Tuesday, 29 April 2014

This woman's work . . .

Mother's Day approaches and I think about how important a mother is in one's life.
But as we all know - before mothers are made, they are women, who have grown from little girls.

All over social media we are bombarded with the feel-good poems, quotes and images about strong women who "hold it down", the single mothers, the widows, mothers who struggle but maintain, retain, sustain their integrity in the face of adversity, against all odds.  These sentiments are reflected in the lines below, that are repeated throughout the song like a mantra:

I know you have a little life left in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength yet
I know you have a little life left in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength yet

This woman's work is a beautiful song on so many levels.
Depending on which version you prefer, I take from each version - different meanings and interpretations of Kate Bush and Maxwell.

In the original version by Kate Bush, when I hear this song, I think about how she interprets what the husband must feel in his despair, while waiting to hear news of his wife in hospital.  The piano accompaniment complements her vocal timbre.  The verses speak about the hopes, you can hear the anxiety, the panicked thoughts that show a man in turmoil, the mixture of emotions ranging from clutching to moments of hope together with desire for release and peace of mind.

When I hear Maxwell sing his rendition, I am captivated first by the harp strings followed by the melismatic singing showcasing his vocal range.  In this version, I think about the song being sung in the first person as you gain an insight into his own thoughts, as the mantra I referred to in the beginning, seems to be directed at himself, as he struggles to carry on living during his drowning sequences.  The different octaves that he uses is especially noticeable as it seems to symbolise his huMANity as he realises:

I should be crying but I just can't let it go
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking and thinking and thinking

I can't help but feel a heavy sense of loss, and that if you experience loss, you must be able to embrace that pain, because it is the only way to push through it and continue living - even when you think life may not be the same, may be empty without those in it - because now your life seems less brighter without those loved ones in it.

Of all the things we should've said that we never said
All the things we should've done that we never did
All the things that you wanted from me
All the things that you needed from me
All the things I should've given but I didn't

Regrets are not easy to live with.  So I choose not to live with any - because life is too short.
Instead of these negative sentiments above, acknowledge that you are only human if you find yourself caught in these traps or pitfalls - but the trick is not to wallow in them too long.
Rather than focus on the things we never did, should've given - but didn't - instead - be happy thinking about the things you did say, did do and did give.  Nobody can take those moments away from you.

If this woman's work is to give you that reassurance today - then my work is done :-)