Open scars


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Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photos

I burned myself recently on the heating element of my oven…. yes, cooking accidents are my forte.  And that burn was a doozy.  And as I’ve watched it heal recently, I began to think about it.  I thought about how I hadn’t covered it with a bandaid, and I hadn’t even really doctored it.  I just kept it clean and watched the skin began to re-construct the layers that had been melted.

And then I thought about what a perfect metaphor and reminder it was of scars in general and the struggles we endure in this life.  And I thought…. What if we didn’t hide our scars?  So what if I wasn’t able to keep my left index finger from scarring.  A blemish- the horror of horrors! What if each time I saw it, I was reminded of that painful memory?  And what if I didn’t try to cover it up, make it heal prettier or sugar coat what really happened to that piece of skin? Why not leave the scars and the stories on myself of all the things I’ve experienced or lived through in this short life on earth.

And just like letting my skin scar, I thought a little more.  What if we were more open about our blemishes, struggles, failures and imperfections.  I know we claim pretty openly to be imperfect, but do we really believe that and own it?  Or do we still feel we are trying to reach some unattainable goal the world or culture has set for us? In a world fixated on perfections, fancy creams, liposuction, tanning beds, hair dyes and spanks, it’s rather hard to want to accept and be ok with the shortcomings, blemishes and limitations we all deep down realize we have.  And to that I say- stop it right now, self and world.  I’m human, and I struggle.  I know others have had their share of struggles too.  But what if it was ok.  Ok to not uphold some image of feminine fabulousness. Ok to be not ok at times.  Ok to not always know what the future holds.  Ok to show your imperfections to others.  Ok to not try to cover up every little so-called flaw on your face.  God loves this mess.  He blessed me and many others with creativity, time, talent and heart that wants to find joy in the world around me.  So it’s time I, and you, stopped listening to the voices of negativity that try to tell us to cover up things that aren’t perfectly perfect.  Accept the imperfections, work on the things you can and be really thankful for God’s grace as he fills in the broken pieces of your vessel 🙂

~leah

 

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The value of waiting, slowing down and finding simplicity


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Sit right here and wait. What? No thank you. Remember when used to actually wait for our parents outside school? We couldn’t text them. We just hoped that eventually they would show up to claim us and take us home.

We just hate waiting. You know it’s true. From drivers who nearly run you down just to get to the same stoplight to the bosses who needed it done yesterday or I want my coffee NOW. We despise waiting. Maybe it somehow reminds us of our humanity and the honest truth that we don’t get everything we want when we want it. Sob sob. I realize how easy it has been to fall into the trap of not wanting to wait. Why is my career not further NOW? Why do I not have the man of my dreams sitting by my side NOW? Where is my lunch NOW? The ironic part of all of this is that we have actually traded our anxious ways and don’t really know what it’s like to live NOW. Being present is something we all struggle with. We love to go and do and live life. But it’s time we all slowed down just a little bit (or rather a lot) to be able to process our lives. Processing what is happening and the actual process behind everything is something we’d rather pass over, forget and live without. When we’ve gone an entire week without assessing what we did well, what we could have done better and perhaps some mistakes we made along the way, we have become to busy. When we are too busy to stop for a conversation that needs to occur with someone or to express thankfulness to someone, we’ve become too busy. Our “busy-ness” will eventually be the death of us all, since running ourselves into the ground will exhaust us both physically and emotionally.

I’ve become very interested in the Slow Movement which believes in more of a mindful way of living- a connection to food, a connection to place, a connection to people and a connection to life. It involves slowing down and really being present in the moment. I prefer to start living more slowly and mindfully as opposed to being forced like a current through the gates of a dam. In the Entrepreneur Issue of Kinfolk, there is an interview with Carl Honore´, one of the world’s most respected advocates of the Slow Movement.  You can watch his Ted Talk here.

I decided to include some blogs regarding the concepts of simple living and a slow living mindset, so check them out:

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/becoming-minimalist-start-here/

Home:

http://www.slowyourhome.com/

Family:

http://lifeshouldbethecatsmeow.blogspot.com/

Other thoughts:

http://prettygoodstories.com/

http://valueofsimple.com/start-here/

Let’s take time to be mindful, be present and not be afraid to live a little slower paced as we journey along our path in life.

~lme

A letter to the women of the world (and music industry)


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Dear Women of the world,

You are more than your body.  Showing off your body doesn’t garner respect like you want to believe it does.  You want respect and to be treated as beautiful and smart?  Don’t sell your body through images and videos.  Share your art, share your music, and share your talents, but don’t share every inch of your skin with the entire world.  Considering the image you present is important- more than you will ever know.  Whether you want it or not, you brand yourself every single day by the clothes you wear, the way you talk and how you carry yourself.  Don’t want to be judged?  Harsh reality- in a world saturated with images and everyone on social media, there are a million eyes looking at you and you will be judged.  Don’t take that responsibility lightly.  I won’t name drop as badly as I want to, but you musicians, artists and actresses know who you are- stop it.  Stop making us think that it’s ok to throw our bodies in people’s faces whether they like it or not.  Stop making us think we have to be a specific size.  We don’t.  Beauty is found in all shapes and sizes.  Stop telling us that you’re a feminist and then propagate a less than respectful image to the public.  Don’t kid yourself because you aren’t kidding us.

May we women stop talking so negatively to ourselves and about ourselves, learn to smile more often, spend time on inner beauty, and worry less about what people think of us and more about what God thinks about us.

~lme

Sugar in the Shoreline


“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are getting back from whence we came.” ~John F. Kennedy

The open road is a reset button for the mind. A simple roadtrip can clear the senses, help one take in the scenery from a new vantage point and gain fresh
perspective. You merely watch the frustrations, irritations and pain of life disappear in the rear view mirror with each passing mile. As we drove through the mountains of Asheville, I was able to be in the moment if only for a moment. Winter was melting away as the water rushed down the hills and shot off the rocks in tiny waterfall fashion as if dancing for me and shouting- Spring is here! For us wandering spirits, the open road holds promise, possibility and the pursuit of something new. Charleston was our home for a long Easter weekend, and we soaked it in like a bowl of creamy, delicious grits. We met new characters, allowed our taste buds to revel in both savory and sweet, ambled amidst the sea colored cottages and smiled as we heard the swelling song of the ocean in all her glory. Charleston can boast of a slower pace, a calmer smile and a wealth of historical connections. From the marshy and peaceful beauty of Cypress Gardens to the pasted painted perfection of Rainbow Row, Charlie-town (as Brianne named it), did not disappoint us in the least.

Travel, like music, is a process of changing with a movement of ourselves from one place to another. Perhaps musicians are at times signified as vagabonds, because music and travel clasp hands like the ocean and the shoreline. A longing for freedom and a sense of cutting the strings tied to our wrists by the infringing world of doubters, naysayers and realists. To seek a wealth of experience as opposed to a wealth of money is a noble aim. Charleston, the ocean and the moments of respite from our frantic lives were a welcoming haven for us.

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Freedom in the Fall


There is something different in the air at the end of September. There’s a crispness like an apple and a hush like a fireside glow. New connections with new people give me hope. The promise of new opportunities and new adventures and a life to be led in front of me pull me along my pathway of light.  Through growth, you begin to fear that you will never feel alive or happy again. But slowly a raw heart begins to realize something is there, something of a kernel of possibility.

Promises, promises the people cry

And you know you aren’t scared to die.

In the quiet darkness of the night

You feel closer to a better life.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying the fleeting days of warm summer as the Fall is headed our way 🙂  Thank you for reading, and check out new show dates on my other page at the tab at the top of this blog.  If you’re interested in booking a house show, feel free to email me at leahemusic@gmail.com

~lmeflowers

Part of the Cure or the Disease?


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Photo Courtesy:  The British Library

Am I part of the cure, or am I part of the disease?” ~coldplay

This lyrics struck me as they played in my car today.  Am I the first or the second of these?  I’m sure at first each of us would wholeheartedly say yes, I’m part of the cure!  But wait, before you answer so quickly, here are 4 areas in which to consider whether you are part of the cure or the disease….

  1. Being part of the cure means you don’t spend all your time in things that only benefit yourself.  This would be the antidote in a self-sick world.  It’s easy to shop for yourself, feed yourself and spend time with only the people you like.  But really, is that what we are called to do and be as people of God?  I believe there are reasons that being trapped inside our minds and not serving others is unhealthy.  We have to get out of ourselves.  This will lead us to contentment and happiness.
  2. Being a part of the cure means you make decisions about your circle of friends, people you date and those from whom you seek advice with more than superficial things in mind.  I’ve often been struck when people try to set people up with someone who “loves music” or “loves to travel.”  Having a bunch of similar “likes” doesn’t mean you connect with someone nor does it mean they value the same things you do.  It also does not mean they will be someone who will spiritually lead you in a direction you need to go.  In fact, deciding who you will ultimately spend the rest of your life with means you consider more than yourself.
  3. Being a part of the cure means you are different than the culture around you and you’re ok with that.  The way we dress, act, talk and live out our daily lives should look different than others.  The way we react to situations should cause others to stop and think.  And counter-culture can also involve the many gadgets and distractions around us.  Sure, it is easy to have superficial conversations and also relationships, so it’s important to fight that by working at it.  As we “advance” in technology it seems to me that we’ve begun to “dis-advance” (I just made that up) in our interpersonal communications.  When I see a couple at dinner and the wife is on her phone, it seems a little sad to me.  I’m starting to wonder if the reason we can’t make true relationships work is because our base of online relationships are built on superficiality such as “likes” and “comments.”  When we have human connection in the same room and choose to connect to a device, what does that say about us?
  4. Being a part of the cure means you strive to see people as souls, not as beings from whom you can take what you want.  Don’t see people as merely physical beings to fulfill what you want but rather have their best interest at heart.  It means you say things that are difficult at times because it will help in the long run.  Being a part of the cure means curing yourself of only seeing the earthly, here and now perspective.

Fill your cup at the well


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Photo Courtesy of: The Swedish National Heritage photostream

As you age, you begin to realize that all the discouragement you feel in the your imperfect friendships with people is fixed in the perfection of God.  Think about it.  The failings of others are contrasted in the things He does everything perfectly.  Someone doesn’t give you time?  God is always there for you, always.  Anytime you need to talk, He has a listening ear.  When you can’t explain yourself to a human, the Holy Spirit can intercede in the groanings of your soul as you tell God.  People hurt you?  God has good in store for you, despite how hard you’re fighting and failing daily.  When you feel like people only want to use you or abuse you, remember this.  God wants what’s best for you and wants to bring you home.  That’s why he left a book full of love letters and words to help you stay on the straight and narrow.  Relationships will fill you full of questions.  God doesn’t desire to keep you in total darkness.  He says when we search for Him with our whole heart, we will find Him.

So be seekers.  Be learners.  Be strong in the Lord.  Be lovers of good.

Go.  Be.

~lme

Lyrical poetry for your mid-week


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Photo Courtesy:  Swedish National Heritage photostream

Green

~lme

I pack a punch

Right to the gut

With a song that I wrote

since I only had so much

I live in a world

You have never seen

Ethereal forests

Filled with evergreens

Remember when there was intrigue

In a disappearing act

Where do you go

When the others act like that

I sought advice

in comrades I knew

but they could not console me

in the mystery of you

I will strive for the higher path

No matter how I’m hurt

I seek comfort in someone else

To the man who won’t desert

Filling up the holes

Where the others fall so short

The one who teaches creation

Is the only one who can bind what’s sore

You don’t sing me to sleep

I do that on my own

The silence is my symphony

I won’t take water from a stone

Love must define me

But I must guard my heart

No matter how it unravels

I know I finish what I start

The need to be seen and the gift of getting lost


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Photo Courtesy:  State Library of New South Wales flickrstream I do not condone the usage of cigarettes in this picture… ha.

Each of us is a cog in the wheel of the great symphony of mankind.  Our voices blend in cadences and sometimes result in dissonance.  We all want to be seen, heard, appreciated, understood and loved.  We vocalize thoughts for some validation and eat heaping platefuls of both negative and positive energy from social media feeds daily.  A desire to be seen is something we feast upon.  But is being seen really what it’s cracked up to be?

Do I really want others eyes upon me continually?  We musicians tend to strive for recognition as if our art is only validated through more and more exposure.  But recognition comes with a high price on the pathway to fame.  Perhaps we are diseased with a weight of self.  Look at me, adore me, follow me, share my stuff, like me, love me, befriend me, idolize me.  Is that really what we want?  If I should never be able to get lost, disappear from the world for a day and run free, my soul would suffocate.  I sometimes pity the creative people, especially high-profile artists, in this world. They have intense pressure put on them to daily perform on a level of perfection.  I pity their inability to quietly slip into the unknown to observe, write, think and be.  It isn’t natural to think that someone can be switched on that often.  True art needs a cultivation period.  To get lost in the woods for a day is a blessing taken for granted.  To latch the door and head outside and feel the ground beneath our toes is something we have yet to do because we’re far to busy every day.  To learn how to be still and know that He is, and that we are not, is an aspect of life we too often choke out.  We let the “cares and the deceitfulness of riches” suffocate our hearts and smother our souls.   And I must ask myself why I let my soul wither away from malnourishment of good things and a lack of breath.  If breathing is important for physical life, perhaps it is important for me mentally and even spiritually.  Take some time to really meditate on the blessings and your purpose, vision and goals in life.  Don’t half-heartedly bounce from activity to activity without really comprehending and assessing the significance of each thing you do and whether it draws you closer to your Maker or farther away.

To the artists… don’t let recognition or lack thereof be your ultimate goal.  Are you any less of an artist because only two people hear you or 2 million?  Not in the least.  Keep sharing your message with the world and if you are genuinely in line with your truest self, practicing what you say, people will listen and take it upon themselves to also share your message.

Ponder the reason why you do what you do.  What is your purpose in pursuit?  Steeping in your ultimate goals can help you eliminate daily tasks or events that are merely cluttering your time and mind.

~lme

For shoulders beneath the weight of the world


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Photo Courtesy:  Florida memory flickr stream

Heavy the Heart

~a poem

Lone, dark house on a hill

Above darker secrets it sits

Grey and blues meld together

In the haunting. in the quiet still

Sad willow dying outside

Cracking paint

And rain seeping

in my windowsill

 

Lights camera, infraction

Where the pain sets in

I won’t leave you lonely

To find your way again

Hiding from the pressure

Away from it all

I can tell that you’re aching

Like weary king saul

 

Walking like bodies

Dying in spirit and flesh

With so much potential

Exhaling each breath

Resting in my bed

Possibly forever alone

This has never scared me

Perhaps i’ve been turned to stone

 

The devil breaks my body

But he won’t claim my soul

Chewing at my heels

I take the bridge, and pay the toll

He walks around in circles

Lighting fires in an open field

Chanting that I am no good

Whispers love can never heal

 

Dark as the night water rushes in

And small as I know I am

I will take my shoes off

and in the blackland soil, I will stand

as the storm begins to near

My brown eyes will be set

Wrapped in what I know

Against what has not happened yet.

~lme