By Donna Ulisse
Every single day that I draw breath is one more glorious opportunity to observe life. These moments are little drops of gold, and I try not to squander or take for granted the chance to collect memories and song scrap.
My husband and I are selling our beloved wee palace and moving to the outskirts of Nashville where a stretch of flat green acres leading to a tree- lined creek is whispering promises to us. Barns and fencing are proof that horses once graced this land. Down a driveway sits a brick rancher that feels like an old pal holding out arms and saying welcome. We want this place so much and are trying our best to make this a reality. Dear family and friends are holding the dream of owning this tract of Paradise with us, cheering on with such sincere, love-filled support.
A memory that I will now hold as treasure happened just yesterday. Rick, my darling, and I were under a deadline to finish painting and staging our current home for a photography appointment our realtor scheduled so that she could list our property and we had absolutely no hope of pulling off the feat in time.
Without even having to ask, my long time friend and music associate came to the rescue with her one inch trim brush and paint stained clothing ready to lend a much appreciated hand, trimming out two rooms that were complete with crown molding, all without complaint. Her simple joy and good heart was just the strength I needed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I slyly observed her at her work and felt a complete love for her. As we were nearing the actual “moving furniture around and about” I realized we would need another set of strong arms to help so I reached out to another friend. He never hesitated, answering YES right away, dropping whatever he was involved in and rushing to our rescue. Again, I used my spy tactics to watch as he and my husband went about their labor, all the while cheery and encouraging, a real friend. There was such a peace about their toil and suddenly, with fifteen minutes to spare, the place was finished. Our two friends were so happy to be part of the day.
I shared this with you because this feeling of sweet friendship and the kindness these two shared with me will be tightly stored away in my writing bag and will come to light in a song. I might not write about this experience literally but the feeling of gratitude and love for these two selfless people will emerge in some form or fashion. These feelings are what I draw from. I close my eyes and relive those kinds of days, letting all of that love wash over me. I try my best to describe that feeling in a new way each and every time I write. I hold the sad memories just as tightly because we have to write tearjerkers too. We all have this treasure chest within us and finding new ways to use old memories is part of what all writers strive to do.
My challenge for you as you journey down the writer’s path is to make sure you handle each memory with care. Drink them in and they will replenish your writer’s soul.
Donna has been called “one of the best singer-songwriters in bluegrass,” nominated twice as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Songwriter of the year.
Reach her at www.donnaulisse.com.