Brandon Heath gave a talk at Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference, in Nashville Tennessee, on Sunday October 13th. His talk was one of several “Breakout Sessions,” called, “Telling Your Story Through Art.”
I thought about going to the session, “The Voices We Hear in Our Heads.” The voices in my head are always telling me to clean my basement. But, I didn’t need to go to that session, because I actually started to clean my basement last week. The other sessions looked interesting, but I really want to tell my story though my writing and painting so I attended Brandon Heath’s class at 10:30 a.m.
Since all the front row seats were taken, I sat in the second row. Notebook in my lap, holding my favorite pencil, I was ready to write down everything Brandon Heath said.
Art is an artist sharing their view of what the world is. Art is just you being honest.
Then he picked up his guitar and played, John Brown Petty. He said it would be easier to show us what he meant with his music, rather than just talking.
Pencil in hand, I was prepared to take more notes.
As I listened to the lyrics of the song, I put down my pencil and cried. Not just a polite little cry, with one tear rolling out of one eye. There were several tears. Okay, I will be honest. There was at least 10 million tears. “Pamela, control yourself. You are sitting in the second row. He can see you crying.”
His song brought back feelings and memories of my father, William Fernuik. My father was a good ol’ man, and you always felt better when you shook his hand,( or hugged him.) He died in 1998, before my youngest two children were born. They would never know their grandfather. The pain and the loss felt as real as the blister on my middle toe on my right foot in my black custom-made leather boot from Seoul Korea.
Tears ran down my face, my chin quivered and I couldn’t talk when Brandon asked the audience, “How did the song make you feel?”
John Brown Petty was Brandon Heath’s grandfather. Brandon sometimes gets sad when he talks about him. Sometimes I get sad thinking about my father.
Sometimes when I talk about him, I get sad
You see, Paul Brown Petty was my granddad
Lyrics from John Brown Petty, by Brandon Heath
Brandon helped me see what is important.
If you want to make art that touches people, put your heart into your work. [ Would you like to tweet that? tweet tweet]
It doesn’t matter what you create; art, literature, music. It matters how you create. Be honest and share your heart.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
p.s. John Brown Petty is on Brandon Heath’s latest album, Blue Mountain, which was released on October 9th, 2013. You can order it at Brandon Heath.net.
It’s my birthday on Friday. I know what I want.
Will you put your heart into your art?
Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.