Music for the Soul to Dance to

When I first awaken, I head to my tiny kitchen and fill my French Press with coffee and boiling water. I press beyond the water level, and although the instructions say to leave it there for 5 minutes before you press it to the bottom of cylinder, I rarely make it to the 5 minute threshold.

It is the moment between wakefulness and sleep, and I need a nudge to push me through that door. I sit by the window, sipping my coffee in darkness and wait for the eastern light to appear through my window. And with the glow and warmth of the nuggets a salt rock lamp creates, I press the key for the music to begin playing the music for the soul to dance to. This, for me, is a sacred and necessary ritual.

The list is long, but I begin with Threshold, as it takes me through the range of experiences, from high to low, and low to high, sometimes hitting the middle note, but not often. Within this range, I surrender to the trance, without the corresponding human experiences associated with this spectrum of emotions, through the nuances of each note, until I am closer to wakefulness.

Then I move into Mozart’s Fantasia in D Minor, K 397, for a taste of melancholy, which doesn’t quite satiate my appetite, but still, I cannot resist his movement, and prance with him into higher notes, guided by the nimble fingers of Gould’s interpretation.

And finally, Beethoven opens the door to a glorious version of flight. This, I am compelled to listen to more than once, for it loosens me from the stubborn chill of darkness, now moving into the first notes of dawn, whilst the night begins to fade, until it reaches a full eclipse of the black sky above me. And below the sun, I shift into the rhythm of a canter, absorbing endless rays of light. This, my friend, is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #15 in D, Op. 28, “Pastoral” – 2, Andante.

Then I hit shuffle on a playlist, which I have named, Music for the Soul to Dance to. This list takes me through a historical journey expressed through music. The list below is according to recording artist.

However, before we advance into the set below, it is worth mentioning, this morning musical ritual is not rigid, but flexible. And so, some mornings, instead of adhering to the musical sequence noted above — patterns have shifted overnight, a new cycle has evolved, a new set of rhythms pound the keys. And so, I head straight to Bedbugs And Ballyhoos, for example, by Echo & The Bunnymen, and tumble and rock into a new day — for nothing is constant when you wake up dancing. 

Music For The Soul To Dance To
Let’s Stay Together, Take Me To The River, I’m Still in Love With You, I Can’t Get Next To You, Back Up Train, (Al Green)

Let The Good Times Roll, Thrill is Gone, Nobody Loves Me But My Mother, (B.B. King, Live At San Quentin, 1990)

No Reply, I’m A Loser, Baby’s In Black, Twist And Shout, Eleanor Rigby, When I’m Sixty-Four, (The Beatles, 1962-1967)

Blowin’ In The Wind, Forever Young, Things Have Changed, The Death of Emmitt Till, Desolation Row, (Bob Dylan, 1962…)

Is This Love, Get Up Stand Up, Stir It Up, I Shot The Sheriff, Jamming, (Bob Marley)

Know Your Rights, (The Clash)

Round Here, Raining In Baltimore, (Counting Crows)

Bedbugs And Ballyhoo, (Echo & The Bunnymen)

the boy with perpetual nervousness, moscow nights, (The Feelies)

Reach out I’ll be there, If I were a carpenter, It’s the same old song, I’m in a different world, Seven rooms of gloom, (The Four Tops)

Moon River, For Once in My Life, My Kind of Town, Fly Me To The Moon, It Was A Very Good Year, (Frank Sinatra)

Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey’s Head, (Gorillaz)

Night Train, (James Brown, Live at the Apollo, 1962)

Cry Baby, (Janis Joplin, 1973)

Manic Depression, (Jimi Hendrix)

Hurt, (Johnny Cash)

Joy Ride, Smile Like You Mean It, Somebody Told Me, Everything Will Be Alright, This River Is Wild, Why Do I Keep Counting?, Exitude, (The Killers, 2004-2008)

Bamboo Banga, Hussel, Mango Pickle Down Down River, Come Around, (M.I.A, Kala)

Leave Me Alone, Beat It, Billie Jean, (Guess who)

On The Run, Lingo With The Gringo, (OMC, How Bizarre, 1967)

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, Let Me Come On Home, Tramp (With Carla Thomas), Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, (Otis Redding, The Dock Of The Bay, 1968)

Track 05, (Patti Smith, Horses)

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), (The Proclaimers, 1988)

I Never Came, Go With The Flow, (Queens Of The Stone Age, 2002-2005)

Oh, Pretty Woman, Only The Lonely, (Roy Orbison)

Send Me in My Way, Lost in a Crowd, Laugh as the Sun, (Rusted Root, When I Woke, 1994)

You Send Me, Sad Mood, Summertime, Twistin’ The Night Away, Shake, That’s Where It’s At, (Sam Cooke, 1957-1964)

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, (Santa Esmeralda)

All For You, (Sister Hazel, 1967)

Just My Imagination, I Wish It Would Rain, Cloud Nine, Run Away Child Running Wild, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, (The Temptations)

Moon Dance, Brown Eyed Girl, And It Stoned Me, Cleaning Windows, Whenever God Shines His Light, (Van Morrison)

One Headlight, (The Wallflowers)

Stepping On The Brakes

 

So I finally got the chance to spend some time here, on my actual computer, and figure out what was here, in terms of ease and maneuverability of my blog, cause I was having a really hard time searching for stuff on my own site.  Had no idea how to find anything.  So, added some widgets, as well, but not crazy about the cat — where it’s at, I mean — but I can live with that for a while, cause cats are totally cool!

Excuse me, now, gotta go and dance to 80s British tunes.
Gotta wake-up!
Somehow.

What Freedom Looks Like To Me (Photography)

Yesterday was a monumental day for me. And so my friend, Jessica, and I celebrated in an appropriate fashion. I danced. I balanced on a precarious wall. I saw beautiful and convoluted versions of Nature. –

JESSICA AND I   JESSICA DOES THE “BETTY” POSE. 

   HANGING OVER THE EDGE OF A PICNIC TABLE

  REFLECTIONS. CLOUDS ABOVE AND BELOW LETTING MY HAIR HANG

  THE WALL ON A LAKE

  THE IMPERFECT ARABESQUE 

   LOOKING UPWARD

  SAYING GOODBYE TO THE PAST

  

Finally. 
 

Bad Job Advice

One guy told me to pursue my dreams because they were more interesting than being a technical writer.

But I could’ve used a steady income to have lived comfortably at that time. It would not have hurt me at all.

Or would it?

So what did I spend the next 15 years doing? Having episodic and severe depressions, in addition to giving birth to my children, following which I sank into lengthy episodic, post partum depression, where I cried a lot (highly uncharacteristic of me) and had the blues.

Feeling alone.
For a long time.

I keep saying if I had been correctly diagnosed earlier, I would have chosen not to have children, because I would not want to wish this on anybody.

Having said that, my kids turned out to be the best thing to have ever happened to me, despite the incredible challenges we have all faced.

Both are highly creative and intelligent. Those two combinations can be volatile or highly beneficent. I have talked to them from Day 1. Not using baby talk, but like I would to any other person, and I adjusted what I said, to communicate as clearly as possible to them.

I can see them on their own road toward self-realization through self-expression.

It’s not a choice really.
It’s genetic.

We need to express ourselves.
We feel dead when we cannot.
Speaking only for myself, of course.

Oops.
Big digression.

Yeah.

Well while I appreciate the insight into me that I do not myself have – but perhaps you are right – it may have upon further reflection been accurate – despite the numbers it took me to get there.

That’s what I would have said now to him.

But the thing that pissed me off then was the following statement:

Plus, it would be difficult for me to not feel the way I feel about you. It would be difficult for me to work with you.

So was that a sexist thing to say?
Perhaps.
His honesty today would get him trouble, right? That part, at least. But in retrospect, I think, he was incredibly helpful. That doesn’t mean I enjoyed going through the incredible challenges associated with that task – of being a free spirit, as one photographer chose to call me, but I wasn’t much impressed that he put it out there.

I mean.
Dang.

Personally though I didn’t give a shit about the emotional crap, I was just pissed because he wouldn’t hire me.

Who knows what my life would have been like if I had taken the other road?
One can speculate endlessly about that.