Is There Anybody Listening?

These words
by Chris DeGarmo and Geoff Tate of Queensryche
say it better than I ever could. . . .

You and I
Long to live like wind upon the water
If we close our eyes
We’ll maybe realize
There’s more to life than what we have known

And I can’t believe I’ve spent so long
Living lies I knew were wrong inside
I’ve just begun to see the light

Long ago, there was a dream
Had to make a choice or two
Leaving all I loved behind
For what nobody knew

Stepped out on the stage
A life under lights and judging eyes
Now the applause has died and I can dream again…

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone that sees what’s going on?

Read between the lines
Criticize the words they’re selling
Think for yourself and feel the walls
Become sand beneath your feet

Feel the breeze?
Time’s so near
You can almost taste the freedom

There’s a
Warm wind from the south
Hoist the sail
And we’ll be gone
By morning, this will all seem like a dream

And if I don’t return
To sing the song, maybe just as well
I’ve seen the news
And there’s not much I can do… Alone

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone who smiles without a mask?

What’s behind the words
Images they know will please us?
I’ll take what’s real
Bring up the lights

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone that sees what’s going on?

Read between the lines
Criticize the words they’re selling
Think for yourself and feel the walls
Become sand
Beneath your feet

Do one thing

comfortzone

Any of my followers who might wonder where I have been, I have been busy stepping out of my comfort zone.  I was kind of forced to do it – but am glad that I did.  I am not going to go into detail just yet – but let’s just say that this 40 year old body aches every night, but is getting more activity than it has in a very long time.

I used to be so fearless, and I lost my confidence along the way.  I’m slowly gaining it back and having a blast doing it.  So I thought I would stop in long enough to encourage each of you to step out of your comfort zone and do the thing that scares you.  I think it is worth it.

Quotefancy-5970-3840x2160

 

Writing is in my Blood

I have known for a long time that I come from a long line of storytellers.  Writers, musicians, poets, thespians, and artists abound in my family tree.  However, I was unaware that my paternal grandmother was not only a brilliant seamstress and artist, but she was also an aspiring writer.

This week, a gift was shared with me by a cousin: folders of written pages by my Grandma when she was taking Composition classes at our local university a couple years after my Grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack.  I have so enjoyed getting to know my Grandma a little bit more (she died of cancer when I was in high school) through these yellowed handwritten (and a few typed on a TYPEWRITER) pages.  I thought it would be fun to share some of it here on this blog.

The following was written during an in-class free-writing exercise..  I am sure many of you will relate to her words as I did.

Why must I write this essay?

by Martha Williams

I am handed two sheets of clean white paper, along with the rest of the English composition class, and told to take my pen and free write for about twenty minutes.  The topic is on “The Persuasive Theme” and my mind is as blank as the paper before me.

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I am an argumentative son-of-a-gun and will take sides at the drop of a hat, any side, both sides, up one side and down the middle.

The girl next to me who has been writing steadily, suddenly crumples up her paper and tosses it in the wastebasket and the class gets a laugh and I agree, out loud, that “that is how I feel, too.”

Surely in my head, that has been crammed with ideas and knowledge since childhood, there must be something I can write about with some intelligence, presenting one side clearly and yet showing the opposite side for reasonable doubt.  What does one do on the days when no sensible thought appears?

For two days, and longer, this essay has been on the edge of my mind.  I’ve known the whole semester that I would have to do it some day and I still am here, stymied, dumb, no thoughts at all in my head.

Would the teacher accept a note with the explanation that I just couldn’t think of a thing to write about?  No – I don’t think so.  She might be sympathetic, but since she’s passed this way before, she’d expect me to come up with something.  After all, she did it, didn’t she?

“The Zoo at Glen Miller Park is Shameful.”  Now there’s a really good subject and I can get into it with both feet.  I love animals, especially exotic ones; lions, tigers, peacocks, and all the little woods animals; the bear, the silly monkeys that look like members of my family tree; they are beautiful, cuddly, and soft.  Or are they?  Out at the Glen, they’re dirty and cross and smelly and evil looking and who wouldn’t be?  Now the other side of the argument – there isn’t one.  Well, scrap that idea.

My little friend in the next seat is going through a painful period of finding her worth in a world of people whom she thinks have everything while God has somehow passed her by.  I could write on that theme.  I certainly know a few things about that.  Some day she’ll learn that the pain she’s going through is her growth in body, mind, and spirit and she’ll recognize it and be thankful for it.  Her sorrow is only one of many kinds, but I can’t tell her that.  When you hurt, you hurt and no one else’s pain compares at all with yours.  She’s OK and she’s going to be better.  I don’t want to get into that subject anyhow.  I can solve my own problems and no one ever is popular who preaches one way or another on any phase of religion.  Who wants to be told, “just forget it, it’s happened before”?

It’s time to pass papers around for editing and ideas.  Good, that always helps and if I need anything at all today, I need help for this paper.

The first gal doesn’t really think I’m serious because I’ve been so silly today.  She is kind and laughs at my silliness, but the young man is trying to help and makes me a list of good reasons for why I should write a debating paper.  Bless them both.

Well why should I?  I’m working for credits for this course.  I have to earn them, no one’s going to say, poor little old lady, we’ll give her good grades as our good deed for today.  At least I hope no one is going to do that!  And then, even with earned credits, I’ll be a freshman for thirty years at the rate I’m going.  As kind as the good Lord has been to me, I don’t think He’ll be that patient.  So why do I work so hard?

Well, what if I do have time to earn a B.A. degree; to take all the subjects I’ve yearned with all my heart to take for 42 years?  To fill my self with the knowledge that this little gal has got a lot on the ball after all these years?  Wouldn’t I crow?  From the top of the highest tree I would!

So I’d better stop foolin’ around and get busy.

image2

written sometime around 1980 for Composition I at Indiana University East

**************************

I was so touched to know that my Grandma would be proud of me.  Although she never got to finish her B.A. degree, I did; and now I know that when I was handed that diploma from Indiana University East 25 years later, she was smiling down on me.

 

 

 

 

Repost: The Real Rich Mullins

rich

I grew up in the same community as Rich Mullins and was a huge fan of his music.  He graduated from the same high school I did.  When I was in 7th grade, he came and spoke to a group of students during our activities period.  This was the first time I’d ever seen him “up close and personal”. He sat at the piano in the band room and just talked.  He would play something every now and then – but he spoke from his heart.  I don’t remember a lot of what he had to say that day – but I do remember that he said some radical things, because I watched the teachers in the room cringe.  I LOVED THAT.  He wasn’t afraid to say what he thought.  I know a lot of what he said at the time went over my head, but his love for PEOPLE, the “everyman” was apparent.  And he was very open and honest about the fact that he was not perfect, just another human trying to do the best that he could.  I think that is a big part of why I always connected with his music.

Rich’s brother Lloyd wrote the following about comments he has received regarding the movie Ragamuffin and I loved the post so much – I had to share it.

“I really believe that [Rich] believed his job was in pointing people toward heaven, and he tried to do just that. We all wanted the movie to try to do the same. Schultz could have painted him as some kind of saint, kind of a Christian Yoda who’s got it all figured out, but that movie would have only glorified Rich, and Rich would have hated that (of course, he probably would have loved it too). Schultz took a braver approach: to show the other side, the private side. The side that only a few ever saw. I almost said were privileged to see, but frankly, there were a lot of times when it was no privilege, I’m sure. The movie Schultz made shows him as we all are; flawed, fallible, and frequently a complete asshole, but a complete asshole who never stopped loving God, who never stopped trying to please God. His struggle was not with God, but with himself, just like the rest of us.”

Please read the entire post here:

The Real Rich Mullins, Shameless Namedropping and the Cult of Personality

The final page of 2015

365

I am ready for 2016.

I have some goals for the year, but I’m not making resolutions.  Just an intention to do the best I can each and every one of the 366 (it’s a leap year!) days I am given in 2016.

2015 brought a lot of lessons.  I renewed old friendships and reawakened feelings I had forgotten how to feel.  I had my heart beautifully broken and am okay with it.  I both failed and won at being a single mom – every single day.  I started writing this blog, two novels, and several songs.  I was diagnosed with diabetes, and began a journey to a healthier me (30 lbs down, so far!).

I turned 40 and the world didn’t collapse.  In fact, it was one of the best days of my entire life.  Over 40 Random Acts of Kindness were performed on that day and since and the world became a bit brighter.  It was 70 degrees in Indiana in December and I got to hang out on the front porch with my very best friends, my tribe, the island of misfit toys, and just BE.

This past year, I cried a lot, laughed a lot, started singing again and feeling more like myself than I have in a long time.  There were a lot of struggles, and even more lessons, but I realized that I am one lucky lady to be alive and have the opportunity to wake up each day and try again.

Here’s to you on the last page of the final chapter of 2015.

Lets-make-a-beautiful-world.-Happy-New-Year

Love,

Izzy

Stabbed by syntax

I happened upon a blog post this morning entitled “10 quotes for writers and lovers and speakers of truth.”  I bookmarked the site and intend to visit it often.  One quote in particular really stood out to me today and I wanted to share it here.

Doug (photographer and AUTHOR extraordinaire) was kind enough to let me “borrow” one of his photos to help me highlight the quote.  I hope it resonates with some of you as well.

TTWQuote

photo by Doug Lafuze, Editing by Izzy

“I write to soothe the voices shouting inside me . . .”

I challenge you to write something today that you are scared to write.

Be vulnerable.

-Izzy