Sleepy Little Town

For a while I posted a lot of music in this space. I have gotten away from it some, but I stumbled across a tune this weekend that really resonated. I have been a small town guy forever. I went to college in a small to medium size city, about 100,000 people, but it was a tiny school which amounted to a small town inside the larger city. I lived and worked for a couple years in what passes for a city around here, but would just be a big town in most places. My roots are from tiny communities on offshore islands so small town living and everything that goes with it is truly a part of my identity. From the outside these little communities look all quaint and quiet and thye mostly are, but when things go bad there are no secrets and there is no place to hide. This J.T. Hodges song “Sleep Little Town” does a pretty good job and capturing what it like when the façade comes down around big fish in small ponds.

 

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Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain

Another week brings another source of stress. As one fire gets put out at work another flares up. I have spent the week demanding that my boss contact several of my customers and talk with them. Tell them something, anything really, but take some of the pressure off me. I told him straight up that I have no problem facing the music when I created the problems. I have broad shoulders, but I am being buried by a shit storm that he made. He seemed to get it and made a couple calls for me. They guys I work for aren’t bad guys, they just aren’t the savviest businessmen you ever met. Continue reading

Powerful Music In Unexpected Places

Over the last several months there has been something happening in the background of this blog. On what I thought was something of a whim I shared a piece of music that I really enjoyed. I commented in the post that I had always enjoyed music, but expressing my musical preferences always seemed like dangerous ground socially. I just figured there was no need to offer up information about oneself that would be judged. There was something liberating about that post and I have since begun sharing more music and in most cases explaining the significance of the music to my life. This process has created something of an awakening inside me relative to the power of music as a media of emotion. As I have explored this I have uncovered some powerful music that has moved me. Much of what I have discovered is pretty popular stuff, and by admitting that I have never heard it I am basically revealing that I do in fact live under a rock. The thing is I discovered a couple of these songs in a way that separated me from their original sound, and it is that which I hope to share here. Continue reading

Beer With Jesus

I have often written here and commented on other blogs that I would like to write a post that highlights my take on religion. Suffice to say that I am challenged by the bigger questions in life, the type of questions that have no answers, but can drive a person batty if they spend too much time thinking about them. Does religion hold the answers? Certainly some sort faith or spirituality is where peace lies of not the answers. I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with some of hypocrisy I perceive in the organized faiths, and I have yet to be able to put together a coherent philosophy of my own that would offer any comfort. Continue reading

Back

I was blessed to grow up in a place that is probably the closest thing to paradise on the east coast of the United States. We had everything; mountains, oceans, forests, and an idyllic small town where everybody knew your name. I grew up in a place with a sense of community that cared for its people. I knew it then, but I really know it now.

I Still live very close to that place and even have cause to go there from time to time, but a few days ago I was passing through and I saw it clearly for the first time in years. It has changed. The geography is the same, but the town feels different. I can only hope those pillars of citizenship and community are still there somewhere.

I recently heard this song and it reminded of my childhood and this place from the past.When I listen to the lines below I swear the song could have been written about me:

“My Daddy’s getting older now, but son he’s still as tough as ever

Him and my little boy are best friends now wish it could last forever

My Mommas still the one I talk to when I need advice

She never ever let me down, god what will I do when she’s not around.”

Busy Busy Busy

It has been a couple weeks since I last posted and the truth is I will probably be somewhat sporadic over the rest of the summer and early fall. This time of year I have very little “me” time. My wife is off for the summer, and I work six or seven days a week through October. I have trouble putting together coherent sentences in rooms full of distractions, and most topics I discuss here I don’t exactly want people looking over my shoulder while I am writing. On a side note I would like to thank “Working Through The Madness” and Fractured Angel for nominating me for awards. I will find the time to put a post together for that shortly.

It has been a crazy couple weeks. I have again been presented with a job opportunity that is creating a great deal of stress in my life. If I could have designed my dream job five or ten years ago this opportunity would have been very close, but things change and the time commitment and impact on my family is making it hard to get excited about. It is driving boats, but it is not fishing, and it is not what I really want to be doing right now. On the other hand there is no guarantee I will ever be able to go fishing again, and financially this job would be great for my family. After mulling it over for the past week I have decided there is no good decision to be made here. I will lose something no matter which path I choose. I hate decisions like this, and it sure seems as if my life has had a disproportionate number of them in the past ten years.

With all this added stress my anxiety levels have been pretty high, but I am surviving medication free. I am not sure surviving is the quality of life I am going for, but I think I am going to let it ride a little longer and see how things go. Without the chemical controls in place I have been learning a great deal about what increases my risk for anxiety attacks and have been working at cutting back on those things. It is the standard list, diet, exercise, fatigue, etc. Fatigue seems to be a major factor, and the one I have the least amount of control over with all the demands on my time right now, but I am doing ok. It would be nice to have a nice stable four to six months with no significant external stressors and see how life goes. Depression doesn’t seem to be a factor for me these days, though I am aware that prolonged high anxiety is going to make me more susceptible to a lowered mood so I am watching myself carefully.

I had gotten in the habit lately of posting some music to my blog so I will leave you with a song. It has no particular meaning to me, but the music and lyrics make me smile, and I find myself moving to the music and singing the words without thinking about. There are never enough things out there to make people smile, and I hope it puts a little shine it your day also…

 

Colder Weather

 

In many ways this song puts to music my experience with depression and anxiety, It was never intended to speak to those issues, but the mood of the music and the lyrics are something I can relate to far beyond any literal intentions. The songs true inspiration was the love interest of a musician in the band. He was touring the northern tier of the country and she was in Kansas City. He and his band mates were chasing their musical dreams and he just wasn’t able to put in the effort to make things work. He was literally “stuck in colder weather”.

For me the colder weather is more reflective of the darker days of my life. These darker days almost caused me to leave a special girl behind and they did cause me to leave a great deal of the things that defined me and gave me joy. I have found my way back to some of these things, but others are gone forever. These things aren’t to be mourned. Life works in funny ways and lately I have been finding myself in milder climates, using the parlance of the song, and I am finding new joys, while allowing myself the fond memories of those closed chapters.

It is a beautiful song. I hope you enjoy it.