I had a dream last week that I was singing at a coffee house. I have readers and WordPress friends who are real honest-to-goodness musicians, so to them, this dream would be no more than a yawn. But to me–I love music but am Woefully Unmusical–it felt like learning to swim. Freedom, accomplishment. A new form of mobility.
In my dream, it was Open Mike Night and somehow someone Forced me onstage. (Even in my dreamworld, it is well known that there was no way I would go voluntarily.) So I sang a song that I wrote Years and Years and Eons ago. Yes, I used to write songs–lyrics–like I write poetry now; I think in poetry sometimes and I used to think in songs. Since I am so woefully unmusical and unable to write the music that I imagined, I used to sing my songs into a tape recorder (Yes I was a mere child, you are deducing correctly).
Up on that dream stage, I sang one of my ancient tunes, a cappella.
Since in dreams anything can and does happen, it may not surprise you that the audience members Loved my little tune. There was a moment of silence (they were stunned, as was I) and then they rose to their feet in adulation with raucous applause.
Then I awoke.
It would have been nice to dream of my continued rise to fame and my stardom, but instead I awoke thinking: I should get a guitar. I should learn to play the guitar. Huh? Where did that come from? I didn’t even have a guitar in my dream. I can only think that on some level I knew just how off-key atrocious I must have sounded, particularly without any accompaniment.
But it does sound fun to write lyrics, like poetry, and to write music in my mind again.
How much stead do you put in dreams? Ever follow any?
Just wondering. Lala la la.
This was written by George Harrison, but it is done so well by Davy Knowles. He’s a young blues guitarist from The Isle of Man and he’s toured in the U.S. with guitarists such as Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani.
Sometimes I blast this song when I need to rock my blues away. “Hear Me, Lord.”
It’s a prayer, a contrition, an entreaty. “Help me Lord, please, to rise above this dealing…”
Music is another language with its own beauty and meaning that is difficult to translate. You just have to listen, and feel.
I love when the music says what words cannot, or continues from where the lyrics leave off.
I love when music understands me, even when I do not understand myself.
Phenomenal guitar playing, here. If you are familiar with Rory Gallagher (*my favorite is I Fall Apart, another song that I play over and over. Listen to the guitar solos!), early Knopfler/Dire Straits, or the Clapton of acoustic Layla, you may appreciate Davy Knowles.
Thank you to George Harrison, Davy Knowles, and all of you who visit here. Oh and– to Peter Frampton, who produced Davy’s album. I missed the Frampton frenzy when he was singing, but I know him now as a darn good producer and have listened to some of his music because of that.
Peace, joy, and harmony,
The woman with whom I work
thinks I am wealthy
denying only reinforces stealth,
The smoke alarm
wouldn’t turn off
and didn’t know why it was on
threw it in the trunk of my car
where it blared
until I could find the proper
I think that is a drink
that I need,
now that I am deaf.
I bought the best soil I could find.
Little black bugs
love it more than I do,
so all of my plants are vacationing
I found a Writers’ Group
but they don’t write,
(The poem-of-the-day, if you missed it, is here: The Evolution of Sorrow, from me to you.)
I met him
at the bus stop.
is the one who taught me
that no one could take my spirit
unless I relinquished it.
He is the one who knew
that poetry could be simple:
several words in a mailbox,
“brown into blue”
and that spooning was all I needed
if that was all I could do.
He called me baby
because he loved me
though tiny spoonfuls of life
were all I could take
at the time.
Note: No vows were made in the making of this poem.
I am feeling small today. I still took care of some paperwork, helped a biker on the way home who had dropped some of his gear, talked with neighbors– but only little things, in the scheme of Life.
Maybe I am feeling Good Friday sadness from my religious roots, something so ingrained that it may be with me always. But, isn’t that appropriate? “I the Lord am with you always” and once baptized into the faith of my birth, always a member. In my mind, I feel part of a wider universe, and the same Supreme Being of my youth is just as inexplicable yet omnipresent. Must be one of Life’s miracles: to feel held, even while falling.
I remember some things that I had read in my coping-with-divorce book (recommended by Caitlin over at Broadside) that helped, too. In Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life, Abigail Trafford writes of the many emotions and upheavals and says there may be ambivalence, contradictions, and “a wide range of emotions… a psychological switiching station as you swing back and forth between guilt, anger depression, and euphoria.”
It helps to be verified normal.
It seems this would apply to many bumps in the road of Life:
“There’s no question that conflicting feelings make you feel terrible,” says Trafford. “But anxiety is the most fertile emotion for growth and change, therapists point out.” She says that feeling torn apart is a sign of “coming alive” and a normal part of working through all of the pain and emotions.
So, I felt a little better, between reaching down to my core and re-reading that.
I went and blasted some music, some Vaughan Williams Thomas Tallis, and drank some green tea. And watered my plants, and made some plans.
Eh, Life looks up, whenever I stop looking down.
Wishing all of you strength, perseverance, and joy this Easter/Passover/Spring weekend!
Do you do this, or is it just me?
Oftentimes when I walk, I find myself walking to the rhythm of a song or music. I don’t plan it, music just pops into my head. The songs or music reflect my mood, similar to how some of you put a song in your post that goes along with the topic du jour.
Sometimes one line plays over and over in my head, one appropriate line. Like, Steady As She Goes for instance. I must have needed steadying, that day. Or maybe I was proud to be feeling steady, who knows.
Today, post breakup, walking out there on my own, I found myself humming as I walked down the street, not even knowing what song. Da da da daaaa daa… and then eventually a line of lyrics came, and I very happily walked along to them:
Yes, I had to laugh, Don’t Make Me Over. That first line says it well: I just want to be accepted as I am, just as we all do. Even with all of the skeletons in the closet, I think I am OK. Sensitivities and quirks and all.
I can’t erase anything, can’t re-write or re-do, but I’m not dead yet and I have a lot of life left to live. It pains me more to read of other people’s heartaches and horrendous lives than of my own, and you know, I think it is because we have to live with our own tragedies and so one way or another such things became our stories, incorporated into our lives, for better or worse. It was the only life we had. We got through, and here we are.
All around me I see good kind people who have been through life’s battles, and I see that they have not only survived but are people of compassion, sensitivity, and strength. This isn’t the bequest of tragedy, but the gift of resilience of our beautiful souls to persist after tragedy, to crawl or stand up and maybe even eventually dance, however we manage it.
I felt shame for a long while. Maybe in some ways I still carry a little of that. There are some things I never talk about, some things I keep close. This is in part because I appear so “normal” (at least in real life) and it makes me happy that I am that way, not a simpering victim. I remember when I was a little girl and adults would whisper sometimes–oh poor little girl. Or, worse, when a boyfriend’s hoity mother thought my family background was too questionable: how would an engagement announcement read? So, you know, under-the-radar sometimes seemed easier.
Now I don’t wear anything on my sleeve, at least not outside of cyberspace. Yes, here there is some venting, I suppose. But, I think I have become more at ease with all of the pieces of my life. I have held them together at some times better than at others. Yes, I think about the past and carry around some lessons, some longings, some pain. When I look back, it is often with amazement, and tenderness: How did I take that? How did I cope? How did I survive? The same way we all do, however we muddle through, rise above, carry on, or just–as I usually did–put one foot in front of the other.
Looking back makes me grateful for all that I have now. Reflection makes me appreciate how far I have come and who I am.
Going forward into the unknown is scary, but thrilling, and sometimes I laugh to myself that the reason I live so simply is because I already have so much baggage. But hey– don’t make me over. Accept me as I am, a person with a past who has a future.
If you have any good walking songs, please forward to me.
I remember from university literature courses how the Romantic poets found their emotions reflected in Nature. Ever feel like you were born in the wrong century? I might do without cell phone, television, ipad, computer, automobile–if I could go wander the moors amidst the heather and come home to the warmth of a fire and the glow of candlelight, a stone hearth and freshly-baked bread.
Fortunately, I have an imagination and a selective one at that. There is never any consumption wracking me in a cold hard Romantic bed, for instance, and never any livestock, or at least any requiring me to wake at dawn to feed them. I’m sure that there must be a black stallion, however, upon which a dashing man in a black cape rides to my rescue when it starts to rain.
Oh wait, that’s Austen… Sense and Sensibility, I think. (So much for my imagination!) That would make me, rescued in the rain, Marianne Dashwood. (Would I rather be Elinor? I am probably more like Elinor. She was sensible and responsible and didn’t wear her heart on her sleeve. She probably would have done so only on wordpress.)
So, you see how my feeble mind works.
Here is your latest dash of Romanticism, and any of you who have been following here can deduce therein where this present-day damsel is with regards to her romantic dilemmas:
A Killing Frost is Expected.
A killing frost is expected
in the hill country far from here,
where the scillas blue and snow drops bloom,
happy, delicate even in their profusion,
while here I stuggle to know
what is love, what is illusion.
There are no answers in your eyes,
while mine, moody blue,
deep and pure,
Restless as they are,
how can I be sure?
Is not what we are hoping for.
I kiss you with all that is in me,
with all that is in me and more.
A killing frost is expected,
But how can I be sure?
Not only should I give credit to Austen, but to the Moody Blues as well. Good for any of you readers who picked up on those allusions; I seem to have borrowed the band name, played with titles, and channelled Nights in White Satin : “We decide which is right,/And which is an illusion”. Is there anyone else out there who heard this song as a little girl (0r boy) and envisioned it as Knights in White Satin? Clear into adulthood I did, and I pictured the lead singer on a white stallion, rescuing said damsel, of course. At least I am a consistent romantic.
I note also the Romanticism in The Story in Your Eyes. “Listen to the tide slowly turning/Wash all our heartaches away…”
For me, for us here, the bottom line is this: we can’t count on any rescue, we can’t wait for the knight on his white stallion or Austen’s Colonel Branden to rescue us from the rain. We have to do our best, be strong, make our best decisions with the information we have at hand and in our hearts.
Thank you, kind readers, for your thoughts heretofore. They are always welcome and always a pleasure. Camaraderie is a wonderful thing.
I’ll keep you posted.