Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday, The Insightful Wanderer, TToT, Writing

TToT: Forever and Ever and Always – “Inshallah” #10Thankful

“Another celebrity dies. And still it mystifies the people. Another icon is destroyed.”

—The Cranberries, “Paparazzi On Mopeds”

Last week I was writing about American royalty and this week British, with my memories of where I was in my year, month, and life twenty years ago this week, when Princess Diana was killed.

Biopsies and weddings and recriminations, oh my!

I may have been able to see swans twenty years ago, but I don’t know if I’d go back if given the chance.

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I had the best day in a long time with my sister and her kids.

Forever and Ever – Pooh’s Grand Adventure

We spent the day in a nearby town called Stratford, known for culture and Shakespeare’s plays, but I like it best for the swans at the park, the awesome chocolate shop, but mostly for the time the four of us spent there together.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful for another fascinating interview.

I heard Sting speak about his music, then and now, and the world he’s worried about leaving behind for his grandchildren.

I love to listen to interviews, to learn about people, and I think he is a good one. I’ve always been a fan of his music, from his Police days.

Then he scored the IMAX film The Dolphins that I love. It’s remarkably beautiful.

When Dolphins Dance

It brings me peace.

“Be yourself, no matter what they say.”

—Sting

I’m thankful the roof is completed, all fixed, along with all banging sounds silenced.

The men are gone, scaffolding removed, giant bin for debris taken away.

Now the rain will stay where it belongs.

I’m thankful my brother is off on an adventure.

Adventure Is A Wonderful Thing

We drove him and a friend to the airport and I was so excited for them, even more so than if it were me going. I want everyone to get to experience travel of some kind.

I’m thankful to have discovered an out-of-the-way little pizza shop to enjoy with my mom on a drive out of town.

Super Choice!

It was.

I’m thankful the first of multiple pieces of my writing was published to round off the month of August.

My Pal Croche: Remembering My First Guide Dog – Paw Culture

I am grateful that Paw Culture gave me the opportunity and a place to write about Croche, for the tenth anniversary of her death, on Good Friday, 2017.

I’m thankful for September and the first of the fresh local apples of the fall season.

It’s practically all I eat for the next month or so. Perfect combination of sweet and sour. So crisp and crunchy.

I’m thankful my niece and nephew have had such an amazing person to take care of them for the early years of their lives, so my brother and his wife could be at work and have total confidence and trust in the care their children were getting.

Now that my nephew will be joining his big sister in school, this won’t be happening, but the bond will always be there.

I know it’s hard to have to decide to leave your precious baby with someone else so much of the time, as working parents, and especially in a city like Toronto, finding good childcare isn’t so easy.

This person helps shape how the child will be, from the first years of their lives, and I know this was a big weight off their minds. I am grateful to this person. I see how much my nephew and niece love her. Transitions are never so easy and pain free, but a part of life.

I’m thankful for the senses I still have to enjoy a day out with loved ones.

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I got kind of depressed after we returned from Stratford, because I couldn’t see the white swans on the water anymore, but I enjoyed juice boxes, walking along a path while my nephew looked for a campsite (pretend), and the drive there and back.

I felt the fresh air and sunshine of the day. I smelled the scent of chocolate as we entered the shop. I heard the ducks and geese, if I couldn’t see the others.

I’m thankful for the sweetest moments with my nephew and niece during our day.

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“Kerry, mommies and daddies always come back, right?”

I was blown away by that statement? Question? Hmm. I still don’t know.

I heard the small voice from behind my front van seat ask this. He’d heard it said on a children’s program that morning. He sounded certain enough, but still looking for a little reassurance from his aunt.

“Inshallah”

Then, as we walked through a store full of goodies, he soon asked if we could get chocolate for others, not just himself. I almost melted, right there, surrounded by chocolates, at his thoughtful request.

As my sister loaded him and our treats into the van, I held my niece in my lap. She’d hardly cried or fussed the entire day. Later that night, I’d hold her in my lap as she chattered away and watched her big brother playing, with great interest.

My nephew wanted me to come to his house to watch Pooh’s Grand Adventure and I did. I am so happy I did.

Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin

I’d seen it before with him, but never had I paid as close attention to the dialogue and word choice. I was impressed at what a smart story it is.

As we sat, the song from above played, about being together forever and ever, as my nephew crawled into my lap and cuddled, sitting still for what could have been a shot at forever and I nearly cried, thinking of how many days there will be like that granted to me.

“Inshallah.”

It means God Willing. It’s an Arabic word I heard mentioned twice this week, from Sting during his interview and then in a piece I read somewhere.

I’m thankful for my boys.

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Never before had both Dobby and Lumos sat on either side of my chair like that.

I think Lumos was still wanting me all to himself, as Dobby had been away the previous few days because of all the commotion with the roof repairs.

And to end the post, a song that one of my favourite bands wrote after Diana’s senseless death.

Paparazzi On Mopeds – The Cranberries

Goodbye summer/August, the final long weekend of the season, and welcome to a new month and season of autumn to come.

And to my nephew, starting school for the first time and his big sister and cousin, I want you all to know:

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

—Pooh’s Grand Adventure

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Hourglass With Flowing Sand, #GlobalWarming #ClimateChange #SongLyricSunday

“What about deprivation, gluttony, the human nation?”

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Another from my all-time favourite: The Cranberries.

For this week’s
Song Lyric Sunday,
the theme is time.

Is it ticking out on us? Are we running out of it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AJsLkRbQ74

Tick…tick…tick…tick.

***

We’d better think about the things we say
We’d better think about the games we play
The world went round, around and round
We’d better think about the consequences
We’d better think about the global senses
The time went out, the time went out
What about Chernobyl? What about radiation?
We don’t know, we don’t know
What about deprivation? Gluttony, the human nation?
We don’t know, we don’t know
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Time is ticking out
Looks like we screwed up the ozone layer I wonder if the politicians care
And time went out, and time went out
What about our children then? Is there nothing left for them?
We don’t know, we don’t know
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Ahh they need oxygen, ahh they need oxygen
For me love is all, for me love is all
For me love is all, for me love is all
Time is ticking out yeah
The time is ticking out

LYRICS

***

More global warming talk…or is it climate change we’re calling it now?

I don’t care what you call it. How much of it did we cause and how much of it can we control or help? How long will science be ignored by religion or plain old ignorance of the mess we’ve made?

I worry about what other governments do. I worry about the oceans not being protected. I worry about what another government and country does or doesn’t do, especially when EPA regulations are being rolled back and we share an amazing natural resource: The Great Lakes.

I wrote about this increasing temperature change thing that’s becoming hard to dispute (though some continue trying anyway).

It was the day in February that my new niece was born, and the weather was so warm that people all over Toronto, on the news, they were ecstatic to be waring t-shirts in the middle of winter. Me…not so much. I wondered just what kind of a situation we were cheering, that my niece and the other children will be inheriting from us older generations.

Are we so selfish and only interested in our comfort levels in the moment that we don’t see, can’t see, won’t see?

Tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…tick…like a clock, counting down the minutes.

And, before you know it, we’re living to see the next ice age. Okay, who knows, but that’s my problem. None of us know what we might be in store for, least of all is me, as I know very little about possible food shortages, famines (already in progress in parts of the world), and more extreme weather patterns and super storms, which we’re seeing all over the place.

If we all want to continue living in a fantasy world of never ending natural resources, this song won’t stop that. I just thought it was poignant, almost twenty years ago when it came out, and we’re reaping the benefits of human greed. What does time change, really?

I’m not going to use the term “blind” to describe what we, as the human species, refuse to see about our time on earth. I can’t see and I am still worried, worried about what a slippery slope it is we may be walking.

I picture that hourglass from The Wizard of Oz. I see the sand or the coloured jewels (red, yellow, green, and blue) like in Harry Potter. I hear the silent sound of grains of sand, falling from top to bottom in that hourglass, singling time we can never ever get back.

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Promises Made and Promises Broken, #SongLyricSunday #TheCranberries

“Why can’t you stay here awhile
Stay here awhile
Stay with me”

—The Cranberries, Promises

The Cranberries, Collective Soul, Pinback, Jann Arden, Phil Collins, Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, Bjork, Sarah McLachlan, Sade, Ellie Goulding, City and Colour, Lily Allen, Eminem/JZ, John Legend, Bob Seger …

Song Lyric Sunday, #SongLyricSunday

Another Sunday has come around.

What was my first concert?

Hmm.

It’s strange how my memory is blurry on this question. I don’t really know why that is.

It’s The Cranberries! It’s got to be The Cranberries!

They were my favourite band, back when I had a favourite. It was “likely” my first concert and I had a date.

Aw, how sweet. Innocence, but I would learn a lot about promises, in love mostly, soon enough.

I went on to see this band four times, if memory serves, with boyfriends, sister, friends.

Promises – The Cranberries (Live in Paris)

This song talks of vows broken. As the song’s title suggests, of broken promises.

What is a promise made, worth?

I chose it because it was the big single, that first concert experience of mine, back in 1999.

The song is indeed a powerful one. It speaks to one of the biggest battles I struggle with.

I try real hard not to judge, as I know what being judged feels like, but when it comes to love and relationships, I often wonder why?

I know life is not as simple as I’d like it to be, that a promise seems huge and binding when its a child’s promise, such as in the promise many young people make, to stay best friends forever.

That is the first lesson, that promises are only good when they are made, but don’t guarantee their continuation. They end, when feelings change, and people are left to pick up the pieces.

I hear the anger and the frustration in Dolores’s voice, when she sings

You better believe I’m coming You better believe what I say You better hold on to your promises Because you bet, you’ll get what you deserve
She’s going to leave him over She’s gonna take her love away So much for your eternal vows, well It does not matter anyway clickable

I wish every love would last, every relationship would be never-ending, but songs like this bring those realities out into the open.

Oh, all the promises we made All the meaningless and empty words I prayed, prayed, prayed
Oh, all the promises we broke All the meaningless and empty words I spoke, spoke, spoke clickable

It feels meaningless, at the time, but it’s not, none of it. But is giving up the answer, in all situations? Of course not. The hopelessness of a broken promise makes me think on how relationships flourish and how they crash and burn.

What of all the things that you taught me What of all the things that you’d say What of all your prophetic preaching You’re just throwing it all away
Maybe we should burn the house down Have ourselves another fight Leave the cobwebs in the closet Cause tearing them out is just not right clickable

They put on an excellent live show. I will never forget how their music moved through me, all around me, holding me to my seat, frozen in awe.

Of course, a live song clip here isn’t quite the same, but I love to think back on how it felt to be there.

http://www.metrolyrics.com/promises-lyrics-cranberries.html

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TToT: Where Rugged Coasts and Grassy Hills Collide – Don’t Look Back, #10Thankful

“the beautiful spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”

–Harriet Ann Jacobs

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What a week! (Read on to find out why…)

Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys

I remember not thinking this so much as it was in progress, but now that I am looking back on it, I have felt pure exhaustion, for some reason.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For my first official violin lesson.

I didn’t know if a whole hour would be too much for me. Playing violin is going to be a physical tax on my body, as I have a lot of pain, a lot of the time, but this is like going to the gym, for me, in a way. Sounds less taxing, but it isn’t much less, not really.

I have been just teaching myself, along with a few instructions from my uncle, so now it’s time to learn proper technique. It will be a slow process, a progress that takes time to build on.

I think of it like using an iPhone when you can’t see. At first, when I tried my brother’s phone, it all seemed tricky and difficult. But once I got a feel for it, where on the screen I could locate specific App’s or where on the keyboard to place my fingertip, if I wanted an A instead of a Q. Once you develop the sense memory required, like my new teacher says, it will come to you.

For my new violin teacher.

She has been playing the violin since she was four and teaching it since she was fourteen. I guess that means she is qualified to teach me.

🙂

She is outgoing and a willing participant in teaching violin to someone she can’t just show by doing. She must show me, most times, by hand or with verbal instruction, but she has been eager from the beginning. I am thankful and appreciative for the enthusiasm she has shown thus far.

For my brother’s faith in me, in asking me in the first place, to write the lyrics for his final assignment in his Music Industry Arts program.

The song is called “Don’t Look Back” and I hoped it would convey a feeling, but I don’t think many will pick it out from my words.

People’s first impulse is to think most songs are about love, but although this one could be, it’s about losing something else entirely, something valuable.

I was afraid I couldn’t write lyrics. I did it. The week started with only vague ideas and unclear groupings of words. It ended with a song, still in rough draft, but on its way to becoming a thing of beauty. This is because my brother had faith and put the lyric creation in my hands. I just hope he is pleased with the results. I know, after listening to what he’s come up with so far, that I am more than pleased.

For a slimmed-down Writer’s Circle.

Things come up and people get busy. I myself have missed a Wednesday or two, for my brother’s accident or for a bad night of my own. I understood.

It was just the three of us: Bernie, Theo, and myself this time. That’s okay. It was nice to have a smaller group once, but I missed a few other members who weren’t there.

There seemed to be a lot more silliness and a little less serious writing. Good times though. I brought a mystery object. It was a little bear with a heart shaped locket with my photo and my dad’s photo from my kidney transplant. Theo even took pics of it, to show someone, to go along with the wild talking bear story he came up with.

For Ireland.

I love the Ireland commercial narrated by Liam Neeson. His beautiful Irish accent is perfect for it.

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I know about the beer and the celebrating, as I have had a bit of that St. Patrick’s Day fun here in Canada, but no green beer can compare to the real place.

For one incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventure in my favourite place in the world.

Luck of the Irish

It was my dream to visit Ireland and I had a blast with friends, old and new.

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I crossed this bridge with my travel companions, in front and behind me, and I made it to the other side.

She Travels Without Sight: Crossing Ireland’s Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Blind

I speak more about the experience in the above interview with an awesome travel blog.

I am thankful for that experience and that it taught me that sometimes, in life, you’ve just got to go for it.

For Irish music and Irish musicians.

Only When I Sleep – The Corrs

Of course, as much as I love that one, my favourite Irish group is, without a doubt…

God Be With You – The Cranberries

God I love Ireland and The Cranberries too.

🙂

I wrote a post to mark the twenty year anniversary of the release of my all-time favourite of their albums.

Ode and Lament: Ode to “No Need To Argue”

I am forever thankful that this album came along. It taught me about Irish history, about Irish poets, and oh so much more.

As I rode the tour bus along the winding highway I heard a familiar sound coming out of the bus’s PA speaker. It was a song by The Cranberries and then our guide announced we would be stopping at the grave site of W.B. Yeats.

I was blown away by the peaceful feeling I got from that spot. I thought back on that song and the words about the “Lake Isle of Innisfree”.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats

World Poetry Day is in March after all.

For another chance to showcase a man, through an interview I conducted, who sets a brilliant example for the males of the world and the website willing to give me that opportunity.

Shining a Light on Preventing Abuse Against Women-an Interview with Garry Atkinson – Good Men Project

Thank you Jeremy McKeen and Garry Atkinson.

For the first day of spring.

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I like this photo, or what I’m told of it anyway, because although it is officially spring here in the northern hemisphere today, it is cold and snowing in some parts. I liked the image of spring flowers and snowflakes in the air.

For all the things that bring me happiness.

Music Makes Me Happy, #1000Speak #InternationalDayOfHappiness

So, as I said, what a week! What a week of music and of the growth promised by the colour green.

So Cold In Ireland – The Cranberries

For spring, music, Ireland, even when they are cold.

😉

For all these things and more.

Yeats’ Grave – The Cranberries

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

–William Butler Yeats

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Ode and Lament

As the final few days of 2014 are coming to a close, I wanted to highlight a few anniversaries. Most importantly is the twenty years since the release of an album full of music that has changed my life and gotten me through everything from illness, to loss of a loved one, to the end of an important relationship.

The Cranberries released their second studio album in 1994 and this has remained, not only my favourite, but the favourite of so many others. Songs like “Ode To My Family” and “Zombie” remain this Irish band’s biggest known hits of all-time, but it’s in every song and beautifully haunted lyric that I find solace and refuge from some of the harshness of life.

I know this particular album may not hold the same meaning for many people as it does for me, but I urge you to listen to it sometime if you haven’t already.

The Cranberries, “No Need To Argue” full album, YouTube

When I was eleven or twelve years old my sister brought home a mixed tape from a boy on our school bus. He was from an Irish family and he gave my sister this Irish band to listen to. They were called The Cranberries and right away that name caught my attention. I shared a room with my sister and I started out listening to what she listened to because that’s what a little sister did.

Once I listened to the selection of songs however, a mixture from “Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We” (1993) and “No Need To Argue” (1994), I was mesmerized and I was hooked.

I soon would confiscate the mixed tape and would wear it out, eventually taking more interest in the band than my sister. I would listen until the point of wearing out the tape, until I was gifted a copy of my very own as a get-well present, during one particularly long and unexpected hospital stay, near the end of 1996 it was.

What it means to me now and what it meant to me then …

Ode To My Family:

“Understand the things I say. Don’t turn away from me.
‘cause I’ve spent half my life out there. You wouldn’t disagree.
Do you see me? Do you see. Do you like me, standing there?
Do you like me standing there? Do you notice? Do you see me? Does anyone care?”

As I’ve struggled to fit in with the world, I have felt separate many times, invisible and yet glaringly obvious. The gawkers I felt watching. The staring that I could not truly see. Leading to the thoughts of will I fit in and will I find belonging? Wanting to be seen as anyone else might be seen.

“Unhappiness, whereas when I was young and we didn’t give a damn. We were raised, to see life as fun and take it if we can.”

The themes of family and a past of mine now, a place where I belonged. A freer childhood of innocence and security, I could not ask for and you would not find.

“Understand what I’ve become. It wasn’t my design. And people everywhere think better than I am.”

Feeling like a fraud sometimes, somehow, as everyone does at one time in their lives. The events that have shaped me leave me with jagged edges and some corners smoothed down.

Feelings of belonging, always felt with them, but not when I go out there. Never to duplicate what they have given and give to me. What does the rest of the world know or care of these things and of me? Will this sense of belonging ever be duplicable out there, ever again?

I can’t Be With You:

“Lying in my bed again and I cry ‘cause you’re not here. Crying in my head again and I know that it’s not clear.”

Longing for that one I know I can no longer have. All such sorry substitutes, who will compare, but still I look and I search, always hoping, always.

“But it’s bad, and it’s mad, and it’s making me sad because I can’t be with you.”

It’s the letting go of what should be, what’s not meant to be that creates so many feelings of desperation and regret.

“Thinking back on how things were and on how we loved so well. I wanted to be the mother of your child and now it’s just farewell. Put your hands in my hands and come with me. We’ll find another end. And my head, and my head, on anyone’s shoulder, ‘cause I can’t be with you.”

Still in love sounds so horribly pathetic, such a thing to admit. I wondered than and I wonder now at the young love spoken of.

“Still in love with you.”

Twenty One:

A dark night, so many years ago.

Age ten, eleven, twelve…I grew up these last twenty years, going on twenty one myself.

Driving through the countryside at night, the haunting sound of Twenty One ringing so sombrely in my ears, nearly lulling me to sleep or at least a strange peaceful trance.

Couldn’t then imagine being twenty one years, but that year has come and gone. I’ve long since passed by, on and on and I hurtled straight into my thirties.

“Twenty-one. Twenty-one. Twenty-one.”

These two numbers, put together and repeated ring in my ears and bring on that trance-like state, closest I’ve yet come to being hypnotized.

Zombie:

The song to become a hit, bigger than they probably could have imagined.

“Another head hangs lowly. Child is slowly taken. And the violence cause such silence. Who are we mistaken?”

My love of the Irish people, and yet a place I had never been to. Such history and violence I could only hear in her lyrics, her pain at the helplessness of it all evident when she sings.

“With their tanks and their bombs and their bombs and their guns, they are fighting. They are crying. They are dying.”

I slowly became more aware of its historical reference and meaning, as I grew to understand more of these things and our world, past and present.

“It’s the same old theme since nineteen sixteen.”

What changes there and everywhere where violence persists? I want to scream out the lyrics in frustrated rage, helpless in my smallness, and still, and yet, so I listen to her singing words of mothers losses instead.

Empty:

“Something has left my life and I don’t know where it went to.”

So few lyrics in this one. So few are needed. Soft piano and violin wrap around my heart and pull its strings tight as if on an instrument.

“My identity. Has it been taken? Is my heart breaking, on me? All my plans they fell through my hands, they fell through my hands on me. All my dreams, it suddenly seems…it suddenly seems. Empty.”

A future rearing up dark, blank, devoid of anything else. My life, ending up not at all where I thought it would, fearing an encroaching emptiness that could swallow me whole. It’s an emptiness I shake off as best I can. This line, this song, her wild cries of “Empty!” and the lump in my throat forms and the tears they start at the corners of my eyes.

Everything I Said:

“It makes me lonely. It makes me very lonely. It makes me tired. It makes me very tired.”

These, all feelings of weariness that take hold when someone, when love has come and gone.

“Everything I said…oh, well I meant it. And inside my head, holding on.”

What am I holding on to, for exactly? I guess I have always had trouble letting go of friends, family, and of love. Probably the fear of being alone and lonely are ever on my mind.

And if I died tonight would you hold my hand? Would you understand?”

Her thoughts of gloomy, rejected sadness grip me every single time, as she sings,

“I’ll get over you.”

Her cries of sadness I was in awe of then and I know them, I know them now. If I were to have someone would they stay ? You can’t make anybody stay. I remember everything I say and I mean it all the way, but, in the end, who will stay?

The Icicle Melts:

First my sister would sing and then I would follow, lyrics of helpless images that the world shows us any day of the week. The image of an icicle was a strangely vivid one, to me.

“I should not have read the paper today cause a child, child child was taken away.”

I hear headlines and I feel for mothers. I wanted to share the love I felt with a child who needed someone. A mother, a wish, one I may never be, but that instinct burns strong in me.

“How could you hurt a child? Does this make you satisfied?” I don’t know what’s happening to people today, when a child he was taken away.”

I want to shake all those who hurt the children, would-be mothers and fathers, government officials, strangers, those who should love them. Children suffer everyday and I can not help. And sometimes it’s the mothers, with such strong bonds, that must see the suffering of their child, must go through losing that child.

“Nine months is too long.”

The image of those famous months where a child is nurtured into development. Such a short time really, but all the time it takes to build that bond between mother and child, all to be broken in nothing but a headline.

This swooping ballad pulled me along from the very first listen and still does to this day.

Disappointment:

Someone is lost and can’t be found. As she repeats the words, the loss is felt over and over again..

“Disappointment. Oh, you shouldn’t have done, you couldn’t have done, you wouldn’t have done the things you did … .”

She shouts out, she decided. I don’t know why, what she has decided. To leave a particular situation? The mystery intrigues me and sweeps me along to a disappointing conclusion.

“We could have been happy. What a piteous thing, a hideous thing was tainted by the rest.”

More and more desperate emotions in this song that I can’t quite put my finger on, but that I can’t ignore. I share the same hope for the well-being of someone I once loved. You can see through the chaotic frenzy of emotion, to the part of you that wants them to be happy, wherever and however that may be.

But it won’t get any harder, and I hope you find your way again.”

There’s no guarantee that hard will not become harder. I must weather the disappointments that truly are. Again and again she repeats the word and I am forced to face my own disappointments head on, taking them for what they are worth.

Ridiculous Thoughts:

I have them all the time. Ridiculous thoughts. They grow and they build. I hold on tight, onto the ride, through life. I move on and keep moving forward. These thoughts, threaten to swallow me up.

“You’re going to have to hold on,” she repeats, “to meeeeeeeee!!!”

Swiftly, she pulls me forward with the force of her words, but how do you escape your own thoughts?

Dreaming My Dreams:

The perfect song for marriage and a life together. Sure, I dreamed it would be mine someday too, the sentiment of this song that would run deep. To find that one other person to live out my dreams with. These words bringing me hope and faith that he exists, somewhere out there.

“All the things, you said to me today, changed my perspective in every way.”

What an uplifting thought, that one other person, the right person can totally change the perspective from which you look at life.

“It’s out there. It’s out there. It’s out there. If you want me I’ll be there.”

Guitar and violin here are the stuff of those dreams. the dream is hard to give up. I won’t. I will be there for someone, for the right one who wants me and what may be waiting for us both out there.

Yeats’ Grave:

“Silenced by death in the grave.”

As a child, this poet I did not know, but who was important enough to become this song to this band. Talk of graves did not deter me, even as a young girl with talk of graves and misery.

“Had they but courage equal to desire.”

The darkness of it I was drawn to from the first time (poem, song, words, and lyrics), both courage and desire, in the darkness, being things I wondered at most already.

“And you sit here with me, on the Isle of Innisfree.”

Innisfree out there somewhere. Poetry and lyrics of which I wanted to explore and a place far in the mists of the mythical, but the Isle of Innisfree was out there somewhere, a real live place, secluded and remote.

“Why should I blame her, that she filled my days with misery?”

A time when this song played on a bus, on the way to this grave where I then stood and this poetry and the music I know oh so well now became oh so real.

“William Butler”

Lake Isle of Innisfree, Wikipedia

Daffodil Lament:

“Holding on. that’s what I do since I met you. And it won’t be long. Would you notice if I left you? And it’s hard for some, ‘cause you’re not the one.”

The song with the two parts, the sorrow first, in the end of something.

“All night long, laid on my pillow. These things are wrong. I can’t sleep here!!!”

And then the beauty to be discovered underneath, with recognizing the problem and taking steps to make things better and beautiful again.

“I have decided to leave you forever. I have decided to start things from here. Thunder and lightening won’t change what I feel. And the daffodils look lovely today.”

The symbolic daffodils, “look lovely today.” The symbolic use of nature, thunder and lightening and pretty flowers, the disguises hidden under the surface perhaps?

“Ooh in your eyes I can see the disguise. Ooh in your eyes I can see the dismay. Has anyone seen lightening? Has anybody looked lovely? And the daffodils look lovely today.”

The song grows into an upbeat theme song for looking on the bright side of things and then ends, its final note on a downcast layering of a true lament.

No Need To Argue (Title Track):

A quiet end to a one-of-a-kind musical and lyrical experience.

“There’s no need to argue anymore. I gave all I could but it left me so sore.”

One lowly organ and her memories.

“And the thing that makes me mad was the one thing that I had. I knew, I knew, I’d lose you. YOU’ll always be special to me.”

Such memories, it feels like an intrusion, but perhaps a window onto these memories that can be sad and wistful at the same time, but that don’t have to be forever painful to recall.

“And I remember all the things we once shared, watching TV movies on the living room armchair. And they say it will work out fine. Was it all a waste of time? Cause I knew, I knew I’d lose you. You’ll always be special to me.”

Different memories, perhaps, but the same remembrance.

“There’s no need to argue anymore.”

And there’s a certain peace in this, in the quietude and solitude of this last track, the snapshots that flip, from one to the next, in the minds’ eye.

“Special,” she whispers faintly at the end.

Yes, “No Need To Argue” is certainly special to me.

Happy Twenty-year Anniversary to an album that changed my life and will surely last the test of time.

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World Poetry Day

There seems to be a day to celebrate everything: from pie to poetry. I like this because it offers many blog writing ideas.
I love poetry, yet I find it difficult to write. I admire so many others who are able to be brief and direct and so beautiful and moving with their poems. I try, but this is less a post about my own poetry as it is about the poems and their poets who inspire and touch me deeply.
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My previous post was about Ireland and one of the poets I highly admire just so happens to be Irish: and a Nobel Prize winner of literature: William Butler Yeats.
I first learned of him years ago. The Cranberries had a song on my favourite of their albums, No Need To Argue, entitled Yeats’ Grave. In this song Dolores sings out the lyrics of his poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree, with such loveliness and her well-known brand of haunting melody, speaking lines from his poem in between singing. “Had they the courage equal to desire.” I was instantly drawn in and captivated.
Years later and I found myself on a tour bus, traveling all across Ireland. On the second day our lively and always fun tour guide began talking about Yeats, while The Cranberries played on the speaker in the background, as we entered Drumcliffe in County Sligo. I smiled to myself, not really believing where I was lucky enough to be at that moment in time. He said we would be stopping at W. B. Yeats’ grave.
It was a peaceful place. I stood on the grass with my two friends and fellow travellers and marvelled at my surroundings. It was a poem in itself, if I had more of a chance and ability to write one. My friend showed me the plaque and his tombstone. I remembered that Cranberries song and I heard the lyrics playing loudly inside my head. Yeats wrote about Irish mythology and folklore and I could feel all of that swirling around me, there, on that spot.
***
My favourite poem is by the great American poet Robert Frost. I first read it in school and it spoke to me immediately: The Road Not Taken. This poem felt like it had been written specifically for me and my life.
I felt then and do now that my own life has always been one of unpredictability. I have never before taken the obvious path in life and have gone down some pretty unexpected roads. It began in high school. I did not go on to post secondary like my peers. I couldn’t handle what life was supposed to be, so instead I decided to follow my own unique path. I often wonder what my life would have been like, if I had been well enough at the time and able to manage the stress and the pressures. I still don’t know, but the path I chose is mine and only mine.
***
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
***
Frost speaks of a wood and a well trodden path, but mine was my own to tread. His symbolism and imagery spoke to me and I never forgot that.
***
Robert Frost wrote poetry about nature and the natural world, winning him four Pulitzer Prizes. His poem Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening was another I read in school, loving the peaceful feeling it gave me. “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” I could feel and smell the snow in those woods, could hear the jangling of the horse’s bell, back in a time, years before I was born.
***
On this World Poetry Day I wanted to salute just a few of the poets I love. I have read a few lately, destined to touch a lot of people. One was just accepted into Wordgathering, a literary magazine for people with disabilities. He writes eloquently about what it feels like to go from living in a visual world to being separated forever from the sighted world. I wish him great success with this poem and his future poetry.
***
Thank you to all the poets out there who make us all feel so strongly about the little moments and the big things, nature and the human condition. I am comforted every day by your words.
What are some of your favourite poems and poets?
poets.org is an excellent resource for poems and poets.

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