Blue

Song sung blue. Everybody knows one. This last week I’ve been somewhat blue. Not too blue, just that kind of blue that happens when you’re not so crazy busy as before, when that longed for down time comes along and you feel at loose ends. It’s that gray blue feeling you share with a special friend who’s learning to live with the loss of her beloved. It’s that bruised blue feeling that takes your breath away when you realize you don’t belong somewhere the way you once did. As Neil Diamond would say “me and you are subject to the blues now and then.”

Another friend and I have expressed our desire to buy a memorial tree or shrub for our friend’s beautiful home overlooking the orange orchards and ocean of our coastal community. And as a threesome, we just know that it will take many lunches, trips to the nursery, and coffee dates to finalize this significant project. Already we’re online researching the perfect plant. We’ve made trips to two nurseries and debated our alternatives over pumpkin spice lattes. This is the difficult, wonderful, sad work of friendship. Our friend’s chosen favorite, seen above, is a dwarf weeping cedar approriately named “Feelin’ Blue.”

 Several times I’ve mention how taken I am with the name of this low growing evergreen that will spread to six feet over the garden’s rocky spots outside her bedroom window. It is such a sweet statement of both her love and grief. As she said recently of grief, “It’s not something to be jumped over.” I am learning so much from her song sung blue.

My song sung blue is more about loose ends. That wistful blue malaise that comes on you when you don’t want to do anything, but you also don’t want to do nothing. Without a quilt or sewing project, I poked around the quiet corners of my studio and discovered a box of jewelry beads I hadn’t finished sorting, a donation to the ladies at the Lighthouse by a friend in Ohio. Among the tubes and plastic containers lay a Zip-loc bag with the beginnings of a necklace – five beaded dangles hanging from a large blue and turquoise glass bead through which the long curving loose ends of the wires were threaded.

Loose ends… just the perfect project for singin’ the blues. Over the next couple of days I sat at our craft table behind the couch and listened to the TV while I strung, bead by bead, the five loose ends of an abandoned necklace. When I began the open studio time with the women at the Lighthouse I was a complete novice at jewelry making. I didn’t know a crimp bead from a croissant. Through Jan’s exceedingly generous gift, I’ve had the opportunity to learn some of the finer bits of jewelry making, by observing pieces she’s made, and by having especially beautiful beads to play with. My predominately blue, but colorful, five strand necklace has been smartly finished with crimp beads, jump rings, and a lobster claw.

Neil’s lyrics continue “that when you take the blues and make a song, you sing them out again. And “funny thing, but you can sing it (0r plant a shrub or bead a necklace) with a cry in your voice” and before you know it, you start to feel not so blue anymore. “Song sung blue. Everybody knows one. Song sung blue. Every garden grows one.”

If you’ve ever been blue because of grief, what has helped you not feel so blue anymore? When you’ve felt at loose ends, what was “bead by bead” helpful for you? If you’ve ever been blue, what was the “song sung blue” you created? If there’s a blue song you need to sing now, what would it sound like?

I hope you’ll share your songs with one another.

11 comments to Blue

  • Jan

    Thanks, Lynne. You made my day.

    My solution to the blues is just to start doing something, anything creative. I’ve been devastated over the past few months in adjusting to the fact that my son and his wife, parents of my beloved grandchildren, are divorcing. I’ve had days I just want to sit and weep. But stripping wood, painting a breakfast room, cleaning out my fabric stash – all these have helped.

    Today I enrolled my 11yo grandson and myself in a lampwork beadmaking class, something he’s been wanting to do for at least five years. As I watch him feed his creative interests, my spirits soar.

    Sending love to you and your Lighthouse Ladies from Ohio.

  • Maria

    Beautiful, lyrical life, dear Lynne – even in the blue hues of the heart!
    Thank you for capturing thoughts both written and dripping from beautiful blue beads!

    I think of you often with deepest gratitude for the ways you blend every life media
    into something lastingly meaningful!

    Heart hugs to you from Columbia, SC…at my round kitchen table where you once sat, munched salad, and inspired my heart to new ways of dreaming.

  • Black gospel music old style can lift me when my head and heart hang low.
    I’ve found gratitude is powerful, although not always a cure all. Singing in the shower first thing in the morning sometimes
    resets my heart. Beauty although it makes me wistful, feeds me deep.

  • Erin Thomas

    Lynn:

    Beautifully expressed and love the weeping cedar! I think sometimes in those “at loose ends” times, it is good to write…poetry to just journal. Though the desire to “start something new” is always there…I have to corral myself to just “sit” and “be” rather than doing. I can fly too quickly into a new “doing” and right past the grief I know I need to experience. As a pastor, it is especially important to do my own grieving for folks separately, even as I help the family go through their grief. Otherwise, I am no good to anyone. I experienced 5 deaths in my congregation in the month of August and so a 2 week vacation was so needed! But it is amazing how quickly we get sucked back into the rush of Fall programs and demands.

    Take a breath! Allow yourself to just feel blue every so often. It’s okay!

    Erin

  • Judy Siudara

    Ah,Neil diamond! Yes! And music is the main way I get through the blues. i don’t do much “blues” for less than great losses, like my friend Kay who is dying “as well as anyone will ever die”, from lung cancer. and the loss of a dream. those hurt a lot too! go on You – Tube, plug in a phrase on the Christian Music site, with lyrics , and usually find wonderful songs with wonderful words, like today with “Beautiful Things” by Gungron. i hate it ,tho. Can’t I just have a fabulous, carefree life? ! Judy

  • Coping with sadness, we humans all have to do that at some time.
    Music is my medication, classical music for me, but also some jazz.
    Progressive jazz, New Orleans, big bands.
    However am usually tuned to the classical programme and find that
    my creative work is strongly linked to having music playing.
    Had a one-woman hat show of over 100 hats and after wrote a thankyou note
    to the staff at my local classical music station for making it all happen.
    Any sad moments make us more thankful for the good bits in life.
    Here in South Africa the spring is upon us and later I will walk on a
    beautiful and secluded beach, that helps too.

  • cynthia thomas

    my solution to the blues is usually piecing a collection of fabrics to make a new garment. there’s something that soothes my soul during this process. an alternative activity is to make polyner clay beads. the rolling of the clay into round balls is also soul-soothing. both of these activities also help me to think about my blue situation.

  • Diane Kessler

    The last time I was blue, and lonely (health problems were keeping me from being with the family on our annual vacation), I was pouring it out to the Lord when He gave me an idea. Make banana bread and take it to my Mom and Dad, who’s age and health were keeping them from the family vacation too this year! Making that bread and taking it to them had a wonderful affect on them and me.

    At other times when blue, I’ve made little sculptures out of recycled materials I’ve saved. The act of making something, the creative process, frequently brings an enjoyment that pushes back the dark clouds.

  • PATRICIA CONDER MCWANE

    “Song Sung Blue” was one of my Dad’s favorites. Everytime I hear it I remember how he used to sway his arms and sing along. I too have been in the “Blue” mood. I miss him terribly, but I know he would say “back staight, chin up, you can do it”. So life goes on and when that “blue time” hits I look at God’s masterpieces in the sunsets, our granddaughters & the lovely people God has placed around me to get me through the blues. One of those is my wonderful, caring devoted husband who is always willing to listen and console when I need it. A drive to our Lake House just to sit and listen & look at God’s is one of my ventures when I need Peace. Thanks for your wonderful inspiring writing. You have such a way with words, thoughts & projects that clam & help me with each reading. I too have to pick & plant something that I choose from the garden center, a gift from Friends in memory of Dad. I may just pick something Blue. Blessings to you & yours from Benton Kentucky

  • Deanna Bowling

    When I get the blues, it usually helps if I get up and out of where I am at the moment. This can either be physically or mentally. I think the focusing on something besides myself is the main key.

  • Linda

    Ahhh, feeling blue, one of those universal emotions that bind us together. How wonderful and special that friends are walking the journey of grief with a friend. Grief is a long journey not especially suited to our “move it along, high-powered, solve every problem in 30 minutes or less on TV” culture. Our ancestors had it right; dress in black for a year and no one has expectations for you to be ‘happy’. Now we grant 3 days bereavement and one is supposed to be ‘over it.’ Grief changes over time but the loss of someone we love is forever. It has been over 29 years but I still experience ‘blue’ sometimes when I think about our baby in heaven–it is not the same ‘rip your heart out’ grief but it is a sadness even though I know he is safe in the arms of Jesus. I am blessed to feel the arms of Jesus surround me and life me up in the times of ‘blue.’ Blessings to all!

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