January sings the blues

This is a song for anyone with a broken heart
This is a song for anyone who can’t get out of bed
Or do anything to be happy
Oh, ’cause blue skies are coming
But I know that it’s hard

Noah and the Whale

Last January I wondered if I would ever feel able to get out of bed and face the real world. This January possibility lies ahead of me.  Blue skies did return.  I have so many ideas and things to enjoy that I can easily fill life until it’s bursting at the seams.  In the stillness I find myself aware though that the time may come again when it feels like I can’t do anything to be happy.

Music and song lyrics often rise up to speak to me about my recovery.  I have this idea for a Spotify playlist that I can create now with a relapse in mind.  Songs about how it’s worth it to hold on, about the tenacity of love, about loss.  Here’s one of my current favourites –

Life can weigh you down like a stone.
It can bend you, break you,
Leave you skin and bones.
It’s a long winding road,
You don’t have to walk it alone.

Baby, hold on to me,
Tighter than your sweetest memory, of you and me.
When you’re looking for an open door,
But it seems so out of reach.
Baby, hold on to me, on to me.

Connie Britton, Nashville Cast

I’d love to hear fellow travellers’ songs for the journey, post them in the comments below and I’ll let you know how my playlist goes.

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Turn on, tune in, drop out

Music is becoming an increasingly important part of my gap year preparations.  In the transition from CDs to streaming and Spotify, I’d kind of forgotten how much I enjoy pottering around the house with music on and how relaxing it is to cook or do the packed lunches with some tunes.  I’d also forgotten how much I love to sing.  Last night I took to the mic for the first time in about ten years, and sang some folk songs with Gallant Grandpa at Boston Tea Party’s Play On.  It was great to sing about feisty young women of the 17th century, and I tested out my red lippy again which was fun.  It definitely is like putting on an instant slick of confidence (thank you YSL!)

Going to see live music was a massive part of my teenage years in Leeds, and I had the privilege of seeing both Madonna and U2 outdoors at Roundhay Park.  I now have two live music events to look forward to in the gap year – The Dixie Chicks at the O2 next year and Farmfest in August.  After singing last night, GH and I watched a brilliant BBC documentary about the evolution of music festivals and it really inspired me about the heady mix of hope, politics, fields, music and dancing (Bad Brain means no recreational drugs on my menu!)

For the last few months I’ve been challenging my vocal cords and sight-reading skills in a local jazz choir, Harmoni.  It’s so much fun practising discordant harmonies and lots of “doo-be-doos” as we work through the arrangements together.  I’ll be getting out that red lippy again for our performance at the local community centre in July.  Using the musical side of my brain is so relaxing and such an antidote to busy days of writing as I finish my contract with Action on Postpartum Psychosis.  If music be the food of love, let’s play on.