Life, Death & Coffee 

​Some people require a visual. Some are more auditory. Others still prefer the written word. This vlog/blog post has it all.

I actually have a friend who prefers my vlog posts, where I TALK, more than she does listening to what I – and many others feel – is the considerably better use of my voice. 

Personally, despite having a good vocabulary, I find it difficult to verbalise my thoughts and feelings. I am unable to put these things into SPEECH. So, I put them in songs (one uses a different part of the brain when one sings than when one talks… this is the reason why some people who have suffered severe strokes, rendered speechless, can sing just fine…it is also why a stutterer can sing perfectly and clearly) or in visual art which illustrates how I’m feeling.

I find talking overrated. When I’m forced to speak, I do so…but, it’s rarely willingly. And, inevitably, I never end up saying what I really want and need to get across. It’s very frustrating. I don’t stutter badly, but I have elements of the problem. Speech is just hard work.

Of course, the problem with art, in any form, is that once it’s ‘out there’ it’s open to all sorts of interpretation. You see, hear, read and feel it through YOUR filter.

Sigh. It is the human condition. 

But, I continue to try to communicate, for what it’s worth.

 Life is hard. One could say, life is hard as speaking, and life with ANY chronic illness is a prison. Here’s an animation illustrating the daily struggles and dreams thereof:

This next video is a music video… I’m not explaining it. Just watch and listen. 


And, ending on a fun note. One of my grandfather’s favourite jokes was about a guy who needed to pass his school exams, but he was woefully stupid. His teacher, trying to be kind to him, decided to help him out by marking him a passing grade if he could spell just one word correctly. The teacher thought about it and realised that the student was too dumb to even get one word right, so decided to let him pass if he could just get ONE LETTER of one word right. The teacher thought that, surely, even this idiot could at least get one letter in a word correct. So, the teacher said to his student, ‘Spell the word coffee.’ The student replied, ‘K.A.U.P.H.Y.

And, thus, I give you this:


May your coffee be good and may you always be heard.

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A Moment of Silence

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One of those days when it’s all getting to me… and that always amplifies my angst at the shittiness of people not giving a shit and my frustration at the ughness of life.

Well, read the tagline… it is a blog about rants, after all.  I am attempting to live in the present and develop a more positive outlook… through mindfulness meditation I am cultivating awareness, and it is helping. But, in all honesty, I do ride the line of hope and hopelessness. I have moments when I experience a small taste of freedom. Moments of silence, as an observer; moments of not being caught up in my thoughts and the feeling of helplessness and the… the lifeyness of it all and the unfairness of talent going unappreciated, the lack of a caring audience, the inability to do something to support myself and my family through my gift, the agitation and anger at my mental health (or lack thereof and the limitations it causes).  Oh, but…on a sideline, speaking of an audience, I do want to say “hello” and “thank you” to the new followers of the blog I have recently acquired. And, then, there are these other moments of silence. Grieving the dead dream, along with my own longing for death… a deep sadness that creeps around the edges and stains the present old-photograph-yellow. Awareness gets swallowed up in reverie and rumination and the silence is filled with a scream of anguish about…well, about all those above mentioned things and more.

It’s just a moment. 

Only a moment. I won’t stop playing and making music for long. It feeds my soul and even though I can’t “make a living” from it, it is my life. My therapy and expression and, as I said here, I do want to make beautiful things whether or not anybody cares.  No matter what Don McLean wrote, there has never been a day when the music has died. Music lives and is powerful medicine. Dreams die. Musicians die. But music? It’s eternal. And so…

I’ll have my moments (now and then) for grieving the dream, but I will never stop making the music. And, I will also continue to take time for moments of silence where I go beyond the despair of life to experience a level of…something close to enjoyment of the present. Until I, at last, get to finally join my dead dream in rest.

Won’t you join me in a moment of silence?

 

 

One Of Those Days

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Today I have had the pervading thought that, no matter how hard I combat a “victim-mentality” (overused term, in my opinion), there are some days when one is hard pressed not to feel like a victim. Now, I am working on not letting my feelings dictate my words and actions. But, for such a feeler as I am, to say it is a challenge is such a gross understatement that it’s almost laughable to use the word “challenge” in place of the word “impossible”.

Almost laughable.

Not impossible. Not probable, I’ll give myself that. But, not impossible.

But feeling the victim and being the victim are two different things, right? I can’t help but sometimes ask, “But, in this situation, aren’t I, in actuality (not just in perception), the victim?” It certainly appears (don’t want to use the word “feels” here) that way.

It’s one of those days.

When I have one of those days, I usually go here. It is my default place (a place of despair and honest longing for death). Occasionally, however, I go to this place instead (a place of whispered promises, lullabies and, most importantly, hope).

…this place (please, listen):

Today, which has been so very much one of those days, I have tried my hardest to turn from the road which leads to the former place to somehow walk the road to the latter one, on purpose. And that, in itself, is hope breathing. So that, when “I close my eyes against the pain”, I am closing them to “dream of better days” I am still trying my best to believe are out there for me.

And, because I know I’m not alone in this struggle (I know I’m not the only one fighting to keep hope alive), I pray that this post reaches out across the interwebz and helps others who are having one of those days, too.

I had a bottle full of dreams…

I never believe the people who claim to have no regrets. I look at them and think, “What a load of bullpoo!” (being polite as I can be here). I will freely admit that I have (loads) of ’em.

“Bottle” is me at my most autobiographical. I wrote this song in all of about 10 minutes one night as part of a “songwriting challenge”. It’s what I would call a lament. I’d also say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written, and certainly a personal favourite…definitely, simply, personal.

What have you filled your bottle with? Have you spilled your dreams out to stain your world the colour of “what if” and “I should’ve” and filled it up again with everything and anything else?

If, like me, you have a cracked and battered bottle, once full of dreams, now full of regrets, and you identify with the song (because, hey, I know I’m not alone out there), the album version is available to download all over the interwebz via CD Baby, i-Tunes, Amazon and Bandcamp, etc.

The Little Girl with the Big Voice

End of music (well the industry, that is) announced at the Grammy Awards. How do we feel about this one, eh?

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I remember, when I was young – when I was the little girl with the big voice – I would sit and watch the Grammy’s every year, picturing myself receiving award after award… writing my acceptance speeches in my head.

 

When the years went by and I was never properly discovered by anyone with the power to do something about the little girl with the big voice and I just became that young woman with the interestingly deep voice (whoa, run-on sentence there), I kept hope alive somewhere inside me, but slowly, over time, and with age, it shrivelled up while never fully dying.

 

Now, realising “I had a bottle full of dreams…” (you know the rest, or hopefully you do, if NOT, click the link!) – I have accepted that it would be a major achievement just to fight for any and all crumbs I can get, and make the most of my talent where and when I can, and hopefully make some money at it (because I can’t do anything else) while touching people with my music (which is, ultimately more important than the money, but I do need to eat). Again, just a dream, really. The dreams get tinier and tinier and still they seem impossible. Sad.

 

I’m old. I’m tired. I’m still dreaming… but I know I fight a losing battle. And, I guess that’s the way it is with something you love so much, something that is SO much a part of the fabric that makes you you that you cannot for a moment separate you and the music – you just CAN’T let it go. Even though you know you should give it up, you can’t do it…it’s like cutting out your own heart. And, I see those who never dreamed they would be something in music, being HANDED a career on a flippin’ silver platter – and that is hard. I wish them well, I bear them no ill will… but people need to understand, it is extremely hard for me to take. Especially when I know I’m just as – if not more – talented. The little girl cries, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” And, it isn’t. Life isn’t.

 

Part of me thinks… YAY, let the industry end. I never made it the old way, and I’m not making it the new-fashioned, digital way either. I think, “Let music just be music, made by and for those who love it, in homes by the fireside, shared with those close and dear. But let the industry, and their unfairness, double-standards and hopelessness (for artists like me), go ahead and die.” But then, the little girl with the big voice (and the even bigger delusions) rears her head and hopes in vain (and in pain) for the career and the recognition and the accolades she will never have, and I know that regardless of whether the music industry is dying, there is one that most certainly needs to die: the little girl needs to die.  

 

Alas, I just don’t know how to kill her off.  😦