Scary new challenges = Skill + Empathy

I study learning how to learn and set myself challenges to learn things that people have said to me are out of my reach.  Either due to my age, sex, race or lack of talent or brains that is inherent in some but said to be lacking in me or most people. For example, to the left is my first oil painting, I learnt to paint at 40 years old. These challenges are critical for the work I do, train and help marginlised young people to break through limitations they have about themselves or the limitations others have of them, that they’ve internalised.  So, I’ve learnt singing, speed reading, memory techniques, building houses, coding, various technology and most recently I wanted to write my own songs and sing them in public.

I’ve started pretty late in life on the singing and songwriting and have written two songs so far.  I fret a bit watching my performance I can see lots of flaws and things I need to improve on. And that’s a good thing, I, therefore, empathise more with the youth’s feelings when they present their work for the first time. Sometimes you can’t fix someone’s issues, but knowing what they’re going through, helps them through. Learning something new, or breaking a limitation you’re never perfect, but it’s a milestone met.

So, this is my second song. It gave me an outlet for my grief after losing a close friend, I wrote it for her husband to help him articulate his feelings: “Grief is the price of love”

Grief is the price you pay for love, you pay it every day
One moment you were here, a moment you’re gone away
Leaving but a gaping hole, that no one can replace,
It’s not just the past we grieve, but each new day we face

CHORUS
Oh they say, time will heal all wounds,
Move along, chin up and you’ll push through
Oh they say, they’re in a better place,
They did on earth, what they were meant to do

VERSE
Maybe t ‘was, time for you to go,
Somewhere you’ll be pain-free
But where does it leave, Our friends, our dog and me?
Your voice greetings still on the phone, we listen from time to time
But if I start to cry, Our dog begins to whine.

VERSE
You used to annoy when you slammed the doors when you came on thru,
but now I bang them once or twice, to remind me of you
The silly, stupid, dumb, funny, sunny stuff of our every day,
the gaping hole where you are gone has pulled that sun away

LAST CHORUS
Oh they say, time will heal all wounds,
Move along, Chin up, and you’ll push through
Oh they say, you’re in a better place,
You did on earth, what you were meant to do
Says who? Grief is the price you pay for love

 

Seeing the real you…

Have you ever been put in a corner by a friend? They ask you to give them your honest opinion? Sadly you’re dumb enough to give it to them?

Don’t say something that reveals a character flaw.  Don’t. Worse yet a flaw that’s true.  I can be philosophical about it and say; pointing out a negative trait is like a pointing out one dot on a piece of white paper.  There so much more white expanse than that small dot. So why should that small mark matter? But hold up that piece of paper and ask people what do they see, they’ll always say “a dot”. It seems most people including yourself just home in on the flaws to the exclusion of everything else.

I do believe that our weaknesses are as necessary as our strengths because they give us a  world where we have a need of one another. We’re flawed. Everyone has something to learn and something to share. It’s others that teach or inspire us not only on what we can become but how to become it. If you believe that then your biggest weaknesses can with openness and a desire to learn become your biggest strengths. And those people who have been a part of your growth usually you bond to.

But if I think about what I suck at I feel small. I focus on a flaw like a dot is the whole page. I label myself based on a few sucky traits. Good or bad though all labels fail. Labels belong on boxes, on static things, not on living, changing or growing people. No label can represent all the things we are now or will ever become.

So, I was stupid with a dear friend in giving them what they asked for an ‘honest opinion’. I hurt them. And it hurt me to hurt them. I spent the next day crafting this poem and put it in a friendship card and stuck it in their letterbox.
‘Seeing the real you..’
“ I view the world through a camera and you’re caught within my lens,
 an ever changing image…caught second to second..in single frames.
 A face of you is attractive. I’ll catch that frame in joy,
 I’ll remove it, enlarge it and soft focus I’ll employ.
 I may choose it over the others it’s to me the essential you, to separate and develop and draw out for me to view…
(And I’ll look, And I’ll say, …I love )
Yet others are blurred.
Images my lens can’t catch.
The inexperience of the eye – can’t place the angle.
The novelty of the movement – can’t place the light.
And in frustration, I’ll lose it, And put the film aside. Losing many precious moments, through the darkness of the eye.
But I’ll move on catching others as they come also to view..
As if in the greater collection. I’d have in composite – you.
And then if I take a moment to study what I’ve seen. I have a kaleidoscope of moments, a myriad of reflections. And yet rare, a whole being.
It’s as if my lens is my understanding hence why the pictures not right,
experience focuses the range of vision,
learning the degree of light.
And it’s a friend though I’d develop..
And hold up for my own. The rare sweet moments of clear seeing..
When I don’t feel alone.
Would my heart in trust, open, and catch God, me and you as One.
To that sweet moment striving please come…and know…Love.”