Struggling with today. After two days of feeling good, I’m having a rough go of it today. Stress doesn’t always play fair, neither does anxiety and feelings of overwhelm. I’m trying to keep my head up, my hopes high, and not feel afraid of things breaking apart, but its hard sometimes, especially when so much is on my shoulders. I’m usually the one to keep things organized, have plan b’s and c’s, all the way to the z’s, but right now I feel like the alphabet is just out of reach, along with my control of things. There’s too much on my plate right now. There has been for so long I forget what it’s like not feeling this way. Days like this its hard to breathe easy.
Today started strong. Smiling and laughing, listening to music, thinking up bands and artists to introduce to my boyfriend. But once I got to work it all started to unravel, slowly, not even noticeably, at first, but now, mid-day, I feel the impact of the unraveling. Reaching out and not getting a lot of response, picking the wrong times to talk, feeling more alone as the day goes by. A lot of it is circumstantial (wrong time picking, for example), but some of it is justified. I’m trying so hard this week to be strong, to be in a good mood, to have hope, and to make things easier – to not end up fighting or crying or feeling the edge of tension. I’m still trying, but today is hard. Today I need to be able to lean on someone else a little.
I hate feeling like I should have done things differently. I prefer looking forward, and not back. I prefer thinking it will all work out. Today it feels hard to do that, though.
But, there’s always music. It’s consistent, and always here to lean on. Just hit play and turn up the volume. Every time.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Wednesday, November 28, 2018
1. “Sixteen Blue” by The Replacements
from the album, Let It Be (1984)
“Drive yourself right up the wall.
No one hears,
and no one calls.
It’s a boring state.
It’s a useless wait,
I was re-discovering the album Let It Be, by The Replacements this morning.
They were my first consideration to share with my boyfriend, but he’d already been there, explored them, knew the album.
I kept listening though. Letting it play through a few times today. This song, “Sixteen Blue”, really hit home with how I’m feeling right now. That goes back to what I wrote about music being a constant, always being there. Even when it hits hard it helps.
Once I read something about how you could pick a favorite book up and turn to any page. That when you opened that randomly selected page that there will be answers on said page. Or if not answers, something you need. Sometimes I’ve tested this and its happened. Sometimes I think that its what you make of it. That you put those answers on the page. That we create what we need in things. Maybe music is that way, too.
Maybe I just need to flip today the bird, like Westerberg above.
2. “Why I Love Country Music” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
from the album, Easy Pieces (1985)
“But she says she is fine.”
I’m trying to be fine. I really am.
Press play. Turn the music up.
I’m grateful for this week’s Discovery Weekly from Spotify. Its been full of gems to discover, to play and replay, to hear again, or for the first time. Though I’ve always loved Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, I’d never heard the album Easy Pieces until today.
This song, “Why I Love Country Music”, is my first (and second, and third) listen favorite.
3. “The Maker” by Willie Nelson
from the album, Teatro (1998)
“Oh, oh deep water,
black and cold like the night.
I stand with arms wide open,
I’ve run a twisted line.
I’m a stranger in the eyes of the Maker.”
My favorite Daniel Lanois song covered beautifully by Willie Nelson, with some duet-ing help by Emmylou Harris.
I got to see Daniel Lanois and Emmylou perform together, and had the privilege of hearing them sing “The Maker” together. It was beyond gorgeous. That said, this version is gorgeous, too. There is something intimate and soothing about Willie Nelson’s voice. I’ve thought so since I was a little girl. And Emmylou, her voice is one of a kind.
Willie and Emmylou have been performing together for a long, long time. I hope they do so again, real soon.
Willie and Emmylou, with Joan Baez.
4. “Blue Light” by Mazzy Star
from the album, So Tonight That I Might See (1993)
“There’s a ship,
that sails by my window.
There’s a ship that sails on by.
There’s a world under it.
I think I see it,
Last night we listened to one of my all-time favorite albums, So Tonight That I Might See, by Mazzy Star.
“Blue Light” is one of my favorite tracks. Dreamy and haunting, layered sound, beyond beautiful vocals by Hope Sandoval, and something both sad and hopeful, within the turns of lyrical phrases. I am realizing that there is so much music I love that I have not shared yet with my boyfriend. I think it may be because our tastes overlap, but also go in different ways, and I don’t want to play things he won’t enjoy. But, I’m realizing that that is something I always do, putting away things I like just because the other person doesn’t, or might not like them. I don’t really know how to change this. Being empathic, I can feel when someone isn’t enjoying themselves, or are disliking something – or worse yet, judging something harshly – and it makes me feel anxious and uncomfortable. How does one get over that?
I don’t quite know.
What I do know though is I love Hope’s voice, this album, and this song.
Hope bathed in “Blue Light”.
5. “San Andreas Fault” by Natalie Merchant
from the album, Tigerlily (1995)
“Oh, promised land.
Oh, wicked ground.
Build a dream,
tear it down.”
I love songs about Los Angeles, and I love Natalie Merchant’s songwriting and her voice.
I have seen Natalie Merchant play live more than any other band, or artist, with the exception of Tori Amos and Pete Yorn.
Whether it was solo, or with 10,000 Maniacs, I’ve never missed a chance to see, and hear, Natalie perform live.
Tigerlily is one of my all-time favorite albums, and is in my Top 5 of albums released in 1995. “San Andreas Fault” is the opening track, and it captures perfectly the dichotomy that is Los Angeles. The city of angels. The city of broken dreams. Hope and loss often holding hands and making out together, like they are one-true-pair.
I sang this out loud – loudly out loud – this morning while driving through Los Angeles, on the freeways and streets. Seemed fitting.
Random Natalie Merchant and me fact? I’ve often been told I look like her. Or a combination of 90’s Natalie, and 70’s Linda Ronstadt.
I’ll take it.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of November 26, 2018