Your Test, my testimony

  • March 28, 2017


Hi,

My name is Rene and I’m doing a book-report on Jesus Christ.

I’m going to do this thing in one take as opposed to the pathological perfectionism I’ve allowed this world to convince me of as being so darn important at times.

The name of the book is called
“When did I accept Jesus as my Savior?”

It wasn’t an easy read 🙂
Partially because of the ADD/ADHD which I think I’ve had for as long as I can remember. It can be really hard to focus when there aren’t many pictures 🙂

It wasn’t an easy read partially because of the SEIZURES I had and was medicated for from about age 8 to about 22? It especially wasn’t an easy read because of the slowness my mind felt all those years in a world moving so fast around me that dog-gonit, NO! I don’t need to add insult to injury with more medication for DEPRESSION now at age 23 – of course I’m depressed, for 22 years now my brainwaves have been bathing in things like Phenobarbital & Tegretol probably to depress other things that might have been causing the SEIZURES like my earlier ADD/ADHD – but I don’t know that for a fact. I do know that – this book – “When did I accept Jesus as my savior?” became an increasingly difficult read when I was prescribed medication for ANXIETY and BIPOLAR DISORDERS at age 24 and medication for ANGER 🙂 around age 28 – I threw a ping-pong paddle at my wife’s head when she beat me fair and square, I just couldn’t concentrate with all the junk coursing through my veins and it was at that & myself that I was angry with. I struggled with controlling substances, their side-effects and more controlling substances to counter the earlier controlling substances’ side-effects … for most of my life.

controlling substances …
controlling mental health drugs,
controlling alcohol,
controlling caffeine (a lesser drug, but a drug yes :-),
controlling extreme adrenaline producing situations (like dropping off a 200 foot sheer vertical cliff because the rope my brother and I bought at Home Depot was 100 foot short)
and controlling people.

people always seemed to control me … I guess I allowed it

men and women throughout the years who always seemed to know so much better than I and wanted desperately to help me … as long, as I took direction well and didn’t question any of their guidance. “Here take this idea, this new pill, this exercise routine, this religious belief, this pick yourself up by your own bootstraps mentality and DON’T CALL ME IN THE MORNING cause you’re on your own kid and man I’m getting a little tired of your attitude boy, snap out of it, pay attention to your surroundings & STOP BEING SUCH A BURDEN … I disown you, I give up on you”

It’s hard to remember but somewhere towards the middle of my 35th year, in the mix of all of life’s natural stresses and the ones created by my own doing I recognized that I had to change something & take ownership of all my actions and their consequences. At this point, I think it had been a couple of years that I had been getting together with a group of coworkers to read The Word once a week for about 30 minutes. Up until this point, I think I had always sought the truth but wasn’t living it entirely. Up until this point, I remember since I was pretty small, I was most of the time thinking that there was something much bigger than any of us out there but also somewhat afraid of the consequences that believing and living for this truth entirely might entail on my part. Up until this point I had been controlled by many things including many people who I thought I had to measure up to but couldn’t. I had this strangely flawed perception that the many imperfections the many fingers had pointed to in me over the years were the things that were keeping me from being a good God-fearing person and that I would have to continue to work harder to somehow fix all these imperfections and at least overcompensate for them by doing more and more other things. But whichever mental-health-drug-saturated day that it was during my 35th year, when I realized all I had to do was accept You as my savior, all my attempts to improve myself for the folks of this Earth simply dropped away because I finally saw that ALL OF US were flawed and the improvements I wanted to make of myself became more peacefully driven when I was doing it for You.

Ad lib (got off drugs 35-8), most difficult year in my LIFE but somehow not only overcame it with Your help but triumphed in so many inconceivable ways – learned to communicate with my wife about everything to the point of annoyance – we look out for each other now in so many awesome ways now. And so many many wonderful unbelievable things that You have blessed me with for about a year and a half now. I never thought I would get off the drugs.

You will always have my better interests in mind and so I seek Your truth in all matters no matter how painful seeking that truth is, has been or will be. I know now (although I do often falter and will continue to falter at times) that Your truth is, has been and will always be eternal and that was – eternally redundant 🙂 You will never disown me, You will never give up on me. It’s been a life-long journey and will continue being so I’m sure, but …

When did I accept Jesus as my savior?

The day I learned that (in the midst of all the talents and imperfections You gave me) that it was possible to joyfully serve both men and women of this world without ever feeling like I had to answer to either of them. Just to You.

By the way, the cliff, did not end in water – my brother caught me in his open and waiting arms and both of us somehow tumbled unharmed into a lesser grade ditch. He still refers to that shale cliff off of I-90 by Cleveland as “Holy Grounds” whenever we drive past it and remember.

That probably would have been another good day to accept Jesus as my savior 🙂

Gift post

  • February 4, 2017

Gift post

Signs Of Suicide

  • January 8, 2017

Stopping by K12 Gallery & TEJAS this morning to drop off an application for my son, I was immediately hit by a wave of tears as the SOS (Signs of Suicide) exhibition slingshot me back to my youth.  These were not bitter but thankful tears as I recognized the importance of gentle, loving, and patient communication … and the opportunity God’s given me to impart said communication as a father, mentor, and teacher.  I was graciously allowed to photograph and post these as long as I gave credit … so for the real experience, I exhort you to visit K12 before this “Traveling Exhibition and visual Awareness Campaign” leaves Dayton, Ohio.

http://k12tejasgallery.org

Tornados man (#7 below), I used to really dig them.  Growing up, these seemed to accurately symbolize every uncontrollable thought and impulsive action that was swirling around inside of me.  However, this symbolism became as destructive for me as their natural power when I began calling for these black beasts to “suck the uselessness out of me” in my poem Tornadiac Calliope  … driving my Jeep on unforgiving roads and chasing lighting storms with my head out the window and my fist madly shaking at the sky while chanting these poorly chosen words.  So thankful those days are over.

 

Enough Musical Procrastination

  • December 31, 2015

Time for a leap from the lion’s head …

 

Indie Continues 

This is the continuation of my original July 8th 2015 LinkedIn post.  Man, so much has occurred since then.  If you rescan the graphic above, you’ll notice that Indie now holds his oversized “microphone whip”!  I love the symbolism this character and his dilemma lend my post for many reasons but also his name which just now jumps out at me – Indie, as in Indie Musician 😉

 

Plan-scoffing Adventure & RetroRevelation

Originally, I set out to complete a 12 week journey of vocal and digital audio workstation courses.  Twice that time and about 6 months later, I now realize how much more effort was actually needed and have a sliver of a glimpse of how much still remains.  Revelation seems to always happen in reverse for me – after touching red stoves!  My todo list for updating this post has grown quite lengthy after finding that jumping off that cliff, despite being a brave decision (or stupid), only meant that I would be falling through many rabbit holes on the way down.  Yes, we’re now mixing Alice in Wonderland, Matrix, and Indiana Jones references!

 

Herding Fluffy Bunnies

The current plan is to tease out the details of each of these rabbit holes, and ideas for plugging them, in a series of video updates to this post.  I’ll try to do these in as chronological an order as is feasible considering the many intertwining and interdependent holes that abound.

Happy 2016 everybody!

Rene

Plugging the Rabbit Holes

  1. HOLE 1: Perfect Procrastination
  2. HOLE 2: Organization & Pipeline
  3. HOLE 3: Social
  4. HOLE 4: Home Base
  5. HOLE 5: Crash Courses
  6. HOLE 6: Diversions & Distractions!
  7. HOLE 7: Distribution
  8. HOLE 8: Making Money
  9. HOLE 9: Losing Money
  10. HOLE 10: Legally Speaking
  11. HOLE 11: DIY Vocal Booth
  12. HOLE n: ?

 

 

 

HOLE 1: Perfect Procrastination (Table of Rabbit Holes)

 The 1st rabbit hole to conquer was the idea of perfection and it’s fluffy side-kick side-effect, procrastination!

 

Don’t Mess with Imperfection

There is no perfect … moment or perfect anything.  This is something I have to remind myself of every day – it’s not some enlightenment that I’ve achieved and now try to bestow upon you the viewer.  It is something I humbly admit to you in the hopes that, if you relate, then maybe our safety in numbers along with my admission encourages us to pursue whatever dreams we might be waiting on.

 

So “don’t mess with imperfection” – why state it that way when we usually hear it phrased as “don’t mess with perfection“?

 

“Don’t mess with perfection” connotes the possibility of perfection!  And with the possibility of perfection, we obsess over getting there.  And when we obsess over getting there, we procrastinate, we get stressed, we experiment less, we learn less, we really achieve less because perfection is not possible!  And, should we ever find ourselves achieving “perfection” (from our own biased perspectives) then we end up obsessing over protecting that “perfect achievement” which can occupy a lot of our time, stunt our growth as artists, and prevent us from achieving more because we remember how long it took us to be perfect last time so dogonit I’m gonna rest on my laurels now and enjoy some well-deserved procrastination!  Yeah, now we’re back to procrastination.

So instead, I say “don’t mess with imperfection“.  Imperfection is cool!  It humanizes.  It teaches.  It’s relatable and it propels you forward as we laugh at the blooper reels you’ll be amassing – should you release those publicly 🙂  So let imperfections happen.  Embrace them as allies!

 

Overwhelming Carrot

As a kid, my dad used to distill life down to creatively bizarre analogies.  He had several on the topic of procrastination and one went like this:

“Rene, start somewhere small.  Tell me, do you think the hamster sees the huge carrot in front of him, get all overwhelmed (uh, I can’t handle this!), close his eyes, and attempt to swallow the whole thing in one bite? No, he sees only the tip and starts nibbling on that first!”

I had ADHD & many many hamsters growing up so this was an analogy I could easily digest – pun intended 🙂

 

Why Turbulent Tranquility?

This is the song I chose as my first public release under the solo artist name Remnandt.  Was the song perfect enough to use towards creating my “first album”?  Nah, but I recognized that both the song and music video were already in a mostly finished form since the 2009 wedding I created it for so … definitely a possibility for a “first single”.

After killing off my procrastinating thoughts on the first release having to be an entire album and I allowed myself to reuse previously existing material, then I found myself trying to perfect said existing material. 

Sheesh!  “Don’t mess with imperfection” I told myself again!

As artists (which I believe we all are once we choose to excel at anything we are truly passionate about) I think we need to learn when to create and when to walk away from our creations and move on!  This was one of the bigger take aways for me during the process of actually releasing this single.  I kept asking myself “Rene, are you messing with imperfection here, in an attempt to perfect Turbulent Tranquility into that download-worthy single?” and sometimes I’d ask “Are you wisely leveraging this existing material so you can learn the end-to-end processes involved in creating and distributing a single?  Hmm, is that what you’re doing instead of waiting to pen that perfect song first?” I’ll let you be the judge.  A quick hint is there’s probably a mixture of affirmatives to both those questions.

 

Why this Video Series?

The entire process I went through to finally release Turbulent Tranquility was chock-full of imperfections!  But also, chock-full of great people who helped me learn a great many things along the way.

  1. Helpful as a recipe for me to smoothly repeat this very detailed, sometimes very tedious, process!  Documentation is a pain in the rump but not having any later skins your rump even more 🙂
  2. Helpful as resource for anyone that can benefit from my failures and accomplishments.  I’ve received so much from a generous Internet generation and this is my opportunity to give back.
  3. And lastly, to get more views obviously! 🙂

HOLE 2: Organization & Pipeline (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 3: Social (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 4: Home Base (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 5: Crash Courses (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 6: Diversions & Distractions! (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 7: Distribution (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 8: Making Money (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 9: Losing Money (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 10: Legally Speaking (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE 11: DIY Vocal Booth (Table of Rabbit Holes)

Not Here Yet

HOLE n: Not Here Yet (Table of Rabbit Holes)