Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finding Grace

Pictures owned and taken by Shadow (I couldn't chose between the two and you take wonderful photographs my dear friend!)

Finding Grace by April L. Gerard

Tears fell from my cheeks,
my eyelids did not wish to open as I weeped.
I never understood such pain of my heart,
so I ignored it in silence.
Silence of years.
Giving to fill up the emptiness.
Needing what could not be seen.
 I've come to see,
though it is a road I do not know,
I see now that
Grace somehow is finding me.
I don't know what to do with what I've found,
perhaps it will go, perhaps stay.
For now, the beautiful pain
of growing into a new dawn,
spreading out those precious wings,
that my friends,
That is worth every breath one takes. 

I do not know much about the guy this quote is from, but the quote itself is very powerful to me today. it is:

"Grace means more than gifts. In grace something is transcended, once and for all overcome. Grace happens in spite of something; it happens in spite of separateness and alienation. Grace means that life is once again united with life, self is reconciled with self. Grace means accepting the abandoned one. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation. It transforms guilt to trust and courage. The word grace has something triumphant in it."- Yrjo Kallinen

Monday, September 27, 2010

A few thoughts and some music to share..

I wrote a poem today and I couldn't bring myself to post it on my blog. The fact that I wrote it for me was enough. I'm struggling between a few things in my head, but I know that whatever these challenges of mine may be- they are not strong enough to break me. They never were.  And to a friend, Thank you for the book recommendation...I've got lots of questions for you now. 

There are two very different songs that have been in my head as well, they are: "Crossfire" by Brandon Flowers and "Cry out to Jesus" by Third Day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Train of thoughts for the day...

I've got a lot on my mind..this post may ramble a bit..

Triana had a major accident, she fell from a cliff yesterday, but she is slowly on the mend. I never want to feel that feeling of loss as I did when I realized just how close a call it was. She's been my best friend for over 17 years...I couldn't fathom her not being here. I am soooooo thankful and grateful that she is still here with us and I know she is going to continue to be with us for a very long time on this earth :)

In other news: Good things have been happening lately, but it seems I've been thinking alot about how the past has or still does in some ways affect the present or the here and now of my decision making abilities.  I've been asked to write a series of words that describe me, but how do you describe yourself without revealing yourself?  But, I'm well aware that the excercise is meant to do just that...still, I hesitate on it.  But, I will do it as I promised I would.

I was also told (well the whole rehearsal group/posse at church was asked to do this) to look up and review old school music that had parts..or harmony. Music that you could hear the different backing of alto, soprano, or tenors.  I have been doing that and this music video was one of the last ones I watched...which made me a bit nostalgic and led to other thoughts....

...thoughts that leave you Remembering things, acknowledging things, realizing some things about yourself and about others.

My good friend Deborah said to me today on the phone something along the lines of "April, I'm feeling like great things are going to be happening for you. Its almost like your a butterfly who has finally given itself permission to leave the cocoon" - that made me glad that I've been following what my heart and head say they're in agreement on here lately.

But it doesn't mean I still don't battle myself and wonder about things sometimes.  In fact I recently had an interesting conversation with another friend of mine, who point blank said to me, "You're scary sometimes with how perceptive you are of others."  I am glad, however, that I'm not soooo scary that they don't talk to me anymore..but it does reveal alot to me about how others percieve me to be.

I think my brain is trying to fit these things into the grand scheme of things..organizing, analyzing, and quite frankly...wondering about so many things.

The most important thing though- is how incredibly strong my confidence and determination has become. These dreams of mine have become more to me than just dreams, they're my future, they're where I'm heading, where each step is taking me.  They are truly becoming real to me, tangible, attainable, and possible. 

I guess what I'm saying is that where ever it is I have been in life doesn't matter much anymore...hurts are hurts that sometimes leave scars, but its where I'm going that matters and what I intend to do with the talents given to me that matter most.  And I intend to make the most of it everyday I live.

That's alot of what I'm thinking right now, so I think its time to get a few other things done before I head to bed.  Been in Minnesota all week for a training for work and have to get up early to head to class in the I really ought to start thinking about sleep now :)

Have a wonderful night everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Clips of Conversations and Inspiration

Different conversations teach you things, make you wiser, or make you want to improve your own self.  As a way of saying thank you to a few individuals, I've posted below clips of conversations I"ve had with others.  For me, as I think back on what either i have learned or what others have learned from me as a result of these conversations, this is what is inspiring. When we say the things we need to hear, encouraging and lifting one another up instead of bashing them down with our words- then we are truly being the friend, the lover, and the giver that the world needs.  I hope that these little clips inspire you each as well.

In Understanding the roads You've traveled:

"Isn't the What and the Why the same thing?"  I just shook my head and said, "No. One is effect and one is causal. You have to know and understand the cause before you really understand the effect. Likewise, the what and the why could be either the effect or the cause, its up to you to figure which one caused something or was the effect of something."

Taking advice when you'd rather not:

"now, read me and read this good, okay? April, you are a good person. you are charming, you are intelligent, and you are extremely talented. and the jump card- you are extremely caring.  When we penis-bearing individuals don't get enough liqour, dope, ciggys, women is what we want.  Your trump card is your biggest vulnerability. Stop being nice to everyone and anyone."

Learning that being nice also means telling the truth:
"I'll have you know though, I'm not really that nice. Like you,  I say it like it is."

"and how is that not nice? I did not say you are soft and mushy! I said you are nice! nice is being honest and all."

Finding Laughter with a best friend:

Being there for a Friend:

"What's wrong?" 
 "heart hurts a bit." 
 "why is that?" 
"long story."
"I'm listening..err well reading that is :)"
"I don't want to put this shit on you, you have enough to worry about."
"Hey, I'm your friend remember?"
"I know, and that's why I can't"
 "Well, too bad, tell me anyway"

 "I'll call you in a bit."

 "Ok. I'll wait to hear from you then. Keep your chin up, you at least got someone willing to listen, though I can't fix anything."

 Being encouraged by a Friend when your world crumbles beneath your feet:

I think you are a very courageous and brave woman. The decisions and changes you have made couldn't have been easy, but made them you did, for you knew in the long run that they were and are the right ones. Now you have to go about re-building a 'new' life, and that will of course bring its share of ups and downs, and that horrid horrid self-doubts. Maybe the thing to do in those momentary dark moments, is to think back to the really bad times, the times you were ready to crumple up and sink away.That will surely push you through and give you the hope and determination to keep on going.

Giving advice to a friend:

"Just because you may have made mistakes that hurt another person, does not give that person the right to break you and your spirit just because they can."

And being open enough to listen when someone else speaks:

Thank you to everyone for the inspiration. Here is a song I love by Micheal Franti !!!!! Enjoy Everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Memories and Whispers

The above picture is of my Stepdad and my oldest Daughter, Hope, when she was 3 months old I think. It was taken several years before he passed away.

Memories and Whispers by April Gerard

I remember you.
Challenging me...
changing me.

Showing me a good man.
with faults, but still a good man.
Showing me humanness and kindness.

Showing that mistakes do not always
say a person is a failure, that men
can be and often are just as human as me.

I listen to a song called Almost Home,
that describes you to me.
and I smile.

No feat was too big
to tackle,
 No word could undo
what you set out to do;
set out to be.

Nothing was empty
in the dreams you just try..

nevermind the No's
the incomprehension from others,
or the roads you've traveled in life before today.

Don't worry so much what others think April.

They're your dreams,
it's your Life...
Live it.  Live it! you'd say.

Yes, I remember you in memories
and in whispers that will never go away.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

to be Healed

For six individuals who have made an impact on my life-  because as your friend, I could never think less of you for anything you've ever done or ever would do.

I have been thinking alot about different people I know personally from all across the globe. This post may get lengthy and may ramble on, but I want to share these thoughts I'm having so here goes..

I have had several of my close friends share with me some intimate details of their lives. things that make a person wiser,and makes me appreciate people for who they are, not who I could envision them to be.

I have a few friends who have been hurt so deeply, that they wishe to not take part in the world anymore, still live yes, but interact with  the assumptions that are often made by the rest of us about what they do or don't know about life are what leave them wandering the earth, more content alone than with others.  Its sad, so sad that we say things thinking that our own thinking must surely be right.  Since when did we as humans become more than humans? 

You know, a 21 year old Man once said this when I asked what they knew of Life and Love, "It is such a thing that is frail, yet caught in the grasp of a collection of burs---wild and stoic like dreams often are. It is such a thing that demands blood, yet beckons rejuvenation in the same breath. I suppose love and life are counter opposites for some people. Ah! Breathe in the air and never be afraid of the future; we die so quickly April.

We die terribly fast."

It doesn't matter a persons age, young or old; it doesnt matter what their addictions are or aren't; doesn't matter what we think we know about someone else just by observing their habits. Understanding is something very few really "understand".

I have another friend of mine who once led people to understand and love their faith. He no longer leads or follows that passion of his because of his experiences with the world. I wish somehow I could give that love of following his faith back to him.

 Another friend struggles with committments, another struggles with breathing and still giving, another struggles with peoples assumptions and perceptions...all of them love the world despite the world failing to love them. They are the most beautiful people I know.  Broken individuals yes. But beautiful, beautiful souls.

If I had one thing to say to these beautiful people I know and others who have walked in similiar shoes..its this:

 Sometimes you have to forgive that the world doesn't understand, that they don't know the hurt that their own words would cause.  We all make mistakes, but that is because we are all human. Drugs of choice may be our addictions....but never forget addictions are never stronger than we are for our faith is innate, a gift given to us by a higher power. 

Forgive yourself.
Love yourself
and live.

Here are two videos that speak of what's on my mind and what I hear from these precious friends of mine. The album, The Sound of Madness, by Shinedown has put together these concepts, these maddening things we do to one is my hope that we as collective individuals learn to love without neccessarily understanding or changing someone else to suit our own views...just love them for who they are because you really don't know how much they care about you..the world.