Friday, June 27, 2008

I collaborated on a song recently

My friend sent me a file with a rought melody in it, she said that it was a song she had been writing and it needed words. As soon as I heard it I could feel the words coming together in my soul. So I put the kids to bed that night and sat down to see if I could pin those words down.

To tell the absolute truth though, I didn't write the words alone, and my freind didn't write the music alone. If you want to know who we had helping... read on.

He Loves Me Because I’m His Daughter

In a world ever changing I’m trying to grow,
and among all the paths pick which one to follow.
But among all life’s mysteries, this one thing I know,
That He loves me because I’m His Daughter.

I have beauty and promise I don’t always show.
If you look at my head you won’t find a halo,
But through all of my struggles this one thing I know,
That He loves me because I’m His Daughter.

So I pray to him each day, and through his guidance
I’m finding his ways… this I always know
That He loves me because I’m His Daughter.

There are good works and service that I strive to do,
and because of his blessings I seem to come through,
Then with each of our triumphs we prove this is true.
That He loves me because I’m His Daughter.

Through devotion and strife, I’ll prove with my life,
That I’m like him because I’m His Daughter.

If you want to hear the tune you can find it here, the person singing is my friend who wrote the music, and due to the recording conditions and the tune not being suited for her voice it's not the best recording in the world, but I still love it. I figured those who love me will love it too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A prayer for the letter T

The difference between thought and though,
and this is something I should know,
is not but a letter, the letter t.

A single letter the difference defines
between excuses and errors prevented by time,
by tact, by taboo, by temperance and by me.

For what is “Thora,” but another t-word?
And what effect do I wish when “Thora” is heard?
My actions decide what the definition shall be.

Lord help me to think, and to pray ere I act,
to retrench my impulses and exercise tact,
that someday my title be a credit unto me and Thee.

Thora 6/14/08

Most Peaceful Trees

In the passage of time and throughout history,
be there anything as peaceful as a tree?
What but a tree could grow so large or tall
and not have bullied his way at all?

Each starts as a seed so passive as he moves
born on the wind, eaten, shuffled into grooves.
Then he nestles into the cool damp earth,
and waits patiently for his eventual birth.

Slowly he exercises the wisdom of eons,
and extends first his root, forever to lean on.
Only once he is rooted in times greatest treasure
does he reach to the sky in potential unmeasured.

Gently he grows, gracefully extending his boughs
dancing on the wind as only arbors know how.
With each sweep and bend in his undulating dance
He captures the viewer's heart, as if in a trance.

Then rest the gentle tree when naught disturbs him
and soaks up the sunshine that sprinkles upon him.
And whilst he is still, high above the ground,
his roots he extends without making a sound.

But there in the trunk, an insect invasion
the tree first confronts it with gentle persuasion
"I'm not tasty I'm tough, just look at this bark,
surely there's a tastier treat in the park."

But not dissuaded the ravaging parasite
bores into the tree and administers it's blight.
Defenses breeched he can naught but bleed,
and pray before his death to scatter his seed.

Then scatter he does, his last gift to the world
his young to grow up all leafy and knurled.
To dance and to play us the raspy leaf song
and grow to the sky so slender and long.

And to fill the void that is left by their sire,
once to the forest floor he has at last retired.
Whispering, "The worst damage he ever did at all,
was the day that his greatness, expired did fall."

Then with the autumn as each shivers and grieves,
and divests it's self of its opulent leaves,
they cover the dead, their beauty now shorn,
and in branches and sticks, his passing they mourn.

But once come the spring, his memory celebrate
and send forth new leaves, a memorial ornate,
and with dancing and music to celebrate life,
a sound more beautiful than dulcimer and fife.

Rejoice oh ye young trees, rustle and bounce,
spread forth your joy, despair thou renounce,
for life is your purpose, your being, your song,
and bestow it thou dost, thine whole life long.

Breathe in and breathe out oh generous tree,
Send forth sweet breath to each living thou see,
Gently nudge us aside, when thy way we do hinder,
And reward our lea with thy wondrous splendor.

Thora 6/14/08

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Dad's the Greatest Guy

When I was a kid they had a talent show at church, and I sang a special song for my father while my mother played the piano. It was called "My Dad's the Greatest Guy," it was from a tape of kids songs we had at home, and it was a resounding success. The primary goal, making my dad proud, was evidently accomplished by the way he just beamed the whole time. I was also asked to sing it in church the next day, so I guess it wasn't to bad of a performance (even if my brother did mess up the cue cards).
Thinking back though, the song listed lots of generic guy things (being strong, throwing pitches), but it really failed to list why MY dad is the greatest guy. Considering that I didn't really know my father well until I was an adult, it think it's about time I set the record straight.

My dad has been a cop all my life, and sadly some people will never know him as anything but that. Being a cop is a huge chunk of a person's identity, and I have always been proud of the way in which my father had protected and served his community. He's a hero, and he's a bit of a ham... pun intended.

There is so much more to my father than the badge though, so much more than the excellent marksman and karate black belt. My dad is a renaissance man. My dad does it all.

If I ever have a question about anything, my dad is my personal google. Why is it hotter at lower elevations and colder on mountain tops? My dad knew. Need a few quotes from Chaucer? My dad can recite them. Who's his favorite daughter? All 7 of us are. How to calm a baby with colic? My dad can do it in seconds, with kids that aren't even his. What are the key points in the history of the Knights Templar? He can orate upon them. Want to know the location of Nevada ghost towns? He'll drive you there. How to say "Your lawyer is on the phone," in seven languages? He knows that too.

I think my favorite thing about my dad though is the poet in his soul. It is from him I learned to never be without paper and pen. He reads my writing, I read his, and through it we share a connection. As much as I am like my mother, I really think that I look at the world more like my father does, through the lens of a writer.

Some people look at a beautiful scene and wish to capture it on camera, my dad and I look at it and begin composing in our hearts. Then suddenly the words come spilling out of our over-stocked hearts and we scramble to catch them on a page before they are absorbed into the infinity of language from which they sprang.

For us, words are a labor of love and a vessel to convey the wealth of emotion with which we have been blessed. Words are precious gems to us and more powerful than "The Elder Wand." We simply cannot fathom how some people can go through life and not constantly seek for new words. So many people spend their life describing all their highs and lows with the same shallow four letter words. People like my father and I find that grossly ill-beseeming. With the breadth and depth of the English language one would think that the power of words would appeal more to the general population.

Perhaps I inherited this writer’s gene from my father or perhaps it’s something I learned by proximity, but that’s why I love my father so, we share this secret. His soul is as complex and multi-faceted as my own, and I shall always cherish the relationship I am privileged to have with him.

(Are your allergies bothering you, Dad? Well, Happy Father’s Day.)