Stages of Grief

You know that thing when a song comes on, a song you’ve heard a million and one times and you sing it out loud and bob your head and quicken your pace and feel like a badass? But then on the millionth and second time, you hear that same song with totally new ears and the whole meaning of the entire thing just… changes. Yeah, that thing. Just happened to me. Give Arcade Fire’s “Month of May” a listen after yesterday and see if you hear it too. (Lyrics below the video.)

Gonna make a record in the month of May
In the month of May, in the month of May
Gonna make a record in the month of May
When the violent wind blows the wires away

Month of May, it’s a violent thing
In the city their hearts start to sing
Well, some people sing,
It sounds like they’re screaming
Used to doubt it
But now I believe it

Month of May, everybody’s in love
Then the city was hit from above
And just when I knew what I wanted to say
A violent wind blew the wires away

We were shocked in the suburbs

Now the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
Kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
Well, some things are pure and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight
I said some things are pure and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight

So young, so young
So much pain for someone so young, well
I know it’s heavy, I know it ain’t light
But how you gonna lift it with your arms folded tight?

First the built the road, then they built the town
That’s why we’re still driving around
And around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around

Two-thousand nine, two-thousand ten
Wanna make a record how I felt then
When we stood outside in the month of May
And watched the violent wind blow the wires away

If I die in the month of May
Let the wind take my body away, yeah
I wish I may, I wish I might
Don’t lay me down there with my arms folded tight

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires away

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires away

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires, the wires away

No Way!


Love Songs To Me

Next month would have been my tenth wedding anniversary.  I realized that the other night in the middle of a six and a half mile run, while listening to my running iPod that needs to be updated, but having just survived a long misplacement and then a cycle in the wash, I was happy it was working at all.  A song came on, one that was played prominently at my wedding, and it reminded me: ten years ago, I got married.  Hearing it did not take me back to that day.  It did however, make me run a little stronger.

Ten years is a significant amount of time in a human life.  We mark the passings of decades with honor and celebration.  We smack ourselves on the forehead in semi-feigned shock, wow, has it been TEN years?  Yeah, it has.  Since the demise of my marriage came with such blunt force, swiftly ending a seven year relationship, but then dragging into a two and half year divorce, it has taken the better part of the last ten years for me to first sink under the weight of the emotional brutality and abuse of the relationship, then get sucker punched with financial ruin and a career in disarray before recovering at what feels like a snail’s pace.  A dear friend recently said to me on a hike not to worry, this had simply been my Bad Decade.  He knew because he was having one too.  To finally, FINALLY not quiver at the sound of those notes and instead feel resolute and confident and vulnerable in the good way, told me my Decade Of Suck was truly coming to an end.

I remembered, as the song played and I ran onward, that several years ago, in some then unrealized measure of self-care, I made a playlist called “Love Songs To Me.”  I loaded it with songs that feel sweet and romantic and twisty and tender to me, that one day I would get to listen to with the person who hears them with me in mind and is happy.  And maybe he’d make me a playlist called “Love Song To You” or even better, “Love Songs To Us.”  This is the first time I have ever acknowledged its existence publicly because up until this moment I have felt too fragile to admit I made my own love song list.  I have never felt so unlovable so deeply during some of the very darkest times in the last ten years.  The basic nasty voice said something like, “No one will ever be in love with you enough to make you a playlist for chrissakes, grow up, ain’t gonna happen.  Pay your bills.  Shut up.”  It was too scary to admit even to the closest friend I had done this for myself, the shame muting me to everyone.  But that’s why we have Love Songs.  To remind us we’re worth it, first and foremost to ourselves.

So what’s this one song you might wonder?  Well, of course I have written about it before, even going so far as to call it my personal anthem.  Among the many delicious songs on “Love Songs To Me” it is and will always be my most treasured, perfect, intimate song of all time.

Enjoy.  And then consider what your love songs to yourself are.  We all have to be a little smitten with ourselves from time to time.

…gonna melt the fever sugar

Tonight, I ran.  And it felt so F’ ING good.

Got some help from Shiny Toy Guns.  I love every single solitary note/lyric/beat/ass-shake of this song.  It makes me want to, you know… run.

Take A Load Off

It’s Groundhog Day.  It’s Groundhog Day.  It’s Groundhog Day.

Okay, you get it.

January went by in an oxymoron of creeping speed.  Now trying to balance back out.  Seeing my favorite band, Wilco, at The Fox in Oakland on Tuesday night really helped.  Live music always helps.

Here is Wilco doing a cover of The Band‘s “The Weight” in their dressing room with Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe from last December.  It takes that load right off of me.  I hope it does for you too.

Day 27: Four On The Floor, Six Miles Destroyed!

Blew through six miles with the help of my current power song, “Animal Rights.” Get it on your iPod now if you want to make things go harder better faster stronger. Stick around until 1:01 and be prepared to start shaking your ass.

My cool down song was also apropos. Enjoy the delightful Jakob Dylan, accompanied by Neko Case (!), Kelly Hogan and Paul Rigby, “Nothing But The Whole Wide World.” Song starts at beginning of the video.

BIG day tomorrow. Time to prepare. G’night!

Day 33: Oreos and Milk and Ryan Adams

Today was one of those days that clicked along happily, no sharp points or draggy lows. I love days like today.

On my run (a mellow, untimed 5.6 miles) I went into the happy zone too, accompanied by Rocco and the magic iPod, some perfect weather, and a bit of self-generated mojo based on reframing any possible excuses to not run. Go me! My thoughts were kind of like this:

I love running.
I love the way I feel right this second, strong and powerful.
I love Tom Petty. Grateful for so many songs, but especially, “Wildflowers.” And the entire album, but especially “Wildflowers” because it is my personal anthem.
I love watching Rocco run. I miss that Duke cannot anymore.
I love the smell of the magnolia trees on the path.
I love that my braided pony tail is drenched with sweat all the way through.
I love catching the hot dads checking me out.
I love Oreos and milk, today’s pre-run snack.
And I so love that this little Ryan Adams video is what started my morning with that dash of perfection. Click it and watch it and love and warm fuzzies will beam out of you because that is the only response that fits.

Sweet dreams.