Sunday, September 19, 2010

Needs More Bagpipe

Happy Sunday! Yes, it's even a happy Sunday for me. It was a rough week, and I'm glad it's over. The sun is shining. The grass is green. Somehow, I have hope in my heart. See, I try very hard to be a realaxed person...but I'm really a whole lotta control freak. In many details of my life, that's actually okay. It means I get the job done and I can find satisfaction within myself at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, there are other details of my life that seem (to me, anyhow) that I can only do so much. Then, the next step is in the power of someone else. I apply for work; have been applying for jobs and seeking work solidly for over two years now. Other than making sure my resume and whatnots are in prime order, it's up to a Hiring Manager to decide if I will be called in for an interview. I don't know many things (including IF anyone else reads this, let alone feels this), but I do know for certain that seeking work for this long does a fantastic amount of damage to one's ability to hope and hold self-esteem.

Last week was among my lowest points. Last week, I was filled with more emotional pain, despair and hatred than I have felt in a very long time. None of those sit well with me. They are not how I want to live my life. They are not what I want to teach my very young son. But last week, it was all I had and all I knew.

This week, however.... This week, I going to remember something. I'm going to try hard to hold it close and dear. This week, I want to know every minute of life is worth living. It may suck right now, but I've still got this gift. I still wake in the morning. My legs still swing out of bed shortly after I hear, "Mama!" yelled across the hall. I still have a 41", 39lb miracle that calls me "Mama" and asks for hard-boiled eggs in the morning. I still have eggs and heat to hard boil. He's still trying to be "six foot tall by the morning." I still have a six-foot-tall version of this little boy that tries to help me stand when all I want to do is fall. I may not always have an answer on how I'm going to care and be there for both of them from one day to the next, but...I still have at least that.

Oddly enough, I also have bagpipes. Not my own, mind you, because I can't imagine ever wanting to learn to play them. In fact, only in the last couple/few years have I found bagpipes to be somehow soothing to the soul. Go figure! Bagpipes! I know! Perhaps it's because of the experiences -- painful and beautiful -- that I've had in the same amount of time (two years) that has given me any sort of understanding for the potentially abusive instrument.

Yes, they are high pitched....and loud.

Yes, they can be incessant and drone on forever.

Yes, they can be as strange as a yodeling farm cat in heat.

But, pair them with the right set of drums and all of a sudden, I'm prepared to dance. All of a sudden, I find joy. All of a sudden, even for just a little while, problems and fears melt away and nothing can possibly go wrong because you are here... in this moment... dancing and celebrating the strangest and potentially painful things in life.

On September 11, 2010, one of the most pain-ridden days in American history, I was able to dance (though mostly in my heart) with bagpipes. The name of the group is Tartanic.

They were playing at the local Renaissance Festival; and called to my heart while my son was winding down his adventures on Ye Old Playground not 20 feet away. I tried dancing with my son, but he was more interested in alternately plugging his ears and munching on colorful goldfish crackers.

Since I've been playing their music repeatedly for a few days now, I thought I'd use the inspiration, combined with a sketch from Let's Scrap to create this page as a reminder:

I struggled a bit on the embellishments. Usually, I don't think in terms of musical tributes, but I REALLY wanted to try to convey how their music made me feel.

This rockstar flower is one I learned to make by hand, thanks to a blog tutorial by Mandy (aka Crafty Sprinkles). It will take some time to dig it up, but I'll come back and post a link as soon as I can.

I got some great advice from a number of members at on other embellishment ideas. As a result, I pulled out my Tim Holtz Grungeboard elements and painted, then sanded (the heart, anyhow) to look leathery. I also like how it brought out the patter. I then used a few small flourishes to give it an airy/winged kind of feel behind the skull -- which I painted with Distress Crackle paint and swiped Distress ink over to highlight the cracks. They are small, but the inking really helped when you can get that close!

If you read all this, I thank you. You may be the silent type, but know that I appreciate at least feeling like I've been heard....or knowing there's a brick wall somewhere out there that I can yell at every now and then.

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