In my determination to write more (and subsequently stay sane) I have joined author Ann Dee Ellis in a memoir writing group. 3 days a week she gives prompts and then for 8 minutes we write. Please feel free to join in! Here's my eight minute attempt today:

 photo ryan tanner_zps3oo2l967.jpg

This morning I was sweeping the kitchen floor after the kids were off to school and the two girls were eating toast with eggs and I decided we needed some music. So I put on my friend Ryan Tanner's album Promised Land--a piece of art he put out after writing and recording it in four days. It was a surprise to most of his closest friends. I spent last week listening to it with Christopher, we searched the lyrics and followed the melodies. It's a simple production, a poet, a guitar, a cello, and sometimes a powerful vocal partnership with fellow artist Kiki Buehner.

The first song Promise Land in particular I listened over and over because Ryan has a journey similar to mine in some ways. And sometimes it's the greatest gift when someone can write the words you feel but are too exhausted, conflicted and hurt to write yourself.

But last weekend Ryan tipped me off to one song in particular that was inspired by a deeply personal connection to me and I decided to listen to that song especially this morning.

The imagery in the song conjured up a storm inside of me and I swept and cried and cried and sat down and cried and it had the power to whittle me down until there was no emotion left inside of me to feel except love. The pure love that cuts through all the crap and centers you straight with the universe. I am nothing. I know nothing. I have nothing to give, except that heavy, bittersweet love.

I was a mess. I am a mess. I will always be a mess.

But it's always in the mess I feel the love. It's never there in times of control or perfection. If I want to feel love I have to allow myself the splendor and the vulnerability of the messy life. But I would be lying if I didn't say it's a hard choice. I understand why folks don't choose it at all.

I know this post comes with curiosity. I need to be able to keep all the holy inside right now. I'm not ready to conjure up the mess publicly--except to write the divine effect it had on me this morning. It's perhaps a gift exchange between me and the artist for now. I hope you understand.

Album is here.

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