sewing up the economy…

You want to help the economy? No, really…forget waiting for Congress to get over it’s political constipation…support local and emerging businesses. I’d be very surprised if you didn’t know someone was trying to get something really wonderful off the ground. In case you don’t though, I’ll share with you this lovely lady, Alexia Abegg.  She’s not trying to be a millionare, she does not have the cure for cancer (although some might argue that beauty can cure anything…and I’m inclined to agree.)

This is Alexia’s kickstarter page:

ALEXIA ABEGG KICKSTARTER

 

She’s got a little sewing store in Nashville. She teaches sewing classes. And she designs patterns, a part of her business which she’d like to develop further and offer to people outside of the Nashville area.

You like sewing? You like stimulating the economy? You like being a part of something beautiful?

Well, here you go. Amazing things like this only happen if we make them happen.

No matter what your political affiliation, all are welcome to help bring more good stuff to a market saturated with awful stuff.

Be a part of the solution.

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missive: shoulder it well…

Dear one,

When you say that you’re “fine” in response to an offer of help I believe you. I believe that you are “fine” and capable and worthy and strong. I believe this. Taking an offer of help doesn’t always need to be an admission of weakness…or even need.

When things are heavy so often we CAN handle it. We DO handle it and we come out the other side “fine.” Tired, beaten down but “fine.”

Lovely friend, when an offer of help is extended I hope that you will take it because the offer exists, because as capable and worthy and strong and as “fine” as you are, we can all use the help. I know you can make it on your own. I know that you are more than ready to handle whatever comes your way. Still, when an offer of help comes I hope you will take it. I hope this because the possibility of you is unknown to you even now. The things you can do and will do are immense. There is so much MORE that will come – more good, more time, more peace, more joy. There is more.  And we see the reality of “more” in those found moments, the moments we would not have had if someone had not made an offer of help, given an opening of time and energy and love…

What it is in your life as you think on it that you insist on carrying alone even though there are hands there ready to help you? I know you can shoulder it alone…but letting others help means you may in fact,  shoulder it well and come out stronger on the other side.

Something to consider today….

-mrs m.

liminal…

I’ve been stuck here for a while now
on this “threshold”
this liminal space.
Each time I thought I was crossing into the next part of my life I’d find myself
suspended
shut down
at the ready
and yet not moving.

I am the soldier
saddled with gear
marching on the road
sun shining
and waiting for conflict.

Maybe there is no conflict, maybe there is no battle to come. Maybe I am here by accident in this place, this liminal space. All it would take is to make a decision
a choice

I find myself saying things all the time like, “all I have to do is…” or “maybe I should just force this issue or that issue.” It is this odd illusion of control, this fakery of power.

To be honest I am realizing today that there is no action, there is no “do.” Perhaps there is only the feeling and breathing of that moment and being that moment, the here and now.

Sometimes to stand on the threshold is enough action.

To spin out and make myself the ball in the pinball machine is revealed to be a lie, a metaphysical sleight of hand
designed to keep me in the game
because the universe knows how easily distracted I am,
how short my attention span has become.

crafty universe.

brain…

I’m overloaded. I really am. Gah.

As soon as I get settled on an idea I have thirty new ones. My ideas are rabbits in a cage. They multiply and create all new families of ideas. They’re fuzzy and warm and have a lot of potential. That’s as far as I’m going with that there analogy…because before you know it I’ll be on to rabbit stew and rabbit coats and both of those things are abhorrent to me. Bleh.

So back to this deep well of my brain. I like my brain, I really do. It’s just bossy and loud and overloaded. It’s times like this I feel like I need a week at a hermitage. Maybe a week is not long enough. I need a lifetime at a hermitage so compensate for the crazy pace of this brain.

Sadly, what this means is that I actually need to live several lifetimes. I need to be Methuselah. Can that be arranged? Text me if you know who I need to contact about that. I have cash money and chocolate to trade.

what if…

As I write this my boys are taking my suggestion of not using the computer or the video mind sucking device and playing with pots and pans on their heads, lids for shields and barbeque utensils for weapons. It’s very loud. I’m just sayin.

Even in all the din I’m thinking an awful lot about “what if” today.

I had a friend once tell me that “what if” questions are usually fear questions…I suppose only negative “what if” questions fit that and not, say, “what if I win the lottery?” or “what if money really did grow on trees?” Maybe those are rooted in fear too as I consider it…hm.

All in all I agree that negative “what ifs” are based in fear…sometimes reasonable, sometimes complete folly.

What I hate is how much my “what ifs” are related to my “if onlys.” Stupid “if onlys,” nothing but trouble.

Here’s my mental descent into hell:
What if we don’t get the house we’re angling to buy?

If only we had offered more at the start.

What if we never find another house like that one?

If only we hadn’t waited so long.

What if we DO get the house and it’s a horrible mistake!

If only we had this thought out better…had more time, had more money, had more energy…

gah. hello hell…you suck.

I think I have remedy. Maybe.

“what then…”

like it?

What if we don’t get this house we’re angling to buy…

What then?

Then I’ll be really disappointed.

And then?

Then we’ll look for another house.

I have a remedy for “if only” too…want to know what it is?
“and yet”

If only we had offered more money…

and yet…we offered what we had to spend, we made an offer in good faith.

If only we hadn’t waited so long…

and yet, the timing is what it needed to be.

“What ifs” speak to the future we don’t have yet. We just don’t get to worry about that and have positive return, really…we don’t.

“If onlys” speak to the past we did not have and again…we don’t get to rewrite that. We can learn from it, we can hope for the future but in the end…we can only walk the road that is under our feet.

what then?
we stumble
we grieve

and yet
we learn.
we celebrate
we stand up and keep walking.

frenzy…

because I have all this free time on my hands (NOT) I made this bizarre commitment to finally write a screenplay that’s been in my head a loooong time.

I had wanted to partner with someone to write it because frankly I fear that if I don’t have someone to collaborate with it will never happen. Unfortunately, the person I hoped to tap is already tapped as it were…so, I’m striking out on my own, at least for the first draft.

So ScriptFrenzy…30 days, 100 pages. That’s the goal. It happens to come during a month in which I will be traveling a lot and spending time at the Festival of Faith and Writing…so, that’s appropriate I guess.

I’m about 9 pages in.

If you want to read it as it unfolds I am open to that. Just send me a note via email (mrsmetaphor at mrsmetaphor dot com) and let me know you’d like to read it. I’ll send you a cool password to this page. Just remember my paper thin ego and lavish lots of praise and encouragement. That’s all I ask.

Once the revisions start you can give me real feedback. Right now it’s all about finishing. Oy.

margin…

Dave spent the night a couple of weeks ago in the ER. He suffered from a bout of vertigo and by the time he landed in Nashville and met up with us for dinner he was feeling some chest pains so we took him in. Thankfully, he is fine and there was no need for another apart from the scope to make sure there were no blockages in his heart. We both spoke the cause ourselves just after that…stress.

Stress is fear, you know. It just is. We resolved once again to move this big black cloud of fear somehow…knowing that it’s hard to will clouds to move, especially big black clouds. We can plug in all our fans and blow as hard as we can but moving that cloud feels nearly impossible at best.

We can ignore the cloud, that’s a possibility. Lord knows enough people do this every day. It goes against us though, not to fight. So we shake our fists at the cloud and curse it daily, even as it advances.

This trip to the ER really set us back. It occurred to me today that our packed out weekend dissolved. All the things on my docket were treasured things, I’ve spilled a lot of grief about missing the cancelled meetings and appointments, reunions with old friends, support of my godddaughter, time with my family…and then there is the matter of having to call upon people to “help” me. I HATE asking for help. It is so very difficult for me to ask. Meh.

How thankful I am that I have people to call, people to help. How I wish that I was more able to reach out in times of need, to not feel so disparaged by my own need.

It hit me on all kinds of levels, this unexpected weekend…and I realized, we have no “margin.” We have such packed and precarious lives over here that even a day of emotional and physical crazy outside of our prescribed and regular amount of crazy completely sets us off. We have no idea how to recover, which makes that black cloud advance faster and leads us to fill up our margin even more to stave off it’s arrival on our doorstep.

The question now we’re asking is NOT ‘how do we let go of the stress’ but rather, how do we increase the margin so that the stress doesn’t become our constant focal point. If we keep our focus small for a while, located squarely on how we walk and talk, how we parent, how we friend, how we love those people who are already close, those people who drop their own plans to afford us some comfort, maybe that is what bring us margin.

Stress, fear, doubt…these are constant in the world…love has to grow in equal measure and it must be nurtured and attended. This is where we want to build our margin. This is where we must begin.

regret…

This might sound odd…
oh who am I kidding? I don’t care if it sounds odd.

I was thinking today about this sweet young singer I heard about 10 years ago when I went to hear Jonatha Brooke play at the Park West in Chicago. I loves me some Jonatha Brooke, she was awesome, she still is…you should check her out if you don’t know her name or her music.

That aside, though, I was thinking about the sweet young woman who opened for her. She was wonderful, original, funny and her songs were lovely as well. I do not remember her name. I do not remember any particulars about her songs.

I feel as though I’ve missed out somewhere and today I feel convicted…and today I’m going to convict you as well.

If you hear a song you like on the radio or at someone’s house or opening for another act, WRITE IT DOWN and SEEK IT OUT! Better yet, if you see a CD for sale there at the gig. Buy it if you’re able. At the very least get something with their name on it. If you like it, remember it. Do what it takes to remember it.

Being an artist means so often being subject to the whims and fancies of the people who hear our work. It’s honoring for someone to ask me for a recording of my work. I don’t have designs on material gain from my music so I give it away. A GREAT NUMBER of independent artists, however, do sincerely want to earn a living from their craft….not get rich, get famous, what have you…but earn a living. If you like what they’ve done, be a person of support…whether that means talking them up, reviewing them well, referring other people, bringing a friend to their next gig, buying their CD, following them on Twitter, downloading their songs…do it.

I regret how often I’ve let a great song slip away from me after hearing it. Let’s all move toward supporting great art in any way we can. You do make a difference, you really do.

feet of clay

I wrote this song in 1993. yowza. These lyrics are older than my daughter.
Today, though, beginning the season of Lent I thought it was appropriate to revisit them.

Feet of Clay
This is the set of tools that I came with
started me out on the road that I travel.
This is an angry piece of architecture
this is a work gone bad.
Hands made from plaster of patience
Eyes formed in pools of politeness
this is an angry piece of architecture
this is a sudden plea.

If I stay in the road, feet of clay, heavy load
If I stand in these places, feet of clay, open spaces
Melt the chains with my fever
I will travel so much further
have no map to find my way
nothing left but feet of clay.

This is the crowd of people that gathered
this is the social net I was caught in
started to feel like Venus in cages
whispering down the wisdom of ages.
This is the time I take to tell you
covers a lot of ground in the rear view.
This is an angry piece of architecture
this is a black silhouette.

If I stay in the road, feet of clay, heavy load
If I stand in these places, feet of clay, open spaces
Melt the chains with my fever
I can travel so much further
have no map to find my way
nothing left but feet of clay.

Listen to tales and follow their meaning
things are not always just what they’re seeming.
This is an upscale neighborhood
I want to walk on the grass.
Heart made from strong metal fibers
Spirit made from stuff of the strongest.
This is an angry piece of architecture
this is a work in progress.

loss…

I received word this morning that an estranged friend has passed away.

I am astounded at how profoundly this affects me. He was a close friend of Dave’s for a long time and a friend to me as well for a period of time. He was a troubled man, a person who found life as tragedy more than blessing. He was angry when I knew him and rebellious. He was difficult to love and yet we did love him as we were able.

One day he just disappeared from our lives. He just left. We had an idea of where he had gone but there was no word from him. We often wondered aloud if he was still alive. It seemed that just as we would wonder that we’d get a call or email or letter or friend request on myspace or facebook. We’d have a bit of contact and then, he was gone again. Unreachable.

I suppose that is how I remember our friend. Unreachable…or maybe, it is more accurate to say, “out of our reach.” As we moved closer he would always move just outside of our reach. It is impossible to embrace someone who is out of our reach. We were never really able to embrace him. I suppose that is where I find the greatest sadness.

It is in fact tragic for the world to lose another of it’s citizens. I believe it is always tragic, this loss. The loss of my friend has no physical effect on my daily life, this is just the reality of things. I will not have an everyday loss of Chris. I have what feels like a deeper loss…the loss of the maybe, the could be, the not yet.

My prayer is that what finds him now is peace. I pray that he is released from the pain and torment he carried like a torch, like a flashing neon sign. I pray that he is now able to be embraced, fully, by the love that eluded him for so long in this life.

I pray that we all are able to feel that embrace, to allow that embrace, to stop moving just out of reach…