Comfort 

I was a cautious child - part nature, part nurture. As I grew up, I came to believe that bad things awaited me around the corner. Taking chances could only increase the risk of bad things. And so I played it safe. I would do just enough schoolwork to get B’s and C’s, work just enough to not get noticed by the boss, was social enough to make acquaintances. I didn’t have much trouble, but I didn’t have much success either. There are lies we tell ourselves that keep the walls of false safety propped up:

“I’ll never know the right people”

“I’m not talented, pretty, young, cool “ or equally self-defeating “I’m too old, too fat, too (fill in the blanks| blah, blah, blah…

For a time, there is comfort here, surrounded by these flimsy walls. There is safety in not taking risks but there is no great blast of jubilation that comes from pushing through. The lies begin to lose their comfort ands start to feel more like a weight around the heart.

I have a pair of Birkenstocks that I’ve worn and worn out over 15 years. Lately I’ve noticed the sole has come unglued at the toe. This cause me to trip unexpectedly. And so I wear them a lot less. What was once sturdy and comfortable has become broken and the cause of too many stumbles. You get the picture.

So now I’m practicing going barefoot.- dreaming and doing riskier things like rediscovering the piano, writing more honestly and then digging down deeper to write more. Going shoeless means stepping on sharp rocks, getting dirty, sometimes choosing steps more carefully. It’s also the only way to feel the dew cool grass and the sun warm sand.

Me 'n' Leonard  

It took me a while to get up the nerve to call myself a singer-songwriter. I sing and I write songs, but I somehow didn't think I deserved the hyphen. As I proudly wear the hyphen, my recent challenge has been to call myself a working musician. This one is a little different because you actually have to be making more than spare change to qualify. This is the ever present factor in the momentum of getting more and better gigs and pressure to create other musical streams of income.Although I am fortunate enough to have my unofficial manager/ official husband bringing home the Monday to Friday bacon, it is important to me that I work and make an income. It is also important for my soul to work at what I love. I have told myself that this is the reality of the amateur, of the good-but-not-good-enough artist who stubbornly clings to his art on principle. We scrimp along and people secretly wonder what we will be when we grow up. Then I heard an interview with Leonard Cohen.I assumed that after 50 years of a successful international career, Leonard doesn't have to work, but he does it because he simply loves it. He does love it, but he revealed some truths that shifted my concept of being a working artist. When he started out as a poet and writer, he was not making money so he wrote and played music. He actually made music to make more money! He worked his craft out of necessity. In his golden years, recovering from embezzlement, he continues to work. He's just lucky enough to do what he is able to and loves to do. There is business and work in art. We just don't see it in the final product. But it is there and necessary to make art more than a hobby. And so I work and will continue to do so. It is work that is at times painful and plodding and at others transcendent. I am one of the lucky ones.

welcome to the verge 


  
"...you're on the verge of a miracle just waiting to be believed in .Open your eyes and see... " so sums up the way I look at the road at my feet. Recently, it occurred to me that I have been waiting all my life for my life to start. At the same time I wondered if life had been waiting for me to start. Each moment is we are on the verge of something. So often we freeze in fear or look back or too far ahead and miss the amazing.  The trouble is that when we are closest to that amazing something, things are the toughest. It's kind of like giving birth or running a marathon (so I'm told). There is a point toward the end that is so painful, that so stretches you that you feel you can't go on. The urge to give up is almost comforting. On the other side of that sharp door is that something you have been waiting for or perhaps something you never expected. It just takes some believing. So I'm believing that I don't have it all figured out. I'm believing that the past is not as important as I make it. I believe the future is meant to be unknown. And I believe I'm not the one running the show. But I do have a role to play; The role to believe... stand on the verge... and jump. Wanna come?