The old dude is turning 80 and being the good daughter, I am staying to enjoy his birthday. The entire family is descending and I warned Gilda to expect me to pop by for a bit of escape.
The house is being cleaned from the top to the bottom. I have a list of dishes to prepare and will wake everyone up with Ella Fitzgerald and Mr Armstrong’s voices during this weekend. It’s what my father and I enjoy listening to.
I do love having family around. But do you want to know what moments I love most? When I escape into a corner and watch them as an outsider would. When I see how the love is being spread around while music plays softly. That’s when I take out my notebook and write, to remember and hopefully find music to argument that feeling.
I remember best with sound. Radiohead was the sound of my depression when married. Ben Harper, the sound of my salvation – musically and as I rebuilt my life. In between I had small love affairs with other musicians. I do love Muse and stole The Arctic Monkeys from my daughter. My Mother plays two gospel songs whenever I am home. It comforts me and she is very aware of it while playing bad piano.
I sometimes must cast my mind back to what life felt like without music. Man, did I pray for a sign! Made endless lists of what I wanted to experience. I remember sitting with someone as they read tarot cards for me. Will I ever meet Ben Harper I asked. The answer was a flat no and I just knew it was a lie. We all know what lies feel like, even if we can’t place it. And for me, with music everything seems possible.
Even with the new single I am dropping in December. One of my best friends said, ‘It’s not your genre but it sounds like you!’ That was all I needed. I am greedy for sound and move towards people and music that makes me want to sing. So when I heard that beat I almost lost my mind. Of course yes! If I like something and it resonates, that’s where I will be.
Music teaches one to flow. That was my big realisation. In fact it makes leaving any space or person …..easier. I know that sounds harsh. Only by writing a song where I could face my father’s death, was I able to face him. Usually writing music signals the start and the end for me. From that moment onwards I have the clarity I need to move ahead without fear or guilt. All I have to decide is whether to move towards or away from wherever I am.
I am a loner but my need for solitude has to be managed. With people I care for it means escaping just for an hour or three. Not to run away. My family understand this about me. I am that weirdo who will spy on people I love from a corner and make notes….about the way their hands move, the color of the clothes on their skin. Yes, I will stare at you during the night. I wrap those I love in words and music before I step back into the space with them. Safely placed in a space no one else can touch that feeling or memory but me.
So yeah, that’s my weekend. Lots of family, food, the dog being chased by kids and me just watching them. Deeply grateful….marvelling at these people I am blessed to have in my life. And none of them will even suspect the enormity of what I feel. I think, I prefer it that way.