"When Life Happens"



{liberatormagazine.com feature}

*This post is dedicated to Mr. William “Pat” Patterson – an elderly neighbor and confidante of Liberator editor Stephanie. Mr. Patterson passed away earlier this year, but not before blessing The Liberator with words from his daily observations of the world – “Million Man Farce” – in the 7.1 issue. We are honored to have been given the opportunity to serve as a conduit for his life- and time-enriched thoughts and musings.

I met this elderly gentleman in the library last summer when I was having domestic Internet connection “challenges.” You couldn’t tell me that he wasn’t James Baldwin’s kinfolk – looks, manner of speaking, breadth of knowledge … everything. His name was Mr. Gude. But he would say to call him “Arthur.” One of these days I’ll post a part of our first conversation, which had me truly certain that it was a fateful encounter.

I lost touch with him … before I got to tap into that seemingly bottomless well of knowledge, before I got to listen to the jazz standards that he arranged and recorded, before I got to introduce you all to him in a decent and proper way. It saddens me that I wasn’t a better steward of such a rare find. I still go into the library from time to time, hoping that he’ll be there that day and during that time. But he never is. He was likely in his early to mid-70s and I pray that he is well.

So, the purpose of this post is to make sure I do better this time around. I want to introduce you to Ms. Sherry Morrison. She is my neighbor, she writes and she sings.

We often chat it up on my way in from the 9-5. Today’s topic was the floods that caught metro Atlanta by surprise about a month back, and she likened some of the scenes she saw and drove past to the Katrina aftermath. She has questions and thoughts about it that she says she can’t find the words for yet … and a tune in her head that she can’t quite make out. She says it happens like that often -- when she tries to 'create' but "life happens." She has put off recording songs she has been working on for more than a decade because of it.

I’m posting her latest entries from a blog that she recently started keeping, both as a form of introduction to you all and encouragement to her in all her endeavors.

From "When Life Happens"

How Does This Work???
October 2, 2009


I remember when the South Africans were at each other over Apartheid, there were about 4 million white South Africans ruling and dogging about 24 million Black South Africans. I have always thought that it was some sort of fluke that so few could oppress and harangue so many in this day and age. Then I thought about the present day American situation and was almost brought to my knees.

There are about 60 million registered Republican voters and about 70 million professing Evangelicals. Evangelicals make up about 45 percent of the Republican, I guess the rest are the super rich, wannabe super rich and/or the "I'll live like I am even if I'm not" super rich. They have a fine, well-oiled machine in America..t.he preacher from the pulpit gives his edicts, the followers re-iterate it, the Republicans and racists scream communism concerning anything that is different from their views and the political cycle begins and repeats as they see fit.

There are roughly 300 million people in the US and 3 percent of the population holds 80 percent of the resources, Worldwide it's 6 percent. So why do we allow these two groups to bully Americans and make such political gains? Why is it that they can cry wolf and folks will head to the house with their tails tucked deep between their legs and not give the proclamation a second thought? Perhaps it was really a regal heavy horse that could transport a person out of this large pile of hoo-ey we are stuck in, but they ran because some folks said they should.

I understand that in Washington the one with the most money to line the politician's pockets gets the goodies. But what about just everyday people? What do we really gain from letting them wreak havoc on our Nation and from letting them wreak havoc on us? How does this work?

..............

Til My Change Has Come
September 14, 2009


I cannot see what is so different about it this time, but I can say that it feels different. Life has gotten in my way several times and I shelved the project ... that's not happening again. I will do all I can, while I can, to see that it gets finished.

Yet, as it is with everyday life, you must attend to your everyday struggles. Life happens ... disappoints surface, feelings get hurt, the bank account gets low, disagreements and misunderstandings occur, that pivotal meeting didn't happen and a host of other things that can bring a ping of pain and frustration to an already full and running over plate. But I must search to find the strength to go on, because this journey is not for the faint-hearted. And you don't cross hurdles by standing and looking at it.

I am pursuing my goals and dreams amongst my troubles. But that's the name of the game ... to persevere and succeed while life happens.

..............

Small Steps, Long Journey
September 11, 2009


I am learning that focusing on what I want to happen, instead of focusing on what I don't want to happen brings forward motion. I no longer feel trapped, stagnate and confined. I am meeting musicians and getting feedback, while I brush up on my songs and techniques. I did get in trouble with one guitarist for being addicted to my songbook and he chided me to wean myself off of it ... hmmm, that's not an easy thing and I see his point, but it will be a process ... a very long process.

It is such a thrill to see that I am finally making small steps to complete a goal that was created years ago. This recording project is way over my head, because I'm working on most of it alone, but it warms my heart because I have received such warm support. It's great to have people that believe in you and your dreams. It's a luxury that I cherish.

..............

The Time is Now!!!
September 9, 2009


I have had the same dreams since I was very small. Yet life kept managing to pile on layers, therefore putting more and more distance between what I was doing and what I wanted to be doing.

I have shelved my music and my career several times over the last 10 years because life got in the way or I let it get in the way. I have learned through much struggle that for me to be who I am, I have to be who I am. Many things can go wrong and there are often areas where I could focus with great panic to pass my time. But this hasn't been very fruitful in times past. After giving some deep thought as to why life looks so easy for some and not for others ... I see that those that succeed aren't so different from myself, it's just that they stay focused on their dream and don't give up when it looks bleak or give in to negative surroundings.

This is why I have decided to stay the course and get this project completed, come hell or high water. There is much progress being made on my recording project. I am having a blast with the whole thing. Learning the sound engineering stuff is a bit much for me, but it comes along with the territory and that's what I get for refusing to learn more about the sound side of things earlier. I have had so much input and help. But the real joy came when I finally had a song recorded that I can add to my site. I felt like I'd conquered the world! (source)