… "something used to represent something else; emblem; symbol…"

I am building a house. To be more accurate, I am rebuilding a house. For the past ten months, I have been doing what I really love, taking something old and bringing it back to life. I've named the house METAPHOR because in many ways that is exactly what it is… a metaphor for my emotional life.

The dear ladies who create THE VOICE for LindaEder.com have always had to wait patiently for my "letter" in order to finish each new edition. I feel the need to repeat myself… I have always kept them waiting! The wait for this one has been the longest. You would have been reading, and hopefully enjoying, your new edition of THE VOICE long ago if not for me.

We all say we are busy; too busy to return a phone call; too busy to get to that favor we promised. Most of the time, no one is that busy and the people to whom we express our busyness know that because we all do it. But the truth is… I have been busy. I've literally been building a house with my own two hands in almost all of my free time for the last ten months. My wonderful brother has been helping me by flying out from Minnesota for weeks at a time (he is here now, in fact), and I have hired independent subcontractors for things like electric work, plumbing and drywall. But make no mistake… I am working. I gutted my 1909 Carriage House down to its original 6x6 beams, and I did ¾ of the demolition all by myself. I have the sore rotator cuff and tendonitis in my elbows to prove it. I have learned how to put in windows and doors where there never were windows or doors. I have learned how to frame walls. I have learned and continue to learn so many things that I never thought I would, and I have been doing all this averaging five hours of sleep a night.

This is not by choice. I would love to sleep. Give me eight hours of solid sleep a night and I could run for President. The problem is that I have not been a good sleeper since Jake was born, and this house building has my brain in complete overdrive. I spend hours each night building and rebuilding, designing and redesigning, worrying and reworrying, when I should be snoring. I don't snore, by the way, but I would be happy to start snoring if it meant I was getting more sleep!

I had hoped to have the house finished by May and I am now past my deadline. We are in the home stretch, however, which is why the last two months have been non-stop. My brother and I work all day long. In between, I try to feed my kid, my dogs, my horses. I try to get my kid to school, to his baseball games. I live at Home Depot, and if I don't pick up a paintbrush for the next three years, that will be just fine by me. One coat of primer and two coats of paint… three layers on every wall. If you change your mind about the color, that equals five coats of paint. If you still made the wrong choice, it can sometimes equal seven. My new kitchen has seven coats of paint! Antique White by Benjamin Moore finally saved the day. If all else fails… Antique White…..

The end result of all this activity is that I seem to have very little brain activity left. You all know that I enjoy writing, and when I sit down with a blank Word document in front of me I usually have no problem filling it up. I like words. They seem to flow out from my typing fingers like a nice river that winds its way smoothly through the forest and always seems to reach a lake and sometimes even an ocean. It's a nice feeling. But during these last two months, I would sit at my computer, knowing THE VOICE was on a deadline, trying to write… and there was just… nothing. No drop, no trickle… no water.

In the end, I was saved by my house. They say write what you know and I know this house. I should. I built it. I named it Metaphor House because it represents a rebuilding of me. In the last four years, I have gone through a lot of changes. It is reflected in my music and my personal life. Everything Changes. How profoundly true is that old cliché. There is no human way to stop change. Sometimes change hurts. Sometimes it helps. Like my house, I feel like I had my old layers peeled away (some of them hurt like hell) and facades torn down. I found my "original beams" hidden under fears and beliefs that I don't have anymore. I'm not afraid to be just… Linda.

I'm no longer afraid to sing anything and everything that interests me for fear that someone won't like it. Someone is always not going to like it. My musical vocabulary has grown because of this, and for the first time in my life I have moments when I stand on a stage and know that it's really me, and not the me that I created over 25 years of trying to be something more than a small town girl from Minnesota who likes to wear jeans, ride horses and swing a hammer. As a result of this mind and musical shift, I received my first ever good review from the New York Critic Stephen Holden. He has always seen right through me. Well, by golly, don't you know he likes the jeans wearing, tractor riding, little bit country Linda! Next time I am alone in an elevator with him I won't be afraid to say hello. I was last time.

So this new music will stay. It will continue to grow, and it will keep me young and wanting to move forward, but… there is a reason that I have seven coats of paint on my new kitchen walls! Light affects the color of paint. It changes throughout the day. Life affects the style of my music. Projects come and go. Offers come and go. I like it all so…..

There is some new stuff coming out for you to see and hear. The PBS special duet with Clay Aiken, "Crying"… lots of fun and a really good song. The PBS special we shot in Prague, HALLELUIAH BROADWAY… it's filled with great songs from some of the best shows, and I am a guest of the three main, amazing singers that I enjoyed getting to know. I recorded a new album with Frank Wildhorn of his Asian Production, TEARS FROM HEAVEN, and last but not least, I am recording a brand new album of all Frank's music. Yes, you read right. I always knew we would work together one day and that day is now. We are currently working on it, and it is tentatively set to release in the beginning of 2011.

Jake loves it. He comes to the studio when I am recording and watches his parents work. He also makes money because he gets a dollar every time someone swears. I tend to swear a lot when I am in the vocal booth and should happen to be struggling with some vocal part. He can now pay for someone else to paint his room. Jake is still the light of my life. Like everything else, he is changing, growing, but always amazing and happily a really good person.

Then… there is Mark. I suppose peeling myself back to my original beams allowed me to find someone so wonderful who fits me like my house. He lets me be me, and that is the greatest gift someone can ever give you. It took me a lot of years to learn that. He is also really good with a hammer…

I am close to moving in to Metaphor House, but it will never and should never be completely finished. Building it is what keeps me moving forward.

I'm building my house…………..

 

 

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