Do You Take the Hit or Duck?

Melody of a fallen tree
Melody of a fallen tree (Photo credit: Sarah Ross photography)

Wide Open Spaces

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out To find a dream and a life of their own A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone
Many precede and many will follow A young girl’s dream no longer hollow It takes the shape of a place out west But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed
[Chorus:] She needs wide open spaces Room to make her big mistakes She needs new faces She knows the high stakes
She traveled this road as a child Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired But now she won’t be coming back with the rest If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test
[Repeat Chorus] She knows the high stakes
As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!” Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl” She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago” When she stood there and let her own folks know
[Repeat Chorus] She knows the highest stakes She knows the highest stakes She knows the highest stakes She knows the highest stakes

I’m reminded of this song. This very moment many words from this song make my life real. I know they aren’t my words nor would I ever claim them to be. I was shut in as a child and locked from the world. I was given great amounts of fear in all directions to keep my safe from all harm possible. I watched the news as a child and learned of all types of criminals by the time I was 10 years old. I had two little girls kidnapped right out of my hands and no one blinked an eye to my fright.

There are many times in my life that I took chances people shouldn’t take unless they have their protection in their pocket and their common sense in their hands. I traveled to strangers’ homes as I got older to prove that I could. I went to photo shoots to show I was worth the trip and time. I put music and poetry into books and on web pages just because I was told “It was stupid”. I wasn’t out to make money or to be famous. Would it be nice one day to be “well known” by something other than (the wife) or  (the daughter)?  Of course!  Do I expect anything to come of me putting my so-called poetry or music out there for everyone to see? Just inspiration and growth from some person out there who needed to be understood?

I did need “Wide Open Spaces” and “Room to make big mistakes” and I strived for them as much as I could. I knew something out there would make sense to me someday, but it may take all my courage, strength, faith, and persistence I had to find it. I never had the chance to “strike out” since I was never given that opportunity. If I didn’t have a ride to and from somewhere I didn’t go. I wanted to be in gymnastics and never got that opportunity. I tried the violin but lost the funds to continue it. I was good at door to door sales, but found out once you are no longer a kid … it’s not cute to buy from anymore. All the ideas I had I shared with everyone and anyone whether they listened or not. I honestly didn’t even care if they were half tanked and ready for bed as long as they sat there with their ears partly open.

Is that sad? My little karaoke machines my mother got me every xmas was the highlight of my year until I discovered the same thing but bigger at the bars. I became a babysitter to full-grown adults and I got to sing. I sang all kinds of songs from rock to country to R&B and so many others. I was actually real good too. I was told all the time that I could be famous one day and that I had the voice of an Angel. I was asked to sing at weddings and funerals. I was asked to sing for anniversaries and birthdays. I was so recognizable that when I walked into the bar, I had tons of people who would come ask me to sing “their favorite song”. Mind you… this was at a bar… which mean people were drinking… which means by the time sobriety hit… most of these requests were long forgotten or made fun of. However; while it lasted at the bar with my mother somewhere around with someone… it was great to be known and my voice to be enjoyed.

I wrote my own little songs since I was about 7 years old. Of course growing up on Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, you can only imagine the types of songs I wrote. Love and loss was my embrace. My favorite song that I loved to sing that brought me through many fearful nights and long lonely days were “Daddy’s Hands”. The funny thing though… I didn’t have a daddy to sing to or about. Maybe that’s why I held on to that song so much and felt so real and loved for once when I sang it. There was also the awesome words of “Feed Jake” that really made me feel like family. Again I didn’t have a dog and I wasn’t allowed one, but singing that song made me feel free and real and part of something.

Then I saw the wonderful movie “Grease” and I fell in love with the song, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. I had this song so stuck in my heart and in my head that I felt one day I would find “the one” I was supposed to be with and by the time I found her… I would be able to sing it to her with such great passion and praise of her love and devotions. Oh but what’s that? I had to open up and be myself? I had to take a chance outside of my little world that my mother had created for me? I had to actually try to talk to a female? I had to come out of my little box and be honest when I liked a girl to even think about one day finding “the one”?

You know my mother didn’t make that easy! In fact as long as she stayed drunk and I kept driving her to the bar… I had opportunities to meet her … one day. Now what wrong? Oh wait… If I meet them at the bar… I can’t be myself… I didn’t want to get caught… so I secretly sang my little lullaby to myself when I got the chance and just silently knew … one day… “You know I’m just a fool who’s willing… To sit around and wait for you…” ~Olivia Newton John~

So, I suppose we all know those little voices in our heads that make sense of little phrases or words that come out of someone’s creativity or passion. I suppose we all know the drive and persistence it takes to follow through on the emotions and thoughts that seem to haunt us. Whether it’s with curiosity or ignorance that peaks through the little looking-glass of our eyes or the curved caverns of our ears, our subconscious usually follows its own path and we don’t end up finding out what the purpose to that path is until it’s right in front of us with no choice but to take the hit or duck.

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