Sunday, 31 January 2016

Young hearts run free. . .

Ladies, if you're married, did you cry often last year?
Marriages can be challenging to sustain and maintain when you are going through issues that you choose not to address and talk through.  Everyone knows that when the honeymoon is over, reality kicks in and daily mundane decisions need to be made - ranging from brands of products to buy for the household, down to what you're going to eat for dinner and where to go for entertainment, even whose families to spend time with over the holidays.

What's the sense in sharing
This one and only life
Endin' up just another lost and lonely wife
You'll count up the year
And they will be filled with tears

I haven't come across a song like this one that gives such great advice to women who find themselves in loveless marriages.  Well, at least it gives you food for thought, particularly as the institution of marriage now includes same-sex marriage.  But you know what, regardless of which genders are married to each other, the challenges remain the same.

Love only breaks up, to start over again
You'll get the babies, but you won't have your man
While he is busy loving every other woman that he can, uh-huh
Say I'm gonna leave a hundred times a day
It's easier said than done
When you just can't break away
(When you just can't break away)

That line really gets to me.  The third line - where he's busy loving every other woman that he can.
Why does it bother me?  Because I know men like this.  They have partners and children, but still choose to run about town having their egos stroked (as well as other body parts) by women who know they are married or are unaware of their marital status.

Oh, young hearts run free
Never be hung up
Hung up like my man and me
My man and me
Ooooh, young hearts, to yourself be true
Don't be no fool when love really don't love you
Don't love you

I've thought a lot about this verse.  It's great advice for young people to be true to themselves and to avoid what happens to people when they get married and she even talks about herself and her own man in the course of the song.  But this is the thing that love can do to people right?  It can make fools of them if they let it - especially when love doesn't love you back.

It's high time just one crack at life
Who wants to live, trouble and strife
My mind must be free
To learn all about me, uh-huh

What compels a woman to stay in a loveless marriage, where her husband no longer loves her while she loves him.  Unrequited love in a marriage seems silly doesn't it when you think about the fact that he must have loved her if he married her.  So when the wife knows about these affairs - she stays because of the children or she takes her vows seriously to forgive him enough to stay.  These may seem like simplistic reasons, but they are the main reasons that women I know choose to stay.  I guess when a married woman decides what she wants to be able to do for herself and her own happiness - she has to be strong enough to follow through with decisions that will ultimately lead to this happiness, even if it means going through some pain to get there.  Nobody says marriage is easy right?

I'm gonna love me, for the rest of my days
Encourage the babies every time they say
Self-preservation is what's really going on today
Say I'm gonna turn loose a thousand times a day
But how can I turn loose
When I just can't break away
(When I just can't break away)

Self preservation is important, but what is even more important is that you need to be able to love yourself for you, rather than relying on someone else to love you so much to make all of your problems disappear - nobody signs up for that kind of job.  Would you?  I wouldn't.  If you dare to sign on the dotted line of that marriage certificate, I hope that you find someone who will be able to love you for the rest of your days as much as you are willing to love yourself. . .  

Stuck in the middle with you. . .

I know we're nearing the end of the first month of the year.  The celebrations of New Year's will have worn off by now, you've packed the Christmas decorations away, and everybody is all back at work ready to put those New Year's resolutions into play.  At least that's what we think we're doing.  Sometimes we find that we will self sabotage our own new beginnings of good intentions and carefully laid out plans with negative thoughts, procrastination and lack of self belief.  For the most part we might be surrounded by some negative influences in the shape of undesirable people in your life. 

Well I don't know why I came here tonight
I got the feeling that something ain't right
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right here I am
Stuck in the middle with you

I've talked a lot in previous blog posts about the importance of relying on your gut instinct, to embrace your feelings and your intuition when it comes to foreign situations.  For those who like to think a lot and plan each move down to the last detail, you can still do this, but sometimes thinking requires more time than the actual response time you are given.  So what can you do in situations like that?  Do you go ahead and practice how you will respond to improve your fast response time, so that you are able to give as good as you get?  Are we conscious enough about the clowns and jokers that seem to surround us, because we only seem to notice these types of people around us only when we sense imminent danger.

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you
And I'm wondering what it is I should do
It's so hard to keep the smile off my face
Losing control, yeah I'm all over the place
Clowns to left of me, jokers to the right here I am
Stuck in the middle with you

I can't help but imagine the smile on your face to be a wry smile.  Who would you be happy to stuck in the middle of a situation with?  Would you hope to be stuck with someone that knows how to extricate themselves from such situations?  I have often been the person that people like to be stuck with because they can feel that they can lose control and be all over the place while I'm left to be the one to deal with the clowns and jokers that surround us.  I'm not complaining, I guess I'm just used to this type of role.  I guess just because I'm good at it, doesn't necessarily mean that I like doing it.

Well you started out with nothing
And you're proud that you're a self made man
And your friends they come a crawlin'
Slap you on the back and say
Please. . . . please. . . . 

Be very careful about people who try to steal your time and ask you silly questions in the effort that they want to know things about you, only to hurt you later on.  Are you someone who is easily flattered?  There's something to be said for someone who is easily flattered - only fools believe in the fake praise by others.  I guess it goes back to the notion of respecting the opinions of those who are actually qualified to criticise you for anything based on their own expertise in your area or because they have lead by example or have relevant life experience that you could possibly learn from.  

Trying to make sense of it all
But I can see it makes no sense at all
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor
'Cause I don't think I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right here I am
Stuck in the middle with you

I recently posted on Twitter that I think of myself as a #SenseMaker, someone who is constantly trying to make sense of people who create nonsense or someone who is a #NonsenseMaker.  Which one are you?  It can be easy to be a nonsense maker - create problems for other people to solve, instigate some drama that is unnecessary because that's what they do for kicks and entertainment.

I hope that wherever you find yourself stuck in a situation, that you become the person that other don't mind being stuck in the middle with you. . . 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Why. . .

I've been in love with the music of the great Annie Lennox from an early age.  I admired her aloofness in music videos, juxtaposed with her stage presence in live concerts, her collaborations with other music artists (her performance with David Bowie of Under Pressure is one of my favourites).  Today's blog post focuses on her single Why.

How many times do I have to try to tell you
That I'm sorry for the things that I've done
But when I start to try and tell you
That's when you have to tell me
Hey. . . this kind of trouble's only just begun 
I tell myself too many times
Why don't you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut
That's why it hurts so much to hear the words
That keep on falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Tell me
Why. . . . 
Why. . . .

Trying to understand how to be in a relationship is always challenging.  You try to be honest and keep everything above board, giving away as much information to the other person insomuch as you are comfortable with sharing.  We often forget how trust between people can be built through words and how words can contribute to feelings, because we can only share as much as we are willing to part with, about ourselves.  The danger in cultivating bad relationships is when you use words to break that trust to release yourself from what you no longer want, or even if you're scared to be in a relationship, so you self sabotage to get some breathing space.  Do you know when to keep your big mouth shut?

I may be mad, I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you're thinking
And I've heard it said too many times
That you'd be better off
Besides, why can't you see this boat is sinking
(this boat is sinking, this boat is sinking)
Let's go down to the water's edge
And we can cast away those doubts
Some things are better left unsaid
But they still turn me inside out
Turning inside out, turning inside out
Tell me why. . .. tell me why. . . 

When we learn to keep our mouths shut, we learn to listen to the other person and just appreciate who they are.  Do you believe that things are better off left unsaid?  Do you think that the other person thinks they would be better off without you?  These doubts that you entertain in your mind, I'm not sure whether you would try to sort things out for yourself in terms of how you would choose to process them.  People can often talk to other friends for advice, to vent.  I think we just need to look more in the mirror and ask ourselves what we're doing or not doing in relationships.

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel

I hope that you learn more about yourself and how you see yourself in a relationship.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no relationship expert.  But what I can share with you is that whatever relationship I've ever been in and any future ones (because let's face it, I will meet new people all the time), I will be able to articulate with these people how I feel, so that there will be no guess work required to decipher what it is I am feeling, how they make me feel and what we would be feeling together.  Being able to pin down your feelings and letting a significant other know how you feel can be scary, of course it is, because you're pouring out your soul to someone else.  

Do you know how I feel?
'Cause I don't think you know how I feel
I don't think you know what I feel
I don't think you know what I feel

You don't know what I feel. . . 

So start practising being real with yourself in the mirror, so that when you come across someone who you finally recognise and realise as someone who deserves to know how you really feel, only then can you start to have a real relationship with real feelings. . . 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Money don't matter 2night. . .

One more card and it's 22
Unlucky 4 him again
He never had respect 4 money it's true
That's why he never wins
That's why he never ever has enough
2 treat his lady right
He just pushes her away in a huff
And says "money don't matter 2 night"

What is your relationship with money like?  They say money is the root of all evil, but I guess it depends on how you gained the money and what you use it for - the difference between taking ill-gotten gains to build an empire designed to acquire more wealth or to build a philanthropic trust designed to improve society - does it matter?  It just seems that money and morals don't go hand in hand anyway, particularly when there is so much of it and how you choose to spend or invest it.  Do we have a healthy respect for money, even if it means giving most of it away gets in the way of being wealthy?

Look here's a cool investment 
They're tellin' him he just can't lose
So he goes off and tries to find a partner
But all he finds are users (users)
And he finds are snakes in every color
Every nationality and size
Seems like the only thing he can do
Is just roll his eyes, and say that. . . 

It must be hard sometimes to listen to people make suggestions about what you should do with your money too.  Who can you trust?  Because of what money is, what it can do and how it can do things, it requires some delicate hands to touch it and manipulate it for your benefit.  Are you a good judge of character?  Do you know who to trust when it comes to placing faith in someone to be able to handle your money well?  Greed grows on people; the more money you make, the more money you want to make.  Do people use you for money?

Hey now, maybe we can find a good reason
2 send a child off 2 war
So what if we're controllin' all the oil
Is it worth a child dying 4? (is it worth it?)
If long life is what we all live 4
Then long life will come 2 pass
Anything is better than the picture of the child
In a cloud of gas, and u think u got it bad

There is never a good enough reason to send children to war - least of all for greed and control.  There needs to be a continual focus on the plight of children worldwide especially because as adults we have the power to make their lives better, we are duty bound, even if those children are not biologically ours, but they are homosapically ours aren't they?  I think it has to do with the thought of a future that should burn brighter than our present, that we have the hope that emulates from the eyes of children that we are faced with - on the news if not in front of us.  

Money don't matter 2night
It sure didn't matter yesterday
Just when you think you've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away
That's when you find out you're better off
Making sure your soul's alright (soul's alright)
'Cos money didn't matter yesterday (don't matter)
And it sure don't matter 2night. . . 

I hope that whatever choices we have when it comes to money, that we make choices that are for the greater good of all, for everyone, rather than for ourselves in an overtly selfish way when we know we are in positions to help others less fortunate than ourselves, others who have not had the same opportunities that we have had when it comes to education and quality of life where the basic necessities are not a daily grind for survival.  If we can afford to give to others, then we should give. because money didn't matter yesterday and it sure don't matter 2night. . . 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Try it on my own. . .

Conversation series: Final conversation with a friend

People can always try and dismiss you and think that you don't know what to do with your life.  It's always easy to judge others and believe what society tells us about what we should do with our lives, because this is what we've been taught in school as young children, this is how we have been conditioned, this is what has contributed to our human condition.  

I'm wiser now, 
I'm not the foolish girl you used to know
So long ago
I'm stronger now
I've learned from my mistakes which way to go 
And I should know
I put myself aside to do it your way
But now I need to do it all alone

You've never suggested that I needed to be someone different, but just to trust my instincts and intuition about who I really am.  I don't think that people can ever really handle who you really are because there seems to be this idea that you need to be someone more exciting or exotic, heck, even synthetic, but that has never interested me.  I think you saw that about me and probably wondered how I've managed to get through life relatively unscathed and undamaged despite what life has thrown in my direction.

 It's over now
I can't go back to living through your eyes
Too many lies
And if you don't know by now
I can't go back to being someone else
Not anymore
I've had a chance to do things my way
So now it's time for me to take control

I don't know what you want to do with your life.  I don't think you even know for yourself.  I think it has more to do with how much are you willing to relinquish in order to make other people's lives better.  It's hard isn't it - to have that ultimate sacrifice - to give up your own dream in order to be present in reality.  I guess this is why I was meant to meet you at this point of my life - in order to give up my reality  in order to be present in my dream.  What better way to learn about living my dreams than consorting with a dreamer?

Oh I start again go back to one
I'm running things my way
Can't stop me now, I've just begun
Don't even think about it
There's ain't no way about it
I'm taking names, the ones of mine
Yes I'm gonna take my turn
It's time for me to finally stand alone, stand alone

I've seen the effect that you have on people who come into contact with you and as much as I admit, that I would've been under that spell for some time as well, it's time for me to take my turn and finally stand alone.  The biggest lesson from 2015 was not believing in myself that much (even though it appeared to those who were less further along the path of enlightenment and soul searching that I had it together).  Thank you for teaching me that lesson.  You didn't explicitly teach me, because you actually taught me without knowing.  I believe the greatest teachers are often the ones who do it without realising it.

And I am not afraid to do it on my own
I don't care if I'm right or wrong
I'll live my life the way I feel
No matter what I'll keep it real you know
Time for me to do it on my own

I hope that you find some resolution in your life that gives you the peace that you seek.
Thanks for sharing your tortured moments with me, because as much as it taught me how to be a good friend to you, it taught me a lot about how to handle my own torturous moments and become who I am today.  

I think we need to stop living fake lives, like right now.
I think we need to stop pretending to be what people want us to be, rather than who we are.
I'm looking forward to people being able to take me as I am, no matter what I'll keep it real you know, time for me to do it on my own. . .   

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Love will keep us alive. . .

Conversation series:  Second conversation with a friend

Another great artist has joined his compatriots in heaven this week.  The Eagles would not have existed without its co-founder Glenn Frey.  I've blogged about the band in previous blog posts (see Peaceful easy feeling, One of these nights, Take it to the limit, The new kid in town).  Even though Frey didn't write this song because it was written by the rest of the band well after he left, but it makes me think about what he represents for me as an artist and songwriter.  I will write a tribute post to him soon.

I was standing all alone against the world outside
You were searching for a place to hide
Lost and lonely now you've give me the will to survive
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive

I don't understand why you feel that you are all alone.  
You have great support networks in place for people to be able to help you, but you choose not to engage with people in this way.  Instead you hide yourself, your real self from people and only reveal your true self to me.  I don't understand why you think that I've given you this will to survive, but I hear it in your voice when we talk.  You are always grateful and you express this, but I know that sometimes what you say and what you feel don't always match up.  

Don't you worry, sometimes you've just gotta let it ride
The world is changing right before your eyes
No I've found you there's no more emptiness inside
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive

There is still self-loathing that you deal with on a daily basis.  I'm not sure whether it's easier to feel sorry for yourself than to actually deal with some real facts about what you do (or don't do).  I think it's because I know the real you, that I've listened to what you've had to say, this has been really easy to say.  Sometimes you gravitate towards who tell you what you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear.  I won't waste time telling you what you think you want, but rather what you should know to get to where you need to be.  

I would die for you, climb the highest mountain
Baby there's nothing I wouldn't do
Now I've found you, there's no more emptiness inside
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive

The emptiness that exists inside is only because we fail to see what we truly are.
The negative emotions or unpleasing traits that we hold onto, I often wonder - why do we retain these?  It is easy to do this when we are surrounded by people who continue to foster this or perpetuate its existence in our lives.  

I would die for you, climb the highest mountain
Baby there's nothing I wouldn't do

I think I've done enough in what I need to do with you, in terms of being a great support network for you.  It's funny because I'm always there in the background for people making sure that they are ok, but I have yet to meet someone who can do the same for me (and it's quite rare that I do, but when I do come across them, it's always exactly at the right time).  So I just hope that there's nothing that you wouldn't be able to do for yourself.

I was standing all alone against the world outside
You were searching for a place to hide
Lost and lonely now you've give me the will to survive
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive. . . 

I hope that I learn for myself to let go and know that you will be ok to carry on by yourself.
I have a habit of checking in on people to make sure that they're ok, because I feel that I need to do that.  It's funny because I'm such a good connector of people but sometimes I need to disconnect myself.  

So what am I saying here?  When you are hungry for a pathway that only you can be on and run alone, the only thing that will be able to keep you alive will not be the love of others, but in fact how strong you are capable of loving yourself enough to stay on the journey :-)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Heroes. . .

Conversation series 2016:  First conversation of the year with a friend 

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing, will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day

I didn't know confidence until I met you.
I wasn't sure if it was just blind confidence in yourself or you were bluffing, but the more times we talked I realised you really did think that way about yourself, that you were royalty, not because you wanted to be king and you wanted me to be queen, but you talked a lot about how we were very much the same, and the fact that you hated everyone else for not getting things as fast as you did.

And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact 

You like telling me what to do, not because you were bossy or domineering, but because you saw things so clearly in your mind that meant that things were just so, that things were meant to be the way that you saw them because it was right.  We are lovers of life you and I, loving it in all its ridiculousness and all its glory, seeing life from so many different angles that we were often seeing things from a bird's eye view because we saw the bigger picture before anyone else did.  That is what bound us, that was the fact.

Though nothing, will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What'd you say?

A conversation with you is always filled with something that I can't quite put my finger on because it's not meant to be in a fixed position or located in a single place.  You mentioned how you can gain everything yet lose everything all at once.  I wondered how that was even physically possible but quickly realised - there are no restrictions to how everything moves.  We create our own destinies and can manipulate time however we see fit.  I wondered why you are always so casual and relaxed yet anxious and weirdly formal at the same time.  I understand this now - we are all a combination of contradictions that we must be able to decipher about ourselves.

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim 
Though nothing, nothing can keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh we can be heroes, just for one day

Dolphins swim effortlessly in the ocean, like the playful puppies of the sea that exude friendliness and their caring nature towards humans.  I can understand why you would want me to be more like a dolphin, to tap into my playful nature.  You've always talked about me not being fun in the sense that I don't let go of my seriousness when I need to, but I think you have helped me to push past that.  Learning to be fun and knowing when to relax has been extremely important to maintain the balance that I have been searching for that has always been within me all along.

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day

I feel in this verse like you are singing the lead while I echo your sentiments.  This verse speaks to me of enjoying moments, no matter if they are stolen moments and even if we can be heroes for only one day, during such a finite time, but we would still be heroes.  Would we be able to transfer those triumphant feelings into other occasions where we would need to be heroes again?  Or does being a hero only rely on stolen time, with moments that cannot be repeated or replicated, because they are too precious or too rare to come by?  Why do people always want to battle or compete anyway?  Why do we have to beat people?  Does living in this world force us to constantly be competitive and move other people out of the way in order to be successful and become a hero?

We can be heroes
We can be heroes
We can be heroes
Just for one day
We can be heroes

I guess it depends on what we define heroes to be though right?  What are we really talking about when we are referring to being heroes?  Herculean feats of heroism or just the ordinary human's attempts that shine through on the odd occasion when adrenalin kicks in?  I think we can often forget to see ourselves as heroes when we need to most, because we are always waiting for others to affirm our status as heroes - when we only need to look at the people who we help, not for their praise or recognition of our acts, but just to know that if you hadn't stepped in at the moment to restore their own faith in themselves - then gees, isn't that what heroes do?  Allow humanity to restore their own faith in what they can already do?

We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day
Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh; just for one day

I hope that we all get to experience that one day soon enough.
I know that I will keep the memories of conversations and events where I felt that we were heroes - together - even if just for one day. . . 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Fill your heart . . .

It's really hard to stop thinking about things and just learning to feel them instead.
We forget to let our gut instinct kick in sometimes and just let it take over, because we worry too much about being misconstrued or misunderstood - but you are holding yourself prisoner to well, yourself, in the sense that you won't truly enjoy all that life has to offer.

Fill your heart with love today
Don't play the game of time
Things that happened in the past
Only happened in your mind
Only in your mind
Oh forget your mind and you'll be free yea
The writing's on the wall
Free yea and you can know it all

I watched a couple of movies when I was on the plane to and from Samoa and I deliberately selected  movies that I needed to help with my feelings.  Why did I need help with my feelings?  I think for the most part, most of what I do and think is based largely on how I feel.  Call it intuition or gut instinct.  The movie I watched going over to Samoa was The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.  If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend that you watch it because I learned more and more about needing to fill my heart and my life with what I love rather than complaining about things, doubting myself and just blocking your own potential because of fear.

If you choose, just remember
Lovers never lose 
'Cause they are 
Free of thoughts unpure
And of thoughts unkind
Gentleness clears the soul
Love cleans the mind
And makes it free

I watched two more movies on my return to Aotearoa - The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Richard Gere and Say Anything starring John Cusack and Ione Skye.  Both movies filled my heart with lots of pithy phrases which I don't recall now but no doubt I will be able to find them easily enough if I look hard, but all I remember on that flight is that I was coming home and feeling different about things and how it would all pan out.  I had concluded on the trip that no matter how what situation I would find myself in, that I would approach it with love.  I know, easier said than done right.  But yes that's the beauty of the challenge.

Happiness is happening
The dragons have been bled
Gentleness is everywhere
Fear's just in your head
Only in your head
Fear is in your head
Only in your head
So forget your head
And you'll be free
The writing's on the wall
Free yea and you can know it all

Can you imagine yourself dancing along to this song or doing your usual humdrum daily routines to this song?  It helps to listen to music that is fun and inspires you to be silly.  You're probably thinking - who has time for that?  But I highly recommend factoring in some serious "silly time" with people who know how to be silly with you and don't judge you for it (otherwise you're obviously surrounded by the wrong type of people if you can't think of who to do this with).  So think less with your head especially when occasions call for you to be able to feel, not to think about negative scenarios or things that weigh you down.  Be free and let go.

If you choose, just remember
Lovers never lose 
'Cause they are free of thoughts unpure
And of thoughts unkind
Gentleness clears the soul
Love cleans the mind
And makes it free

So it is easy to see that if you really start feeling more, and thinking less (you know what I mean, when over thinking has the danger of taking you over the edge) you will start to feel the gentleness that you need to clear your soul and love cleaning your mind to set it free.  I mean, there's no point in filling your mind with thoughts unpure, thoughts that threaten to consume every other positive opportunity that leads to bigger and better things, leads to brighter and beautiful people :-)

Only in your mind - forget your mind. . . 

No more lonely nights. . .

This song is quite epic in the sense that it has a bit of everything.  It has an instrumental solo during the course of the song, the ending is quite different in comparison to other songs of its time because the variation of the lyrics in itself are also accompanied with an almost continuation of an extended guitar solo at the end.

I can't wait another day, until I call you
You've only got my heart on a string and everything aflutter
But another lonely night might take forever
We've only got each other to blame
It's all the same to me love
'Cause I know what I feel to be right

I love Paul McCartney's way with words but also the way in which he's such a melodic writer where he takes you on a journey with accurately placed background vocals that also answer his main melodic motif.  The last line of this first verse picks up with the rhythmic quaver pattern by the accompaniment that helps to drive the momentum of the song.  Have you ever trusted your feeling so much that you know that they have been right?

No more lonely nights
No more lonely nights
You're my guiding light
Day or night I'm always there

I guess you don't really notice how lonely your nights are until you become acquainted with someone who fills some kind of space in your life that you didn't know existed.  They could be a light that helps to shine on other things that help you become quite happy in your life.  Who wouldn't want to be around you in that case?

May I never miss the thrill of being near you
And if it takes a couple of years
To turn your tears to laughter
I will do what I feel to be right

If you think that person is a guiding light, it is only natural that you would want to reciprocate and do something for them if it is at all within your power.  What if she isn't ready for you to turn her tears into laughter?  What if she doesn't want you to do that for her because she knows that you really can't?  But you would do what you feel is right anyway, because let's face it, nobody wants someone to be in pain and hurt if they could feel that they would be able to cheer them up or make them smile or laugh.

No more lonely nights (never be another)
No more lonely nights
You're my guiding light
Day or night I'm always there
And I won't go away until you tell me so
No, I'll never go away

Guitar solo

Have you ever told anybody to go away and leave you alone?  When you told them that, did they listen?  You could've told them to go away because you didn't want to be a burden to them, that you felt that they needed to be able to sort things out on their own without your help.  You probably told them to go away because you haven't had anybody try to be there for you day or night because you've never needed anyone in that way before, until they said that they would be.  There's nothing wrong with needing someone, especially if they are offering themselves to be needed by you.  I guess the communication lines just need to be clear so that feelings are spared or misunderstandings avoided.

Yes, I know (I know) what I feel (I feel) to be right (be right)
No more lonely nights (never be another)
No more lonely nights 
You're my guiding light
Day or night I'm always there

The descending arpeggio helps to add more to the texture of the chorus, because Paul ascends with the melody during the singing of "no more lonely nights"; contrary motion in a song never sounded so good.  Lyrically can you trust reassurances like that?  People are always scared to get hurt so they protect themselves by sending people away.  It's that age old mantra of hurt or get hurt.  I guess you won't know when to let go of your fear of getting hurt, until you open yourself up to getting hurt and learning from the pain.  You can't protect yourself in this way forever.  Sooner or later your self-imposed force field has to come down and you must experience what's really out there.

And I won't go away until you tell me so
No, I'll never go away
And I won't go away until you tell me so
No, I'll never go away. . . 

I hope that even if you told someone to go away, they would've known you well enough in your interactions with each other, that you didn't actually want them to leave you.  I wouldn't want to keep someone's heart on a string and keep them all aflutter if I wasn't prepared to reciprocate what they were feeling, I mean that isn't fair and as much as you would try to train yourself to love them the same way, you must be true to yourself first.  But you wouldn't need to tell me to go though, because I would already know when it was time to leave and I would know that you would cope with being alone because you would be secure enough in yourself to be able to withstand no more lonely nights. . . 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Who can I turn to. . .

This blog post is dedicated to those who are feeling like they are missing someone in their lives. . . 

You will come to some points in your life where you feel like you don't know what to do with your life because you've relied on somebody to be there for you and to help you figure things out.  It is always a comforting thing to have somebody there as your security blanket, to talk to by talking things out and to give you some reassurance or affirmation about where you need to go.

Have you ever felt like you've been left alone in this way?  To figure things out for yourself because somebody else has moved on or things have happened beyond your control and they have left you permanently (i.e. they've passed away) and you're trying to figure out how to cope with making decisions and staying focused on your plan on your own?

Who can I turn to, when nobody needs me?
My heart wants to know 
And so I must go
Where destiny leads me

Reaching our destiny is hard to do alone, particularly if what you're doing puts you in a position where nobody else knows what you're going through, nobody else quite knows what kind of support you need and nobody else really talks to you enough to know that you look like when you need help.  Those are always the ironic things that strong people are faced with - when from the outside they look like they have it so much together that the rest of the world doesn't know that they need help until something drastic happens.

With no star to guide me 
And no one beside me
I'll go on my way and after the day
The darkness will hide me

This is when we need to be learning the most about ourselves.  There's only so much that other people can do for you because ultimately - everyone leaves.  So rather than focus on the separation or the sense of loss that happens when you feel alone or lonely, focus instead on what you need to do day by day in order to reach your destiny.  I think even if you don't know what your destiny is, I'm confident that you'll know what it is once you reach it.  I believe that you will sense a feeling of completion or you will be able to breathe again once you have reached your destination.  You won't know what you destiny-tion will be until you reach it.  The exciting thing is being able to bring yourself our of the darkness that you are trying to hide yourself in.  Nobody can see your light shining from there if you choose to hide.

And maybe tomorrow 
I'll find what I'm after
I'll throw off my sorrows
Beg steal or borrow my share of laughter

You must continue to hold onto hope.  You cannot be discouraged and give up easily, because your destiny needs to be reached.  You probably don't realise it right now, but so many people will benefit from the work that you do once you reach your destiny.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed and feel the pressure of having to perform to a high standard for a consistently long amount of time in order for people to see the progress that you are making.  I wouldn't even worry about that.  Instead focus on feeling good now in order to get to the destiny faster.  It is important to laugh along the way.  It is important to sit with people and share laughter with them so that your heart can be full again.

With you I could learn to
With you on a new day
But who can I turn to 
If you turn away?

I know in my past I have always been the someone that people relied on to make them feel like they were able to get on their way, that when I disappeared from their lives, they wondered how they were going to survive without me.  Instead I knew during those times, that I needed to leave them otherwise they would never know how to turn inwards and not outwards to me at every single turn.  I mean, what's the point of turning outwards to others if you can't turn inwards to yourself first, to check and trust what you think and believe and feel so that you can start living what you have from within?

With you I could learn to
With you on a new day
But who can I turn to
If you turn away?

I hope that I will know in time when I am able to trust someone to show me a new day.
I hope that I will never stop learning and know that when I no longer need to look inwards to myself because I don't trust others, that I can start to turn outwards and learn to with you. . . whoever you are. . .

Life on Mars. . .

This blog post is a tribute to David Bowie - the Starman and Hero

It's taken me a while to knuckle down and write about the man because there are so many crazy good songs that he wrote himself or performed and it was hard to focus on one song in particular.  

I have written about Bowie's work in previous blog posts (see Space Oddity, As the World Falls Down, Modern love, The man who sold the world and Changes).  I will probably write a few more about him as I connect quite strongly with his work, including his most recent haunting album which the world has since discovered, was not meant to be his final one.

It's a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling "No!"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dreams
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on

Do you have random thoughts sometimes?  I often think that we don't wonder enough anymore because we've been taught so much to focus on content knowledge rather than focus on our curiosity and asking the right questions.  I think we don't observe enough either.  I mean, introverts have that skill locked and loaded, ready to go.  This is how I feel when I think about the opening verse, where we are lead to consider what the girl with the mousy hair is doing.  Are you the girl with the mousy hair?  Are you often directed to watch things that you don't want to watch?  How can we shake ourselves free from other people dictating what we need to watch and engage with?  Why is it that when we're bored watching something, or we're involved in something, we never tell people we're not interested and move away from it?

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

When we are subjected to shows that we don't want to watch, how can we tell the people involved that they're exposing themselves to things they don't need to or that they're acting in ways that they believe is right, but is actually based on the wrong information?  I've been thinking a bit lately about how people choose to portray themselves on social media and I think that they're very good at constructing a very fake online persona that is in fact very different from their real lives.  I say this with conviction because they are family members who outwardly espouse something else when I know their lived reality.  I haven't of course exposed their online fake life, I just shake my head and wonder why do people do that?  It makes me think that the craziest things that happen in life aren't actually that crazy at all because maybe if crazy things happen this way - then maybe there is life on Mars?

It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times before
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on

When did we get to the point where we write the films that people watch to distract them from their own lives?  I guess that happens when we have begun to master what we have in store for ourselves or have let go of the seemingly important things to embrace the true factors that will bring us our greatest joys in life and celebrate our purpose in this world.

Every time we go to write the film again, do we change what we wrote last time before we show them to the rest of the world?  What do we ask people to focus on when we ask them to watch what we have written?

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

The lived reality is often not what people want.  We would much rather live in the fake or illusion that is the online life because it's more exciting or fascinating than the daily mundane.  But I don't buy into this.  I'm a firm believer of creating the kind of life that you don't need to have a holiday from. I honestly believe that I've made this possible for myself, it's a daily set of decisions where I am grateful for what I have control over and who I choose to surround myself with.  Despite the harsh realities of life and how these have the potential to impact on your life, it doesn't need to overtake the plans and beliefs that you have in store for yourself, because we all know that there is a balance to be had with an element of unpredictability that we accept, rather than trying to manage - we can't control what we have no control over.

I hope that you understand, even though this will be a steep learning curve for most, be content and satisfied in what you have going for yourself.  For some it might not mean like much at all, it may not seem like much at all - but that's the glass half empty / half full argument all over again - always choose half full because it means you have something to start with, it means you're half way there.

Thank you Mr. Bowie for bringing your sense of wonder and perspective to the world.
See you on Mars :-)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Our day will come. . .

I’ve spent the past week in my ancestral homeland and I’ve deliberately taken myself off the grid.  I didn’t take a cellphone with me, but I did manage to catch up with some friends when I was there so I was happy I got a chance to do that.  The main purpose of my visit to Samoa was to attend a title investiture ceremony where I was bestowed the high chief title from my father’s village Fasito’o-uta in Upolu – Aiono Su’amamatai’a.  The prime minister of Samoa attended the ceremony and he shares the same title that I hold (as well as other titles from six other villages).  I have deliberately chosen this Amy Winehouse rendition because the reggae slant reminds me of the reggae music I heard blasting around Upolu as I travelled around.  

Our day will come (our day will come)
And we’ll have everything
We’ll share the joy (we’ll share the joy)
For letting love embrace
Noone can tell me that I’m too young to know
I love you so, and you love me

People have said I’ve been too young to know anything my entire life.  I knew I was a precocious child because of people’s reactions to me.  Age has never been a factor to hold me back from my deep love of learning, of listening to people older than me with meaningful knowledge and stories of my ancestral past or of the world in general because I valued the fact that our collective history can teach us a lot about ourselves and how we can see into the future.

Our day will come
If we just wait a while
No tears for us, think love and wear a smile
Our dreams have magic because we’ll always stay in love this way
Our day will come

Instrumental interlude

I was one of a few people from the fifth generation of our family who received a title.  To be honest, I was quite reluctant to receive a title, because I understand the enormity of the responsibility, as if the mantle of responsibility I currently hold in my extended family wasn’t large enough, but now to seven other branches of my full extended family is another undertaking. 

It has been a long time coming, in terms of our full extended family being able to have access to our birthright, because of circumstances beyond our control, but the honour cannot be diminished either.  You receive a title because you serve your family and your service has warranted the gift of receiving a title.  For all future occasions such as weddings, funerals and any other larger family gatherings that require my service and attendance, it is part of my duty and obligation to fulfill.

Our days have magic because we’ll always stay in love this way
Our day will come
Our day will come
Our day will come
Our day will come
Our day will come

Since having this experience, I know that my days spent visiting Samoa again will forever be irrevocably linked to my new status that comes with responsibility, humility and diligence.  My paternal grandmother would be extremely proud, as it is through her lineage that our family have had access to this title and I am also her namesake. Thanks to my father, her son, our day has finally come J

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Good friend. .

If there's something I need I don't already have
I know I'll get it from a good friend

This will be my last blog post until next week.  I'm off to Samoa for a week for family reasons and I will be off the grid - and totally looking forward to it in some respects; no technology and making the most of face to face conversations and spending quality time with family and friends.

I ran into an old friend when I finished checking in for today's flight.
It's funny because my late husband's dying wish was for me to stay away from her.
I've kept to my end of accepting and honouring his wish.
Today was the first time I had really seen her since his burial.
I can't explain how I felt because I didn't really feel anything.
I mean I didn't feel any ill will to her or anything like that - so I guess I was just surprised to see her.
The funny thing was I saw her husband first and for a split second I wondered if I should say hi to him or not.  I remembered that Loma was friends with him and supported him, even though he was never really a good friend to him.  As a couple, we had both decided that their betrayal of our collective friendship was justified - at the time of the rumour, they had spread it around our social circles that we were divorced, but we were very much married.

Granted people who knew Loma and I as a couple, will know who I'm referring to.
I'm not apologising for talking about it here - this is my space, this is my forum and happy place.
I've made peace with her in my mind, I don't need to have her friendship.  I'm cool doing me :-)

I know there is a mountain
I know there is a climb
I thought about the danger
The darkness of the night
But soon as I get weary
Soon as I close my eyes
You're there to lift the burden from my mind

When my husband passed away, it took every ounce of strength for me to contain myself when I saw this couple at his funeral.  I understood they wanted to pay their respects, but I thought seethingly to myself, why pay your respects to him now when he's dead - when you disrespected him when he was alive?  It has taken me a while to get over the betrayal - I call it betrayal because despite what other horrible things she subjected to me growing up with her in high school and subsequently in college - I remained loyal.  I think because of her - she has single handedly made me quite wary of people and who I choose to call my friends.  She ruined that for me, but I am slowly healing and I am meeting more and more people who value my friendship and understand how important trust is to me.  I am thankful and grateful for this change, having a positive mindset and living my best life.

I know I've been impatient, 
I've know I've been upset
I know I've felt the pressure, 
Lookin' for happiness
Soon as I lose my head
You're there to lift my burden again

I gave her my cellphone and address but I don't know whether she will be in touch.
She was the type of friend who forever took from me while I gave her everything, because in my blinded sense of loyalty - I honestly believed I was being a good friend to her.

It wasn't until I was no longer friends with her that my different circles of friends revealed their true feelings about her and how they didn't like the way she treated me and how she used me.  For your information, if you want to be a good friend to someone, and you know that they surround themselves with people who take advantage of them - have the courtesy to express your feelings.

I can honestly say now, I don't hate the poor girl anymore.
She was always a little envious of my confidence and being able to socialise with anybody and everybody.  She never understood that I never competed with her - I was just doing me.  I don't know if she has matured though, but I won't be repeating history and giving her free rein of my emotional stability anymore.  I will at least honour myself in that sense and maintain my dignity and self respect.

If there's something I need I don't already have
I know I'll get it from a good friend. . . 

Thank you to my friends - all my good friends - you are all always there for me and I never doubt what I need thanks to your friendship, loyalty and trust.

Go forth people into a new year and just treat everyone with love and respect.
That's all you'll get from me - your good friend. . . 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Realize. . .

Take time to realize
That your warmth is crashing down on in
Take time to realize
That I am on your side
Didn't I, didn't I tell you?

Have you ever taken the time to realise your true feelings about someone?  I watched Friends with benefits last night starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake (yes I know, I don't really watch movies as much as the average person I guess) but despite it being your unconventional love story, it has that realisation moment where the two key characters both realise that they love each other, something you kind of secretly hoped would happen and you're also glad that things work out in the end.  Letting someone know that you are on their side can be challenging when you need to be able to "show" them to some extent what being on their side means.  Would they understand what you meant?

But I can't spell it out for you
No it's never gonna be that simple
No, I can't spell it out for you

I've blogged about Colbie Caillat before (see Try).  Do you think that it's hard to spell things out for someone because you're afraid of the rejection if they don't feel the same or because you're kind of out of practice and don't know how to be clear about your feelings (especially if you're not in the habit of expressing how you feel about someone, trying to articulate how they make you feel).  I have been fascinated with this notion of how people make you feel - because sometimes I think people are completely unaware of what it is they give out, do or say that will ingratiate themselves to you.  Maybe you can't spell things out because you're not a very good speller I guess, so have trouble recognising how the letters form together in a way that makes a word, that forms a word that has proper lexical meaning.

If you just realize what I just realized
Then we'd be perfect for each other
And we'll never find another
Just realize what I've realized
We'd never have to wonder if
We missed out on each other now

Mutual realisation.  I guess this only happens when the connection you share with someone is so intense that you would realise things at the same time.  Would it be as simple as it is shown in the music video?  Would you rush to write out your feelings only to deliver them in a letter in person?  When was the last time you had written a letter like that?  The good thing about writing your feelings out in such a way is to see what you feel looks like.  When you read the thoughts aloud how does it make you feel?

Take time to realize
Oh-oh, I'm on your side
Didn't I, didn't I tell you?
Take time to realize
This all can pass you by
Didn't I tell you?

Have you had to tell someone constantly that you are on their side?  Why would they need that much reassurance that you are on their side?  Is this because they have never had someone care for them that much so you would have to prove it by writing them a letter?  I have come across people like that in my past who have had to be constantly reassured.  It has made me think about how broken they were and how much harder I had to work to make them understand that I wouldn't hurt them the same way, that I would be careful and understand how fragile they were and that if they chose to take a chance on love again with me, that I would be upfront with them about my feelings at all times.

It's not the same
No, it's never the same
If you don't feel it too
If you meet me halfway
It could be the same for you

I hope that when the chance comes for you to spill the beans about your true feelings for someone, that you feel safe enough for yourself too, to take a chance on love.  I mean if you have been hurt in the past because you've been open and honest with your feelings and then not had them reciprocated - it doesn't mean that you've failed - au contraire mon ami.  In fact, it means that it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked back from people when you tell them how you feel; it's how you pick yourself up and prepare to tell the next person who comes into your life who makes you feel loved.  You might be surprised that when you do reveal your feelings that you might meet someone else who feels the same and meets you halfway because they also realize, realize, realize, realize. . .

Sunday, 3 January 2016

I don't want to change you. . .

Wherever you are, Well, know that I adore you
No matter how far, Well, I can go before you
And if you ever need someone, Well, not that you need helping
But if you ever want someone, I know that I am willing

I think it's hard to accept help from people sometimes.  It may be because you're always the strong one and you always keep it together, you're the fixer, you're the superhero that everyone wants to be but can't fathom the lengths you go through to ensure everyone else is safe, while you sacrifice it all.  Has anybody ever offered to help you?  Have they gone before you, left you, but left you with this offer of support?  It's hard to accept because nobody usually offers to do anything right?  So what do you do?  Accept with caution?  I guess you've been living in a constant state of expecting nothing and accepting everything.  Why would this time be any different?

Oh, and I don't want to change you
I don't want to change you
I don't want to change your mind
I just came across a manger
Out among the danger
Somewhere in a stranger's eye

It's hard to develop trust when all you've ever experienced has been so many levels of broken trust, damaged beyond repair and not really understanding  - is this how life will always be for me?  Why should I expect more than what I have already been given?  Who teaches us to not want more than we have?  Who teaches us to stop dreaming and chastising us for trying to think outside the square?  Who teaches us to conform and behave in ways that everybody else does and completely ignoring what you're trying to say, completely ignoring what your voice sounds like?  Have you heard yourself with your own voice?  I wonder sometimes what they see in the manger when we are constantly in danger, surrounded by strangers' eyes and even when we feel the weight of all of those strangers' eyes on our every move, judging us - you must be confident enough in yourself to know you don't need to change.  Not for them.  Not for anyone.

Wherever you go, Well, I can always follow
I can feed this real slow, If it's a lot to swallow
And if you just want to be alone, Well, I can wait without waiting
If you want me to let this go, Well, I am more than willing

I wonder sometimes why you even bother feeding this real slow.  I don't think I can swallow what you're offering, in your waiting-but-not-waiting way that you have about you.  But I don't think I can let you go just yet either, even when I don't know what this is anyway.  I think I do want to be alone, there is solitude and a peace that the world can't offer and I worry too much that the noise of the world can interfere with my thoughts.  Do you feel that way too?  I don't even want to know the answer to that.  I ask too many rhetorical questions don't I?  I guess that's what you love about our conversations.  I understand, if I just gave the word - you would give this all up.

I've never been with anyone
In the way I've been with you
But if love is not for fun
Then it's doomed, 'cause

Water races, water races down the waterfall
The water races, water races down the waterfall

But isn't that what connections are supposed to be like?  You're meant to always feel like never being in this way with anyone.  I know that when people have said, it was often said because that's what they thought I wanted to hear and I would only realise this after the fact.  I thought that was inadvertently a really mean thing to say because words carry much weight with me, even though you can't see words unless they are printed on a page or appear on a screen, but words have a way of making you feel their weight when they connect with your heart.  So I take words quite seriously, even when you don't sometimes.  My word is my bond.  All I"ve been doing is bonding with people.

And I don't want to change you
I don't want to change you
I don't want to change your mind
I just came across a manger
Where there is no danger
Where love has eyes and is not blind. . . 

I hope that this year you will find what it is that you are searching for.
It can be quite challenging to figure out for yourself what your true heart's desires are.
I think that's something that everyone goes through.  From the greatest heartbreaks and heartaches, comes new ways of feeling that you didn't realise existed, and that's because you open yourself up to testing the strength of your heart in the many faces of adversity and trials that can overwhelm you if you let it.  I guess what I'm saying is, I don't want to change you either. . .