Monday, 31 October 2016

Tomorrow (a better you, a better me) . . .

I had just started high school when this song was released.  I remember at the time that the song was about hope and about figuring out how to live to your potential.  Do you remember what you were like as a child at this age?  Were you full of hopes and dreams?  I can recall high school being a great place to discover what you wanted to do for the rest of your life and learn how to make friends with people that you knew you would take with you along that journey.  Do you still connect with your high school friends?  I have some really good ones that I still connect with and who never stray from my mind.  I'm very lucky that those people from my past have remained a strong feature of the tomorrow that I hope to create for others around me.

I hope tomorrow will bring a better you, a better me
I know that we'll show this world we got more we could be
So you should never give up on your hopes and your dreams
You gotta get up, get out, get into it, get it on to be strong

There is something to said for having hopes and dreams.  When we have them as children, they may be likely to change as our interests do, but the thing about having hopes and dreams is that they help us to stay focused on the wonder of what we are able to achieve if we dare to do so.  I think if I hadn't learned as a child to pursue my dreams, then I wouldn't be half the person I am today.  There is also something to be said for just having the sheer grit and determination as well as the tenacity to see things out and just work hard for what you want.  Are you doing all you can to get up, get out, get into it and getting it on?

If we try, we can fly to a whole 'nother place

All we need is belief and a smile on our face
We can go anywhere we want, any road we decide to take
And we're never never too far from tomorrow today

Have you experienced many obstacles along the way in your journey?  There might have been some roadblocks on your path or people how have decided to try and derail you or gave you an unnecessary detour.  I often think about the stories I listened to as a child where the books talked about our heroes who would at times be derailed or be shown a detour on their epic journeys - but I guess this is what makes the journeys epic - the fact that they went through so much stuff, in order to make their victories that much more sweeter.  As a matter of scale and perception - we only need to know that we are never far from anything we decide to achieve - even when people have stopped believing in you or are starting to give up.  That's when self belief is critically important and when that smile on your face must remain.

If tomorrow is light in a place where there's none
Then now is the time to have faith in us all
Ya know we're all in this world and we all can belong
We gotta get up, get out, get into, get it on to be strong

If you are in spaces where people think that you don't belong in the world, then it's time for some action and some not-so-subtle reminders that we are all visitors to this planet.  There must be some signals that we emit that let people know that they are no different to us, that they conveniently forget that we are but tourists in this world and that we must learn to abide and co-exist so that we can have an improved quality of life together.  It's no longer about an us versus them mentality - but in actual fact, the distinction is no more.   We can be stronger together if we choose to get up, get out, get into and get it on.  It's just a better way to be - don't you agree?

If we try, we can fly to a place in the sun
All we need is precious dreams and a friend we can trust
We can go anywhere we want, any road we decide to take
And we're never never too far from tomorrow today

Find people that you trust to take you to places in the sun where we can all shine together.
Of course that's physically impossible because we would all disintegrate if we tried to go anywhere near the sun, but metaphorically speaking, there is nothing that should stop us from taking our precious dreams and making them realities together.  Are you surrounded by friends you can trust?  I have conversations with friends lately about the ability to be able to trust others and that often people can ask us questions just to be nosey, to judge or comment - but very rarely do people ask us questions to show that they care or are even really listening to what and who we are about.  A friend told me that I just need to know that he's there and all that he does is for the best.  This statement reminds me of tomorrow never being far away from today.

Everybody say tomorrow is just for us to share
And we're gonna send our message of love out ev'rywhere
There's a promise of love tomorrow has
Something special and it's something we know will last and last

I hope that wherever you are in the world, that you make good on your messages of love with whoever you choose to share them with.  I know that even though there are so many challenges that we face today and that even when our past may rear its head now and again, that we must continue to remain hopeful, that we must continue to remember that things (like love) can last and last because it's all about how we can have a better you and a better me, tomorrow. . . 

You are. . .

Baby you'll find
There's only one love
Yours and mine
I've got so much love

The opening verse of this song always makes me laugh.  I'm not sure if it has something to do with the infectious happiness that the song instills in people or just that hearing the opening bars makes you smile without even realising.  The exclusivity of a love that is only shared between two people should teach about the capacity to love being poured into someone else.  Do you have so much love too?

And needing you so
My love for you
I'll never let go
I've got so much love

I think the capacity for love that you hold should be equal to the capacity in which you are willing to express it.  I had often heard as a child a saying that if you give love, it comes right back to you.  Does that mean that love is a boomerang?  I mean it denotes some kind of reciprocity doesn't it?  If you never let go of the love that you have for someone, how will they know that you do in fact love them?  How are they meant to know?  I guess they could find out in your actions towards them, even if the actual words don't manage to escape your lips.

All I want is to hold you
Let me show you how much I love you baby (show you)
I don't mind and I don't mind (loving you)
Girl I love you
There's no one above you

It might be hard for people to tell you how they feel because they haven't really had an opportunity to tell you; there has never been a real opportunity that never seemed contrived or totally out of place for them to be able to say how much they love you.  It should stand to reason that if someone does love you and they don't mind admitting that to themselves, then they should be able to tell you.  I guess the real question - will they tell you?

You are the sun, you are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I'd do it all again and again
Woah woah woah yeah

Do you see life as a foolish game?  I wonder if we often identify the players in our lives soon enough and know exactly how we are meant to interact with them?  There are often rules that we don't know about from the outset, as often people are in such a hurry to play that they forget about the rules or often think they know what the rules are, but everyone plays this foolish game of life with their own adaptation or version of the rules, so who has the right rules?  I guess if you find a consensus approach to what's going on then at least if people told each other, then people would be more real, authentic and genuine with each other and play accordingly.

Tell me it's true
I can't believe you do what you do
I've got so much love
And my love you'll see
We'll stay together, just you and me
I've got so much love

It struck me while listening to this song that maybe the reason why he keeps reiterating that he's got so much love is that the person the song is intended for, doesn't actually believe that he's capable of having that much love?  We might go through life and come across people who say - I know it's too much to ask you to love me in return or I know you don't love me the same, but I can love you enough for the both of us.  What kind of life is that?  How would you deal with loving someone more than they loved you - or being loved more by someone than how you loved them?  I guess it depends on how accepting you are - love is love right?  Why the need to distinguish between who loves who the most - if at all?

Only you (know me)
Tell me how to love you baby (show me)
I don't mind and I don't mind (tell me)
Girl, I love you
Always thinking of you

We might find ourselves connected with people who understand us to such a degree that we marvel at how right they have got it.  How is it that only a small handful of people can totally understand what we stand for, come to know us and learn about us - but others can't or won't?  Why is it only a select few know us the way that we want to be known?   Is this the reason why we can only gravitate towards those certain people in the course of day, weeks, months, years, lives - because they are never far from our thoughts?

I know you know the way I feel
And I need your love for always
'Cause when I'm with you
I fall in love
Again and again and again, baby

I hope that if you are in a position to love someone and that someone tells you that they love you - that you love with all the love that's in you.  You might find it hard to love because it's been a while since you've really truly been in love, but you owe it to yourself to love and be loved.  You just need to know that rather than second guess whether you deserve love or not, whether you think that there is enough love inside you to share it with someone else, just know that you are. . . 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Cupid. . .

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who loves from afar; you know who you are :-)

Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow flow
Straight to my lover's heart for me
Nobody but me
Cupid please hear my cry
And let your arrow fly
Straight to my lover's heart for me

For as long as I can remember, I've been surrounded by love stories growing up that talk about one's true love and fairytales that show girls that they need to suffer through immense drama and conflict in order to be rescued by their prince.  Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't.  Who do you rely on to help you find your love?  Maybe you've had your eye on somebody but you just can't get it together to make anything happen?  For whatever reason why there's no traction in that space, we might rely on the divine or at least some divine inspiration to make it happen - whether through some form of magic, gigantic wish or reward for a good deed done.

I don't want to bother you but I'm in distress
There's danger of me losing all my happiness
I love a man who doesn't know I exist
And this you can fix

If you are a follower of fairytales and folk stories of lore, then you know that finding love or the pursuit of it is not an easy one.  There are many trade offs that come with the package with just as many obstacles.  And don't forget, timing is also everything.  The most frustrating thing in the pursuit of love when you enlist Cupid's services is often the comedy of errors that he almost seems to delight in when you are trying to make plans to get things off the ground.  Be prepared for the unexpected! 

Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow flow
Straight to my lover's heart for me
Nobody but me
Cupid please hear my cry
And let your arrow fly
Straight to my lover's heart for me

When Cupid's arrow flows straight to your lover's heart, the intention is for him to love you and only you.  But what if the arrow fills the heart with so much love that it prompts him to love more people other than you?  Are you ready for a polyamorous relationship?  Are you ready to join his harem of women?  Are you just overthinking things that aren't even happening?  Possibly yes. . . 

Now if your arrow makes his love strong for me
I swear I'm gonna love him 'til eternity 
I know between the both of us, his heart we can steal
Cupid help me if you will

Even if you could get Cupid to help you, to aid you in your quest for him to fall in love with you, it would only happen if he had a predisposition to caring for you in the first place - but never said anything before.  There is always something amusing about being in cahoots with someone and having secret plans,  It implies that there is a closeness there or a loyalty of a bond that has a shared goal, because well, that's what Cupid is supposed to do right?  Go around helping people in need of his magic arrows.  Will Cupid's aim of his arrow be as true as your love for him? 

Yeah Cupid
Oh Cupid
Mm mm Cupid. . . 

Whatever happens, I just hope that you always have the capacity and capability to love, because even when we least expect it, Cupid isn't too far away. . . 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Get on your feet. . .

This blog post is dedicated to anybody who needs to just make it happen!

Do people ask you sometimes how you get things done?  Where do you get all your energy from?  They seem to think that there's some secret formula or elixir that you consume on a daily basis to achieve your goals.  As humans it is natural for us to think that we are incapable of achieving what we may perceive to be superhuman feats, but it's a matter of perception and a matter of scale.  If we obsess about problems rather than focus on possible solutions, we will continually find ourselves mired in negative situations that make it hard to pull ourselves from.

You say I know it's a waste of time
There's no use trying
So scared that life's gonna pass you by
Your spirit dying
Not long ago
I could feel your strength and your devotion
What was so clear, is now overcast
With mixed emotions
Deep in your heart is the answer
Find it, I know it will pull you through

I have had many pitstops like this in my life and I don't expect them to stop, because these are learning opportunities that will continue to build my character.  I'm not saying that we completely ignore the dire circumstances of a situation either.  I'm just saying that we can afford to succumb to our humanity, express our real feelings and then address the situation to keep moving forward.  We might even need to step back or step away from it in order to dissolve negative emotions before proceeding with a plan.  Resilience is a key factor to solving any problem; to consider how fast we want to recover and the best course of action.

Get on your feet
Get up and make it happen
Get on your feet
Stand up and take some action

We may feel helpless sometimes, but it's always good to get on your feet and do something productive.  Even if you can't contribute to the situation in the first instance. it is still good to gain some momentum in something else, because I think if you engage your brain and stimulate those neurons in another activity, especially some kind of physical activity, it helps to alleviate some pressure about the problem, give you some breathing space and move away from any anger or anxiety you're feeling and release those endorphins so that you inject some positive energy into yourself, driving that other rubbish out of your system.  I don't know about you, but that's still an issue I'm working on for myself.  It is always easy to react to a situation and have that Kill Bill music playing in your head in your own personal movie as Black Mambo.

I think it's true that we've all been through
Some nasty weather
Let's understand that we're here
To handle things together
You gotta keep looking into tomorrow
There's so much in life
That's meant for you

The thing to remember when you are going through nasty weather is that it won't last forever.  Nasty weather passes as does time.  Understanding what you are meant to achieve while you are here may take a long time, but when it does finally make sense in your mind, it will be because you are ready to take it there.  You might lack the confidence to do so, but it is somewhere that you need to consider going.  Sometimes I am torn between living in the now but also planning ahead for the future because too much in one space doesn't leave you much room to do justice to the other, but it's all about balance.  You plan for the future because of the now, and you do things in the now because of the future.  It's all interconnected and relative.  How often we get to our feet when we are knocked down is a testament to our ability to withstand pain or pressure.  It speaks to our ability to be able to handle things with others who think and love life the way we do.  Seek those people out and stay close to them.

Get on your feet
Get up and make it happen
Get on your feet
Stand up and take some action
Get on your feet
Don't stop before it's over
Get on your feet
The weight is off your shoulder

I hope that you learn to make good on decisions that extend you, push you to be further from where you currently are.  What actions are you prepared to take in order for things to happen?  It might not sit right when you start taking action the first few times, but things don't manifest from thin air if you don't intend for them to happen and don't work towards them.  Even when you think that things are over and you've missed a chance, there will always be something else around the corner. or another opportunity to redress the balance.  Time to square your shoulders, keep the weight off them and start living your best life.  So get on your feet, get up and make it happen. . . 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Glory of love. . .

I swear I was so obsessed with this movie when it was released in 1987.  I was at the pre teen or tween phase where you kind of realised the chemistry that existed between boys and girls, but you put it down to nervous energy and what you learned from older cousins or siblings from watching them go through the growing pains of relationships (which you couldn't possibly avoid, especially if you were the messenger passing notes).

Tonight it's very clear
'Cause we're both lying here
There's so many things I wanna say
I will always love you
I would never leave you alone

Have you had that feeling?  There are so many things that you want to say but you don't think you should say them or don't know how to put things into the right words.  In some instances, it might be that you spend too much time trying to find the right words, and it sounds perfect in your head, but when it comes out, it isn't received well or the execution and delivery leaves the listener wanting.  When words fail, will actions suffice?  You might come across people who don't know how to put things into the words that you want to hear, but they show through their actions that they don't intend to leave you alone.  In fact, they might not be able to live a complete life without you.

Sometimes I just forget
Say things I might regret
It breaks my heart to see you crying
I don't wanna lose you
I could never make it alone

Has anyone told you that they've been afraid to lose you?  That might seem like a totally cliche line from the rom-coms that you see on date nights with a reluctant partner, but nonetheless, the line exists.  When people regret things they have said, it is almost always because what they said was not thought through, niggling doubts surfaced that are said in the heat of the moment, said to hurt when they lash out when you have hurt them first.  I hate it when this happens - when there are misunderstandings - for things such as, well, like if they hate you talking to other people because they assume you have an affinity with; in some crazy way you show more loyalty and love to them instead.  It can be challenging and a painstaking process to prove to someone that you won't want to be lost by them.  But I guess it's on them to trust you right?  To be fair, you might want to either reassure or give them no excuse to question your loyalty and love.  I just hope that there is reciprocity in that.

I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you're dreaming of
We'll live forever
Knowing together
That we did it all for the glory of love

Has anyone fought for your honour?  Where they think so highly of you, value you so much that they are willing to put themselves out there on a limb for you, so that they can protect you?  They would rather put themselves at risk than to see you suffer.  You might not come across many people who want to be your hero, to be your champion.  They might try and fail, or try to take it on but then quickly realise that they're not quite ready so back out, or sheepishly find that you never needed someone to fight for your honour at all, you just wanted someone to be there.

You keep me standing tall
You help me through it all
I'm always strong when you're beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone

When you speak life into people, they want to have you around for a long time, as long as they think that they need you.  When you are beside someone, it means that you are neither in front of them with all of the answers, nor behind them, trailing behind happy to be lead by them, to follow their path.  I guess this is what holding hands with someone is meant to be.  Someone asked me once if I held hands with Loma, and at the time I thought that was a strange question.  Upon reflection, I was able to recall all of the time that we held hands and how we felt during those times.  There is safety and a sense of peace that can come upon you when you hold hands with someone that you trust and that you know loves you unconditionally, someone that you know will fight for your honour.

It's like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away

There is something to be said for having knights in shining armour appear in your life.  There will be people that happen across your life and save you from situations (maybe even yourself) when you least expected it, when you least recognised that you in fact, needed saving.  Have you had many knights take you to their castles?  I think about how some knights want to share new experiences and places with you.  They tell you that there are things that they want to be able to do with you, because they want to share beautiful moments with you - this is what the glory of love is all about it isn't it?  When someone shows you all of the things that you have kept hidden locked away in your heart, and they come along and show you the magnificence and great beauty that is love.  I hope that you will be able to find that special someone and one day say, we did it all for love. . . 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Nature boy. . .

This blog post is dedicated to +Dave Fa'avae - congrats on submitting your doctoral thesis :-)

Last week I was away at a work conference, busy doing presentations, helped to facilitate a roundtable discussion and sat in on a sofa session.  The range of topics that I talked about were to do with Pacific Island students and their success in education, together with resources that educators could use to connect and engage with Pacific Island students.  I also talked about communities of learners and effective leadership.  It was good to talk with other educators from around New Zealand and really listen to their stories about what they are trying to do with their students.  Despite the hectic pace of the conference, there was also opportunity to be reflective and to think about things that I wanted to do, or feel, without overthinking.  I have been really enjoying listening to music of yesteryear, classic songs that are lost in the din of the current top 40 of today.  There is something about music from this era that evokes some deep resonance of sound; but it could just be the instrumental introduction in the remastered versions of the song.

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far 
Over land and sea 
A little shy and sad of eye 
But very wise was he 

Quiet people fascinate me.  They always have.   I think because loud people are so obvious, bolshy and have so much to say (hmmm am I describing myself? lol), yet there is so much mystery that surrounds someone who chooses to keep their thoughts to themselves.  There could be a whole host of reasons why they choose not to say anything either: 1) they're very shy, 2) have low expectations of themselves and think that their opinions aren't worth sharing, 3) feel intimidated by the louder people in their circle so choose to say nothing.  When quiet people look at me,  I can often sense whether they want to tell me something.  There is that sadness in their eyes that tells me they don't often speak up, and when they do, nobody listens.  Can you recall moments when you have not allowed a quiet person to have their voice heard?  I probably sound crazy but no. I challenge you on how you interact with others.  Do we listen to everyone at the table?  Or are we so blinded by our own ideas and thoughts because we want things our way?  We might be missing out on the wisest people in the room, because we like the sounds of our own voices far too much.

And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return

This week I went with my friend +Dave Fa'avae to support him in the submission of his doctoral thesis.  He inadvertently started a new tradition by doing so, as we also had other PhD students from our circle with him who also accompanied him.  The entire process made me wonder - this is the part of the process that people don't get to see - the actual "turning in" of the thesis for examiners to mark.  Why am I talking about this?  You see, I have really good conversations with Dave about so many different things, where we wonder about things that we experience as Pacific people or dream up ways for our collective peoples to do so.  As a quiet individual, he doesn't often say much; but when he does, the words he uses are powerful, the way he speaks has immeasurable weight because they sink deep into the footprints of his words where he steps, so you can't help but watch him wander on this journey that he talks you through.  Even though the moment was Dave's - he chose to share it with his other peers who have yet to experience the moment for themselves.  Very wise was he. . . 

I had the cool opportunity to talk to his nephew Calix and niece Onelee who he wanted to share the moment with - as he has dedicated his doctoral thesis to his son, and to all of his nieces and nephews collectively.  The conversation took an interesting (as it does with children), towards talk of children of my own.  

Calix:  Do you have kids?
Me: No my husband passed away before we could have any, so no, I don't have any children.
Calix: Are you going to get another one?
Me: Another husband?
Calix: Yes
Me: Hmmm I don't know, I've had people tell I should get another husband, but I don't know.
Calix: You should get another husband.  But if you don't - you could get a companion?
Me: (incredulous) - What do you know about companions? (laughing)
Calix: It's good for you to have a companion.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return. . . 

I don't know where Calix got that idea but I appreciated his feedback.  His uncle Dave claims that his forthright nature must come from his Samoan side.  I wonder . . . if that makes him a nature boy. . . 

Have I told you lately. . .

Do you tell people how they make you feel?
I sometimes think we don't do that often enough because we focus too much on other things that steal our time.  It's important to let people know how much they mean to you, what it means to have them in your life and how much better life is because they're in it.  Are you guilty of that?  I'm not sure whether I'm becoming more aware of mortality (well, more than one can be when they're not also being aware of other things that seem to be more pressing in one's life).

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles that's what you do

Do you know someone who fills your heart with gladness?  I'm not talking about the type of gladness that means your heart has to be bursting at the seams with such fullness that it can't possibly contain the gladness (that's waaaay too much gladness, you could die from that).  Do you know someone that takes away all your sadness?  I would like to think that there is enough sadness that can be taken away so that you can continue to function from day to day, that when you need to feel sad about something, that when that person goes to take it away, understands that you need to hold onto a little bit of it, so you can be sad when you need to be.  I'm not talking overwhelmingly sad where you can't get out of bad or become so lost in your own despair that you wouldn't recognise gladness if it smacked you in the face.  I guess it's about balance.  It's ok to feel glad and sad.  Sometimes you might feel them at the exact same time for completely different reasons. No?  Maybe that's just me.

For the morning sun in all its glory
Greets the day with hope and comfort too
You fill my life with laughter
And somehow you make it better
Ease my troubles that's what you do

Musically, I like the way in which the instruments fit themselves around the lead vocal so that it feels as if they are there to provide harmonic support to the melody.  I think we should be spending more time with people who fill our lives with laughter, know all of the best jokes and stories that make you laugh so hard that you're slapping your thighs, clapping to yourself or high-fiving others around you, interspersed with hoots and yelling because you're gasping for air from laughing so hard.  Do you know people who make your life better?  Those are the types of people that you want to have around you, cheering you on in whatever you do and help you to live a better life, the kind of life you'd be proud and happy to wake up to.  When you wake up to yourself, you should literally be waking up to a life that you have always dreamed of leading.

There's a love that's divine
And it's yours and mine like the sun
And at the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray
To the one, to the one

What would a love divine feel like?  Something not of this world that can be explained because it's not worldly?  A love divine so hot and intense like the sun that you can't look directly into it with your human eyes for fear of damage and permanent scarring from even considering beholding such divine love.  When the sun sets at the end of the day, you can think about and reflect on how that divine love for yourself, for another, for others, can help you appreciate what you have, who you have and where you have received said divine love.  Even if you can't see a divine love that is meant to be yours right now, there is definitely one in store - just never give up hope.

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles that's what you do

So I guess this is something that I will be working on; telling people how much they mean to me because there will never be any opportune moments in life other than the real conversations that you will choose to have.

Thank you for filling my heart with gladness, for taking away my sadness. filling my life with laughter and making it all better.  But more than all of these, you ease my troubles that's what you do. . . 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

When I fall in love. . .

This blog post is dedicated to those who have yet to decide whether to fall in love. . . 

There may be times when you won't care to admit to yourself when you have been truly in love.  You might think you were in love once and long or yearn for love to arrive at your door.  But you won't hold out hope for it, because maybe people think if you were meant to be in love, then that should have already happened by now.  You might think that you have already had your one big love - it has come and gone - so there must be some kind of cruel joke that the universe plays on you and there's some secret quota where you only get to experience love once, if at all.

When I fall in love, it will be forever
Or I'll never fall in loveIn a restless world like this is
Love has ended before it's begun
And too many moonlight kisses
Seem to cool in the warmth of the sun

I have written about love in so many blog posts and they have always been coloured with thoughts or ideas from other people's experiences of love, my own, some imagined experiences or questions about love that I think are rhetorical but then some people might contact me later with some answers that I didn't know they had figured out because they were thinking the same things too.  A shared experience of love may be a good talking point; raise times for candid discussions that may happen behind closed doors or on private screens away from prying eyes, but they can also disappear as quickly as the sun warms moonlight kisses that never last long.  The thing about darkness is that eventually there is light - and are we happy with what we see in the bright morning sun that might have seemed attractive under the cover of darkness?  Is this what falling in love looks like to you?

When I give my heart it will be completely
Or I'll never give my heart
And the moment I can feel that you can feel that way too
Is when I fall in love with you 

When people give their hearts completely, you probably don't know how to take it all in.  So you play this waiting game,  biding your time by asking questions to test the waters to check whether what you think you're feeling, is actually true.  Why do we torture ourselves this way?  It's what makes us human isn't it?  We don't know any other way to be, but stumble through willingly (or unwillingly)  until someone else takes the pressure off and just says something.  What do you do with feelings in that instant?  You never say anything until you think that it could possibly be reciprocated?  What if it isn't?  Your only solution is to just sit tight and not say a word.  When things are said, sometimes you can't take them back, because words can either hang in the air and fill up the space, no matter how hard you try to ignore what was said, you couldn't deal with it and it's too hard to get to the bottom of and make it go away.  But that's love for you right?

And the moment that I feel that you feel that way too
Is when I fall in love with you

I hope that when you do feel something for someone, that you are able to tell them.
I mean, I could take my own advice (if or when the time comes).  Who knows.
You normally associate the act of falling with pain or some kind of discomfort.

But I guess this is what falling in love is all about, and when you decide to do so, this means that you have some kind of expectation or hope for it to be so, and if you are prepared to give your heart completely, you will most likely feel it in the moment when they feel it too. . .

Monday, 10 October 2016

Alone but not lonely. . .

I had thought about so many songs to write about over the past few months and they were all from a wide range of songs from different genres.  I guess the thing I love the most about music is its ability to capture moods or feelings around me, about me and how I reflect how the sound moves me or how the lyrics speak to me.  One thing I've been able to count on is how constant music can be, when people are not, and that may not necessarily be a bad thing.  Being able to appreciate what it means to be alone and doing things on your own, doesn't necessarily mean that you are lonely.  You could still be with people, spending time with them, but still feel alone, because they don't really know you, understand you, and may think that they do, when they don't.

I haven't a reason, a clue or a sign
I haven't the slightest idea
Of the shape of your heart or the state of your mind
Do you ever let anyone near?
Do you ever reach out with arms open wide
Do you ever jump in closing your eyes
Or are you one of the fortunate kind 
Alone but not lonely

Does anyone ever really have the right reasons, clues, signs or ideas to know, think or feel things about anyone?  What reliable indicators can we rely on?  Could you even rely on yourself?  I've often heard people say that they can't trust themselves when they are around certain people and I can recall incidents in the past during my early college days where I've had to be there physically, in order to stop my friends from making mistakes.  When we let people near, is it because it's healthy to do so?  Should we continue to get burned by flames, because as moths, we just can't help but be attracted to their light?  We might be mistaking their light for something that blinds us to all else.

Every day on the street I study their faces
The ones who rush on through the crowds
Towards their own quiet worlds, their separate places
Somewhere I'm never allowed
Cause I've always been one to say what I need
And then the next thing it's done, and I'm watching 'em leave
And I'm thinking, I wish I could be
Alone but not lonely

Do you always say what you need?  It might not always be something easy that you can do, because you can only say what you need when you're pushed to it, or someone demands you admit it.  If you're a people watcher, you might like to do this while sitting on a park bench and watching everybody rushing past you, as you catch a glimpse of their internal thought processes written on their faces, those fleeting moments of creased and furrowed brow lines that paint a story of worry or determination to get to their next destination point.  When people leave you might have mixed emotions.  You never know how much they mean to you or whether you are able to accurately determine for yourself how you truly perceive things.  

So which one are you tonight?
Do you change with the morning light?
Do you say more than what sounds right?
Do you say what you mean?

Instrumental interlude

Do you know which one you are?  As with all other songs that I've written about, the instrumental interlude gives us time to digest the lyrics of the song, sit deeply in the music and enjoy the instrumentation that helps to articulate the melody and explore the harmony.  I'm a strong a believer in being a melody of the universe and surrounding myself with the right harmony so that there are people that I connect strongly with.  Some harmonies will come more naturally and resonate more than others and on some level, we may not understand why that is; it just is.  

So which one are you tonight?
Do you change with the morning light?
Do you say more than what sounds right?
Do you say what you mean?

People say things look better in the morning, particularly if you are going through some issues.  But in actual fact, the morning light serves to show things more clearly, to see things during the day that the night tries so hard to conceal.  If we try too hard to say more than what's right, does this mean that we aren't actually saying the right things?  What are the right things anymore?  Watching the presidential debates of late makes me think about how Americans should be voting for the devil with more experience than for the devil without.  When you go to examine all of the times that you say what you mean - can you give yourself a percentage about how much you do this?  Can we be real with ourselves in this regard?  If we say what we mean, do the words hang in the air between ourselves and the person we are saying them to?  Does the other person take those words and use it to shape their actions in response to you?  Is this the more that we have been looking for?

There are moments that are meant to be held
Like fragile breakable things
There are others that pass us, you can't even tell 
Such is their grace and their speed
And this one is gone in the blink of an eye
You can ask me the truth but tonight I will lie
Unflinching I'll tell you that I'm alone but not lonely

There will be moments shared where you would have had the opportunity to say things, but you didn't.  It may make sense to not fully explain something or choose to leave things unsaid, because there are no right words to say - it's not about being right anymore is it?  You will lie because it's the easy thing to do and if we were all truly real with each other, we would spend far too much time trying to understand each other and not get anything done.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to understand each other, but I just don't think we should be overthinking stuff either.  Things, people and opportunities may well pass us by and we can't even tell, but we never really notice anything or anyone that wasn't meant to pique our curiosity or interest, or meant to make some lasting impression on us in some form or other.  I can tell you what I mean.  I'm not saying that I will be single for the rest of my life and there's nothing wrong with that.  I'm just happy right now being alone but not lonely. . . 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

What am I to you? . . .

What am I to you?
Tell me darlin' true
To me you are the sea
Vast as you can be
And deep the shade of blue

Can you ever really know what someone really thinks and feels?  Do you know what you are to them?  How much you mean to them, really?  We don't really know unless they tell us, but even then, we have to be able to trust that what they say is legitimate, that it is genuine and real.  The depths of an ocean can hide so much that we cannot easily see on the surface, and as much as we can float in those depths, we can just as easily drown if we're not equipped to survive its treachery.

When you're feelin' low
To whom else do you go?
I'd cry if you hurt
I'd give you my last shirt
Because I love you so

Have you been a shoulder to cry on?  When you are, the best thing to do is listen, but most of all, when you know someone has been through something traumatic, be patient and wait for them to come to you.  And even if they don't - that's ok too.  There are plenty of other ways that we can show how to be there for others or to show how we care.  It will just take more time to set things into motion and even then, we don't need to move unless they move.  There is a lot to be said for people who know how to innately respond to others in an empathetic and nurturing way.  Those souls are hard to find, so when you come across them, don't be too quick to dismiss them.  They are very rare indeed.

Now if my sky should fall
Would you even call?
I've opened up my heart
I never want to part
I'm givin' you the ball

The thing about the ball being in someone's court, is that it does teach you about patience.  And the thing about being patient, is that the longer you wait, the more excruciating you find waiting, but there's a lesson to be learned about being an extremely patient individual.  Imagine if we reacted over every single little thing that offended us all of the time - I know for myself, I would be a complete wreck, and not be able to function, but I must remember to not sweat the small stuff and not focus on that negativity either.  When you are anticipating that someone should reciprocate by bouncing the ball back in your court, be mindful about how to receive that ball - was it easy to catch again?  Do you have the energy to send it back and do you even want to continue this anymore?  Whatever this is?  I guess it's a fair question in that regard to ask what am I to you?

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies
I'll love you when you're blue
But tell me darlin' true
What am I to you?

Who knows what butterflies mean these days.  It could be mistaken for something that you think are butterflies, but it's just some residual nervous energy from somewhere else.  Do you think you make excuses for those butterflies or try to deny them?  In any case, butterflies are only as useful as what you're prepared to do with them.  Acknowledge them, do something with them or just forget them.  Whatever this is?  I guess it's a fair question in that regard to ask what am I to you?

If my sky should fall
Would you even call?
I've opened up my heart
I never want to part
I'm givin' you the ball

How many times has your sky fallen and you've completely recovered?  It could be because you've opened your heart to the right person, or you could've solved all of that yourself.  What do you think?  What do you feel?  It can be a natural state to be in, to not want to relinquish any of the comfort and security of such a bond if you think that it puts you in a safe place, happy and far away from imminent and constant danger.  Is that really living though?  Aren't we meant to have the sky fall and then figure out how to rise above it every time?

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies 
Could you find a love in me?
Would you carve me in a tree?
Don't fill my heart with lies
I will love you when you're blue
But tell me darlin' true
What am I to you?

I hope that you are able to find out what you mean to others.
We can often make the mistake of waiting till something tragic happens and then we never get that chance to really explain how good life really is when we are surrounded with the right people.  I have said in previous blog posts that I love easily and I love frequently, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It just means that I would have my heart broken more often than a person should care to admit, but that's how we know we're alive.  The pain helps us to understand just how much we need to heal.  So if you're wondering how things stand for you, just ask someone, what am I to you?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Promises promises. . .

I think subconsciously I really like this song because trumpets feature quite prominently in the introduction, accenting specific points of the melody and also because of the quirky rhythmic nature that changes quickly.  This is due to the style of music of the 1960s from which this song was composed and it's another Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic featuring Dionne Warwick.  This track belongs to the musical The Apartment and if you're unfamiliar with the song, you will be able to appreciate the dramatic or flamboyant sections of the song (wait till you get to the instrumental interlude and you'll see what I mean).

Promises, promises
I'm all through with promises, promises now
I don't know how I got the nerve to walk out
If I shout, remember I feel free
Now I can look at myself and be proud
I'm laughing out loud

Promises.  Are you the maker or breaker of promises?  To me they almost exist in the same way that lies do, because you can make small or big promises.  When someone continually makes promises then breaks them, or they have to keep making promises because they broke the last one - why do we put ourselves through such torture?  Do we live in the hope that maybe this time, things will be different; that this time around, maybe just this once, the promises can be kept longer than an hour, a day, a week, a year.  What do we need to do in order to be promise keepers?

Oh, promises promises
This is where those promises, promises end
I don't pretend that what was wrong can be right
Every night I sleep now, no more lies
Things that I promised myself fell apart
But I found my heart

If you constantly break promises to someone, how do you think the trust starts to look and feel after a while?  Pretty much non-existent right?  Are broken promises worth losing sleep over?  I guess it's when you start lying to try and patch up those broken promises.  I have always told my former students not to lie.  I also told them that if you're not good at lying, you might as well stop doing it.  If you have to lie, why not get paid for it, like you would in a job?  Not that employers would list for prospective employees as one of the skills and aptitudes - ability to lie exceedingly well under pressure to increase company profit margins or something like that.  They would expect you to use your discretion right?  And mask it under some other attributes like critical analysis, excellent communication skills, evaluation and monitoring.  But I digress.  We're talking about promises here, not lies.

Oh, promises, their kind of promises can just destroy a life
Oh, promises, those kind of promises take all the joy from life
Oh, promises, promises, my kind of promises
Can lead to joy and hope and love
Yes love!!

I wonder sometimes.  Where do we learn about how to make promises and keep them faithfully, truthfully?  Do we look to people we admire, role models to teach us or give us some exemplars about what keeping promises looks like?  The juxtaposition in this verse tells us about the fine line that exists between promises that threaten to destroy and promises that bring joy.  What kinds of promises do you make?  Has someone told you what promises they kept for you or because of you?  They could have been negative ones rather than positive ones.  Think of every villain that has ever existed in a movie.  They act on those dark promises that they make to themselves when they set out to make the protagonist pay for making their life difficult, for thwarting their efforts at world domination.

Instrumental interlude

Every night I sleep now, no more lies

Things that I promised myself fell apart
But I found my heart

There's something about that soaring trumpet line when it cuts through the top of the melody in the instrumental interlude.  It makes me question how far we are willing to push ourselves when we decide to honour promises that we have made to ourselves.  We might have made promises to ourselves quite freely and easily but never kept them.  This shouldn't deter us from making promises, rather, it should be a wake up call that we need to start considering how to keep them, keep those promises longer than what we are normally able to do, like we're trying to build up our tolerance levels for keeping promises - because keeping them is much harder than making them.  We never think about the consequences of promises that we make - what happens when we make them, what happens when we don't keep them.

Oh, promises, their kind of promises can just destroy a life
Oh, promises, those kinds of promises take all the joy from life
Oh, promises, promises, my kind of promises
Can lead to joy and hope and love
Yes love!!

What are your kind of promises?
I hope that you find joy in the promises that you make in your life.  We often think that we need to make these promises a public display for everyone to see, but no, start with yourself, in the privacy of your own mind.  What promises will you make to live your best life?  What promises will you honour and keep?  What are my promises?  How do I know what promises are worth keeping and which to let go?  Why make promises in the first place?  Did I get it right for myself?  I can't tell you how many times things that I promised myself fell apart, but I found my heart. . . 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Diary. . .

Have you ever kept a diary when you were growing up?  Diaries or journals are a good way for people to keep track of thoughts and ideas about what they experienced.  I wrote in diaries throughout my high school and early university life  I think these blog posts are a return to those notions of locking down my experiences as an adult now.  I used to write in code still though, in case someone stumbled across the diaries and tried to decipher who I was referring to in those pages.  When I moved house last year, I came across those old diaries and read through some of my old poetry that I had written as well.  If you look at the Poetry Corner page on this blog, some of those poems are featured on there.

I found her diary underneath a tree
And started reading about me
The words she'd written took me by surprise 
You'd never read them in her eyes
They said that she had found the love she'd waited for
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it

The idea of being able to share your feelings in the pages of diary, allows the writer an avenue to release them without fear of rejection but ultimately it's a release to acknowledge and gives them time to grapple with those feelings.  Once they've wrestled with those ideas, then it gives some time to explore some actions to create scenarios of how to proceed. What choices have you made that lead you to take action or not?  Even when you are confronted with so many opportunities to say something, anything, we may choose not to respond.

Then she confronted with the writing there
Simply pretended not to care
I passed it off as just in keeping with
Her total disconcerting air
And though she tried to hide the love that she denied
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it

How do you show your feelings to the one you're with?  It might not even be to someone you're technically with, but someone you spend a lot of time with.  Recent interactions with people at social gatherings have been interesting.  It has made me reflect on what their expectations are of me based on the last interaction or what they think they know about me then as opposed to now.  I guess it's that idea of constantly changing so fast on daily basis, every hour, every minute, every second.  How do we keep track of that change?

And as I go through my life
I will give to her my wife
All the sweet things I can find

How do you continue to give to someone not only because you need to, but because you want to?  That clear demarcation between needs and wants.  I've met too many people along the way who confuse the two.  I have learned and continue to learn how these two distinctions operate - and mind you, it hasn't been easy learning to undertake, but it has certainly made me think about what is important.  At the moment it's been about finding those sweet things for myself, rather than relying on someone who thinks they want to do that, and then finding out it's a lot harder to make such promises.

I found her diary underneath a tree
And started reading about me
The words began to stick and tears to flow
Her meaning now was clear to see
The love she'd waited for was someone else not me
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it

Then what do you do when you get it wrong?  Like you completely read the signs wrong and then realised in hindsight, there were no signs, no indications that this was how things were going to turn out?  You probably wonder who that someone else, because there was no indication that anybody else was on the scene anyway.  Just a whole bunch of questions that spring to mind and that don't get answered.  Sometimes answers aren't what's required.  In fact, it should just be about being to ask the right questions, or honing your skills so that you know how to listen well to craft the right questions to be asked.  At least then, you'll be able to figure out how to surface what people really think so they can show it.  I guess we can't really know things about people unless they're willing to show us right?

And as I go through my life
I will wish for her his wife
All the sweet things she can find
All the sweet things they can find

I hope that you can start to go through life the way you want to now.
When situations change and people move on, all you can do is wish them well on a new journey and accept the decisions that have been made.  Will she then be able to find the sweet things that she has been looking for?  Will they able to find sweet things together?   I guess once you've been able to reconcile that in your own mind, then you will be able to wish yourself some sweet things for your own life.  Or maybe she will be able to reciprocate and wish you all the sweet things you can find, in kind.  But what are the chances?  Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it. . .