Feeling restraint with your art isn’t always going to be easy.

One of the most difficult things about feeling restrained is actually being restrained. Which I have been, as all humans may appreciate and by the time they are able to read a life with sentences like this one.

A memory that keeps surfacing lately is of “Frank,” a former boss, a company founder and a financial guru. To be clear, Frank knew his pseudonym when he read these pages, which he use to report that he did fairly often. Back then, he even expressed that I was a, “brilliant writer and artist”.

Frankly, after expressing a love for me and my work during and after many projects we shared for over a year, I also remember when Frank could barely walk within four feet of me as he shared the fear that I might pull out a gun to kill him.

His fear of death was shocking to me. Frank actually believed in his fear of guns. That concern was legitimate when he shared his story of a neighbor whom he cared about being shot and killed by another neighbor. Apparently over a shrub or something that felt like petty theft.

In any case, there is a genuine curiosity about the fear of guns. When I sit with it in meditation and prayer, that fear seems an awful lot like the worry I feel when people pick up sticks and rocks with angry energy.

Honest to God, I feel that fear too when I write. It’s like pointing guns with words and where I shoot, is hopefully, always me. In reality, that’s how it feels anyway.

Even as I write this out, fear of words, rocks and stones does seem rather petty. The frustration and wrath, on either side, only ads to the emotional fuel of fear, death and that death story that is still too often one of guns.

In truth, I need to continue to laugh with Frank about that gun story. Inside and out, I need to smile and even care about Frank from Afar. Always putting our health first in my heart, body and mind.

Too, it may be relevant to note again that I don’t own a gun, nor a car even. That “said”, I recognize I still do talk a bit. When you get me started, my words could most definitely be considered bullets. Especially when killing off connections and friendships with family and neighbors alike.  

Wrapping this up, as an artist always should, I will try to show some restraint these holiday seasons and when publishing too. Even as I schedule it for release sometime next week, next year and/or..

Quite frankly? Perhaps now is appreciated too.

Steph Bird, MAED/AET, CPFC, Certified pastoral counselor, Iteration: 20181207.07.24

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"I shall resume my song after I have eaten this worm"
“I shall resume my song after I have eaten this worm”