Kristina Furey

Game of Thrones :-)

 

It’s back but with only 5 episodes to go and the humans still focused on who gets to sit on the Iron Throne, I have concerns that the White Walkers will be the last ones standing and the humans will be wiped out.  At this point, it seems logical, that would be the case.  As Jon Snow said, “There is only one war, the great war and it is here.”  BUT what do you do when people would rather stab you than listen to truth and logic?  Would you “bend the knee” to save people?  To save mankind?  Or would you stand proudly, come what may and fight for your honor?  Would you be too focused on your enemies and too attached to that label, “enemy,” that you would continue to look for ways to take them down?  Were you wondering this too?  Is “Game of Thrones” holding you in as tight a grip as it has me?  If so, I think you will really enjoy the discussion they had on 1A this past week:  https://the1a.org/audio/#/shows/2019-04-15/watch-the-thrones/117422/@00:00  I certainly did!!!  They discuss so many characters past and present, like Hodor and Margaery.  Did I cry?  ...yeah, a little bit. <3  I expect there will be more loss before it is over.  Having watched many past scenes through my fingers and at times, with my quilt over my head, I know how brutal this game can get and I concern that humanity may not win out. 


 

"Riding along in my automobile"-Chuck Berry

 

"You sing in the car!  I'm sure you do!  Whether you admit it or not." I say to you, while giving you the Larry David stare down, should you not admit what I believe to be true.     When I first got my driver's license, I would change the lyrics to Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place To Go,"  to ones that suited my particular destination, mood, or driving partner/co-lyric contributor.  It was fun to take turns and then see if I could riff along with whatever they had put out as their line.  It was always a rule they had to join me in mouth guitar as well.  The more ridiculous it felt the more we seemed to enjoy ourselves.  Side thought:  You ever notice how very similar that song is to "School Days"?  Maybe that's why I chose that particular song to sing out with versatile verses, suiting my drive, mood or shot gun, lyric contributor.

When it was just me, alone in my car, I often created my own tunes or created twisted tunes, a la Wierd Al Yankovic style.   Fun times!  As well as many original tunes/songs, lost along the way.  The lack of ability to record what I came up with normally the reason for a song DOA.  Until the trusty cell phone!  I did have a miniature recorder I used for some time and I would keep it on me, just in case, except those times I didn't or the tape got full and I couldn't find anymore tapes that fit it, or when the batteries died or when it stopped working completely..  There were times I would show up at my destination and make a run for the phone, payphone or private, call my home number and leave the song in message to myself, so I would have it when I got home. 

With my kids I created songs about the "Little old man in the little old van, driving as slow as a little tin can".  "Big Butt Bicyclist" an ode, to the bicycle rider that seemed intent on not letting me pass them on that swervy, curvy, one lane road...  My co-conspirators/lyricists, at that point, were my children and occasionally Dan.  We did twisted tunes too, like "Nasty Town" to the tune of the Spiderman cartoon.  "Nasty town, nasty town, nobody wants to hang around.  Eat the food, gives you gas.  Everybody drives by real fast.  Look out!  You're in the nasty town."  This, after one too many stops for food left us disgusted and out of options on where we may want to try eating next.  Hmm, me thinks another town.  But oh the camaraderie as we sang our way to the next town, in hopes of better fare.

This past week as I was driving up and down the coast, I found myself playing around with new ways to sing old songs I've written, and I started playing around with an older song I never quite settled.  I was AH mazing!  I was coming up with all sorts of great stuff and then I decided do a video blog, showcasing how impressively witty and inventive I am at this!  Yay ME!  So I pulled off onto an exit, which had me pulling off onto another exit.  Which had me confused about how I would get back onto the road I was originally on and then very thankful that I could depend upon the GPS on my phone.  Yeah, I did not think this through at all but finally I came to a stop at a very sketchy gas station, in the middle of nowhere and I readied my video and hit record!  ...This is one of those moments when the imagination was much better in it's interpretation of how it would play out than the reality.  It somehow looked better in my head.  I was killing it with the lyrics, prior to hitting that record button or I might have a distorted view of reality.  That is a possibility, I shall not rule out.   I thought about deleting it but there seemed to be something redeeming in it, that led me to this blog.  

 

 

"#17A" (Part II) "She's Come Undone-Randy Bachman

 

I think I bit off more than I could chew this week and to make things equally frustrating, I was sick this week.  Feeling better currently.  So, finally today, I got an opportunity to work on this song I’ve been thinking about since last weeks blog, when I mentioned Pollock’s “Number 17A” and how life, like art, is constantly inspired from and being built on what has already entered our world through our consciousness.  This particular song arrived in my head with a visual of violent paint splatters on a pristine, white canvas, adolescent rebellion, in fits of anger brought on by just a taste of that fruit of knowledge and the realization, that not only were their parents not God, all knowing and full of grace but also, how power was wielded in such a way that a child would be left, fooled and bearing the burden.   I had concerns for what I felt my brother had experienced and felt I was staring at this real life example of a sacrificial lamb.  I felt powerless and disgusted and I agonized over how we stop something in motion that allows us to feed our loved ones to it.  It occurred to me that we only vomit up what we eat.  We only play out what has been placed in our consciousness.  I did not know at the time, the concept of transcending.  The idea we could choose to release our pain over to the universe (just let it go) rather than pay it forward to the next unsuspecting soul.  I didn’t really even understand that our thoughts are just thoughts.  Thoughts are just proof that at some point in time, they were introduced to us but they have no power over us, unless we choose to give them our power.  I felt strongly something was very wrong.  I was mentally troubled and saw my brother as very vulnerable and in a precarious place.   Which put me in line right behind him.  I saw dominoes falling, set in place before he or I ever arrived.  I was furious.  It was extreme drama and angst that went into this song.  Perhaps overkill, akin to when someone yells because they don’t think they are being heard not because they haven’t been.  

This is a poor (rough) example of what the song could be for sure.  I hope in time to get it right.  Currently, the goal is just to get my songs sketched out as best I can.  I expect when I become more certain which songs to record and which songs belong in the musical, I am working towards, I will know if I should hire someone to show me a better way to play my songs or get help composing.  I have had a very temporary feeling since losing my family members.  So it seems important to me to get my songs to a place where someone else could pick up where I have left off, just in case.     

Let me add, I am okay, despite my dramatic song and blog to match and my being sick this past week.  I am feeling better.  That said, I will most likely not have the opportunity to post next week.  It's a full week for me and a lot of time to be spent on the road.  So, till next time. take care, of yourself and each other!  <3

 

Painting #17A-Jackson Pollack

 

I have considered for quite sometime throwing some things into my blog and attaching the question, “What would you do?”  I think today is the day, we will see if this makes it to posting.

— A “fan?”—I was at a festival.  He greeted me coming off the stage.  A stranger bearing compliments.  Dan had to put his guitar away and I had to put my microphone away.  We were parked close to the stage we had played on.  The guy was saying something about wanting our CD but he didn’t have the money.  I told him to take it as a gift.  He then said he wanted to pay me and send me one of his CDs in return.  I said, “let’s just do an even exchange then.”  His reply, “What address can I send it to?”  I had a pen and paper in the car and we were headed there anyway…  Dan and I each had things to do and not much time to chat.  I wanted to call my mother and see how she was doing.  She was going through cancer treatments and they were burning her from the inside.  I just wanted to make a quick call, check in and tell her I had performed.  She had very much insisted she wanted me to go through with commitments I had and I was trying to be strong.  Earlier that week, I had posted some videos and in one discussed helping a friend leave a spousal abuser.  Anyway, I was at the car with the paper and pen writing.  My husband had headed off to take care of what he needed to do, when out of nowhere, the guy says something about spousal abuse and puts his hand in the shape of a gun, points it at my face and makes a gun sound.  I quickly shut the door to my car having just hit the lock on it and took off to meet up the people where I was helping out.  I asked a couple people if they knew him.  No one seemed to.  He was alone, so far as I could tell…   One person asked me “Why?”  I said, “He said something creepy and I don’t know if it was his idea of joking or what.”  I tried not to let my upset feelings get the best of me and I knew by the way I was feeling, I wasn’t going to be able to call my mother, she could always tell when things weren't right by the pitch of my voice or something.  So instead, I didn’t and I lied later about how I needed to relieve someone.  I mean it wasn’t entirely a lie but…
 …He did send me a CD.  Actually, I think two and $20.00 for my CD.  I didn’t want either.  I threw the CD/s in the trash, unopened and felt gross about the $20 but figured I would donate it.  

—So this friend came to visit me.  Best description I could give is very emotionally driven.  A friend, who came into my life through the door of being another friend’s, friend.  I accepted the vetting process there.  My heart went out to her.  She had the kind of life that would most likely make a person more reactive.  I could see my younger self in her and  I hoped to provide a little peace in her life.  In a pay it forward kind of way.  I’m so thankful to those who gave me the gift of patience, acceptance, forgiveness and direction, in those moments I was lost or losing my way!   Those who were kind enough to tell me to come in from the rain, wait out the storm with me, and assure me I would be okay.  This particular visit (the last) She came in, heading for the fridge, saying, “I need a beer!”  She seemed to be hostile in her conversation.  She seemed angry at me but never once said that was the case.  Yet, I had seen her angrily point her finger at me, with voice raised as she told her stories of past confrontations she wished she would have taken on or at times did.  But she would point her finger as if I was the offender and on one occasion, when we were in public,  I saw some people looking from her to me as if trying to figure out if I was being verbally assaulted or if I had wronged her.  Well, that’s was my perception…    Perhaps that was all in my head.  I will never know…   This time, like the other times, I tried my best to let her run out of steam but she didn’t.  She proceeded to drink all my husband’s beer, a six pack, the whole six pack he had just bought.  She seemed manic.  She stayed way longer than I had expected but I couldn’t in good conscience let her drive.  At some point it occurred to me that perhaps she didn’t want to be okay.  Maybe my friendship had no affect on her ability to find peace BUT it was certainly draining me of mine.  While she marinated in her anger.  I did my best to listen and not provoke.  I did my best to see things from her perspective and not judge.  I did not trust the path she was going down but I understood her desperation.  Haven’t we all had such moments, trying to make sense of what doesn’t seem fair in life?    I so wanted for her to be okay!   For her, but also for me.  I really wanted her to be okay, maybe in part because I realized, I was not okay in her company and I was placing faith in the ability of grace to give rise to grace but it was more of a dominoes effect I was experiencing and I would carry forward with me like a hitch hiker stuck on my clothes.  I made dinner for her in hopes of helping in the absorption of her consumed alcohol and when she left later in the night, I followed her home in my car.  She got home safely and without incident.  I believed she was sober enough but her emotional state concerned me.  The way I know mine has at times concerned others.  

—I was at an event.  My husband and I had gotten up to play music.  I was done with my equipment and heading back to my seat when someone “important” was sitting in my husband’s seat.  Must have been a look on my face that caused them to ask, “Oh, am I in your husband’s seat?”  I nodded, still unsure what to make of it.  I had never met them in person.  Heard about them enough to understand the “important” part.  Watched a video of them talking about people taking loans against their homes, at a shot of making it in the music business and indicating what it took financially to make it.  I’ve lost count of how many times I have heard someone say to me, “You must not want it bad enough” in regards to whatever they were selling and you know, it’s true!  Not at the expense of my peace of mind.  Not that they said that, just something that ran through my head at the idea of mortgaging one's home to "Make it" at anything, especially in something as fickle or manipulated (not sure which belief I hold.  Depends on the day I suppose.) as the music business.  My peace of mind was still trying to exorcise that hitchhiker of paranoia, I had picked up JUST the week before.  (See previous paragraph) I was just about to say something (I don't know what) in an attempt to find out the facts, rather than leave things to my creative mind, when my father’s remarks about music came to the surface in my mind.  My father’s remarks were like Kathy Bates in “The Waterboy”,  only instead of everything being “The Devil”, everything was “A scam”,  “If someone is really interested in your talent, they will find you to be worth the investment because they will profit off the investment.”  “If that’s not the case, your money is what they seek to profit of off.”  I suppose, I will never know what would have been said or if the person just needed to get off their feet for a few and saw me as just another obstacle to their own comfort. I for one have been at some events in high heels and wished I could find an empty chair to sit in.  Yes, I have “stolen” a seat just as soon as its occupant was out of sight.  

I don’t like to jump to conclusions.  I really don’t like it when people do that about me but we are humans and we crave certainty, even if we have to make it up to get it.  I don’t like to tell myself scary stories or untrue stories about people.  I want to think the best of everyone because I know that is the only belief that offers me hope.  Yet, there are days I look around and count my loses, instead of my blessings.  There are days I look around or at someone and shake my head.  There are days I lose my faith in those around me or the world and in turn myself and days when I’m paranoid of the intentions of others.  But I do try to remember there is a delicate balance to this world we live in and I was created by it, for it. I strive to serve it in my actions, for myself and for others because I understand that we are creating the circumstances in our world with our actions.    We are all the artists that constantly create on the canvas of life, whether it is ”A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”  "The Starry Night” or “Painting #17A”.  We work off of each other’s works of art, their lives and their actions.  This blog is proof of that as it is in reaction to this podcast:  https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/656558932/bonus-who-do-you-let-in

 

"17"

 

Two, almost three weeks ago, I jammed my finger, just after starting to figure out one of my songs on the synth.  I ended up losing all my gains on it, which I guess was no biggie, since I found I wanted to change the key.  A little over a week ago I got back at it.  Then we had company, which was awesome!  Still, I found myself once again, back at the beginning, with said song, "17".  The goal was to get it figured out.  I am trying to organize my songs.  This is where you wish me luck!  Please :-)  The other goal, which I have thus far been falling short of, was to spend 20 hours a week on music related things.  Yet another goal, was to have "17" figured out this week.  I was not there, as of this morning and I have spent the day trying to get there.  I was hoping to have a video of me nailing it.  That was my hope.  I settled for having it figured out and videoed, regardless.  That goal was accomplished.  Here it is.

 

"Reviewing the Situation"-Fagin in the Musical OLIVER

 

Always loved that song "Reviewing the Situation" Ron Moody's excellent performance of it, won me over the first time I ever saw and heard it performed.  Brilliant! BRAVO!!!  After reading this over I thought that it would also make for a good title :-)  Good news is, I didn't feel the need to name this, "I think I better think it out again" ;-)

I have a lot on my plate this week but did want to pop in and wish you well in all you do!

My finger is almost completely healed and I have been trying like heck to figure out one of my songs on the keys. 

Stripping down to just meat, veggies and fruit in my diet, has helped me feel more energetic and less a victim of my allergies and inflammation.  This past week, I have begun to reincorporate things into my diet.  Eat, wait, wait, wait, (48 hours) journal on my experiences and try again.  Then it's on to the next item of food.  I wonder if everyone shouldn't do this at least once to clean up the gut and it's effects on the body and mind, see if it makes a difference and maybe learn to be disciplined to eating in a way that supports you and brings the best of you out.  The effects are pleasantly surprising!  That doesn't mean I don't want to totally scarf on some pizza, drink some spicy red wine or indulge in the warm pleasures of a decadent cup of coffee, mmmmmmmmiiiissssss it so...  In time, they will each get their trial period and I will see if they like me as much as I do them or if they wreck me.  At the very least I have learned I can live without them.  BUT PLEASE don't let them be the problems!  Regardless, I have been feeling much more optimistic about my health and the extent to which I do actually have control over it (for now-fingers crossed that this lasts a very long time).  My brain is clearer and my vocals too (BIG PLUS).  If you are interested you can find the elimination diet online.

I continue to do my daily homework in the book by Rhonda Britten, "Change Your Life in 30 Days" and I'm so glad I got started with the elimination diet before starting in on this "Change Your Life" thing.  This book, I also recommend to anyone needing to face fear, in need of change, lost, bored or apathetic.  This is my third time reading.  "Third times the charm!"  Seriously though, it's so easy to learn something and work it into your life, actions and practices, only to find later down the road, you have experienced enough change that it is time to re-work things.  I want to share these words from the book with you because I think this is something we should each know, remember and repeat, often.  "The voice of fear is run by doubt, suspicion, desperation"  "A feeling of scarcity"  "Shame, guilt, blame".

Well, I have stayed longer than I meant to and my "To Do List" calls.  So this is good bye for now.  Next week, I hope to have that song figured out, so I can get on to the many, many more that await my attention.  Also, I want to share it with you<3  Take care and best wishes for a wonderful rest of the week!

 

"It's Always Something"--Gilda Radner

 

I continue to read and work through the book "Change Your Life in 30 Days" by Rhonda Britten and I'm rediscovering pieces of myself I couldn't find when I was looking for them through the fog that came in and settled in my life.  I'm finding old friends/old pieces of myself I think I forgot about or gave up hope on seeing again.  I'm reminded of a thing I once saw on an old Dr. Oz show.  He had women of different ages sit on a swing and the one in her 20's he helped get swinging and spoke about how life is easy in your 20's.  He stopped her and said something about how easy it is for them to get going again.  I think the woman in her 30's got stopped more often but always could get that swing going again, just as easy.  I may be wrong about the exact ages here but as they get older the swing stops more and more and becomes harder and harder to get started.  At the moment I saw myself as the exception to that.  My 30's were the best!  My 20's difficult.  My teens difficult.  Age 10 and under, I was unstoppable.  I learned in my 20's to stop, access and solve and I had the best run through my 30's!  This because I worked so hard on solutions and aligning myself with what was right for me, including diet, exercise, the people I sought out to surround myself with.  So in 2016, when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, soon after I had lost my father and my brother to the same, I knew I was on a slippery slope but I was hyper focused on her.  When she passed, I was in a mental shock (We had been given a different scenario from her doctors during her treatments.)  As the shock wore off, I began to get back to work on my own health.  This is not easy when every doctor you go see asks for the family history, after the nurse has just done the same and you originally had to write it on the forms when you entered the office.  The assessment looks they give you, which turn to one of pity.  None of it helps and then woe is me because on top I have to deal with the assessment and look as they try to unravel my tangled up health history and solve the current reason I am there.  <--I probably didn't need to say any of that but I want to back up, why I was FREAKED OUT!  I can't explain but I have always had the feeling since I was a teen that I was temporary.  I used the label "Survivor" along with some of my other friends but I didn't believe that label status was going to stick for long.  I figured one could only survive for so long.  I longed to be victorious.  When I was a teen and into my early 20's I never expected to see age 30.  If there is a gift in that, it would be that I could appreciate a moment, the company around me and if I didn't, I could walk away.  This often protected me from that thing called "peer pressure".   I was married at 22 and I have to say having someone beside me, the way Dan has been, possibly saved me from the fate I feared.  I can definitely say it gave me courage to believe I might make it further than I had previously thought. 

So why is this important for me to blog about today?  I think because, often the things that hurt us when we are very young become our stumbling blocks later when we re-encounter them through similar situations.  Anger, hurt and fear we feel today, I think are just from the triggers, the events of our childhoods placed in us and with the right support around us and the right mindset we can face them triumphantly and move forward.  Best we understand what they are so we can avoid them or understand in the moment, we are adults now and it is our time to rise up and take control of our beings.  Realize where that anger, hurt and fear comes from and deal with it appropriately.  Feel the hurt, anger and fear and let it go.  (<--just watch the video to understand what I'm trying to say.)

I know I could hide my fear, suppress, my anger, my pain but I think it is just as important as my victories to share.  When I share it with the intent of helping others who may also be struggling with these challenges.  I hope it never comes out as whining.  Forgive me if it does.  That has never been my intent.

WOW, I did not think this was what was coming through me today when I sat to blog.  I really only meant to say I had an eye issue that interfered with my sight and lead to me jamming my finger, which in turn stopped me from getting as much time in as I had hoped to get on a song I am in the process of figuring out on the synth.  "It's always something."  Keep in mind time heals and in the meantime there's nothing else as healing as the right support around you. 

AN ASK:  If you work in a medical practice please consider your patients, feelings and concerns and only ask if there have been any changes since the last time.  Don't make them repeat a sad past over and over and over again.  Thank you <3

 

 

Starting Over

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself we don’t know?  That was the instruction last night during introductions at the Art Social I attended.  I didn’t tell them this.  I was saving it for you.  There was a reality show in 2004 called “Starting Over”.  I had watched it for a couple of years and I wanted to audition.  This Life Coach named Rhonda Britten was helpful with another singer and I thought “What If?”  So, I sent my audition tape.  I got a call and was asked to quickly fill out forms and get them back in.  There was an opening coming up.  I knew as I filled out the paperwork, I was blowing it, my chance at getting on the show.  I felt solely responsible for where I was in my life and felt I was the only one that needed to go through the work.  I did not want my family or parents brought in and I pretty much laid that out, in the forms.  I also had reservations about leaving my family, my youngest son especially.  They passed on me.  A little painful at the time but I got some form of validation from it and maybe that was all I really wanted.  But it did sting because I really wanted to work through what might be holding me back.   With that intention, I went to the local book store and came back with the book, “Change Your Life in 30 Days” by Rhonda Britton and it was a starting over point for me.  It was the beginning of me seeking out a recording studio guy that helped me get my song, “Life, Love and Laughter” recorded and he said, “Your husband plays guitar?  Get him to add some guitar licks.”  That was the first step of Dan helping me.  He could finally see, well actually hear my vision and jump on board.  As they say the rest is history!  I’ve taken a lot of tumbles since then, got the air knocked out of me, had my health take a tumble of it’s own.  I’ve been working on it.  It’s my health, my job to keep it up.  I am feeling a bit better since eliminating everything but meat, veggies, fruits and some oils.  Currently, I’m testing myself by adding gluten free, steel cut oatmeal back in, to see if I notice a reaction.  Something I will do with each food I have eliminated...  in time…   While I’m working on my health and getting results, I thought it would be a good time to revisit my Rhonda Britton book.  I’m only on day 6.  A interesting observation I've made is that I have 6 songs I've written, that correlate well enough with the 6 chapters, I've read so far.  It's as if they were written to go together.  Was I influenced? Not necessarily, since I wrote some before 2004.  However, I have found myself humming Colbie Caillat’s “Realize”,  a lot... that's interesting, I thought, when I caught on.   I definitely "realize" this quote from Rhonda tells exactly where I am currently, “I quit trying to be perfect and just spoke from the heart”.  That's my only road out and to getting back on track.  I can't even try to be perfect, it's like running in quicksand for me.  Best I can do is just be and hope that my being gives value.  The rest is too exhausting and I'm not even sure really appreciated. 

I’m hoping to find my way back to the ideas I had before I tumbled.  Mentally, I understand what I wanted to accomplish but the passion, the soul of it, seems to be missing.  I wanted to do something for girls in middle school that their mothers would also get something out of and maybe even their fathers.  I just saw the movie “Eighth Grade” this week and it stirred up a little of those feelings that originally led me to what I previously believed was a calling.  I've also been working on one of the songs I believed would fit the project.  Here's a link.  I tried to use techniques I learned about through Tom Jackson's Boot Camps, books and videos, while keeping in mind what I learned earlier this week on Hidden Brain in this podcast at minute 19:10.    At some point I hope to take these collections of songs and put them on CD, try out a one woman show or maybe move them into Dan's and my repertoire and create a looser version of a show but big picture is to create a musical with age appropriate girls playing the parts.  I imagine it could be like the Vagina Monologues but geared towards younger females, mother daughters, aunts, sisters and brave males.  I just imagine this event of unity and support.  Interactive in a way that helps significant female role models bond with their beloved young up and comers.  But I will start with keeping it simple, nurturing it and seeing what it becomes. 

 

Things and stuff

 

Soon after my mother’s death, I found myself in my psychiatrist’s office crying over things.  Things, as in, all the things my parent’s owned.  Things that I didn’t find important but all of the sudden, things I had to make choices over.  I was unsure how to make these choices.  On one hand I was so angry with the stuff, like a child full of jealousy.  I felt the stuff was more important to them than I was and strangely the stuff represented moments I could have shared with my parents and investments in my own life, I had starved for them to make.  I had wanted, I thought needed, a certain amount of closure with each of my parents that they either never felt was necessary, weren't comfortable giving, didn't feet I deserved or ….  fill in the blank cause I have no clue but I felt a void inside.  I’m very aware that stuff can’t fill the void, even more now, after trying.  It was easier for me to resent the stuff than to resent my parents.  The resentment started upon my mother’s return home, after leaving my family when I was eleven.  She had a job, money and goals, that seemed to be linked to this new life she was shopping for, a life we would accompany her in.  This life, recast her and my relationship.  She didn’t want to be a mother she wanted to be friends.  I was honored she felt this way towards me, while at the same time, I mourned the areas of my life she never returned to.

I have this very distinct memory of visiting my mom in her condo before she and my father reconciled.  I think it was my first visit there, when she said “Let’s go shopping!  I want to get you something.”  “What would you like?”  I looked around at her condo full of lawn furniture and boxes for end tables.  I thought of my own room at home and how I had been indulged with so much I had a hard time keeping my room clean (it was near impossible).  I thought about all the lessons she and my father had taught me in regards to being humble.  “We don’t have idols.”  “We share.”  “We are blessed and so it is our job to bless others.” My father once told me, if he caught me bragging to friends or at church, my stuff would go away.  It was poor manners to make anyone in your company feel anything but cherished.  We were taught in church that we were God’s fishermen and we did that by being an example of God’s grace.  So, I felt extremely uncomfortable when my mom said she wanted to take me shopping and she barely had anything to her name or in her condo.   She wanted me to have something of my own to keep in her home.  Seemed important to her and I didn’t want to let her down.  I thought of the least expensive thing I could enjoy that would last me many visits.  A rug hook kit.  I made over that rug hook, like it was my favorite thing to do.   Visiting my mom and doing that rug hook BECAME my favorite thing.  

After unloading my grief in my Psychiatrist's office and my distaste for the relationships people have with money and stuff, in lieu of people, it occurred to me, my desire to somehow preserve all the wonderful, loving things my parents did do for me and the precious moments we had shared, also made me want to grab and hold onto objects to preserve those moments.  I hoped to share some of these things and the reasons they were special to me with my children and/or grandchildren.  I was so conflicted, angry, confused and full of sad, lost, longing, for something that stuff will never cure.  I couldn’t help but remember when I wrote in my journal how quizzical it was, that some parents sell their children out in lieu of money, only to find themselves trying to buy their children back with that same money.  It’s like money=success and then people have experiences and age into seeing success=relationships and then try to save the ones most important to them.  Buying them if necessary.

I wasn’t too surprised to learn my children had little interest in their Grandparent’s possessions.  I almost felt like I was forcing objects on them.  I wanted them to take things that would keep the memory of my parents alive in them.  Some things I kept for my children, thinking maybe they would want them later down the road.  I also tried to encourage them to consider multi-generational wealth by sending them this link to a podcast where it is discussed.  My parents stuff was multi-generational wealth in the form of free home goods and furniture.  An inheritance.  It could save them money, which in turn, could be invested in their futures or the betterment of their current lives.  Maybe not easy to see but a better choice than the stylish, yet cookie cutter pieces of furniture you may find on HGTV and have to use credit to buy.  Probably something we should all be talking to our kids and encouraging them to consider.  Many times, my father's stressed the importance of respect for people and their hard work.  He gave me examples of how a lack of respect for those who came before us, their hard work and accomplishments, can end in tragedy and he encouraged me to read, “The Good Earth”.   It just might be the most important book I ever read and one I believe, may give you a better understanding of why many of us find it dishonerable to see Trump dismantling and disrespecting what the “Fathers of our Country” worked so hard to earn, understand and preserve for us.  

I am so thankful for/to my parents.  I loved them deeply.  I know they always meant well!  I have deep respect for them, all they taught me and all they did for me.  They were loving and kind people.  Still, as their youngest child, I had a front row seat to what I perceived as their flaws.  As I have aged, I have questioned some of my accounts in this area.  I have at times found myself making, what I believe to be similar errors in judgement.  It’s all too easy.  These things that distance us, parent to child, husband to wife, people to people, these things that create an environment of flaws, distrust and disconnection, I have been sensitive to my whole life and tried to make sense of it, as I watched the story play out again, and again with the same sad endings.  I have put down my weapons of anger and rebellion in hopes the pen is not only mightier but more productive than the sword.  I write what I write and say what I say because I think there are important things here to consider…  I’m reminded of a lyric I wrote years ago.  “I don’t know what exactly made me step up to the mic.  Wrote a song about a love gone wrong, so that others could feel right.”    I would not be sharing a thing if I did not believe it could be helpful.  Still sometimes I can’t even describe what I want to convey and those are the moments I’m so thankful to the other artists out there who find a way to say, show or touch others in such a way that communicates effectively what we need to be aware of and here is a link to a documentary that in my opinion, does exactly that!  It is called “Generation Wealth” by Lauren Greenfield who also did the documentary titled “Queen of Versailles”.  It too is well worth the watch!

 

With love

 

I wish you a happy Valentine's Day!  I hope regardless of your relationship status you will take a little time today to consider whom you love and what you love about life. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day rituals without taking time to really look at the significant people in your life.  What do you love about them?  Valentines Day, may be a good day to share with them, what that is and give them a little extra validation, that they are important to you.  It is also a perfect day to give yourself a little love and validation.  You deserve it!   When we feel full in this area it comes through in everything we do.  It attracts people to you because it makes you feel good about yourself and gives you an appreciation for yourself and those around you.  If we all did this, we could solve almost all the problems in our country and then we could turn that appreciation and validation on the other countries.  I know that may seem far fetched but when you validate and appreciate your own humanity, your eyes open to all humanity and its need to be validated and appreciated.  What would happen next?  We would realize that all humans need a healthy ecosystem for survival and we would begin to secure and insure our planets health and our survival.  It all starts with you, validating your humanity, loving yourself and then turning your focus on those that surround you, so you can offer them the same.  

I keep hearing that loneliness is an epidemic in our country.  If you find yourself feeling lonely it might make you feel better to help be the solution to the loneliness epidemic by taking time to interact with others around you.  I'm not talking about social media, I'm talking about the people you come across in your everyday life.  I heard recently the more time people spend on social media the more likely they are to suffer with loneliness.  If you are one of the ones that are actually more lonely when you are with someone or in a group (I have felt this way before) it may be time to re-evaluate your interests or priorities and begin to see other people or hang in other groups.  If you think you need help, reach out and get it!  There's no shame in needing support and asking for it.  Life can be hard to navigate sometimes. It can be difficult.  That is not a reflection of you.  More a symptom of a complex world.  So love yourself, validate your needs and seek to get them met.  You never know, you may uncover a solution beneficial to others as well as you :-)

If you have lost a loved one, I want to share these lyrics I wrote, in an effort to cushion me against what was then, the impending loss of my father, at the time I wrote it.  You may find the words comforting and if you feel alone, I'm hoping you will begin to see that you are never alone when you carry your loved ones in your heart.  The song is called "Still Alive"

"This changes nothing, nothing but everything.  I hear you tell me I'm gonna be fine.  I keep you with me and I hear the words you'd say in my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.  In my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.

We are timeless, for the things we've taught.  We are beauty.  We are peace.  We are consciousness, when our lives are lost.  There's no end to the universe that each of our souls reach.  

We are infinity and you are here with me.  I can sense you sometimes as I breathe.  You are coaching me from the sidelines and those lessons you've taught, I repeat.  This changes nothing, nothing but everything.  I hear you tell me I'm gonna be fine.  I keep you with me and I hear the words you'd say, in my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.  In my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.

You're my shadow, when I feel alone.  You're the sun warming my skin.  You're the places that we used to go.  You're the answers I sense when I'm asking questions.  This changes nothing, nothing but everything.  I hear you tell me I'm gonna be fine.  I keep you with me and I hear the words you'd say in my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.  In my mind, in my mind, you're still alive.

Cause we are light and we are energy and we are impulses that travel through minds.  I can feel you sometimes like you're here with me, in my mind, in my mind, in my mind, in my mind, in my mind, in my mind, you're still alive."

Love and peace,

Kristina <3