music that pulls at the right strings

Music… where to begin? It used to be my happy and safe place. That’s what favourite musicians and bands do. They make you feel safe. You see them live – 1-2-3 times, maybe even more. Safe. Always safe. Until you don’t feel comfortable anymore. Until you listen to that voice, you heard so many times whisper in your ears, becoming a distorted and uncomfortable torture. I never thought the day would come when music equals torture. When the soundtrack of your life, of your formative years, becomes the sound of your deepest sorrow.

Now, where did that come from? It comes from a dark place. A place I have been before and where I am headed to again. I was advised to not write and think for a while. I was advised to write it all out and not think for a while. Of course, I am headstrong, and I am doing what I want. What I need. I write and think. That’s what I do.

I thought it was a good idea to take this week off. I thought there would be wounds to nurse. I didn’t know they would feel like this. I don’t like to be ignored, rejected, invisible. But it seems that I am. I know that you see me right now. But that’s not what I mean. When we say that we aren’t seen, we have someone in mind who is supposed to see us. To hear our silent screams. When we reach out, it doesn’t matter who tries to catch us, if it is not the person we want us to catch, we are still falling. And falling. And falling.

The other day Nate Maingard (look him up if you don’t know him, great guy) wrote a blog post titled “The only thing missing in my life is me” and I thought, bloody hell, I know these feelings so much, I am kind of feeling them right now. If everything is perfect, why don’t I feel perfect? Why do I feel like a fraud? Why do I feel as if I am failing at life? Why do I feel as if I don’t belong? Why am I ruining this? Why am I ruining me? And then, I read this tweet:

And, Aiden is right, you know? He does great work with a clothing brand. He gives half of the proceeds he gets from In Music We Trust to a charity. Mind Charity. They care about mental illness in the UK. An important cause. So yes, he is right. No matter how dark it is and how blind I am… I made it through it all. And even if it looks as if I am not doing anything, I am not giving up.

And as I took a drag of my Luckies, I had to laugh. Out loud. Here I am. In my guest room. On the couch. Music in my ears. A book next to me. My phone close by in case someone wanted to reach me (and what do you know – of course, work calls while I am off…). There is an incense stick burning down… And I am doing what I am doing. I am being hard on myself. On top of that, I only smoke when I am not well, and it is self-sabotage, isn’t it? It’s like I know that it is destroying me and not good for me – and yet, I am doing it. But it is better than cutting my skin. Isn’t it? It’s been two weeks since I last felt the need to carve a memory into my skin. A memory that didn’t happen and that sits at my wrist now as a pink reminder that it didn’t happen. I have regrets, and I don’t have any regrets. There are reasons life happens the way it does. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for that memory to be made just yet.

A memory that was made last week was when I went to a concert of Anathema in Luxembourg. I went on my own. For the first time ever I went to a thing with a big crowd all by myself. It was scary as fuck to be there. At the same time, I was proud of myself for going. I mean, I am 34 and confident enough to take the space I need. I saw a good gig. I enjoyed myself, as much as I could. I stood in the back, between the mixing desk and a pillar. All without a drink. It was a clean experience. For a moment, I felt a complete lack of emotions. Scary for someone as emotional as me, right? I felt disconnected in a way. None of my favourite songs was played, maybe that was a reason too, but who am I to complain? These guys have played 50 shows, 11 in a row. And still, they are performing and doing what they do. And then they played The Beginning and the End – still not my most favourite song (again, who am I to complain about their setlist when a band plays for two hours straight?!), but it was the most amazing that night (for me). And as I left the venue with the crowd, I heard people talk. Some were disappointed and ripped everything apart – from the sound to the energy on stage, to the guitarist smoking without a care (and honestly, who fucking cares about that?! Let him smoke all he wants). Some were on that high you only get when you see the most amazing and brilliant music being played on stage. Me, I felt emotionless. I walked through the cold November rain and sat in my car for a while. I just sat there. And I waited. I can’t say what I was waiting for. But I watched the rain on my front window. I watched cars leaving the parking lot. And I was paralysed. My mind was totally blank. And I began to cry. Another good ten minutes passed before I finally was on my drive back home. I didn’t listen to Anathema then. I listened to Tim Buckley. Couldn’t have chosen anything more different… Goodbye and Hello.

Yes, memories were made that night. None of them was immortalised in a picture. It’s all in my head.

Being is hard. Existing is hard. Breathing feels like suffocating sometimes. It really does. But through it all – I am still there. I trust. I feel. I am. I will never be who I am not. I can only be me.

The cigarettes are smoked, the incense stick burned down. The phone ringed twice. And music is still playing. The same music. No torture. No soundtrack of my deepest sorrow now. Just there. Pulling at all the right strings.

Thank you to everyone mentioned above. You matter to me. That’s all for now.

Cathy

flowers

who will put flowers on my grave?
who will be there on my final days?
and when I am gone
when I sang my final song,
who will take flowers to my grave?
In the rain
waiting to be washed away,
like the fading flowers on my grave.
and there I wait
for my ultimate fate
and I see your flowers on my grave.

*inspired by the song Flowers by Antimatter*

musings

We have dreams. We have ideas about how things should turn out. And then they turn to waste and leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths. Until we realise that some things just aren’t as important as we thought they were. And maybe “who cares” is not meant to be hurtful but it puts life and the grand scheme of things in perspective. Yes… Maybe there are more important things than those that we make the centre of our world. Just maybe. And maybe that is the exact thought that reconciles us with what has been nagging us for days now.

There are people I would shoot to the moon if they treated me badly. And there are those who are too important to let go.

And there are those who are toxic and yet life without them is grey and empty.

There are people who infuriate me almost everytime we talk, and I let them push my buttons, because I like to have them in my life.

There are moments when I take life and its circumstances too seriously. I should let go. Not all the way… Never all the way… But far enough to allow some distance.

And in the end, we chose love. And in the end everything is okay. Everything is energy. Everything is love. Well… That’s bullshit, but everything is easier with a serene and positive attitude and with love in our hearts.

Cathy

shadow of the ghost

I was trying to catch the shadow of a ghost and I was wondering why you kept slipping through my fingers.

The last time I saw the moon was when you and me were merged at the centre of our beings.

The last time I enjoyed the sun was when your perspiration mingled with mine.

I was trying to hold on to the stars but they faded every day at sunrise and you kept slipping through my fingers.

And I became blind and numb without you.
And I became blind and numb with you.

With you
Without you.

The moon. The sun. The shooting stars. The shadow of the ghost I was so in love with. They were a romantic illusion I held on to, while you gently slipped through my fingers.

Blueneck – ghosts (from the album The Outpost)

The Optimist

Let me just quickly share my own personal thoughts about the latest Anathema release, called The Optimist. It was released on June 9th (by Kscope)

I’ve been a fan of this band – their music, for the better part of my life. Through all my life, there have been elements in their music that just spoke to me in a way no other band ever could. Though, let me admit, I was never a big fangirl of the musicians. It was just the music, the lyrics. It has nothing to do with the girls who love One Direction or Justin Bieber. And no, I am not judging, merely saying that it is different.

I digress. Back to the topic. The Optimist. It took until yesterday (June 19th) for this preordered record to arrive at my doorstep which strained my patience quite a bit. I didn’t listen to any songs while I was waiting, but I read the reviews. So many negative reviews. I wondered if it was the right decision to spend money on both the CD/DVD set and on the red vinyl. After all, people don’t seem to like the record very much. Me? I like it. I really do. While I was not a fan of their previous release (Distant Satellites), I have to say that this is a really good album. I don’t think that it can be compared to any of their previous work. I read in interviews that The Optimist is a sequel to A Fine Day to Exit. (An album I don’t particularly like or dislike – I don’t have a strong opinion on that one). It is in terms of the character who tried to find a way to exit and is now trying to find a way back home. Musically, it is not. Because, as I stated above, this album cannot be compared to any other album Anathema recorded.

So… The Optimist takes us on a journey. With pianos and guitars, with electronic aspects and string arrangements, we even hear some trombone in the jazzy Close Your Eyes. That trombone was certainly a surprise but it works in favour of the song. Just listen to some of Her Name is Calla’s songs (a British band), they use guitars, piano, strings and trombone too and it works well for them, in my own humble opinion.

Sure, the Optimist is a bit repetitive here and there (the vocals are and the melodies are sometimes too in some songs), but that repetivity is a constant in Anathema’s discography and it never bothered me. Also, I thought I heard some U2, some Radiohead (Wildfires), and even some Oasis (Back to the Start) influences on this album. Nice.
I like the heavy sound of the guitar, it sets a dark(er) mood. At the same time, there is a lot of hope and… optimism (duh!) on this record. For me, it is due to the strings and the piano. They can sound melancholic, but I don’t hear that here.

I wouldn’t recommend The Optimist to first-time Anathema listeners. It is not an easy record. There are many layers to peel away and to listen to. Too many? Is there such a thing as too many layers? My personal answer: No.

Lastly: in the many reviews I read Ghosts is often cited as a standout song. Personally, I think it is one of the weakest (alongside Wildfires) on the entire record. I like the lyrics, but that’s all I like about the song. Sorry.

My own standout song is The Optimist. (Followed by Leaving it Behind and Endless Ways). Can’t Let Go is a song I imagine could work on radio stations too… When I heard Springfield for the first time, I immediately thought that it would be nicer in an acoustic version… As for Close Your Eyes, I adore the arrangement of the song and even Lee Douglas’s voice. This style suits her.

Many words to say that I was afraid to listen to a bad record and I was positively surprised that it is not. It certainly isn’t easy to digest, though.

And now, the reason why I wrote this and will share it too: my inner music nerd was rejoicing when I listened to this brilliant record for the first time, but I still had the many negative reviews on my mind. (How devastating must it be for an artist when they invest time and creativity and emotions and money in their art and it is ripped apart?!) I needed to release my own personal thoughts and since there is no one in my immediate surroundings who feels as strongly about music as I do, I share it with you. And maybe you don’t care either but you will not hurt my emotions when you’re uninterested or rolling your eyes.

Thanks for reading and now go and search YouTube, iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you search for new music…) for this album and then go and buy it. 🙂 (And always remember that this little review was not written by a critic, I am merely someone who listens and likes music.)

where did our hearts go?

I know you are there
but I don’t know where
I’m trying to find you in the dark
To feel your presence in my heart.

Staring out into the cold
Reaching for your hand to have and to hold
Our love has gone away
There was no valuable reason to make it stay.

And while the world keeps turning
my soul keeps yearning
for you – who completed my lost mind
and to whom my heart was assigned.

 

her mind is troubled

​Sadness. It covers her like a veil. For no reason. There are no passed memories trying to shred her future to pieces. There is no longing for a love she can’t get. There is nothing. Just emptiness. But the void inside hurts. And the tension, the inner pressure, rises. And rises. Her scars are prickling. Thoughts of suicide, not her own, just the act of it, are circling her mind and poisoning her writing. And the scars. They are begging for an addition. Open the skin. Release what’s inside and let it drip down the outside. It’s getting harder for her to avoid temptation and triggers. Everything is alright. She said it so many times that she stopped believing the lie. Just one tiny cut. Just one more. An addiction. And her drug is the pain she will not feel, only see in crimson droplets and opened skin. The box cutter lies on the shelf. Just one cut. It will make everything alright. Stop telling these lies.

https://youtu.be/FZoojCO2Jbk

I posted this little thing minutes ago on Wattpad. The comment touched me and made me happy

Not for Want of Trying

A song by Maybeshewill. I admit, I listened to this track on Spotify a lot, but only bought it today. Not even 5 minutes ago.

I want you to be mad

That’s actually a genre of music that gets me energized and moving. I’m not too well today. I had another night that was filled with tossing and turning instead of sleeping.

Either way… Who cares, right?

Here’s a link to my bandcamp page. Browse it, maybe you’ll find your new favourite artist there.

https://bandcamp.com/micqu1

Enjoy your day.

xx