Threnody –

I used to play, but softly so as not to wake my father.

He was a dark, gruff man who taught me everything that I needed to know about survival in the wild by the time that I was eleven and a half.

Resting on his shoulder, we traipsed through the wooded area nearby our cottage as he told me dark stories of witches and goblins. I loved this more than any other time we spent together.

He was like that, you see; always taking my mother, brother and I on adventures.

He would throw up the old “holy” tent in the yard and grab little more than a flashlight and an emergency supply of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows in case we had to survive a zombie apocalypse. Dragging me, my brother Eric, and my mother into the tent he’d flash the light at the darkest part. Then he’d put his hands together to make monstrous shadows on the tarp as he told us to “get low” “stay quiet.” This was shortly before he stuffed his cheeks with emergency s’mores.

He would drag my brother into our old tree house and claim that they were under attack if we came anywhere within the vicinity; shouting down “no girls allowed!” and pelting my mother and I with water balloons. Which, of course just made my mother and I take up our own weapons and fire back at them as we cooled ourselves on the hottest summer day in August.

But one of the things that I remember the most about him was the way that he watched my mother. He would always stare at her when she cooked, or cleaned, or when she sat at the grand piano; the one that grandfather gave us.

She would sit down to it, with her curly golden hair falling over one shoulder and caress the keys in a way that enthralled him. He would stand in the hall arch and stare at her. He’d stare at her the way that I would stare at him; as though he’d never seen her before and as though she was the most beautiful angel he’d ever clamped eyes upon.

The melodious colors of Chopin, Mozart, and Liszt poured through the dark corners of our house almost every day as she watched the sun set. “I want to remember, puppet,” she’d tell me as she touched the tip of my nose and putting her forehead to mine, she’d smile. “I want to remember everything beautiful, and everything about you.”

I had learned to play the piano as well, wanting to be just like her in every single way. I also wanted so badly for my father to look at me the way that he looked at mommy. Like she was magic dust, or twinkling lights.

I would play night and day, practicing, frustrated and horrified by my own mistakes.

My mother would sit down next to me when I felt like everything was going to crash down on me and say, “You’ll get it. Everything takes time.” Her voice was growing ever more quiet in those days. Often when I came home from school, she was in bed taking a quick nap before she got up to help me.

Then she’d pin her hair up, rub cream into her dry hands, and sit with me on the piano bench to play while my father watched her as if she was pure vision. His eyes moved over her as if she were not real or tangible; as if she was merely a ghost of eternal beauty and delight in the orange afternoon light. It always made me feel warm.

I smiled at her warmly when I got a piano piece right, and she’d smile back at me through white, cracked lips and motion gracefully for me to go on. Then she’d listen as I played another song or two, and then she’d slowly climb the stairs and lay down for the rest of the evening.

In September of that same year, I played very quietly so as not to wake my father.

He would drag himself in after a long day at work, stumble sluggishly into the kitchen, pour a drink. Then, he would stumble slowly up to the bedroom where he’d lay alone. I realize only now that he never wanted me to see him cry and I respect that. He always kept my mother close to his heart, and his mind in his own way. The same way that each of us do.

So when I play now, twenty eight years later on stage with a grand orchestra, and the melodious colors of Chopin, Mozart, and Liszt pour down into the audience, my father attends every concert and he watches me through crinkling eyes filled with glittering tears.

I know that he’s watching magic dust, or twinkling lights. I know that he’s watching my mother… -LKJSlain

Forget all the Christian charities and hospitals, let’s talk about their bad tipping habits

The Matt Walsh Blog

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I am going to write about Christians here. Although I am a Christian, I am not writing about myself.

Personally, I do not measure up to the generosity and selflessness of so many of my brothers and sisters in the Faith.

I could do more. Much more.

I could be a better man. Much better

Please understand that I am defending Christians in general, but not myself specifically. I try to make a habit of only defending defensible things.

With that said, I’ve noticed all the people on Facebook linking to stories about this new website called “Sundays are the Worst.” The site, started by a “pastor” a few weeks ago, provides a forum for waiters and waitresses to whine about, as the website’s “about” section explains, “rude” Christian customers who leave “bad tips” and “complain.”

It’s nice to see that this pastor, Chad Roberts, is fulfilling  Christ’s most important…

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You can’t write if you don’t read.

“You can’t write if you don’t read…”

I respect and admire readers SO MUCH! SO SO SO much!

BUT I do not believe this statement/ claim at all.

Reason being? I am NOT a reader.

I know, I just gained massive gasps, sighs, faints, shock, and terror. XD

Assuredly you are wailing “BUT… BUT BOOKS!!! KNOWLEDGE! POWER!!! IMAGINATION!!!”

I know! GAH! I know!

Let me start this by stating that I WISH that I was a reader. I really really really do. I have tried!!! I strove, I pushed… But, I simply can not do it.

Now don’t get me wrong! I HAVE read books in my lifetime! But the number of books that I’ve read could probably be counted up and told to you. 😦
(Books I clearly remember reading)-
The Hobbit
The Phantom of the Opera
The House of the Scorpion
Redeeming Love

The number of books that I’ve STARTED to read but never finished is terribly astronomical. 😛

I don’t know what it is…but I simply can not do it. I pick up a book and lose focus after a few pages… so I put it down. Then I pick it up again and lose interest in a few pages… and put it down and before I know it, I am not reading it anymore.

Ex: I’ve been reading “The Shinning” for about three years now. xD

I tend to pick up a book to read, but feel like I can’t stay there long enough to finish it, and instead I must write! Or do something else. XD

But I deeply despise those that repeatedly have told me that I will never be a writer because I do not read.

I might not ever be a certain KIND of writer because I do not read a lot. I might not ever be a verbose, WORDY writer if I don’t read a lot.

But writing, (like everything) is in large part “TALENT” … and whether you believe that that is natural born of God, or something that one simply wields/ poses of their own volition is really… neither here nor there.

An author is not “good” because they are a reader. An author is good because they write, and practice, and tend their talent like they would a garden.

A singer (like my sister )is born firstly with a beautiful voice, and then is trained, taught, and works very hard to perfect their already lovely voice. Yes, a voice that is not quite so astounding CAN be trained into a more perfect voice (just as anything can be learned) but often, your talent is GIFTED to you firstly.

I’ve had people tell me that I was a great conjurer of tales since I was a small child. In college, my English professor was surprised that I had been placed in her class because she claimed that my writing ability was at least two classes beyond where I had been placed. My “English” / “grammar” is not always the best. But, this is again where training comes in. It’s puzzling to me that this is another statement often made by those who believe that they know all about writing. “You will not be a writer because your grammar is bad.” Grammar can be learned, talent can not. If you don’t have it, then what you are good at is more of a hobby than it is a profession.

My method might not be perfect, and in fact has MANY MANY years before it is something that I will truly be in love with (I’m sure)… but just like any other talent, the best often start out with natural born talent FIRST.

I am NOT suggesting that I am “one of the best”; far from I think XD but I think that it’s horrible to put parameters on someone’s gift by telling them that they won’t be something “unless”…

Seems to me that there are plenty of people in acting, singing, writing and quite a few other professions out there that are giving the proverbial finger to tons of people who told that they’d “never” this or “never” that… and yet, they are standing strong in their professions.

I (unfortunately) know many many many “readers” who also believe that they are writers because (perhaps) of that rule/ claim that’s thrown around “You must be a reader to be a writer”, and unfortunately, some of them are “good” some are “okay” and others? Well, unfortunately they are utterly terrible in their writing ability.

The truth is that ultimately you have to decide what you want to pursue and what you wish to do/ try with your life. But, be honest with what you’re talented and good at and don’t let people tell you that “you’ll never be something” because of some rule that humanity created that you’re not following.

Be diligent with your craft, practice it, train with it, and prepare with it, and maybe someday you will be on top regardless.

Always Writing