one hundred & eighty-four: magic

i’m not much capable of much beyond some free association tonight, so here goes:

  • the very very first thing in my head was this song – the tune is so so catchy, but honestly the lyrics are pretty cheesy (and those are some serious 80s mullets in the video!)
  • this magic set pictured below, from when i was little…i remember feeling pretty clever doing all of those ‘tricks’

fisher price magic

  • the ridiculous scene from the movie ‘magic mike’ where channing tatum’s character is in the gas station store and pours water all over himself and starts dancing on a dare…i can’t be arsed to google and find it but it’s fully silly and makes me laugh every time
  • how often i’ve wanted to magic away all of the shame, all of the hurt, all of the trauma of these past few years
  • and even more frequently, how many times i’ve wished for a magical travel portal so i can blink myself to the UK, or have pocketbrit get her skinny british butt over here for dinner or honestly, just to be in the same room so i can give her the biggest most squishy hug…i wish that so often. that is the kind of magic i could get behind.

one hundred & sixty: morning

the gorgeous-est version of this song was my first thought (and i am a fan of dolly’s, don’t think i’m not, it’s just the wailin’ jennys are perfection, sorry).

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and then, honestly, i thought about how much i kinda fucking hate mornings in general. how long it takes me to wake up, to feel ready to face the day. how some mornings, i open my eyes and just know it’s going to suck the big one. see my earlier post to refresh your memory, lol…

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the majority of my mornings, i have access to pocketbrit coz of the time difference. her mornings are mostly without me (unless i’m awake coz of my job), whereas it’s my nights that are quiet. it is one of the pluses of my mornings. i definitely miss her at night but i think i would also find mornings lonely without her.

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i do like coffee, though, and that’s mostly a morning drink at our house. so maybe it’s not the mornings i hate entirely but mostly the waking up part? i dunno.

one hundred & thirteen: gratitude

the very first thing i thought about while reading this word was this song by ani difranco. what does my body have to do with my gratitude, indeed.

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my parents expected unending gratitude for nearly everything we received. gifts. compliments. none were without strings or conditions. they were pseudo-generous; they gave things frequently, but expected to be thrown a parade in return. i remember hating that, the way they talked about people who didn’t express sufficient gratitude for what they were given, or didn’t return the favour adequately; how they seemed to give to others for the recognition, rather than out of the goodness of their hearts.

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i also just thought about all the genuine, life-giving gratitude i have for still being here. for the people who have carried me through, especially the past three years. my wife, my kiddo, my sweetest pocketbrit, my friend s, my therapist. i could never have done it alone. i don’t know how anyone does.

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i think about how how frequently i say the words ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’, often in the same breath. how i apologize for my existence and then thank people for not leaving me, for staying near, for not hurting me, for loving me. how deep my gratitude is, when i say those things, but in typing it now, how sad that is. that people sticking around, or loving me feels like something unexpected and exceptional, rather than something we all deserve.

and now i’m just fucking sad again.

 

 

Music (112)

Music is important to me. I like to have sound, particularly if it’s loud out, busy with people, if I just want to be in my own world, or quiet all the noise. I can’t sleep without noise, either a film, or music. Always, if I really can’t sleep, there’s one song that I turn to, and the best thing of all is that my best friend sang it for me and recorded it (along with her cat), and on nights like last night where I was sick, I put her recording on and not only did I have my favourite song, I had my best friend singing it. It is safety to me, a place to rest and be loved. I haven’t been able to sleep without music in years, and in my family, there is a lot to be said for being able to put earphones in and no longer have to hear conversations that are hurtful.

This ones very much for PC, a little truth telling – I used to, and still do occasionally when the mood takes me, listen to country music…. (Trust me people, she might unfriend me for this one, the blog could be over before we know it….)

Classical music reminds me of my paternal grandparents (both dead now). Something I adored about my grandmother is that every single day, when I arrived at their house after school, I would be greeted with the smell of the house…an old cottage, wood fire smoke in the winter, the smell of freshly baked bread or cake or dinner, the TV on in the sitting room, pot of tea keeping warm on the aga, and the sound of classical FM on the radio, a permanent presence, morning till evening.

I have also always wanted to go the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, particularly standing up in the gods. It kind of makes me sad because I absolutely love the Last Night of the Proms, and it’s always been a tradition of my dads and mine (the only ones who enjoy it) to play it loudly through the stereo system and listen and watch, eyes wide and sparkly, marking the end of summer, and the beginning (back then) of another school year. It was a connection of ours, and I just loved it. I’ve asked a few friends if they would want to go, but never really to any success… but perhaps I’ve just found my answer, PC?(though be warned, I know nothing about music, so I’ll very much be clueless if I’m there with you). If you came to the UK in the summer one year?

one hundred & twelve: music

even though i love all sorts of music, this word made me think of attending the symphony. which i haven’t done in a decade, honestly.

for me, it is a feast for my ears…the dancing of the strings, the percussion, the richness of the brass. but also, a feast for my eyes…the glinting of the horns, the black and white of the tuxedos, the flashes of gold and silver, the quickness of fingers on bows and strings…oh oh oh.

when i was in high school and university, i used to listen to classical music through headphones (or sometimes, out loud) while i studied, to drown out the noise of my house, or the distractions of the study hall or library. and more often than not, i would find myself conducting, especially if it was mozart…my pen lax in my hands, my eyes closed, my expression rapt. embarrassing but true.

and i do it still, am unable to concentrate entirely on the conversation if there is classical music playing in the background. i know people sleep to it but for me, it is how i awaken, how i feel alive.

ninety-five: patience

i’m totally dating myself (again), but this song.

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i feel like patience is one of those things i work at all the time, but fail at fairly often. plus, i am not very consistent about it; i have nearly endless patience for some things and most people, but am impatient with myself about nearly everything.

i looked up the definition of patience, and yeah, where i fall short is in the not getting annoyed part. most definitions say something along the lines of bearing problems/delays/suffering whist suppressing annoyance/anxiety, and not complaining. yeah i don’t think i do that all that well. i think i have compassion for others, but i’m not sure i can say that i am always able to swallow my annoyance, or refrain from complaining, at least inwardly. and the synonyms of this word make me feel even less like it applies to me: forbearance (i think only ancient stuffy british people would use this word anyway), stoicism (um, noooope), self-restraint (bahahahahahah)…

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but after goofing around on the internet looking at various definitions of the word, wikipedia, of all places, provided a definition i really liked, and that i could consider may apply to myself. which was that patience was the level of endurance one has before negativity sets in. i thought, yeah. okay. i do have patience about a lot of things, then. still not so much myself, but yeah.

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i’m pretty sure that this word also refers to the single-player card game that pocketbrit, and others like her, would call patience. on this (morally superior and obviously correct) side of the pond, we call it solitaire…coz it’s a solitary game, makes sense. i invite you, pocketbrit, to defend yourself and your countrypeople on this one. i will give you strimmer vs weedwhacker, but you have to concur that solitaire makes more sense than patience!! (i know you will not concur, as it pains you to agree with me…but COME ON)

eighty-three: dignity

all day saturday, i couldn’t think of what piece of what song it was, circling in my head, that had the word dignity in it…and then it came to me, finally, as we drove from brunch. it was from whitney houston’s ‘greatest love of all.’

when i was younger, my dad had this record, and i remember studying it for a really long time. she was so so beautiful. i mean, look at her.

Whitney_Houston_-_Whitney_Houston_(album)

i was in the fourth grade, so i had already had loads of crushes on girls and women (my friend’s sister, my grade three teacher, a few random tv stars) (but truly had no idea i may have been gay, that didn’t come til later) but i reaaaaaalllly loved me some whitney. my ten year old self thought she was so exotic…and that voice, phew.

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in fact, one of my first big concerts was to see whitney houston (i feel like it was in junior high), at an arena. i was on the floor, maybe eight rows back? (i have no idea who i went with…i totally can’t remember!) i was mesmerized. i knew all the songs. and, i swore up and down that she looked straight at me as she blew a kiss to the crowd.

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later, in high school, i auditioned for a musical with this song. ambitious much?! shit. clearly too young and naive to have any sense of how ridiculous it was for a teenaged white girl to sing it, ugh i’m cringing now thinking of our theatre director, good lord must he have rolled his eyes.

but…i got the part. whitney was on my side.

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the other thing i thought of in relation to this word was about death…dignity at the end of one’s life. if you read obituaries (which i used to, routinely) this is a word that is used often in relation to death, and i’m fairly curious about it.

the ironic part of my association game with whitney houston is how completely undignified a death she had. face down in a bathtub, possibly drowned, with a motley cocktail of alcohol and drugs in her system, at the age of 48.

but honestly, what does a dignified death even mean? that you don’t go sobbing and kicking and screaming? that you accept that it’s happening? that you welcome it? that you lie back with a peaceful beatific smile on your face and drift off to sleep? i don’t quite have a sense for what it all entails, but i do know that i want one, when the time comes.

yes, i will go with dignity. i’ve decided.

fifty: creativity

i’m not a creative person.

absolutely, i am able to see beauty, and i can capture it from behind a camera lens or with my pen or sometimes with my voice…but that isn’t creativity, it’s just dictation. i didn’t make it with my hands, or fashion it out of thin air…not like pocketbrit with her drawing or with friends who are composers of beautiful music. yes, i am decent at grabbing hold of something and helping you to see it or feel it…but i don’t produce it. i just…process it, maybe?

i think it’s an important distinction. i don’t feel bad about it at all…but i do feel strongly that the true notion of creativity should be used to describe those who create, who generate something, all on their own. that’s not me.