One week ago I released a brand new project called Velveteen. (Get it digitally HERE + physical copies HERE). I’m pretty excited about this collection of songs, because I wrote them not from other people’s stories but from my own. I could never have foreseen either the tragedy or the gifts that are coming through the tragedy, but they are both real.
Sooner or later, like the Velveteen Rabbit, we find ourselves in the middle of a fire...
Friends, I released a new single last week called "Feels Like Home."
As a moderate introvert and Type 9 on the Enneagram, I'm prone to feeling overwhelmed by the noise & chaos around me. I wear myself out protecting my peace of mind and talk way too much about woods-walking and tiny houses.
Living in a full house amplifies the pleasure of a little bit of quiet, a little bit of solitude or a date night where we get to be just ourselves and drive somewhere. As a former army brat, I never tire of exploring the elusive notion of "home" and have no choice but to allow it to remain fluid in terms of place but constant in terms of people.
If "home" requires a permanent physical address, then many of us are homeless. But if home - at its deepest level - is about being known & cherished by someone, then we sleep in mansions.
So one day at the piano, craving a wide open sky and quiet companionship, I began this song. I shared it in progress online and found others resonated with it. About a year later, I finally finished it and collaborated with Nashville producer extraordinaire Ben Shive (Colony House, Ellie Holcomb) to record it for a possible film/tv pitch.
Now we wait and hope it will get picked up, but in the meantime, you can download and enjoy it. In fact, this week it's a FREE download on Noisetrade.com.
I never stop feeling crazy joy & gratitude that you'd take the time to pay attention to what I'm making up over here at my old piano.
As days and years gather behind me, I realize more and more how much less I would be without the confident, reliable love of my Mom in my life. Some of you may have grown up with that space in your life unfilled by your own mother. Maybe your grandmother or aunt or someone else loved and tended your heart like my Mom did mine. Maybe you are the woman filling that space in a child's life right now.
The truth is, that space doesn't go away, does it? We want to be mother-loved now as much as ever.
So this song, born on Mother's Day, is offered now to Mother-women and their Children of all ages during this week of focused thanks-giving. A very small token of gratitude. I encourage us all to make the moments and our words count. And celebrate!
With small pangs of heartbreak, I allowed him to turn 6-years-old.
Twice that day he leaned close and whispered: I'm six.
He's trying it on.
He's turning, we're all turning; officially exiting "Chapter of the Small Child."
We've spent a lot of time here.
Years ago, when I tossed my graduation cap high in the air along with 500 other high schoolers, I seriously couldn't beLIEVE the moment had ACTUALLY arrived. I'd dreamed about it for so long but sort of thought I'd keep dreaming and never really get there.
Before that, I'd spent all my growing years as the daughter of an army officer, relocating every 1-4 years, living in 12 different houses before I'd finished high school.
Our North Carolina-born&raised kids can't fathom that, recently asked if it was as terrible as it sounds. Honestly, no...it wasn't. (until high school!).
The thing is, when you live in the military, you EXPECT to move.
You are always aware that your life - as you know it - is temporary.
When I was six, there was no thought of staying anywhere. And the people in your community? THEY don't stay either - also moving in and out, so you're all in the same boat. I'm sure the experience of a military WIFE is a whole different story, but for us kids...it was what we knew and expected.
The anticipation of relocation shaped relationships, but not always in the way you might assume. We were pretty quick to dive in, declare our "best friends." Bobbi Jo, Jennifer, Jodi, Jennifer, Leslie, Merri, Megan, Jeff, Monica&Jen, Laurel...cherished friendships. Hearts broke at year's end when the movers showed up, but in the meantime? Let's play!!
Everything moved. And we knew it.
Everything still moves, on a swift current that lets us touch beauty just before it wrinkles, enjoy a few minutes of good health before the bad, feel the weight of wealth in our palms before it is spent, relish a full house before an empty nest...life before death.
We anticipate, we release. Over and over and over, every day.
If these are the things we trust to keep us afloat, we will find our very selves swept downstream, because they are not meant to stick around for long...only to stretch and point toward the unseen, which will not be taken away, will not be destroyed by moth, rust, or old age.
So...I let him move on, my last little downy head. He moved on to age six, and tomorrow he will move out to some other life away from his mother.
And she will grieve for a time, but she will not be swept away. Because what she holds onto is the Unmoving Love that holds onto her.