Thursday, 27 August 2015

Painter song. . .

Conversation series: 3rd and final conversation with a beautiful friend. . . 

One of the greatest gifts you have ever given me has the been the painting that you did of my life.
I wasn't expecting to receive such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.  I remember telling you at the time that the irony of being given paintings from my friends as gifts, but I haven't received any gifts of songs (well, receiving original sheet music) but nobody has written a song for me in the same way that you painted a picture for me.

If I were a painter
I would paint my reverie
If that's the only way for you to be with me

When I discovered that you were an artist, I was excited.  I have always been able to connect really easily with fellow artists - visual artists and performing artists - there's just something about the beauty of creativity and the depth of emotion that comes with expressing oneself through something they make with their own hands - whether it is music, or a monologue or a script, or a sculpture, or a photo or a painting. 

We'd be there together
Just like we used to be
Underneath the swirling skies for all to see

What do you think about when you paint?  I'm always fascinated about what goes through people's minds when they create something.  Are they feeling rather than having a paint-by-numbers approach?  I laugh when I think about my own art class experiences as a junior high student.  Teachers tried to get draw trees outside in the courtyard and at the time I thought that was ridiculous because I couldn't relate to what I was supposed to be drawing.  I was much more interested in hearing the sounds that the trees made when the wind would blow through them; it felt like I was hearing a conversation between those tall, imposing trees, keeping some secret from me that I wasn't allowed to hear, but that I knew existed, because I could hear their suppressed chuckles when I strained to hear them.

And I'm dreaming of a place
Where I could see your face
And I think my brush would take me there
But only. . . 

I don't know about you, but when I play the piano, when I'm making the sounds that I hear happen on the piano, it takes me to a place where I feel happy and I can escape in that moment to someplace different.  Do you feel the same way when you paint?  Does your brush take you places because the brush is guiding you in what to paint and how to paint?  I know when I play, I don't even bother to look at the keys that much anymore and rely very much on muscle memory and my fingers know exactly how much to stretch and lift when I attack the keys.  You probably know exactly the right blend of colours to use when you are blending shades together.  You can probably see the painting complete in your mind before you even begin in your mind's eye.  I feel like that when I write a song, I can hear what the finished product is supposed to sound like.  

If I were a painter
And could paint a memory
I'd climb inside the swirling skies to be with you
I'd climb inside the skies to be with you. . .

Thank you for being such a great friend to me.
I wish you all the success and happiness that you deserve because I see it in your future, I see it in the way that you are a nurturing mother to your children and how loving you are to your husband.

Thank you for bringing colour to my life, in all the paintings that you create with not just your actual paintings, but how you paint with everything that is in you, that comes out of you.

I don't think you need to question if you were a painter.
You're actually more than a painter.
You are an artist  :-)

I could fall in love. . .

Conversation series: 2nd conversation with a beautiful friend. . . 

I could lose my heart tonight
If you don't turn and walk away
'Cause the way I feel I might
Lose control and let you stay
'Cause I could take you in my arms
And never let go

I have fond memories of this song with you.  I remember we blasted it on full volume and sang along to the words, being the Selena fans that we are.  I think every Māori and Polynesian girl can identify with Selena Quintanilla and her two English songs that showed us how much more of a success her crossover album was going to be.  I've already discussed Dreaming of you by Selena in a previous blog post.

I can only wonder how
Touching you would make me feel
But if I take that chance right now
Tomorrow will you want me still
So I should keep this to myself
And never let you know

I laugh at how we talk about love and relationships, but more so about feelings, and of course love is right up there in the feelings department, particularly when you're interested in knowing how resilient I am when it comes to this most powerful of emotions.  It's fun isn't it when you choose not to let people know how you feel, or maybe you do let them know how you feel then you run the risk of forever changing the tone of the relationship, ruin a friendship - part of life and living it to the fullest I guess.  Living life with no regrets can be easier said than done, but I think you can still to some level "reset" your life and choose to live it in a way that starts from loving yourself and how you want people to love you back.  

And I know it's not right
And I guess I should try
To do what I should do
But I could fall in love 
fall in love with you
I could fall in love you baby

Who knows what "right" is these days?  When we share and divulge our deepest and darkest secrets, we can forgive the harshness of black and white ideologies, how we were taught to think and feel about things growing up, only to live our own realities and be able to navigate our way through them.  Do you look back on your life and think about how we should be trying to do what we should do.  I wonder about that often - what people expect me to do, what I want to do, what I think people want me to do and what I think I should do; weighing up the checks and balances of perceived actions and actual actions - then the outcomes of those actions.  Who do we impact by what we think and feel?  How does who, how, what and why we love - the very act of falling in love, means that we give ourselves up completely to the emotion and not worry about who we land with, how we land, what we land on and why we land in a certain way - it just is.

Siempre estoy so'ando en ti I'm always dreaming of you
besando mis labios kissing my lips
acariciando  mi piel caressing my skin
abrazandome con ansias hugging me with intense (crazy) longing
imaginando que me amas imagining that you love me
como yo podria amarte the way that I could love you

I hope that we'll always have crazy conversations that make us laugh about how love is supposed to make us feel, make us think about who we love and how we love; because there is always fun to be had with falling in and out of love. . .  how and when I could fall in love. . .

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Haumanu. . .

Conversation series: 1st conversation with a beautiful friend. . . 

I chose this song for you because I think it conveys the beauty that I see in you.  People will comment on your physical beauty (how can they not, you are stunning) but I see beyond that to your heart and how the kindness and generosity of spirit that lives in your heart, permeates through your skin to give you even more of a glow, making you even more beautiful.  

Taku tūātea ka whati i te āheu  The crest of my wave broken by the southerly winds of no bounds
Papaki tū ana ngā tai ki te Onetapu Crashing on the sacred sands of the future
O Motunamata
I hea au Consumed by he struggle to live
I te uranga mai I was blinded and did not see your
O te ahi papakura (Mother Earth) warning signs

You are on your te reo journey and it's been great to listen to how much you want to be able to speak fluently in our mother tongue.  It's always been something that I valued in my own life; to be able to speak your own language fluently before taking up the languages of others.  It has always served as a reference point, this solid grounding and being able to communicate and think in the words of your ancestors is a powerful thing to be able to do and pass on to your own children.

Hōmai te waiora Therefore provide sustenance to the world
Haumanu hauora Revitalise to a full enduring health
Kia manawaitītī

There are so many things about you that I think you don't show enough to the world.  This doesn't sadden me, it makes me think though that the world is missing out on seeing how much you are capable of doing; you miss out on being at your optimum for everyone; those nearest and dearest to you, people that you work with, but importantly, just for yourself - and how you see you.

He manapou, he manatawa, he manawa whenua The life essence that wells up from the heart of the land
He oranga-ā-nuku, he oranga-ā-rangi To rejuvenate Heaven and Earth
Mā te hau tāwaho With the breeze
E pupuhi mai nei That blows hither
He hōmai aroha Carrying love

I hope that we will be able to see more of what you have within you that is itching to get out.  The voice that lies within you, the crest of your wave that needs to spring forward and must rejuvenate those around you - I'm excited about you being able to show your gifts and talents in their brilliance so people can't help but be blinded by it.

Taku tūātea. . . (x4) The crest of my wave. . . (x4)

Thank you for being such a beautiful friend to me - inside and out.
You are probably one of the few people I know that when I see you, I can't help but smile.
The natural elements emphasised in this waiata resonate strongly for me about how you feel to me, because you are perceptive - you carry love with you wherever you go like the winds; the same love the rides the crests of your waves until it is time to recede and begin again for whoever you know need it the most. . .

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Laughter in the rain. . .

Thanks for giving me laughter in the rain :-)
A song endorsement by +Anaru White 

There aren't many songs that I can listen to without ever tiring of them.  But this is definitely one of those songs.  I like the contrast between the verses and the chorus - there's something about the easy going nature of the verses before harmonically and rhythmically we get swept into a different key and the pace is a bit quicker.  It's a feel good track that makes you smile spontaneously :-)

Strolling along country roads with my baby
It starts to rain, it begins to pour
Without an umbrella we're soaked to the skin
I feel a shiver run up my spine
I feel the warmth of her hand in mine

The easy shuffle of the melody in the verses contrast the words of being soaked to the skin and feeling a shiver due to the cold from the rain.  I sometimes think they don't write songs like these anymore - where the lyrics help to paint a picture for the listener.  Probably all of romantic film moments have had the classic 'caught in the rain' scenario and the two lovers gaze longingly into each other's eyes.  It sound cheesy and corny but it always makes me smile and roll my eyes.

Ooh I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Ooh how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside

The video of this song matches the version that is in the Spotify list (which is pretty rare but also pretty cool).  I think sometimes we forget to laugh in the rain, because we associate the rain with negativity and the nuisance of getting wet and having to dry off (because we would catch a cold otherwise, as our mothers taught us).  The chorus epitomises the ultimate of 'feel good' songs and how a moment with someone that you care about seems even that more special, even when there is rain.

After a while we run under a tree
I turn to her and she kisses me
There with the beat of the rain on the leaves
Softly she breathes and I close my eyes
Sharing our love under stormy skies

Have you had many moments like this in your life?  They're like the best if you have them.  I often think about how listening to a shared song associated to a memory or going past a place where you shared a moment is pretty special.  What makes it even more special is that, the memory (as described in this song even) seems special because it describes enough of an intimate tender moment without going too much into specifics.  

Ooh I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Ooh how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside

I hope that you laugh in the rain.
If you haven't shared laughter with anyone in the rain, you might not need to anyway.
As long as you're happy inside and doing what you love - that's enough for me :-)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Colorblind (Amber Riley). . .

For my peoples that have forgotten how to see life in color - let's paint together again :-)

I travel a lot for my work - whether it's around my hometown or on the road around the country.  It's a great job, I love it.  I think one of the highlights is definitely meeting new people and getting to see things through their eyes.  Part of my job is to encourage leaders of schools (principals. senior leaders and teachers) to think critically about how they can look within themselves and consider how they can change what they are doing to engage Pacific Island students in their learning and subsequently their achievement.  Sometimes I think are they colourblind?  Is this why they can't see what I see?  Is this why they can't see the potential of Pacific Island students because they don't know what to look for?  They don't know what to value and celebrate about the Pacific peoples and future generations yet to be born that I almost feel a responsibility to be able to protect?  I know that sounds strange, but it's how I feel, it's how I think.

When the world is seeing yellow, I only see grey
When everybody sees the rainbow, I'm stuck in the rain
You take a little piece of me every time you leave
I don't think that I'll ever find that silver lining, or reason to smile

If I was to single out a Pacific Island student in a high school, I can guarantee that at one point in their high school career, the student would have felt like this - that they are not able to see a future or a world in which they live in and participate in - having colour, having dreams that they can achieve.  That breaks my heart.

I used to paint such vibrant dreams now I'm colorblind, colorblind
When did my heart get so full of the never mind never mind
Did you know that you stole the only thing I needed?
Always black and white in my eyes, I'm colorblind

I have experienced setbacks in my life, at least what I thought were setbacks, but in fact these were pitstops; places that I needed to stop and spend some time reassessing what it was I needed to focus on so that I could learn some valuable life lessons before moving on, moving forward to continue to make a positive impact and open more doors and keep windows open too :-)

Ain't it funny that you managed to just wash away
Even pictures that you're not in, have started to fade
I try to play my favorite songs but I can't sing along
The words don't feel the same
You've taken all the best things from me and thrown them away

Can you think a few people in your life who have washed away a dream that you had?  They might have said something to squash it, laughed at it, physically put some barriers in there to make sure that you didn't live your dream.  Those people could've done that by accident, maybe on purpose.  Do you think those people even know what they did to you?  The ramifications of their actions?  And sure, it would've hurt at the time to have your dreams dashed by someone - either because you let it happen, you were powerless to resist and stand up for yourself, the dream was too big anyway and there was no way that you were going to achieve it or you gave up too easily and you weren't really passionate about the dream anyway.

I'll wait for roses to be red again
And I hate that you took my blue from the ocean
Give me back green greens and goldens
My purples my blues you stole them
How long will I be broken?

If there's one thing that I've learned now about people stealing my dreams or taking my dreams away from me - dream nigger and better dreams.  I dream so big that it seems impossible to achieve, but I dream it anyway?  Why would you do that you ask?  Because if there's anything that nobody should be able to steal or take away from you - is your dreams.  Those carefully planned imaginings that keep you awake at night so that it becomes more than just a dream but a compulsive fixation and obsessions that you need to address otherwise you would drive yourself insane - that's what entertaining your dreams do for you.  Dream those dream often, wherever you happen to be, standing in a queue waiting for coffee, to board a plane waiting to see the doctor, in a meeting - I mean, dreams are so cool to have and what better way to see your dreams than to paint them vividly in your own palette of colours that nobody can touch.  I don't know about you, but I'm quite fastidious about holding onto those colours because you're the only one who has the power to replenish that stock of colours when you run out, you're the one who takes care of your tools so that every time a dream is ready to eventuate - you're posed ready to create.

You know I used to paint such vibrant dreams now I'm colorblind, colorblind
When did my heart get so full of the never mind never mind
Did you know that you stole the only thing I needed?
Only black and white in my eyes, I'm colorblind
It's only black and white in my eyes, I'm colorblind. . . 

I hope that you start seeing your dreams in colour again.
Take back your colours so that you can start creating those dreams again.
I can't wait to hear, see and read about how much your dreams will inspire the rest of us to be the best of who we can be as well.  I don't believe in "never minds", I only believe in like minds.

I hope I'm never blind that I can't see the colours of your dreams :-)

Soulmate. . .

To all my soulmates - you don't even know who you are :-)

 I've been getting the work/life balance right these days.  It has taken me a while to master, well, I actually don't think I've mastered it, but I think I'm definitely much happier about how hard I work.  I totally credit (or blame ha!) my mother for this incredible work ethic that I have; she's the hardest working woman that I know,   Her catch-cry growing up was "do something useful" so actively relaxing can be a struggle for me because I'm in a constant state of guilt about what I should be doing.  But let's talk about that in another blog post.  This one is focused on what it means to be a soulmate.

Incompatible, it don't matter though
'Cos someone's bound to hear my cry
Speak out if you do
You're not easy to find

I don't think I'm calling out for a soulmate.  Do you cry out for a soulmate?  I think my idea about what a soulmate is; has changed because of what I've observed, thought and felt in these past couple of years.  Sometimes I surprise myself with what swims around my head.  I often think if they are worth talking about and sharing, or if I should keep them harnessed in my mind as private thoughts that won't see the light of day - but the fingers tapping on the keys show me otherwise.  

Is it possible Mr. Loveable
Is already in my life?
Right in front of me
Or maybe you're in disguise

Do you do that yourself?  Take stock of all of the people that you know in your life and think about whether any one of them is in fact your soulmate?  I think that a soulmate (for me anyway) no longer fits that definition that love songs would have us believe.  Soulmates to me are people whose souls touch yours because just by being who they are; their soul matches your soul, a transcending connection of higher consciousness that you will have never felt with anyone in your entire life.  I feel like I have soulmates - mates who fit my soul, mates whose souls touch my soul whether they are male or female - with romantic connotations removed.  I'm learning that a spiritual and intellectual connection (for myself anyway) surpasses the physical of  love connection.  I'm not sure whether it's because my mind and soul are the portals to reach me rather than the heart, but that also contracts the emotional wreck I can become too.  But that probably explains why emotions get the best of me - there are just some things that you can't rationalise!

Who doesn't long for someone to hold
Who knows how to love you without being told
Somebody tell me why I'm on my own
If there's a soulmate for everyone

I think that spiritual connection a clear connection for me - I will have male and female friends who reach out to me at just the right moment when I need them and it amazes me  It's like my soul cries out to those friends who know me best, whose souls are mirrored in mine.  I even think sometimes these people are positioned in my life because He knows what I need, when I need it.  Even though I'm seen as quite a strong individual - but that's because I've had to be, I've had to be the one with the broadest shoulders and lock into logical mind to sort things out; so this is where my mind kicks in and places things in their right places.  My mind makes sense of what the spirit and heart doesn't even entertain.  I am grateful for people who love me without being hold - and the funny thing is, they don't even know that they're doing this - and that makes me smile, because they probably don't even need to know how much of a soulmate they are to me.

Here we are again, circles never end
How do I find the perfect fit
There's enough for everyone
But I'm still waiting in line

Most relationships seem so transitory
They're all good but not the permanent one

I'm not waiting in line actually.
I'm learning that there are a lot of people out there who need to be loved and I can love them, help them in whatever they need help in.  I don't need somebody to complete me, because I don't think that I'm incomplete to begin with.  I think I will probably spend the rest of my life, growing, changing and learning about being the most comfortable in my own skin and if people happen to fall in love with that - I need to be able to deal with how I choose to position myself in their lives.

I don't know if there is such a thing as permanent relationships anymore.
People grow apart, grow together, grow at different rates - there is nothing that remains the same and people are never completely in sync with each other and I don't think they need to be.  I think soulmates are people that come along and touch your souls when your soul needs to be touched the most, at the moment in time.  I think then, that if this is the case - I will have more than one soulmate; I will continue to know what it means to be touched without being held, because I won't rely on physical touch to sustain me, in fact, the only touch I can rely on is my hands wrapped around myself as I brace myself for a future that is unknown to me as what is coming around the corner. . . 

If there's a soulmate for everyone. . . I'm grateful for all the soulmates that I will continue to know. . . 

Father and son. . .

Conversation series: 3rd and final conversation with a dear friend. . . 

It's not time to make a change
Just relax, take it easy
You're still young, that's your fault
There's so much you have to know
Find a girl, settle down
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy

I've always loved this track by Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) because of his clever way of using the octave range to distinguish the voice of the father (low sections) with that of the son (higher sections) in this song.  In this final conversation with you, I thought about what you have shared with me about your father and I thought that this song was the perfect song to articulate some of the thoughts that I have about your relationship with him.

I was once like you are now
And I know that it's not easy
To be calm when you've found something going on
But take your time think a lot
Think of everything you've got
For you will still be here tomorrow
But your dreams may not

As much as you have shared about your father with me, there are some other instances when I wonder if there are other things you haven't shared.  I'm not saying that you should share them - that's totally up to you - but I think about whether you don't tell me everything because you're still trying to figure things out about him too. This is a positive thing too, because your relationship with him has improved somewhat since you have had a change in thinking about how you relate to him.  I think it's something that we as children often forget about our parents - that we can actually change the dynamics of our relationship to be more in tune with them because we can change; we are more willing to change than they are.  This can be a hard lesson to learn because it's asking us to move away from being "right" but more about just "being together".

How can I try to explain
When I do he turns away again
It's always been the same, same old story
From the moment I could talk 
I was ordered to listen
Now there's a way
And I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

When the son sings here, I think about you.
I can imagine the frustration you must've felt with your father on many occasions and not known how to deal with it, hoping that because he was the adult, that he should know how to be the more mature one to act with compassion and care, to show you what love and respect between a father and son was supposed to be.  Have you found yourself going away often and not being able to speak because you have chosen to silence yourself and not be heard to avoid the aggravation?  that's no way to live.  You know that.  I know that you're working to rectify this - not in an aggressive manner, but in your own way of how you deal with things - withs no drama or stress, and with as little effort that is required to not make it such an ordeal.

All the times that I have cried
Keeping all the thing sI knew inside
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it
If they were right I'd agree
But it's them they know, not me
Now there's a way
And I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

I hope that you will in time have the relationships with your father that fulfils you and can be one that you are not only proud of, but that you are able to look on favourably as something viewed with gratitude.  Thank you for sharing your stories about your father with me.  It makes me appreciate my own relationship with my father and challenges me to think critically about how I can inspire other fathers and other sons to have greater relationships with their significant male relatives.

I hope that when you have to go away, that you are able to come back home to Dad :-)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Close to me . . .

Conversation series: 2nd conversation with a dear friend. . . .

Even though this album was released some time ago, I didn't really get into it until I hit college.  There was something about the instrumentation in this song that spoke to me and my newfound university friends at the time; we always used to play this song on the jukebox in the lower cafeteria.  I don't know why I thought of this song when I thought of you, but yeah, when I heard this song again today, I thought about you, and I thought it helped to articulate some of the things I see about you, see in you, see from you. . . 

I've waited hours for this
I've made myself so sick 
I wish I'd stayed asleep today
I never thought this day would end
I never thought tonight could ever be
This close to me

Have you felt like this before?  That kind of nervous anticipation that comes when you are placed with a huge amount of responsibility?  You've never been one to have the desire to lead - in fact you're the complete opposite.  You're quite happy to take a back seat and let others shine if that's what they want to do.  We talk about that a lot; the fact that you choose not to shine when in fact, sometimes I think you should, because people don't see that often from you.  You shrug it off and think nah, not my style; but how else can your trumpet be heard above the din if you don't take it upon yourself to blow it every once in a while?

Just try to see in the dark
Just try to make it work
To feel the fear before you're here
I make the shapes come much too close
I pull my eyes out
Hold my breath
And wait until I shake

It can be difficult trying to navigate through your own life path on your own, without the right people to listen to what you're going through, to listen to your ideas about yourself, how you see things, how you experience things in life and what you find important.  There can be a tendency to try and be strong and not show your vulnerability to someone, especially to people that you don't trust or don't care to share things with because they are quite happy to pass on said information to anyone with ears.  But you're a step ahead of those types of people and choose to disassociate yourself from them by not really engaging with them anyway.  That's probably one of the greatest lessons you've taught me dear friend - that I don't need to be around people that I don't want to be.  I don't think you feel the fear before I get to where you are anymore.  As your friend, that makes me smile, because it tells me that you are happy with who you are and who you want to be - irrespective of whether the world understands you or not. .  .    

But if I had your faith
Then I could make it safe and clean
If only I was sure
That my head on the door was a dream 

Shifting your mindset to one of positivity and believing in yourself a little more (heck, a lot more) has made all the difference in not only how you perceive yourself, but also how the world is finally seeing you.  It's not about whether we want the world to accept us or not, it's more about that because we are so comfortable being who we are - that the world has no choice but to accept us - and I think that's a pretty powerful position to be in.

But if I had your face
Then I could make it safe and clean
If only I was sure
That my head on the door was a dream 

I hope that you see that you don't need to doubt yourself and revert back to negative views of yourself, because I surely don't.  You can call it the Pollyanna complex but choosing to see the good in others, rather than the bad can be entirely possible.  I mean if we spent most of our time judging people on all of their past mistakes (and we're not slotting heinous crimes into that category!) but I guess what I'm saying is that everybody has unlocked potential that is waiting to be surfaced, waiting to be explored.  All I'm saying is that having you close to me gives me the opportunity to watch you become more of the man that you want to be.  Thanks for showing me :-)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Finally falling. . .

Conversation series: 1st conversation with a dear friend 

I've been thinking a lot about our conversations, especially when we start talking about relationships and what you are looking for in an ideal woman - your perfect woman.  This song comes to mind when I think about how I imagine you would feel when you finally fall for that perfect woman.  

I used to be a soldier for the single life
I used to think I'd be the last man standing from '79
I used to say that love was just a masquerade
I used to lie awake at night just thinking, if I'd ever know

You've told me stories about how fussy you are when you think about what you're looking for in a woman, I mean, we've looked at a checklist so that it can help you to visualise what she looks like, what types of things that she should - compatible interests that match with yours, as well as what she needs to be able to do so that you can commit to her.  I had a lot of fun helping you to construct this list and we've developed the attributes of this ideal woman in such a way that you would be able to know who she was once you saw her.

But the day that you came into my life
I started to believe it was possible
There's a feeling so unstoppable
I can't control

It's important to me that you are happy.  I think you having a women in your life to understand you and support you through al of the things that you need support (and of course you would support her too) is integral to the building of your character.  I don't think there's anything more exciting than that feeling of realisation that you are falling in love with someone and in that instant you immediately feel a sense of panic becaus eyou realise that things will change and you can't stop it.

I used to be the envy of my married friends
I used to get all of the girls phone numbers and I'd never call
I used to say that love will never tie me down
I'd be a rider, damn man, strong cowboy
My back to the wall

I smile when you talk about your 'modus operandi' in social situations.  The way that you described how you are when you come across someone who takes your fancy and how you would approach them (or not).  I've noticed a subtle shift with you in action (or not) because you've become quite reserved and don't know how to approach women anymore; it's almost like your confidence has been knocked or you don't quite know how women like to be approached these days.  It's a far cry from the casual affairs you've had and it possibly signals a maturity on your part to want to commit to something more but you still want your own independence.  I can tell you, women feel the same way too  - that sense of being in a relationship without feeling crowded and "locked down" without freedom to move.

I knew that I would find
With this old jaded heart of mine
Someone so sweet and fine
I could be with all the lifetime

I'm absolutely confident that you will find someone who meets the specifications that you've set (just as you will be some woman's dream concoction of a man).  I wonder though, what qualities will she have listed that would lead her to you?  Funny, good looking, independent, has his own career, not afraid to argue with me, sporty, sings when he feels like it.  Looks like a pretty good list to me.

Could it be I'm finally falling 
I'm starting to think it's true
Could it be I'm finally falling
I'm falling for you

I hope that you finally fall for someone and that it happens when you least expect it.  The reason I say this is because, it's when you least expect it that you know that it means more; I mean you'd probably fall harder (and that's always more fun).  Just remember to tell me when it does happen ok!

Could it be I'm finally falling
Lord knows I'm overdue
Could it be I'm finally falling
I'm finally falling for you
Oh I'm finally falling for you. . .

Even if you think that you wouldn't like a serious relationship right now, you only think that way because you don't want to have to change for a woman; you're quite happy to live your life the way you always have without interruption to the schedule, but I've told you many times, that a great relationship is founded on compromise - not so much sacrifice - so maybe until you are able to grapple with that idea and come to terms with it - then one you will be finally falling. . . 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Put a little love in your heart. . .

This track is a song endorsement by +Anaru White 

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart

It can be difficult to help everyone that comes in your path.  I would get in trouble as a child for saying yes to everybody who asked for help as my parents thought that I would be taken advantage of by people who only had their own interests at heart and didn't really care about me, my wellbeing or welfare.  Having a loving heart can be hard to cultivate if you have constantly been the downtrodden person in your life, in your circle of friends; that you wish things, situations, circumstances and people would change so that you could stat enjoying life and not worry too much about how when you help people, that you will be judged for it.  Particularly by people whose hands only help themselves and not others (ouch!).

You see it's getting late
Oh please don't hesitate
Put a little love in your heart
And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

When I think about putting a little love in my heart, it conjures up images of considering a choice to have love, rather than any other negative emotion that may threaten to consume you.  I truly believe that you will lead a more harmonious life within yourself and with others if you adopt this stance, take this position if you choose more good things in your life, rather than dwell on situations and people who bring you down.  Life is definitely too short to occupy your time with people and things that prevent you from making the world a better place.

Another day goes by
And still the children cry
Put a little love in your heart
If you want the world to know
We won't let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart 

I've thought a lot about the idea of being the best person possible, that you need to be the best version of yourself that you present to the world, because you have a purpose and a mission to contribute something to this world.  Being accepting and tolerant of other people who are different to you - means that you have to place yourself in other people's shoes, to gain some perspective about their world and how to appreciate their humanity.  This is what I interpret putting a little love in your heart to mean - to have a little love for your fellow man,  

Take a good look around
And if you're lookin' down
Put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart. . . 

I hope that you find space to put a little love in your heart.  It may be difficult to do so when you are not feeling in the right frame of mind to love in the face of adversity or you are feeling in a 'not so loving' mood, but I challenge you - even if you don't feel love, just imagine it, think about past experiences of love that you have had that might inspire you to put a little love in your heart today . . .

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Gravity. . .

Happy anniversary - on the ground we had 5 years, I'm counting 8 in your gravity. . . 
=  11th August 2007  =

I have listened to this song on repeat for so long.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed when I played this track. I know that I won't have any strength left to write it on our actual anniversary date - 11th August 2007.  A day that will now play in my mind like a home movie or a broken record that plays automatically on this day every year.  I had to put this out today before I fall apart and can't do it at all.

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long
No matter what I say or do
I'll still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone

It's been two years since you've been gone and there are moments when I feel the loss of you more keenly than other times.  I think that's what happens when you try to block out the pain by throwing yourself into work and trying to keep busy helping other people with their problems, so that you forget your own.  I think the times that I feel you the most is when I'm alone.  I used to be scared to be alone because I felt like I was being haunted, but I've learned to welcome and embrace feeling you around me because it's your way of letting me know that I won't ever be alone.

You hold me without touch
You keep me without chains
I never wanted anything so much
Than to drown in your love and not feel your rain

I have never grieved for you in the traditional sense of what grieving widows are supposed to do.  I guess that's never been my style, but more to the point, I never had the luxury of falling apart.  You knew this, because this is what things were like the entire time that we were together; being the strong one that everybody relies on and that left me thinking, who can I be weak with?  Then I realised, that I could be weak with you.  I miss that terribly.

Set me free
Leave me be
I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me

Nobody could really pin me down and make me see what damage I was doing to myself.  That's what you were so good at doing; you held the mirror up to me all the time so that I could see what you saw in me.  It took me a while to believe you because I was so hell bent on believing the worst in me, or I was so far gone in my own world of self-pity until you came and rescued me.  I didn't need to stand tall around you because you stood tall for me and I could relax once in a while.  I miss that terribly.

Oh, you loved me 'cause I'm fragile
When I thought that I was strong
But you touch me for a little while
And all my fragile strength is gone

Your jokes, laughter and spirit would breathe life into me again.  I met my match when I met you - I couldn't compete with your mocking (you made me cry a couple of times and I knew I had lost my title lol).  I guess I don't need fragile strength when I'm around you, because you are all the strength that I need.

I live here on my knees
As I try to make you see
That you're everything I think I need here on the ground

I used to think this way, particularly in the first year that I lost you.  When things seemed too hard or I felt like giving up, I would cry out for you.  But I know now that I don't need to have you here if I remember everything that you've taught me, everything that you shared with me - all of those memories and things that you said are more than enough to keep me focused.  This is why you were taken from me; you had done everything you could for me.  That was hard for me to understand and accept, but once I did, I could stay on the track that we had planned.

But you're neither friend or foe
Though I can't seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know is that you're still keeping me down

I know that I've let you go physically, I mean I had no choice really.  But I do understand that the things you have taught me, shared with me; what we experienced together - I need to hold onto those gems and pearls of wisdom because I need them to fulfil the destiny that I can't help but follow, the path that was chosen for me, even when I tried to deviate from the plan - you knew this and now you are making sure that within your gravity, you are keeping me down :-)

You're keeping me down, yeah yeah yeah yeah
You're on to me, on to me and all over. . . 

Happy anniversary Loma.
I know I will always have you on to me and all over me.
The thought of you will sustain me when I can't sustain myself.
Thank you for loving me more than I knew I needed.

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long. . . 

How can you mend a broken heart. . .

This track is a song endorsement by +Shannon Vulu 

This month is always a hard month for me.  August is a time of reflection for me (it was my birthday last week).  This week will be my wedding anniversary and the following week, the birthday of my late husband.  They say time heals all wounds, but I think what it does is that it makes the pain turn into aches; they don't necessarily heal, it's just that life takes over and you have to carry on living.

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do 
I could never see tomorrow
But I was never told about the sorrow

When you're young, you do think a lot about the things that you want to do; the world is your oyster and there are so many opportunities that lie at your feet (or at least that's what you are taught to believe) and as young people, you just try to live life to the fullest every day.  Do the dreams of your youth match the reality of your . . . present age?  Have we forgotten to live our lives?  Do you think if when we were young, that if we were constantly bombarded with warnings to be more careful with our living, that we would listen and take more precautions?  I don't think so.  We would have never listened in our younger days - we're meant to make mistakes and find things out the hard way.  Nobody can really tell you about sorrow anyway; you need to experience that for yourself.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow
No one said a word about the sorrow

I've been having conversations lately with people about love and it's been really interesting to hear about how much we either agree or disagree or seem altogether confused about what it means for different people.  This verse illustrates the idea that even when love has gone, all that is left behind is that feeling of isolation and loneliness that creeps in (the breeze illustrated by the violins and the rustles through the trees by the hammond organ).  I guess that's the thing right?  You can fall hard and fast in love with someone, and when you least expect it, you can also crash and burn when it ends.  

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again

You're probably going to think I'm a bit melancholy and enjoy misery (as we all know, misery loves company!) but I think that it's important to go through the pain of losing love, because it's part of the process, it's part of the deal, I mean you can't have the good without the bad.

I think I've been mending a lot of broken hearts lately, by listening to their stories and just being a good friend to people.  It's not a role that I appointed myself, it's just the natural order of things I guess;  I've always been a good listener and have genuine empathy for people.  When they talk about pain, I can feel it, when they cry, I try hard to fight back tears.  I'm that person - the one that cries first looking at sappy YouTube clips, but you know what, there's nothing wrong with that - it doesn't faze me.  It's something that my late husband used to tease me about, and now I laugh about it.

I hope that my friends know, that I'm always here to help them mend their broken hearts.
It's what friends do and I'm pretty sure they would do the same for me :-)

Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again. . . all you need to do is ask :-)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My life. . .

Conversation series: final conversation with a dear friend. . . 

If you looked at my life
And see what I've seen
If you looked at my life
And see what I've seen. . . 

You are single-handedly responsible for introducing me to this phenomenal artist.
I still remember the cassingle (yes cassette single girl, you know, from your days working at Marbecks lol), the cover and just listening to music and closing our eyes, nodding slowly as we listened to new CDs at Sounds Megastore when that opened up further down Queen Street.  I could lose myself in the music at those stations, headphones on, listening to the top 10 albums that would be featured each week.

Life can only be what you make it
When you're feelin' down
You should never fake it
Say what's on your mind
And you'll find in time
That all the negative energy 
It will all cease

I have never had problems with you telling me what's on your mind; it's one of your best qualities.  Our friendship has deepened and matured like fine wine, because we have taken the time to talk through anything that comes up.  It is very easy for you to talk about things that trouble you; I have always valued your honesty, but more importantly, the way you think about things with a childlike innocence always makes me smile.  You're not naive in any sense of the word - far from it.  In fact, it's your wonderings about the world that make the best conversations.  

And you'll be at peace with yourself
You won't really need no one else
Except for the man above
Because He'll give you love

When I have stumbled sometimes and felt like I've lost direction, found myself sitting on the roadside on the way to my destination, playing with the daisies and making daisy chains on the grass, you're the person that would sit next to me and help me make them.  We were quite intuitive in that way where we would think about each other and then sure enough I would get a phone call from you or I would call you - mental telepathy was quite strong with us.  I smile when I think about the catch-cry "I was just thinking about you!" in that happy coincidence where we don't see each other for a long time, but our thoughts just need to connect in that one instant to prompt an action to hear from each other.  That's deep.

Take your time
Baby don't rush a thing
Don't you know, I know
We all are struggling
I know it is hard
But we will get by
And if you don't believe in me
Just believe in "He"

I hope that we never stop encouraging each other.
I hope that you continue to rise above everything that threatens to keep you down.
I will be here to push you back up when you need it; that's what friends do, that's what friends are for.

Thank you for reminding me to believe in "He" when I forget to do so.
I am grateful to have a dear friend like you for doing life with me.

Thank you for being in my life. . . 

In my life. . .

Conversation series: Second conversation with a very dear friend

I know you'll remember this song.
I played the sheet music to this cover version by Bette Midler for our music teacher who was leaving, while you sang.  I just jumped in on the harmonies every now and then.  I think those early years of singing together really helped with us keeping the harmony in our friendship too

There are places I remember
all my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
And some have gone, and some remain

Since I have known you, we have introduced each other to so many different people, from so many different walks of life, but we have remained constant through all of those seasonal friends.  I laugh when I think about our growing pains together.  I struggle sometimes to recall specific sayings that we had but I do have vivid images of the things we did together.  When I look at old photos of what we did together, those photos never fail to make me smile.

All these places have their moments
with lovers and friends I still can't recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I love them all

I think this is probably why people love going to reunions.  We should probably think about having one too.  Maybe a silver jubilee?  Goodness. . . time flies when you're having fun alright.  Do you think about friends that have passed away?  I can't believe that those who have gone, have actually gone.  It makes me think about how much we need to be living in the moment and doing so much so that we can take those memories with us.

But of all these friends and lovers
there is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
when I think of love as something new

Thank you for being the friend that always knows what to say when words fail me.
You show me what friendship means and how important it is to stay connected, because when we spend time together, your enthusiasm and excitement is as effervescent as when we were kids - it's infectious, contagious and keeps a permanent smile affixed on my face.  I don't think it's that possible to be happy in that way; it's that sheer kind of joy, that exhilaration of knowing that you're with someone that totally gets you on a wavelength and you're just nodding and laughing till you start crying.

Though I know I'll never ever lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think of them
In my life I love you more

Whenever you need me buddy, I'm here.
There are very few times in one's lifetime where you will love a friend more than words could ever say, because words would fail to do justice to the admiration and loyalty that I have for you.
I think that's probably why we harmonise so well when we sing, and why our friendship is so in tune :-)

But in my life I love you more
I love you more. . . . 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Mo' better blues. . .

Conversation series:  first conversation with one of my dearest and oldest friends. . . 

This song was released as the title track under the movie of the same name Mo' better blues.  I think the reason why I chose this particular song as the first conversation with you because it's the first song that I associate with you.

There isn't really anything in the movie that mirrors our lives, apart from our love of jazz music and our lifelong friendship (it's been over 20 years now? wow time flies).

One of the major themes of the movie highlights 'cause and effect', and I think our lives have been a bit like that, intertwined and shucks, who would've thought we would've stayed friends for so long?  I mean, you hated me at first.  

I have so many wonderful memories of our time at high school together.

Trumpet lessons together were of course a highlight.
I was a nerd in our first year of high school and I was pretty quiet, particularly in one-on-one situations with teachers, so when we had our trumpet lessons with Mr. Woodbridge, I paid attention and made sure that my embouchure was correct, my fingering was fluid and that I did the breathing exercises properly.

That one lesson when you couldn't stop laughing when our other friend blew her trumpet into Mr. Woodbridge's right ear, man, I had never seen him turn that particular shade of red before.  And that voice.  That loud booming voice telling you both to get out of his sight.  I just sat there shocked, immobile and quiet.

Playing in the school jazz band with you, was never dull.  You hated other people playing my music and would take the band folder off the stand if someone tried to play it.  Loyalty is one of your biggest assets.  It's probably why we've been friends so long.

But our music memories weren't just restricted to trumpet playing either.
We sang together in the school choir.
I think the best story was when we sang the female arrangement of Ave Verum by Mozart and for some reason my voice broke and some other note came out.  The look on our choral conductor's face was priceless.  I only knew you were laughing as I stood behind you because I could see you shoulders shaking, moving up and down from the incident.  I was surprised at the self-discipline of the rest of the choir - what professionalism. they just kept it together and kept singing.

Singing with our very own vocal group was funny too.
We kept the friend who couldn't hold a note (weakness of friends, keep the useless singer because you don't want to ruin the friendship haha).  But I should've guessed that the dissonance from her was a sign of things to come.

Thanks for being a part of those early music making memories with me.
I know there are many more to come.
It won't be mo' better blues, it will just be mo' better :-)