Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Love Love: Sing It!

No matter how I feel about romantic love at any given time, there are those songs that make me wish they'd been written for or about me. (You know the ones…boom box held over head by boy standing in pouring rain?  Yes, those songs.)

There are also the songs that capture, perfectly, an emotion--either of love or loss, that can let me tap back into that emotion, in minutes.

I love love.  Yes, it's a true statement.  I am as equally enchanted by pop music magic that makes love so simple as I am by gut-wrenching tunes that sound like heartbreak.   I gravitate toward lyrics of possibility, of promise, and of endings--the whole darn cycle.  I love big and wide, and although I wouldn't call myself romantic, It's sure fun to sing about.

I know this is only a slide over the surface of a song list, but:  Here's wishing you songs to sing loudly, songs that allow you to shed some tears when you need to, and to dance freely around your living room (or out in your yard as the case may be) when you can.  And, last but not least, here's wishing you songs that remind you of the loves that have come before, in all their poignancy, the ones in your present, and the ones who (may or may not be out there) waiting for you in the future.

1)  "Nobody Knows Me" by Lyle Lovett is the one tune that so clearly articulates how I envision my ideal love:  "I like cream in my coffee;  I hate to be alone on Sunday.  And nobody knows me like my baby."  Yes.  [Though, must be noted, I don't like cream in my coffee.]

2)  "Only You" by Yaz.  "All I needed was the love you gave.  All I needed for another day.  And all I ever knew, only you."  These lyrics are the dreamy remembrances of a 15 year old, but they are the lodged into my psyche securely.  "Wonder if you'll understand, it's just the touch of your hand behind a closed door."

3)  "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" by Bob Dylan (performed by Shawn Colvin):  "I've seen love go my door; it's never been this close before.  It's never been so easy or so slow."  Whenever a new romance starts up, this song comes to mind.  And, it's my litmus:  Would I miss this person if he was to disappear from my life?  "I have only known careless love."

4)  "When it Don't Come Easy" by Patty Griffin slays me, in a broken open sort of way:  "Red lights are flashing on the highway; I wonder if we're ever gonna get home…everywhere the water's getting rough; your best intentions may not be enough."  "But if you break down, I'll drive out and find you; if you forget my love, I try to remind you.  Stay by you.  But it don't come easy." Love and loss captured perfectly in the images.  "So many things that I had before, it don't matter to me now.  Tonight I cry for the love that I've lost, and the love I never found."  Because what other reasons are there?

5)  "Outloud" by Dispatch = Happy making, every time I listen:  "Would you be the wind to blow me home?"  "And if we were walking through a crowd, well you know I'd be proud if you called my name out loud."  "Do you suppose I would come running?  I suppose I would."  :)  I suppose I would.

6)  "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison:  This seems to transcend any category I would like to put it in.  "Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic. And when that foghorn blows, I will be coming home….I wanna hear it; I don't have to fear it" / "I want to rock your gypsy soul, just like back in the days of old, and together we will float into the mystic."
Yep, soul rocking.

7)  "Nothing Without Love"  by Ruth Moody:  "Come and get me baby, before I get too old.  If love is everything, then we've got nothing without love."  Ahhh…

And, on a lighter note:

8)  "Girls Chase Boys" by Ingrid Michaelson:  "Don't call me.  I won't call you.  Let's just call it over." :)  "All the broken hearts in the world still beat. " :)  Indeed they do.  "I've got two hands, one beating heart, and I'll be all right."  SO simple.

9)  "Get Me" Everything but the Girl:  "To know yourself is to let yourself be loved;  and I want to be addictive, I want to be secure; I want to wake up after the night before.  Do you ever get me?"  (If so, lovely songwriter,  you might be the first.  :)

10)  "Real Love" by Mary J. Blige:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  "I'm searching for a real love; someone to set my heart free."  I'm not sure I'm looking for this, but if it showed up?  :)  For now, I'll just pretend I've got all the moves as I dance around my house.

11)  Oh, if I'm really honest, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is on this list too (damn it).  But, shhh.  That's a secret.  "I didn't know I would feel it, but it's in my way!"  


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Standing in the Eye

I've been listening to Brandi Carlisle's "The Eye" on repeat of late.  I get fixated on songs sometimes, finding they offer up mantras, messages, reminders…comfort in the repetition, for whatever reason.  She reminds me that "I am a sturdy soul, and there ain't no shame in lying down in the bed you made."

There's a fabulous gallows humor occurring in Juneau of late regarding rainfall--"The warmest January on record" has left snow sports in the dust (or moss, as the case may be).  People are apologizing for the weather--"Usually it's…so much nicer…there's more to do…there's more sun…"  We joke about building arks.  And, the humor is just one more indication of the utter strength of character present in folks here.

I've had momentary flashes of "what have I gotten myself into?" But they are followed by moments of fabulous laughter with a beautiful new friend; a rainy hike out to the beach; a moment of silence punctuated only by the trickle of a waterfall.  These gifts?  Priceless and inexplicable.  And I know I've only just begun here:  "Can you fight the urge to run for another day?  You might make it further if you learn to stay." 

I will always have them, these urges to move on;  They are as much a part of me as any appendage.  I am appreciating, fully (even when I resist it), the practice that I came here for:  to fully sink into a space that holds so much magic it's almost inconceivable, to let the reality of all that's come before simply be, and to allow myself a quiet space to breathe and expand back out.  I was talking with a visiting artist at a dinner last week, and we were discussing the parallels between Alaska and New Mexico (where he lives and I've lived).  And it brought into such clear relief, that this magic is what pulls me--it's tough to put a finger on, but you know it when you feel it.  And once you do?  It's so very hard to enter spaces where it's not present.

"You can dance in a hurricane, but only if you're standing in the eye."  Dancing my way back to center, and feeling immense gratitude for those who are dancing along side.