Coming Unglued

Here’s my second posting in your Creativity Challenge, Lisa Kramer! (Anyone sweet and patient enough to be reading this, please jump on over to Lisa’s page to be inspired!)

When I started this blog days after my husband’s death I named it FARE · WELL because even as I wrote my goodbyes to my husband, I knew one day I’d be on the other side of it. My heart would heal. There’d be scar tissue, but as in the original sense of the phrase, fare thee well, there was hope for better days.

This week I’ve been reflecting a lot on my journey’s joy, discomfort and growth. It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks that are emphasizing more than ever how deliciously complex life is up close and how stupidly simple from the long view. In the middle of these transformational Covid Times, I’ve been in my own personal transformation I’ll call the Great Ungluing. And just like when you pry apart something that’s been previously glued fast, there’s all that residual sticky stuff that resists the pulling apart and hangs on for dear life through elastic strands that lengthen and become gossamer threads but try to their last molecule to keep from getting unstuck.

So here I am, partially pulled apart and that’s making me really notice myself in new ways. Much like many of us are in these uncertain and unfamiliar days where our global society seems unrecognizable. We are either running around in our masks looking askance at one another with suspicion or finding a way to connect and with glazed eyes discussing the absolute Twilight Zone reality we are living in and trying to reassure each other that, yes, this is really happening and we will be okay.  The sticky underbelly that’s not been exposed in so long, suddenly naked. Visible. Seen. Exposed from its unexamined warm and safe cocoon of glue. These types of ungluing happen in stages…or at least that’s how it’s happening for me. There has been pain, confusion, sadness, regret, and much joy as the layers inch apart.

This week I’ve also been reflecting on all the long-term effects of this pandemic, especially on those who make their living creatively. (Another shout-out to Lisa Kramer who raised my awareness on this to new levels.) Anyone who depends on ticket sales is particularly vulnerable as I was reminded when I went to a new-to-me musician, Paul Thorn’s, website to poke around. What I found was a list of cancelled tour dates- heartbreaking- and also fall tour dates, online content, and an upcoming Sunday Brunch concert-hopeful and inspiring!  So, in this post I’d like to pay homage to all those who are trying to find their way through and keep their fans engaged until their venues open once more. (For the record, I have no connection to Paul, his site, etc. I just like his music and want to pay back the gift of it.)

A friend recently introduced me to Paul’s music and I’m so glad he did. In my messy, mid-unglued state, his refreshing, irreverent, soulful, tender, and hopeful blues (Yes, I said hopeful blues. Go listen.) resonated in a big way, which led me to his site to explore more. If you’re unfamiliar, I hope you wander over and take a listen. His songs provided a place to sit in my messiness and just be with it. Moved to both laughter (She Won’t Cheat on Us) and tears (That’s Life) by his music that reflected the highs and lows of my recent journey. (I defy you to not be moved by the live version of That’s Life‘s introduction/song)

But in the lyrics of I Have a Good Day, I found a soul connection. I realized how much I’ve struggled through the ups and downs of not just the past few months, but the past three years and am finally finding the sunshine again. And I think of all of us out there struggling to keep ourselves and family healthy, keep our spirits up, keep from going to dark places in our heads or simply reconciling the new view looking back at us from the mirror (…what is my hair doing??) This song reconciles the push/pull of the short view/long view. That even when we’re up close and personal with our tough days, we can know the sun will shine again and counting our blessing can be a stepping stone to stacking up the good days closer and closer together.

When you’re coming unglued there’s a lot of opportunity to despair that the pain of the process will never end. But remembering the long view, we can step forward hopeful that what was covered up by the sticking together is a new way of being that can lead to better days. So, I’ll keep inching my layers apart and peering in and dealing with the sometimes-gut-wrenching truth of what’s revealed, knowing some good days are around the corner. In the meantime, you’ll find me at Paul’s Sunday Brunch Live concert on Facebook. I hope you’ll join me.