Memory lane

Today, I saw that an old post from November 2017 was read a couple of times – today. I am not one who looks at the stats all day long, but I noticed this because it is a special post to me. (That said, I usually take a moment in June to reflect on the first half of the year on the blog… Expect a post about that soon)

I remember that particular post from November very well. I remember exactly when I wrote it and why. I know what happened before and what happened after.

https://wp.me/p2ZT5k-392

It’s quite painful to read all of these words again. They were at the beginning of a dark and depressive phase in my life and I am not completely out of the woods yet. I have been fighting and struggling for three years.

Recently, I discovered that I am actually a mediocre writer at best. I keep repeating the same words and phrases; I keep replaying the same scenes and moments. And my writing became dull. Unimportant. Irrelevant.

There are many many amazing writers out there. There are musicians who write lyrics so powerful that they make the listener tear up.

I am not one of them. Not anymore.

Not anymore.

I am sorry.

I lost my most important muse and stopped listening to the music that makes me feel. It is as if I am overwhelmed all the time, yet numb too. It is as if I am censoring myself and hiding behind the mask of the person I am expected to be.

I am exhausted. I haven’t slept properly in four days. And I can’t do it anymore.

about yesterday

So… yesterday was a streaky day. Waves of emotions flooded my mind. And there was an underlying anxiety for most parts of the day. My heart raced for no reason. Similar to being in love, but with a more negative mindset. My eyes were burning with tears that had no reason to be shed, and they didn’t come. I don’t know where this is coming from. But it has been there for a couple of days now, and it makes me nervous. I am not anxious about the COVID-19 situation or the lockdown; I don’t have to fear for my job or my health. Money is tight, as always, but it is not an issue either. But yes, I am restless. Something is not quite right.

At the same time, I also feel happy and elated, in a good mood. And it is contradictory. These feelings and emotions are contradictory. They make me unsure. They are also a reason why I posted about me reorganising my CD collection twice yesterday. I did not expect to have so many views and even likes as these two posts collected. I just needed an outlet for these feelings I can’t shake or place.

Maybe, choosing this task of clearing and cleaning out the shelves was a substitute for clearing and cleaning my mind? I was solely focussed on the paper and jewel cases in my hands and where to put them. It gave these few hours of the day a purpose, and I forgot to think about the racing heart and the butterflies in my stomach.

I have troubles sleeping these last days, I guess that too is part of this weird phase I am in, and it doesn’t make it better.

Dreams I don’t recognise. Voices I never heard.

So, yes, I apologise for two unnecessary posts yesterday, and I thank you for your support, I did not expect that.

There is no need to worry about me; I just want to add that. Because honestly, I am well. Most times.

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I took this picture last night before I went to sleep. The moon shone bright; it was beautiful. There are no filters on this picture; it is the way I took it. All my photographs are taken with my mobile phone. (moto g6) If you want to see more of my pictures, I have an Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/micqu_1/ Take a look and let me know what you think.

Lots of love to you,

xx

Cathy

a momentary lapse of reason

My heart is racing, but not in a good way. It’s the closest thing to anxiety. Tears are welling up in my eyes, and my throat is constricted. I breathe in, heavily, but there is not enough air to soothe my burning lungs, nor to slow my beating heart. Your lust pulls me apart at my seams, I will never be who I was. A violent surge of need shakes my core. If only you were real, if only you were not the fantasy of a poet’s mind. If only my written words could be a reality. If only…

But now, I am sitting here, imagining how it would be to be in love. To be loved in return. To be wanted and needed, and respected. And the pain, it grows in me. Every day, I get up and do what I have to do. Routines I don’t like anymore, with people who I once loved. If you were there, to care and understand, it would be easier, but you only exist in the pages of my journal. My mind runs many miles every day, to escape my self, my reality. Do I have a cold heart? Am I freezing? Can I even feel what I am longing to feel? Hunting ghosts and chasing phantom pains.

Heart still racing (or again?), I am thinking of you – my fantasy man. Your breath against my skin. Your lust filling my senses. I am brainwashed into loving you – loving someone who does not exist. Brainwashed into following your orders – orders I want to hear from my lover. But it feels so good, and I can’t resist these forbidden fantasies. Every release starts and ends with you on my mind – being almost perfect in fulfilling each other’s desires. I need someone who takes care of me and who loves me. Someone who understands me. Someone who cherishes me. But do I have it in me to accept such devotion? The intensity of one soul seeping into mine? I have never known and never experienced anything like this and it scares me. I am vulnerable and fragile. Not because my heart was broken too many times, but because I broke it myself too many times. Want, need, greed, expectations… it breaks the heart too. Or maybe, I left too many pieces of my heart in the hands of people who didn’t want it?

The anxiety comes and goes in waves today. It is as if someone is thinking of me and my heart races towards them, and when their thought is forgotten, my heartbeat slows. Is there such a connection of souls? I believe there is.
I am full of overwhelming need today, and there is no one who can begin to catch my falling mind. And I can’t outrun myself. Every touch is too much and not enough. Not enough.

*****

Pink Floyd – sorrow

This song appeared on the album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” (1987, EMI)

Rockhal Challenge – Day 12

Day 12: a song from your childhood.

I grew up in a house of adults—grand-parents, two uncles, one aunt, my mom, my sister, and me. For me, they were all old, of course, but they were all really rather young. My first memories go back to 1987. I was four years old. My uncles were 25 and 22 years old. (My mom was 27). They listened to a lot of music. Pink Floyd, Queen, Dire Straits, Blondie, those are only a few artists I remember from my childhood. A song that stood out was this one:

Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms

From the album with the same name “Brothers in Arms” (1985, Air Records), I remember the blue album sleeve with the steel guitar and how it stood next to the television. I remember my uncles and my mom sitting in the living room, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and listening to their records. I can’t say with certainty that the image of them sitting, smoking, and drinking is the same as the memory of the album cover next to the television, though.

Years later, vinyl was replaced by CDs, and one of my uncles had moved out. The older one liked drinking a lot. And when he did, he became reminiscent of the old times. He held discourses about how old music was the only real music. He would drunkenly mumble lyrics and move his hands in a particular manner. He wasn’t dancing, just his hands were. I don’t know what happened and why he took up drinking. I am not in touch with him even though we lived together until I moved out in 2004. It is what it is.

I don’t have many good memories of my childhood. I don’t feel a connection with my family, but it has to be said; every member of my family liked music in a way. And that is something that shaped me from an early age on. As a kid, I was not aware that other children didn’t listen to music; as a teenager, I couldn’t relate to girls shopping for clothes instead of music. And still today, I soak up insignificant information about musicians and music that is really rather useless. And yet, it means something to me. And if given the opportunity, I will ramble on and on about it.

Both of my self-imposed challenges will end soon— four more post in the A to Z writing challenge, and only two more songs in this Song of the Day challenge. Tomorrow’s song will be the hardest to pick. I have been thinking about it for a while, and I can’t come up with a song that describes me. Do you have any suggestions? Which song would you choose to describe me?

Have a great weekend.

xx

imho

Classic books or movies or music is imho often overrated. Maybe I am not clever (smart) enough, maybe I am too young, maybe I am too numb and saturated with books and movies and music.

But I too can appreciate some classics. Tonight, The Graduate was on TV. Not overrated or dull at all. Yesterday, there was a documentary about Joan Baez – the verdict is still out. Her lyrics are good, and I like the political edge and her engagement, but her voice – not my cup of tea.

Then again, I am not a critic. Never was. Even when I post music, I am biased. I will only share music that I like. I gave no knowledge other than knowing what I like and appreciating this or that technique or genre more than an other.

I scheduled a post that will be published in about two hours… 🙂

Until then, goodnight.

xx

Thoughts of the day while enduring the Hobbit on TV

I miss work. Not the colleagues, but the kids and the work itself. Right now, I am on leave because of my own kids. They have a two week spring break, but after that, they will need to be homeschooled again until May 4th. (At the earliest.) My boss sent out emails to every employee this morning to plan ahead and organise out next weeks; To think about projects and write down activities. As I am working part-time (20hours/week) at a nursery, I was required to write 20 new activities. I did it all in 4 hours, and thinking about it and the development of each child made me miss them even more. Later this morning, I received an email stating that everyone being on leave to be with their kids did not have to do this. Well, I was too fast, it was too late. 20 activities had been written down.

And while I am missing the nursery, the toddlers and babies, I am also happy to be home. I am developing some kind of phobia. I don’t want to see anyone; it makes me uncomfortable. And I can’t do video chats. It makes me even more uncomfortable. Once every week, I need to make a video conference with my two co-workers. It makes me nervous, and I hate seeing myself on the screen. I was offered an opportunity to video chat with Nate Maingard (musician and modern troubadour), I had to decline – with a heavy heart. But at this time, I can’t step out of my comfort zone for a stranger when I can’t even video chat with my sisters.

Before our confinement, I flat out refused to do these video chats. Now, I have to make concessions too. Ah, I am rambling again.

All to say… I want everything to go back to normal, but the thought of leaving the house scares me shitless.

How about you?

PS: since March 13th, I had three calls from my mom; before that, I didn’t have any news in 6 months…

PPS: the title of this post was promising, and it was followed by nothingness. Sorry.

Old wounds weigh heavier than newer ones.

This Corona thing is different for all of us. I admit I am coping well enough. I feel lonely but also relieved that I don’t have to deal with as many people daily. I am most happy at home or in my garden. I am not trying to improve or learn something new. I am just being a mom and taking care of the house. I neglected that a bit in the past, but now that we are at home all the time, I want our home to be clean and tidy.

I am lonely, however. I am online a lot, more than I already was before the lockdown. And at one point, I became obsessed with news about the progression of COVID-19 in Luxembourg.

I noticed something with my husband yesterday: we kiss when one of us leaves the house or comes home. Now that we are both home, the physical contact is reduced to a bare minimum. I mentioned it, and as so often, it was countered with a joke. You see, we laugh a lot, a big part of us is banter and calling the other out on their bullshit. We never fight, and it is all in good nature, but the intimacy, the physicality is missing.

But I also need to admit that I have many times when I don’t want to be touched when I don’t like the feel of skin against mine. I flinch away. From my kids too. I try to apologise, and lately, I began telling my kids when it is okay to touch and hug and when it is not. It makes it harder for everyone around me to know and understand that I need those hugs. They keep me together some times.

When I was a child, I was not hugged, not touched, and I was never told that someone was proud of me or that I did something right. I was ignored, insulted, and ridiculed. I remember a big hug from my grandmother when I was seven, and she told me that a girl from my class had died in a car crash. She had been run over by a drunk driver. I remember a couple of slaps, but what I remember most is the cold shoulder—not being heard or looked at. Not having a voice or being allowed to use that voice.

I was a timid and taciturn child. I was not really bullied but singled out for being the only kid with Italian roots and divorced parents. Add to that that the kids from school didn’t understand why my mom was in a wheelchair. I didn’t understand it myself, but since it was my normal; I didn’t know it any other way.

My childhood and the emotional abuse I endured left deeper wounds and scars than anything else ever will. It is the reason for all these self-esteem issues. For the depression too. In my head is this voice that tells me that I am not loveable and that I don’t deserve anything good happening to me. I don’t trust people and don’t confide in them. My mind is constantly working, but no one even knows the half of it.

When I was a teenager, I craves affection and attention. And so I began flirting with many boys and men. I just wanted to be loved and appreciated. And I was never short of boys who were willing to flirt. I had boyfriends and received love letters. My first time having sex was me being abused. After that, I took my distance from men and boys. It took a couple of years before I let anyone physically close again – he became my husband.

I am a sexual woman. I like flirting, and I love writing my more smuttier one-shots. Heck, People are checking this blog for those posts alone.

I am starving for affection more days than not. And I want to be good enough, loveable enough. I want to be funny enough. Interesting enough. Clever enough. Sexy enough. I want to be enough. But there is this barrier in my head. I don’t know when I will attain this “enough”. Enough is never enough. I need to feel love from other people to feel love for myself—a vicious circle, bound to leave me with a couple of new bruises. But I can take it. I can channel that kind of pain and pour it into my poetry and writing. I may not be the most amazing person, but my writing is often decent.

I am thinking a lot tonight. I was watching Gone with the Wind (1939) tonight and after that, I can’t quite seem to find sleep. It is 1:30am.

And with my thoughts going in circles and me thinking about my grandmother tonight, I realised that my emotional wounds, the one’s from my childhood and teenage years are heavier on my mind and soul than physical wounds ever were.

Writing this reminded me of Robert’s blog post. Pain is relative. Pain is not relative. Emotional pain is relative. Physical pain is not.

Cathy: April 7th, 2020

On that pic, you see me with no make-up and my favourite t-shirt. (Pink Floyd). There is a beer mix in the back, and – get your head out of the gutter – that phallic shaped thing with the colourful bubbles is a Galileo thermometer.

I often wish that I was a normal 37-year-old woman. But how does a normal woman my age behave? I am a bit crazy around my kids too. Often, I am dancing or singing or wearing a plastic crown. I write about music – a new review is in the making. I ramble about unimportant things. But if these things and themes and subjects matter to me, then they aren’t unimportant, right?

I just hope that my kids will be less damaged than I am. They know my moods. They don’t fully understand them yet, but they are tuned in to my manic moments and to my depressive episodes too. I try keeping them out of it all. Not to wear a mask or to lie to them, but to stop them from worrying.

In this Corona times, I am less alone, yet lonelier than ever. I am coping quite well for now, and I hope I will manage these next three weeks of lockdown too.

I hope you are okay and safe.

Cathy

Song of the Day

Kate Bush – cloudbusting

From the album “Hounds of Love” (1985, EMI)

Often, I am not a fan of female voices. I like Annie Lennox (all of her), Skin (Skunk Anansie), and Kate Bush. Those are the ones I can name at the top of my head.

Yesterday, I was listening to the album “Hounds of Love,” and this exact same caught my attention, and I had it on repeat a couple of times. Later, I listened to a Podcast, and the first song that was played was this one. I don’t believe in coincidences. Do you?

There it is. I do not intend to post a song every day, but we will see… I don’t follow rules and I don’t plan the blog… It is all very intuitive and improvised and very me. ❤

After the night comes a new morning.

It’s close to midnight. I just took out the trash from the kitchen to put it in the bins outside. I intended to get ready for bed soon. But I got held up.

It is quiet outside, and cold. Freezing. The air smells like snow, and the wind is picking up. There were storm warnings on the news, but everything was calm until now. The trees are waving in the wind; it is the only sound I can make out—just the wind jostling the trees.

These days, I don’t like going outside during the day. I go for walks at night, when I am sure not to cross anyone. When I am in the garden, I go inside when I hear the neighbour’s voices. And, honestly, I am content in my bubble. I wonder if I am slowly turning into an agoraphobic person.

I don’t miss people. I don’t miss socialising because I get my fix of people online, without having to face them or having to speak to them – and let’s not forget, I (37) have three kids (15, 11, 9) and a husband (42) at home.

What gets to me most is that I am never alone. There is not a moment when I can be completely alone without anyone around. We are living in a house, with three floors. But it is quite open, and some walls are still bare. If you are watching a movie on floor 3, you can hear the dialogue on floor 1. (Same with phone calls and all that).***

Always having someone close, that’s draining for me. And I am living with people who I actually like. Still, it gets suffocating.

So here I am, leaning against the front door’s frame, feeling the cold wind on my face, breathing. Breathing in. Breathing out. Smiling. Breathing in. Breathing out.

For now, I am okay—ups and downs; the usual. I am busy writing; for work, for me, for others… I am listening to lots of music, old and new. I am even discovering new skills in the kitchen – and I was already quite talented there…

Another three weeks of lockdown are ahead of us in Luxembourg. Covid-19 cases are still on the rise, and people are dying every day from complications associated with the virus. Three more weeks of homeschooling and being mindful and grateful. I am a lucky woman. Nothing will ever be the same.

It’s after midnight, and I close the front door. Rain is beginning to fall. The trees are still dancing in the wind, casting shadows under orange streetlights.

Tomorrow is a new day, and we are still here, still sane and safe and healthy.

Goodnight.

*** you enter the house on floor three. There is a small open space used as an office (by my husband, Patrick), a bathroom with a bathtub, and two bedrooms. The master bedroom and my son’s room. Going down to floor two. Here we have my daughters’ bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, a technical room, and my book/CD shelves are here too. Going down to floor one. Here is an open space living room, dining area, and kitchen with access to the patio and the garden. There is also a half bath and something we call basement (with the washing machine, dryer, freezer, many tools…) Our house is rather small, even if it sounds big. It gets cramped to live here as a family of 5. We are living on 139m2 (which equals 1500 sq ft). There is no garage, no attic, no basement. I love our home, though. We had this house built for us and moved in December 2017. It’s the first house that feels like a real home. I will grow old here. And that’s a happy thought.

With or without lyrics

Depending on my mood and mind, I listen to music with or without lyrics. Not long ago, someone said to me that they disregard lyrics when listening to music, but they also don’t like to listen to instrumental music – not postrock, not ambient, not classic. They listen to mainstream music and are touched too, but on a completely different level than I am.

I listen to instrumental music to write, and the tone of the music, the melody, the tempo, the intensity, they guide my words and writing.

I also listen to a lot of other music – I am not limited to a particular genre, though I have favourites too. If there are lyrics, they have to be powerful and inspire stories or poems in my head. It doesn’t matter which genre it is.

Is it because I am a writer that I think lyrics matter? Is it because I am a writer that I admire music without lyrics?

I try keeping an open mind when it comes to music and genres. Not everything is for me, and I am quite picky and peculiar. I know what I like and what I don’t like. For me, music needs to touch something in me. It needs to make me feel, and it doesn’t matter if other listeners like it; for me, it is a subjective experience.

Not long ago, I was asked to write a review for an album that was released yesterday. ‘Are you in love?’ by Basia Bulat. It was published on a blog called ‘At the Barrier’. I felt humbled and proud that the creator of that site offered me to write about music. And apparently, I am not all that bad because he got in touch again and sent new music to review. It feels surreal, but maybe I was made to do this, it comes naturally to me, and there is always this melody or that lyric, this tune or that progression that I like or can imagine other listeners to like.

There are days when I am like music without lyrics. Intense but raw and real, overwhelming too. On other days I am like music with lyrics. Chatty, bubbly, always real, but a bit shallow.

Some people say that there is no good new music. I say: there is a lot of talent, often enough it is hidden and not what mainstream charts suggest. But if you stay curious and open-minded, you can find beautiful music and talented artists that touch you on every corner.

Music is a passion, and I understand that others don’t share it, but for me, music is like a life’s breath. I need it to exist. It saved me more than once, and it keeps me sane.

Here I am, a 37-year-old woman. Mother, wife, educator, writer, poet, lover, and I admit that music is what keeps me alive.

What is your biggest passion?