Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Piece of Cake, Song Lyric Sunday, Special Occasions, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Comfort and Courage (Never Or Now) #DisneyMoana #Welcome2017 #SongLyricSunday

New beginnings.

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Does this always have to mean endings?

I suppose, in many ways, it does. I don’t happen to think they are always interchangeable.

I am anxious and eager to find out what this year will bring to my life. I am a mess of emotions about it really. Interspersed in there somewhere are moments of relative calm though. I had a few of those last night, watching a Gilmore Girls and their Year in the Life four-part updated series from last November, drinking wine, and trying fondue for (what I think) was my very first time.

I will start, hopefully not from the beginning, with a renewed commitment to learning to play violin.

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I will get what I need to get done in the coming weeks, to take a journey of sorts, both literally and figuratively.

This song was from Disney’s Moana soundtrack last year. When I heard it I immediately thought I would save it to post at the start of 2017 and that
Song Lyric Sunday
would be the perfect place for it.

I am declaring myself as taking more of a journey in this year of transitions and big first steps in my life. I will conquer my fear.

***

I’ve been staring at the edge of the water ‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why I wish I could be the perfect daughter But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try
Every turn I take, every trail I track Every path I make, every road leads back To the place I know, where I cannot go Where I long to be
See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me And no one knows, how far it goes If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me One day I’ll know, if I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go
Oh oh oh, oh, oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh Oh oh oh, oh, oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh
I know, everybody on this island seems so happy on this island Everything is by design I know, everybody on this island has a role on this island So maybe I can roll with mine
I can lead with pride, I can make us strong I’ll be satisfied if I play along But the voice inside sings a different song What is wrong with me?
See the light as it shines on the sea? It’s blinding But no one knows, how deep it goes And it seems like it’s calling out to me, so come find me And let me know, what’s beyond that line, will I cross that line?
See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me And no one knows, how far it goes If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me One day I’ll know, how far I’ll go

Alessia Cara – How Far I’ll Go (Lyrics)

***

The home I know brings me constant comfort and the courage to keep hoping and striving in life.

I know this is shaping up to be a big year, in several ways, and that some are afraid. I know, believe me, I know.

I NEED to do this.

And so, Happy 2017 to all, and Cheers to new beginnings.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Podcast

Stalemate, #1000Speak

The other night, on the news, a reporter did a story about how desperate of a situation it’s becoming in Syria.

She began to, not just lay out a few facts and statistics, but to compare the city of Aleppo to the city of Toronto, where her news broadcast was airing from. She went from one part of Toronto to another, explaining how it would look if what’s currently happening in Syria were to happen in a Canadian city

Okay, so maybe it’s a bad example or I’m just not describing it all that well. I have a cold and my right ear is plugged and I feel like I’m losing it a little, but I wondered why this reporter’s method was necessary in the first place.

She began her segment by saying something along the lines of:

?How does what’s happening in Syria relate to life here in Toronto anyway?”

I wondered if people really needed the story to be spoon fed to them like that, as if they couldn’t already put themselves in the shoes of a mother, losing hope for keeping her children healthy and alive. Hadn’t they all considered what it must be like to be stuck in a war zone? I guess, to a point, I use that distance between myself and such horrible events as a cushion too.

I may feel sad and disappointed in the Syrian government for being unable to keep its people safe. I may be frustrated that although my country of Canada has done more than many to help the Syrian people, our participation has dwindled. I may be sad and disappointed in myself for the fear that even the small gestures of compassion and gratitude I’ve made aren’t enough.

Lots of sadness and disappointment to go around. Excellent choice for the month. If I’m honest, to come right out and say it, I have been sad and disappointed that
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion
and
Ten Things of Thankful
seem to be losing steam.

It’s obvious by the number of entries in the linkup. The terrible events around the world that inspired a handful of bloggers to act in the only way they knew how, nearly two years ago, is a small sample of what it was once.

That first month there were hundreds of entries. Now, with the linkup being open, not just one day, but a whole week. And yet, my entry is found to be one of the last, if not the last, at five or six along on the list. Where did everybody go? It’s frustrating to see how willing people were, when the excitement and energy were new and when a small discussion on holding on to compassion in times of hardship suddenly and unexpectedly grew into something a lot larger than anyone could have ever anticipated.

Five or six people, including me, took the time to write and keep the movement going this month. This makes me sad. I feel disappointed, but I have compassion for all those who haven’t kept up with it, though some come and go, taking it for granted that it should always be there.

You have to feel it to write. I can be honest about how I feel, but I have a lot of compassion for everyone who didn’t show up. I have been one of them. I can’t say I won’t be one in the future. All the praise goes to those keeping it going this long.

Nothing goes on forever. Everything starts and stops somewhere.

Life gets busy. People forget. Times are hard. They’ve moved on.

This is a time where sadness and disappointment are commonly felt emotions. I am sad and disappointed.

I am sad that we have arrived in this place, where compassion feels strangled by suspicion and self interest.

Taxes. Rising bills to be paid. Mortgages and kids and stressful jobs and relationships and social media.

I am disappointed in America for giving up and giving in. Donald Trump is where he is. I am sad and I am disappointed.

In these times, I believe honesty is best, if we’re ever going to face the ills of our society, like racism and class, job, and economic uncertainties. We’re all fighting for our own, equal slice of the pie.

Where, then, does compassion come in? I am trying desperately to fit the pieces together.

I am trying, underneath a steady undercurrent of sadness, to listen to people and to respect different beliefs. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. This situation is unique in that most times, after a time, I can see where someone may be coming from. In some of these situations, where prejudice is at the core of it, I can’t understand.

Then I lose all compassion for myself, as I feel like it’s something on me, like I’m just not trying hard enough to understand.

It’s mostly based on fear. That much I’ve surmised. I can have empathy for that, to a point, as I know what fear looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like.

I have compassion for everyone. It’s when some people’s true feelings come to light that I jump back in shock and the sadness and disappointment wash over me with no warning.

Is this the end? By which I mean, are we coming to the end of this experiment in writing for compassion here? Or will we keep going forward with the participants we still have? Couldn’t compassion sustain itself, even through blogging, just a little longer? Perhaps not.

Will I even be here next month, to write about compassion, or will I have moved on? I honestly can’t say for certain.

I don’t see any end to this stalemate, these feelings of intense sadness and disappointment at my fellow human beings.

I can’t look the other way when the progress with women’s rights or disability rights or any other rights are threatened. I wish I understood. I wish I could.

I just finished listening to
a podcast
about writing, about memoir, and about trying to put ourselves in another person’s shoes. This is my mission these days, but is it fruitless, when such serious issues are at stake?

I continue to see gestures and acts of compassion in many different places and that softens the blow. It isn’t all bad. This has been and continues to be a difficult time for a lot of people, but a lot are doing the best they know how in the moment.

I go ahead and focus on what makes me feel the opposite of sadness and disappointment. I hope things will continue, that very likely will not. I can’t blame anyone for that. I can only control my own actions and remain compassionate yet honest when the sadness or the disappointment threatens to drag me down next time, hoping what I’m left with is a little piece of compassion left over to spare and to share.

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Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday

Good Riddance, #SongLyricSunday

When J.K. Rowling finished writing the final chapter of the last Harry Potter book (The Deathly Hallows), she was being recorded for a documentary on a year of her life.

I was her newest, biggest, huge fan and I watched that documentary over and over again, soaking up every word she spoke, in response to the journalist’s questions.

The one scene had her at her laptop, locked away in a hotel room somewhere in Scotland, and finishing the book, joyous with elation and then a song comes on that I won’t ever forget.

From then on I was and am still a Lily Allen fan.

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And this song was called “Smile”, which seemed to fit the mood Rowling must have had on completing the novel series she had been working on for more than ten years, really since she suddenly acquired the idea of a boy wizard with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, on a train back in 1990.

The song plays for a short time and then its cut off, just as the true mood of this particular tune is revealed.

***

Note: Some strong language ahead.

When you first left me I was wanting more
But you were fucking that girl next door, what you do that for (what you do that for)?
When you first left me I didn’t know what to say
I never been on my own that way, just sat by myself all day
I was so lost back then
But with a little help from my friends
I found a light in the tunnel at the end
Now you’re calling me up on the phone
So you can have a little whine and a moan
And it’s only because you’re feeling alone
At first when I see you cry,
Yeah, it makes me smile, yeah, it makes me smile
At worst I feel bad for a while,
But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile
Whenever you see me you say that you want me back
And I tell you it don’t mean jack, no, it don’t mean jack
I couldn’t stop laughing, no, I just couldn’t help myself
See you messed up my mental health I was quite unwell
I was so lost back then
But with a little help from my friends
I found a light in the tunnel at the end
Now you’re calling me up on the phone
So you can have a little whine and a moan
And it’s only because you’re feeling alone
At first when I see you cry,
Yeah, it makes me smile, yeah, it makes me smile
At worst I feel bad for a while,
But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile
Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala lalala
At first when I see you cry,
Yeah, it makes me smile, yeah, it makes me smile
At worst I feel bad for a while,
But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala
At first when I see you cry,
Yeah, it makes me smile, yeah, it makes me smile
At worst I feel bad for a while,
But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile

Smile – Lily Allen – (lyrics)

***

Helen asked us to share lyrics about

anger,

which I’ve always said is just a cover-up for the emotions of fear and sadness and the feeling of loss that we all experience.

I’ve always admired Allen’s spirit. She’s feisty and tough, not afraid to show her anger, especially in her younger years and before she became more settled, with her partner and children. As far as I know, from what she’s released recently, she is happy in her personal life. This, however, hasn’t totally dampened her no bullshit British female attitude. She is all that I am not, of which I become, even for a few fleeting moments, when I listen to her music.

In those early years she sang songs like “Smile” and in such songs her lyrics and her tone both exuded anger at times throughout.

I wanted to be so angry, to be able to purge myself of the raw rage I’d found myself experiencing. It wasn’t really worth all the trouble, I told myself, as songs like the one Carrie Underwood sang about keying a guy’s car became hit songs on the radio.

What was the point? I asked myself. I felt betrayed and let down by someone in a major way, sure, but I wasn’t really an angry person by nature, was I? It lived inside me, in some small way, like it lives in us all. I just didn’t want it to consume me. I pushed it down. I fought it. I told myself I wasn’t angry and didn’t wish pain and loneliness on any such person. I truly hoped that someone was happy, wherever life had taken them. No good could come of me wishing revenge against one who’d caused me the type of agony I didn’t believe possible previously. Lyrics were my way to let it all out, let it go, and feel better again, in some small way.

So, I like to drown my sorrows in an angry song now and again, to help me feel all the feels, but then I move right along to lyrics about other things, as I try to look to the future, one bright with mega possibilities.

Lily is always there for me though, when the anger threatens to rear its ugly head.

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FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Piece of Cake, Writing

IMO’s and Emotions, #FTSF

“Moments of clarity are so rare. I better document this.”

—Bjork, “Stonemilker”

Opinions and emotions can get us into trouble, but what would we do without them?

“In my opinion…”

And pretty soon emotions take over. We think of opinions as more planned and mapped out. I write and sometimes it comes across as more of an opinion piece, while the rest of the time my emotions have ushered me forward, no telling where it could lead.

When it comes to my emotions and my words, I can’t seem to fully control the outcomes. That’s why blogging can be a risky venture. I think I need to say something, get a feeling or thought out, and then I wonder if I should have kept it to myself.

***

We figure we’ll take the stairs down from the seventh floor, choosing a bit of exercise over convenience. We have the time to kill after all.

I grip the railing on the left side, so as to be able to follow all the many flights, down to the ground floor, even though all my life I’ve been taught to stay to the right, so as to avoid getting in people’s way.

This day in the hospital I learn to stay in the middle as I make my way down the halls of the ward. The walls are lined with objects. I risk bumping into a piece of expensive computer equipment or a cart full of medical supplies or a wheelchair waiting for a patient.

How to follow the path. Stay to the right? Go left? Or perhaps it’s better to remain in the middle, not too far to either side of opinion or letting emotions rule, of bumping into people and their opinions and emotions?

Well, now I am walking at as brisk a pace as I can manage, without the possible threat of getting too fast for my own good and stumbling over my feet or a step as I make my way down.

I hear the familiar sound of footsteps a flight or so of stairs behind. I know what this means.

“Sorry,” the man says, an impatient note to his voice. “I’ll just slip ahead of you so I can move faster.”

He clearly has somewhere to be. Perhaps it’s important, truly, or not. All I know is I want to speak up just then, to show my annoyance with him and all those who make me feel as if I am perpetually in the way, blocking people from getting to their destinations on time.

I feel it in a busy place, like a shopping mall or any crowd really. I’m buffered from behind and there are people in front. I can’t move, except physically, by those all around me. It’s a bit of a claustrophobic feeling, but it affects my emotions, making me want to lash out.

I don’t then and I don’t now either.

The man may indeed need to be somewhere, but I can’t possibly have been going that slow, could I have?

I want to tell the man how I feel, but he is a stranger in a hurry. How could I ever explain to him how his need for speed makes me feel like a useless, inconvenience of an object, not a human being at all? What purpose would that serve? Isn’t all this more about how I let my emotions affect my thoughts about myself, more of an internal struggle?

I don’t know at which moment he realizes I am blind, slow by connotation, or if that even really comes into play this time. It does in my own mind. I wish it wouldn’t.

When you’re blind, you’re often made to feel like you are in someone’s way, someone who can see and knows, with certainty, where they are going. I let this affect me more than I probably should.

So, I listen to Bjork sing about feelings and emotions.

She writes about emotional needs, emotional respect. I let her words wash over me and wonder if I write in the hopes of filling an emotional need or several, to demand some emotional respect. I guess that’s better than demanding it in other ways.

With all the politics of the US RNC and DNC from these last two weeks, with politics in general, emotions and words become emotional words. Of course, politics is emotional for most people. It’s certainly more about the emotions than the actual political, for me anyway.

Facts don’t matter. Reason rarely matters at all. Civilized conversation through words quickly dissolves into talking over one another and strong levels of disrespect.

Here I can use my words to convey my emotions. I guess it’s a bit one-sided, unless someone decides to leave a comment of emotion or opinion.

I often don’t say how I am feeling. After all, it isn’t appropriate to voice our every thought, though it sometimes feels like we do, in that moment.

What kind of a world would it be if we actually did?

Cristi of

Finding Ninee

is the host of this Finish the Sentence Friday prompt on emotions and words.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, Spotlight Sunday

Music Makes Me Happy, #1000Speak #InternationalDayOfHappiness

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
–Oscar Wilde

“Aw, Dobby’s sad,” my three-year-old nephew says about my dog, sounding sad too.

I am constantly in awe at how very small children sense sadness in other people and in animals. They sense it, feel it, and acknowledge it, hoping the big people in their immediate vicinity will recognize it and make it all better, like their parents do for them.

Sadness is the opposite of happiness?

I guess, but there are many shades of both.

On this,

International Day of Happiness,

I wonder if I am happy, if the world is all that happy either.

Standard of living, poverty, oppression all play a role, but I believe there are those who have very little (in material possessions) yet are happier than some who have more.

Scars – Emmanuel Jal Feat. Nelly Furtado

Of course material possessions don’t automatically guarantee happiness. This got me thinking on what does make people happy, all across the world, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s one universal thing, other than love I’d think, and that one thing is: music.

This week I did what I never thought I could. I wrote lyrics for a song. I know my singing talents are few at best, but I know I can write, can convey a feeling through words.

Soon after I’d written and worked with my musician brother to set them to the song he’d written, he and a singer recorded it. I’ve heard a rough draft and, after the shock I felt at hearing my words laid out through song, I felt pride and happiness.

Music comes in so many forms and it evokes so many, varied, unique yet universally applicable feelings and emotions. It connects us all around the world. It brings people together. How can any of that not produce happiness?

So, as I’d seen recently on Facebook that people were listing the albums that most affected them, I thought I’d try it. Maybe someone will discover some new music that makes them happy or will be recalled to a time, of happiness, or something else, but at least we’re feeling something. I believe that is important to realizing we’re all human, fallible, deserving of love.

(These are all listed, not in the order of their original release, but in the order of which I feel happiest upon hearing them.)

🙂

First, Jann Arden even has an entire album she’s dedicated to the feeling of the day, as the album is called “Happy”, but here are ten other albums that don’t need to say it, although sometimes they do, to make me happy.

***

No Need To Argue – The Cranberries

“Unhappiness where’s when I was young, and we didn’t give a damn

‘cause we were raised, to see life as fun and take it if we can.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Need_to_Argue

I discovered this Irish group at a time when I was very confused and scared. This album in particular brought me peace from the storm that was raging in my world. Peace was much needed. Listening to this one, still to this day, makes me happy.

Heart of Stone – Cher

“Memories haunt you, feelings you won’t forget
Learn to live a lesson in love, walk away without regret.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Stone_(Cher_album)

Nostalgia is not a big enough word for what I feel about this Cher album. I listen and I am immediately brought back to a simpler time, to happy childhood days.

Vespertine – Bjork

“I have a recurrent dream
Every time I lose my voice
I swallow little glowing lights
My mother and son baked for me”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespertine

This album is a favourite of my youth. The lyrics are wonderfully weird and I feel wistful wild happiness when I listen.

Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette

“I’m broke but I’m happy. I’m poor but I’m kind. I’m short but I’m healthy. Yeah!”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagged_Little_Pill

I was still a little girl when this hit album was released, but it made me happy, even if I didn’t understand a lot of the things she sang about at that time. It got me through a really hard time and it helped me feel happy, sad, angry, scared. It taught me a lot about self expression.

Halcyon – Ellie Goulding

In March 1011, when asked about the album’s musical direction in an interview with gossip website Dean Piper’s World, Goulding stated, “It’s started to sound very dark and very weird. This album is going to be even more emotional (…) I wanted to make it so there is hope. I want to make an effect whether it’s happy or sad.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halcyon_(album)

Without sadness I don’t think happiness would mean nearly as much as it does. I feel both emotions, in quick secession when I’m listening to it.

Songs from the Big Chair – Tears for Fears

“And I believe that if you’re bristling while you hear this song
I could be wrong or have I hit a nerve?”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_from_the_Big_Chair

More nostalgia with this one. Simply a kick-ass bunch of songs. It is from my favourite decade of music, released almost exactly one year after I was born, and I consider to be a gift my father gave me. Well, my father or my big brother, but which one doesn’t really matter because they have both made me who I am. They both have done so much that has made me happy.

Surfacing – Sarah McLachlan

“Make me a witness. Take me out, out of darkness, out of doubt.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfacing_(album)

Being a teenager is hard. This album brought me happiness through its powerful lyrics. It’s imprinted on my mind and heart.

It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily Allen

Don’t you just love the title of this one? Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode. Know which one I mean?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Not_Me,_It%27s_You

Jagged Little Pill was written when I was still a little girl, but I discovered this album when I was finally grown. It sort of became my outcry on so much I saw as I was now a grown woman myself. It makes me happy to hear it and to know I can do this. I can get past so much. I can handle whatever life throws my way.

Left of the Middle – Natalie Imbruglia

“‘cause intuition tells me that I’m doin’ fine
Intuition tells me when to draw the line
Should have turned left
Should have turned right
But I ended up here
Bang in the middle of real life”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_of_the_Middle

This one reminds me of my first taste of independence. I loved it then, it made me happy, and I will love it always.

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

“Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow. Don’t stop. It’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone. Yesterday’s gone.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumours_(album)

Before my time, again, but I like it for the classic record it is. It makes me happy to listen to its snappy beats and its catchy melodies.

***

There you are. There were the ten albums that make my list, music to make me happy.

I am listening to music as I write this post. It’s increasing my level of happiness. I do it often.

Now, I realize this, of course isn’t always possible. Since Bobby McFerrin told us to simply “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” in the eighties, it sounded like a good solution to all of our problems. Unfortunately, not all that practical all the time, but I hope there exists, somewhere out there, a piece of music…or an entire album for that matter, that makes you happy.

And so I hope everyone can find a little piece of their own brand of happiness, on this day set aside for that very thing, if not all the days of the year.

I have no doubt there is a deep connection between happiness and compassion. When we are happy we want to spread it around, (like the sharing of a song), which is compassion in my mind.

I am happy also that I can take part in yet another

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

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Somebody I Once Knew: Playlist For a Broken Heart on the Mend, #SongLyricSunday #LoIsInDaBl

I am writing about song lyrics, again today, although I wrote part One last week on Monday:

I’VE GOT A FEELING (IT’S COMPLICATED)

Here is my final Sunday contribution to

LOVE IS IN DA BLOG 2016,

although hopefully not my last

SONG LYRIC SUNDAY.

It’s that list of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance.

The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief

Of course, with love and heartbreak, the stages can become entwined and out of order. They can overlap, from one to the next and back again. This list of emotions is usually known as the stages of losing a loved one, to death, but losing “love”, in any other way, this is a loss too. Although the other person isn’t gone completely, it still feels like it, a huge shock to the system, in so many ways.

And now I present to you…GOODBYE SONGS…a “somewhat” lengthy playlist of some of the song lyrics that got me through, are still getting me through. Perhaps they may be of some comfort to someone else.

Battlefield – Jordin Sparks

When I was younger I first heard this song and thought it was overdramatic and a bunch of silliness. Of course, the imagery is vivid and I don’t believe in war, I know love can feel rough, which makes it hard to handle. I don’t tend to yell or fight when I am in a relationship. My coping mechanism is to go quiet and hold back. I don’t know if there is a need for shouting in a relationship, but healthy conflict resolution must be possible.

Hurts To Be In Love – Gino Vannelli

When is the pain too great? When is it over, time to let go? I asked, last week, how you really know when you are falling in love. Now I ask…how do you know when you aren’t in love anymore? Does love end, change, disappear into thin air, never to be seen, felt, heard from again?

DENIAL

Between The Raindrops – Lifehouse Feat. Natasha Bedingfield

It can go on for a while, trouble, cracks forming in a relationship. Who knows when it really began. Who can say.

Just Give Me A Reason – Pink Feat. Nate Ruess

The denial that there’s anything underlying, underlining a growing rift. Often I feel like I can’t trust my instincts, or am afraid to, by me saying something I am going to make my worst fears come true. You cling to hope, as long as possible, until something makes things quite clear. By then it is too late, an eventuality that was always going to be the case.

Ghost Town – Madonna

“Maybe it was all too much, too much for a man to take. Everything’s bound to break. Sooner or later. sooner or later.”

–Madonna

Why are singers and artists obsessed with end-of-the-world, final days of humanity scenarios?

The whole “two of us against the world” thing is great and all, but I always feared it would never last, that I couldn’t ever truly count on that.

Hold On – Colbie Caillat

“We’re losing light, losing light. Yeah we’re fading fast. We had a fire, need a spark, or we’ll never last. Just look at me, look at me. I’ve been burning for you so long. So long. I should walk away.”

It’s the hardest thing to let go.

“I’m losing love, losing you, losing everything. Losing faith in the world where I wanna be. So I don’t care if the one thing that is killing me is so wrong, so wrong. I should walk away.”

–Colbie Caillat

Set Fire To The Rain – Adele

You close your eyes to the sights playing out right in front of you. So far, rain mentioned twice, as a metaphor for the cooling off of a relationship, but fire and rain make quite the combo.

Stay – Rihanna Feat. Mikky Ekko

“Ooh, the reason I hold on…ooh, cause I need this hole gone.”

–Rihanna

Payphone – Maroon 5 Feat. Wiz Khalifa

“I know it’s hard to remember, the people we used to be. It’s even harder to picture, that you’re not here next to me. You say it’s too late to make it, but is it too late to try? And all that time that you wasted all of my bridges burned down. I’ve wasted my nights, you turned out the lights. Now I’m paralyzed. Still stuck in that time when we called it love but even the sun sets in paradise.”

–Maroon 5

Pompeii – Bastille

ANGER

Hot & Cold – Katy Perry

“You’re hot then you’re cold. You’re yes then you’re no. You’re in then you’re out. You’re up then you’re down. You’re wrong then it’s right. It’s black then it’s white. We fight we break up. We kiss we make up. You don’t really wanna stay, no. But you don’t really wanna go, oh.”

–Katy Perry

Goodbye – Glenn Morrison Feat. Islove

“Now I…I wanna know what it took to leave me?”

–Glenn Morrison

Giant In My Heart – Kiesca

I could be angry at him…or at myself, for getting stuck, somewhere along the way.

What am I supposed to do?

Anger is a stage you hope you do not get stuck in for very long, but feeling the feelings has to be better than burying them deep down.

What Kind of Man – Florence + the Machine

So you think that people who suffer together would be more connected than people who were content?” she asks.

Does drama need to be a requirement for most people? In the end, can’t we do without?

The video of Florence in the car with the guy is chilling, tension thick, and then the crash!

“What kind of man loves like this?”

–Florence + the Machine

voices as powerful as Florence and Adele can bring forward emotions in me, ones I only choose to cover up the rest of the time.

Rolling in the Deep – Adele

“The scars of your love remind me of us. They keep me thinking that we almost had it all. The scars of your love, they leave me breathless. I can’t help thinking…we could have had it all.”

–Adele

Let Her Go – Passenger

“You only need the light when its burning low. Only miss the sun when it starts to snow. Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. Only hate the road when you’re missing home.”

–Passenger

It’s the whole “not knowing what you have until you no longer have it thing.

BARGAINING

Cups (Pitch Perfect) When I’m Gone – Anna Kendrick

“When I’m gone. When I’m gone. You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone. You’re gonna miss me by my walk. You’re gonna miss me by my talk. Oh, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone. You’re gonna miss me by my hair. You’re gonna miss me everywhere. Oh, you’re sure gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

–Anna Kendrick

Like repeating those words, over and over, like that will make it hurt less.

The lyrics that surround both sides, from anger to bargaining, cover the feelings of saving face.

It helps to assuage the strength of the anger to tell yourself they are missing out, their loss, because you are just that great.

One Last Time – Ariana Grande

Another catastrophic scene as the backdrop of a song about love. Hmmm.

If there is someone else, better suited for them, don’t you want that for someone you want only the best for, even if that does not include you anymore?

Break Your Plans – The Fray

Maybe. Maybe not.

The Great Escape – Patrick Watson

“Gets in his car and drives away…far from the things that we are.”

–Patrick Watson

Nothing worse than when the person you thought was always going to be in your life instead gets in their car and drives away, desperate to escape what you think is you.

Born To Die – Lana Del Rey

“Lost but now I am found. I could see but once I was blind. I was so confused as a little child. Tried to take what I could get…scared that I couldn’t find…all the answers honey.”

–Lana Del Ray

DEPRESSION

Don’t Turn Around – Ace of Base

“I will survive without you.”

–Ace of Base

It’s true, of course, but the depression can take hold and make it seem unlikely that it will ever feel better.

Where Did We Go Wrong – Toni Braxton & Babyface

And then the blame takes control, but only at myself.

Say Something – A Great Big World Feat. Christina Aguilera

“And I…am feeling so small. It was over my head. I know nothing at all. And I…will stumble and fall. I’m still learning to love, just starting to crawl. And I…will swallow my pride. You’re the one that I love, and I’m saying goodbye.”

–A Great Big World Feat. Christina Aguilera

This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r – Maroon 5

Seasons go by. It’s hard to sort out what it meant to be in love, as life goes on, the feelings of anger, mostly covering up those of painful regret.

Used To Love You – Gwen Stefani

“I don’t know why I cry, but I think it’s cause I remember for the first time, since I hated you, that I used to love you.”

–Gwen Stefani

“How” – Regina Spektor

“How can I ever know…why some stay others go?”

–Regina Spektor

At times it felt like people just kept on leaving. I thought it was something about me that kept on making them go, even when I knew with very little doubt that couldn’t be the reason, and after a while I started feeling sure they all would, in time.

It’s that thing about how one moment someone is a stranger to you, unknown and somewhere living their life, and suddenly they are a part of your life and an important part at that, and then, again and before you know what hit you, they are gone and no where to be found once more.

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye (feat. Kimbra)

Where did they go and how does the heart, the system adapt?

Perfect – One Direction

I understand feeling lonely, but I couldn’t see how so many people move on to someone new so quickly. I couldn’t, wouldn’t even dream of it, until I had to try.

Stay The Night – Zedd Feat. Hayley Williams

Even if it’s just to get past the mountainous wall of memories of another person, with the simple holding of a new hand, first time kissing someone other than the one before. At a certain point, once that transition is made, the world does not end and new experiences can be hat, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an utterly strange feeling.

Say It Right – Nelly Furtado

But is it all in a vane attempt to disguise the still lingering feelings? Is it healthy? Is it the right way? Is there even one of those to take at all?

Hide Away – Kiesca

Is it all just a part of feeling that depression, by distraction, forcing forward motion, even if its motives aren’t quite so clear or pure?

Better In Time – Leona Lewis

“It’s been the longest winter without you. I didn’t know where to turn to. See, somehow I can’t forget you, after all that we’ve been through. How could I turn on the TV, without something that’d remind me? Was it all that easy, to just put aside your feelings?”

–Leona Lewis

The title of this song really says it all. It will get better in time. The thought of that feels daunting at first, I know, but I believe in just walking the road. That’s what I keep doing. I had to just keep the faith that I would come out stronger on the other end, but the journey continues.

ACCEPTANCE

Finally, right? Well, it has gotten easier, for sure. The rest of the songs I’ve included here are all upbeat, with yet still a sprinkling of sad throughout, but overall optimistic and full of truth.

Single Girls (Live) – Laura Jansen

I first discovered this song several years ago, as I was dealing with a wrong decision and a hard choice. Society overwhelmingly gives out the message that being single is something to pity or change, as soon as possible. I like the picture Laura paints, about what being alone again, after a relationship, what it’s really like.

“And I keep trying, I keep trying, to make my way back to the life where I belong. But God keeps lying, God keeps lying, saying this is for the best and nothing here is wrong. But I’m still thinking about, I’m still thinking about you. Still think about you.”

–Laura Jansen

It’s not begging to get another person back, like so many love songs. It’s just what life’s really like. It just is.

How Did We Get From Saying I Love You – Great Big Sea

I love the question this band asks in their song, all while singing with their signature brand of positivity, which feels like it’s imbedded in the very core of their musical sound.

“How did we get from saying “I love you” to “I’ll see you around someday”?

Good question GBS. Good question. Ah, the mysteries of life.

🙂

It’s that thought of accidentally running into the person who was once such a big part of your life, in the street one time, with a few polite words and a friendly greeting. After love, that just seems too odd to be reality, but that’s how it often goes.

‘Prayer for the Dying’ – Seal

I’m crossing that bridge…with lessons I’ve learned. Playing with fire and not getting burned. I may not know what you’re going through, but time is the space between me and you. Life carries on. It goes on.”

–Seal

Of course, you play with fire, you’ll likely get burnt. Doesn’t mean you should stop lighting candles on a birthday cake for example. Love and relationships come with risk, which can leave a burn, a mark. It’s true that we can never be exactly certain what another person might be going through. I try to always remember that part of the equation.

Odds Are – Barenaked Ladies

“The odds are that we…will probably be all right. Odds are we’re gonna be alright. Odds are we’re gonna be alright for another night.”

I don’t always do that well with odds, but in this song, when he says it I believe it.

“But somewhere in the world someone’s gonna fall in love by the end of this song.”

–Barenaked Ladies

And so the trick soon becomes to not completely close off to the possibility of love. It’s tempting to shy away, fearing another eventual burn, but there is always hope.

Begin Again – Taylor Swift

“I’ve been spending the last eight months…thinking all love ever does is break…and burn…and end. But on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again.”

–Taylor Swift

Moving on is acceptance and acceptance is moving on.

Not A Bad Thing – Justin Timberlake

“I know, people make promises…all the time…then they turn right around and break them.”

–Justin Timberlake

Don’t punish yourself and someone else for the past. Don’t be afraid to love.

Love Someone – Jason Mraz

I hope I end this story on an uplifting note. I’ll give Ed the last word.

“Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes, but it’s the only thing that I know.
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes, it is the only thing makes us feel alive.”

–Ed Sheeran, Photograph

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Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, Throw-back Thursday

Perfection: Jaggled Little Pill Turns Twenty, #TBT

It must have been important, if I was being taken out of class for this.

Oh no! Not again. What did I do now?

I wasn’t in trouble, not in the usual sense of the term. I just wasn’t trying hard enough, I guess, or so I was lead to believe.

I needed to focus. Why didn’t I want to go out for recess and play with my friends? Why wasn’t I putting up my hand and participating in class?

I should have been in heaven. After two years, I was finally reunited with my best friend. This year I had all my friends in my class. Everything should have been perfect, but everything was going wrong.

These little talks were expected to inspire me to try harder, I suppose, but until a real diagnosis could be offered to explain my behaviours, I was considered falling behind and possibly unable to keep up.

I’d done well, these past six years, but maybe trying to remain in school with my sighted peers was just not working out anymore.

PERFECT

It’s the quality or state of being perfect.

Freedom from fault or defeat, flawlessness.

The quality or state of being saintly.

Definition of “perfection” – Merriam-Webster

You know how it is said that nobody’s perfect?

I know we can all relate. We know we can never achieve it, but we keep trying, we keep on hoping anyway.

“Run another lap, once more around the school yard.”

“Get up. It’s not good for your system to do that. You should remain standing, for your muscles.”

My gym teacher barked his orders at me, but all I could feel was the cool damp grass against my cheek, right in the place I had collapsed, after running laps had taken every ounce of energy I possessed. I couldn’t move. I felt near death. I was failing.

It’s been twenty years since “Jagged Little Pill” was released.

Check out the guest post I wrote for a music blog, just last weekend, to find out why “Perfect” became my ultimate favourite of all the songs on Alanis’s breakout album:

Jingle Jangle Jungle – Perfection (Guest post)

Let’s go back there, to the mid nineties: 1995/96 to be exact and my failure to do anything right, no matter how hard I tried.

People didn’t do it on purpose. They didn’t intend to pummel me with expectations and demands on my energy and on my abilities. They wanted me to be a part of my class and the year, to get good grades and thrive socially, but I was barely keeping my head above water. It was a year of confusion and I lived it in a fog of fear and stress and pain.

I was twelve years old when I first heard it. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard, right up there with albums from Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Sheryl Crow. These female singer song writers were my idols, my soundtracks to the decade, with all of its ups and downs.

I wondered what had happened to her, why she was so angry, not having experienced anything close to what she seemed to be describing. Romantic love was not yet a concept I could imagine.

She starts the song saying she wishes nothing but the best for him, rumoured to be Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier) from Full House, but I couldn’t actually believe it.

Then…

I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away.

You seem very well. Things look peaceful. I’m not quite as well. I thought you should know.

It’s so conversational sounding. Yet, so powerful in its raw emotions.

Now, I understand that feeling of betrayal, at the idea of someone you once loved moving on with someone else.

I want you to know, I’m happy for you. I wish nothing but, the best, for you both.

And every time you speak her name, does she know how you told me you’d hold me until you die, till you die, but you’re still alive.

You Oughta Know (Official Video)

Such a roller coaster of emotions that I had yet to experience.

All I knew, in 1996, was that the song had a swear word that, most times, was cut out. Ah, aw, to be young and innocent.

You oughta know. You learn.

I would learn, eventually, yes. I would learn.

🙂

You Learn (Official Video)

You live. You learn.

You love. You learn.

You cry. You Learn. You lose. You learn.

You bleed. You learn. You scream. You learn.

I would bleed and scream and cry. Hundreds of needles. Multiple surgeries.

In this song, she specifically uses the words “jagged little pill”. I was having to take a lot of pills in the nineties, literally, but I would one day learn the metaphorical swallowing of life’s difficult pills she was referring to.

I would live. I would love. I would lose.

Loss of love         would be one of those difficult pills to swallow.

Alanis must have encountered a lot of sexist treatment, but from the sounds of this iconic album, she stood up for herself, no problem.

Her catholic background, growing up in Ottawa, in Canada all make their appearances, in and amongst her thoughts on men, irony, and pills, as jagged as they sometimes are.

🙂

Songs ranged from angry feminist rants, to religious reflection, to sad musings.

What’s the matter, Mary Jane. Tell me. Please be honest, Mary Jane. Tell me.”

In my own head, when I would listen, I would change the name of Mary Jane in the song to Kerry Lynn.

It’s a long way down, on this roller coaster.

–Mary Jane, lyrics

It felt like a roller coaster, but it’s funny how much music can help and just how much it sticks with you, bringing back the memories it was there to first witness as they happened.

I learned about irony from Alanis, even if the song is a little much. It’s a classic, all these years later still.

🙂

Good thing I learned more about what irony means in English class.

Hand in My Pocket (Lyrics)

I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed.

I’m lost but I’m hopeful.

I feel drunk but I’m sober.

I care but I’m restless.

I’m here but I’m really gone.

And what it comes down to, is I haven’t got it all figured out just yet.

I’m green but I’m wise.

I’m sad but I’m laughing.

I’m brave but I’m chicken shit.

But what it comes down to, is that nobody’s got it all figured out just yet.

What it all comes down to my friends, is that we’re gonna be fine, fine, fine.

These flip flopping emotions were, to me, highly relatable.

I was, most often during those years, putting on the bravest of faces through the pain inside. People began to praise my bravery in the shadow of the medical problems I was dealing with, but deep down I felt that chicken shit thing she mentions, from that first time the doctor said the words “needle” and “surgery”.

🙂

Her sad and raging made way for the more hopeful and upbeat.

Head Over Feet (Official Video)

So maybe she had found acceptance and happiness after all, through writing Jagged Little Pill, harmonica playing not withstanding.

😉

Maybe love and peace were possible, throughout all the turmoil and the growing pains.

This gave me hope that things were going to get better.

Last but not least, it had a secret song! How cool was that, back when I was newly discovering CDs? You had to be patient, if you waited after the last song ended, and there it was.

I wouldn’t truly understand her songs about love and relationships, not until much later, but now I sure can.

Your House (Secret Song)

If you never heard this one, never had the patience to wait after the album was technically done, I highly recommend you check it out.

It is full of longing and desperation. Sure, it may be a stockerish song at heart, but it is how we all feel, at one time or another, whether we’d admit it out loud or not like she did.

To listen to the album, in its entirety, go here:

Jagged Little Pill

Thank you, Alanis and JLP, for getting me through the nineties and the hard stuff. You’re still helping.

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