Friday, April 03, 2015

Invisible scars

Some years it hurts worse than others. Some days, some moments even, it throbs. It never goes away, the invisible scar I wear, the burden I carry on my back. Maybe you can see it on my face, no matter how good I am at hiding it.  It will never go away.

I don't want it to. I am sometimes saddened that the burden has lessened, that the grief I feel isn't more. I grieve because there is less to grieve. I'm upset because the scar has healed just a little bit more.

I'm a lot antsier this year. I just want it to be over with. I don't want to think about April anymore. How Ukiah was born on April 15th and how he died on April 5th just shy of his second birthday.  I don't want to be with those thoughts any more and yet those are the only thoughts I want to be with.

For the first time in a long time I put his picture up at a place where I knew it would beckon the question from those that didn't know the story. It did. And even though I didn't really want to deal with it, deep down I did. I wanted people know him again. I'm not locking him away by any means, but for those who don't know the story, it's a hard topic to broach.

I had a son and then he passed away. It's a simple sentence in theory but in the real world it is hard as hell to say. I choke and sputter. Tears I promised myself wouldn't come pour out in a deluge. It's never not going to be difficult.

I'm okay with that. I mean I guess I'm okay with it. I'm not okay with him being gone. And even though the universe gave me an incredible daughter things still aren't square between me and the universe. Not by a long shot.

I don't know what April 5th or April 15th is going to bring my way this year. Joy, more grief, bittersweet tears? Probably, well most likely. But the how of it, the why of it, I won't know until it happens.

There is a way you can help. Well, there's a few different ways actually. First, have a slice of pizza, or a whole pie with family. Knowing that you are doing that on either day would make me smile. Second, consider spreading the good word about George Mark and if you can, make a donation. That would not only make me smile but it would bring tears of joy to my eyes and it would make my whole month brighter.

He's always with me. But knowing he's with you too, in your thoughts on those two days would mean a lot.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

On music that finds you and the friends that make it

I’m not sure I believe in fate, the big version at least. That all things are fated to be as they are? I don’t buy it. If free will is just a ruse so that everything plays out according to someone else’s master plan, than what the hell is the point anyway? We might as well not make any choices and just let it ride. But we don’t so our own choices have to amount to something right?

But I do believe in the fate of small things, small moments. I don’t think fate can work on the grand scale all the time. But it can work small minor miracles that make us take stock and really think about it, connections, the grander scale, the bigger picture.

Yesterday I experienced one of those moments.

I go through cycles where I ignore my personal emails and some, if not most of the email newsletters I signed up for, even if they are from writers and people I admire. I tell myself it’s because I don’t have the time, but really its because I don’t want to expend the effort to connect with what that person is trying to say.

I could’ve ignored the @Whereverwriter email post. But I didn’t. I have to admit her lede spoke to me. She got me with Free Gift to You! So I clicked and read. I was surprised to find that someone who’s writing I admired so much was also a gifted musician.

I clicked on her link to her EP and from the first song I cried tears of joy. It was so beautiful. Her voice was stunning and the words gave me goose bumps. I listened to the EP alternating between giddy joy and joyful tears because someone I consider a friend made something so awe-inspiring.

Then I got to The Bridge.

It’s like her words were destined to find me.

I’ve talked about it some on this blog and on my other blog Ukiah’s Heart but I’ve been struggling with depression pretty hard on and off for years. After my son died, I went through a tail spin. Recently I’ve gone through another. It’s the reason I haven’t written on this blog for quite awhile. Composing my thoughts can be downright impossible when I can barely see the forest for the trees.

Sometimes I’m able to dig myself out of a tailspin okay. Lately I haven’t. I finally had to admit to everyone I loved that I needed help. I’m getting help. I’ve had several people tell me variations of what was in Amy’s song for months now, but this time it connected. I mean, really connected.

I wept. I listened to it again and I wept some more.  I kept listening and kept crying. Finally, somewhere between the fourth of fifth listen, the tears stopped, but the connection didn’t.

I needed this song and it found me and now I won’t let it go. One of fate's small little miracle's I guess. It could be argued that I would've found this eventually, that it still would of made an impact. Which is probably true. I try to connect to her site at least once a month to get caught up on what I'm missing in her life. But I could also argue that if I had found it any other time, it maybe wouldn't have resonated as deeply as it had. We're chalking this one up to fate, and Amy's generosity for now.

There are few greater pleasures in this world than when you connect with a piece of writing, music or art. It’s a thing of wonder and pure joy and a person I call my friend gave me that connection. Words can’t express what a gift that is.

So I’m trying to give one back. Listen to this album. Please, if you have a few spare bucks, download it and send that money her way, so that way she sees a few monetary fruits of her incredible endeavors. If you are on social media, link or tweet her album that way it might bring someone else the joy and the connections I received.

Amy your writing and your music mean something because they meant something to me. Don’t ever doubt that. When you finally release your ebook, consider me ground central for your promotions. I’ll be singing your praises for years to come. Thank you.