This Is The Sound That I Make

image

“This is the sound that I make
These are the words I chose
Sometimes the right thing to say
Just won’t come out” -Matchbox 20

It’s been a while since I posted. I’m not doing well and, even when I have lots to say, it can be too much for me to get over here and write it. And, then, sometimes, when I do, it feels like I’m just listening to the sound of my own voice. And, while I’ve been known to like the sound of my own voice singing, listening to my brokenness sans music can drag me further into a dark place where I am more lonely, more wretched, more pathetic. So, I go long periods without blogging about how and where I am.

I’ve withdrawn, with the exception of going to the Acoustic Club regularly to perform. Music is a drive that won’t relent, me being ill or not. And, at least now I have a place that appreciates not only my voice, but my songs as well. All my original stuff has been well received, and that is an exquisiteness. A delight.

But, yes, I’m struggling…to stay out of bed, to feel anything other than desperation and despair. And, struggling for words to express it all…well, that can just be overwhelming on top of already being overwhelmed. And, yet…here I am…saying something, and nothing at all.

I don’t have access to my proper recording equipment and software at the moment (and, there’s no telling when, or if, I will again) so this morning I simply recorded this cover of Matchbox 20’s song on my phone, using the Soundcloud app. I leave you with it, in the hopes that anyone listening other than myself will hear in it whatever it is I’m trying to say.

 

Advertisements

It’s Getting Harder

image

I’m deteriorating. I want things to improve. I want to be getting better. But, it’s just not happening that way. It’s getting worse, more difficult…looking more and more hopeless and desperate, relief nowhere in sight.

Little Improvement

image

But, improvement is still improvement even if it is only little. I should be pleased with my progress so far, and not beat myself up for the slow going nature of said progress.

I’m speaking of my accent, of course. If you’ve been following my recent posts you will have read of my obsession to rid myself of my native American accent, and replacing it with the tone of my residence. Living in the UK for over a decade now, I had hoped – assumed – that my accent would naturally soften and, by osmosis, I would gradually, but surely, lose the harsh American sound to my speaking voice. Like in so many other things, I’ve been woefully disappointed. After so many years with so little softening, I’ve come to the conclusion that hard work and retraining is the only way to get what I want. But, hard work is what it is. Very hard work.

I have undertaken elocution exercises. And, I am finding, like all physical exercise, it causes me a great deal of pain. My whole head aches with the effort.

Today, after the school run, I decided I would record some of this baby step yet painful progress, with the idea to share it here. I went to the computer…

I haven’t recorded anything since we got a new computer and everything was different. My recording software, the operating system. Different now. I’ve been avoiding recording anything lately because… well, I didn’t have anything desperately pressing on me to record (people still aren’t beating down my door for my music), but more because of the changes to what I was used to and could use well.

The new computer was given to us…and, I’m not ungrateful…but, it hadn’t really been given with helping me out in mind, but more for my husband and the children. Granted our old one was on its last circuity legs, but I was on firm footing with it and it was only that familiarity that allowed me to use it to record two albums and all my singles. It was a crap piece of machinery, but I did do true wonders with it.

So, school run done, I approached the new with trepidation, and…

Autism reared its head and I found myself unable to navigate the changes.

Frustrated and in tears, I walked away from the strange and hostile hardware and software. Talk about your technical difficulties.

Now, I have a voice recorder on my phone, but I can’t, for whatever reason, upload what I record there. I can share it via whatsapp message, but it won’t go anywhere else.

I resorted to downloading the soundcloud app on my phone, so I could use my existing soundcloud account.

After several attempts at getting it right, the above recording is what I settled with sharing here.

What I recorded yesterday, on my phone voice recorder, sounds better…truer. But, this is what I could manage today. It’s one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and one that particularly resonates with me.

Shakespeare is a benchmark, a starting point. The language and rhythm is helpful to mastering the necessary cadence. I know, I’m far from mastering anything here. And, there I go, beat beat beat, smash, hate myself for…

all my inability.

Can I go to bed now, wretched world?  No. Now, it’s nearly time to pick the kids back up from school.

I’ve wasted a whole day. My God, how miserable.

But, even pain sounds better in an English accent. Too bad my pain is simply and acutely painful and doesn’t yet – and might never – have that “better” thing going for it.

I leave you with the Bard and my imperfect voicing of his brilliant words.

The First Smile of the Day

image

Bombarded, tormented, overwhelmed, I went to bed last night. Meditation helped to calm the rush of my thoughts, but the cacophony never stays silent for long. I slept. I woke up. My first thought when I wake up is always, “NO! Please. No, not again.”

A rough morning. In bed with my thoughts while my husband attempts to get the kids to do their homework. Feeling hopeless.

I cry, but I know tears won’t fix anything. My husband brings me coffee and something to break my fast. I eat and drink and listen to an audio book. I play Bejeweled. I work on losing my accent; it disgusts me.

I have determined to rid myself of the vexing accent. But, like everything else detestable about myself, it continues to force itself upon me unwanted.

The American accent is hard, ugly. It sticks out like an extremely sore thumb. It’s distressingly unmusical sounding. Rough…and comical. It sounds uneducated, even if one has been an academic and applied themselves to learning.

It’s another of my exercises in futility; another losing battle. But…I keep trying.

I don’t know why it should be so difficult for me to affect the superior, musical lilt. I’m a musician. A singer. This would suggest that I have a good ear, that I am able to match pitch and mimic sound. I DO IT ALL THE BLOODY TIME. I should be able to “sing” the “song” of received English just the same.

But, I should be able to make phone calls, too.

Yeah… sigh and #!*%¡*¢!

Needing a lyre harp and being unable to get one (everyone who sells the ones I can afford insist on using paypal…why can’t they just take plastic??? And, no, don’t tell me how brilliant paypal is; it really isn’t…and anyway, the bottom line is, I can’t get my harp).

Obsessed and tormented. A morning of frustrated tears.

Then. I asked Jamie to bring me a big shirt to put on…me being sans clothing and thinking about getting out of bed. I referred to my nakedness. He smiled and cupped my breast in his hand. Suddenly, my face, there it was: the first smile of the day.

My husband locked the door and the therapy continued.

Music is therapeutic. Meditation is therapeutic. I regularly post about my therapies of choice. Sex is a particularly excellent one.

Why? Like music, there is surrender and abandon; it overcomes the mind and can drown out the cacophony. Also, there’s the giving aspect: I’m not only receiving pleasure (and therapy), I’m giving therapy. It’s good medicine.

Sexual healing. It’s not just a song. It’s a science. My smile is proof. 

Desperation and obsession still assault me, desire, frustration, exhaustion… but, any moment of relief, delight is something so precious, something to be grateful for. As I write, the smile makes another appearance. And, I’ll finish this post with the meme I made for my FB page yesterday:

image

There really was something about this particular Mary…

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named  Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary,  who also  sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her,  “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But  one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  – Luke 10:38-42

Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10

During a recent time of worship, I wrote a song based on this account of Martha and her sister Mary from the Gospel of Luke. It is also based on the first part of Psalm 46:10.

My desire has always been to be like Mary but, I have to admit, I have spent more of my life being rather Martha-like: anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, frayed and frazzled. And, then there are my really bad days.

This song was birthed equally out of my desire to more like Mary and my Martha-like desperation. It’s a heart-cry and, since writing it, I can’t get it out of my head.