Holiday Wishes

Give me a sign so I can start the healing,
We shared the wine around the yearly meeting.

As I don’t want to be lonely this holiday,
I’m taking off my shoes and giving my body to the homeless.

I’d give you my remaining years to be alone with you, for a minute of your time,
To give you one last kiss goodbye and a warm embrace under the leaf dappled light.

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Contend Peacefully

This blog was named partly after a 2012 album by the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Allelujah! Don’t Bend, Ascend) and, until last weekend, I had never had the chance to see this magnificent band live.  Now that I have, I’m not too sure that listening to them on CD will ever be enough again (although it more than sates my appetite for the moment, as hauntingly beautiful as there music is).  There can be no comparison for just how good they are live, how truly monumental.  I’ve been lucky in the past few months to witness Sufjan Stevens and Godspeed live, amongst small local bands and friends bands (don’t ever forget to support your local bands and jam spaces!).  I haven’t wrote much about music recently on this blog but, along with literature, photography and writing, it is one of the strongest bonds of my creative life.  It is also a daily release from the grind of daily drudgery that is my current employment situation (something I am hoping to rectify shortly).

I also play the guitar and bass, albeit somewhat freely and only in semi-regular jams with friends where we all end up swapping instruments, but there is rarely a feeling like it when musicians lock together in a groove.  It’s hard to define and it is even harder to describe for someone that has never played an instrument, or has never played one with other people.  It isn’t like sex, where two bodies or more are locked in the carnal embrace, it is a feeling that is something different to that, knowing that you are locked in by the groove feels different – it feels exceptional.  It is even better knowing that you are a part of a community (a silent shout out to The Joyful March!), part of a rehearsal rota where you are all friends and invited to each others gigs, or nights sat drinking watching each other play in your rehearsal room of choice.  Even, like me, you play live exceptionally rarely (ok, almost never in the past few years) it is still a thrill to bang out some beats, some jams, and just to release.  To know that you are not chained down to the desk, that you are not a machine, that your job isn’t your life, that there are more facets to your character that can be defined by your daily feedback.  Anyhow, this is just a short note, a note I hope that makes you google the two artists above to discover their music and to entail your own meaning to theirs.

To grow as you hear, to hear as you grow.

Hibernation

A small journey begins tomorrow and when I return from it I will also have to return to the world.  This is something that I am having difficultly facing as I re-evaluate where my place is.

I carry you in my heart,
I carry you in my memories.

‘Don’t stop, don’t break,
You can delight because you have a place,
Quiet room, I need you now.’

– Majesty Snowbird by Sufjan Stevens

Never Alone

And you are turning to stone and I’m left all alone, I let out a soft moan.

Let this not be real and please just let it be a dream, I can hear myself scream.

This is not about me though, this is about everyone you ever loved and everyone who ever loved you.  I still cannot take it in, my heart is broken in two at the loss of my wonderful friend.  I’ve turned to old friends and to music to draw me closer to our shared memories of the years we knew each other.  I wanted to share the fact that I’d discovered a musician who I never knew but you said I should.  Now it’s the soundtrack to my grief, the one real release, where my eyes fill with tears and I’m stuck dumb once again; that I’ll never share a laugh over a drink again with your growing smile as my companion, that I’ll never get to the chance to watch your career blossom fully as it had already started to, that I’ll never get to hug you goodbye again.

I’m not convinced, but I hope it’s not the end.  Memories are never goodbye.