Expression and Music

It’s true that music lifts your soul

A bit of a different post today, because of the mood I am in.

My life has changed recently. I’m no longer employed, doing a job that just ‘pays the bills’ and ‘ticking along’ and being what I now realise was actually unhappy.

I never thought I was a ‘Little Miss Susie Homemaker’ type. I would sneer and mock – I’m an independent feminist woman! Housework? Spending all day looking after babies and having dinner ready when the master comes home?! Hah! In fact my partner would probably have hysterics if my name & ‘Susie Homemaker’ were mentioned in the same sentence.

And yet… I am at home. Officially I am self-employed and running a business, though I’m still waiting for those paying customers. In the meantime, I’m at home with the not-quite little one, doing the school run, and keeping house. And you know what? I’m happy! (16 year old self shudders and turns away in horror). But I am, there’s no denying it. What I’m doing I’m doing for me and my family. I can choose how to spend my days… in relation to kiddies of course, but that still leaves a lot of scope. I’m not stressing about the school run, or the housework – because I have plenty of time in which to fit everything in. And I get to play with my kids, instead of feeling like I’m rushing around trying to do everything at once.

This happiness has resulted in me singing around the house more and listening to music. The tv has been turned off. I used to have the tv on pretty much all the time, not because I watched it, I’d just got used to it being ‘background’. We occasionally listened to music… but now… now it fills my soul. It’s an intrisic part of my happiness. And it is, I have discovered, absolutely true that music lifts your spirits – or if your spirits are already lifted, emphasises/enhances/complements said spirits.

I never really know what sort of music I am ‘into’. I’m an eclectic, and will listen to pretty much anything, but I’ve never really been a collector, or a specific fan of this person or that group.

But that is one group, and one song in particular that is ME, that lifts me immediately every time I hear it, and transports me back to the first time I heard it, live at a festival, just over 10 years ago now. This piece of music is everything to me: it gets into my very soul, sends shivers down my spine, makes my feet move and my brain tingle.

I don’t know how many people have heard of this band, maybe Australians have as that’s where they’re from – The Cat Empire. It is a mix of Jazz, a bit of reggae, and other stuff to that is just WOWee! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. If I was to define myself by music, THIS would be it. I encourage you to listen to it – listen to the words as well as the music – as a poet, the words, to me, are just as important as the music, and I LOVE the message here!

“Our weapons were our instruments, made of timber & steel – we’ll never yield to conformity but stood like kings – in a chariot that’s riding on a record wheel…”

(oh, – be patient… the intro’s a little odd, but trust me, its worth waiting for!)

The Cat Empire – The Chariot – YouTube.

So there you go. That is me, as defined by music.

I haven’t listened to this song for months… but I put it in again the other day, fitting with my current uplifted mood. And nothing makes me happier!

Do you have a song/artist/group/band that you feels defines you?

File under: Sentimentality

I had the best night last night that I have had for a long time. I didn’t do anything exciting. I didn’t even go out. I’m so tired lately and my energy is really low. I had no thought for writing. Baby was in bed and the other half on the late shift at work. So what did I do?

I sorted out the memento files. Having not done this for a while, there’s various bits and bobs laying around in various parts of the house… no matter how much I try and keep things tidy, there just never seems to be enough time to do everything. Stuff just gets dumped wherever there’s a spare space… papers, documents, cards, tickets from places we’ve been. You name it, we’ve got it… somewhere.

Some pages from my daughter's album

Some pages from my daughter’s album

 

My daughter's album

My daughter’s album

When my first daughter was born, I decided to keep a memento album. And over the years, it’s filled up with beautiful things that we’ve done together, things she’s made, special cards, and places we’ve gone. To me, this is like an alternative photo album. Photos are lovely, but these keepsakes have a different feel, and invoke different memories. So she has her very own album. I also have an album for me and my partner, and I have a special box that I keep all of my beautiful, special cards in that I get from my wonderful family every year – Birthdays, Christmases, Mother’s day cards, Valentine’s day cards… and so on. For some reason I’ve not yet got a memento album for my boy, but I have kept stuff for him too. Some has got lost along the way *sniffles sadly* but I’ve salvaged what I can.

The Boys' special things, currently in *nice* envelopes

The Boys’ special things, currently in *nice* envelopes

So, glass of wine to the side, t.v on in the background, cat strolling in and out… and all these memories piled around me. All the bits that hadn’t been sorted out, I put into relevant piles: Daughter/baby/adults. Then started putting them into the right file/box/envelope. This took a long time to do… and of course, made longer by the fact that I just had to look through each of the files as I was sorting them out. Looking back at all of those memories. All the things my babies have done – oh, how they’re growing up! – All the things my partner and I have done together, and all the beautiful cards they’ve given me over the past few years.

My special cards

My special cards

 

My Cards

My Cards

This was such a cathartic thing for me. I felt blissful, at peace, content. The memory files made me smile and laugh. Putting the outstanding things away felt like an act of love. I was totally in the moment, enjoying seeing my family and my life in this way.

It also made me think and re-evaluate: Looking at the cards and the sentiments in them from my children (okay, so my partner wrote them, but wrote them beautifully ‘from’ the children, and my daughter loves writing her name and kisses) made me feel sad for all the times lately I’ve been stressed and/or tired, and have snapped at them. Seeing the love in those cards, written out in that way, just made me sit and think about my own behaviour with them, my own attitude, and what they actually deserve from me. They certainly don’t deserve me snarling at them just because I’m a Grumpy Groo!

I think this activity was exactly what I needed, at exactly this time. To relax, to be filled with love, to be reminded, and to think about our relationship. It was cathartic for me, and just perfect.

And as a bonus, the house is (slightly) tidier, and bits and bobs are all where they should be… in one loving place.

I hope one day the children will enjoy looking at the files, seeing the things that they’ve done, and that we have done, and that it gives them some happy reference of their childhood. I guess I’m just a sentimentalist at heart!

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