Saturday, May 24, 2008

The swell season, the seasick heart

We saw the Swell Season (Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard) at Radio City Music Hall last week. I am still listing a bit, as if I've been on the high seas and even though I'm now on dry land, I can still feel the rise and fall. The passion these musicians express through their music moves right through me--rearranging things, shaking things up as it flows on through.

The highlight of the night for me was, aside from Glen Hansard strumming with wings on his fingers and stomping his foot like a dog when you scratch his sweet spot, was Marketa Irglova inviting her sister up on stage to sing "Gently Johnny." Her sister appeared out of the dark seating area, retreated to a shadowy part of the stage, sang like a dutiful and beautiful angel with her big sister, then wandered off again, without fanfare, into the darkness.

Now I'm left to face the fact that I'm a middle-aged mother of two small children with nothing but two ticket stubs to Radio City Music Hall and some broken high heel shoes to remind me of that fleeting moment when I sailed into the mystic.

Now I'm back to being chief thing finder, knee-deep in crumbs, dog hair, and spilled milk. And I often find myself humming,
"Star star, teach me how to shine, shine, teach me so I know what's going on in your mind. Because I don't understand these people, who say the hill's too steep, they talk and talk forever but they just never climb."

"Mum, Mum, Muuuummmmmmm!" "I'm sorry, Possum. Did you say something?"

I've got new, related, posts up here and here over at BabyCenter.

YouTube video by fourteenacross

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

righteous babe

For Isla, painting is a full-body experience.


Time to work the soil. "Where'd my wormy go?"




I feel like I should talk about something of great importance here but I just can't seem to come up with anything. Between the earthquake in China and the, what was it, cyclone in Myanmar, and poor Eight Bells the mare, I can hardly stand to pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio. The death, destruction and mayhem is just too much for one sensitive mother in small town America to fathom.

An admitted Public radio addict, each time I have switched it on this week, I switch it off directly, but not before hearing a "death toll," be it in Iraq, China, Kenya or Kentucky. I find it so hard to concentrate on the big picture when news like this keeps assaulting my ears and senses. 20,000 dead in China. 20, 000! Mothers sent their sons and daughters to school, and they never came back.

I find it difficult to remain positive, hopeful, optimistic about life in general and what we are all doing here on this planet in times like this when we are getting bombarded with tragedy. I realize with life comes death and we all have to play our part, and the greatest changes come from taking small steps, but sometimes I feel impatient and want to know how to save the world, Now!.

A friend told me I was getting righteous in my blogs lately. Righteous. I'm not even sure I know what that means but if it means I'm voicing my outrage at the state of things, then, I guess I am.

Though I hardly think I am because I am too much of a cowardly approval addict to really be honest. And I have to ask: How could one not be righteous? How could I turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what goes on in the name of humans being humans. How's that bumper sticker go: "If you're not outraged, your not paying attention."

Shit, maybe she's right. Motherhood has made me this way. I feel complicit in all things ugly and polluted. I want my children to be assured clean water and blue skies and green grass and happy, free-roaming creatures and people who are pure of heart. People who are kind.

But, most of all, I want them to be educated and enlightened and allowed and inspired to explore their passions. I don't want them to feel compelled to choose a college major according to how much money they might make or how secure a job they might get. I want them to be driven by nothing other than their genuine interests. Exactly as they are now. The thought of them slaving away at some dumb job simply to get health insurance saddens me.

Will this still be the case when they are of working age? If we moved to England where there is a national health plan, would they be less likely to feel squelched by the pressure for security?

So many questions. So late at night.

For a more gentle approach to life, look here and here, over at BabyCenter.

P.S. If anyone can help me with my banner, it's obvious I'm in dire need.