Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Saturday Soundtrack February 23, 2013

Today my neurotic’s notebook takes a page from American journalist Mignon McLaughlin, who said “a sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.” I’ve written about the joy that happens in my home on Saturdays, so I thought I would set it to a soundtrack for anyone interested in a lighthearted salute to today’s daily prompt.

If I were to set a Saturday in the Schmidt household to a soundtrack, I suppose it would play like this.

(Disclaimer: These have all inspired previous (and future) blog posts, so I apologize in advance for any repetition).Dancing to Life's Soundtrack

Track One: Tell Me A Story, Phillip Phillips.
Dear Phillip Phillips. A lyrical hero of mine, he inspires me with his words frequently. This is one of my favorites from his album “Man on The Moon.”

Track Two: Hands, Jewel
Human hands are capable of such bad things. I embrace only the good.

Track Three: Answer, Sarah McLaughlin
This one gets me every time. https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/my-answer-i-sleep-smiling/

Track Four: I Hope You Dance, LeAnn Womack
I love to dance. Did you know that about me?

Track Five: Peggy Sang the Blues, Frank Turner
A recent favorite, this song recently inspired a blog entry about my perspective that all forward motion counts.

Track Six: Paradise, Coldplay
Forget hindsight. I prefer paradise.

Track Seven: Life In Slow Motion, David Gray.
A reminder to stop and appreciate life’s special moments. https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/life-in-slow-motion/

Track Eight: Isn’t It Ironic? Alanis Morissette
I had to. 🙂 https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/isnt-it-ironic-a-pause-amidst-lifes-symphony/

Track Nine: Hard Times, EastMountainSouth
Hard times come again no more. Simple as that.

Track Ten: Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd
As seen in one of my favorite movies, Elizabethtown

Please note: I do not own rights to any of these videos. They were all shared from YouTube.


My Memory Mosaic February 20, 2013

I’ve never been much of a digger. I know its fairly typical for dogs to dig and bury and all that, but I never got the point of it. I live in the moment. As a result, I see art everywhere. This most basic form of expressionism is amidst our daily lives just waiting for us to breathe life into it.

I breathe life into the snowflakes of Wisconsin winters, into the smell of grass in the springtime and into the beautiful sunsets of summer.

I am the Fish Flying in the Sky

I breathe it into pictures drawn by the little people in my lives, like the one Sophie drew of my adoptive parents and I. I can’t help but notice the flying fish in the sky of the portrait and smile. I feel that way sometimes, like the fish defying all odds and flying amidst the birds. I dream in the sky, seeing art in words written by great thinkers, lyrics sung by influential singers, and thoughts unspoken by lost loved ones.

Kind of like Peggy, a character who came to English folk singer Frank Turner in his sleep to say “it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you go.”

These words strike a chord with me, one who does well to suppress memories of the past. I was an emotional mess in my past. Why would I ever want to relive that? The optimist in me prefers not to relive those moments. But today I realize my inner optimist has perhaps been doing me a disservice. There were good times amidst those suppressed memories that may have a positive impact on where I am going in life.

I call to the witness stand my mom and my brothers, who I loved and lost. I have many happy memories with them in that first month before we were separated. After that, I have memories of Scotty and Pheobe who I met during my time on the streets. Then Rusty and all the people who cared for me at the humane society. These faces are the rays of sunshine in my otherwise dark past. I owe it to them to respect the crucial role they played in my life then and now. They all became part of who I am today, and without them I would not have developed my current philosophy on joy, from the ground up. In fact, they make up the majority of the beautiful mosaic of memories that empower me on a daily basis.

I’ve never been much of a digger. Now that I know why, I think its due time I do some digging to develop the art of my past. Just because I’m not able to see all the colors in God’s crayon box doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate sources of art all around me. So today I choose to see all the art in my life: past, present and future. After all, it doesn’t matter where I came from. It matters where I go.