Throwback link

Throwback Link

I am happy. When I am happy, I am most often not inspired to write. My need to write often comes from a dark(er) place, hence the short writing notes lately and no new poetry at all. One of these days I will learn to channel the happiness and let it float into my writing.

I am sharing the above link, because it is still valid and quite coherent – for my standards. As you will notice, it has no likes and no comments, it was not tagged – that’s the reason for that. Feel free to explore the blog, there is a lot of content that has no tags but is worth your while.

I hope you are happy too.

Cathy

I thought about Jamie today with a smile. He used to be my best friend. This song always reminds me of him. (Jamie passed away in 2015)

The Dead Rift – Her Name is Calla or how a hug changed my perception of myself

This is the link to the new Her Name is Calla song on YouTube.

This band is dear to my heart. I like their music, no question about that. I like this new song very much. But I also like the people in this band.

Adam (songwriter, drummer, banjo, theremin…) and Tom (singer, songwriter, piano/keyboard, guitar) changed my life. How very melodramatic, right?

We had been in touch for a while, mainly via Twitter. I had purchased some of their albums, solo albums too, and then they were to play a concert in Brussels. I know exactly when I planned to go there. It was that time in 2014, whenwh saw Anathema at the Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette, with my sister and her ex. We arranged everything that night and the days after that. I did not work at the time and my husband was put on parenting duty. My sister was still in school and her ex was free to work whenever he wanted. My husband didn’t have much say in any of this, to be honest. I planned over his head, and I am glad I did. There was a train ride – more than 3 hour long. There was a steange city and the quest to find the hotel we had booked. There was the first and only mirror selfie I took. There was also a friend (who passed away in 2015) who helped keeping the anxiousness at bay. A first hug from Tom that made my knees shake happened. A set of music that was far better than anticipated was played. And an invitation to join the band for a beer (eventually we had 6 or 7 or more of them) was accepted. There was laughter and silly stories, as well as serious ones. I felt right at home with these guys, speaking English for an entire night for the first time.

The most important part of the night were two tight hugs by people who had been strangers mere hours before. Tom and Adam hugged me that night. I don’t like to be touched, even less by strangers. But they did not ask, they just did. And it set free an entire wave of events and emotions. I can never forget and never repay these two men. We all live our lives, and there was never anything romantic involved. Not at all. It was just that hug that made me realise that I was so much more than I thought I was. I freed myself from the cage in my mind, that night. Simply because of these hugs. Crazy, I know. Of course, later new cages and shackles tormented me. But without those hugs, without that night in Brussels I would not be who I am. I would be a lot less outgoing and self-confident, and I would probably be a full-time housewife. I love being a full-time mom, for sure. But I also love my job. I love getting up and preparing for my shift. I have a purpose in life. Sure, I had that before too, but it became more apparent for me, because Tom and Adam didn’t know the mom or housewife, they only new Cathy.

I am forever grateful.

Too late.

Some say it is never too late. But what if it is? It is too late and I am going to go. I am going to go and… I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. Because it is too late. It is too late to do things differently. And I don’t want to change my ways anyway. So, I guess I am trapped in my own reluctance to be. What if I cease to exist? What if my breath stops? What if I close my eyes and forget to open them again? What will be my last thought? And if I fall asleep forever, what will be my eternal dream? I don’t want to know. I am here. I exist. I breathe. And I am tired. I am positive and I am tired. Exhausted. I am exhausted. Breathing is. Existing is. Being is.

The music keeps playing. Lives go on. Mine does too. Because I have a lot to learn, a lot to teach. I have a lot of love to give. And smiles to smile. I have millions of hugs to give. And words to listen to; to write; to read.

If I was… But I am not. And the rain falls down in its own way, and the wind blows in its own way. There is nothing more to say.

Life between clouds and feathers – done (6)

A new day, but the same old compulsive behavior leads Connor’s routines. The book Thomas brought back is still lying on the coffee table. It is still in the same plastic bag. Still at a perfect angle with the table. Connor starts laundry and cleans his small living space before he takes a shower that is meticulously timed. And then, it happens. Out of the blue, Connor feels paralyzed. There is no way back and no way forth. He is frozen in motion. Numb in his mind. Nothing is askew. Everything is alright. Everything but Connor. For the first time, he realizes that there is a world in front of his door that can’t be filed and organized and that is okay. There are people who don’t need him, no matter how much he wants it to need him. His students don’t need him. This life doesn’t need him. This world doesn’t need him. Connor hasn’t thought about self-harm and suicide in a long while. Now he does, and the thoughts scar him. They are liberating too. What if this numbness is okay? What if the world doesn’t stop if he is not there? And he will not know anyway, will he? Connor’s book is still on the coffee table. Thomas’s text is still unanswered. Cars are still honking outside, and the clouds are still heavy with rain. Connor decides to call in sick and go with the flow. Whatever happens, will happen. If it happens to be music, he will play music. If he is inspired to write, he will write. If he needs more sleep, he will sleep. And if he decides not to wake up, then that is okay too.
He begins listening to music:

and finds his red pen to write:

The world doesn’t end without me. Remember me with a smile.

Connor opens a bottle of pills and runs a bath. It doesn’t matter that he just had a shower. Nothing matters. A bottle of water. He turns the bottle so that the label is pointing to the ceiling when he puts it to his lips. The pills have a bitter taste, and he scrunches his nose. But it is okay. He has a goal in his mind. He will take a bath – oh the cliché, and he will become unconscious. He will fall asleep and never wake up. His plan seems safe. But Connor is a thinker. And he knows that he will die of asphyxiation. It will be agony and not romantic at all. His bed isn’t made, and he hasn’t changed the sheets on his bed in two days. There is dust on the mantelpiece and crumbs on the table. Too many things are left undone. Too many things. But he took the pills, and the water is filling the tub.

If I died, would I be worth saving?

Connor pushes send and climbs into the tub. Wearing his clothes. And shoes. Nothing will ever be the same again.

 

A/N: parts of this chapter came about after reading this blogpost: https://dtwalsh83.wixsite.com/fourcorneredroom/blog/fcr008-a-careworn-heart    It made the words easier to flow)

 

Time heals our wounds

One day you will wake up and a wound that has always itched and that has always hurt – even if it was in a dull, almost imperceptible way, will have healed.

You will be surprised and it will be scary at first. You will try to get that feeling back – after all, it has been a part of you and your being for such a long time. But, let it go. You don’t need it anymore. And the hollow it left will be filled with something new. Something good.

This comes from a person who believed that wounds can be concealed but never healed. I woke up with a weight lifted off me. And I had the immediate desire to write it down. Because, if the hurt comes back (and it will be back full force), then I will have this to remind me that there are days when everything that weighs me down doesn’t seem to be as important anymore.

I’ll leave you on this rather content and serene note. I am going to make the beds now, then I’ll put my golden shoes on and spend my day at IKEA. (For me, IKEA is more stressful than working a double shift at the nursery).

Cathy

embers of memories

Embers of memories are glowing in the dark. I want them to burn again. I want them to go out. I want to give up, and I want to keep going. If we only knew. Embers of memories are burning me from within. Sometimes, the heat is comforting; other times, it is destroying me from just underneath my skin. I miss who I didn’t have; dream of opportunities we never dared to take. I am strong enough to fight. I know that I am your missing light. And yet… To have you and to hold you. To let these embers of memories become blazing flames again…

music

And just in case you are wondering what I’ve been listening to lately:

Luke Sital-Singh. And his album “Time is a Riddle”. I found it by sheer coincidence and was taken by it in no time.

This is Luke’s third release, and judging by what I am hearing here, I will like the other albums too, once I get around to listen to them. I am quite happy about this find. It’s been a while since I found a new (new to me) artist like this. If you like Ben Howard, this is for you too. And if you are into comparing artists you are likely to agree that Luke’s voice reminds of Kelly Jones. (Vocalist of the Stereophonics – my first live show of 2018)

Goodnight

And thank you.

xx

Cathy

music that pulls at the right strings

ButMusic… 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 rang 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

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