The World I Know

One of the first bands I was into as a kid was Collective Soul. I can remember being at a Vacation Bible School (VBS) with some of my close school friends, and we sang along with the song Shine during the final singin’ and praisin’ of that week. Do I have vivid memories as early as age five but can’t tell you what I ate for lunch yesterday?


Collective Soul was one of those bands that became very popular in our area (they originate in our sister state, Georgia), but (at least I felt) especially popular in our home (my mom, grandparents, and other family are from Atlanta). But, taking it to the extreme measure, as per usual, they were E S P E C I A L L Y popular in my bedroom.

I listened to CS for hours. My grandma is the one who bought me my very first cd’s for my tenth birthday- Glenn Miller’s classics, and Collective Soul’s self titled album. I listened to both albums for hours on end (like ya do), and still to this day, I can reflect on this piece of self owned history that no government or corporation can ever take away from me and grin like a fool, or cry like a baby. (By the way, these are interchangeable.)

Collective Soul is a unique band with a unique sound with a unique front-man who has a unique voice. Nobody on earth sings like Mr. Ed Roland. I love to sing along with Ed almost as much as any other vocalist- including Tool’s Maynard J.K. (I’m not kidding.)

Ed’s song writing talents and ability to lift my spirits were incredibly important to me, for a number of reasons, and for a number of years. I could be down on my luck, then feel down in the dumps, and go to my room and listen to The World I Know and a) have a good cry, b) sing my heart out, and/or c) become inspired to take the headphones off and go play outside instead.

Isn’t this the world we all want to know?

Don’t we, as human bee-ings, have the power within us to extract the power around us and implement that power for positive change? Isn’t that what the music video for The World I Know is kinda about through one lens? We have the power to see our world in new, intelligent ways which can inspire us to (I hate to say this, but) peacefully coexist. I’ve been writing about this topic for years and years, basically ever since I blossomed out of my emo teenager poetry phase.

We can wash our faces and live in the light. Better things are possible.

This is the world I want to know.

Lisa’s Turtles

One of my longest running friendships is with my pal Lisa. I’ve mentioned her a couple of times here, because her presence has been so relevant to my own for just over thirty years. We grew up together as neighbors and classmates, and have worked together numerous times- whether for a common boss as baristas or as bosses of our own as photographers and designers.

Lisa is a fashion designer at heart. She was always visually creative- holding a degree in Visual Communications- and very conscious of her clothing choices. In school, she was voted Most Fashionable, and this characteristic spilled over into her many professional ventures as an adult, with her latest pursuit being metalsmithing and jewelry design.

She came up with an idea recently and, knowing my passion for creative writing, asked if I would be interested in helping her market her new lines for her jewelry business. I agreed without hesitation, and we immediately began swapping ideas. This is where thirty years of friendship conquer the sixty miles currently between us.

About a week prior to our conversation, I bought and had been reading an Encyclopedia of Spirits. There is no real rhyme or reason, other than just general intrigue of the subject. It is certainly an interesting book. Lisa was unaware of this, but her initial idea for my writing project would be to write about spirit folklore and various characters which would be representative of each unique collection.

She showed me her newest collection, and the pieces accidentally resemble beautiful turtles. When you create things from nature, they tend to resemble other things in nature, so it makes sense. I pondered for a quick moment and turned to my Encyclopedia of Spirits and checked the index for turtles. There, I found Chelone. What I read was absolutely perfect.

I sent her the description of the spirit and asked if she would like to use it, and she agreed that it was a perfect fit. Within a very busy week (work, band practice, football game, Fair Parade, band exhibition… *gasps for air*), I sat down, and I wrote. It took me all of thirty minutes to write the following:

When I sent this to Lisa, she said- and I quote- “I freakin’ love it!”

When I write, I draw inspiration from anything and everything I possibly can. It is very personal. All I want is to share, learn, grow, and share some more. That is why I write.

Sometimes, I wish I could be more fashion conscious rather than seeing through that lens that tends to focus more on problems. But, this project helped reiterate the importance of speaking your mind as well as remaining silent. There are always times when either is the appropriate choice. There are also healthier methods of implementing each practice.

What do you want to say?

How do you know when to hush?

These are the things I am pondering.


It is my personal core belief that every human born into this world has the privilege of knowing the same level of joy on any given sunshiny day as a blonde, teenaged girl wearing an American flag bikini, riding on a jet ski at beautiful, man-made Lewis Smith Lake.

Until then, may you prosper and take care of each other inside the makeshift gates surrounding your perfect lines of mildewed trailers.

May your churches and buildings of faith not rot down because the only land you could afford sits beside our water treatment plants.

I pray we all know a common ground, in that (surely by now), we all personally know and love a meth head.

When will it end? Nobody knows, that is the truth. Anybody saying otherwise is a damned liar.