In case you missed it, earlier this week, a writer friend, Josh Mosey, hosted me on his blog. I wrote on the topic of giving your creativity a little lift when the well is running dry.

Make sure you go check out the post at his site,

Sneak peak: I talk about one of my new favorite hobbies that has nothing to do with words and lots to do with creativity. You'll want in on it.

Up toward the Heavens
By Rachel E. Watson

I step my toe over a vine and I wrap my arm 
round a branch, swinging myself
upward, higher toward the unassailable height
of the heavens.

I flick my face at a group of leaves 
and they care too little to even 
flap back at me, until a sudden
wind king forces them forward,
then they bow and rise like 
fans in a stadium commanded to wave,
like the tide ordered by the moon to ebb and flow.

This thought shifts to that and before I know it,
dinnertime is here. I’ve whiled away a whole day
doing very little but tree-climbing 
and leaf-watching.

What a thing of beauty I am.
What a collector of beauty my soul is.

© Copyright Rachel E. Watson 2015
The Barr Brothers

The song I am writing about today is by Montreal, Quebec, folk quartet The Barr Brothers. It's called "Lord, I Just Can't Keep from Crying."

I find that title funny because, if you're like me, you won't feel at all like crying when you're done listening to this roaring anthem. You'll feel pure catharsis, blues and rock style, and it will put your blue-jeans-and-sneakers-bedecked self back on the road to feeling ready to tackle life's challenges.

It's true the song starts with some whiney notes, like all good blues songs do. But the rock kicks in at 0:29, and the volume cranks up, the dancing begins, and we party onward. Let's give these guys a hand for getting us out of self-pity mode and into our dancing shoes with a song that is edge to edge a whine ballad.

See if you can spot how they do it, and where:

Lord, I Just Can't Keep From Crying

The Barr Brothers

My mamma often told me, angels bonded your life away,
She said I would accomplish, but trust in God and pray,
I come on the King's Highway, I'm travelin' everyday.

But I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
No I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
When my heart is full of sorrow,
When my eyes fill with tears,
Well I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes.

My mother, she's in glory, thank God I'm on my way.
Father, he's gone too, and sister she could not stay,
I'm trusting Him everyday, to bear my burdens away.

But I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
Oh I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
When my heart is full of sorrow,
And my eyes are filled of tears,
Well I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes.

I thought when you first left, I'd grieved for a little while,
Soon it all would be over, and I'd journey on with a smile,
But the thought as I get older, I think of what I told her.
'Cause I'm on the King's Highway, travelling everyday/

But I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
No I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes,
When my heart is full of sorrow,
And my eyes fill with tears,
I just can't keep from cryin' sometimes.

I usually post my own poetry on the blog on Fridays.

But, today I thought I would take the opportunity to do something a little different and post work by the celebrated American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I had the honor to quote her work in a college play in which I performed in 2005. (That's another story for another day.)

Here's the poem of hers that caught my eye today:

"Love Is Not All," by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Isn't that sly? Throwing that last line in to twist the rest on its head.

What say you? Do you think she means love actually is everything? Or is she building a case that it's something but not everything? Are there other options to consider?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Authorities found her body on Sunday, the day before I was to start a new job working in her department at Calvin College, where she served as a student worker. She was going to be a junior this fall.

Those she worked with were devastated. And yet, the job must go on. What a cruel reality. It's a reality all co-workers must face when one of their own dies.

It reminded me of the summer of 2012, when my MLive co-workers and I found out after the Fourth of July weekend that our former boss, Andy Angelo, had died suddenly of pulmonary disease at the age of 55. Few of us had even known he was sick; it happened so suddenly. And then we had to carry on with work. While grieving.

His death affected hundreds of people. Folks he had mentored at The Press. People in the community he had served. Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association friends. People at Circle Theatre, where he'd donated time, money and invested in friendships. On and on and on.

The song below captures some of how I felt the days we had to get through work while trying to make sense of Andy's loss.

I said the song captured some of how I felt, because even though I did feel sad, I never felt truly hopeless.

I believe Andy is in a better place. 

I believe he went to heaven, and he's waiting for us there, still doing his thing, serving others and brightening people's lives. 

Except now, he's getting his full reward.

And I believe Chase is there getting her full reward, too.

That doesn't mean life in the meantime will be easy for any of their loved ones, though. Here are prayers for strength for all of us they left behind:

May you feel the loving arms of the Savior wrap around you if you are experiencing grief for any reason, now or in the future.