song

I Am the Biggest Fool

I Am the Biggest Fool

I am fool. I am a fool because I care and love those who are even bigger fools than myself. I’ve always heard a phrase that God watches over fools and idiots. He must have a league of angels watching over me.

I’m not unintelligent. I’m not naïve. I see what’s around me. The world is an ugly mess. People are an ugly mess. I try so hard to be something beautiful in this gray world, but sometimes I get tired of carrying that light.  Yet, I’m a strong person because I’ve been forced to shine that light for myself, find my way out, and put up my guards and shields all my life. Yet, poison still gets in. I open the door to danger. I invite in chaos. Why?  Because of love.

Not because of others loving me, or that I’ve fallen into that crazy, wild love and can’t see what’s around me, or that I’m refusing to see the truth. No, I see the truth and walk in it anyway. THAT’s why I’m a fool.  I’m in love with what can and will never be in love with me, who chooses the company of vampires and leeches over me.

But I deserve better than this.  What about me?

I remember another God moment, where I was on my face, nose in the carpet, pouring my heart out and praying for my kids, my ex-husband, my church, my friends, my job, etc.

When I was done unloading all that worry, I heard a whisper calmly ask me a simple question.  “If you knew one of your children were starving, hungry, and in pain, what would you do for them?”

I answered, “Anything, well, anything that would help them, even if it was hard for them, hard for me, or misunderstood.”

The whisper replied, “If they were in danger, would you risk your own life to save them?”

Without hesitation, I answered, “Yes. Always.”

There was a long silence. Whisper said to me, “You are my child, and you’ve neglected yourself trying to take care of everyone else.  You’ve ignored your needs, buried your wants, and your soul is starving for the love it needs.  You’ve abused my child long enough. I won’t tolerate it anymore.”

I felt so ashamed, because I had ignored myself. I’ve always done whatever to survive, to meet what everyone else needed, because I was in need. I knew what it felt like to be hungry, so I spent more than 17 years feeding the poor.  I knew what it felt like to be unloved as a child by your parents, so my heart reached out to any unloved kids that crossed my path – I still do. I knew what it was like to be pregnant and alone, so I opened my home to a pregnant stranger. I knew what it was like to not have a friend in the whole world, have someone to help me in a time of need, so I became the kind of friend I needed.  But, it doesn’t come without a cost.

A friend posted a meme on their Facebook wall the other day that said, “I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Damn, that’s mine!’ and just be proud to have me.”  I responded with a simple, “It’ll never happen.” A complete stranger sent me a message that had me crying in the middle of my shift at work. I hid the tears as much as I could, but I couldn’t help feel the pain, a pain that I’ve been stuffing down and trying to ignore.  This stranger messaged me, “…you’re a very attractive woman. So, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even this year, but you’ll find someone who’s proud to call you theirs.”

What this stranger doesn’t realize is that I have MANY people in my life who love me, even more that respect me, and I’m not in want for friends. Remember, I’ve spent my life being a good friend. But, no one has EVER claimed me as theirs – not my parents, not my family, not my ex-husband, not any of ex-boyfriend’s – who are still my friends because they love me as a person.  I’m great to love – as a friend, to depend on, to respect, to turn to, to be there when no one else will, but… to love me – the woman?  I’m turning 46 years old next week, and I’ve only ever felt truly loved once in my life… for just a very brief moment and then he died.  Loved …for ME.  In love …WITH me.  I’ve been in love 4 times, but only deeply, madly, crazy in love once. But, they didn’t want me.  They love me, but not how I love them. They choose their chaos over me.

I’ve been neglecting myself again, putting myself on the back burner to focus on others and their needs. There’s always a reason. There’s always a need.  All the reasons are good, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interfering. When do I matter? When does what I need and want matter? Life is shit. Life is chaos. There will ALWAYS be something – but WHEN do I put me first again?  I have needs too.  I’m such a fool. I’m not naïve. I know the reality of my situation. I know that I’m loved, but unloved.  I’m not blind. I see more than I let them know I see. I’m not stupid, either. Just because I don’t expose what I know is in the dark, doesn’t mean I’m unaware. I just choose to be a light, something positive, and spread a message of hope instead of judgment. I choose to focus on what’s important.  I love because I need love. I help because I need help.  I’m friendly because I’m lonely. I give, because I’m empty.  I go without so other won’t. I have to believe it’s not for nothing. I’m not stupid. I know I will not be chosen. I will be left behind for the vampire, for the leech, for the lotus flower, for the opportunity, for the drug, for the convenience, for the addiction, for the easy way, for the simpler path …. I always have been, especially by those who claim to love me most. It’s hard to love me. To love me is to stand in front of a mirror.

My whisper, my God, my love watches over me. They have to, because I’m the biggest fool.

“Someday when my crying’s done, I’m gonna wear a smile and walk in the sun. I may be a fool, but darlin’ you’ll never see me complain, ‘cause I’ll do my cryin’ in the rain.” ~Jaime Ellis

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Complicated frustrations, Dream, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Musing, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, respect, song, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps

No, this isn’t a post about the famous George Harrison song, but I think I’m beginning to understand his meaning.  I wish I could take you on a journey into my mind, into my heart, and through my fingers with every pluck, strum, and chord change on my guitar.  I know I could record the sound, but just hearing it won’t guarantee you’ll go on the journey with me. You must have ears to hear to get there.  It seems this is a journey I must take alone, but man, oh, man, I wish I could take you with me.

For the last several years I’ve been working on one song, and sometimes I stay on the same chord progressions for months before adding something new or changing a rhythm in that progression. Yet, when I begin to play, sometimes all it takes is a few chords, a few strums, a few plucks to transport me somewhere else, somewhere deep, somewhere that feels like a river of so many emotions, so many feelings, so much that it’s often too much to even try and explain.

This morning while playing, I placed my ear on the top of the body of my acoustic guitar and started the familiar progression, first with a soft individual strum of each string, giving them their own moment, their own sound, in their own time.  From the initial vibration of the sixth E string, I felt my soul stir and it wept.   There was a sadness, a loneliness found in that single note. It moved with the fullness of the vibration as I just let it sit there.  It needed to be released.  I felt part of what’s been bottled inside me, move through my fingers, the ones on the Em chord, and then through my thumb as it started at the 6th E and moved slowly down over the next four stings.

Over and over I just slowly strummed each string, and with each new vibration I felt my soul moving with all five strings, making sure to never touch that first E string, because I knew, I felt something else waiting there.  Just the Em over and over and over and over.  The hair prickled on the back of my neck, and my stomach pitched, and a huge knot formed in my throat, but I kept playing, I kept pouring my soul into those strings over and over and over and over.  I begin to slowly rock as I play, because I can feel it coming, the release, the energy in the universe about to move through me and then back into me.

That’s the thing about playing music.  It’s not just about pouring out from me into the notes I play, but to open my soul and allow the music to pour back into me, through the vibration, through the sounds, through the waves, emitting their healing, their message, their love back into my soul. It’s like a filter, the way a body’s heart, kidneys and liver filters our systems.

After a while of just playing that Em, I finally move to this progression that only involves the top four strings… 6th through 3rd , with alterations of just using the top 2 and 3.  I don’t want to put the chords here, because this is an original song I’ve composed and don’t want someone else to steal it.  But, moving through this progression, the strums become a little harder with each repeat.  I feel something moving inside and it’s sad, and it’s dark, and it’s painful… and the more I play, the more it moves through me, bubbling to the surface.  This movement starts deep in the pit of my stomach, behind my belly button, and travels to my spine, up over my shoulders, and then down my arms and into my fingertips, all the while the other end of the tendrils are weaving deep into the chambers of my heart and into the hidden places of my mind.

Our voices are just another note, another vibration to mix with the sound of the strings being played on the guitar. I find myself humming and then open my mouth to release a high, yet sad note.  It’s a haunting sound, full of pain, full of heartache, full of feeling… and it’s soft, and it’s beautiful.  It complements the low sound of the guitar, and together it melts into a new melody, a new sound, evoking a new emotion.  I continue to play, I continue to sing.  My strums become harder and louder, as my song grows in intensity.

Then, like a climax, I feel myself reach the precipice and my song turns into a wail, and my fingers take over on their own and play the last few notes, and I feel all that pain, all that hurt, all that emotion release from me, release into the universe, release into the world and I stop singing, and then I stop playing. My heart is racing, my hands are shaking, and my mind is swimming as the last note fades into the ether.   I smile, and with wet lashes, I open my eyes. I look down at my guitar and just sit in awe and wonder at the power it possesses to soothe my soul.

I wish I could take you on that journey with me. I wish you could experience how music is capable to move soul as it does, but I can’t.  That was a great journey this morning. 

I think I’d like to try the ukulele, now.    

Till next time,

~Gently Weeping Guitar

Categories: Blog Post, Faith, family, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, Play List, relationship, song, Spiritual | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Counting Stars

Counting Stars

By One Republic

I’ll get into the lyrics of this song in a minute.  I haven’t heard it in a couple years, but listening to it on my way home from work today brought me right back to a place in time when I was fighting for my life.  I can almost remember the very moment this song came alive to me.  I had heard it several times on the radio, and while I thought it had a catchy tune, it didn’t really mean anything. Yet, one afternoon I found myself sitting by the lake at my apartment on Alvin Street, watching the sun glisten on the water’s surface, ducks flying overhead, a cool breeze in the air, when a soft thought popped into my mind, whispering to me that nobody cared, that all the sacrifices I’d made in my life were for nothing, that all the love I gave was never returned, that I didn’t matter.  I’d just been invited to be part of an anthology with some of the writers I admired, had no one with which to celebrate my achievement. I thought I could easily slip into that cold, frigid lake and no one would even notice this selfish, rebellious, unlovable woman was gone.  I felt the pressure and judgment of the world on my shoulders.  All the voices of the people who told me I was making a mistake by getting a divorce, that I was disobeying and disappointing my god, that I was being rebellious and selfish because I wanted to be in love, that what I wanted was stupid, a fairy tale. I had the world.  I had a good career. I had a good marriage. I had a good family. I had a good inheritance. I had a good reputation. I had a picture-picture resume life.  My writing career was taking off, and I was beloved and respected by my community; a pillar they called me, a monument of strength of character.  I had everything a good Christian woman desired in her life. Someone told me once that I was selfish for not being content with the life I had, that my desire to want more, was an insult to the god I claimed I loved.  How could God love me for being so selfish? To want more was to distrust God.

I didn’t want riches. I didn’t want fame. I had opportunity to have both and walked away. I just wanted to be loved, to be wanted, to be desired… to be heard, to matter, to make a difference in this cold world, for humanity to love each other, not hate each other proving who was right. I wanted fathers not to hurt their little girls, and mothers not to be ashamed and hide behind pills, and brothers that didn’t steal and lie to each other, or sisters who supported each other and not be in competition, and kids who didn’t take the strength of their parents as a sign of not caring, and parents who remembered their kids were not their property but individual human beings with their own thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. I felt at odds with the universe.

I closed my eyes, felt the warm sun on my face, slipped my feet out of my shoes and edged by toes toward the cold water of the lake’s edge when this song suddenly came on my iPod and filled my ears, and the tears spilled down my face.  This was a song from me, to me, in that moment.  My inner-self called out to my spiritual-self, and the words never meant something more beautiful than what they did that cold, cold autumn afternoon.

 

Lately I been, I been losing sleep

Dreaming about the things that we could be

But baby I been, I been prayin’ hard

Said no more counting dollars

We’ll be counting stars

Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

 

Counting stars… wow! One of my favorite quotes in the world, something that gave me strength through the years was from A Knights Tale when a declaration was made to change a person’s stars, to change the destiny the world had given them, to be more than what society deemed as acceptable. Before that movie even came out, my best friend in the world – who became the love of my life, made a promise that we would rise above our stations in life and change our stars.   I fought my whole life to be more than what I was born into, more than what society dictated, and I worked hard my whole life to rise above my beginning, my inheritance, and my lot in life.  No one was going to tell me my limits.  I pushed them, and I soared well above them. When my drug-dealing father was arrested, I was deemed a miscreant, told by a bigshot D.A. at the age of sixteen I was going to grow up and be nothing more than one of my father’s whore drug runners, a high-school dropout, and in prison before twenty.   I changed my stars and proved them wrong, living a clean life, a vanilla life free of drugs, gangs, cartels, and miscreants.   When I lost a college scholarship because I became a teen mother, and chose to keep and raise my baby, I changed my stars by paying my own way through college, and working three jobs at the same time supporting myself. When the love of my life died in combat and left me alone in this world, I still remember the promises we made to change our stars. I never forgot. I will never forget.  I’m not counting one star… I’m counting on changing many, many, many, many, many more stars. I have, and I will change even more. I’m still counting them, baby.

 

I see this life

Like a swinging vine

Swing my heart across the line

In my faces flashing signs

Seek it out and ye shall find

 

Life isn’t about what comes at you or is presented to you.  You have to chase it down.  You have to go after what you want. You have to take a chance.  Yes, you can fall. Hell, you will probably fall a lot more than you’ll ever fly. Yes, you can grab hold of a weak vine and it causes you to crash to the ground, but that doesn’t mean you stop swinging.  It means you get back up and grab the next one and see where it takes you.

 

The old, but I’m not that old

Young, but I’m not that bold

And I don’t think the world is sold

I’m just doing what we’re told

 

Excuses.  The world if full of them, but we have to be willing to argue back with it, set our own limits, tell ourselves what we are going to do and how we’re going to do it.  We can’t be afraid.  We can’t think inside the box.  Don’t allow ourselves to be put in a box… too old, too young, too weak, too strong, too fat, too skinny, too uneducated, too educated, too smart, too dumb, too experienced, too inexperienced.  Tell the world to go fuck itself, and stop doing what it tells you.

 

I, feel something so right

Doing the wrong thing

I, feel something so wrong

But doing the right thing

I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

 

You can’t change or count your stars if you’re too busy living under everyone else’s judgements, ideas, and limits.  You determine what’s right and what’s wrong for YOU and tell everyone else to go fuck themselves.  Am I disappointing my god?  That’s between me and my god and nobody else’s business.  Live your own dream.  Find someone that supports that dream, and made damned sure that if you’re supporting someone else’s dream, that it’s their dream and not yours for them. You’ve got no right to dream for someone else.

 

I feel the love

And I feel it burn

Down this river every turn

Hope is a four letter word

Make that money

Watch it burn

 

Looking for the world’s definition of love or success, it’ll never work, it’ll never satisfy, and it’ll always burn.  It’s fire, it’s poison, it’s shallow, and it stings.  Too many people fall in love with the idea, the dream, the image of what they believe is love, instead of falling in love with the real person right in front of them. When they get disappointment because the person doesn’t live up to the perfect image that was created in their minds, they blame the person instead of themselves for building impossible standards anyone could ever hope to reach. It’s not fair.  We have to come to a maturity in our lives so that when we look at someone we are not naïve to their flaws, but embrace them, and love them just as they are in spite of them, not only loving the truth of who they are, but for the potential of who they’re capable of being because they too hold the power to change their own stars. The first step to changing stars is seeing the truth, exactly as it is in all its ugliness. But when we can’t even see the truth of the stars in front of us, how can we expect to change anything?  We change nothing and then we live our lives chasing THINGS… things that will burn or turn to rust, things we cannot control, cannot contain, things that slip right through our fingers and burn in front of us. We exchange our stars for temporary things, for temporary love, for temporary people… ideals instead of reality, fantasies instead of truths, we lose out on real love for infatuation and lust.

 

I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly

Take that money and watch it burn

Sink in the river the lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

Songwriters: RYAN TEDDER

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Can’t you feel it?  This song reminded me of the promise I made as a hopeful fourteen-year old girl, sitting with her back against her locker next to this dorky, long-legged awkward boy named James, dreaming with our young, naïve hearts of how we were going to change our stars. I felt that promise that day by the cold lake through this song, and it stirred something deep within me, and it’s stirring something else within me today.  I heard that familiar whisper during my flu delirium, reminding me that my love hasn’t found me, that though I’m loved, I’m never chosen, I’m never fought for, and that if I want anything in this world I’m going to have to fight for it on my own or provide it for myself. I understand now, I need a star counter, because I’m a star counter.  I could never be content with someone that can’t even recognize their own stars, much less who isn’t constantly counting new ones.  I won’t ever be silent. I won’t ever be content. I am bigger than this life, much more than the boxes offer.  I am at odds with the universe, because I too am expanding, seeking, and counting stars… and it’s time I got back to it.

I too am a star.  My own sun, shining brightly, soaring in this universe, But I’m not one to be caught so easily. If you can’t even see me, the real me, then maybe I’m just a little too bright or a little too hot for you, or you just don’t belong in my universe.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Review, song, Song Review, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Do It Anyway

do-it-anyway

They say that wisdom comes with age. I’m not so sure that it’s only an age thing, but a combination of that and experience.  Life’s lessons aren’t just lessons learned as Father Time ticks away the years, because I’ve met many older people who’ve led very sheltered and narrow-minded lives, and never learned a damned thing. However, experience alone doesn’t grant us this wisdom either, because I’ve also seen some people who have experienced some tragic and great things, yet still never learned anything, either.

So, what is the key to wisdom?  I think it might have something to do with learning from the experiences we’ve had throughout time.  Not that we can learn everything, because no matter how much we try, we are fallible humans.  Everything we do learn, or are exposed to, is filtered through our level of understanding.  For some that level is higher, more open, and allows more to filter through, while others have smaller holes, and very little gets through.  Our filters are made up of our preconceived ideas, theologies, cultural influences, regional inspirations, religious teachings, parental guidance or lack thereof. Our filters come from the pain we’ve experienced, and the joys of pleasure.  My filter has some very small holes, as well as some very large ones.  But, have I learned anything?

Love is an enigma.  It’s the one thing I’ve pursued harder than anything in my life. It’s also the one thing I’ve ran from faster, and has eluded me more times than I could count.  It seems just when I find it, it’s taken away from me.  It’s like the biggest cosmic joke.  I’m so afraid to be happy, because just when I find happiness, it’s taken from me – first by death, then by cancer, and recently by … well, I’m still not sure what happened. It’s the most confusing of all.

So, what can I do?  Though I’m scared. Though I’m confused. Though my filters are all messed up. Though my faith is weak.  Though my heart is one big fucking mangled mess… I do it anyway.

I dare to hope, when I see no hope.

I dare to dream, even when my dreams are filled with nightmares.

I dare to smile, even when I feel like dying inside.

I dare to sing, even when my voice is cracked or hindered by the big knot in it.

I dare to love, even when I’m not loved in return.

This is the thing I’ve learned.  I could choose to hate, and be angry, and feel sorry for myself.  That’s easy.  I could hold grudges, return pain for pain, be vindictive, and be selfish.  That too is easy. These are the actions of the weak-minded, selfish, shallow, and deplorable.  They only breed onto themselves and cause more of what hurt them in the first place.  These become the ugly monsters in the universe, spreading their disease like a zombie. Once infected, they spread their hate to everyone else that dares to love or get close to them. I choose to be different.  I’d carry pain to keep from causing pain. I’d give everything I had to prevent someone else’s suffering.  I choose to give the very things I need most in my life. Because I know, that I know, that I know – because I’ve learned – the only hope I have is to give love if I ever hope to receive it. Real love. Not this imitation bullshit called passion, chemistry and infatuation.  Those are nice, but only temporary and vain.  Though most of the world accepts that vanity, and never moves beyond it, confusing it for love, I can’t. I’ve felt the real thing, so I can’t accept the imitation. If I have to sit across the table from a thousand men, or ten thousand men, I hope to someday look into a pair of eyes and see the love I’ve been waiting for, that I’ve been sending out into the universe, hoping and praying it makes its way back to me.  And if not… then I leave this world having sown love, hope, joy, goodness and kindness… so that maybe someone else doesn’t only meet made monsters.

This song sums it up perfectly.

Do It Anyway – Martina McBride

You could spend your whole life building something from nothing, and a storm could come and blow it all away… build it anyway.

You could chase a dream that seems so out of reach, and you know it might not ever come your way… dream it anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.

This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today… believe it anyway.

You could love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons, and a moment they could choose to walk away… love ‘em anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.

You could pour your soul out singing a song you believe in, but tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang… sing it anyway.  Sing it anyway.

I sing, I dream, I love ….anyway.

Categories: blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing., Philosophy, poem, Quotes, Relationships, song, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

If I Had a Heart

If I Had a Heart

This post is inspired by the theme song by Fever Ray from Vikings.

Lyrics:

This will never end ‘Cause I want more More, give me more, give me more

This will never end ‘Cause I want more More, give me more, give me more

If I had a heart I could love you If I had a voice I would sing After the night when I wake up I’ll see what tomorrow brings

If I had a voice I would sing

Dangling feet from window frame Will I ever, ever reach the floor? More, give me more, give me more

Crushed and filled with all I found underneath and inside Just to come around More, give me more, give me more

If I had a voice I would sing

 

The first time I heard this theme song it was the powerful music that touched me.  That constant and tribal thump of the bass line pulled at my deepest soul string, and my heart beat changed to keep in time with it.  It pulled me down into the depths of my own soul and stirred everything inside it… all the hope, all the love, all the pain, and all the despair.  All of it mixed together, swirling, swirling, swirling, deeper and deeper… ‘more, give me more, give me more. Dangling feet from window frame, will I ever, ever reach the floor?’

That’s what my heart longs for… more.  But more of what?  At first I thought it was love.  Just like the song says, “If I had a heart I could love you.” It doesn’t say ‘would’, meaning having a choice… but ‘could’ as if incapable or unable. Love seems to be the most elusive thing for me to receive, yet what I tend to give more and more and more. I find it ironic.  When I first heard the scriptures that whatsoever a man sows, that also he would reap, I began to sow the things into my life, my world, and into others those things I wanted most for myself.  When I need encouragement, I give it to someone else. When I am hungry, I feed someone else.  When I am in need, I go out of my way to help someone else.  When I am lonely, I will provide company to someone else.  When I’m afraid, I will encourage someone else.  When I’m lost, I will lead someone else to somewhere I know.  But love… I give love to those who’ve hurt me, who’ve hate me, and who’ve reject me.  When I see a heart that has been broken and crushed, as mine has been so many times, I pour what love I have within me into them as much as I can.  For I am filled with love… love for myself, love for a broken and wounded world, because I am broken and wounded.

For the longest time when I found myself in need, I would go without.  When I was lonely, my tears stained my pillow that no one ever saw, and hid my pain behind a smile.  When I was afraid, I’d wrap my arms around myself.  When I was lost, I wandered alone.  There’s two sides to that scripture… sowing and reaping.  I learned to sow, lived a life of sowing and giving and pouring into others, denying myself and carrying my cross, yet I had not learned how to reap, how to open myself to receive, let someone else sow into me, because I only knew how to be broken and crushed.

Our lives are filled with many dark nights, many storms, many battles, and many moments of pain, but joy comes with the morning. Let us see what tomorrow brings.  Be content, but never be satisfied.  Always strive for more, more and more.  Because this is life.  Living is surviving, rising, falling, and overcoming.  If I had a voice I could sing.  If you have ears to hear, then listen.  Hear what calls from the deep.  Forget the noise of the world above and allow yourself to fall into the depths and listen.

“This will never end, ‘cause I want more. More, give me more, give me more.”

Categories: Blog Post, Dreams, Faith, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, music, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Relationships, song, Song Review, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mansion – NF (feat. Fleurie)

 

Mansion by NF

Someone very dear to me (thank you Jonathan Smith) sent me this song a couple weeks ago, and it’s not one that was easy for me to listen, more than that… it’s hard to hear. The first line caught my attention and then slammed me right into the middle of my own room in my own mansion.  I’ve actually tried NOT to listen to it.  It touches something inside me that I don’t like to give a moment, a second, or even part of a second.  However, there’s another effect this song is having on me too.  It’s sort of a release.  There’s still an anger, a hurt, a part of me that’s still deep inside fighting Fear and still scribbling on my blank walls.  It’s banging to be heard, to be felt, to be acknowledged because it really effects every part of me; every broken part of me. Dealing with this kind of pain isn’t something healed in a single ‘moment’ and then all’s good.  No, this is a life long journey.

“Insidious is blind inception
What’s reality with all these questions?
Feels like I missed my alarm and slept in (slept in)
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I’m trapped in
And it’s lonely inside this mansion”

Wow.  I could just play that intro over and over and over and over, and find I’ve only just begun.  And the following words NF releases throughout this song is like he pulled them right out of my own basement, right out of the darkest part of my soul, the part that still bleeds. Let me be clear, I’m not coming from a place of anger, but a place of pain. Not as a victim, but as a survivor.  It’s not about blame, it’s about healing.

“Yo my mind is a house with walls covered in lyrics
They’re all over the place, there’s songs in the mirrors
Written all over the floors, all over the chairs
And you get the uncut version of life when I go downstairs
That’s where I write when I’m in a bad place and need to release
And let out the version of NF you don’t want to see
I put holes in the walls with both of my fists ’til they bleed
You might get a glimpse of how I cope with all this anger in me”

I’m a wordsmith, but I can’t even begin to express the imagery that clicked with this first verse. It’s like NF just kicked open a locked door, white light spilling into a dark room, exposing a small, broken little girl huddled into a dark corner, scribbling more dark lines on a dark room already covered floor to ceiling with words… words of pain, words of hope, words of fear, words of love, words scribbled over and over and over.

Physically abused, now that’s the room that I don’t want to be in
That picture ain’t blurry at all, I just don’t want to see it
And these walls ain’t blank, I just think I don’t want to see ’em
But why not? I’m in here, so I might as well read ’em
I gotta thank you for this anger that I carry around
Wish I could take a match and burn this whole room to the ground
Matter of fact I think Ima burn this room right now
So now this memory for some reason just won’t come down”

Shit!  I thought burning the house down would stop the nightmares, but it didn’t.  Flames might have burned a physical building and given me a peace when I smell the scent of burning wood, but it didn’t clear the room in my mind. I don’t despise this room.  It is a place where my gift flows, where my pain goes, and where my soul grows.  This song says so much, I don’t need to say more myself.

Yo my mind is a house with walls covered in pain
See my problem is I don’t fix things
I just try to repaint, cover em up, like it never happen
Say I wish I could change. Are you confused?
Come upstairs and I’ll show you what I mean
This room’s full of regrets, just keeps getting fuller it seems
The moment I walk in to it is the same moment that I wanna leave
I get sick to my stomach every time I look at these things
But it’s hard to look past when this is the room where I sleep”

“But I should just stop now, we ain’t got enough room in this song
And I regret the fact that I struggled trying to find who I am
And I lie to myself and say I do the best that I can
Shrug it off like it ain’t nothing like it’s out of my hands
Then get ticked off whenever I see it affecting my plans
And I regret watching these trust issues eat me alive
And at the rate I’m going they’ll probably still be there when I die
Congratulations, you’ll always have a room in my mind
The question is, will I ever clean the walls off in time?”

“So this part of my house, no one’s been in it for years
I built the safe room and I don’t let no one in there
‘Cause if I do, there’s a chance
That they might disappear and not come back
And I admit I am emotionally scared to let anyone inside
So I just leave my doors locked
You might get other doors to open up but this doors not
‘Cause I don’t want you to have the opportunity to hurt me
And I’ll be the only person that I can blame when you desert me
I’m barricaded inside
So stop watching
I’m not coming to the door
So stop knocking, stop knocking
I’m trapped here
God keep saying I’m not locked in
I chose this
I am lost in my own conscience
I know that shutting the wall down ain’t solving the problem
But I didn’t build this house because I thought it would solve ´em
I built it because I thought that it would be safer in there
But it’s not, I’m not the only thing that’s living in here
Fear came to my house years ago I let ’em in
Maybe that’s the problem
‘Cause I’ve been dealing with this ever since
I thought that he would leave, but it’s obvious he never did
He must have picked the room and got comfortable and settled in
Now I’m in the position it’s either sit here and let him win
Or put him back outside where he came from, but I never can
‘Cause in order to do that I’d have to open the doors
Is that me or the fear talking?
I don’t know anymore”

I’m here and I’m still writing, but Fear doesn’t keep me trapped inside anymore. He still haunts me, still taunts me, still exposes my own scribbled lines, and he’s still slamming doors, but he doesn’t control me anymore.  I’m no longer afraid to read my own lines. I can read my walls, see the pictures I don’t like to see, because there’s a bright light within me that illuminates them all. I can run my fingers over them, for all these lines have made me who I am.  What I see now is a beam of refracted light, filled with all the colors of my imagination, shining over those thick black lines. Making them come alive, making them sing a new verse. I no longer huddle in a corner, but I dance all around like a beautiful ballerina, ‘cause my legs ain’t broke anymore.

“Insidious is blind inception
What’s reality with all these questions?
Feels like I missed my alarm and slept in (slept in)
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I’m *not* trapped in
And it’s *no longer* lonely inside this mansion”

I thank NF for writing this song, for being brave enough to allow us a small glimpse inside his mansion, his mind, his heart.  I’m sure this song will always have a special room inside my mind. I thank Jon for introducing me to this song and I hope he finds his own courage to face his own room. I hope we all do.

Till next time,

~Angel of Light

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Complicated frustrations, family, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, music, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Relationships, song, Song Review, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) – Awolnation

Hollow Moon Hallow Moon

Yep, I found another great song to add to my collection.  This time it’s the imaginative song “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” by Awolnation.  Wow, this song has really tugged at so many aspects of my heart and imagination.  Layers upon layers, yet all packaged in a fantastical tale behind a beat that makes you move.  Also, for Destiny gamers… this is a great tune to run around shooting enemies in the Crucible.  There’s just something going around thinking you’re gonna make a deal with the bad wolf… by shooting his head off.  LOL!  While playing Crucible, I changed the words to … “I’ma make a deal with the bad wolf, shoot the bad wolf, ‘e won’t bite no more.”  It made for extremely fun play.

Okay, onto the rest of what this song pulled out of me. I have to say right off though as a writer and editor, I can’t help but notice the double negative in the chorus, but I don’t care – it works.

On the surface of this song, I smiled at the imagery of a someone running through the dark woods beneath a huge hollow moon from a vicious werewolf, you know, like in those old black and white horror movies.  It was awesome.  The story that played in my mind was so great, I don’t know if I want to watch the video.

On a deeper level, I switched to a Red Riding Hood-esque storyline, but a more adult version where Red is giving into her temptations because she knows she’s lost, and the safety and security of her ideals have been shattered under the power of the Big Bad Wolf – the temptation that  follows her, haunts her, and causes her to doubt her very existence.  (Breath – whew… I know, I know… a loooong run on.)  In facing her wolf, Red can’t deal with the cages – the bondages (ideals) we thought kept us safe, the lies we once believed about what it meant to be free.  Her eyes are now opened and she faces the ugly, dangerous truth head on.

Dying on the inside, dying to a way of life, an ideology, something you’ve always known and choosing to walk a new path, is like rising from the dead, being reborn, being made into something else.  Most of us have this ideal that we should completely become something else altogether, but I have to disagree.  That’s not changing or transforming –  that’s erasing what was and creating something else, and none of us have the power of creation (to make something from nothing).  We are still part of who we were, yet have somehow morphed, changed, transformed into part of something else … a hybrid… a battle between nature and will, choice and being choice-less.  I still have my broken, damaged human pieces, but I’ve sharpened my nails, enhanced my eye sight and hearing, become stronger with a thick coat,  grew more muscles, and  covered myself in a suit and a growl that scares the shit out of my enemies – yet I still have my humanity.   I’m not fully human, not fully wolf, I’m a werewolf… containing both the good and bad parts of me.

I accept me as I am.  I know that when the full moon comes, when temptation and my selfish natural desires kick in, I’m going to have a struggle to retain my humanity.  To deny there’s a beast inside, that’s the true danger.  That’s where we make mistakes, where we falter, where our inner wolves take over and create the chaos in our lives, messes we spend our lifetimes cleaning up.

So, in my closing… I made a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more. My enemy (me)is a friend of mine in a friendly place to be seen.  I’ve been running from it all my life, but there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m now in my right mind.  I’ve found my head. I’m no longer lost, no longer dead inside.  Motherfucker, I’ve come back from the dead and I’ve accepted myself for who I am. I’m not waiting anymore, taking up space, hoping for a false dream. I’m no longer scared of the future, because it’ll be what I make it.  I might not be free in this blind society, but I’m free from their self-righteous bondage. If you listen close during the hollow moon, you’ll hear me howling.  They’ll never find me here, because where I am they cannot go.

So readers, enjoy the following song… and see what story, what truth, what bad wolf you face with in.  Then, after that… go be a beast and wreck some enemies in the Crucible.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

“Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” – Awolnation

I’ve been running from it all my lifetime

There’s nothing wrong with you, I’m searching for my right mind

Oh, you should’ve seen it they were resting on the restless

This happened, literally – woke up I was headless

I woke up I was headless

[Chorus:]

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

Ima make a Ima make a bad wolf Ima Ima bad wolf Ima make a bad wolf Ima Ima

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

You’re all still here

Motherfucker I’ll be back from the dead soon

I’ll be watching from the center of the hollow moon

Oh, oh my God I think I might’ve made a mistake

Waiting patiently was waiting taking up space

We are waiting taking up space

[Chorus]

The earth below is above my feet when the clock is laughing at me

When copy cats and the lazy brats are the last thing I want to see

No, my enemy is a friend of mine in a friendly place to be seen

Hey, you know I’ll run away for a couple years just to prove I’ve never been free

They will never find me here [x4]

Yeah

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more [x8]

Categories: music, Musing, song, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Addiction

*This is a new song I recently wrote.  While it’s a song, it also makes a good poem.

Addiction Song

Lyrics:

I have an addiction that binds me,
An addiction that finds me,
No matter how far I try to hide.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
I have an affliction that burns me,
An affliction that haunts me,
Not matter the songs I try to write.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
~
Kiss me, touch me, and set me on fire.
I’m under your spell, the flames of my desire.
Use me, abuse me, but then set me free.
I’m bound to you, can’t you see?
~
I have an addiction that binds me,
An addiction that finds me,
No matter how far I try to hide.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
I have an affliction that burns me,
An affliction that haunts me,
Not matter the songs I try to write.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.

Categories: music, Musing, poem, song | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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