Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sometimes you just connect with somebody. Sometimes you just "get" each other. Sometimes somebody else can say it better than you can.
The following was written by the most amazing Angel aka @themommytsunami
You can find her own poetry, prose, and pictures at themommytsunami.com
Thank you for your words.
I am an emotional woman.
There is no denying that. In many periods of my life, though, I have been hard-pressed to find another human being that would listen to/empathize with the emotions that I was feeling.
I would be sad.
Very, very sad.
And I would turn to sibling/parent/friend. In their face, I would see a puzzling look. A look that, to me, said, “What the fuck?” Or, “I don’t get it. Why are you so sad again?”
Or, I would be overjoyed.
Very, very overjoyed.
And again, I would turn to a loved one. Again, quizzical looks, bewildered responses.
Why, oh why, was it so hard for me to be understood? Why could I not find my kindred spirit? The yin to my yang?
And then I discovered my refuge. The place in which I could find solace for sadness, enthusiasm for energy. A place where I was understood and I was understanding right back.
Now, I am not a musically talented soul. I sing. Loud and proud. But, probably off key and flat or sharp or whatever musical description of “not right” that you could insert here.
In music, I found those like souls that felt deeply, expressed passionately and shared with abandonment.
Music has defined my life. Through singing, dancing, listening, I have found my therapy.
And today, I want to share some of that music with you. Maybe you feel the same. Maybe you are looking at this page, puzzled by what I mean, by what I am writing. Maybe you are lost and don’t know how to find yourself. Maybe you and I will make that magical connection that I believe that music has the power to make.
The first major role that music played in my life is with my mother. My mom is a disco queen. I vividly remember driving in our yellow Maverick, listening to Michael Jackson at full blast, windows rolled down, my mom busting the words out to Rock with You, swaying in her driver’s seat, as I sat passenger seat (remember, this was 1980...children drove in the front seat back then...) beating the rhythm out on the dashboard and screaming the lyrics out at the tops of my lungs. When we would arrive at home, my mom would turn on Soul Train, and then we’d boogie to something by The Gap Band. Literally, our dancing partner might be the vacuum cleaner, our microphone a hairbrush. My mom did not have an easy life. She had a marriage to my biological father full of violence and pain and loneliness. She was raising two daughters and had no money and lived far enough from her parents that she wasn’t “close.” But, despite all of that, I remember my early childhood with fondness. My mother taught me to find joy in music despite the daily despairs in life. She also taught me that music is a way to bond with your children. Today, I often sing my actions aloud to my babies, and we blast the radio in our Suburban as we drive down the street, seat dancing to Michael Jackson, or the Beatles, or the Beastie Boys. My children have been known to bounce their heads to a beat as early as 6 months old. And that makes me proud. It’s my mother’s legacy.
Music has also been the calming effect on my soul. I feel very deeply. I am not saying that no one else does. But, have you ever felt the brink of despair? Have you ever felt that a black hole of pain has been swallowing you whole? Maybe you haven’t. If not, I am so very happy for you. Unfortunately, I do. A therapist has possibly diagnosed me as a “Highly Sensitive Person.” It doesn’t mean exactly what it sounds like. But, essentially, my emotional spectrum is wide and deep. Sadness for me is...melancholy. And one who feels this cannot solely depend on the people around them to bring them back to “human.” It’s tiring and exhausting for both parties. However, there are some amazing musicians and songwriters that describe it, sing about it, using words that, for lack of a better description, talk to my soul.
Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” is one of my favorites. He speaks to me when he belts out Manic depression is touching my soul. Dido on “White Flag” sings I will go down with this ship/And I won't put my hands up and surrender. The Roots and Amel Larrieux sing in the song “Glitches” You live, you die/And spend the years in between asking the question/Why you've been through what you been. Edie Brickell in “What I Am” states, Choke me in the shallow waters /Before I get too deep. And when Sheryl Crow croons God, I feel like hell tonight/Tears of rage I cannot fight or Lie to me/I promise I’ll believe/Lie to me/But please don’t leave or I have a face I cannot show/I make the rules up as I go/It’s try and love me if you can... I love that song. It’s truly the anthem of my love life...Don’t feel bad. It’s who I am.
Basically, they are my instruments of healing. Musicians, singers, songwriters...they have lifted me from moments in my life that I didn’t know how to express, how to escape, how to evolve from.
And, who could feel bad after a session singing? Music reminds me that I am breathing, my heart is beating, that I have a voice and I. Am. Alive.