Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Song for Saturday - Dixie Chicks Everybody Knows

Dixie Chicks - Everybody Knows

I love the Chicks and I love the words to this song:

Tell me now if you came sneaking up behind
Would you know me and see behind the smile
I can change like colors on a wall
Hoping no one else will find what lies beneath it all
I think I hide it all so well...

And my favourite part:  

Looking through the crowd
I search for something else
But every time I turn around
I run into myself

We are definitely our own worst enemy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Song For Saturday - Adele Someone Like You

Adele - Someone Like You

An old friend emailed this song to me a couple of days ago along with a suggestion that it was time to get together.

j You know how the time flies,
Only yesterday was the time of our lives,
We were born and raised in a summer haze,
Bound by the surprise of our glory days j

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heart Songs

The prompt at Red Dress Club this week was to "Take a character from one of your stories and examine his or her iPod playlist. What 10 songs best describe the character?"  I chose to write about one of my characters from a previous post.

She trudged up the stairs to her apartment.  The quaint brick-faced building with the red door wasn't much but it was hers.  The lock turned with a loud click and the clinking sound of the keys as they landed on the hall table echoed throughout the empty space.  No one greeted her, not even a cat.

She dropped her purse and coat onto a chair and walked into the kitchen.  Opening the cupboard door, she took out a wine glass, put it down on the counter and then surveyed her wine rack.  She found just what she was looking for - a big, chewy red.  After all, this was dinner, right?

The gurgle of the dark liquid filling the glass was deeply satisfying.  Closing her eyes, she took a long sip and let its warmth wash over her.  She held the glass to the light and was struck by the similarity that the thick, viscous liquid had to the life blood that had seeped from her body.  Again.  It had happened again.  A sob caught in her throat and she drowned it with another swallow of the wine, in some strange way associating this act with the replenishing of that which had drained from her.

She carried her glass into the den and slumped down into the chair in front of her computer.  Music.  That would help.  She would wallow in her misery with those who could relate to her pain.  She turned on her computer and opened her music folder, looking for something that would suit her mood.

Hmm, Natalie would understand, wouldn't she? She double clicked on her selection and sat back to listen to Natalie Merchant's, My Skin.  She knew every word and her heart broke as she sang them.

Take a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here
That I don't understand

She certainly didn't understand her body, how it wouldn't hold onto the one thing that she truly wanted in this world.

I'm a slow dying flower
Frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour and untouchable

Yes, she felt like she was dying inside.  Untouchable.

I need a lullaby
A kiss goodnight
The angel sweet
Love of my life
Oh, I need this

Would she always be alone?  Tears streamed down her face as the song ended and she savoured the last long, slow notes of the violin, each swipe of the bow scraping across her heart like a serrated knife.

She sipped her wine for a moment in the silence then sat up to choose her next song.  Her eyes settled upon Kris Kristofferson's, Why Me Lord?  She used to think that this song was about him lamenting all the things wrong in his life but when she learned all the words, she realized that he was being grateful for all that he had.  She chose it... but with her original perception in mind. 

Why me, Lord. 
What have I ever done
To deserve even one
Of the pleasures I've known?

Kris's monotone voice filled the room and she was glad that she had invited him to this pity party.  When she sang the chorus along with him, all her hurt and anguish poured out with the words.

Lord, help me Jesus
I've wasted it, so help me Jesus
I know what I am
But now that I know that I've needed you
So help me Jesus
My soul's in your hands

Try me Lord
If you think there's a way
I could try to repay all I've taken from you
Maybe Lord
I could show someone else
What I've been through myself
on my way back to you 

Maybe it was a sign she needed to be more spiritual, more religious. Everything happened for a reason, right?  She just didn't know what the reason would be for her to go through this life so alone.

The song ended and the phone rang.  A quick look at the call display told her it was her mother.  She really couldn't deal with that right now.  She would, innocently, have some story about something cute that one of her sister's kids had done.  "The baby smiles every time she sees me.  She is just so cute!" or "Tristan is hitting the terrible twos and I try hard not to laugh when he turns around and shakes his little finger at me."  She didn't begrudge her mother this happiness but it was more than she could bear at this moment.

She took another sip of her wine and turned her attention back to her computer.  She sobbed her way through Linda Rondstadt's, I Never Will Marry.

I never will marry
I'll be no man's wife
I expect to live single
All the days of my life

Was this to be her life?

And more Natalie Merchant, My Beloved Wife.

You were the love for certain of my life
For 50 years simply my beloved wife
With another love I'll never lie again

She would never know this.

Tony Braxton, Unbreak my Heart.

Don't leave me in all this pain
Don't leave me out in the rain
Come back and bring back my smile.
Come and take these tears away.

More wine, more music.

Bette Midler, Baby Mine.

Baby mine, don't you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part, baby of mine.

She had so much to give a baby. She ached with the unspent love, painful and swelling inside her like a breast ready to burst with its need to have an infant suckle.

Il Divo, Mama.
Mama forgive the times you cried
Forgive me for not making right
All of the storms I may have caused
And I've been wrong, Dry your eyes [dry your eyes]

She picked up the bottle to pour herself some more wine and drained the remainder into her glass.

Neil Diamond, Red Red Wine.

Red, red wine, go to my head,
Make me forget that I
Still need you so.

The red wine was definitely going to her head but make her forget?  She was getting there but not quite.

She decided to play the UB 40 version of the song.

Red red wine you make me feel so fine
You keep me rocking all of the time

She laughed a little. That was more like it.

She was ready for something a little more upbeat.

Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive.

I will survive
oh as long as i know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive (oh)

Okay, this was good.  She was a survivor.  The thought made her smile as she drained her glass and turned out the light.  "On that note," she said to herself, "I will go to bed." She walked down the hallway to her bedroom feeling the effects of the wine and the music.

Oceans of Comfort

Perched on a rock, I sit just out of reach
Of the frothy waves as they crash on the beach
I take from the ocean, he wants nothing of me
He speaks to my soul, restoratively

His waves are a whisper, "All will be fine."
I eagerly listen, searching for signs
He reaches his hands to caress my face
And my pain finds some comfort in his swirling embrace

"Give me all your worries, give them to me."
He coaxes them from me, so tenderly
For a moment, I hesitate, in my misery I linger
"Let go, let go," the waves call to my fingers

I hold out my bundle wrapped tightly in fear
And gently he takes it; all I hold dear
He sets it down, by a wave it is cradled
"Don't worry, I'll watch it until you are able."

My bundle is safe, by the sea it is lulled
And my heart soars free on the wings of a gull
Knowingly he says, "You'll be back very soon."
"'Til then take your comfort from my brother, the moon."

This poem was inspired by this prompt at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop"Write a poem about your favourite place to be."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Song For Saturday - Florence and The Machines The Dog Days are Over

It took a couple of times for my sister to suggest that I listen to this song before I actually did.  Our tastes in music are, shall we say, ... not the same.  Usually.  But sometimes we cross over and this is one of those times.  Florence is a crazy red head just like my sister and I really like this song...and my sister.

 e + The Machine 

Florence and the Machines- Dog Days Are Over 
(2010 Version)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Watered Down Memories

The picture above is this week's  RemembeRED prompt over at the The Red Dress Club.  We were to write about a memory inspired by this picture.  I knew instantly that I would write about one of my earliest memories, one of those that I am not sure if the picture that I can see in my mind is derived from an old photo or from the actual memory.  I think I was around four years old.

It was a hot, summer afternoon and we had set up camp on the front lawn.  My mother had spread a nubby, chenille blanket out and her and her girlfriend were relaxing on the blanket while us kids played with the hose to cool off.  There were three of us: my sister and I as well as my mother's girlfriend's son.

We took turns squirting each other with the hose, squealing in delight and shock as the cold water hit our warm little bodies.  Over and over again, we would run towards the water anticipating the icy spray and then run away shrieking.

At some point, it occurred to me that it would be a lot more fun if the adults were involved.  With both of my tiny hands squeezing the nozzle as hard as could I pointed the hose in their direction.  My mother and her girlfriend sprung to their feet amidst shrieks of surprise and laughter.

It was a small yard so they had to run out the gate and onto the hot sidewalk to escape my watery assault.  I followed them as far as I could and with my waif-like little frame tugging determinedly on the hose, I was able to reach just past the gate to send the spray towards them.  The smell, like a warm summer rain, wafted up as the water hit the sidewalk.

By this time, I was giggling hysterically and in very real danger of wetting my pants but I was having far too much fun to stop.  Each time they made an attempt to come back in the yard, I stopped them with a spray of water.  I completely ignored my mother's suggestions that I stop and let them back in until about the third time when something in the tone of her voice told me that it really was time to give up the game.  My fun was over but the memory of the laughter and the wonderful sense of empowerment has stayed with me for decades.

Submitted to RemembeRED at the The Red Dress Club

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Paige turned around to claim her prize and there it was, gone.  She had been distracted for only a few seconds and someone had stolen it right out from under her nose.

Her focus had been disrupted by the fish monger yelling at his wife, berating her in public, again.

"How could you be so stupid?"  he yelled.

The poor woman cowered beneath her husband's withering gaze.  Sadness seeped from her pores and filled every wrinkle on her face.  His words, like a spade, had dug the furrows deeper and deeper over time and her eyes showed nothing more than broken resignation.

Paige quickly turned her attention away from this display as it always made her very uncomfortable and as she did so her eyes sought out what was rightfully hers.  It was gone.

She had been browsing the butcher's stall, trying to decide between the short ribs and the sirloin tip, when for some reason she had looked toward Kim's Fruit Stand and there it was.  A glorious, golden, globe sitting atop a pyramid of lesser globes.  She had abandoned the butcher and walked, purposefully, towards it.  She could taste its juicy essence, already, and she could imagine its sweet ambrosia dripping down her face.  That was when she had been distracted by the fish monger and now it was gone.

She walked dejectedly towards the crime scene and looked around for the culprit.  There was a young boy of perhaps six or seven standing at the till.  Her precious peach was on the counter and he was, earnestly, counting his change to pay for it.

He walked away, forbidden fruit in hand, and an eager smile upon his face.  Paige watched him as he strode, steadfastly, and was surprised to see him stop at the fish monger's stall.

"Grammie," he said, in a delighted voice, "look what I found for you!  Your favourite."

As the fish wife looked up to greet her grandson, a transformation occurred before Paige's eyes.  It was amazing.  Her whole face lit up as she accepted the prized peach from his proud little hands.

"I bought it myself, Grammie!  With my own money."

Paige walked away with misty eyes and a smile lingering upon her lips.  Her craving for sweetness had been completely satisfied.

Submitted to The Red Dress Club

This week's prompt was to write about a treasure that was stolen from you or your character, and what you did about it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Pearl For Your Pain

This poem is about my struggle with anxiety and the hope that the pain will be worth it in the end.

What sets it off?

How long will it last?

Just try to focus.

Permeating my existence.

Throat closing
Heart throbbing
What does it want?

Fuel for the flame.

Riding the wave.

Trust in the flow.

What does it want?

Deeper we go.

A pearl for your pain