Usually I try to respond to every comment left on this blog.
I have been so humbled by all of your warm and supportive comments on my last post, however, that I was rendered speechless.
Thank you. Gracias. In every language, merci.
Know that I have read, re-read, and will continue to cherish, all of your encouraging words. They have touched me so; I’m sure they will be gems I return to many times. (You made me smile and cry at the same time. I am becoming the master of smiling and crying simultaneously. I’m coming to kind of dig this ability, actually).
As I mentioned, I have my heart set on gratitude, beauty, and compassion as much as anything during these shaky times. You all have confirmed by about ten million (10,000,000!) why I am so thankful. Wow, I also feel joyful and amazed!
I never wanted this space to become a record of a breakdown (and hopefully it won’t now, either!), but I thought I’d share a bit of my journey over the past several months in song-form (ahem, other people’s songs. I have not suddenly gained the ability to sing, though that would be awesome!)
I’m one of those people who alights on a song and plays it over and over and over again (obsessive much?)…until I discover the next one that helps me. I’ve always been like this, I think, no matter what’s going on in my life.
I don’t know if it’s wise to continue sharing tidbits of information that reveal me as slightly strange (heck, y’all already know I forget to take my bathrobe off when I leave the house sometimes!), but I guess I’ll hope it’s as endearing as it is eccentric.
A lot of my time has been wrapped up in said bathrobe, working on my novel, and taking breaks to listen to these songs on repeat. I cannot write with music (or any sound – one reason I can’t do the whole working in a cafe thing), but when I’m stuck, I often get up and put on some music and dance around the house. I think it loosens up the ideas again. (I sometimes wonder what my neighbors must think of me. Can they see into my window?)
I haven’t been organized enough to do it, but I thought at one point of trying to do my own musical map of the stages of grief (and then the attendant rebirth – yes, the phoenix rising!)
What each person finds cathartic is of course very personal, but if you’re interested, these are some of the tunes that have found themselves on repeat, roughly in the order they were moving through me. I know I always love when people share with me what inspires them.
Though inspires. Well, I admit a lot of these are kind of, well, you know, melancholy. But heck, I’ve always been kind of emo. I’m a passionate Scorpio! I very well live and breathe intensity.
I’m developing a new theory that my ability to remain so positive is because I have these other outlets where I can explore the darker territory. In fact, I got a letter back from my writing advisor yesterday where he mentioned my story being “dark and gothic” (in the good way!), like Edgar Allan Poe.
(For the record, my novel is nothing like Poe, but I had used a line from a Poe poem and my advisor said it was a good reference, as he was dark and gothic, like my story).
I’ve never been happier to be called dark and gothic! Hooray!
Anyway. Right. More quirky Paris posts soon (including another free giveaway!). I promise. But for now, without further ado, a few selections from my Catharsis Catalogue. (Email readers: lots of embedded videos. Go to the blog if you want to see them, though I’ve also linked the titles, too.)
When I first stumbled across this on YouTube, the incredible music paired with a beautiful ballet took my breath away. I think for copyright reasons, they had to take that video down, but watching just the ballet is also well worth it. But here’s the song, as it’s Dinah’s vocals on overlay that made it really sing for me:
This one is good for pure emoting. This is the kind of music I love listening to anyway. But yeah, give me a breakup and it becomes an entirely new animal.
* “Soon This Space Will Feel Too Small” – Lhasa
I was blown away when a new friend (a brilliant writer) introduced me to Lhasa. This song is so lyrical and haunting. I often use it when I’m trying to work through particularly tough passages in my writing, too. Lhasa, the artist, died last year of breast cancer. She was only 37 years old. That piece of information reminds me yet again to make every day precious. Every, every day.
Actually kind of an upbeat sadness. I’m getting better. I am made of light and joy. Even sadness can have a beat. This is how I started to think of it. The audio to my laughing/crying periods? (Also, do I look like the women in this video when I’m dancing around the house?)
Can’t embed this one. Check it out here.
* “This Woman’s Work” – Kate Bush
This is just classic. I mean it’s so often about Woman’s Work, isn’t it?
* “Running Up That Hill” – The Chromatics
Another Kate Bush song, actually, but I love this synthy version. Good for dancing (notice a theme?)
* “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” + Wade Robinson dance
Again, love the pairing of dance + music
* My current fave is Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
And this doesn’t necessarily belong in the category I’m compiling here, but I never tire of watching this routine to another Adele song. And yes, it’s from the show “So You Think You Can Dance.” One of my guilty pleasures.
(Can you see why I wanted to dance again?!)
Thanks for indulging me, y’all.
Which songs do you have on repeat? Always love suggestions!