BEAUTY FROM BROKENNESS – JULY 2015 

This is a story about the process of transformation… a journey from the place of Brokenness to Beauty.  This story also happens to be the story of ‘Roses’ that were planted and came to bloom and is the theme of my new album.  So I have decided to share this story with you and feature the songs from the album.
 
This is Part 1 and features 3 songs from my album.
 
  1. THE FURNACE….
 
I Don’t Wanna Burn’ …This is the opening track of my new cd ‘Roses’. ‘Roses’ is really a collection of songs from my journey over the past few years, where I have traversed from that place of being broken open to the place of Healing, and of finding Beauty along the way  …
 
No one wants to burn.  No one chooses to burn, to suffer voluntarily.  No one wants to live in a land of ashes and smoke, a land of total loss, grief and abandonment.  I certainly don’t want to burn… to experience suffering… not willingly.  But, I have been dragged into that land kicking and screaming…
 
Why?  I don’t know why.  I often try and seek some meaning as to why? Why did this happen?  I feel that if I can rationalize and find the reason behind it, then I will be able to bear the pain.  When I don’t find meaning, I fear losing my sanity and at times my desire to wake up in the morning and face the day.  I have never succumbed to this despair, but I certainly have entertained the thought of how easy it would be to leave it all behind.  Yet, there is always a small flame, however precarious it might be to flickering out… there is always a small hope, a small belief, that this pain, that this furnace will ultimately burn the less than desirable parts of myself and leave behind some gold.  That if I can endure this suffering, then the furnace will reveal what is golden, what is true, what is beautiful… It is this belief, this lone slender silver thread that keeps me burning with the desire to live fully and be transformed… to find some beauty in the ashes.
 
I also understand that there can be no answer at times…. nothing logical to grasp…  no amount of analytical reasoning to justify why I am in the here and now of my pain. This is where my rational mind is challenged to accept that some things cannot be known and that some things stay in the realm of mystery.  To continually search for answers only perpetuates my suffering.  And I don’t want my heart to become embittered or turn cold as stone.
 
  1. GROWING ROSES IN THE ASHES….
 
So how to survive this? How do I survive this land of ashes and smoke?  Some days I so not have any answers… or any courage to face the day.  Sometimes it is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and doing what is in front of me, taking each moment as it comes.
 
This is what works for me… and in no particular order.
I have some good friends I can be myself with.  I can talk, I can sob… and they just listen, allowing me to be with my pain.  They are not frightened to be with me in my pain.
 
Writing.  Lots and lots of writing…purging my thoughts, insights splashing onto the page with my tears… uncensored grief and anger… no one is meant to see or hear.  Sometimes even lyrics of songs appear in the writing…and the songwriter in me always has to capture it, even if it is splodged with tears and I can barely see what I am writing through the tears.
 
Reading.. particularly something that resonates.  Even though I crave for something deep and meaningful to heal the pain, I often find the fictional novel even better because it helps distract me from the pain and takes me to a new place in my imagination.  So for a little while I can stop howling… the more engrossing the novel, the better… some relief for my swollen eyes and broken heart.
 
Music…I find that I am drawn to sad songs. I make a mix tape (now a cd) and listen to it over and over again.  It makes me cry even more, but I figure purging the pain through tears must be good for healing.  It works for me as singing is too hard… I can’t sing with a cry in my voice, when I am full of snot and tears… so listening is good.
 
Walking…When the thoughts and tears get too much… when my insides feel all knotted and agitated, and I feel I can’t breathe… then I walk.  I am lucky I live near a river.  So I walk with head down along the less frequented side of the river so no one can see my tears and swollen eyes.  I like the way the cold wind whips my face and dries my tears.  I like how my feet just fall into rhythm and I don’t have to think… just one foot in front of the other… I tell myself, that’s all I have to do with my life… one foot in front of the other… do the next thing to survive… that’s all.
 
Being kind to myself. Giving myself permission to stay in bed or in my pyjamas all day long if I can… (Just writing this line gave me an idea for a song…  and I have just scribbled some lyrics down…. What do you think of this?
Grief wears pyjamas all day long
She cries as she listens to all the sad songs
Grief doesn’t bother to answer the ‘phone
She hides and pretends that she’s not at home…
Verse 1 down, and I’ve also written 2 more).
 
I allow myself the luxury of leaving a mess, no tidying up, no cleaning, no cooking, eating what is easy from the fridge or cupboard, drinking lots of tea (herbal) and alternating with drinking lots of wine, or some Baileys… enough to dull the pain and help with sleep.
 
I burn candles, incense, scented oils, fill the house with flowers….  I force myself to go to a movie, or go out and listen to some music… I put the haemorrhoid cream on my eyes to decrease the puffiness from crying so I can face the world without drawing attention to my face.
 
I treat myself to a massage.  I have even tried a Japanese Bathhouse.  There is something soulful and soothing about trusting your nakedness to the hot buoyant water, letting your tears mingle with the steam.  Being stripped back to nothing… learning the lesson of ‘letting go’. Then I move to the sauna where I sit with the image of the furnace burning the less than desirable parts of me and leaving behind something more beautiful in its place. Then the soulful and healing experience of a shiatsu… the healing hands, releasing what needs to be released…letting go of destructive pain.
 
And last, but not least Prayer.  In my case, it is more like pounding the door of the heavens with my sobs and pleas to ‘Send Me An Angel’, or rather a host of angels to save me from the ocean swell of sorrow that drowns me. When there is no ground beneath my feet and I don’t know how to swim or survive the next swell…I pray in my desperation for an angel of grace to help me.  Somehow I am heard and I survive to face the next swell.
 
  1. EVERYTHING NEEDS BREAKING DOWN SO THE SEED OF LIFE CAN GROW AGAIN
 
‘Planting Roses’ is the title track of the album and it contains this belief of mine, this slender silver thread of hope… that in order for us to grow, then we need to be broken open.  The challenge is to stay open-hearted and not become closed and bitter through pain.  But that is a topic for another time, and another song.
 
Like everything, I also know that all things will pass.  The desolation and wretchedness I feel will not last forever.  There are swells that will overwhelm me from time to time and threaten to drown me… but the great swell has passed.
 
(Conclusion of Part 1)
 
 

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