too much

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Sometimes people want too much.
All I can give them is the nothingness
that is inside of me. Handshakes
and meaningless chatter – it’s all we
can do to survive, I suppose.
“It’s nice to meet you…”
I’ve already forgotten his name.
Next time we meet, it’s the same
charade…but it’s okay because
it’s just the way we are. What else
is there to talk about? What else is
there to say but describe the
weather – how hot it is and how
glad we are that the crowds
have flown North for the summer?

Some people want so much from me
their leeching words and looks attempt
to pull out my soul like a fish being
prepared for the table. I can’t be
what they want me to be. I can’t be
perfect, though God knows I’ve tried.
That’s why I hide – I fold into myself
and smile with my lips and lashes
hoping to hide the sadness lurking
in the depths of my green waters.
But you’ve seen it all and done it all.
There’s no fooling you – even when
I’m fooling myself. But it’s all I can do –

Because some people have just wanted too
much from me — and all I can give them
is my million dollar smile hoping to distract
them from the pain behind my eyes.
I’ve been too much or not enough
for far too many people to count.
But you haven’t wanted a thing — just me.
Just who I am and not what I could be
or what you think I ought to be…just me.

 
 
 
I’m a woman of my word: here is another song from Once the film (they don’t always perform this one during the musical, which is a shame because it’s an enchanting song). Enjoy!

 
yes, those are my sad eyes in the picture.


The Descent

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I’m falling in-
to your words.
They swirl
around me
like a buoy
so that I
can’t sink
into my
own predictable
sadness.

Anchored
in your arms,
as the waves
crash over me —
I am renewed
and awakened
to this
unfamiliar
feeling —

I’m falling
into you.

 

Another song from the musical/film Once. I love this one for many reasons. I hope you enjoy it too.

sad music makes me happy

Red nails typing on computer keyboard

There’s this thing
about getting older
that is both
empowering and frightening.
Red-dipped fingers typing
truths and vagaries
passions and desires
unknown even to me
until they are splashed
onto the page — scoring
the sad music of my
heart — Emptiness? No,
I’m so full of nothing
that I might burst into
a vapor of smoke and
swirl up to the ceiling
of glass that is cracking
under the weight of your
words — you have
slipped into place —
unexpectedly fitting like
an old familiar pair of jeans
— comfortably tight yet worn
at the knees — to give
room when bent and shifted
out of sorts — satisfying
the aching and solemn places
I pretended didn’t exist —
no matter — I have hope in
many forms —
Perhaps I will never be
free from my own demons
and perhaps knowing that
is what will ultimately
calm my insatiable
heart.

As promised here is my next favorite song from Once – the musical. She restrains and struggles with her emotions as she reveals her desires — I can relate. The song is beautiful and haunting. Enjoy.

my favorite song from my favorite musical (superlatively speaking, of course)

Right around this time last year, my husband and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary in New York. While we were there, he took me to a Broadway show that my mom and dad insisted we go see — Once. I had never heard of it, but when I told my dear friend, who used to be a morning radio host, that we were planning to see Once, she told me all about Swell Season and how the play is based on an indy film. I was eager to see this play that my lovely friends and family said I would enjoy. Well, the play lived up to the hype — even with the drunk “Real Housewives of           ” sitting behind us (I know it was superfluous to add the descriptor of their inebriation given it’s their natural state, but I wanted to emphasize that little detail). The woman sitting next to us got so heated she turned around and whisper-yelled, “you are ruining this for all of us!!!!” This only made them giggle more. Thankfully, the music was loud, so they weren’t too much of a bother to me.

This week (or until I get bored), I plan to write about my favorite songs from this musical. I will start with my number 1 (which is backwards, I know…I really should start from the least to the best…but I am fickle and may change my mind before I get to number 1 and that, dear reader, just won’t do!).

The play is ultimately about the healing power of music and love and friendship. At this point in the play, “Guy” (he doesn’t get a name…which is so perfect for several reasons) is playing at an open mic night after he had sworn off music due to a bad break-up. Guy’s new acquaintance,”Girl,” signed him up to perform — which he was reluctant to do, but he eventually does take the stage and performs “Gold” — which previously was about his ex-girlfriend, but now he sings the song for someone new…he sings the song for Girl; you can see (in the video) that she is discovering this bit of truth as the song progresses.

Today for your listening pleasure, I give you “Gold.” This song, this performance, this part of the play was the best for me. Even better than getting a glass of wine on stage during intermission…seriously, there is one constant set during the entire play — an Irish Pub, and before the play begins and during intermission, the set turns into an actual bar where patrons can literally walk on stage and order a drink then stay on stage to chat or dance as the musicians and actors enter and begin the play. Eventually they usher everyone off the stage (because the play is beginning), but what a fun way to start, right?! Back to “Gold.” I’m a sucker for strings — they get me every time. Listening to this piece live is like living and breathing the song — I could feel it in my chest. It was so moving, it brought tears to my eyes. Hearing the song on a computer or watching it on youtube is lovely, but live…ahhh…well, it was perfection.

Here’s the next best thing, enjoy!

the importance of a day

Dear Reader,

Last Thursday, I taught my honors sophomore class one last poem before we had to review for the final. I thought this poem was fitting since this is Memorial Day weekend — which is apparently the best time to buy things like a car, new clothes, or tile for your bathroom remodel. It always makes me sad when holidays get turned into consumeristic excuses to buy more junk.

Ok, my little rant is over, back to the poem. This poem is about the sacredness and fragility of life. As a kid, you just don’t get it, but with a little (or a lot) of perspective, things come into focus. There is a reason why we break bread together as friends and family. There is an importance to that time of connectedness and fellowship. As a kid, you just want to scarf down the food, so you can run off and play again. As a teen, you just want to get this whole thing over with, so you can go lock yourself up in your room away from pestering kids and annoying adults who just don’t get you. For the adults…well, we may or may not like it either, but in good company, the partaking of a meal together is sacred. Like sound and scent — many of our memories are connected to taste. For Rita Dove, it is the grape sherbert (a secret recipe) her dad used to make.

It is the time we get to spend together, the meals and laughter we share, that makes life worth living. As a kid, death seems so far away and unreal. It’s not until you lose someone dear to you that you begin to understand the true fragility of life. The speaker in this poem doesn’t get it at first, but after some perspective, she understands why her father tried so hard.

Grape Sherbert
by Rita Dove

The Day? Memorial.
After the grill
Dad appears with his masterpiece –
swirled snow, gelled light.
We cheer. The recipe’s
a secret and he fights
a smile, his cap turned up
so the bib resembles a duck.

That morning we galloped
through the grassed-over mounds
and named each stone
for a lost milk tooth. Each dollop
of sherbet, later,
is a miracle,
like salt on a melon that makes it sweeter.

Everyone agrees – it’s wonderful!
It’s just how we imagined lavender
would taste. The diabetic grandmother
stares from the porch,
a torch
of pure refusal.

We thought no one was lying
there under our feet,
we thought it
was a joke. I’ve been trying
to remember the taste,
but it doesn’t exist.
Now I see why
you bothered,
father.

 
 
 

Remembering those who served: all gave some, some gave all.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13