My Precious Life

We all want to make a difference in this world and experience success in some way. Sometimes other people’s success can be intimidating when we measure our success by theirs.  Hopefully self-doubt rehearsals of the brain will only momentarily trip us up if we turn to a place of positive reinforcement to replenish our energy so we can maintain our flow and move forward.

I hope this post and ‘My Precious Life’ song can contribute to that in some way.

(lyrics are included in the video)

The other day I woke up to feelings of insignificance and intimidation in the area of my musical gift. Not sure exactly what brought it on, but I recognized the feeling because it sneaks up on me me periodically. It’s funny how you can ride on the heights of possibility one day and the next wallow in the depths of nothingness.

Since we can’t rest on our laurels, as the old saying goes, when it comes to making a place for our art (or whatever it is you want to make a place for), I guess we do what we have to do to keep ourselves moving forward.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much has been accomplished, there’s always the next step to take; and the next step often carries with it the realm of improbability.  Seems like the voice of intimidation whispers to you when you are most vulnerable, but there’s got to be a way to downplay its power when it comes.

What exactly is the effect of intimidation?  Doesn’t it question our ability to do what we do as if we don’t have a right to be doing it?  If we were only to look at all the reasons why we shouldn’t do something, why we don’t measure up, and how the odds are against us, we may as well just stop. But since stopping isn’t an option (to the compelled and passionate), why not look at the entire picture and tally up why we shouldn’t stop? After all, we are holding a gift in our hands to give to the world, even if it is (in my case) one song at a time, and in yours, one (_______) at a time. Bottom line is if we quit, we miss out on the giving and then, of course, no one can receive either, and ultimately intimidation wins.

Whenever I feel stuck like this, I turn to some sort of positive reinforcement to get me out of the funk. One way I do that is to pour a cup of morning joe (into a cute mug), light a candle, sit in a favorite chair and open up my Bible to the book of Psalms. I like Psalms because I can understand and identify with the writers’ honest expressions of their feelings, both high and low, about the events of their lives, both positive and negative.    I like the way they turn to God in need and find solace in worship no matter what the circumstance, returning to him like a touchstone.  Even though written centuries earlier, the material is relatable to what we go through today.

Back to my particular day, the phrase “my precious life” stood out to me in two different verses in two different Psalms (Ps. 35:17 and Ps. 22:20).  I read the verses in context to get some perspective and it was interesting to see that the writer, David, was at a point in his life that he felt insignificant to those who didn’t understand him – like people didn’t get what it was he had to offer.  He was actually hated by enemies who were in pursuit of his life.  (That part I can’t relate to since I don’t have enemies as far as I know.  But I do have an enemy of my soul that can interupt the pursuit of making my music available to whomever.)  When David was pleading to God to rescue his precious life, it sounded more life and death than any of my situations, but then when I look at my musical creativity as a precious life, I can pray the same way – please rescue my precious life from death.  And in a round about way, if my music dies, a big chunk of me dies with it, so you get the picture.

Part of the intimidation for me is I’m getting older and finding out my options have become more limited.  The older a person gets in our society, the more overlooked one can feel, especially if you don’t fit in with the typical glossy product that seems to stir the masses.  If I tried to emulate that, (as if I could…LOL!) it would come across unauthentic and contrived.  My best bet is to stay true to who I am and give what I have with the vessel it comes in.  Part of my offering exists because I’ve lived as many years as I have.  I wouldn’t have been able to say what I say now when I was in my 20s…   So, I’ll keep saying what’s on my mind one song at a time and bring reassurance to one person at a time; and what’s so bad about that?  In the end, if my gift is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, that is success.

I guess I felt such an affinity with that phrase because for my entire adult life I’ve felt I had something precious to give but my journey of giving it away hasn’t been what you’d call typical.  That day when I needed reassurance, yet again, the ‘my precious life’ phrase whispered to me that God sees my life and gift as precious and indeed has a place for it even if it’s uniquely tucked into the nook and cranny places only seen by those who are supposed to see it. I have to ask myself if I am ok with that.  To be honest, that’s where my vulnerability to intimidation comes in.  Sometimes I’m content with that, but not always.  But when I get a glimpse of this perspective, the pain of feeling invisible to the world diminishes, at least for a little while, and makes way for a new surge of energy to keep on keeping on.

So with all that, I decided to sit down at the piano and turn the yearning I felt into a prayer for myself and for anyone else haunted by the the fear of invisibility.  The song that came is my offering. In this case, (what I perceive to be) God’s whisper overcame the insideous whisper of intimidation.

Garden Mine

My Vegi Sign

[I wrote a song called Garden Mine in 1990 and have fine tuned it over the years. Scroll down to the end of this post for a flip video of my most recent version!]

One of my pasttimes between and in and around the music is gardening of some type. That’s another way of saying when I’m being a slacker on getting giggage I at least have something to do with my hands! 

This year I read up again on Herbs and decided to do an herb pot next to our vegetable planter. Last year we planted the herbs in the vegi planter and they sort of took over. So, this time I decided to give them a pot of their own. However, the Basil is now taking over the Rosemary and Cilantro so I should have given them each a separate pot. But that would be way too much in the way of herbs for a small household such as ours.

In planting this year I was inspired to make my own plant signs since I couldn’t find any to my liking in the shops. I liked the type of signs that Edwards Greenhouse uses and when I inquired they told me they had to make their own signs because they too couldnt find what they wanted. So I took their advise and did the same by buying miniature black boards at the craft store along with acrylic paints. Above is the Vegetable sign (I used a stencil and acrylic paint and precut wood); and below is my herb sign in the herbpot.

My HerbPot complete with tweeting bird
As you can see the Basil is already taking over the pot which also is a home to Rosemary and Cilantro!
Big Boxwood Basil
A close up of the Herb sign and DragonFly marker.:
Herb sign in DragonFly holder
My little ornamental tweeting bird which doubles as a prop in my Garden Mine video!
Little Bird
Here’s my Tomato sign. The Tomato is next to the Marjoram that came back in full force from last year!
Tomato plant and sign
Couldn’t resist filling in with a Shasta Daisy and a few Marigolds beside the Pepper plants. I made a Pepper marker as well:
Daisies and Marigolds fill in
Stan planted this planter box a few years ago and it works really well for the amount of vegetables we need. In years past we’ve had much bigger gardens with too large of a harvest, so we are trying to reign ourselves in as we grow in practicality and wisdom!
Our patio planter full of pansies. The snail planter can hold a small plant or a candle which I keep meaning to get around to filling!
Patio planters
This is the beginning of our backyard project that we are ‘fixin’ to do’ hopefully THIS year. Stage one will be to line the fences with a long rock wall planter. So, this mum planter is temporary. Stan built it recently to hold our overgrowing mums that we moved from the Vegi planter before we filled in with pepper and tomota plants. (I planted the mums there in Autumn last year because the ground was too hard outside of the planter.)
a temporary Mums planter
Other growing things – we have a plum tree:
Plum Tree
Metal sun sculpture in side garden early Spring:
Little Garden Sun
May as well throw in a few views of the backyard before the project so we have accurate before and after pictures.
Long view of backyard
backyard patio before the redo

Stan plans to build a porch cover, hopefully this year!

I wrote a song called Garden Mine in 1990 and have fine tuned it over the years. Here’s a flip vid of my most recent version!