Time on Fire
Debra is a singer/songwriter,videoblogger, cartoonblogger, artist, performance artist, philosopher. She is a founding member of BraveHeart Women and has also founded her own community 'Honor Your Truth.' She is constantly creating something. She says 'otherwise I'd lose my mind entirely!' Working with a few talented Minneapolis-based musicians and one genius of an arranger, she began laying down the tracks for 20+ songs. Over the winter and into spring 2010 they labored over the mixes and then she released her long awaited first ever multi-media CD consisting of 7 original songs, 3 e-books with more than 20 film and animated videos. She is already into the production of 2 more CDs loaded with even more content... rolling out a life time of work. Those who know her say 'It's about time!' Hence the extremely relevant title to this debut album, 'Time On Fire' These are her words 'Yes I am those things, BUT I don't like to box myself into any kind of an "I am" category. I prefer, "I am, that I am." You can decide. Appearing quite differently to different people, it stymies me when I'm asked to fill in the blanks to define me. No matter what the choices, it's always an uncomfortable fit. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Each of us is a puzzle in-the-making, finding and adding pieces as we go. Some pieces come as a surprise. Some show up as parts of the never-ending sky or the current background we have chosen. The fun is in putting that puzzle together. Once it comes together, we usually tear it apart and put it back in the box or frame it on a wall. In other words, life is a journey. Where it leads is uncertain, and we don't need to know. We only need to take one step to start down the path to freedom... then take the next one and the next - often beginning with whatever feels like the next right thing. I honor my truth. It has taken time to break free from the chains that held me for so long... ones that limited and confined me, made me think it was impossible to do something new. Now, I realize they were invisible, entirely in my head... made up of useless chatter that accumulated along the way - not any part of the present and not the truth. I founded "Honor Your Truth" to guide and encourage people to follow the voice in their heart, rather than the noise in their head. It is our nature to help each other. We have divine goodness coursing through us. And, we are all meant to prosper by doing what we love. Everyone has a "song to sing" but, many of us leave this earth without ever discovering our own special melody. Together we can reveal and reclaim the truth... The truth of who we already are in our hearts. People nearing the end of life seem to speak regretfully about all of the things they wanted to do but didn't, more so than the things they did do. I intend to avoid regret and continue learning to the feel the joy of accomplishment. The agony of regret is unparalleled for me... The words unspoken, the decisions unmade, the risks untaken, the love unexpressed... all of the things undone... all the songs unsung. I must keep on keepin' on. We must empower each other to keep on doing our stuff, never give up on ourselves and attain our heart's desire, our true calling, our raison d'être. I have already borne the burden of wasted potential. I felt time slipping through my fingers as I waited for my "real life" to begin... desperately stuck in some kind of limbo, paralyzed by doubt and fear. It is exhausting, depressing, lonely, and sad, but above all, it's an even greater loss to everyone else aboard this planet.' 'This is one of my most favorite quotes ever..... "As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back."'Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.' 'I do not know who wrote it?' 'This is a little bit of my story' 'I didn't grow up with music playing. We did have a Radio Shack stereo, but my parents seldom listened to records. The only one I remember listening to was Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, "Whipped Cream & other Delights". We hardly ever listened to the radio either. When we loaded up the wagon every summer to drive from Illinois to Oregon, we had a CB radio. My Dad, a.k.a. "Daddy Rabbit" would talk over the airwaves and we would listen and laugh in the back. My mom was always singing. If she wasn't singing, she was whistling. I can't whistle at all, although I still attempt to every now and then. No matter how open I am to pointers from the crowd, I can't seem to make it happen. She's really good at it. She has a Realistic cassette player that she uses to rehearse with and ironically, I still use the same rinky dink cassette player despite all of the new fan dangled devices available today. Until recently, I even lugged it around with me to capture ideas lest I forget them. Now when I am mobile, I have an MP3 player. At home, I quite often still use the cassette player. It works for me. Ironically, while we didn't grow up listening to recorded music, my whole family is very musical. You never know when someone is gonna break into song. What may seem quite strange to some, to us is fairly normal, run of the mill behavior. We don't always use our speaking voice to communicate. We sing it. I was constantly told to "tone it down", not because my voice was too loud, but because "it carries". I could never quite figure out how to fix that problem, so I got in trouble a lot. I was 6 when my mom took me to audition for "The Sound of Music". All of us were standing in a line and I overheard the director say, "I think we need someone a little taller" and I went up on my tiptoes. Then I heard him say, "Maybe we need someone a little shorter" so I scrunched down real low. Everyone laughed and I got the part. I wasn't nervous. It never even occurred to me. Mr. Espinoza would come over to our house once a week and teach us piano in the dining room. He had wavy black hair and a big, furry mustache. He was always costumed in jet black polyester and looked just like a bullfighter. If he only had a cape. We all thought he was cute. But, there was chaos going on during every lesson. Doors were slamming, kids were yelling and mom was clanging pots in the kitchen. In the middle of it all, we sat down on the bench and plunked the keys. We had a gerbil that lived in a little cage on top of the piano. When you looked up to read the music, you couldn't help but spot the gerbil. I would daydream, staring at it's bony hands and bunny mouth that wriggled to the beat. That is until the gerbil disappeared. We found it dead underneath the pedals and so the cage just sat there empty. I never learned a thing beyond the names of notes and how they corresponded to the keys. Breaking the cardinal rule that one must learn piano first, my mom played ukulele in her singing group the "Mellow-Aires." She sang and played a solo, "Bali Ha'i" from the musical South Pacific, in a swimsuit and grass skirt. It only seemed fair that I should be allowed to play guitar. I finally got one because I had a bad accident on the playground which resulted in 2 black eyes and a Planet of the Apes upper lip. It wasn't my plan, but it worked. I went to one class at the Glen Ellyn park district. I sat in the back and hid behind my music stand feeling like a weirdo. I couldn't press down hard enough on the strings to make any kind of sound. I got a chord book and I never went back. Eventually, I did learn a few songs like "Sons of God" and "To Be Alive" to play for the folk mass at our church. For some unknown reason, I also recall learning "Your Song" by Elton John. Later on in high school I learned "Crazy On You" by Heart to impress my friend Wendy while we were stoned. She freaked out and told me I was gonna be a rock star. It was an odd and scanty repertoire. So, I started writing my own songs. Ever since I could operate a Crayola crayon, I made greeting cards for people. I was famous in my family for this talent. I suppose it was somewhat of a natural progression to the song. I wrote my first song while at St. Micheal's school called, "Confirmation, What does it mean to us today?" Sister Theodore let me play it for the confirmation mass up in the choir loft. I felt confident and cool getting up from the pew with my guitar and climbing the stairs to where the daunting organ was. I don't remember being scared. The next song I wrote while in the 8th grade for a talent show. I played it in front of the entire school, no problem. It was a song called, "Without You" Having never had a boyfriend; I wrote a song about how sad it was to lose one. It had words like the "sun goes down" and "flowers grow." I wouldn't be surprised if the sky was also blue. I won 1st place and twenty dollars. Again, I don't remember being scared. It never occurred to me. But all that changed. I don't know exactly how or when it started, but it did. Fear crept in slowly, unnoticed then it grew. I became afraid when I never was before. I had chatter in my head that I never had before and it continued to plague me. It tells me I can't do things, that I'm not good enough, that I'm too this or I'm too that. I stopped and started writing music here and there for different reasons, yet they were really all the same. There was something wrong with me. When I put down my guitar, it was never with the intention that it become part of my past. It would simply phase into the background, becoming furniture in my life. Every once in a while I'd dust it off and play it for a period of time. Slowly more often I'd turn a blind eye when I'd pass it and try to act as if it wasn't there. I let piece after piece of myself fade into the scenery like a ghost. I was slowly disappearing. It seemed out of my control. My heart begged me to return. Every day I feared I would die with the music locked inside. I could no longer silence the voice within that called out to me and said, "Time is on Fire." I finally listened... I picked up the guitar. And this is what came out... I feel extreme gratitude. It is my profound wish to inspire anyone out their in the world suffering as I was to follow their heart and be who they truly are' Love, xxooDebraxxoo P.S. join me at honoryourtruth.com and receive a free video eBook entitled, 'The Love Book'