This post is a transcription of the Starting with a Song Podcast, S3Ep5: Week Four of #The100DayProject
S3Ep8: Week Eight of #The100DayProject – Starting with a Song
There’s a meme going around the internet that lists the months of the year and says Tennessee actually has 12 seasons:
- Fool’s Spring
- Second Winter
- Spring of Deception
- Third Winter
- The Pollening
- Actual Spring
- Hell’s Front Porch
- False Fall
- Second Summer
- Actual Fall
Spring of Deception has a large arrow pointing to it with the words “YOU ARE HERE.” That about sums up our weather.
Even though they’re predicting another 2” of snow in Nashville this weekend (say it isn’t so!), I’m still here for the tiny green leaf buds on the weeping willow that hangs over our backyard fence and the one lone yellow buttercup bloom in the garden.
I follow an author on Instagram — okay, I follow a lot of authors on Instagram, but the one I’m referencing now is Emily P. Freeman. She’s been posting a series of weekly reflections that she calls “These are the Days.”
This week, she said…
“These are the days of paying attention, of holding the tension, and finding the light where we can. These are the days of AND.”—Emily P. Freeman
The images she chose begin with a photo of a sitting room window framed by bookshelves, capturing the sunlight as it hits the cushion of a Queen Anne chair next to an mid-century modern end table with the overlaid words: “These are the middling days between winter and spring”; a photo of barren trees on a gloomy day – “One day is this.”; A photo of green grass under a Camellia shrub with vibrant pink blooms – “The next is this”; A photo of a browser window with a news headline announcing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – “These are the days of paying attention”; a photo of an even gloomier day with dead branches towering over a windy road – “And of holding the tension”; a photo of five friends sitting outside in the sun, having coffee – “And of finding the sunlight wherever we can.”
The carousel post ends on an early morning photo of a sunrise and another of the aforementioned pink Camellia petals falling on the lid of an overstuffed trash can.
I couldn’t have illustrated this better myself. Not even in the watercolors and video animation I created this week.
Even if you’re not a church person, you probably have still heard a familiar verse in Psalms 34: “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”
Using food as a metaphor, the pastor equated it to experiencing several flavors in life. There are salty, sour, or bitter times, but there are also those deliciously sweet times. And — we all can understand this, right? Once you taste those sweet times, you gain the ability to go through future salty, sour, and bitter times with a little more hope.
This gave me throwback vibes to Week One, talking about the simultaneous holding of Yes AND.
And it also made me think of Week Three where I kept noticing the word ‘abide.’ Maybe this is where I’m supposed to root down for a bit – as Emily P. Freeman says, in a season of AND.
Using the acronym S. O. N. G. to add a little fun and help sum up the week:
S – Singing
I’m a little annoyed at myself for putting this song on repeat. My husband sent it to me early on saying he thought I’d like it and I was a little resistant. Gah, he was right! (Don’t tell him I said that.) Daisy the Great partnered with AJR for a song called Record Player and it has all my favorite things: quirky lyrics, beautiful harmonies, a fun, unexpected beat and catchy hook. I had no chance here.
O – Observation
One of things I uncovered in sorting through all the crap in my art closet was a moleskin watercolor notebook my husband had given me years ago. For whatever reason, I never even removed the plastic wrapping. I did this week and enjoyed some lovely watercolor still lifes. I was never any good at watercolor, but there is something very calming of working with a fluid, natural element. It’s working its way up to one of my favorite forms of creative play now.
N – Noteworthy
This may feel a little out of left field, but when I saw this post under the @blackliturgies account run by author Cole Arthur Riley, I immediately saved it. I think — especially with social media, we often feel the need to post; to say something — anything, to remind people we’re still alive. But there is peace in silence and power in listening.
“For those who don’t know what to say when the world is grieving: If you don’t know what to say, choose silence. In doing, we amplify those voices that are most prone to being drowned out by the noise of the world. Maybe it’s not your voice you need to hear today.
You don’t have to know what to say. Release the expectation that you should be articulate and wise in the midst of global terror, when really you’re just confused and scared or feel nothing at all. Silence can be sacred, too.”—Cole Arthur Riley, @blackliturgies
G – Gratitude
Tuesday, March 8 was International Women’s Day and it made me stop and realize how grateful I am for the strong, brilliant, and supportive women in my life – my friends and colleagues, yes, but also my mom, my grandmother, my aunts, and my cousins.
I have a quirky and hilarious but solid, tight-knit family in my corner and it makes me feel light and lifted, being constantly covered by their love and prayer across the miles. I’m not even sure gratitude is the right word for how much I appreciate that.
Thanks for taking the time to listen today! Are you participating in #The100DayProject? I’d love to hear about it! You can connect with me and follow along with me on Instagram at @artisticamanda.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Starting with a Song podcast for stories and updates, too.
Till next time, always keep singing.