Friday, February 27, 2009
Do you think there is someone or something behind all the random occurrences that happen in your life? God? Or is it such a small world that things just happen and there is no meaning behind it?
Since I left my full-time job last year, I have been searching for part-time work to fill in the financial gaps. I found a job posted at a not-for-profit company in Nashville, interviewed and hope to get the job. I have been working as a Biomedical Technician...fancy words for I work on medical equipment. The guy I interviewed with just "happened" to know someone needing a part-time Biomedical tech to work on some equipment. I have talked to him and it is going to be exactly what I was looking for. Was this a random occurrence? I don't think so.
Kristi and I got invited to The Listening Room last week for a songwriter showcase. I really didn't want to go and the weather was going to be nasty, but we went anyway. There were several great writers there, but one of them, Keith Hinton, co wrote one of my favorite Leann Rimes songs. He co wrote "Because I can" with Judy Rodman who just "happens" to be one of my new blog readers. It's all just a strange coincidence...right?
I find it hard to believe that God would go to all the trouble of running people into each other for his/her own amusement. But sometimes we try and attach meaning to these chance occurrences. I have so many examples like these, but these are the latest ones. So when it happens, I just say, "Thank you God for such a wonderful experience". Then I sit back and wait for him to attach the meaning.
Peace and love to all my readers,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I took pictures of my granddogs (my daughter's dogs) and painted portraits of them to give to her as gifts. I really enjoyed painting again and I have one more to do. I thought I would share the first two paintings. I posted the actual picture and followed it with a picture of the painting.
This is Lizzy. She passed away just before Christmas, which inspired me to paint a picture of her. She was a sweet, old dog that loved everybody.
This is the painting of Lizzy.
This is Lucy, my youngest granddog. When she was a pup, we called her the "there ain't no bugs on me" dog. What a fun spirit she has.
Here is the painting I made of Lucy.
Here is a picture of Lucy and Libby. They are so much fun!!
And here is my painting of Libby. I just finished her today.
So, whatever form of creativity you are in, enjoy it and ride it until it runs out of gas.
Peace and joy to all,
Friday, February 20, 2009
Good morning all,
I got this quote in an email and had to share it. It sums up what life is all about.
“Be not the judges of men, but love your brothers and sisters, and find ways to reach out to them in common goals and aspirations. Where there is love in common, the divisions of creed will melt away and reveal the true nature of man’s eternal destiny -- one of unity in purpose, to be perfect as the Father is perfect".
I do not know who wrote it, but they are a genius.
Peace and joy to all today,
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Hello fellow readers!
I hope this Wednesday is treating you well. My thoughts today are simple; What will you do today that people will remember tomorrow? I hope you think of something that will put a smile on someone's face when they remember it tomorrow.
I just finished writing a song and I am so excited about recording it. It is called, "When tomorrow's a memory". I am very pleased by how it turned out.
So think of something...anything that will make someone's day. We need more of that in the world. I wish you all the best.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sometimes I wish my memory wasn't so damn good. I still remember my Dad telling, "Phil, you're never going to be a star". I remember it like it was yesterday.
I guess that was the point where I closed off and didn't share my dreams with him anymore. What astounded me is that he didn't understand my dream at all. I never wanted to be a "star" anyway. I wanted to move to Nashville, write music, meet cool people and live my creative dream.
For me it started at a very young age. I remember writing my first song...it was horrible...but it sparked a fire inside me that will never be extinguished. I have lyrics running through my head every waking hour of the day. I love it!! I know that as sure as I am typing right now, I will write a song that will make a change in someone's life. I know I will be successful and leave a mark on this world.
So, when I was recently contacted by a family member that I hadn't seen since my Dad's funeral in 1999, it brought back some pretty strong emotions that I thought had left years ago. It brought back the feeling of being trapped. I was surrounded by "small" thinking people and I knew that if I didn't get away from them, I would become one of them. These people were threatened by anyone with goals, dreams, aspirations and they did not approve of anyone trying to reach for the sky.
Then I remembered a line in a Vince Gill song, "There ain't no future in the past". If it were not for those "small" thinking people that I ran from, I would not be where I am today. Instead I live in Nashville, write music as much as I can, live a wonderful life with a wonderful woman and continue to pursue my big dreams. There may not be a future in the past, but without it...I would not be here.
All you songwriters out there...keep the faith and dream BIG. It's your dream, not theirs.
Monday, February 9, 2009
On the Wall
By Cagney Bennett
She had been gone a few weeks now. The only thing I felt was emptiness. And I think the wind felt the same. It whipped around me, through me. Biting my cheeks and lips. Telling me it was going to rain. I had never felt this cold before. And alone.
Alone, a word I associated to old people. I didn't think I'd be that alone.
It was probably a month before I could go through her things. Her house, which still smelled like her, was like a dead body. I didn't want to go near it, afraid of what I might find. But that morning, I took a deep breath, and walked quickly to her house. I was only a few blocks away. I had decided to stay in a hotel for now. How could I handle the ghosts of her memories floating the hallways? When I entered the house, I turned on all the lights. I wanted to scare her ghosts away.
I tread carefully into the living room. I had been in this house millions of times, yet, I felt hesitant to touch anything. The only picture of her sat on an end table. I tried not to look at it, but I couldn't help myself. I squatted down and looked at it face to face.
There was no words to tell her. To describe how it felt to be alone. But maybe she already knew. She had only me for twenty years. And I hadn't always been wonderful company. On that thought, I stood up quickly. I didn't want to think about her pain anymore. I walked out of the room.
When I heard a crash and glass breaking, I screamed. But, it was only the picture of her. I must have knocked it or something else... For a second, I stood there, staring. Then, I bent and started to pick up the pieces of glass. The glass was shattered and the frame bent. I started to take the picture out of the frame with the intent of putting it another. But another picture was behind the picture of my mother. A man, standing proud in uniform and smiling at the camera. A man..maybe my mother wasn't always alone.
For a second, I grasped something in my memory. A chance for understanding. This wasn't the first time I had found this picture. In a closet along with musty envelopes. Envelopes addressed to my mother. But I was only seven years, I didn't understand. I was proud of my discovery and showed the picture and letters to my mother. My mother said she threw them out. "Trash...pure trash." Was there resentment in her voice? I could no longer remember the sound.
I turned the picture over and there, in my mother's print, was the man's name. John Hull. My mother had never mentioned that name. Or any name at all. It had always been just me and her. My Momma.
"You are loved, always will be. Please don't forget that."
"I know you love me, Momma." She smiled to herself.
"We'll be watching you from up there. We love you very much."
I never thought to ask who We were before she closed her eyes for the last time. I sat there looking at that picture for a long time before deciding what to do.
I made sure to get a window seat on the plane. I always enjoyed looking over the tiny land as we rise higher and higher. The airport wasn't crowded so, I made my way quickly out of there. I hadn't brought much, but I had forgotten an umbrella. It was drizzling when I walked outside. I stepped slowly, almost dreading what I had to do. In the airport, I had picked up some flowers. Not knowing what he would want with flowers, I carried them with hope.
When I arrived, there was no one else around. I looked for his name in the book, carefully. What if it wasn't there? But it was there in thick black ink, Hull, John. I took several deep breaths and felt the first drops of rain. I started to march up the long hill and the tears gathered in my eyes. The butterflies in my stomach intensified. I almost turned back. But it was too late now, I was here.
I put my hand on the smooth rock of the soaring wall. I traced his name, surrounded by thousands of others. I set the flowers down, now wet from my tears and the rain. But they looked beautiful. I laid my forehead on the wall and let my tears glide over his name. I wished I had known him. But the pride for him and what he had done was too strong and I couldn't feel regret.
I kissed the letters engraved on the wet marble. And said good-bye to his name on the wall.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Anywhere outside of Nashville, it is easy to find someone to write with. Back in Missouri all I had to do was pick up the phone and I could write with anyone.
Oh how things are different here. I have been here for six years now and have had a several writing sessions. The first was with a couple guys that I met at a songwriter night. We got together and it was great. We wrote a song and it was pretty good...at least it was a start. Two weeks later, one of the guys moved back home to Illinois and the other decided co-writing wasn't for him. So, here I am left with nothing but an interesting evening. I didn't take it personal though.
Another co-writing experience was with a gal I worked with. We did very well and actually finished a few songs. We performed at a few songwriter nights together, until she decided not to show up one night. I was blown away...why in the world would she do that? Anyway, she was mainly an artist and had a few issues I guess. It made me look really bad, but I handled it.
My latest attempt at co-writing didn't even get to the session. I had seen this guy perform many times and we had become friends. I told him I would like to write with him and see what we could come up with. He seemed so interested...then nothing. We have talked about it several times...but still nothing. I can't even get a time set. He said, "Call me Thursday, we'll set a time." I called...voicemail and no return call as of a week ago. Frustrating!
Anyway, that's when I decided that finding a good co-writer is worse than finding your soul mate. Asking someone if they would like to write together is worse than asking them out for dinner. Plus, the rejection hurts worse. It's like getting the, "it's not you, it's me" routine.
I have decided that most writers here (as opposed to back home) have a shallow side and are more concerned with your connections than your catalog of songs. But I will vow this, when I get my cuts and my phone is ringing off the wall...I will write with unknown writers. I will not give them the, "I'm kinda seeing someone right now" routine. I will...I promise.
Peace and love to all you songwriters out there, I feel ya!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
One thing I love about songwriters is their love for the music. The main thing I love about living in Nashville is the ability to meet and talk with some of the best songwriters in the world. I have had the pleasure to meet three of the five songwriters on my favorites list. They are listed in no particular order because they are all awesome.
Take some time and visit each songwriter's myspace by clicking on their link.
Click play and sit back and listen. You will be blown away!
Monday, February 2, 2009
My favorite Songwriter Joel Shewmake
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