Friday, September 27, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 140 JOY!

Day # 140.  Another milestone!

Typing more lyrics for my CD insert this morning. As part of the celebration, I thought I would show you what I'm doing.  In the insert, you will see the lyrics to the songs and a short story behind the song. I have found that people still enjoy reading the lyrics and hearing how the song came about.

These days, while I exercise, I'm listening to the mixes and the sound tracks so that the new arrangements begin to get into my soul as I prepare to share it on small stages this Christmas in prep for the big one next year.

If you'd like to schedule me to come to your venue to share the new music this year, let me know!  I'd love a chance to 'practice' in a small way what I will do in a big way next year.  I'm already booking some shows now and I'm excited!

Here's a sample of what will appear in my CD insert.  The song is another song done in the "Enya" style with multiple tracks of vocals all singing as one.

Song of Joy

Someone asked me to write a song about joy based on a scripture from Isaiah 35 for Advent.  This is what I came up with.  Since I don’t typically write about joy (yes, I need to work on that) it was a real treat to finally write something happy.  I enjoy singing this song.

Even the desert will be glad and the wilderness rejoice 
when the Lord comes near      
then blinded eyes will start to see and the deaf ears they will hear 
when the Lord comes near

Sing a song of hope sing a song of joy
when the glory of the Lord is near
sing a song of hope sing a song of joy
for the glory of the Lord is here

Then those who know the Lord will sing on the journey as they go 
when the Lord comes near
gladness and joy will overcome and the sorrow disappear 
when the Lord comes near (chorus)

Do not be afraid I bring you good news great joy to all to all the people
today in Bethlehem a savior is born he is Christ the Lord
he is Christ the Lord (chorus)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 139 Lyrics Written and Lyrics Waiting To Be Written

Today was filled with lyrics.  Some were written down and some are yet to be written.

I started by writing out the lyrics I want to be included in the CD insert.  That's the next big step in this final process.  As the graphic designer begins work on the cover design, I must decide who to thank for this project and make sure I say all that I want to say. That includes typing all the lyrics to the songs and including any authors for the songs that are not mine.  

I spent the rest of my day forming memories that can be turned into lyrics for another project someday. Perhaps.  

That's where lyrics come from.  At least for me.  For the most part, my lyrics are a representation of moments in time or feelings that I've experienced and think others might relate to or be encouraged by.  

After getting a good start on the lyrics for the CD this morning, I left to spend the largest piece of my day with my Mother.  After a business appointment regarding her care, unloading my car of her clothes that I had taken home to iron for her, going with her to the Doctor and having lunch out on the patio with the sunshine keeping us warm, I asked her if she would like to take a drive through the country.  

She seemed extra sad today and I thought the drive might cheer her up.

She was concerned that we have a viable reason for the drive.  Yes, of course.  That's how she's always been.  Make sure everything has a purpose and don't throw anything away - even gas to take a drive together.  Make it count for something!

She announced that she would like to see the farm where she was born.  That must have felt like a viable reason.  I was concerned we could find it because some days she doesn't know if it's morning, noon or night and there have been times she doesn't even know when she was married.  I decided even if we couldn't find the place, it was worth the trip just to get her out of her room.  After all, we could always stop for ice cream somewhere along the way.

Sure enough, despite her fading memory, she knew when we got near the road close to the farm.  I have never been there, so I had to depend on her memory completely.  That can be as risky as my GPS system or my own brain system for that matter.

When we found the place, her spirits lifted and she began to recall things from over 80 years ago.  She pointed to the silo and reminisced the fact that her father had built it.  

Silo built by my Grandpa Sollenberger
I decided to get brave and do her a big favor.  We approached a newer house on the property to find out if this was the right place, though I was sure that it was from a photograph my brother had taken years ago of my mother by the old house.  

Suffice it to say that knocking on the door to the house led to an interesting chase.  A young man (probably in his 20's) answered the door and said he didn't know the history of the old farm, but that his mother worked at a local bridal shop and we could stop in there to ask her.

I decided to go for it.  We found the bridal shop and when we entered the large store with all kinds of colors and puffy dresses, my mother was totally distracted.  Imagine for a moment the bridal and tuxedo shop filled with fancy dresses and my precious conservative mother standing in the midst like Alice in wonderland.

"Now I know where people get all their clothes" she announced.  "I live at Menno Haven and I often wonder where all their clothes come from.  Now I know".  

Well, I'm not too sure that the elderly at her retirement community are wearing prom dresses, but it made me giggle inside nonetheless.

When I reminded my mother why we were in the bridal shop, she thought we were tracking down the people who built the retirement home where she now lives.  Oh well.

Our minds are a strange thing and as I watch her age, I realize how fragile and undependable our brains can become.  But she knew which road she grew up on.  That's what is so amazing.

We never did locate the woman who could tell my mother what we already knew.  But we did locate a Wendy's and sat in our car under an oak tree enjoying large root beer floats while the acorns fell on the roof of my car making it sound like someone was shooting at us from the sky down onto our roof.  

When I asked her if she remembered how she used to make root beer floats for her friends who would stop in to visit, she had no recollection of it whatsoever.  I was surprised once again.  I reminded her that she used to put vanilla ice cream in glasses and keep them in the freezer.  Then she would add cold root beer to the frozen glasses when company came and it made for a wonderful refreshing treat to serve at the last minute.  She became known for her root beer floats.  Now I had to remind her.

So there's another day in my elephant diet.  Writing down lyrics from the past that were inspired by life experiences.  Living life with my mother today to create more memories which will more than likely lead to more lyrics someday that represent some precious moments with the one who brought me into this world.