Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Music, Memories, and Moving On. Buh Bye 2013

First off I'd like to take a moment from a philosophical perspective to say I'm not a fan of year-end reviews.  Each day whether it's New Years, Christmas, Candlemas, or Groundhog's Day is just a day in the life and in my mind meant to be sacred regardless of its supposed occasion.  So here we are anyway because really, today is a good day to reflect and despite all my high minded musings, I can still be a sucker for holiday interpretations.

Do you feel like music influences your memories of a given time?  I do!  It's kind of like that scene from the film Almost Famous where everyone on the bus is singing along to the song Tiny Dancer written by Bernie Taupin & sung by Elton John.  After seeing that film it's nearly impossible to hear Tiny Dancer without thinking of that film scene.  Some memories wind up connected to songs and for me each year, as a music lover, my memories have an audio component.  Here's some of my music memories for 2013.

Weapon by CAZZETTE

This year I pretty much felt like Alice going down rabbit holes that lead to more rabbit holes.  Like the sexy woman in this video, at the beginning of the year it seemed I had to fight a lot of things.  While part of a local campaign, I discovered that much of what I had thought to be true regarding various entities, was so wrong.

 You let me know that every chance you get
You will protect me
But you're lying

You're using my love as a weapon towards me

Many organizations and media sources I once thought were helpful to the under-served showed themselves, after research, to use my and others love of others as weapons to make money, disseminate corporate sponsored propaganda, and squash individual freedoms.  It was a heartbreaking time and because I refused to ignore deeper truths I lost friends and other connections changed in said and unsaid ways.  After losing my faith I gained a host of things including more serenity than I have even known.  

After winning the campaign I decided to stop fighting so much.  Yet I remain protective of my love. 

Go With It by TOKiMONSTA featuring MNDR

After all the drama and busyness of the the campaign I experienced a period of quiet connecting.  Not only to myself and spouse, but to the community I live in.  By this time I had begun to literally put my hands in the dirt thanks to being accepted into a farm apprenticeship.  Life seemed to slow down and my body & heart began to refocus my self by learning to let go.

 Ay oh, let it go 
See the big picture
Explode like a light bulb
Let it unfold 
Just go, go with it. 

Long ago I thought being constantly busy and on the go meant I was someone, going somewhere, and therefore had a meaningful life.  Around the time this song came out, my need to appear important took a bow and I welcomed a quieter life.  Like a baby I nurture this new life daily and in doing so see the power in the unknown and unfolding of each day and moment.  It can be uncomfortable, but it's a beautiful and meaningful practice.

Down With the Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks

When I get down, 
I get respect now,
and when our tunes drops, 
you know it makes your head bounce,
yeah I move with the flow,
and when I enter the room it shows

Let's get down with the trumpets.

Chronic illness changed my ability to go out dancing.  To date I still haven't since the advent of my conditions.  But I do shake my groove thing at home when I have the stamina and this song came out right when I was starting to finally go into remission with my main autoimmune disease.  Interestingly I now dance all over the city when I'm out and about listening to tunes on my headphones.  I don't give a fuck who thinks it's weird (and since I live in Portland no one cares anyway).  Some days I get frustrated that I can't dance more but then I let my head bounce, and listen with all my heart.

Roar by Katy Perry

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

This is one of those songs that makes me remember how powerful pop music can be.  I had resisted Katy Perry's music for years under the guise of being too discerning for her type of songs.  But this song is a jam!  Every time I heard it this Fall my body tingled with empowerment.  This song reminded me how strong I've become because I've had to overcome my sometimes self inflicted victim hood.  No longer do other people, regardless of what they say to me or think of me, have to have power over me because I let them.  Knowing this and practicing healthier boundaries and loving detachment has brought such empowerment to my life.  To me that is what is song is about and I love it.      

Higher by Just Blaze & Baauer featuring JAY Z

This is the year I became an unabashed supporter of the 2nd Amendment.  That may seem strange since the media seemed to portray one mass gun shooting after another in the last couple years but as with all things, relying on the media, even Democracy Now or PBS (or FOX News) for truth is like expecting an alcoholic to not be drunk on Christmas.  This song has few words but conveys a feeling of meaningful defiance that the accompanying video synthesizes perfectly.  Though I am not for violence, I do believe when we take away peoples right to protect themselves from certain situations, something sinister is at hand.  Just ask descendants of disarmed Native Americans and African American slaves how disarmament worked out for them.

Higher as a video and song energy reflects a truth inside us all: that victim hood is overrated and protecting ourselves and loved ones is necessary, regardless of our commitment to peace.  After all if someone attacked your spouse or child as you walked down the street would you just stand there and pray for peace?  Personally I don't have any interest in owning guns.  But I see now that having means us protecting ourselves in certain situations has its place and this song reminds me of that.    

Chamakay by Blood Orange  

My wife and I have been together for 7 years.  Without going into specifics I'll just say that there may be something to that whole seven-year-itch thing.  We had to take a long hard look at ourselves and our relationship.  Because of this we are stronger than ever and we know not everyone comes out of such an experience still together.  By the time this song came out we had well reestablished our commitment to each other but there was a longing and a hope in this song that reminded me of our rough moment.

Are you the one who breaks my 
Heart out of my chest

Intimacy is some scary stuff and it can be hard even within the closeness of a marriage to let someone break into your chest and know your heart.  I am still learning to do this.  I've waited all my life for someone to really see me and love me and I them.  It's nice to realize after years of partnership that indeed I've found the one I waited for.

Take You Down by Bassnectar

This was one heck of a year.  I think it's time to take 2013 down, turn it out and say buh bye!

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