The elk were reintroduced into the Great Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park in 2001. It has been extremely successful with the herd now totaling somewhere near 200. Elk viewing is a favorite activity of visitors to the Park. As an employee within the Park I get every bit as excited as our visitors each time we see the elk. They are simply beautiful, majestic, interesting in their habits and particularly during the October mating season referred to as "the rut." There is typically one dominant male who rules the herd, has his own 'harem' of cows, and works hard to maintain his position. At GSMNP we affectionately refer to the 'head elk' at Oconaluftee (who has been the alpha for about 5 years) as 'Big Boy'. I'm dedicating this song to him, for he has captured my imagination. My baritone ukulele and Native American flute are greatly enhanced by the beautiful guitar playing of local musician Dave Stewart. This song was debuted at an event at the Macon Co. Library in Franklin.
Could'a Been A Buddhist
Really? Could I have been a Buddhist? In truth I'm not a Buddhist but I find that many of my lifestyle choices seem more culturally Buddhist than Christian. I struggled with this dichotomy until realizing that these lifestyle choices aren't Buddhist or Christian. They are, in my opinion, simply Jesus things... things like reverencing life in all of its forms, caring for the environment, and caring about 'my temple' by sticking to a healthy diet.
It's heartening to me that Christians are slowly becoming more environmentally aware and health conscious, versus years past when fellow believers poked fun at me for being such a 'health nut'. But back to my song title, could I really have been a Buddhist?
Theologically speaking, the answer is yes and no.
Free will says yes, I ‘could’a been a Buddhist’ or anything else I might choose. Predestination says no, it was decided a long time ago... predetermined from the foundations of the world what I would become.
I actually believe both. A little mind-twisting perhaps, but I accept it as one of the great mysteries of faith. A favorite expression in divinity school was ‘it’s not either/or, it’s both/and’. I think that applies here.
This song, which I loved writing, hopefully covers both options. These lyrics sum me up pretty well. As my dear friend Janice, who helped me record it, says “This song is so you!” Maybe so. I especially love the bird who finessed a beautiful duet with me in the first strains of the song!
The following video of fumbles and foibles represents my first attempts at recording this song. With dear friend Janice Huse assisting, and laughing her head off I might add, we endured flies and wind and a little too much silliness for a final product! The hurricane-sounding wind, by the way, was only a slight breeze, amplified about 100 times by my little point-and-shoot. Enjoy these outtakes!
I've always loved nature, but after my mother died I developed an insatiable need for the beauty in nature as if my life depended on it. When the doors flung open for me to move to the mountains I jumped at the chance and have been in love ever since. I live in a place where I am literally surrounded by mountains of beauty. I drink and breathe the sights and sounds of my country neighborhood. I have therapeutic views from every window of my funky little house... the healing power of beauty I call it.
All my life I've been a Fall person. Now the mountains are fast turning me into a Spring person as well. Spring in the mountains is indescribable, although I'm sure I, along with every other creative soul, will continue trying to describe it through prose, poems, songs, photos, and art.
Springtime brings a phenomenon which inspired this song. The 'Beautiful Sound' may surprise you.
words and music by Linda Metz
Dedicated to Jane Tara Cicchetti, who also knows the beautiful sound.
That's Just Retail
Among my 'starving artist jobs' have been several in retail. What I enjoy most about retail is meeting and helping people. In 2 of my retails jobs (the health food store and the Nat'l Park) I've loved what I was selling. But issues are going to arise, so many issues, and that's when those of us in retail have learned to simply say "that's just retail." It was at just such a time that this song bubbled up in me!
words and music by Linda Metz
This was my gift to my sister on her 65th birthday... a ton of fun! We live about 9 hours apart so I delivered it via this video. Every word of it is so true about my amazing and wonderful sister. Alas, time marches on and now I'M 65 : / I guess the last laugh's on me!