Sunday, September 21, 2014

Making it Personal

I have had a busy weekend and I have accomplished exactly 'nothing' on the home (or book) front.

I was a 'substitute dance partner' for a group dance class on Friday night and I could not believe how hard it was to 'pretty myself up' enough to go out and dance.

It physically hurt, to have a shower and NOT hop directly into my pajamas afterwards. Instead, I not only had to get dressed, but I had to put on some make up, earrings and lip gloss in an effort to make it look like I actually cared about my appearance.

Not that I walk around unbathed and slovenly otherwise, but my standards have definitely changed. I don't miss all the primping and fussing that I used to do, to go dancing. Oh, how petty I must have been to put so much time, care and money into nails, pedicures, eyelashes and wardrobe. What a lot of energy it takes to try to impress someone besides myself!

I could not believe my elation when I found out the dance class was only for an hour instead of the two hours I had been told. I was home and in bed by 9:00. I let out a quiet "Whoop!" and was asleep minutes later.

The next morning, I awoke to a 'work day'. Yes, I had to leave the house and put in some bookkeeping hours. Actually, the idea of working with tangible right verses wrong equations; balance to zero; and a job that had a beginning and an end was very enticing to me. I exchanged working with letters, for working with numbers and I enjoyed the change of scenery.

I came home from work; ate; talked to a friend; then headed back out the door again to go to a house concert.

Though our performers were very talented, I missed the banter between the songs that gives a person a glimmer of 'who' was entertaining us and a little story about the origins of a song. The songs seemed to be of a more personal nature in many cases and perhaps those 'love songs' had a story that is to be interpreted by the audience in their own personal way.

Sorry, but I just don't have a frame of reference for love songs these days. My heart is not made of stone, but its aches and pains have nothing to do with falling in and out of love. Small daily occurrences make my heart soar and standing with someone who is walking through devastation within their life makes my heart hurt. Life lessons verses love lessons.

Yet there was one song that spoke deeply to me. The song "I Won't Say Goodbye" was inspired by the loss of "Danny's" father. His dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and they thought he had a year to a year and a half to live. He died sixty days later.

I love a song with a story. This song pulled at my heartstrings. They sang a few more songs that touched me. But something was missing. It was the personal touch. It was the banger that weaves the audience out of one song and into the next. They were talented, amusing and enjoyable to watch and listen to. But I wasn't hooked. Not like I have been in the past.

This (of course) brings my things back to my family book project...

I struggled with the idea of keeping my voice out of the family-memory-book-in-progress. But my personal involvement in collecting and assembling our memories into a format that told a story became very emotional and personal to me. I was enveloped in all-things-family and I couldn't keep it to myself.

In the end, my 'voice' is all over this book. I sent it out into the world of publishing wondering if I had made a huge mistake.

After comparing and contrasting the live performances I have seen recently, I know for a fact it was the 'personal touch' that drew me in and helped me feel so much more than I ever would have, if I had simply bought a CD and listened to the music without the banter, the laughter and the little stories that brought it to life.

Well, our family book project has that personal touch. I may cringe when I read those words between two covers of a book that will be in the hands of my family very soon. But at this very moment in time ... it feels right. I'm going with that feeling.

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