Music Therapy

Hello, readers!

Today I was going to post about Christopher Moore’s Secondhand Souls, but instead I decided to share some music with you. Mostly because music is excellent, but also because I had a funky day yesterday and music was where it was at! These are songs that carry me through when I need to slow it down. Wether I just want to relax or I’m upset, these are the songs that float around my room. You’ve probably heard them, you might not have. It’s not expertly curated, but it is always changing as I keep adding stuff to it. Hopefully you’ll like them and find a little joy in it all.

Until next time readers!

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Rangent: YouTube Binge

Hello, hello readers!

Monday comes again like the promise of death and almost as cheerful. It’s been a weird, funk ridden weekend. I was meant to spend it with friends, but I had to work so I ended up spending it pretty much alone. I making it sound more depressing than it was, I promise.

I worked, which is always good when you’re as broke as I am. I got some reading done, the fourth book in The Hollows series is down and I’ve moved on to the fifth. Some studying was done. Most importantly, I’ve YouTubed. And having done so, I’ve decided to share my three favorite videos with you!

1. Affection – Cigarettes After Sex

I found out about this band because one of its members is the guy behind Short Story Thursdays. Now, if you don’t know what that is, SST is a weekly dispatch where you receive a short story from an often forgotten writer in history. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me! I might start writing about them, so something to (possibly) look forward to. Anyway, they do cool ambient rock. Have a listen.

2. Unravel Gameplay Trailer

I’ve talked about video games before, most notably Firewatch. Which, by the way, came out last month! This is another game that came out recently and I’m really excited about it. You play as Yarny, a character made from a single thread that unravels as you move along. According to the website, the story unfolds entirely without words and the environment is inspired by Northern Scandinavia. It’s beautiful and somehow sad.

 

3. Joseph Speaks to Mary – Gage Wallace

This is an old favorite of mine. I really like slam poetry and there are certain poems I always return to like Accents by Denise Frohman and The Period Poem by Dominique Christina. And this one. This poem where Joseph speaks to Mary and promises all he is and all he has. Definitely worth a watch.

 

That’s it for today, readers. Hope you’re having a good day!

Destination: Texas

Texas.png

Hello, readers!

Today is another beautiful day in the life of everyone who is in a good mood. Everyone else hates life. And you. Those terrible people. But it’s ok because I will always love you. Doesn’t that make you feel better? I thought so!

I’m trying to move swiftly from destination to destination in an attempt to make up for (what I feel is) lost time. Between the trip and my self imposed hiatus, I’m way behind where I thought I’d be at this point in the challenge. So, at a brisk pace that reminds us exactly how out of shape we are, we move on to Texas!

The way this challenge is structured is meant to resemble a roadtrip throughout the world. Except instead of turning corners we’re turning pages and discovering way more than the best places to eat. For me roadtrips mean the wind in my hair, the excitement of new places, but most of all they mean music. There’s nothing quite like feeling the wind slip through your open hand, trees blurring together, as you sing along to the radio. Your voice gets lost in the sounds of traffic, the too loud music, yours friends’ voices indistinguishable from one another.

I have so many memories of being in the car with my best friend and dancing to music while she drives. People driving by and laughing with us, a fleeting moment of shared happiness. I have memories of being tired, the darkness outside swallowing up mountains, slow music spilling thickly from the speakers. Watching her intently looking at the road. I have memories of being in the back seat, tipsy and unconcerned with the world. Feeling warm and happy, cocooned by voices and nameless pop songs. Often the best part of a roadtrip isn’t arriving, it’s the journey. The ups and downs, the unexpected conversations, the singing at the top of your lungs that happens on your way there.

When I was deciding what to write about for Texas, I started looking for songs and I found this playlist. The guy who made it, wrote something that struck me as particularly true, “All travelers sing – the road demands it.” And I think it’s high time we brought some music into our journey. Here are some songs about Texas, for Texas, by Texans.

Enjoy the music, but most of all enjoy the journey. Until next time, readers!

Destination: Christmas #11

This Christmas series is brought to you thanks to Book Riot’s Literary Advent Calendar. It’s a combination of poetry, short stories, and essays. I’ll be posting every day, some days twice to keep up with my regular posts. Click the story title for the full text. Now, let’s get this Christmas show on the road!

Day 11

The Huron Carol

I’ve had a surprisingly productive day and yet, somehow, not as productive as I thought it was going to be. I’m making a convoluted cake recipe, which involves making other recipes in order to complete the first one. This is what I get for opening my cookbooks and choosing the thing with the most alcohol content in the recipe. Shame on me.

Tonight’s piece was absolutely unexpected. I haven’t included a link to the text in the title because it’s actually a song! To be more specific, it’s a Canadian Christmas hymn composed by a Jesuit missionary living among the Hurons. According to Wikipedia (Yes, I’m quoting Wikipedia stop judging me), the song’s original title is “Jesous Anhatonhia” which means “Jesus, He is Born” and it’s based on a French folk song.

The song has imagery that makes sense in the context of a tribe. Like having hunters instead of shepherds and talking about chiefs who bring pelts instead of magi who bring gold and incense. It sounds primal, in lyric and melody. And I absolutely love it. It definitely sounds darker than the usual Christmas songs, more sombre, but that’s part of what makes it so entrancing.  I’m sure it’s a well-known song, mostly because everything I read mentions it is, but I’d never heard it before. It’s beautiful, that’s all there is to it.

The version I’m including here for you guys is performed by Heather Dale and sung in Huron, French, and English in that order. Enjoy!

When in doubt, travel.

Well, everyone, it’s official – I booked my trip to Europe! I’ve been slowly convincing myself to take this trip for the past few weeks and I finally decided to buy the plane tickets. The plan so far is to land in Scotland and from there head out to different countries. Not gonna lie, I’m insanely excited! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Europe and I’ve never been there longer than a month. So, this trip is going to be a whole new experience in more than one way. I’m already looking for places to go, what I need to survive the winter months, where I can find the cheapest beer (let’s be honest, this is the most important one!). Continue reading

Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?

“Oh, I’ve thought of one,” she said. “Let me think…” and she began to hum tentatively. Jack didn’t know it at first, but then it came to him and he began to sing along.”

“When my hair has all turned gray,” a swoop and a twirl beside the kitchen table, “will you kiss me then and say, that you love me in December as you do in May?”
And then they were beside the woodstove and Mabel kissed him with her mouth open and soft. Jack pulled her closer, pressed their bodies together and kissed the side of her face and down her bare neck and, as she let her head gently lean away, down to her collarbone. Then he scooped an arm beneath her knees and picked her up.”
Excerpt From: Eowyn Ivey. “The Snow Child: A Novel.”

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this novel and I’ve been struggling to put into words why I’ve fallen completely in love with it– a hesitant and almost uneasy kind of love. I finally understood it when I read the passage above.

Ivey has a way of making you feel things, really feel them. I mentioned before I could feel the winter on the page, but it goes beyond that. I can see things clearly, like the yellow leaf floating beneath the frozen river, the child’s icy blue eyes. I heard them sing this song, even though I didn’t know the melody. It sounds like I’m hallucinating, and I very well might be. Still, the point stands, her writing is strong, evocative, and haunting. Her imagery is simple and beautiful, it stays in your mind’s eye long after you’re done reading.

I’ve been sick, dividing my time between working and studying (hence the lack of a post yesterday, sorry readers!). The bright side –if it can be called that– is that today I was too sick to do anything but read, which means I got quite a bit of it done. I have to say I’m glad that this is the novel I’m reading right now because it’s comforting somehow, even if there are things in it that makes me uneasy. Right now it has the potential to end beautifully or to be completely devastating. Beautifully devastating.

I leave you with a song. Titled “Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?”, this is the song that Jack and Mabel hum to themselves as they dance. I hope you enjoy it, as I did, and if you’re reading the novel that it serves to give the scene a new dimension. Have a good one, readers, wherever you may be!