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.
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.
Last night, I wanted to share the Amazon link for my books on Twitter, and I saw that coincidentally, Joe had written a review. Sneakily, because he hadn’t told me about it. Joe is the man who also reads my poetry on his IG Livestreams regularly. Above is River’s review, River is a regular reader and an amazing writer and person.
I thanked Joe on IG in my stories, guess who was amongst the 10 views this morning? Yes, Seal again. I did some research about that and found out that it might be a bot. A mass viewer app as a marketing tool. They actually play with the curiosity of people and their pride too, a verified celebrity in their stories might generate income in some way. I am not sure if they always go back to the same accounts or not, but that’s that.
Reviews matter… not in the way that they push sales, but they matter for the writer. My heart is light this morning and I am motivated to write more content for you. At the same time, I want it to be good and worth your time and your while, but I am not someone who can force creativity. I am an impulsive writer without style or finesse. It all comes straight from the heart and soul, although much is fiction, some is real too. But, as the title of this blog says, fiction and reality merge in my writing. Yesterday I was confident about my writing skills, today not so much… Ups and downs.
I’ll try to find us a good song for this Wednesday…
Thank you for your patience and your support.
My books “Unquiet Minds” and “Drowning in a Sea of Voices” can be bought on Amazon as eBook and paperbacks. For signed copies, you can get in touch with me or purchase via the links on this blog, but, due to Covid-19 shipping could be delayed. Consider browsing the blog for older poetry or short stories, there are some emotive pieces to read. xx
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… 🙂
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.
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.
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.
The weirdest thing happened today. I was informed that the layout, the theme that I was using for the blog was retired and I was advised to try finding a new one. There are many things that are more fun than customizing a theme. I have ideas, many of them, but not everything is feasible. And of course, I have no real idea what I am doing and use preset stuff that I adapt to my needs. I chose a couple of themes this afternoon and then I thought that I had found the one and – I noticed that it had no sidebar. I need the sidebar though (or I want it…) After almost an hour, I was back at square one and now, I settled on this one. I am not sure if something is off, or if it is me, and I only need to get used to it.
So… this is the first post for the new layout. How does it feel for you? Is it too light, too dark? How about the font? It looks small on the laptop but good on mobile. I added a couple of features in the sidebar. Too much? The names of the different categories were slightly altered too. Did you notice or is it subtle?
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.
*** 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.
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.
This blog-thing here is very selfish and egocentric. It is about my thoughts, my stream of consciousness, my options, my opinions. Me.
I am not qualified for many things. I don’t know much about music or mental health. I know about education and pedagogy. I know about raising kids and living on a tight but not too tight budget. I know about childhood trauma and divorced parents. I know about unrequited love and self-harm. I know a lot, but I am not an expert on many things.
I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t live with me since Friday 13th. I haven’t spoken to many people either. But I have been continuously texting. I am online – all the time, and I am checking the news a lot too. 1333 confirmed infections today, 234 more than yesterday. In a country with approximately 620k inhabitants, this is a lot. And weirdly enough, I don’t know anyone who caught the virus. It’s odd, or maybe it just shows that I am a recluse most of the time anyway.
I am very active online these days, sharing a lot – mostly music related content or trivial things. Even on FB, that I keep for family and my close friends, I took part in challenges I would have ignored during other times.
I don’t know if this is healthy, I doubt it. But I am also grateful for all the amazing people who are interacting with me. Some of these people have been on my periphery for a while, but only ever at a distance, and now they are getting closer. Is it because I am willing to let them closer? I don’t know.
I don’t have cabin fever; at the same time, I am not in my best mood. Is it because I ate too many carbs after not having had any for weeks? Is it my natural female cycle?
It is a fact that I am busier now than I was before the lockdown. I am more present and as weird as it sounds (or as bad as it makes me look) I am making time – and finding time for things I used to ignore. Working out (I am proud about it, even if it is only 5 to 10 minutes a day) cleaning the kitchen daily, drinking enough tea and water, spending conscious time with the kids and saying ‘no’ when they ask to watch TV (instead we play board games or play silly games outside on the garden – it was never important for me to spend time outside with my daughters – now it is).
The Covid-19 virus is a moment to reset our lives, and I think I am doing a good job. I am focusing on the important things, and I am taking care of the people who matter to me, by getting in touch with them regularly – it is their choice if they respond or not – you can almost read the disappointment on the screen, my blood-related family does not care, once again.
I feel connected to people, and even though I am not too well (mentally), it makes a lot of sense. I am not alone, and for once, I understand this, and I feel it too. There is a lot of bad happening right now, but somehow, there is a lot of beauty in this situation too.
During these difficult times, lots of people are losing their careers and their livelihood. Musicians and artists too. If you can, support your favourite artist. Some are putting out A Song A Day.
Many incredible musicians are doing this, but I want to single out someone special. Tom Morris. He put his first song on Soundcloud today, and what can I say?! It is a brilliant song. Tom records his songs in under an hour. It is audible, but even in this raw state, this reached me right where it is important to be touched. The lyrics are very relevant, and again, I can relate. Now, if you follow this blog-thing, you know about Tom Morris and how much I like that guy. He is talented. A beautiful mind and soul. He is one of us – and I can never repay him for the impact he had on my life with a simple hug.
If you have a moment to spare, please, support Tom on Patreon. (I have a certain sum of money set aside each month that I use to support artists on Patreon or to buy music and books, it is the only luxury I allow myself these days.)
These are just 4 musicians who make very different kinds of music. They are all on Bandcamp, and they also share their music on Twitter. (The above are Twitter-Links)
Music is very important in times like these; for me, it is – as you may have noticed these last days.
I don’t have much to say anymore. My poetry muse left me a while ago, and all I do is rambling. I believe that we change all the time. I never intended this blog to turn into a diary kind of thing, but in times when my voice is silent, and I can’t speak, I found that writing eases my tensions, and it turns my thoughts into words on a screen.
Let’s keep evolving.
Today was another less great day. The pain in my shoulder is back full-force.