Posted in Life, music

Copy – Cat

I brought the ukulele to visit Mom yesterday. She fell in love with it and miraculously put a couple of notes together that didn’t sound all that bad. I’ve been serenading her for the past two days learning to play “Hell or high water” from Passenger. A fitting title I thought for times like these, although things have been good since our soup date the other night.

I titled this post Copy – Cat due to Mom finding pleasure in many different things these days. I have noticed that I’m pretty much her only source of inspiration, other then the weekly gossip magazine and her catalog from which she frequently placed orders. It wasn’t until recently that she has wanted everything I have. It is obvious how little contact she had to the outside world, and her own four walls were pretty much all she had. It’s like Christmas every time she sees something new, something practical, or something she simply considers cool. These days she might see a shirt I’m wearing that’s she all of a sudden wants. Other days it was Tupperware I bought, then a blanket I gifted her and which she wanted to buy one herself. I think she finally accepted the blanket as a gift and is ok with it. The latest thing she wants is her own ukulele and she is lovingly cleaning mine while I’m writing this post. 😉 ♥️

Posted in Inspiration, music

Dog years – Falling water

I came across this song from an artist I never heard before. When music enters my life like this, there is always a meaning. I look for the signs and the message that comes along with as to why I discovered this particular song. Sometimes it is the melody, the voice or the lyrics that grab me or sweep me away. Sometimes it becomes a theme song to a battle I’m fighting, as if to help me through the night. Sometimes the carefree nature of the song or video reminds my to be unique and authentic. To not see things so seriously, to have mysterious moves and dance like no one is watching. To let my body express the emotions in its own beautiful weird way, and to always keep music within my heart. Perhaps it is all of the above with this artist and the lyrics and the song speaks to me as well as the voice and the moves as if harvesting and shadow dancing with the unseen. The last time this happened was with an artist named Mogli and my post called Road Holes. ❤️

 

Posted in Fun, Mom, music

Technology crash course – Mom Edition

Wednesday is new magazine day, and so it was with no exception. Mom faithfully reads one magazine to stay connected with all the prominence and the headlines. Personally I believe that maybe half of it is true, but I feed her enthusiasm and buy three magazines to provide something to her busy when she is alone. I try to keep the magazine until it’s time for me to leave, because if I pull them out too early, she claims to only wanting to read the headlines, but soon sits there and has to read further. Then I’m forced to snatch the papers back and say “How rude of you, I am here now, you can read your papers when you’re alone and I’m gone”. 😉 It has become a comical play as she forgets each Wednesday. I reach for her magazines whenever I see fit. Sometimes I do it to keep her occupied so I can answer a few comments and write a bit, while having WiFi. Sometimes I just need a break and there is nothing happening in this little town to bring news to her day after day. I’ve been forced to care about something happening, as it is often the first thing she will ask. “What’s going on in town?”

Last Wednesday was such a day and I pulled the magazines earlier throughout our visit. She soon flips through her pages and it doesn’t take long as I hear a heightened voice say “Awe, you two, what do my eyes see, just continue to sing as nicely as you do.” I inquire and learn about one of her favorite music groups called “Fantasy”, a german Schlager (hit) sensation. I hear about missed shows and finding out too late that the beloved two man duo was to perform. I learn about that the missed show was upsetting for days, and that we still wished we could have seen the performance. I’m intrigued, and now I wonder, I want to know what the deal is and see for myself. After all I never knew Mom’s favorite musical group and the radio remained mostly silent, a piece of decoration on most days. Every day at the same time she’d turn it on to listen to the horoscopes, and turn it off right after. We still read the horoscopes in her magazines. Mom’s in for a treat and is about to get a lightbulb awakening, crash course in what technology can do. I bring up YouTube and soon the first video is playing on the iPad. “Ja, ja, ja” she exhales while being glued to the screen, smiling all over the place. One song after another plays, some she knows, and some she listens to with surprise and disbelief that she never heard it before. “You have had this gadget (the iPad) all this time and you are just now telling me that they (the music group Fantasy) are in there? If you delete this, I’ll be mad, she says.” Apparently Mom thinks that like in good old cassette fashion I have somehow recorded the songs and stored them on the iPad. Again I try to reiterate that the iPad is the all knowing oracle and that you can call upon anything at any time. Mom is not listening and claws the iPad. She is in her own world and she is not letting go. She must really like the music, so I think, but then comes the kicker.

I have already learned about their names being Freddy and Martin, I have listened to comments about Freddy wearing white a lot, how good it looks on him and how successful the group is. That they just recently had their break through (it’s been twenty years I would find out later and that they are on a greatest hits tour). On and on it goes. Probably ten songs have played and I try to claim the iPad back by saying “Ok, enough of this for today” but Mom holds on to it and makes it known that she has to decide whether she wants to return the iPad back to me or not. As if she even knew how to operate it. She wouldn’t get passed the screensaver and the Passwort. “Don’t you just love it” she asks without caring for an answer. We have to at least finish listening to the song that is currently playing as she melts away on the screen. I watch her smiling myself, as she watches with great intent and shakes her head smiling. “Couldn’t you just get a weak moment with this one” she says? I learn about her additional fascinations and it’s the first time ever that I hear Mom say anything like that. I think so, she finishes her own sentence, smiling. I tell her that Freddy, the one she is crushing on is nearly half of her age and she says…I can always fantasize. I wonder if she knows what the name of the group (Fantasy) means. By now I can’t help it any longer, and start busting into laughter. Mom has a little crush and has found herself some eye candy. It just goes to show that we may get old, but our feelings can survive, that we can stay young at heart, always welcoming love and fantasy. I will never forget that moment, and I guess I have no choice but to become a fan of Fantasy myself now, for the mere memories and reasons they now portray.

I had to promise to not erase Fantasy from the iPad and that we will listen to it again very soon.

https://youtu.be/nTrbx19qMBc

Posted in Life, music

Walls

I cried the first time I heard this song and watched the video. For me it’s always the lyrics that speak and touch a spot within my heart. A spot of reference, something that the words connect to. Today was one of the most powerful days in my life. I will talk about it in due time, when and if I’m ready to share this part of my journey. I have been forthcoming with it all so far, and I have withheld nothing, although many might have considered the info shared too personal. Some things have been very personal and deep indeed, but it was shared to show you the struggles, as well as the upsides in how I’m tackling my challenges, so that you might find help with your own approach during your own tough times. After all, none of us are exempt. Today was very special to me, a day full of emotions, a day of release, letting go and a day of healing. Today was many things, and certainly a day I won’t soon forget. A day when some walls came down, and when a few pieces found their way again, and were returned home. Today I remember this song and how it touched me the first time I heart it. Something was broken then, but something is healing now.

Posted in Life, music

Lady in Black – Uriah Heep

Lady in Black, translated to the Jesus Ballad is what we sang in church on Sunday. I had to look up the video, and I was just a child as the song came out. So mich time has passed since, but the song has found a new welcome and meaning in my life.

Today was a tough day with Mom, and I had to walk away. I didn’t want to, but I had to. Sad, hurt, frustrated and angry at the same time, it felt as if my heart broke. I couldn’t help thinking that she didn’t deserve me being there by the way she was acting. And I surely didn’t deserve the way she behaved. She said powerful and mean things today, as I try to remember her misery and struggles of being in a place she doesn’t want to be. She has no clue, and like so many other times before, today was no different, she pushed me away, again. Only to do it in person vs. on the phone this time.

I’m undecided of whether I want to go see her tomorrow or not. I’m still dissecting what happened and i haven’t come terms to even talk about it in detail. In one respect I don’t want to reward her, coming back all the time no matter how bad she treats me. I think it would be as if given the silent approval that it is ok. On the other hand, I’m nothing like her, and I don’t hold grudges that turn to rage and contempt.

I am glad that I’m not like that and miss out on so much because of my own stubbornness. Chances are I will go…

This song was a big part of me while growing up. Once more it found its way back into my life in church the other day, and I think it’s time to take it to the next level. I’ve decided that there is no better song, with more meaning for my “Now”, than this one. I think that it is perfect and powerful, with a hidden meaning and strength for me. I will give it my best effort trying to learn how to play it on my guitar.

Posted in music

Still at it

I’m still at it, trying to learn how to play this unique percussion instrument called the didgeridoo. The circular breathing is a bit of a trick but essential to make the continued sound. I can’t wait to play a little something for you all. 😉

Posted in Life, music

Two Lungs by Mogli

There are two lungs in my chest, only one breaks my heart. Lyrics by Mogli…

I have been a fan of Mogli ever since I came across Expedition Happiness. It is the journey of a german couple who came to the US, bought and converted a school bus to a home on wheels and drove it from Alaska to Mexico. I’ve been hooked to pursue that lifestyle ever since and I’m positive that the day will come when I purchase my own bus and make this a reality.

Posted in Inspiration, music

Finding my “Sweet Spot”

As you might know, I got two music instruments for Christmas, one being a ukulele and the other a Didgeridoo. A little habit formed, and when I get home for work, I play them to practice and soothe my nerves. That was as far as the ukulele goes, and the sound of it is very peaceful and relaxing. While I can see progress in my play with it, it was the Didgeridoo that would offset that peace and I couldn’t play it for the life of me. How do you blow into this long hollow piece of wood and make “that” sound. My efforts were a far cry from it, and a painful attempt. A few times I even got so frustrated with it that I didn’t pick it up for a day or two and just played the Uke. I thought I’d never get the hang of it and thought if all fails, it would look beautiful hanging on the wall with it’s intricate design.

Thank god for YouTube videos right, which I watched quite a few. I came across this guy talking about the “Sweet Spot” and it describes pretty much what it’s like to pick up the Didgeridoo and being able to make “that” unique and unmistaken sound. “Relax your lips” he said, which presented an entirely different struggle given that the round opening of the wood is pressed up against your lips to make a tight seal. How do you relax?

The long sound is described as a drone and to play it continuously you have to practice a method that is called the circular breathing technique. In other words, you blow air into your Didge while trying to breath in through your nose. My mind can’t even comprehend the thought of it and just try it out and you know what I mean. Either way, he instructed to not even bother with circular breathing until you have found your “sweet spot”. I was determined, but frustration also had it and I wondered why the heck I couldn’t do it. Would I ever know, and how long would it take, were all questions running through my mind. Not knowing what I was doing wrong, how could I change direction, do something different and get away from the painful and awful sounds that I was producing?

Here and there, I briefly found the “Sweet Spot” but it never lasted long enough to actually remember how it came to be. Last night, after work and after not playing it for a couple of days, I picked up my Didge. I took it out of it’s protective carrying bag and wrapped my hand around it. I held it for a few seconds, while looking at the beautiful painted markings that adorn it. I was motivated and today would be the day, thinking in my mind that I can do this. “Come on, you are going to work with me and we are going to do this together”, I silently thought, focusing my mind and energy on the long hollow wooden pipe while holding it. And then I started and set it to my lips. First, came the painful sounds, mixed in with the occasional short sample of the drone sound. I was fading in and out of the sound as I took the Didge away from my mouth and was afraid to stop, thinking that by tomorrow I would go back to the same painful sounds.

I picked it back up this morning and almost immediately produced that deep, vibrational sound. Although at times it takes me a second, it appears that I have found my “Sweet Spot” and somehow know how to get back to it. I couldn’t be more excited about it and it feels like I have tried way too hard before. I tried to force something that wasn’t ready and only as I surrendered and gave up control was I able to produce this beautiful sound in perfect harmony with the instrument. It’s crazy how things work out sometimes and I think this was a lesson with many meanings, applied to play and life itself. In the end I’m reminded that nothing can be forced and all develops in due time and when ready.

I’m attaching a video to it to share the sound with you and to show you what I’m after.

Next lesson: Circular breathing…wish me luck

Posted in Hiking, music

Trail music

A few years ago, I had the chance watching someone play the ukulele on the four mile trail. It was in Yosemite National Park as a small group of hikers passed us on the steep trail to Glacier point. I noticed the small music instrument strapped to one of their packs and I could only imagine the moments shared between this young group and the songs played. Memories would be made and special moments where waiting to be created. Wanderlust at it’s finest for sure.

Luck would have it that a short while later the young group was taking a break which allowed us to catch up. We were treated to a small excerpt from a song and it was simply magical. I will never forget this moment and it was beyond cool to experience this trail spirit. Ever since, I have been talking about getting a ukulele and the subject comes up here and there, although I don’t know how to play one. It was like one of those unusual things that all of a sudden pop into my mind, when I feel that there is some sort of connection with it. Kind of like the rain boots that I wanted all of a sudden to relive a childhood memory of jumping into the water puddles without a care. It’s something like that, something that will enrich the experience and soothe my soul. Well guess what’s? Look what Santa brought! Looks like I’m going to learn how to play the ukulele and Santa’s Elves made one for me. Heaven help the wildlife that I will serenade soon. 😉💙🦋

Posted in Art, music

Painting Music

Hey, my life is pretty busy these days, but I’m carving a little time to engage into the relaxing activity of painting and with any luck I will manage to start reading a great new novel “Watching Glass shatter” from Jay before drifting off to sleep. You need to check it out if you haven’t yet and read my prior review. What are you waiting on…

In the meantime I’m spending a little time on the “Orange Crush” painting, and no that will not really be it’s official and final title. It’s been a long time that I painted and it started with a painting that I have hanging in my office at work. I took it to work to share with a few people and I keep forgetting to take it home. By now, several people have seen it and commented on it, a few even wanted to buy it. Really? I’d probably tell it’s not good enough, but without a doubt am I flattered, honored and surprised all at the same time. I know that in the end we artists are always our worst critic, but REALLY? The compliments brought a burst of new inspiration and definitely some motivation. I even ran across a website today where I could potentially reproduce this so said work of random art. Who knows, maybe it’s another avenue worth exploring some day and maybe I should listen to the push’s that so many have tried to give me to pursue showcasing my art.

In the meantime I’m stealing a few moments to paint a part of my life onto canvas while relaxing to some tunes.