Tag Archives: music

When Will The Rhythm Come?

14 Nov

For weeks I’ve been trying to write something to completely capture my various emotions throughout this season, but I’ve come up short. Through engagement, moving, wedding planning, the wedding, honeymooning, and now returning to my new home, I’ve felt everything from extreme happiness to complete shock. I’m navigating through a fantastic, fun, but also lonely season that no one really talks about in marriage books. I’m in a haze. I don’t have a wedding to plan and I’m trying to get used to a man sleeping in my bed.

But here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

I’ve gained a husband and a new apartment. I’ve gained a great new city. I have a lot of great stuff for my kitchen. I go to the library again. I’ve learned to snorkel and zip line and ride unconventional buses in Mexico. I’ve watched more than one World Series game. I had the best wedding ever. I’ve mellowed out in a lot of ways because I’m not sitting on the 405. I get to start things over. I’m thankful. Truly.

But I’ve lost my rhythm.

These kind of look like the shoes I have

These kind of look like the shoes I have

When I was a kid, I had this dream of being a tap dancer. I actually still have new tap shoes that I keep to remind me of that dream that never materialized. In retrospect, I never was great with rhythm in terms of dancing. I was off beat, insecure, and always felt the other people in the classes I took were better than I was. But in other areas, I had great rhythm. I was an excellent student who thrived in the confines of school and rose to the occasion when teachers gave me assignments. I also thrived in ministries. I showed up, I figured out what to do and how to do it with gusto. Since 2008, I’ve known exactly where I was going to be on Wednesday nights. It’s kind of nice.

A few months ago, my friend, Sarah, who is one of the most creative people I know, mentioned the word “structure.” I shuddered a little bit. Because I like to be unconventional and rebellious in my own way, I have hated to think I need a routine or a structure. I’ve always thought that I was too creative for that. My mom keeps telling me I’m wrong…when Sarah told me structure is good, my jaw dropped open and I secretly wondered if she had been taken and replaced by someone else.

The more I thought about it and the more I’m still considering “structure,” I realizing that I feel like I’m tumbling head over feet in a wave of newness, looking for something familiar so that I can put my feet down on solid ground. Like Sarah, I need to find my structure, or rhythm. I was listening to an unfamiliar jazz station here on the radio when it hit me.

I wonder if I’m like a good jazz song.

Right now, it seems like there’s no reason and there’s a lot of instruments making different sounds. But as you listen, it starts to make sense. The familiar notes start to repeat but at different speeds and in little bits and tastes instead of the way it is in traditional music when you hear the same verse over and over. Maybe I’m like that. Finding different parts of myself in a new way. It just takes time for the undercurrent of the rhythm to take hold.

I started thinking of that song lyric, “I’ve got rhythm…I’ve got music, I’ve got my man who could ask for anything more?” Well, I’ve got the man but the other two are kind of hazy at the moment. I have more questions than answers at this point, but I’m glad I’m putting some of these thoughts down into writing.

Instead of being impatient, I’ll just keep asking questions and reminding myself that transition takes time and I decided to do three huge ones at once. What does my rhythm look like? I don’t know quite yet. So I’ll keep feeling the feelings, writing them out, and asking God to lead me, even in the mundane. Hopefully as I start to be more intentional about my days, the rhythm will come. And it will be a sweet sound when I begin to dance.

To Jessica on her 30th Birthday

28 Mar

Dear Jessica,

I wanted to write you this letter because there’s really no other way to tell you what you mean to me. We have been through so much. Here’s just a snapshot:

Harvest fest 2005

You are rare and raw truth when I most need it.

You are windows down, hair blowing, music loud and free.

You are heartbreak and comeback in the same breath.

You are surprise at the most random times.

You are life and beauty and courage when I haven’t known how.

You are Dave Matthews concert, running through the fields in San Francisco, laughing at the top of our lungs.

You are laugh until I cry and can’t breathe in less than three seconds.

You are the song that I’m still waiting to hear about me.

 

President's Day party 2005

 

You are Beantown. Dogs and babies. Random thoughts strung together.

You are Writer’s Group.

You are California Rasins and The Bushes at the President’s Day Party.

You are patriotic.

You are driving me all the way to Camarillo for Jersey Mike’s.

You are your first coffee house appearance, nervous but so good.

You are superstar Christian.

You are watching me fall in and out of love and helping to break my fall.

You are purple converse shoes that make me smile.

You are PAing on Life With Bonnie, Jesus on a bench at that retreat, leadership.

You are dust yourself off, pick yourself up, get out of the house. YES!

You are nasal chestnuts being cured.

You are Trader Joe’s.

You are Burbank backyard with Sal and orange blossoms and balls being

Indigo Girls concert

thrown over the fence.

You are dragging me out for pie at midnight when I pretend to not want to come but do anyway.

You are so mad about your peed on Birkenstocks, walking to the car barefoot through Golden Gate Park.

You are so many songs, sometimes sad but starting to get hopeful as years pass.

You are comfort.

You are home.

You are beaches, whether it be Atlantic or Pacific.

One of Jessica's first gigs on stage

You are forcing me to go into the waves but realizing I’m really scared when I scream like a four year old.

You are swimming, even with the floaties on.

You are guitar.

You are random writing exercises at random coffee shops.

You are making me laugh at myself when I am too self-important.

You are good advice after the interview.

You are an instant friend with a picture to prove it.

You are loyal.

You are passionate.

You are telling me that I’m overdramatic and I’m laughing because it takes one to know one.

You are risk-taker, living life with zeal, not afraid to make mistakes.

You are sneezing with me when there are too many cats and telling me I’ll make it till morning.

You are “I’m not quite at the same place as you but we’ll still be friends” and we were.

You are spirit.

You are reminders of the best parts of who I want to be.

You are too many tears that I want to wipe, even from a distance.

You are driving me crazy because I don’t know what to do with you.

You are the full boob hug.

You are listening to me overshare intimate details in your Burbank backyard.

You are air freshener nowhere to be found.

You are red towels in your bathroom.

You are making me dinner after I already snuck to Wendy’s because I couldn’t resist.

You are speeding ticket in North Carolina on the way to Washington DC.

You are at mile 6 and then 14, still smiling.

You are giving me advice on how to run my own half-marathon from three timezones away.

You are Ghana personified.

You are falling down a mountain in Prague. Ow.

You are the angels on the Charles bridge.

You are Eleanor, which always makes me cry because it’s so a part of your story.

You are Manaic Magee.

You are letting go of the past to embrace the future.

You are carefrontation to the max.

You are best life group ever.

After Jessica and my friends gave me my iPod at my 25th bday

You are hitting send on the email I sent to IJM accepting my internship.

You are This Road by Jars of Clay.

You are the best mix cds I’ve ever heard.

You are Cafe 50s milkshakes after seeing the Indigo Girls with your dad and me.

You are learning boundaries with me.

You are the originator of the “thing.”

You are telling me that I need to be careful because you care about me.

You are best surprise birthday ever and ipod that makes me cry because I want it so bad.

You are stories I’ve heard so many times I think I’ve lived through them.

You are not going to tell me my baby is ugly even if it is.

You are Harvest fests.

You are the roommate of the girl I knew who went to Emerson.

You are “Oh, Meliss.”

You are one of my biggest fans.

You are friend but more sister.

You are inspiring me to take big risks and live for Christ.

You are 30.

I am thankful for all that you are and will become.

I love you.

Love,

Meliss

Roses and us

Why the title?

20 Oct

“Where my heart wants to go” is actually a lyric from a Cat Stevens song called “The Wind”. Why Cat Stevens? I really don’t know. One time I was writing a story that was really personal to me about the position I held in my family

What do you think of when you see this family?

and I was listening to “The Very Best of Cat Stevens” on repeat. A lyric from “Father and Son,” one of Stevens’ songs about a father and a son trying to reconcile their relationship and understand each other, popped out at me.

It was “All the times that I cried/keeping all the things I knew inside. It was hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.” Somehow that line “Keeping All The Things I Knew Inside” became iconic to what my story was trying to say. I felt like it perfectly encapsulated my position as the author of my story and voila, the story had it’s title.

When thinking about my blog, I thought of all of these things that I want to do with it. I thought of how I want to use it to express my inner thoughts, publish stories that have sat in boxes gathering dust. It’s really a yearning I have. And so I went back to Cat Stevens and discovered “Where My Heart Wants To Go” hidden in “The Wind”. For Cat, I think it’s music that takes him where his heart wants to go. For me, it’s this simple act of writing. And thus, my blog is birthed.

-Melissa

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