Click the blue link below to hear my newest song arrangement:
is where I go when I am sad
All my tears let me know
I long for you and miss you so
is my escape from the world
I withdraw and suddenly
I feel you surround me
At those times, I’d wish you were near
and then, you’d appear
But you were only in my mind,
only in my mind, only in my mind
is how a song can soothe my soul
A melody fills my heart
reminding me we’re not apart
Retreat is when I find peacefulness
My music has begun
to be my true companion
At those times, I’d wish you were near
and then, you’d appear
but you were only in my mind
only in my mind, only in my mind
A recent email message to a friend:
Life threw a wrench at me, last week. I was at Urgent Care all evening on Thursday.
It was interesting – my vision wasn’t working with the new glasses I recently bought (over $1,000 with eye exam and all). I went back to complain.
I noticed that I had trouble seeing my computer all Thursday morning. At my appointment, the optometrist told me my eyesight had dramatically deteriorated, especially in my right eye. He said I should see a doctor. I panicked because everything was blurry in that eye and he was unable to correct it.
At Urgent Care, my vision in my bad eye was 20/600. An ophthalmologist came in, but did not find anything wrong. I will be having more tests done soon.
I’m trying to be calm; a better word for it would be concerned versus worried. I was grateful that I could edit music this morning despite one eye not working well.
This week, I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with my health. It was so interesting for me, because I found out earlier in the week that a good friend was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Hearing of her situation filled me with so much appreciation for my health.
However, even with my gratefulness, two days ago I faced a challenge when I experienced a rapid deterioration of my eyesight. Friday morning, I received a call that those eye tests could be scheduled for me if I could be at the hospital in twenty minutes.
A middle-aged woman never shed a bathrobe faster than I did.
Five minutes before having those tests done, a nurse told me that my heartbeat sounded irregular. I willed myself to be calm; because when dye was injected into my veins I was told I might be nauseous. I did not want to throw up; I was proud that I didn’t!
I stumbled around blindly after the tests were done. The technician told me he didn’t see anything, and I would be called with the results. I decided to try and see my regular doctor, even though he had no appointments available.
Instead, I saw a triage nurse who did an EKG. She said it was perfect and I drove home with dark glasses on. I was happy I made it home in one piece.
They were right about the dye and pee color afterwards. I could even think of the exact color I’ve used in paintings with dye – daffodil yellow.
I was exhausted from those eye tests that left me with pupils the size of bowling balls. However, my good friend Doctor Sam told me this was serious and I needed to advocate for myself. Two hours later, I went back and demanded to see another doctor. He ordered another EKG, and this time it showed my heart had an extra beat.
The doctor told me not to worry, because my heart rhythm was still regular. He said that stress and caffeine could be the culprit.
He said my funny heartbeat was unrelated to my eye problem.
It was funny he mentioned caffeine, because the other night at dinner with my poor friend I had five cups of coffee. Below is my EKG, which I find fascinating. Within five minutes the rhythm went from weird back to normal.
While in the waiting room I wrote the following essay for myself:
You Know You Are a Songwriter When . . .
1. You know you are a songwriter when you take a pad of paper and a rhyming dictionary with you to your doctor appointment.
2. You know you are a songwriter when you get annoyed because you cannot listen to an IPod and be sure to hear your named called in the hospital waiting room.
3. You know you are a songwriter when you feel grateful that it’s something you can still do even if you were blind (versus being deaf.)
4. You know you are a songwriter when you feel calm in tough situations because songs are a reminder of being blessed.
The lyric line of “only In my mind” is from my most recent song recording. I created a new arrangement for an older song of mine, which was named Retreat.
I grappled with the song title after recording this new arrangement of my song. My arranger, George, told me he definitely preferred the title of “only In my mind.”
However, after getting some advice from friends, I found clarity. I am a positive thinker and my song is less about loneliness, than it is about retreating into serenity and peacefulness. I do consider my music to be a wonderful companion that has blessed my life.
I’ve wondered if my recent symptoms were “only in my mind.” As I await test results, I am definitely working on controlling my thoughts. Yesterday while in the waiting room, I wrote some rough lyrics for a new song I am composing. I’ll share them at the end of this post.
My two sons, husband and little dog left Friday morning on a camping trip. Since I can’t share pictures of my sons now, I will share instead a picture of our dog, Killer. Killer is very jealous of me and yaps constantly. I am so excited for my quiet bedroom while they are gone. I’m looking forward to playing my guitar late at night and working on my newest song!
The Windows in my Life
Just to add some humor (or not), I want to share something about windows in my life. In the kitchen, there is a wonderful window, which opens to the backyard and has a shelf behind it. For several years, I lived in my home and never realized the screen could slide sideways so I could reach through this window.
Several months ago, my oldest son started feeding a stray kitten that appeared outside his bedroom. He named the kitty, Alice. Although I admonished him initially, I caved in and began to buy cat food for her. Every morning she waited outside my kitchen window for food. I took her picture and she was trying to walk inside as I took it.
Unfortunately, there were other animals that also waited outside that window. I took another picture of a “bandit.” I live in an urban area, so I was quite surprised to see this scary creature outside my window late at night.
Alice kept growing and I was worried she might have kittens so I took her to be spayed and vaccinated. Although I called her “a feral cat,” it occurred to me that I was taking responsibility for her. I was still relieved she wasn’t inside my house since my children rarely did the litter box regularly for our other two cats.
When I picked Alice up after she was spayed, the vet told me that he cut her open to discover she was already spayed. I was amazed that he couldn’t have known that before operating on her!
Alice disappeared for a while, but she is back and looking healthy. It was definitely an ordeal for her and an unnecessary expense for me. However, I never let money issues upset me. I move on and learn whatever I can from my life experiences.
On Monday, my father will celebrate his 88th birthday. We went out today for lunch, with my brother, sister-in-law, mother and caregiver, Miriam. My father cried when I showed up at his nursing home. When I asked him why he was crying, he said, “Your life is a tragedy!” I completely forgot that he was worried about my eyesight. I felt very lucky that he cared about me so much and I know that keeping him in the loop was very important to him. I did let him know that my life was not a tragedy.
After I left my father at his room in the nursing home, I had an interesting experience as I was walking to my car. Another woman, my age, was with her father and she asked me who my father was. We became excited and it was just like making a “play-date” for children. We both agreed our fathers were sharp and needed good company. In addition, she also had a mother with dementia. As I walked away, she told me I looked like I could use a hug. I received a warm hug from a total stranger!
I am glad I could update my blog, which continues my theme of staying positive despite challenges. Below is something I wrote that carries my theme of retreat, as well as windows.
Inside Her Mind
She lived inside her mind. Like a comfortable home, there were many places she could safely retreat. Her eyes were the windows, and she would often close them when stress seeped into her heart. She was amazed how no one else could hear the loud statements in her mind. It was like she was a traveler in a body she had only recently inhabited. Writing became too painful because she could not share her true feelings anymore. They were locked away, but when she sang or spoke her emotions erupted. There was no way for her to control it, but she allowed it because it was her only opportunity to be honest.
When she really allowed herself to look through the windows, she saw beautiful vistas in the distance. Although they were far away, she dreamed of the time when she would live without being locked inside her mind.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Tags: acoustic guitar, composing, creativity, guitar, Humor, inspiration, inspirational, lyric development, lyric writing, lyrics, Music, Ordinary Life, original songs, positive thinking, singing, songwriting