Kristina Furey

Holding Pattern

 

I’m a big believer in living in the moment, while planning for the days to come, while honoring my core needs. While these are my beliefs, I am still working hard at living them and trying not to betray myself along the way. It’s the WANTS, with their empty promises that have taken me down dead end paths that and occasionally confusing my own belief system and needs with those around me. Quiet, is my friend, offering a safe and comfortable place where I can check in with my core needs. Not that they ever change, only that they are constantly challenged.

We live in the moment as children. We get mad, angry, sad, whatever, it doesn’t matter because the next moment comes along and we evolve with it, back into our natural states of contentment (so long as our survival needs are being taken care of). Could it be that the moment we start having expectations on what life will offer or should offer, that living in the moment becomes such a challenge? It’s hard not to have expectations. They kind of go along with planning. Yet when our expectations aren’t met we often find resentment because we thought we were owed it. “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies.”---Nelson Mandela

I recently expected to meet up with my parents in St. Kitts and instead learned my Father was having stroke like symptoms while in between flights to St. Kitts, that later turned out to be a golf ball size tumor and that later turned out to be a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Sooo not what I expected! I think my whole family was in free fall mode there with each diagnosis.

This brings me back to my core needs. The desire to nurture and be nurtured by those I love. My mind since January 21st has been so occupied with “What can I do to make this better?” Realizing all I could do was just be patient and to try to be comforting to my parents but that was about it, until we learned the specifics. Now the plans are beginning to surface and I find myself once again trying to get real with myself over my needs and my wants. Trying not to drink any poison along the way and learning it is a BIG BOO BOO on my part to try to push my loved ones buttons, during my dark moments, in an effort to make them feel like I do, out of my own need to feel validated, to feel the way I do. It seems to me to be one of the worst ways we not only drink the poison but poison our own loving, nurturing relationships with each other. I’ve heard that your life is either an inspiration to others or a warning. I’d like to believe my life offers both. So, this friends, is a warning from me to you and one I was thankful to pick up on while in my own state of distress. I hope you will keep this in mind the next time you feel antsy, desperate or dark minded and I hope it will be a reminder not to push that other person’s buttons to make them feel your pain. You don’t want them feeling your pain and you certainly don’t want to push away your support system. Bring them close, hold them, for your benefit and theirs. Allow yourself to be vulnerable instead of angry. Anger is not strength. It’s a destroyer. Vulnerable on the other hand, is truth. We are all vulnerable. As my brother said to me, four years ago before he died, “None of us get out of here alive.”

Love each other! We are all living with a terminal condition called life and tomorrow may never come. We all crave love to fill those dark, empty places that somehow end up inside of us, along life’s path. So do what you need to do, to fill up your life, heart and soul, treat those around you with kindness, so we can all enjoy the moment as best we can!

Love,

Me

 

We Can't Deny

 

We Can’t Deny

http://www.reverbnation.com/kristinafurey/song/20176936-we-cant-deny-to-go-wblog-titled

We can’t deny what’s happening here. You’re getting older and I’m getting older. And I see the lines etched on your face a map to the past, a reminder of yesterday. A time when you couldn’t love me, the way that I needed, I thought you only loved me when I pleased you but now we push that pain aside, cause what good is pain, once we’ve learned the lessons it teaches?

And I can’t deny when I look at your face, the love that I feel, the love that you’ve given me. Please, won’t you give me your hand, I’ll help you stand, I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me, that would take great strength in deed!

We can’t deny, that all that we have, is just here and now, it’s only this space in time. Please won’t you give me your hand, I’ll help you stand, I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me, that would show great strength indeed!

Please, won’t you give me your hand! I’ll help you stand! I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me and it will give us the courage we both seek!

(I recorded this song back in 2003 to accommodate a screen play I’d written called “The List”, about a woman that finds a list, her recently deceased friend wrote of the things she wanted to accomplish by age 40 and so the woman, who was just about to end her own life, chooses instead to complete the list for her friend. I had copy (written) the screenplay as well as registered it with the writer’s guild and then sent it out and about into the world, never hearing a reply but some years later was told by a friend there was a movie called “The Bucket List” coming out and it sounded a lot like my screenplay. A kick to the gut! (Though not a direct steal, different stories, strangely very familiar to each other) Realizing I didn’t have the kind of money it would take, to take such a thing to court and thinking there’s always the chance they never saw my screenplay or the plot I had written and sent out, also keeping in mind my own belief in a collective consciousness… Instead, I took my Mother’s advice and tried to find comfort in what writing the screenplay had given me and how it helped me evolve once again into a songwriter pursuing her craft.

It offered other gifts. It helped me realize that we get in life what we practice every day. If you’re complaining, you’ll get better at it. If you’re holding resentment over the past, you’ll get better at supporting that resentment and telling the stories that strengthen that resentment to yourself and others. On the other hand if you practice hope, you will more easily find it around you and inspire it in others. If you practice healing you will get better at recognizing the things that hurt you and the things that help you and once you learn the skills to help yourself, you will want to help others and then they will want to help you and so the more you practice it, the more you allow it into your life, give it to yourself and receive it from others! Occasionally, I think of the list but it stills sours my stomach a bit so I try to focus on other things. I was never happy with the recording I did of “We Can’t Deny.” The gentleman, whose services I used had his own ideas about how it had to be musically. He was the professional and I just a stay at home Mom that wanted to record her song for her screenplay. I see myself differently now and one day, hope to record this the way I originally heard it in my head. The professional did an amazing job on it, especially for the money I paid him! It was my own insecurities and my own fault that I didn’t speak up to get everything I wanted out of the experience.

In the past week we have learned that my Father is facing an aggressive form of cancer. This song and the particular line “We can’t deny that all that we have is just here and now, it’s only this space in time,” has come to mind. I wanted to share it because I think it holds a lot of weight and truth that may be beneficial to you.

The song was my way of delivering something that I know as truth, without any doubts. We are all people doing our best in life and we need to practice patience, compassion, understanding, communication and forgiveness of ourselves and others, if we are to get the most out the relationships that we hold so dear.

"I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality."---Byron Katie

No promises on how long I will keep this link active, I’m still learning to hear myself with kindness, when recordings don’t come out the way I want or hear it in my head. It’s a little OCD of me. It drives me bonkers and I’m working on it!)

 

February Newsletter

 

Hello beautiful people!

Could it really be?  Is it almost really March???  Yes!  Just a week from this Saturday is March 1st.  Ahh March, that wild crazy month that burns hot and cold as it plays the liaison between bitter frostbite February and the return to beauty, life and nurturing, Mother April.  I am really anticipating March, along with our first performance of the year, at Mad Horse Brewpub, March 1st from 6:30-9:30.  I really anticipate the warmth of seeing some friendly faces and sharing some music and good vibes!

Hope to see you!

Kristina Furey

 

How and why I started in music

 

Okay,  (deep cleansing breath).  I’m taking the online class that Dave Kusek put together called the NEW ARTIST MODEL CLASS and while going over the question, “How and why you started in music?”  I’ve had to come face to face with the truth and also some shame, over my past.  But this is good cause I’ve walked through the shame and came out on the other side with some important realizations about myself.  I’ll try to brief.  Well no, no I won’t!  :-)  If I tried to be, I would just do what I usually do and say nothing for fear of diving too deep. 

I lost my way on life’s path at age 11 and yet, I found my own way.  I was skipping school and spending the days in my bedroom writing lyrics from top 40 songs that I taped off of the “Casey Kasem’s Top 40” show on Sundays.  I was unimpressed with life, school and where it all appeared to be heading.   I was suffering from what I now understand were panic attacks.  So while my peers were at school, I would spend the mornings watching “People Are Talking” with Richard Sher and Oprah Winfrey (local talk show that was out of Baltimore), followed by Phil Donahue and then I would listen over and over to the songs I had recorded and try to understand and write the lyrics to the songs in the notebooks, the ones I had been given for school work.  I guess it was my own lesson plan, though at the time, I shamefully did this as my grades in school seriously plummeted.  But this routine brought me some comfort and hope that one day, life would be better and I could forget the dark side of my life for a while. 

Later, I started writing my own lyrics as a way to daydream my way out of the real world or purge myself of the darkness.  While I realize this all sounds very sad, it was, BUT I had a desire to learn about life and this routine was a joyful one for me.  My teachers, Richard, Oprah, Phil and all the wonderful songwriters and singers, oh and those long distance dedications Casey would read…    they were my heroes and they helped me understand that I was not alone.  I learned every life story has so many perspectives and we can choose the one that best works for us.  I took hope in the idea that even the adults were dumbfounded and they were getting by alright, so maybe I would be okay.  I learned new things to try in navigating my way through life.  I had hope that I could one day put together the life that would make me happy and I strung the happy moments  together, like fine jewelry and cut the fabric of my life to create the most  beautiful quilt I could make out of it and that revolved around writing my own lyrics and creating my own songs. 

In high school, I realized I was not so alone in my struggles and I began to write lyrics for others and found that they too benefited. 

In 10th grade, my teachers were joined by Alec Guinness, when my  drama teacher showed me a film on him that opened my mind to a whole new world of books on acting and the mental and moral qualities we all have, which then lead me to books on psychology and self help.  I was jazzed and ready to save the world but in need of some saving myself!  Still struggling with school, it was the music classes, drama classes, and performing opportunities that got me showing up on a more regular basis.  I had so much shame of not fitting the scholar mode!  I didn’t realize at the time, I was a student of something else, something bigger, that had a very powerful hold on me and was using the resources I was filling myself with to create through me.   I get these songs and lyrics racing through my head that if I don’t write them down quickly enough, they’ll be forever gone.  Well, maybe not.  Maybe it’s a collective consciousness and it will keep repeating like an SOS until someone brings it into the material world.  Maybe?  In the meantime I listen and try to oblige it.  I see them as musical prescriptions for healing and/or prescriptions to connect us to the feelings we need to open ourselves to and completely feel, so we can let them go and make room for better feelings.     When I try to write without this connected feeling, what I come up with seems very synthetic in comparison.  Maybe that’s just me not trusting myself.  Don’t really know?  But I love the feeling of putting pen to paper and feeling it flow through me or just opening my mouth and singing it without any prior idea of what will come out and having something beautiful show up! 

So when I started down the path of music I really just wanted to honor what was coming through me and use it for the sake of healing and helping but we’ve found it’s a whole lot easier to find paying gigs when you play cover songs that others already like and add in some they request and keep adding songs, and for my own joy add songs we’ve written with the same feel as the songs we are already playing and then record those songs and before I knew it…   I’m happy to be doing what I do.  I think Dan and I have learned so much about music and have gotten so much more experience in songwriting from the songs we’ve covered.  I have loved every smile, laugh, and tear (though that last one kinda shocked me) and I love people and it all makes sense but at the same time, I want to give voice to this beautiful thing that possesses me and wants to heal the world.  So it’s conflicting to me!  My current plan is to have two simultaneous plans, which I have been working on!  One is to continue the path Dan and I are currently on and one is to give voice to my core.  So here I am.  That’s why I started and that’s how I started.  Thought I’d share… :-)

 

How to have a great Valentine's Day!

 

It's easy really. Actually, it was Edie Brickell and the Gaddabouts that said it, "Go Where The Love Is." That's it, all you need for a great Valentine's Day and advice for a great life too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVQvgtX9xcM

Sounds so simple but is it? Well not if you have to navigate your way around a person that gets between you and someone you love and kind of becomes the gatekeeper to that, someone you love. Then there's the question of how do you make sure you've not allowed anyone to be the gatekeeper to you. Things too, can come between you and those that love you or those that you love. And negative thoughts that turn to beliefs can interfere with you allowing the love in.

While I'm on the subject of love interference, I want to add something... Be kind to your children and welcoming to those people that have a connection to them. Divorce or a child being born out of wedlock, should never mean that a child loses out on their support system, the people that naturally have the inclination to love them. When bad things happen, the more people around your child that have an invested loving interest in that child, the more people the child has to physically and emotionally support them, jump in when the child is in need. We can't know for sure that we will always be there for our children or how long we will live even. We don't know who our children will turn to when they don't feel comfortable turning to us, so make sure you let them have those people with a natural inclination to love them, there to turn to. I grew up with foster brothers and sisters and I've experienced life in a way that I'm no stranger to seeing children lose out because of someone elses selfishness.

If I had to add anything to "Go where the love is" it would be and don't obstruct someone elses access to being loved.

I invite you to share your own thoughts on this if you like. My thoughts on this came to light after watching the Movie "The Way Way Back." The song, is from the movie.

 

Romance? Yes, it is the thought that counts!

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m putting on my “Maurice” hat and speaking on the pompatus of love. 

Some weeks back, I found myself in a discussion on romance.  Basically a friend was telling me that they didn’t think someone else’s idea of romance was romantic.  I had gotten the gist of what the person found romantic and understood that it just didn’t translate to my friend’s idea of romance.   

As I’ve said before, “I believe that, romance is a love of self and an appreciation for life, extended to the world beyond and then bringing that world into your consciousness through all of the senses, embracing it and experiencing its pleasures and then returning those pleasures back into the world. We can have it with a moment, a person, or anything alive and receptive. It's spiritual. So being romantic is consciously sharing the beauty of that world we have experienced by pleasurably exciting the person we are being romantic with and allowing them to do the same for us.  In order to do this we have to slow down life a bit, take moment and focus on that person or the attempt at romance turns into something synthetic and then people are just going through the motions, which leads to feelings of disconnect, not romance.”  ß This last part, the synthetic part, is why I think there are so many people out there that are turned off by the idea of celebrating Valentine’s Day and why some find it cliché. 

While romance can be connected to an action or gift, it is more than an action or a physical gift.  It’s that pleasurable feeling shared between the giver and intended recipient.  Certainly we can fail at this attempt when the other person is unable to experience the same pleasure, can’t or won’t.  This could be an early sign for a new relationship that you are mismatched and may be a reason to rethink your relationship or a sign for more a mature relationship that maintenance is necessary (Can happen when careers, children and other things in life hijack your relationship.  Also relationships, like life, have their phases.)  Before you concern yourself with any of that, try this.  If you don’t get the intended result, communicate!  That’s right use your words and explain what about the experience is romantic to you and explain that this is something intimate you wanted to share with the person you want to be romantic with and then open the conversation to, “So what brings you this kind of pleasure?  What’s romantic to you?  What kind of memories do you want to make?”  You don’t have to be able to come up with the winning romantic gesture all on your own.  You don’t need to read someone else’s brain and surprise them with the perfect romantic surprise.  Many people find the gesture of someone’s attempt to be romantic, a romantic thing all on its own.  Even if what you came up with wasn’t something they find romantic.  Go figure…   easier than we think sometimes.  The loss is the win.  Why?  It’s the effort.  It goes back to “It’s the thought that counts” thing.  So, just asking someone what they would find romantic and then trying to give them that gift, that experience, is actually romantic. 

 

4 blogs and 1 post

 

I've been struggling trying to write my blog this week.  My father took ill last week.  I've written three blogs and not been able to bring myself to post one, out of concern for his own privacy and knowing there is still a family member that needs to be told.  This is blog four.  I do feel like I've gotten my own head in order, through the three renditions of blogs, prior to this, I was able to get it out of my head.

I will say it is just like me to almost at the exact moment I got the news about my father, drop my phone into the toilet and been unable to communicate.  FRUSTRATING.  Dan quotes to me, when I get this way, "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast."  He wasn't around at the moment my phone took the dive but anxiety was, in a mighty big way!  I do feel confident in my father's doctors and hopeful all will go well with his impending surgery.  If you pray, please say a prayer for my father.  I would greatly appreciate that!

Emily Dickinson-"Hope" is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers-That perches in the soul-And sings the tune without the words-And never stops-at all-

And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard-And sore must be the storm-That could abash the little Bird that kept so many warm-

I've heard it in the chillest land-And on the strangest Sea-Yet-never-in Extremity, It asked a crumb-of me.

 

The Hook

 

I love that song by Blues Traveler, “Hook”.  For years I thought they were saying “The heart brings you back,” telling of me, Freud would say.  Give the song a listen and read the lyrics and you’ll realize how cleverly it was written, brilliance on John Popper’s part!  He did “hook” me or his reuse of Pachelbel’s “Cannon in D” did…  Either way, I was trying to sing along for years, before one day, I finally looked up the lyrics and was astounded to realize what John Popper was saying and how precisely he proved his stance.  I realized I’d been playfully wooed into a deeper realization of a thought he was trying to get out, that sly man!  Considerate, not to come off bitter and bring up the walls of his listeners, he delights us instead, pulling us in until we understand him not as a bitter singer/songwriter but as someone with a definite point.  By the time you realize what he’s saying you’ve already been duped by exactly what he’s concerned about, so it’s not really his opinion (which could be construed as griping), it’s fact, irrefutable, if you just fell for it. 

I could go on and on in many directions with this.  However today I’m asking, “What is the hook for you?”  I ask myself this same question.  For me, it’s the heart, mine and other peoples.  It’s what I knowingly  will go through pain and discomfort for, it’s what will have me dropping everything, to turn around when I’m this close to where I want to be or what I want.  By this close I mean a half of half the distance, half, of half of that, then half of half of that etc…   which becomes that infinitely small space that never resolves because my heart won’t allow it to and that has me needing to be honest with myself about the direction I will and can’t take. 

I’ve been chasing my own tail with ideas of what I need or more likely, what is “success”?  It’s funny how many times I find myself relearning what I already knew/know.  When it’s quiet, when I find my distance from societies idea of what is a successful singer/songwriter, I realize that I’m no more a singer/songwriter than I am many things, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a member of my community, the list goes on and on but I am also a very small working part of a very vast universe, that has been very giving to me, since before I had thoughts in my head and the experiences it has offered me, has taught me that I want my music to be able to support itself and be giving too and hey, it has!  When times have been good financially, I’ve even been able to use some of the money for my love of people, by investing it in their welfare.  My short history in the professional side of music has taught me, I don’t need to be larger than life and I don’t need to spend more money than my music has proven its worth to be, on some great CD recording and I don’t need to be funded from some outside source.  I simply need to keep doing what I can, when I can and how I can, as that has proven to be the route of my success.  For me, my “hook” has helped me realize my path, as well as, who I am, who I’m not and what I naturally need to be content and happy with myself.  Turns out that being true to those needs gives me the most satisfaction!  “Because the hook brings you back.  I ain’t tellin’ you no lie.”---Blues Traveler

 

January News Letter

 

Hello!

I hope your new year is off to a good start. If not, take heart, every
day, every hour, every moment, is a new beginning and chance to take what
you've experienced and put it to good use. I wish you all passion that
excites the mind and stirs you to your toes this year! Along with that, I
wish you the energy to push you in the directions you want to go, until
the gravity of passion takes over and pulls you along on a path greater
than the one you had in envisioned in the first place. I also wish you
love. I wish you to be surrounded by love and be able to recognize it in
all the forms it takes, so you can feel the blessings of life in all its
abundance and so that you can become its, (life's and love's) advocate. I
think this year has a lot of possibility to offer us all, so drink it
up!!! :-)

As far as performances go, Dan and I have taken this and next month off.
We have been trying to record since November and just as soon as we
stocked up our recording studio, Dan got sick, followed by me getting
sick. Then we tried to find time during the holiday season to get back on
it, adding a very rough vocal track (as I did not have use of my full
vocals) and a pretty decent rhythm guitar track to add to our drum track.
The learning curve of our updated equipment and some new equipment has
also had us trekking along at a slower pace than what we had hoped. After
many hours of recording, many scratch tracks revised and re-recorded, we
do currently have our first rough recording of our first song for our next
CD. AND THE WINNER IS. "Here We Are Again." We just need to re-record
the vocals. I'm waiting for my new insurance cards so I can schedule an
appointment and do something about finally getting rid of this sinus thing
that started with a cold 2 days before Thanksgiving. I'm aggravated with
that but looking forward to being able to put the finishing touches on our
song. Here's a link to our Youtube performance of "Here We Are Again" if
you're not sure which song that is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3wOVUoETXM

I'm sure you have challenges facing you this year and I'm sure if you take
some time each day to think about what those challenges are and brain
storm on them, the answers will come. I'm a fantastic brain stormer,
should you find you need some guidance there. I'm feeling a little
overwhelmed with the task of how to balance our recording, our performing
and Dan's love of sailing this coming spring and through the warm seasons
but as I said, I do believe the answers will come and this year has a lot
of possibility, so I'm nervously, excitedly, looking to see where the
answers come from and where the passion takes us!

All the best!
Kristina :-)

PS-For more of my life epiphanies and general inspiration check out my
blog @ http://kristinafurey.com/blog/ where in the past month, I've
covered the topics of how much better we feel when we take a moment before
reacting to take a look at the big picture, also,how expectations can be
lies that lead to disappointment, and how I pushed my own awkward feelings
aside and got comfortable with a lifestyle that makes me feel very
uncomfortable.

PSS-I finally figured out how to enable blog comments. :-)

 

A Deep Freeze-2 experiences of mine from the past 24 hours

 

It was 2:30am this morning when I awoke to the fear that I had forgotten to leave the kitchen faucet dripping before I went to bed.  I ran to the sink and turned it on.  A little water came out and then I heard a sputtering sound and there was nothing more.  Into the bathroom I ran for hairdryer.  Dan woke up and followed me into the kitchen, fiddled with the faucet and then quickly got to work with the hair dryer.  A little later, our son joined us in the kitchen asking if he could help in any way.  By that time I had found a very sad space heater (I had meant to get rid of) and I pulled the extension cord from our music gear.  Three hours later, our pipes were defrosted.  I was so glad our one and only hairdryer did not burn out in the process of trying to defrost the pipes. 

I almost called to cancel my meet up with some friends this morning at Starbucks and surprised myself by showing up a little early.  I saw a lady there I recognized from around and had correctly assumed was homeless.  It was an answered prayer to see her and her companion.  The two of them and some other folks have been heavy on my mind since I heard about the deadly freeze.  I had never spoken to these particular women before as it had never seemed natural to me to strike up a conversation with them.  They mostly just keep to themselves.   Today, I pushed away my awkward feelings and anxiety aside and stepped up, asking the woman (she was alone, her friend in the bathroom at the time of my arrival) if she would like some coffee or something to eat.  She had just finished what appeared to be coffee. 

We chatted for a bit, some things she said, I couldn’t really make sense of but I got the gist of it.  They had a decent, heated place, to sleep last night.  When her companion walked over and she and I got to talking, I got the sense that she was more the caretaker in this relationship.  She was easy to understand.  She said she had hoped to be out of this area by winter and certainly did not expect things to be as cold as they’ve been.  She spoke of some places where there was shelter for them, explaining the hard part was getting to those places as she asked me for a ride.  They had food stamps and were off to get groceries and then If I wouldn’t mind…   I didn’t.  I took them where they were headed.  We shared some personal information, which I think reminded each of us how similar we are and calmed each of our nerves about our choice of getting into a car with a stranger/strangers.  I saw each of these women as me, who I might have been, could be even.   I wished, I could have done more for them and wondered if I could have, after dropping them off and heading back to be with my friends.  I took comfort in knowing I had saved them what would have been a freezing, cold walk, as I headed back to join my friends at Starbucks and drink my warm coffee.