Time marches on

Check out this beautiful blog written by my older brother. Proud of him for being able to express these feelings and super proud of my nephews and niece who are amazing human beings.

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If you would have told me five years ago that things would be as they are now, I would have scoffed.  Never would I have imagined the life changes that have occurred in the past two years. Sure, in the scheme of family life, the kids grow older, go to college, move away white time moves us along as they begin to move forward to form their lives and their futures. Some of those life changing events brought me to the darkest period of my life thus far. My kids mean the world to me, and not being around them much due to the inevitable “growing up” has been a tough adjustment for this recently divorced father.

Yesterday I had one of those moments where emotion takes you down fast.  Being the end of the semester, dad duties include picking up no longer needed furniture for the move back home for summer.  The boys and…

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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

Repost: The Real Rich Mullins

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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

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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.

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Love,

Izzy

Going back to the beginning . . .

When I began this blog, it was about a journey . . . of self-discovery . . . of revisiting my past and seeing what I have learned and what I still need to work on.

After a few weeks, I got derailed.

I became a feedback junkie.  I worried about how many people were reading what I wrote – and not what I or others might learn from my words.  And I lost my passion for the basic reason I write.

So, I’m going back to the beginning.

On one my very first blogs, several  years ago, I shared part of a journal entry from a writing class about why I write.  I’m sharing an updated version here to remind myself why I do this; It isn’t for the reblogs, or the views, or whatever kind of recognition I might be seeking.  At least, it shouldn’t be.


 

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Why do I write? Because if I didn’t, I honestly think I might go insane.

When I’m not writing, things are not right in the world of Izzy. And even when I’m not physically putting things down on paper (or on the computer screen), I am constantly writing things in my head.

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I will come up with a brilliant idea while driving down the road, but by the time I get somewhere to do something about it, it has run away with the other thoughts crowding my brain and it feels like a lost opportunity.

I have so many ideas of what I want to write about, learning from my past, being a single mom, music, poetry, and even the never-attainable fairy-tale romance.  I probably have 20+ drafts of things that I have started and not finished.  I get caught up in the reasons why I’m writing it, or what any readers might think of it, or if what I have to say even matters.  Often, I chicken out and don’t go where my heart and my words are leading me.

But I continue to write.

I write because it is born in me.

Writing has been passed down to me through generations of storytellers, poets, and musicians.  It is a part of me that makes me who I am and a part that has never gone away, even when I’ve tried to suppress it.

I always write more than required when it comes to school or work assignments and often get teased or even reprimanded for “writing a book” when only a paragraph is required.  I don’t do it to be an overachiever.  The truth is, I love words.

I do not want to write for recognition and I will not allow myself to follow that path anymore.

I write because I really have no choice.

And it is time to go back to the beginning where I remember that.

-Izzy

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD

Favorite Memories: My 18th Birthday

Now that I’m only 5 months away from 40, I have spent some time lately thinking about some of the memories in my life that stand out to me.  Why do I remember certain details and not others?  Just the other day my Dad was telling me a story and I didn’t remember it at all.  That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – it is just that it was something my brain must have decided it didn’t have room to store.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman writes “Your brain is built of cells called neurons and glia—hundreds of billions of them. Each one of these cells is as complicated as a city. And each one contains the entire human genome and traffics billions of molecules in intricate economies. Each cell sends electrical pulses to other cells, up to hundreds of times per second. If you represented each of these trillions and trillions of pulses in your brain by a single photon of light, the combined output would be blinding.

The cells are connected to one another in a network of such staggering complexity that it bankrupts human language and necessities new strains of mathematics. A typical neuron makes about ten thousand connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.” – from Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Our brains are fascinating, complex, and obviously very busy all the time (which could explain my recurring issue with insomnia . . .).  However, there are certain memories that come back that I’m appreciative my brain decided to store, so I could glean what I can from them in my journey to being the best me that I can be.  One of these memories is my 18th birthday.

I don’t remember a lot of the actual day; it was my senior year and we had a Music Department Christmas Concert that night.  I sang an Amy Grant song at the concert called “Grown-Up Christmas List” which felt very profound to me on the brink of adulthood.  After the concert, I had invited my closest friends over to the house for cake – but there was one specific thing I asked for:  my own private “concert”.

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Izzy and Uncle Steve 1989-ish

I am fortunate to have been born into a very musical and creative family.  My Auntie Linda also married a very talented musician and they lived just around the corner from me growing up.  So many times when asked to sing a special at church, I’d be unable to find the song I wanted to sing on an accompaniment TAPE (yep, I’m old), so I’d go see Uncle Steve and he’d learn it on the guitar and play for me.  We’d practice it several times and then sing it the next day.  Probably wasn’t a good thing to procrastinate, but those were some of my favorite specials.  Live music always seemed so much more authentic to me.

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Mr. Kays and Izzy – “Rocky Top” – NHS Talent Show 1994

Along with my family, I have had some absolutely amazing music teachers.  My senior year, that teacher was Mr. Mark Kays.  Mr. Kays did more than teach us music.  He taught us history and theory and how music changes lives.  He allowed us to be creative and helped us follow our dreams.  A small group of my friends (our island of misfit toys) often stayed after school just to talk with and learn from Mr. Kays.  And like my Uncle Steve, Mr. Kays was a fabulous musician who could play multiple instruments.  I had the privilege of Mr. Kays accompanying me on guitar for our Choir’s Dinner Theatre and also in a talent show where he played banjo and I ::gasp:: did a clogging routine.  But back to my birthday . . .

I asked Mr. Kays and Uncle Steve to come to my birthday party and bring their guitars.  And that night, after cake and ice cream, we sat in our dining/music/computer room and just played and sang music.  They played Dueling Banjos and Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind”.  And in the moment, I was so content to just sit and listen and sometimes sing along with these God-given talents.  I didn’t go into adulthood with the cliché trip to buy cigarettes or lottery tickets.  I rang in adulthood with music and creativity and love.  And these three things are what I hope to carry into my forties.

I’ll end this post with a musical thank you to Uncle Steve Mathews and Mr. Mark Kays.  Thank you for the music.