Letters, Therapy and Music to Heal the Soul

Sometimes its just like that… you start out writing a letter to a friends kid and it ends up being to you.. and your friend and her kid… and maybe a few other people you know. Hell maybe a lot of people need it. But mostly it was about my struggle with resentment toward my dad, my inability to get past some shit I fully blame on him.

My missive started as a note about how we, as children, like many of the most amazing things in science, are not only what we appear to be. We are an amalgamation of intricate detail. We are made up of so many things. Some good, some beautiful, some complex, some completely incomprehensible, some ugly, some insincere, some repulsive and some that want to admit is part of us. But all those tids and bits are what makes us who we are. And we as a whole are greater than than the individual bits that make us. What does this have to do with anything and why am I writing this to someone elses child? She doesn’t like her dad. (I don’t blame her, he is a piece of shit and I know a bit about dads that are pieces of shit). He isn’t a good person. She and her siblings struggle with the same self loathing I and my siblings struggle with because our whole is made up of some bad parts.

Fortunately we are not our parts. Without an arm, we are still human. But we are not the same human we were with that arm.  That specific arm, no matter its state, formed part of who we are. So I wouldn’t be who I am without the contribution of my dad, however bad I may think it, and my friends daughter wouldn’t be the amazing person she is without all her components either.

My last therapy session started with a song… My therapist was rather speachless for a bit then reminded me I dedn’t really need to see him. I have a penchant for self analysis. I know this, yet I can’t fix the resentment and anger. So we talked about the words and the song and the singer. I’ve written about Austin Lucas before and how his songs have helped me through other things in my life. At the time I played this and talked about it with the shrikydink I hadn’t come to the realization I did when writing this. Nothing he did, said, or didn’t do or say can make me who I am… but it contributes to my whole. I like the whole. It is rough and needs constant work to keep from becoming a bag of shitty parts.

Somebody Loves You

Easy there, old man
I’ll drop you where you stand
You wear wings of white but I smell your hellfire
Cause I know who you are, a racist and a coward
And all you’ve got to show for life is dust

Cause you lay roses on the ground
And turn lies to common wisdom
You’re a good man when it suits you
Yes I know

But whatever good you’ve done
Is dwarfed by mountains made of wrong
And your savior may forgive you but I won’t

Oh but somebody loves you
I guess they don’t know better
There’s a fool for every fool
And somebody loves you
Oh yeah somebody loves you
And how can it be true
There’s a fool for every fool
And somebody loves you

It was from you I learned some men cannot be trusted
And from you I learned some friends do not inspire
Cause you were like my brother
But you filled my heart with anger
And I’ll thank you when those lessons have helped at all

Oh your stories gave me life and they flowed through me like wine
But they were darkest pitch-black arrows to my soul
Yes I was your true believer now my bones do shake and shiver
With a poison that does rot me to the core

Oh but I did once love you
I guess I knew no better
Yes I was once that fool
And I did love you
Oh yes I did once love you
And how can it be true
That I was once that fool
And I did love you

And like some ghastly phantom voice, lifelong companion
Or a devil on left shoulder, lashing tongue
I spit crescents, spite filled language like some drunkard
To the heavens, when to hell he knows his spirit’s surely bound

Yes I lay roses on the ground and deceive you beyond wisdom
There’s a good man in the shadows, so I’m told
But whatever good I’ve done
Is dwarfed by mountains made of wrong
And that truth comes cold to blacken out the sun

Oh but somebody loves me
I guess they don’t know better
There’s a fool for every fool
And somebody loves me
Oh yeah somebody loves me
And how can it be true
That somebody loves me
Somebody loves you

 

Maybe I’m still resentful. Not as much as yesterday. And not nearly as much as when I last met with the shrinky dink. I still think this song speaks more about my relationship with my dad than I could ever write on my own, At least for now. But I’m working on that. 

And sometimes it’s just like that… you walk through a shadow and notice your own, and it isn’t as bad as you once thought it was. 

 

…put a record on

This will not be your typical barstool musing. This will not be a standard issue rant about drunken bitches falling out of their shirts or frat-boy douchecanoes plying said bitches with drinks to take them home. No, this is a Tuesday. Tonight DJ’s play in the old school way, from vinyl and an outline of a playlist and a bit of what’s in their head. tonight’s set starts and well…


“You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.”

words from Gil Scott-Heron’s words from his 1970 Track The Revolution Will Not Be Televised


Like I said, not your average music night, and not your average night at a little local Irish pub. As is typical of this particular DJ’s way… he starts every set this way, then he eases you in to his sound roller coaster with some Rock Steady. The rest of this almost hour long set could include an over the map mix of The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Ken Boothe, Gaylads, Slim Smith, The Supremes, Jimmy Cliff, Cock Sparrer and Stiff Little Fingers… And that is a scratch on the surface. Our Old-School DJ has a collection that would make other collectors bow. Maybe that’s why he’s the guy that can play Rock Steady, Soul, Classic Reggae, Original Punk and other stuff I can’t even remember. Did I mention all of this is on vinyl?

Then the punk fades out, (because just as he has his favorite way to introduce his set, he has his favorite way to end as well) up comes a sound that, while completely different, seems to flow like they were always meant to go together. No spoken word, this is Garage Rock baby… Our rock n’ roll DJ just plays it that way. In a set that will have no spoken word, few instrumentals and you are more likely to find a stack of 45’s than 33’s in his collection, it is a ride through the world of … The Ronnettes, The Crystals, The Mummies, The Shondells, Paul Revere & The Raiders and The Sonics. That list may not have a ton of names you know, but they were influential on the ones you do, but it isn’t even my point… You will spend the entirety of this set shakin’ your booty and having fun.

Then… they each get to spin again but still the music ends all too quickly. So you ask if they have this or that so they can play it next time. But if it isn’t 60’s genre on vinyl you’ll be out of luck… but you’ll be back anyway.

Oh, Did I mention this is all vinyl?? But people still make cool videos of The Sonics with Raquel Welch dancing… awesome.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/goe2fpeHYLk[/youtube]

singing man

This week, well the last two, have been about as much as I can take on this ride. But its fortunate I have a vast collection of music to shuffle through my mindPod (and actual shite too if you must know… between the collections is about two solid months of non stop tuneage) and I happened to land on Austin Lucas. Ahhh Austin Lucas. Not a well known musician, though he should be. And today, he is my hero. His style may not be for all but he was exactly what I needed. Most specifically his song Singing Man.

The past few weeks have been that of feeling weak and inadequate. Regardless  of what anyone said or did I wasn’t going to get it. That is the nature of the little car that whirrs me round. But when its quiet and I can’t hear anything I tap my dbase of songs and here it is… Austin Lucas. So today was my dad’s birthday (dude! 69 – he’s gonna throw that around all year because he’s dirty… GROSS!). I hate family events for more reasons than I can tell you today but the short version is because my sister somehow  – with her super powers (do you get those during child birth? if so I may have to rethink shit) – flip-floped me in the line of birth order and is now the oldest instead of youngest and has a complete vulcan mind-meld hold over my mother. I think its because she is married and has a child and I myself have neither, in fact I do not want child and I am divorced, thus I am broken. so there’s that… So I couldn’t go. I just couldn’t. I know I disappointed my bro, and I hate that. But to be fair I was unwell on Sunday but, it was made all the worse by my anxiety. I felt well…. weak and small and like I mattered little. My solution was to say hey, I’ll come over on his actual birthday! So the last three days I kept hearing the words…

‘I had followed her on
Until breathlessly she said
Here’s my hand, won’t you take it, won’t you?
Oh
You are not weak
And not small
In my eyes you are mighty’

I realized its only in my own eyes that I am weak and small. I may not be the singin man but I cause my own shit storm sometimes. I need to realize she is the youngest, I am the oldest, I am not weak and not small but rather a person who is mighty…

 

this is just him which to me is more pure, because if you are struggling within – you don’t hear harmony. I sing and I don’t hear harmony. Though the link above has the harmony’s with the female voice (who I’m ashamed to say I don’t know).

[youtube]http://youtu.be/F41Ddw1Czuw[/youtube]

 

Thanks Austin, needed you this week and thanks for the tweet…

 

WoW: Exercise 22 – Select a piece of music that reflects the mood of writing you’d like to aim for. Press play. Start free writing. Write the first words that come into your head. When the music’s over, so is the writing. I’d recommend finding out how long the song is before you start the exercise. You may feel cheated in your writing time if you pick a song by The Ramones. Of course, if you feel like writing a short, punky piece by all means, go for it!

WoW: FuckSox Friday on Wednesday

A Blank page is staring at me. It’s been this way for a week and it’s unnerving. There’s this unseen pressure about where to start and what to fill it with. So I go read other peoples pages… oops, not the best idea really… now there is a further desire to be funny or profound or informative or shit just funny… But I have a story and FuckSox Friday needs to have some stuff in it stockings. I have some crazy shit to share, shit that makes the track of my bipolar express, and this may be the push I need to do it. So I will attempt to make the page not blank. As always keep your rose colored glasses handy.

Becca had this lovely flow, this prose-esk way of writing her Familial Friday and starting with “I remember…” I love that. It took me with her back to her space, along with her to her memory. I don’t have anything quite so lovely, but I have something familiar. Sorry it’s not short, but then, we were told word count wasn’t the goal (yay for you!)

Write on Wednesday: Make it Better…

A FuckSox Friday piece on a Wednesday.

Sometimes it’s just like that… you’re almost 12 and your Mom is doing her best to embarrass you with her dead on Billy Martin impression. She’s screaming at the ump at home plate because the opposing catcher kicked you with her shin-guards in a futile attempt to keep you from scoring the winning run for your team. Little did miss catcher girl know that your 6′ tall mother, who was managing your team, would have no problem charging the field, picking you up and sitting your blubbering ass on the plate, before screaming at the ump with her thick and getting thicker Boston accent (this is California – they think you are making sexual advances when you just want to eat your lunch) about how little miss shin splints should be banned for life for unnecessary roughness. (um I think that’s a different sport ma, but thank you for playing) At this point you have gone into full asthmatic meltdown and the fact that you can’t breathe is barely enough to cover your shame ad embarrassment. Your mom is ejected from the field, your dad has no idea how to handle any of it and you are really thankful that someone’s mom knows that you put ice on a shin to keep it from swelling and had enough sense to find your inhaler.

This was pretty much the end of my oh-so-illustrious softball career. The point where I became known as “that lady’s daughter” or “hey, isn’t your mom the one that…” and my favorite… “dude, you got totally boned at home plate and your mom is a badass!” I admit I was not the greatest athlete, but I enjoyed the game. Over time when playing here and there, I even learned to deal with my nicknames having to be printed in a mini-font and taking the entire back of my jersey… I learned to embrace being her daughter.

As I’ve grown older I learned that Billy Martin Ma wasn’t reserved for the softball field. She is a protective bitch (probably the only time you will hear or see bitch and my mom in the same sentence and it is a respect thing). In fact being protective is a trait she passed down to me, kinda like being ‘her daughter’ would follow me always. Just like looking back on the incident that day, being her daughter isn’t a bad thing. It is a major part of what has shaped me. I don’t sit on the bench and watch those I love get kicked in the shins by some stupid bitch in plastic guards. I don’t give a shit if I get kicked out for saying what I think is right even if my voice is sometimes at the wrong tone. And even though I may not be in the best place with her at that moment, I am never ashamed to be introduced as her daughter. Because sometimes it’s just like that… you get totally boned by life one way or another only to realize your mom is still a badass.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 18 – Look through your previous WoW posts (or select a short writing piece that you would like to work on). Read through your piece carefully and let’s attempt to make it better. Look for redundant words, clichés or overused phrases. Chop and change. This is not an exercise in word count; it’s not about simply whittling it down. Make it a better piece of writing. Post your original and edited piece. THEN, throw it to the*wolves. Ask for advice from WoWers. With  help you can make your writing shine. **

Original:

A Blank page is staring at me.

 

It’s been this way for a week and it’s unnerving. There’s this unseen pressure about where to start and what to fill it with. So I go read other peoples pages… oops, not the best idea really… now there is this pressure to be funny or profound or informative… But I told Becca last week on her post I wanted to steal Familial Friday. (Probably because if I called it FuckSox Friday no one would know what it was about… or think it about something else entirely! Maybe I don’t care and FuckSox Friday it shall be.) I have some crazy shit to share, beyond my normal bi-polar express, and this may be the push I need to do it. So I will attempt to make the page not blank. As always keep your rose colored glasses handy.

 

Sometimes it’s just like that… You’re goin on 12, and your Mom is doing her best Billy Martin impression with the ump at home plate because the opposing catcher kicked you with her shin-guards in a futile attempt to keep you from scoring (what would ultimately be) the winning run for your team. Little did she know that your 6′ tall mother, who was managing your team, would have no problem charging the field, picking you up, sitting your blubbering ass on the plate before screaming at the ump with her thick and getting thicker Boston accent (this is California – they think you are making sexual advances when you just want to eat your lunch) about little miss shin splints should be banned for life for unnecessary roughness. (um I think that’s a different sport, but thank you for playing) At this point you have gone into full asthmatic mode and can’t breathe, your mom is ejected from the field, your dad has no idea how to handle any of it and you are just thankful that someone’s mom knows that you put ice on a shin to keep it from swelling and found your inhaler.

This was close to the end of my oh-so-illustrious softball career. The point where I became known as “that lady’s daughter” or “hey, isn’t your mom the one that…” and my favorite… “dude, you got totally boned at home plate and your mom is a badass!” I admit I am not the greatest athlete, but I enjoyed the game. I even learned to deal with my nicknames having to be printed in a mini-font and taking the entire back of my jersey… I learned to embrace being her daughter.

As I grew older I learned that she was protective and that was a trait she passed down and that being her daughter would follow me always. In my adult life (oh yes, 20+ years later) I learned to get used to being introduced as “her daughter … Oh I just love your mom” or “Have you met sars? no? Oh, she’s her daughter. OH!”

Write On Wednesday

 

unstuck

Being in the middle is hard sometimes. You aren’t the good one and you aren’t the bad one just the one who usually fucks up, even if you didn’t. Sometimes you aren’t the middle one at all you just ended up there by default because the oldest and youngest got flipped around by an error in the programmer’s code, but no one notices because they can’t read html. Regardless of how you got there, its the middle and you are no longer the apple of daddy’s eye or mommy’s best girl. You just are. Whatever fuck up comes along that you get yourself into, fall into or happen to be passing by as it hits the fan and lands on you may go un-noticed by everyone but you.None the less, there it is, noticed. Being in the middle is hard sometimes. It means that you have to hold up both ends of the weight and burn both ends of the candle to figure out which way you are supposed to face.

Then sometimes, it means dropping both sticks and blowing out the candles ends in favor of walking forward in the dark, listening to the sound of your breath, remembering that you don’t have to be stuck in the middle you just have to be you. Sometimes you can just close your eyes and sway gently to the dreamers song that is your memory of you, who you are and see that light that still exists where you thought it was dark. Being in the middle is hard sometimes because you forget that it isn’t a role… its a place. its a place you can leave if you choose and become the top and bottom… just yourself.