How to be an Expert at Life.

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Praise imperfections.
Ask questions.

Don’t fear the answers.
Do fear snakes, toads,
and Donald Trump’s hair.

Adore books, animals,
weaknesses, the broken,
and growing older.

Find a love to orbit around.
Have a constellation seeking brain.
A heart that star gazes.

Don’t trip on what’s been
gone for years.

Walk hand in hand with today.

The one seemly not
telling the truth is
the one you should
listen to the hardest.

Pay attention to your
conscience, make
sure it’s really yours.

Know there’s beauty;
in words. The ones
you use and the ones
you leave out.

Read the classics.
Brighten to artistry
Don’t be afraid to improvise.

Listen to jazz while
drinking iced coffee.

Don’t admire yourself
too much, this can
lead to disaster.

There are two types
of people in the world,
be neither of them.

Know sometime what
seems useless is
full of meaning.

Learn how to bend,
not break.

Lose yourself to love,
to madness.
Always carry a suitcase
full of mischief.
A passport of adventure.

Don’t forget to add a dash of moonlight.
Season the nights with heat.

Create the scene.
Live it.

Lose your shoes and inhibitions.

Split the wishbone.

Know nothing important
comes with a manual.

Just because your
spirit is tangled,
doesn’t mean your
soul has to be tied in a knot.

Be full of vigor,
meaningful chit chat
and chocolate. Lots
of chocolate!

Know there is holiness in the missteps.
Grace in the fumbles.

Remain unfinished.
Be the light.

-Tosha Michelle

The Man in Black

I’m currently reading Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn and its got me revisiting Cash’s music. He was such a creative, complex and beautiful soul. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite songs of his.

“Hey Porter” was the song that started it all. As a Southerner, I’ve always loved the images of the Southland it evokes.

“I Still Miss Someone” is so poetic and emotionally stirring.

And of course this one:

Okay, I have to throw in this iconic clip, Why does Bob Dylan look like Andy Samberg here?

Merry Christmas y’all. May we all be as cool as Johnny Cash.

Bluebird

I just love the heck out of this song.

“Bluebird”

Yeah I’m a turner
I turn pages all the time
Don’t like where I’m at
34 was bad
So I just turn to 35
Yeah I’m a keeper
I keep digging down for the deep
Like the records I’m playing
They might keep you waiting
But you know I’m only playing for keepsAnd if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart

Well I’m a giver
Yeah and I’m still giving ’em hell
Forgiving’s pretty hard
So I’ve made an art
Out of forgetting ’em well
Yeah I’m a rhymer
I can turn 20 cents into a 10
And if I get confused
And I start to lose
I’ll rhyme a dime till it all makes sense

And if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll turn a light on in my soul
And keep the bluebird in my heart

And if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart
Keep a bluebird in my heart

And the bluebird sings”

-Miranda Lambert

https://youtu.be/ms1MY9SP7f4

Fire Escape

“Walking home your hand in mine
Tattoos on the river line
The morning birds are taking flight
Either way I thought that you should know

You’re my number one
You’re the reason I’m still
up at dawn
just to see your face
We’ll be going strong
with the vampires, baby
We belong, we belong awake

https://youtu.be/KfU-S6ovooQ

Memorized

If you watch “This Is Us” you’ll recognize this beautiful song from the season 4 premiere. The tune is calledMemorized performed by Blake Stadnik, the legally blind actor who plays the grown up version of baby Jack on the show. If you’re a fan of TIS you’ll understand the poignancy of the scene and the relevancy of the lyrics. It was definitely one of the most moving moments from a series that defines moving moments.

According to The Wrap, “Stadnik’s song — which was co-written by This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla and Taylor Goldsmith, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Dawes (he’s also Mandy Moore’s husband) — has entered the Top 20 in the U.S. iTunes sales store and is currently No. 14 on the all-genre song sales chart. It’s a stunning achievement for a TV show soundtrack song from an episode that has only aired once.

Here’s a few of my favorite lines from this gorgeous song, followed by music video. Well worth a listen.

“Can one wrong turn give me new direction?
Can one false move bring you one true friend?
Could a stranger ever end up being you?”

If I Could

If I could, I would shield you from your own sorrows. From phones that don’t ring, the 7 AM alarm clock, missing the train, fair-weather friends, the frayed ends of the welcome mat.

I would protect you from backaches and headaches, and unnecessary tirades, the losing team. Mostly, I would shelter you from false hope, people with an agenda to harm, and those wildflowers meant only to disarm.

I would encourage you to take ferries and planes, and leave the ink revised map at home,  to become a mid spring season, dandelions covered, savor the sunshine, take risk.  Breathe.

Remember the music of your soul. Listen to your heart’s sway. I would implore you to make love, make art, and to praise the song and rhythm your body prays.

-Tosha Michelle