Many Happy Returns

Wishes, hopes, and dreams

that the coming year will be

filled with health and joy

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Writing 101 The Impossible Musical Choice

Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice.  Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

My initial reaction is: impossible choice. Music is deeply personal and each day offers me the chance to choose new and old favorites again and again.  Additionally, in my work I am always choosing music for rituals, life events and other activities. While I appreciate music that is specified for such things, I believe that popular/secular music has the potential to be used in ritual and try to choose songs that reflect the lives of the people I encounter. All music, even the types that may not resonate with me are offerings to the universe. Art is our act of offering our best selves to the spirit and if you believe; to God or a power greater than ourselves.

Music often expresses what I cannot, in a way I cannot.  Although my undergraduate degree is in music, I utilize music as an avocation or adjunct to my work. I love that a song can transport me to a place I was when I was five or fifteen or twenty five, when the first few notes come drifting through the speakers. Music lulled my children to sleep as I sang “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof  to them at night. Music takes me through seemingly insufferable workouts cheering me on.  It accompanies me on long road trips. It lifts me up when I’m down or allows me some minutes of wallowing when I am processing the events that took me down. In the span of a playlist I can travel back in time and relive favorite moments all through a song. These reasons scratch the surface of why this writing assignment seems challenging to me.

So my twist is that for today, these three songs are the ones I choose from my infinitely overwhelming and exhilarating musical tarot deck. The music speaks for itself. I’m approaching this as a three song reading of my life today. Faith, Hope and Love. Today’s playlist is exactly that.  Tomorrow’s will be different and might include Bright Eyes, Gogol Bordello, and Leonard Bernstein.  I won’t know until I wake up.

Faith: Faith cannot grow without doubt. This song expresses that sentiment for me in a way I hope to embody faith. It is a struggle, a joy, a challenge and an important part of my life.Faith is about kind action and even in my struggles I am no less obligated to try to make positive change. Billiy Joel- River of Dreams

Hope: Warren Zevon is better known for many other songs. To me this song is about hope and about caring for those who care for us.  It is an expression of gratitude. I hear it and sing it as a prayer. Warren Zevon Don’t Let us Get Sick

Love: My Uncle introduced this song and the whole show- Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, to me when I was a teenager. I picked this version, rather than my beloved one from the show because I hear this song as an anthem or hymn and because I still dream of a world where the words of this song become true. Jacques Brel If We Only Have Love

Blogging 101-Writing 101- unlock the mind

She’d been there nearly all her life.  Almost as long as she could remember, it was a place where things frequently puzzled her.  Nooks and crannies, dark, deep, sometimes fun, often anxiety provoking, on occasion terrifying. She knew it well, and yet sometimes she felt she had no idea what went on there.

To her, it seemed as though there were thousands of images floating in that space. Some were pleasant, some awkward, some brought smiles, others, left her speechless. Sipping a cup of cold coffee she considered further.  She travelled there each day, it wasn’t as though this was a foreign territory to her and yet, sometimes, it left her shaking her head in amazement and disappointment. Sometimes both of those, at the same time.  If she felt this way, how would others feel?! This place could alarm her and yet, depending on what appeared it could disarm her with joy that resides there as well. Complete happiness. Left on her own, she could get lost in it and while away the day.

Startled by the alarm on her phone she wondered why she felt reluctant to share this place with others.  She liked her secret place. She had fashioned it to be different, yet there were commonalities, there had to be, with others. What if they didn’t understand? It was a place she only trusted to a few because the risk of sharing seemed dangerous. Disapproval haunted her. If she kept this place secret, then no one would be the wiser.

Turning off the alarm she decided to be faithful to a goal  she set to try to get out of her own way.  She took pride in being a person who honors the commitments she makes. Time to jump, even if it feels like there is no net to catch her. It’s only for a month. Hello, fellow writers. Here is my introductory post. Welcome to my brain.