An Artistic Challenge

I gave myself an artistic challenge this month. It started with a picture. I thought how fun it would be to write an inspirational quote to. Why stop there? Why not write a small piano instrumental inspired by the quote? Nothing crazy, nothing perfection, just raw art. And thus, I decided to see where this could take me, if for no other reason than it would be fun to get creative juices flowing.

Do you have any artistic challenges that you have given yourself? Feel free to tell me about them in the comments below!

Take a look at my first completed picture/quote/music combination:

Acoustic Librarian – LTNC Series

PROGRESS
We crawl to work in metal shells

Fueled by burning dinosaurs,

Our planet slowly cooking in the smoke.
Waves of heat soar higher;

The Golden State’s on fire;

Though some say global warming is a hoax.
Melting polar icecaps

,Disappearing glaciers

Lead to the rising of the sea.
Hurricanes grow stronger;

Rain and floods last longer;

A bad time to live in Miami!
Is this progress?

Is this progress?
Scientists have warned us

Of rising CO2;

Still we keep cutting down the trees.
Water grown acidic

And tangles of plastic

Poison the creatures in our seas.
Farmers lose harvests

To harsh, changing weather,

Reaping drought and famine for the poor.
They migrate for survival;

Labeled on arrival,

Invaders teeming on our shore.
Is this progress?

In making America great again?

Will you speak truth to those in power

Who bury their heads in the sand?
Is this progress?

Is this progress?
Smirking politicians

Mock the Green New Deal,

But whose is the costly fantasy?
To keep on doing nothing

Will end up costing trillions

In plummeting worldwide GDP.
Will we work together,

Make the painful changes

Needed for our world to survive?
Or follow blind guides

To the edge of the cliff

On a path to collective suicide?
Is this progress?

In making America great again?

Will you speak truth to those in power

Who bury their heads in the sand?
We need progress

In making our planet well again.

Let’s cause an uproar

‘Til we can’t be ignored;

Don’t bury your head in the sand.
Is this progress?

Is this progress?

Is this progress?


Artist:

Acoustic Librarian

Existential Ponders – Kaci Skiles Laws

Artist:

Kaci Skiles Laws is a writer and artist living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, at Bewildering Stories, 50 Haikus, Former People, and is upcoming in The American Journal of Poetry and a few others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by NCTC’s English Department and is currently working on a children’s book called The Boogerman. Some of her and her husband’s visual artwork can be viewed on their YouTube channel listed under Kaci and Bryant.

The Art of Depression: Shannon Light

Artist:

Shannon Light lives in Alaska and is well known for her inventive choreography and passionate dance teaching. Having faced many traumas, she uses her skills and creativity to bring beauty out of the trials she’s faced. She builds others up and shares her own stories to bring hope to those who have faced similar struggles.

About the Piece:

Shannon wrote these song lyrics to paint the picture of her personal experience with Bipolar Disorder.

Skin

Some days I feel everything

The others are just numbing

Can never find the in between

I’m always all or nothing Half my bones in the city streets

the other half sleeping in my sheets And I don’t think they’ll ever get

The chance to finally meet I never said, I never said that I wanted

I never said, I never said that I wanted

This

Never wanted to be here now

One foot in the grave

The other on the ground I can’t process what I’m feeling now

This skin I can do without


Happiness and butterflies

Overwhelmed, entranced with my own mind

Life created for me tonight

The world’s my playground I dance in my spotlight

Wake up to realize I don’t recognize

The person in my eyes

Ready to terrorize I’m alone again

Monsters creeping in

All the butterflies

Lost inside my mind

Emptiness and darkened skies

Overwhelmed, alone inside my mind

Hiding in my web of lies

No one knows I’m fucking terrified

Wake up to realize I don’t recognize

The person in my eyes

Dressed up in disguise It’s time to finish it

There’s nothing worse than this

All my emptiness

Fills me up tonight I can’t get dressed,

 my hair is a mess I can’t do anything, restless wandering

Suddenly breathless,

I’m paralyzed I feel the butterflies

Entranced with my own mind


It’s all the things I never say

It’s the parts of me I hide away

Storms rage inside of me tonight

It’s all the prayers I never pray

The endless nights I spend awake

Wars rage inside of me tonight

It’s all the damage I have done

The mistakes I’ll never overcome

I fall apart again tonight It’s all the things I never say

That make me hate myself today

I can’t change who I am inside

I’m drowning in my own pride


You walk through the door

My heart hits the floor

Somethings changing

My body’s shaking

Pretend that I don’t care

You’re laughing as I stare

We keep playing this game

Day after day

The smell of my perfume

The way I walk towards you

Somethings changing

Your body’s shaking

Now you’re pulling me in

Your lips against my skin

Hands wrapped around my waist

Why do I feel safe?

Maybe I’m just another girl

Maybe you think I’m immature

Maybe it’s you that’s insecure I don’t care anymore

Gotta push you away

Like I did yesterday

Temperature rising

I’m realizing

 It’s all the wrong things

That make you right for me

 I’m giving in

You’re giving up again

You don’t know I know why

You choose her every time

Emptiness in your eyes

I’ll wait while she runs you dry

You’re just too comfortable

In feelings that you know

But baby I

I will change your mind

You walk out the door

My heart hits the floor

Tomorrow begins

And we do it all again

And maybe I

Someday I

Will change your mind


Time slows

Lost in your eyes and

I Don’t know

Where my disguise is

Your mind

Wrapped up, entangled in mine

Tonight I cry

 Lost in your arms and you

Know why I‘m scared of trying

You’ll be

Right there reminding me just

To breathe

And all those nights I spent alone

Wondering why I let you go

Now I know you’re always there

Eyes in mine, hands in my hair

You pick me up, I’m finally safe

All my doubts begin to fade

I hang on every word you say

My fear of falling falls away

Time flies

Alive in your eyes, baby I will defy

The demons you fight

Break you free

Free to fall back into me Into trust

This is the story of us

You’ll find

Someone’s chasing your mind

For the first time


I like the way you look at me

In your eyes,

no disguise, just galaxies

You’re pushing past my past just to get to me

I like the sweet things that you say

When you’re gone,

I’ll be strong, keep them locked away

I took a chance on a chance and you’re here to stay

Just like yesterday


I’m on my knees

Lost in the empty space

Surrounding me

I’m giving up on who I thought I’d be

I can’t restart my broken heart

Then I look up

Oh oh oh

So many stars

Oh oh oh

It’s not so dark

Oh oh oh

I won’t fall apart

Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh

So many stars

Down in the dirt The tears are falling

And although it hurts

There’s hidden beauty where

The darkness lurks

I’ll find the light, it’s time to fight

Just look up

Oh oh oh

So many stars

Oh oh oh

It’s not so dark

Oh oh oh

I won’t fall apart

Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh

So many stars

The Art of Depression: Acoustic Librarian

Artist:

Acoustic Librarian is a songwriter, open mic performer and technology librarian. He lives in Orange County with his wife and their two cats.

Mirrors

Lyrics

Many a mile I’ve wandered

Through this house of mirrors,

Searching to find a way out,

Knowing my home isn’t here.


Amid the smoke that surrounds me,

Faces appear in the glass;

Are they long-sought fellow travelers

Or reflections of self that flow past?


Still I desire perfection

In a world distorted and crazed,

To discern beyond all illusion

The meaning of this maze.


Guide my paths to what’s real,

For glimpses are all I can see;

And make my image more truly

That which You meant it to be.


Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.


I plunge down slides, then start to climb

Towards heights that seem out of reach;

Pass through tunnels that move and spin

On floors that shift under my feet.


I enter a room full of blackness,

A spotlight shines in my face.

Do I hear whispered laughter

Or murmurs of welcome and grace?


Can I recall the reflection

That shown when the glass was clear?

Do I believe in perfect love

That casts out all of my fear?


Guide me towards others who walk this path,

For glimpses I’m starting to see;

And make our images truly

That which You meant them to be.


Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Dear Lord, this day, these things I pray.

The Art of Depression: Jack Droppers and the Best Intentions

Artist:

Jack Droppers and the Best Intentions

About the Piece:

Jack Droppers was diagnosed with depression a few years ago and said this song is an attempt to come to grips with the fact that depression won’t necessarily make him a better writer but it also isn’t completely bad either.

All the Same To Me Now

Lyrics:

All the Same To Me Now

I thought I’d enjoy the sadness

But It just disappointed me

Like a “get well soon” dollar store balloon

That went and flew into the sea

depression taught me a lesson

Like the ocean learns the moon

I try and behave as I wrestle with the waves

But the tide pulls be back toward you

Whether I’m staring at the heavens

Or I’m staring at the ground

Whenever I’m wonderin’

What this life is all about

Cause all of my beliefs still feel like doubts

But it’s all the same to me now

Sittin’ in the backseat

of a three row minivan

You were thumbing through your journals

of all your adolescent plans

you were gonna move to Nashville

with all the boys in the band

you were gonna write that single

get you up on the grandstand

now you’re living with the things

that you could’ve lived without

if only you had spent your 20’s

acting a little more devout

cause time only moves as fast as God allows

but it’s all the same to me now

like you’re trying to separate the shade from the clouds

or a child who lost her mother in a crowd

to those secret things we’ll never say out loud

to these prayers that still carry me around

they’re all the same to me now