goes out of their way to hold the door for you.
- receiving a handwritten letter from a dear friend
- that feeling when you can't stop smiling with your mouth or your eyes and you can't hide it
- the smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon candles on a chilly autumn night
- when you've had a wretched day and someone wraps their arms around you
- just out of the shower, climbing into clean sheets when you're ever so tired.
- a good book
- a kiss on the forehead

...that's what it's like with him.

once upon a dream. [on one hand.]

As far as I can recall, I have had 2 very vivid dreams that I was getting married. In both dreams, I stood at the altar with this blurry faced man. In the first one, the pastor was saying the vows and then came the 'I do' parts. The man was ever so enchanted and very deliberately and softly with all of the love in the world said, "I do." And I... well, I absolutely panicked. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't feel anything but dread. I absolutely panicked. However, in the first dream, I came to my senses. Kind of like God saying, "Girl... SNAP OUT OF IT" and so, I said yes.
In the second dream, however, the pastor asks if anyone objects... I looked wildly around me to the faces of my closest friends... to my maid of honour holding my bouquet... the whole room fell silent. Once again, I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't feel anything but dread, and a scream was welling up in me like a flood. What felt like hurricane force winds, only came out in a whisper, but it was the hardest hitting whisper I've ever uttered. It could've broken glass in that little chapel. I said, "I can't do this." The man was angry. He was frustrated. He didn't seem heartbroken, just aggrivated. And I was relieved.

I am a romantic tried and true. Because no matter what happens, it will resurface and flood this little heart of mine again and again. So, it probably goes without saying that this last dream seems incredibly out of character for a girl like me. I've started realising though, lately, that the prospect of actually being in a relationship freaks me out. I'm not really sure why though. The moment I begin to pen the first wistful song of romance for some boy who happens to be chasing... is the moment, I flick the turbo charge switch and my finger is on the NOS button. So, unless you're driving the deloreon from Back to the Future, I assure you, I won't be had. Growing up to be a girl version of Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins sounds like the best idea I've ever had! Until I listen to Sinatra or start watching a french film... little romantic starts dancing in my head. Which brings me to the other hand...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

oh, my love swims in the deepest oceans of fear.

I remember I was in a health class, and the teacher was talking about self-esteem. She asked us what we'd like to change about ourselves... and I sat thinking so hard. SO HARD. I was in middle school and these were still the days when my parents words were the weightiest and my family said I was the most beautiful girl in the world. I believed them. So when she asked this question, I said... absolutely beaming with excitment... "Nothing." I am literally about to fall to pieces like a baby recalling this vivid memory, because this woman looked at this 11/12 year old mixed girl sitting in her class with thick glasses, unruly hair, in size 16/18 clothes and couldn't fathom for the life of her that there was nothing I'd like to change. I finally succombed and said I'd maybe like to have a nose more like my mom's instead of my dad's 'flatter' one. That's the most I could come up with. I'd been through a history of difficulties and storms that would probably make for a New York Times Best Seller. And someday I'll tell the stories... I wasn't sheltered from the facts of life, in the sense that I knew what was going on from a very early age. But, I was sheltered from most of the devastating effects and for that, I am eternally grateful to my family and school and friends of family who loved so well to make sure that was possible. That day a seed was planted, because I didn't understand what wasn't to love! haha. Not in a cocky way. I knew what I was good at... wanted to get better at some things, but didn't freak out if I couldn't do something as well as someone else, generally. I just had a really healthy self-image. I was loved deeply. I was loved well, and I flourished.

Since then, things began to change...Words came like a rain... gentle at first and then a storm... of: You'd be beautiful if... you lost weight. You'd be perfect if... you weren't emotional. You should maybe be a bit more... concise. You should wear your hair straight. You should wear it in an afro. You shouldn't wear glasses. One day I dressed up for spirit week in highschool and took off my glasses and let my hair down and a few girls squealed in the bathroom at how lovely I was without those things. So I'd get out my chisel and carve a graven/false image... and I butcher myself in the process and hide behind layers of guise.
So, I lost a lot of weight in highschool. I didn't realize until then that I was eating out of comfort... so my relationship with food changed and so did my body. However, the damage had already been done. What could have been very healthy lifestyle changes, became unhealthy control methods fueled by this fear I wasn't ever going to be beautiful enough. It went on for years and played out in many different ways. I began to loathe the way I was...and punished myself as a result until I saw change. Or to put it a different way, I was unloving to myself (impatient, unkind, envious, proud, self-seeking, rude, kept records of every wrong...) because I am simply myself.

The most ridiculous thing that I can do is to wish to wake up as someone else.

I can't even tell you how much of my life has been spent trying to fashion myself into a new version of me or to hide this existing one. So many of us work so hard to lose ourselves to be accepted by someone or as many other someones as possible. And why, when there is no universal definition of beauty? TLC and Discovery have tried to figure it out and in every program I've seen, when beauty is made out to be a science, it becomes ridiculous and loses the beauty altogether. Why do we try so hard to be exactly like this or that or a mixture of this? ANYTHING but ourselves.

And let's take the endangered species list and all of these efforts to guard and respect and help take care of our planet by being more 'green' for an example. Why is this important? Because it's a tragedy to see parts of creation endangered or becoming extinct... or damaged by our mistakes.
OK. So, if it is a tragedy to see beautiful creatures wiped out, why don't we have the same respect for ourselves - the crown of creation? If we lose respect for life... for our uniqueness... for the beauty that is only mine and yours won't be found in anyone else the same way... is that any less tragic? Because everytime this happens, there is a direct connect with the way I allow myself to be treated by others... (Or to take it a step further, there is a direct connect with the way I treat others) Most often, these are the times I 'stumble' into unhealthy relationships. I create something for someone to love or to spend time with. I work so hard to be everything to everyone I'm relating with and then I get taken advantage of, because really, I'm in some weird worship ritual of yeilding myself to their desire. I am erasing and destroying myself. And afterward we cry and sing along to radiohead with tears streaming down our faces - "For a minute there, I lost myself."

Love casts out ALL fear. Including the one that says we aren't beautiful or we aren't enough. We are. Can't help it. We were made that way. All of creation is beautiful... because it is. It just is.
All I want to do is just get lost in Love Himself.
It's scary at first... cos everything we've made disappears and falls down.
But in that slow reveal, we'll find ourselves. We'll flourish. Because we are loved deeply and loved well. And there's nothing we can do to diminish it or change it. Ever.

"Here it comes a beautiful collision is happening, now. There seems no end to where you begin and here I am now, you and I collide." - david crowder

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ma già volgeva il mio disio e ’l velle, sì come rota ch’igualmente è mossa, l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle

all that matters is the way you see me...

so let go.

"But my own wings were not enough for this... But already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed, by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars." Dante - Paradiso
(photos by bruno dayan)

right about now. [funk soul brotha]

I would love nothing more than to turn this mish-mash of feelings into an eloquent speech, or into a rhyme or some grand metaphor. But, today I am tired and plain speech is necessary.

I feel incredibly misunderstood. I'm tired, I'm scared about all of the upcoming changes. I'm frustrated by the lack of mobility in my music career... and I need encouragement and truckloads of laughter. Oh and oceans of grace... besides the other things. But, people wonder if I'm angry at them. People are getting the wrong impression of me. People are pushing and pulling and wanting so much from me and wondering why this 'yes woman' is hesitant and wants to say 'no.' I'm trying to become a work-a-holic for the next couple of weeks so that I don't come to financial ruin with the London trip and the big move. But I've got the wanderlust and this is hard. I miss my friends and just want to be a few steps ahead, rather than in the present. (Hi. I just preached to myself.)

Sometimes, I just want to say... really?! This past year or two has been like a field-trip to hell on God's magic school bus. Which is great, because He's driving this outfit and knows where we're going. But, it's already taxing enough, as it is, to stay in the grip of grace, to cling to hope like the edge of a cliff, to pursue love when all you want to do is shutdown and hide for a very long time. When you're so well acquainted with crying that laughter feels foreign. And no, you're not being dramatic, you're just pressing through... healing... Add to this the whole wake up at 4:15AM thing and DC/Metro/Northern Virginia rush-hour traffic every day. Best case scenario, I'm driving just under 2 hours each day. Worst case scenario (i.e. - Friday), it took an hour to get to work and 4 to get home. I could've been to NYC. Not a casual long drive, but an arduous one filled with stress factors. Add to this, the fact that I'm trying to run my international music career. Sounds cocky as anything, but I assure you, apart from the trips to London and the accents which are now like a security blanket to me, the business part is less than fun, right now. Trying to do all of this and run a tight ship with your passion can be taxing, to say the least. Especially when it feels nothing will move and no one will cooperate. You don't know what else to do but ask for help, but you find yourself in the waiting room filled with 50 people who are waiting on the same thing... and it's awkward. And you just need someone to call your name and believe in you or give you directions to someone who will believe in you...so you can lock arms and begin world domination. Ok. not world domination, but you know what I mean... :)
OH and there's crazies in your neighborhood knocking on doors and holding people at gunpoint to rob their houses.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love the feeling that my heart is going to explode from my chest just walking to my car in the morning?
Then there's all this heartache/healing/overcoming.
Then there's family and trying to be a good daughter/grandaughter/etc.
Then there's loneliness, so there isn't a whole lot of running from things (very good.) but it is nice to take a breather and check out for a few minutes... but you're always doing that on someone else's time. (not so good.)

And so now, you're stretched beyond what you thought you ever could be and your desire is to pour yourself out with joy. But then, someone wants something else from you... or you wake up early every morning, do overtime on saturday morning and sunday is your only day to sleep in, and you get guilted for not going to church or helping with this music or this side project... or it's taken personally that you're not at this place or that place.
Pushy men you're not attracted to come along and people wonder why you're so opposed to their heavy advances, cos lots of people think it's romantic. But it's not. It's gross. [DISCLAIMER - if i answer your phone calls or text with you on the regular, it isn't you - END OF DISCLAIMER]
Or those dumb things that just get under your skin which haven't in a really long time... and you find yourself being jealous of the ridiculous people who always win... the fickle ones who always sweet talk and worm their way back into beautiful trusting hearts, while you are just waiting. just offering love to them. offering a safe harbour and you are labeled as a terrorist threat. really?!
Or when someone doesn't understand why you're so strongly opposed to hanging out or doing something on week nights...
Why can't you just move to London?
Why can't you just come here for a day?
Why can't you stay longer?
How much debt do you actually have?
Why don't you go on American Idol? (hehehehehe. oh comic relief.)
A thousand things you're tired of explaining... You're just trying to keep everything in balance and be responsible and not let anyone down. But you do. Constantly, it seems. because someone, somewhere is dissatisfied... and you just want to literally throw your shoes at people and say:
"HERE! WALK IN THEM! IM TRYING! If there's a way to do this better, THEN SHOW ME!"

Because try as I might to find my acceptance and rest in Love Himself, I still have this tendency to be a bit of a people pleaser. It is hard when you are giving 200% and it simply isn't enough. You relax with someone or drop the ball here or there and then you feel utterly guilt-ridden. When you have a perfectionist element, it all goes awry.
I am tired and so the amplifier for my emotions has been plugged in and turned up to 11.
This is what happens when I don't get sleep.
This is why I act like an old person and don't come to your things.
Otherwise I get sick and weepy and start writing posts like this.

I need a hug and a nap. And to remember I'm somebody's favourite girl. To remember I'm ok just like this. To remember I'm beautiful and so is my heart. I need to talk with Clive or Chris who are always excited it's me on the phone...

And if you've read to this point, then thanks for listening, guys. I needed this too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

little love song.

If you’re home in Nashville
Or if you’re on the road
There are just a few things
I want you to know
I can’t seem to shake you
Ask my heart, it’s so
You have left a handprint

Here upon my soul

Oh the places we could go
If we don’t try then we won’t know
I’m standing with my arms held out
Letting all my fears fall down
All I want to say to you
Sure as the sky is blue
I am so awfully fond of you

We have said our sorrys
We have made amends
The dark of night is fading
The morning moving in
If you’re thinking of me
Every now and then
Let’s leave it all behind us
Let’s begin again

Oh the places we could go
If we don’t try then we won’t know
I’m standing with my arms held out
Letting all my fears fall down
All I want to say to you
sure as the sky is blue
I am so awfully fond of you

a song for a baron.

I went to old street
The baron found me in the underground
And we went walking
Past the protestors but no one made a sound
Just hanging
Like all the pictures on the walls and up the stairs
Make introductions
And find out how you made your way from here to there

We can’t contain the sights and sounds
In our heads
So we fill these spaces with how we see it
We can’t contain the beat that drums
in our heads
So we fill these spaces with how we feel it

He tells me
Racing stories in the middle of the afternoon
Make a list of things
I should discover and some trouble we should get into
We should be sleeping
Was up all night but I said "I would rather be with you."
We’re just swimming
In the sunlight building rockets to the moon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

telling the whole truth & nothing but the truth.

It's about to get real personal.

I was thinking to myself… to write this out? Not to write this out.
“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.”

Lord. Have you ever unpacked that? Oh William you genius you. Alas, this isn’t about William Shakespeare or his plays…
I grew up in a Christian home. God. That’s become the cliché way to start any good blog, book, auto-biography for Christian book-store or the perfect intro talk to youths at a Jesus Camp.
Let’s try this again.
Let's talk about sexuality and how weary and bored I am of it being taken out of context - blown out of proportion or dumbed down to something meaningless that animals do.
Problem is that when we’re convinced we're just highly evolved mammals doing what the animals do, you strip people of their humanity and now, we’re just doin like they do on the discovery channel. But, if you’ve ever been in a relationship that had a highly charged sexual element to it, and you break up… vs. the one that didn't have that element… which one, in most circumstances, hurts worse? So there's something more to it, clearly. But then, in religious circles, there is this heightened stigma on sexuality… making it the forbidden fruit that is both holy and worthy of damnation. (Grow up with that, and after being kissed for the first time, you’ll understand fully the weight of shame.)

The animalistic approach makes me nauseated. The religious approach makes me want to weep for my soul and confess to a priest. Fact is, there’s truth to both parts, I think. We are born with desires that are gifts which are wonderful things but, they can be used to build up or to tear down. When we stop looking at other people as human beings who have value and worth, and diminish them until they are simply a means to a pleasurable end… we’re just using each other. At the same time, when I’m supposed to act like some sort of demi-god, it’s just another impossible task in some man made system to earn holiness... physically and mentally... we're set up to fail.

Both of these angel vs. animal situations hit home for me. Two times in my life, I ended up in a situation where a man forgot I was a human and must have had some Nebuchadnezzar moment where he’s struck with madness and thinks we’re livestock in mating season. Not only that, but these two individuals refused to take 'no' for an answer… and did that whole ‘Mr. innocent’ routine afterward. Class acts those two. I was in a semi-relationship with one of them at the time… (and I use that term as loosely as possible.) The other was married and just took advantage of the fact that we were alone in his home and I’d been babysitting his child. Hello bad movie. Both have left lasting painful impressions. Including that I have found myself still incredibly uncomfortable being alone with men that I don’t trust sometimes.

Another situation in my life… There was a boy that I cared for a lot. He chased me like a girl wants to be chased. He romanced me in ways I thought were only in films. However, the two of us were in fragile places of healing from heartbrokenness. The two of us set some healthy boundaries for our blossoming romance, and in fact, determined to step back from the romantics a bit until the dust settled. We wanted to pursue this, but protect each other. So, one evening, we got together and due to sleep deprivation and alcohol and a big dose of the lonelies, inhibitions were pretty much nil. So those brand spanking new boundary lines we'd drawn were just drying and we just crossed them. I mean, drag-raced over the lines. Best thing is that this is completely out of character for both of us. Question is why some people cause the memory of the evening to haunt me like an angry ghost? Like I should have a scarlett letter sewn on my chest. Really? The queen of self-control loses it once and now I’m looking over my shoulder at the sideways glances that say, "stay away from that girl, oh ye saints, because she'll infect you with lust."?? Yeah, not so much.

Christina Aguilera sang it well once, “Sorry, I’m not a virgin. Sorry, I’m not a slut.” Welp, there’s that. And you didn’t even have to play truth or dare to get me to answer it. And it seems that if anyone should find out, you’re either Hester Prynne wearing a garment of shame or you’re Jenna Jameson and prolly gonna give it up. Thing is, I’m neither of those things. I have made mistakes I'm not proud of. I've been used and taken advantage of. And once upon a time I acted out of the belief that I was getting married to live happily ever after... ring on my finger and all! But the most important part of my story is that I've learned some lessons... valuable and painful. I've learned to forgive. And received forgiveness... and lots of grace... and lots of healing.

God knows my heart on these things. I’ve shared my heart with my close friends and family and mentors. It’s all that really matters. But for the record, yes I am a hot-blooded sexual woman but, I have chosen to have conservative boundaries in order to maintain a shalom… a health. A wholeness. A peace in my heart…and in the hearts of others in my life. Not out of a religiosity or out of prudishness... out of a deep respect and honor… out of a carefulness that springs out of love. Because I want to "chase after a life of love as if my life depends on it... because it does." Intimacy is just best in a safe place and if it isn't in a safe place, it ceases to be intimate and becomes something else altogether. Sexuality that is an expression of love in the truest sense is beautiful. Outside of that, it's most often an expression of selfishness... it contradicts love and turns it into a weapon that can potentially wound us, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Maybe that's the exactly the point... Love is the safest place for it. And at the same time, Love covers all of our humanity and frailty... it's the only place where there is grace to be just who we are… and space to become all we’re becoming.

And I mostly wonder how many of us are in situations like this... have been in situations like this... are discussing this... wrestling this... or at peace with this... and maybe just need to know we aren't alone or maybe need someone who's walked this road to hold our hand... or maybe we just need to tell our story...
Because we're not alone... but there's not enough talking...

"I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more." – C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

almost home [or a story of a certain good shepherd]

On the way to Pittsburgh
playing all the songs
that you would soon be singing
in my head the whole night long
we drove on to ohio
cos it wasn’t very far
and told me all your stories
and I let you drive my car

we were almost home
almost home but not quite
it was almost here
almost here but you gave in to the fear

in the corner of my mind
is a place I wont forget
where you asked to be my lover
when you could not be my friend
you live like a tragedy
is holding you in it
making sure that all good things
will end before it’s starting to begin

we were almost home
almost home but not quite
it was almost here
almost here but you gave in to the fear

make your way back this way
I’ll let you in for cups of tea
make your way back this way
and if it’s locked you have the key


the summer sun gets mixed with water
and none of us can breathe outside
some of us just scream and holler
and some of us are kept inside
tell me why we’re so unhappy
when the grass is burnt on the other side
when did everyone stop trying
cynics stole our smiles

Tell me not to go
Tell me not to leave
Tell me anything
And I’ll believe again
Say that I should stay
Say it’s all ok
tell me all the ways
that we could be again

all the faces are familiar
and none of them will try to change
and the good hearts always feel so hunted
by someone else’s guilt and shame
everything was oh so lovely
answering to secret names
now we aren’t speaking the same language
how did we get to this place?

Tell me not to go
Tell me not to leave
Tell me anything
And I’ll believe again
Say that I should stay
Say it’s all ok
tell me all the ways
that we could be again

I lost you when I lost myself
And now I’m scared of everyone else
Help me try to find myself
Tired of being someone else

Monday, August 9, 2010

sway. [to whom it does concern.]

I wish I could play you a song like this…
To be your siren… to be your muse.
To sing you out to sea. But I’d never sing you to shipwreck.
The echoes filling up the wide open spaces all around you.
Invisible me… longing… reaching out across the waves on which you drift.
“I still care for you”
And I’d call you back to shore like the tides rushing higher and higher.
Yours is the only face I’ve memorized instantly… and yet crave to see again and again.
Your kiss … felt like the 4th of July kissed new years’ eve. I’ve never felt anything before…
I’ve never felt anything since.
We know our story well.
How our careful hearts impassioned with flames that overtook our house.
Our disregard raised red flags for the poet writing us out…
His regard was steady and resolute to rescue us from our shame.
It felt cruel…
The absence.
The cleansing.
The healing…
Our jealous writer singing over us saying…
I’ll play a song you’ve never heard.
I’ll be your siren.
I’ll be your muse.
I’ll sing you out to sea, but I’d never sing you to shipwreck.
Jealous lover.
In the midst of my wandering heart and failings…
In all of my anger and rage…
In all of my disbelief.
When I spit in his face.
When I begged to take it back.
When I cursed every name.
When my skin began to crawl at touch like a caged and injured animal.
When I would wake up crying.
When I was too afraid to move.
Much abandoned. Much afraid. Shaking in rejection.
Fear ridden.
He'd say, "I'm here...
I still care for you.”
He’d sing it over me.
He’d show me with those strong arms.
I let go of your shadow… of memories.
Of the wounds of injustice by those hands meant to protect.
Let go of the past and the present and the future.
I let the skin grafts begin where the flames burned deep.
Forgiveness like a salve.
Love’s slow reveal…
The cleansing.
The healing.
“Not as good as new. It’s new, my love. It’s new.”
I saw you on the wings of the morning.
Broken hearted, weary traveler.
It isn’t the time… so I wait.
Take all the time you need.
I’d prefer it if you came quickly, but love is a slow reveal.
You can hear me singing to you in your sleep…
Playing you a song like this…
I’ll be your siren. I’ll be your muse.
Singing you out to sea, but never to shipwreck.
Echoes filling up the wide open spaces all around you.
Invisible me… longing… reaching out across the waves on which you drift.
“I still care for you”

awareness. [the conversation at the edge]

You are awakening something in me.
An awareness. A movement.
A stillness…
You still think me a girl, ripe with beauty and teaming with life.
I’m hungry for stability and love and romance and adventure and...
I am ravenous.
Weary of heartsickness. Healing from years of malnutrition.
That is my story.
And this is my song - shalom. (peace. wholeness. health. rest. full...)
Be my source and my vision, then.
If I am a cup brimming with love…
a cup constantly filled to overflowing, but never running out…
there is balance.
Giving and receiving.
And there’s no need for greed here, because it won’t run dry.
I need explosion. I need ignition. I need …
Nothing but awareness that it’s already here?
Standing on the edge of a cliff… the wild expanse spread out before me like the head table of a banquet.
It’s beautiful… stunning… breathtaking, but I’m nauseated by the great heights.
I can’t figure out if I’m shaking from fright or excitement.
All I have to do is jump…
I love flying.
I hate falling.
But then, you’re more than aware of that, aren’t you?

" If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way he loves us "

Saturday, August 7, 2010

maid marion.

there are a couple of women who really inspire me... jennifer lopez and marion cotillard are two of those women. i think it's because they're such multi-faceted, multi-talented beautiful women. they do a little of everything and they make a habit of doing it well. they refuse to be boxed in, and they always seem to be digging inside themselves to see what else can be made of their unique person. i think i'm especially drawn to the fact that their breakthrough performances happened when both were past 25 years old. or maybe it's because i can recognize things about myself in them, and i only hope that i have the courage to press on and be even half as successful as they...
and now a glimpse of the gorgeous marion cotillard.

speaking of the aforementioned bruno dayan...

bruno dayan.

i am positively obsessed with his work.
oh that he would take my picture.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

let's take it back a little bit...

this is one of the many reasons i love jennifer lopez.
and i wouldn't object to being whipped into this kinda shape and having these kinda moves.
a girl can dream, right? boom.

and the girls just stayed in bed.

got hit with some ridiculous virus/allergy flare up something or other.
so i've spent much of the last couple of days in bed.
thankfully i've got little baby lemony to cuddle with.

oh and she definitely thinks my bed is comfortable...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Christopher Raeburn made this coat out of decomissioned military coats.

on the lovely miss blake lively.

i want you, coat.

sink or swim.

"Perfect love casts out fear.Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy; my happiness does not lie in you. If you were to leave me, I will not feel sorry for myself; I enjoy your company immensely, But I do not cling." - anthony de mello

they seem wild, but they are so tame.

I cannot forget. We are part of each other’s story.
I may burn the pages.
I may blot out your name.
I may vow to never speak it again.
I may be healed.
The scars may fade.
But history will remain.
We happened.
The shame can infest it and make it the ‘off-limits’ wing.
Or grace can invade it turn it into songs that sing.
Something new may be made of it.
But it happened.
A road diverging.
Make your choice.
I wish I could sit you down and ask you to just remember…
Do you see me?
I am weary of taking the blame;
of releasing it and taking it back.
I am tired of being sorry... forgiven in word, but met by your absence.
I’m not sure why I mind so much.
The fact is that I do.
I am awfully mindful when it comes to you.

but i will not return to that dwelling place of fear.
i've slain this dragon with this same sword.
rejection and all of its cursed relations that claim me as their own.
i will run them through and bleed them dry of their power over me.
and dancing on their graves i'll sing
"i am not yours; you are nothing to me."

Monday, August 2, 2010

i cannot wait.

yeah, how long must you wait for it?

Yesterday, I emptied the contents of my heart on a table in Carrabbas with my Grandma. You know those moments when you're just utterly surprised at how much something is weighing down on your heart and your head? Well, it was one of those. I was talking and next thing I was battling tears in public. Go back through my blog... Go back to my old blog... If I were to publish journals of random thoughts of songs and random rants for you to see, you'd find the same vision. You'd find the same desire. And you'd see that it gets clearer and clearer... and you'd see that I'm still waiting. It is hard not to lose heart.

"All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope." Alexandre Dumas

Would that I were so wise.