Life, memoir, Writing

Revisiting Chapter 1 – Out of the Sun

Please note: This is the beginning of a series of posts where I will work my way through each chapter of my memoir, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry, reflecting on what I wrote and other thoughts now that the book is published.

As I reread chapter 1 of my memoir the first thing that hits me is how naïve I was, but I guess we all were at one time or another. My youthfulness shows through my words and actions during that time of my life. The first meeting with Luka and our growing relationship. It took me almost thirty years to realize the doors she opened and lead me through into worlds I had never explored. There were many simple things you don’t realize how much they meant until much, much later.

“We lived in those moments that held special meaning to us but seemed so ordinary in their significance.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 24 – Mark W. Schutter

It’s those moments that seem insignificant that have the propensity to change our lives in hindsight. Those chance encounters with a stranger that lead to a deep and lasting relationship. Some that accompany us throughout the rest of our lives and others only stay for a while. Yet, the memories and the truths of each conversation stay with us and become touchstones that are the bedrock on which we stand.

I recall the music of the time when we first met and the music she introduced me to. Music I had never considered nor paid attention to before. It was a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions that permeated and became the backdrop of our lives for those few short years. The music was so often prophetic as the lyrics seemed to hint at things to come. Some happy and some sad but either way they were harbingers of what may be.

“There was so much to live for, so much to look forward to, while a haunting voice whispered there will come a time when I will never see her again.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 25 – Mark W. Schutter

There were decisions made that were set on my securing my future as I slowly slipped into adulthood. Yet those decisions of college and pursing a vocational calling pale in comparison to the seemingly random everyday occurrences that I now believe were anything but random. Those moments and incidents that became part of the tapestry when our lives came together in a grand design until the edges began to fray, the material becoming thinner and eventually the fabric was torn in two.

The first glance when our eyes met, casual conversations, dinners under the fading evening light, hawks soaring high overhead, and sharing hopes and dreams of a future. I titled the first chapter of my memoir “Out of the Sun” as an ode to the following lyrics in the Al Stewart song ‘Year of the Cat.’

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don’t bother asking for explanations

She came into my life in late summer wearing sun dresses and sandals. And like a watercolor painting opened my eyes to a multitude of hues and colors in life that often dance just outside our vision. Watercolor paint has a special ability to morph from one to another overlapping in soft and hard edges. Then the colors run as the water carries them intermingling with each other until the distinctness is lost. It continues to fade until the image is completely gone. This is an analogy of our lives together, the brilliant distinctiveness, intermingling, and then the fading until she was gone.

There are many more lines from this song that also resonate with me but that is for another post at another time when I may break down the entire song. For now just remember that no matter what you do, time passes, and you have the choice to live forward despite those trials and pains that inflict us all.

“She believed… there was a far better place, a place that existed out past the sun, where it rained colors and memoires never faded, where the last became first and the pain became joy and you traveled via the slipstream, a place where we can let go of the pain, the loss, and the death of this world.”

Chapter 1, Out of the Sun, page 27 – Mark W. Schutter

So don’t bother asking for explanations cause she just might tell you that she came in the year of the cat. 😉 God bless! This is your ‘life after…’ don’t miss it!

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My memoir is available in print and e-book. Order your copy today, and one or two or three… as a gift for some else in time for the holidays. PAY IT FORWARD!  

You can also reach out to me here on my website to purchase signed copies.

Life

The World is Full of Wonders

Three Chords and the Truth – the new album from Van Morrison

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople

Often it is in the simple things and tonight I am taking my daughter on a date.

We are doubling with friends on a daddy/daughter date. It is the time we spend together with those we love, the experiences and the memories that linger, not the things we accumulate.

So what wonders are right before your eyes?

God, Life

To Know That You’re Alive!

Alive!These words ring so true for me lately. Adrift in a sea of wandering and wondering what is real. So many questions haunt my mind and it is often the pain that reminds me I am still alive and it is not over yet. 
The pain has a purpose and grief is the happiness you experienced before. Depression is just a passing feeling and wounds heal turning to scars that serve to remind you where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. For you were meant for so much more than just ordinary!

To Know That You’re AliveKutless (a classic song from 2009)

#YouMatter #HopeLives #RestInLove

Art, God

Joys and Sorrows, Brutal Honesty in the Psalms

A fascinating conversation between Bono and Eugene Peterson revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. God works in all of us and is available to all of us.

Thank you to artist Kevin Max for sharing this on Facebook where I first encountered it. The video is 21 minutes long, I encourage you to take a listen as I believe God may have something there for each of us.

The video is based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor.

God can and is found in art whether if be music, poetry, drawing, painting or writing. We only need open our eyes and look, making ourselves available to his beauty and glory. Art should express a reality and truth, both the good and bad. The depths of emotion found in the psalms is an example for us to shed our masks and become vulnerable before God for he accepts us and loves just as we are, right where we are. God Bless!

 

 

God, Life

You’re Not A Ghost

image

Safety” by Fireflight from the album Innova featuring  Stephen Christian

   

All alone, alone you float
Can anybody see you
You’re a ghost
Do they know the pain you hide
Do they know the pain you hide
Cry for help, reaching out
Can anybody hear you when you shout
Are you hidden from their eyes
Are you hidden from their eyes
I see you

In the light, in the dark
I will be your bleeding heart
Cause when you need me
I’ll be your safety
I’ll be your safety
Like a fire, running wild
Can’t contain what’s deep inside
Ready to break free
I’ll be your safety
I’ll be your safety

Do you ever feel alone, like you’re a ghost? The enemy would have you believe that but it is not true. You are loved and you are not alone. Reach out to someone and if you have no one, reach out to me and I will do my best to be your safety. God bless! ~M

Art, Life

You Are the One

1435692979783Reminiscing with ‘Stereotype Be’ while awaiting the release of ‘Broken Temples Deluxe’, both albums by Kevin Max. The above lyrics are from a hidden song, You Are the One (full lyrics below), which appears on the ‘Stereotype Be’ album after the last song, I Went Over the Edge of the World. This is the only audio of the song I could find.

I ran into your arms like Moses parted water
I ran into your arms like an angel to the father
I ran into your arms like a soul that has departed & you rescued me…

I fell down like the stars, you pick me up so tenderly
And I fell down like the stars, my wings made of clay
And I fell down like the stars, you hold up so all can see
And you rescued me, oh yes

You, You are the One
You are the One, the only One
‘Cause You are,
You, You are the One
You are the One, You are my God

I stumble like a blind man
Destined to this earth I stray
I stumble like a blind man
No redemption
I stumble like a blind man
With eyes blacked out & a mouth of sand
And you rescued me, oh come on

You, You are the One
You are the One, You are my God
‘Cause You are,
You, You are the One
You are the One, the only One

‘Cause you are,
You are the sky that holds the rain
You are my greater stave
You are the drugs that kill the pain
You are everything, the teacher

I stand before your altar,
Falling strain of Abram’s son
I stand before your altar,
Like a lamb lead to the slaughter

You, You are the One
You are the One, the Only One
‘Cause You are
You, You are the One
You are the One, the only One
And You are
You, You are the One
You are the One
You are my God
And you are
You, You are the One
You are the One, the only One
‘Cause You are

You wanna call me when I’m wondering with doubt
You wanna call and tell me everything’s alright
I know it’s you and you see everything in me
I know it’s you, It’s you

You are the sky that holds the rain
You are my greater stave
You are the drugs that kill my pain
You are everything, the teacher

You are the sky that holds the rain
You are my greater stave
You are the drugs that kill the pain

~Kevin Max ©2001

This song gives me comfort and inspiration, reminding me of God’s infinite love for each of us, even in our darkness and weakness. Thanks Kevin!

Art, God, Poetry

Take Me Down

Whoa, take me down
Into the depths where I might drown
For it is only there can I truly see
The glorious beauty of your majesty
Into the mystic all around
My pounding heartbeat the only sound
Fly away to where we were meant to be
Reveal to us your holy mysteries
Whoa, take me down
Break the chains that keep me bound
I want to live in shameless freedom
From now until your coming kingdom
Life and glory can be found
Let the false intimacy come unwound
Renouncing the enemy’s bastard accusations
Evil fears its pronounced damnation
Whoa, take me down
Exchange my ashes for a beautiful crown
For love and mercy linger in a secret place
Freely given is the unveiled grace

~Mark Schutter ©2014

The poem above is my submission this week to The Reverie Journal based on the Kongos music prompt from Hastywords.  I attempted to write the poem in sync with the rhythm of the chorus from the song, what do you think?. In addition this is poem number 29 of 31 for October Poetry Writing Month.  Thanks for reading! ~M

Art, Life

Who’ll Keep Your Secrets?

GU026I’LL KEEP YOUR SECRETS, I’LL HOLD YOUR GROUND
AND WHEN THE DARKNESS STARTS TO FALL
I’LL BE AROUND THERE WAITING
WHEN DREAMS ARE FADING
AND FRIENDS ARE DISTANT AND FEW

KNOW AT THAT MOMENT I’LL BE THERE WITH YOU

I’LL BE AROUND WHEN THERE’S NO REASON LEFT TO CARRY ON AND EVERY DREAM YOU’VE EVER HAD IS GONE AND THE DARK IS DEEP AND BLACK WITHOUT A SOUND AND EVERY STAR HAS BEEN DRAGGED TO THE GROUND KNOW AT THAT MOMENT I WILL BE AROUND

“I’ll Keep Your Secrets” Trans Siberian Orchestra

I read these lyrics, listen to them being sung and feel my heart being pierced. The search of every human being to be accepted and loved. To truly be there in the now, in that moment where everything you have ever known is cascading to an undeniable and dreaded ending. When all your instincts are screaming for you to run, either out of fear or denial. You stand by helpless in that moment, searching for the strength it takes, to face the dark and not flee. I have been there in that moment and am scarred by it for the rest of my life. I have also come out on the other side of the black. To know that I faced my biggest challenge and worst nightmare and passed the ultimate test gives me strength.

Do you have someone who will ‘keep your secrets’? That person(s) that will always be around? The above picture entitled “Duo” reflects that to me, someone who will always be there to the end.

I count myself blessed to say I have had two people like this in my life. How about you?

(The above picture was done using an ink wash and crayon technique.)

Adventure, Animals, Art, God

Dark Horses

Switchfoot – Dark Horses 
(acoustic version from the album Vice Verses)
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Yeah I made my mistakes, I seen my heart cave in I got my scars, I been to hell and back again Born for the blue skies, We’ll survive the rain born for the sunrise, We’ll survive the pain

[Chorus:]

We’re singing… Hey, you can’t count us out We’ve been running up against the crowd Yeah, we are the dark horses We’re singing… Wait! It’s not over now We’ve been down but we’ve never been out Yeah, we are the dark horses

We found the way out, The city takes everything it can But outside the crowds, I can feel my lungs again Born for the blue skies, We’ll survive the rain Born for the sunrise, We’ll survive the pain

[Chorus]

We’re singing La la la la la la la La la la la la la la. Yeah! Born for the blue skies Born for the blue skies Born for the sunrise We’ll survive the pain

[Chorus:]

We’re singing… Hey, you can’t count us out We’ve been running up against the crowd Yeah, we are the dark horses We’re singing… Wait, don’t care what they say We know we’ll find a way Yeah! We are the dark horses Yeah! Laa la-la-la-la-laa Laa la-la-la-la-laa &

[Faded Voice:]

Keep running with the dark horses Hope makes the blood change courses Keep running with the dark horses Stand up with the dark horses Keep running with the dark horses Hope makes the blood change courses 

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(This song is a theme song for me.  As an artist, poet and writer these solitary pursuits take me into places that others including myself at times, may fear to go. There can be terrible dangers and evil, but also beauty and light.  I often feel like a dark horse in a world of light horses, but I always have hope and wish to dispense at least a little of that hope to others and shine a light into the dark. God Bless ~M)