Monday, March 27, 2006


So lately, I've been revisiting some of the music I have that's been remiss in my recent (i.e. the past couple years) playlists. It's always weird to listen to music you haven't in a while. It seems to retain the time and place in your life you last left it. I find this a bit magical, a bit mystical and it never fails to make me pause, as I am immediately transported to a time and place that has long been forgotten, and yet seems as real and tangible as if it happened yesterday . . . So what I've been listening to, and where it's taken me . . .

Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
My friend Chuck gave this to me before I moved away to college. I remember him clearly handing it to me, carefully wrapped in blue paper and tied with ribbon in my parent's driveway. I remember clearly being shocked, as Chuck and I were close in the way you're close to people because you love mutual people so very much. Not to say I didn't care deeply for him, but more that I never would have imagined he would have gotten me a going away gift. That moment, I believe, changed our friendship in a way. Sort of acknowledged there was more there that either of us bothered to admit, or talk about. And I treasure it to this day. So "rediscovering" this album was a pleasant surprise. And, well, it makes me a bit homesick. And wonder how Chuck's doing.

In addition, I cannot help but feel that homesickness felt all those years ago in Florida. And the tear I felt in my heart when Florida felt so at home, and yet so many people were not there. I remember listening to these sad angst-filled songs trying to conjure up the same feelings for my long-distance boyfriend and failing miserably. I wanted to believe a piece of me was missing, but it just wasn't. It was when I first began to realize I could be on my own, far away, and still make a home. That was important - and by the time I get to the end of this album I can feel how good that realization felt.

Another album that I've been listening to, that has me thinking is Hem's Eveningland. It doesn't transport me in the same way CJ has been. More like it's been very current in my life, very this is where I'm at - and it's also tipped the scales in my personal life in a big way. As in, it's inspired me to start a painting. And not just sketches - but in a looking for canvas and piecing together reference and deciding what paint I need - way. It rocked me, it affected me and made me think - and I have to capture it. Capture this. I feel lately, that I'm on a precipice and I've been wavering in deciding what I'm going to do - jump and fall, jump and fly, or just stand still. This song (and in some ways the album) pushed me in the right direction - and right now as I listen to it on repeat I pray a bit that I'll sprout wings somehow unexpectedly.

So if you get a chance, listen to Red Wing. And then picture what YOU would do. Leave it in the comments even. I'll show you the painting as it progresses. Later this week I'll show you what *I* am doing, and you can compare it your vision. Here's the key part:

. . . Fly above the houses and the schoolyards
And fly until you cannot feel the Earth
No I don't mean that it's so easy
And I don't mean that it's so small
But the world below is not so mean
That it can make us fall

We are standing on the rooftops
We are circling like sparrows
We are tiny, we are trembling,
Scared of everything
But the heart is still a red wing . . .

Music plays such an important part in my life, I forget sometimes; that just because I don't make it, or even participate in it in any way - it still has great power in my art. Slowly I feel like I'm making a home for myself. Far away and alone this time, too - but in a really good, needed way. I'm pretty sure you understand.


cgilch said...

Every time I hear "Down Hearted" I think about cruising around in your convertible feeling like we owned the world. Wanna own the world again?

~m said...

Ha. I love that you have a memory like that. :) And yes, I think in som eways that's the feeling I've been missing lately, definitely.

And if we can't own it anymore - I'm all for co-signing a lease with you!