Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 29, 2015

Oh Shenandoah – #Musicmonday

This is my first attempt at a self-harmonizing video using the new group video feature on Smule. It was a lot of fun creating this. Hope you enjoy it!

  

Click this link to view the video: Oh Shenandoah -Tracye Dukes

June 28, 2015

New Every Mourning…

God’s mercies are new every morning. And with the dawn, wise men have said that Joy comes.

I have often found this to be true.

Today, as I sat quietly, welcoming the first light of the day, a new perspective came into view. You see, some sunrises don’t hold smiles or giggles. Instead they bring a batch of fresh tears… hot and erupting.

Grief will surprise us with it’s presence from time to time.

It’s been 6 months since my big brother took his last breath on Christmas morning last year. When waves of grief come, it is not a debilitating, soul-crushing experience anymore… not like it was in the beginning. The emotion comes to the surface, spills out and somehow leaves me a little lighter. A little stronger, even. This is new. And in my heart I accept this as part of the journey.

God’s mercies are new every mourning.

Somewhere in the midst of this grieving process, a shift has come. Now, when sorrow passes over me like a cloud, I realize it is only to bring a shower of remembrance and a reminder of never ending connection. For me and those who are growing in understanding of bereavement, there is precious hope.

We still love.

We are still loved.

And that love lives on forever.

Lord, thank you for new mercies that are lavished upon us… especially on the mornings that we are greeted with fresh grief. May we feel the consequences of opening our hearts and lives to deep, deep love. May we look to you for comfort and enlightenment when relationship shifts from the physical form we understand most. Let us never become reluctant to feel our way through the full experience. We choose to let love overwhelm our heart, overflow from our eyes and run down our cheeks… knowing that this, too, is a part of living a gorgeous life. 

Thank you, for the dawn of a new day and the new mercies that are revealed in the mourning.

With gratitude and peace in knowing,

Tracye

June 19, 2015

New Music Review: Joy Williams – Venus #O2O #JoyWilliams

Disclaimer:  I participated in the Joy WIlliams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time. You see, I was a Joy Williams fan long before the I heard the first release from The Civil Wars and cried my eyes out. Though I’ll never forget that hour I got lost listening to “Poison and Wine” on repeat, it wasn’t an unfamiliar voice to me.

She was Joy Williams, the contemporary Christian artist that I knew and loved. I was a fellow Nashvillian and aspiring singer. Her sound and style… was a mentor to me, of sorts.

I’ve followed her career loosely through the years. In the beginning of her time with The Civil Wars, I was highly intrigued. Their first cd project was a gold mine of folky bluegrass with a splash of contemporary emotion. I drunk it in and wanted more. When the turbulence within the group began, I distanced myself from it all. In doing so, I lost touch not only with the duo’s turmoil, but with what was going on in Joy’s musical career, altogether.

Sheer delight was what I felt the day that a friend of mine posted a rough draft of “Woman, Oh Mama” on her page, tagging me for my input. This was several months ago, and honestly, what I heard was a little disappointing. My friend and I were long time fans, but the production of the song at that time was, for a lack of better words… just weird.
I didn’t think much else about the new album being released after hearing that. Then the day came when I received the offer to preview the new cd before it came out! Thank you, #O2O for this chance to listen to that track again! I’m so glad I did!!

When I heard the very first lines of “Before I Sleep”, which is the first cut from this album, I knew that this project was going to wow me. It was from that moment on that I sat still and listened intently, to every lyric and harmony as though I was sharing a favorite glass of wine with an old friend.
Joy, was back.

I’m not sure what happened to the song (video posted above) that I heard previously… but it was reworked and made into something completely different than before! The world-music-meets- Bluegrass with a splash of contemporary-pop-fire in Joy’s already folky voice was quite enchanting. Dare I say, it may have actually been a NEW sound in music! Be sure to click on the link above and lisen for yourself!

It is almost impossible to choose a favorite from this cd, for me. Each song has something unique and worthy of admiration.
The 2nd song on the project, “Sweet Love of Mine”, hauntingly transported me back to the feel of late 80’s hit grooves from the group “Soul to Soul” and the catchy musical phrase from “Tom’s Diner” (Suzanne Vega).

Then the hauntingly stirring mood and lyrics of “Until the Levee” pull you into the story but I’m not sure if it’s more amazing than “What a Good Woman Does”, which will ruin you with it’s honesty.

I’ll just have to leave the decision about which one of these 11 tracks are the best to you.

1. Before I Sleep
2. Sweet Love of Mine
3. Woman (Oh Mama)
4. One Day I Will
5. Not Good Enough
6. What a Good Woman Does
7. Until the Levee
8. You Loved Me
9. The Dying Kind
10. Till Forever
11. Welcome Home

I could spend several days writing an individual blog post for each song… this cd project is just that moving! Joy’s voice is authentic and tempered. She has gone through many transformations and her voice tells that story with it’s myriad of inflections and colors. There is a subtle fusion of all the musical roles she has played throughout her career, in it’s sound. Are you intrigued? I sure hope so!

Venus’ launch date is June 29th, 2015. If you’re like me and you don’t want to wait… well, I can’t share my copy with you, BUT you can preorder at ITunes or Amazon now.

To connect with her on social media:

Official Joy Williams Website
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Instagram

January 12, 2015

>Please stand clear of barricades!

How appropriate. As I become reacquainted with my blog and feel my way around… I came across this post from 2009. It is relevant to me, once again, and I hope it is worthy of a repost. I’d love to know your thoughts…

>

Have you ever felt like your life is Under Construction?
Okay, perpetually?

Maybe you want to wear a warning sign to tell the people around you to be careful… this part of me aint so pretty and it’s not quiet “finished” yet?

This airport sign kept staring at me while I waited the other morning.
I immediately identified with what the baggage claim area was going through. It was in transition… getting a makeover. You know, being improved! And someone put up some cardboard barricades to cover up the construction and keep not only the work area… but also, the people around it as safe as possible.
Geesh, isn’t that like our lives? Our hearts?
I thought about how we try to find prettier ways to transport our baggage whereever we go… or to disguise that it’s even there. We invite new people into our lives and get excited…

View original post 190 more words

May 3, 2013

Shift

image

This is bigger than me.
This.
What is coming. What is now.
Terrifyingly gorgeous to hold within… making me new.
Different.
There is no “as it’s always been” anymore.
Everything is…
Different.

Shift.

Oh, shift.

You wake me in the night with gentle light, slowly intensifying…Leading me into this.

This.

It consumes me
I wrestle to find comfort in my restless discomfort. Pushing from the inside… growing,  alive.
Changing me.
Changing my mind.

All that does not want to go resists…
And the war within to keep ties with the past
Slowly
Slowly
Subsides

Surrender to the volume of it.
The height
The breadth
The depth
The width
Of worth and treasures colliding into an abundance… an inheritance.
A birthright.

I was made for these moments
For this walk and this work
Words arising
Heart pouring
Mind renewing
Lives changing
Holy becoming
Miracles manifesting

In This.
This…Shift.

March 25, 2013

Broken Open

Broken open beach healing

Life deeply altered… a less frequent smile
but a shimmering hope and a light in her eyes.
She walks on through dimly lit moments.

Broken Open… Shining.

A peace returning… trust being restored.
One day into the next, brand new steps are taken
into the unknown.
Past the fear and into brilliance.

Broken Open… Becoming.

Wide-open heart, unwilling to go numb
feeling every intensity of both pain and bliss.
Tasting it
the salt of tears and the honey of kindness when it comes around.

Broken Open… Healing.

Seaside tenderness… the ocean her close friend.
Walks along waters that truly listen to her story.
Waves and wind that hold on so that she can let go

Broken Open… Releasing.

With feathers in her hair and a ring in her nose
Scarves to adorn earthen-toned clothes
Her sparkle has changed
It is her heart now that radiantly shows.
She is.

Broken Open… Beautiful.

xo,
Tracye

March 3, 2013

Grief Song

Sitting in blankets, wrapped tightly… being held.
Praying. Conversating… with Comfort.
His Voice, so tender, in whispers my heart desperately needs.
 
This moment and the ones to come, call for the warmth of a cup of tea
and so I peel off my layers and mingle water with flames.
 
The sounds of her sadness touch my heart and my knowing leads me to follow the pattern of short breaths down the hall to her tears.
A deep exhale. Pause. Staccato inhalations. Repeat.
 
Grief like a song…
 
All I can do is hold her. Just be there. Right there… in the newness of this.
New, like freshly upturned Earth. Cool, moist and ready for planting…
Fertile.
 
White tissue held to eyes now made pools of mourning…
I hold on
We sway… just a little.
The rhythm continues.
Short, short long
Pause
 
Memories as words tumble out here and there
Her life
It’s meaning
The legacy
The Love
 
Ahhh the Love
 
And then the wail of the teapot I forgot
 
Right on cue… from the Greatest Conductor
 
It’s crescendo sang out… filling the house with the cry of my own heart, a sound of surrender from the depths of my soul.
 
The release…
Fire turned down
Heart turned up
 
We will allow ourselves to dance to this
Short, short long
Surrendered souls swaying
to this Grief Song
March 3, 2011

Be Childlike… and Rest!

 

Lately, I have been intentional about adopting a more childlike lifestyle. Isn’t it interesting that the Lord would decide to launch this campaign within my heart at the same time that I begin to walk through many open doors and seize brand new opportunities that have presented themselves?
If you’re anything like me, anytime I make a resolve to “do great things for God”… I dig my feet in, rise up early in the morn, burn the midnight oil and give every ounce of all I’ve got until I burn out. And that’s just the first day!

This time seems different. Even as I began to take the steps that followed saying YES to these new ventures, I immediately heard Him whispering those words from “The Messiah” based on Psalm 37: “Oh Rest in The Lord. Wait patiently for Him and He will give you your heart’s desires”.

In all the working, being and doing… it is so important to find REST in Him. Yes, the physical rest is extremely necessary but also cultivating mental & emotional rest are just as strategic. It is so much easier to shift gears into overdrive all in the name of Excellence. Yet there is a place of endurance that we must find in order to not only begin… but to also perservere to the end.
Learning to rest in the midst of the work is key. Allowing Him to be a partner with us, throughout our day and alongside of us as we serve, brings an element of refreshing and support that we need.

Note to self today: “Take time to receive the rest of the Lord… even as you work. Just as a child plays hard & will often voice their desire to “do it themselves”, they also come running for hugs and kisses at random times throughout the day. Jesus, is available to you at all times… to come and be held. Drink in the refreshing of His presence and remember that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Always.

Bless you in your restful, productive day today!

For more great posts from others who are helping to “Keep Faith Fresh”, check out my friends at:

 FaithBarista_Rest2JamBadge

March 2, 2011

Kindness Matters…

Something wonderful begins today!
Not only is it the beginning of a brand new month… it is also the kickoff of a wonderful campaign out here in the blogosphere: 31 Days of Kindness.

For the next 31 days, I am joining in with a kind-conscious individual to practice random acts and splash a little happiness around.

Would you like to join in on the fun? If so, you are welcome to visit the link above, download the Manifesto, and make your kind contributions in whatever way you like!

Do let me know if you’re in… I’d love to drop by and see what you’re up too :0)

Until tomorrow,

Tags:
February 23, 2011

>WFW – Transformation

>One of my favorite things about blogging, is sharing about God’s word. I always look forward to Wednesday, when bloggers from all over, share artwork and scriptures to convey a message of faith that speaks to them during the week and that they desire to pass along to their readers.

My heart is fixed on the Lord and my focus is on Transformation both, spiritually and in the natural, so this picture really blessed me. I hope it does the same for you!

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~Romans 12: 1-2 (The Message Bible)

For more Word-filled Wednesday inspiration, stop by here