“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul” ~ Plato

Eicca, Perttu, and Paavo of Apocaplyptica

“Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

For our anniversary, Corey surprised me with tickets to the Apocalyptica show at the Norva on Wednesday night. We first discovered this Finnish group several years ago, and I had told Corey that if they ever came here, I wanted to see them.

Surprise for me . . .

Brett and his girlfriend Emilie went with us to the show; it was Brett’s first concert. It was a wonderful show. The Norva is not a big venue, so I didn’t have that whole crowd anxiety thing going, and Corey and I managed to grab two stools to sit on. The two warm-up bands were not bad. The first one was head-banging (my favorite . . .), but I didn’t mind them too much. The second band, 710, is a group of local boys, and they were pretty good as well. I love to hear an electric guitar played well.

But the headliner was the whipped cream on the sundae for me. I love these guys—their music is awesome, and they are so wonderful to look at, I must admit. But the things they can do with a cello . . . absolutely amazing. I’m including two videos: The first one I’ve posted before, and it’s older, but my favorite, “Nothing Else Matters,” and the second one is “Hall of the Mountain King,’ by Edvard Grieg, which they played as their final encore. Even if you don’t like them, you should watch the second one just to see how fast Perttu flies on his 19th century instrument. It is perfection in action.

I wish that I had thought to bring my camera so that I could have recorded. Corey got a few pics with his phone, but the sound is awful. A few people have posted YouTube vids of a few songs (search Apocalyptica at the Norva on YouTube if you are interested).

Enjoy. More later. Peace.

(Background: Apocalyptica is a cello rock band from Helsinki, Finland. The band, which was originally a Metallica tribute band, is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, who founded Apolyptica in 1993, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso. All three are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Drummer Mikko Sirén joined the band full time in 2005.)

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.” ~ Oscar Wilde

To meme or not to meme . . . Why not?

  •  Your favorite song: “Amazed,” Lonestar
  •  Your least favorite song: “Baby Got Back,” Sir Mix-a-Lot
  •  A song that makes you happy: “It’s My Life,” Bon Jovi
  •  A song that makes you sad: “I Shall Believe,” Sheryl Crowe
  •  A song that reminds you of someone: “Just Might Make Me Believe,” Sugarland
  •  A song that reminds you of somewhere: “Pirate Looks at 40,” Jimmy Buffett
  •  A song that reminds you of a certain event: “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn or “Bitch,” Meredith Brooks
  •  A song that you know all the words to: “I Will Remember You,” Sarah McLachlan
  •  A song that you can dance to: “Telephone,” Lady GaGa with Beyonce
  •  A song that makes you fall asleep: Soundtrack to The English Patient
  •  A song from your favorite band: “Baba O’Riley,” The Who
  •  A song from a band you hate: “Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynrd Skynrd
  •  A song that is a guilty pleasure: “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Jimmy Buffett
  •  A song that no one would expect you to love: “Bad Romance,” Lady GaGa
  •  A song that describes you: “Landslide,” Dixie Chicks or “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen
  •  A song that you used to love but now hate: “Your Body is a Wonderland,” John Mayer
  •  A song that you hear often on the radio: “Start Me Up,” The Rolling Stones
  •  A song that you wish you heard on the radio: “Kandi,” One Eskimo
  •  A song from your favorite album: “Whiter Shade of Pale,” Annie Lennox, “Medusa”
  •  A song that you listen to when you’re angry: “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morrisette
  •  A song that you listen to when you’re happy: “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding
  •  A song that you listen to when you’re sad: “Why,” Annie Lennox
  •  A song that you want to play at your wedding: “I Will Love You,” Fisher
  •  A song that you want to play at your funeral: “When the River Meets the Sea,” John Denver or “Amazing Grace” (on bagpipes)
  •  A song that makes you laugh: “I Touch Myself,” Divinyls
  •  A song that you can play on an instrument: “Angie,” The Rolling Stones (on the piano)
  •  A song that you wish you could play: “Someone Like You,” Adele (want to be able to sing)
  •  A song that makes you feel guilty: “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” Bryan Adams
  •  A song from your childhood: “Cecilia,” Simon & Garfunkel
  •  Your favorite song at this time last year: “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum

Now, go listen to some music.

“As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.” ~ Haruki Murakami

Ancient Foot Path, Suffolk, England, via coolpicture

“Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Beach Trail, British Columbia, Canada by Kerrythis (FCC)

Saturday evening. Cloudy, hot, and humid.

Well, it has not been the best anniversary weekend in that Corey and I haven’t really seen each other except in passing for the last two days. Yesterday, he was called into work at noon and got home at 7:15 this morning, only to have to go back at 3 this afternoon. He gets off at 11 tonight and has to be back at 7 this morning. All of this means that there has been nothing more than a few minutes in which to speak to one another, that, and he is really tired.

It’s not that we were planning to go out this weekend, but it would have been nice to at least see him . . .

I spent yesterday putting away clean laundry, which is always the worst part of doing laundry. I can hardly contain my excitement. Then I tried to stay awake until Corey got home because the time kept changing (he was waiting for the vessel to get underway), which meant that I was awake until 4 a.m.

I made the mistake of watching Discover ID’s Friday the 13th horror fest. Two serial killer specials later, and of course, bad dreams involving people who were actually creatures who scalped people and wore their hair. I do remember at one point in the dream I was screaming, “I can’t breathe.” I have no idea if I had put a pillow over my face or what, but it felt horrible.

So, no, we didn’t have a lovely romantic evening together on our anniversary.

“Month by month things are losing their hardness; even my body now lets the light through; my spine is soft like wax near the flame of the candle. I dream; I dream.” ~ Virginia Woolf, The Waves

Garden Path, Giverny, Francy, by Everyday Joys

So, in other news . . . Still have not seen Alexis for Mother’s Day. She called last Sunday evening around 7:20 and said that she didn’t realize how late it was, and would I mind very much if she didn’t come over until tomorrow (Monday). I said no. That was the last time that I heard from her.

Ask me if I’m surprised. That would be a no. I know that something has to be done, but I don’t want to do it over the telephone. I just can’t let this situation continue, even though I honestly don’t know what the situation is. Does that make sense?

My s-in-law Ann found a good home for my m-in-law’s cat Ringo. He is a very sweet cat, and I wouldn’t have minded having him except that he is not used to being around dogs, and I think that Tillie might view him as another toy. Finding a home for the cat makes everything seem so final.

Ann and I had a conversation via text last night in which we both said—with very few words—that things are getting too hard to face, and they are. I hate this more than I can possibly express. I hate that she will never again sleep in her bed in her house, that she will never again hold her cat, that she will never again wander around her yard, pulling the stray weed here and there.

I hate, hate, hate this.

Not so surprisingly, I am finding myself overwhelmed, which has led to my decision to start seeing my old therapist again. I realized that I’m just carrying this heaviness around in my chest, and not really talking about it. And I cannot continue to use Corey as my sounding board for everything as he has just as much roiling around in his brain right now (still haven’t gotten word on if the contract is a go or not).

“For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.” ~ D. H. Lawrence, from “Pomegranate”

Fairy Tale Garden, Victoria, Australia, by Bennos Macedon

I had my first session this past week, and it was so comfortable. This is the same woman I saw after Caitlin died, when my relationship with Mari died, when my first marriage died. Talking to her is completely natural. I think that Corey was worried that I was going back into therapy because of him, which is not the case at all. I just realized that I seemed to be holding my breath all of the time.

I mean, I feel as if sometimes I forget to breathe because I am so tightly wound over this situation or that situation. I find myself sometimes having to remind myself to uncoil my shoulders, to unclench my jaw, to take a deep breath. And after three years plus of waiting for things to get better, I realize that I have no idea as to when things will get better, and I just can’t keep waiting, can’t keep postponing whatever it is I’m postponing.

I know that I have so many unresolved issues that need to be faced: going back to work/not being able to go back to work, my relationship with my daughter, my relationship with my mother, watching my m-in-law die, the sadness I still feel over never being able to have a child with Corey, just to mention a few things here and there. And then of course, there’s all of the everyday bullshit: having no money, having a house in suspended animation as far as remodeling, never knowing from one day to the next what bills will show up in the mail. Oh, and let’s throw in the fact that some part of my body hurts all of the time, constantly, unrelentingly.

It’s all just so much. At least, that’s how it feels.

“I began to long, as I had before, for some special smell,  some special music that would fill me, lift me up and carry me away, float me off the rocks of my body and sweep me into some wideness, some vast expanse of  blue-grey nothingness.” ~ Denton Welch, A Voice Through a Cloud

Steps and Flowers

I remember the expression that appeared the most on my dad’s face was a furrowed brow, as if he was pondering the very meaning of existence. Who knows. He might have been thinking about the weeds in the vegetable garden. The expression was the same. As a result, he had a vertical furrow on his forehead next to his eyebrow.

Because of my good genes, I have been spared wrinkles, but I have the furrow. It’s right there in the same spot as my father’s furrow, and I wonder if this is how the world sees me most of the time. Of course, I would have to leave the house for the world to see me literally, and I just don’t do that much. I mentioned that to my therapist, and she got that questioning look on her face. But you know, I really am not that chuffed about it.

I’ve written about my tendency towards being a hermit before, albeit slightly exaggerated, or perhaps not. I think that I deal with people better when I’m not actually around them. It’s a good thing I wasn’t a woman in the 50’s when being a good neighbor was right up there with being a good housewife. That whole idea of belonging to clubs—garden clubs, bridge clubs, women’s circles—yuck. I mean, I can be perfectly sociable, and when I was younger, I was a freaking social butterfly, sort of. I mean, I enjoyed going places with groups of people, belonged to clubs, did lunch like it was an occasion. That whole thing.

But now, forced sociability for me is akin to spending Saturday in Wal Mart: after a few minutes, I think I’m going to break out in hives.

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” ~ Leonora Carrington

The Garden Path

So I thought that maybe I’d close with a few new revelations (don’t ask me why):

  • I really enjoy arranging flowers, and this is something I think I could have done as a profession. I think that I have a good eye for color and texture combinations.
  • If I knew more about chemistry, I would try to come up with my own peony scent. Apparently, extracting oil from peonies is very hard, which is why there are very few wearable scents that are true peony; most have a rose or bergamot base.
  • I would love to have one of those old wooden potting sheds as my private studio. I would put in a cushiony chair in for reading, a big wooden table on which to put the computer as well as to play with the images and papers that I collect, and a free-standing fireplace.
  • With each passing year, I understand better and better my dad’s love for the sea and his desire to see the world.
  • I have poems running through my head again. After years of not writing poems, I find myself putting together phrases at odd times. However, I still don’t write them down.
  • I love dawn and sunset better than the day or the night. My internal clock is attuned to these times.
  • I am afraid of my 56th birthday. I once had a premonition that I would die when I was 56.

More later. Peace.

Music by Mumford and Sons, “After the Storm”


Man in Stream

You stand in the brook, mud smearing
your forearms, a bloodied mosquito on your brow,
your yellow T-shirt dampened to your chest
as the current flees between your legs,
amber, verdigris, unraveling
today’s story, last night’s travail . . .

You stare at the father beaver, eye to eye,
but he outstares you—you who trespass in his world,
who have, however unwilling, yanked out his fort,
stick by tooth-gnarled, mud-clabbered stick,
though you whistle vespers to the wood thrush
and trace flame-flicker in the grain of yellow birch.

Death outpaces us. Upended roots
of fallen trees still cling to moss-furred granite.
Lichen smolders on wood-rot, fungus trails in wisps.
I wanted a day with cracks, to let the godlight in.
The forest is always a nocturne, but it gleams,
the birch tree tosses its change from palm to palm,

and we who unmake are ourselves unmade
if we know, if only we know
how to give ourselves in this untendered light.

~ Rosanna Warren