Downtown

“Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’m feeling particularly nostalgic the last (very long) while. Listening to Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis makes me reminisce of the past – driving in my old Pontiac Acadian (cherry red, 4 door, 5 speed hatchback – loved that fucking car), sun blinding me and those tiny sun visors doing nothing to stop it. The smell of beach air, friends talking, dancing, singing, laughing.

Summer Shine summarises a bit, but the essence…oh that essence

Summer Shine

I love that summer shine
you know it
The sun so hot
the grass so cool
you just want to sit
in the shade just right
under the willow
The clouds so high
and barely there
you wish you could dive
into the blue sky
so inviting in the day
When the night comes
the stars shimmer so clear
the moon kisses them
until they disappear
into another summer shine day
No breeze to fly a kite
the hum of insects
frogs croaking
birds chirping
today is the day
of that summer shine
The reflection off the lake
strikes the eyes
and makes you blind
to that child that splashes
the water on you
It freezes and feels so good
Tip toe over the hot road
feet in the sand
make it to the beach
When the summer shine ends
the bonfire full roars
at that full moon
They sing and dance
filling the night
with an intensity
until the next
summer shine

My hand holds an Alpine, it’s starting to get too warm, but I don’t care. Later, we’ll head down to the green downtown. We’ll hang out on a blanket, so much laughter peeling out from our lungs.

Driving with the windows down, the gas gauge is broken, but it doesn’t matter. We’re together. We’re innocent. We don’t have cell phones, we don’t have computers. It’s just us, my old Pontiac Acadian, laughter, love, friendship. That guy I have the crush on is there, I’m wayyyy too shy and anxious to act on my feelings. Butterflies are floating like crazy in my stomach. My friend teases me, but she knows. They just get me.

I have trauma in that innocence, but it’s grip is soft. I’ve constant friends about me…I’m lonely, but it’s a warm loneliness. I don’t worry as much, I don’t feel like I’m imposing by existing. I’m the driver in my life and it’s pretty damn good (why didn’t I see that then?).

Now, present day. I have a constant yearning in my soul. I can’t pick it out. I can’t identify it. Constant anxiety, worry for my kids, worry for my husband, worry about this world. I’m overwhelmed. I’d love to go downtown, sit on the green and just soak up the sun. I want to hold that memory in a steel trap and never let it out. The grip of trauma has grown so much stronger. I’m constantly raw by it’s chaffing hold. I’m just a breath away from seeing that moment, that crisp feeling of wholeness. It sits just out of my sight, barely in the shadows, waiting for the sunlight to wake it, move it.

The wonder that once filled me has dimmed in the lights of age, but I know I can find it again. I know it’s there.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Downtown

Exhausted

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I love to laugh.

Lately my MS has reared it’s ugly head and pain radiates in various areas of my body. I’m exhausted mentally, physically…emotionally.

I’m exhausted from worrying about how my children are. How can I not be a burden to them?

I’m exhausted from worrying about my husband. He has Parkinson’s, I don’t want to make him worse.

I’m exhausted from forcing myself day in and day out to sit at a desk. I HAVE to be the bread winner. I’m the only one able to work full-time.

I’m exhausted from fighting for help for my son. He’s 17; we adopted him young, but it didn’t protect him from the in-utero alcohol and drug use. Now he’s paying the price for someone else’s folly.

I’m exhausted from fighting for my daughter. She’s almost 19; she’s fought through so much emotional trauma. She’s finally conquered high school and on her way to college.

I’m exhausted from worrying about my youngest son. He’s 5; he starts this school this year and I wish with all I am that I could wrap him in a warm blanket of hugs and hold him tight to me away from the upcoming onslaught of expectations and rigidity.

I’m exhausted from trying to maintain our house. Selling it has been both the worse and best thing for us…if only it would sell…

On Friday, I meet a bariatric team in hopes of getting a much needed surgery to help me in my health journey. I have no fear in this, only hope. Hope that all this exhaustion will be worth it. Hope that I will once again find some health and joy.

Hope that I will laugh without pain and not in spite of pain. Hope that I will no longer feel so exhausted.

Foo Fighters – Exhausted

Thief

“Thief

I don’t want to understand this horror
There’s a weight in your eyes I can’t admit 
Everybody ends up here in bottles 
But the name tags are the last thing you wanted 
As the world explodes you fall out of it 
And you can’t let go because this 
Will not go away

There’s a house built out in space
And I can’t see the thief that lives inside of your head 
But I can be some courage at the side of your bed 
And I don’t know what’s happening and I can’t pretend 
But I can be all, be all

Someone help us understand who ordered 
This disgusting arrangement of time and the end 
I don’t want to hear who walked on water 
Cause the hallways are empty, clocks tick 
As the world implodes we fall in to it 
And we can’t go home because this 
Will not go away

There’s a house built out in space
And I can’t see the thief that lives inside your head 
But I can be some courage at the side of your bed 
And I don’t know what’s happening and I can’t pretend 
It’s a long, long get away, it’s a long, long get away 
Make it home again, make it home again 

It’s a long, long get away, it’s a long, long get away

And I can’t see the thief that lives inside your head 
But I can be some courage at the side of your bed 
And I don’t know what’s happening and I can’t pretend 
But I can be all, be all I’m here 
But I can be all, be all I’m here 
It’s a long, long get away”

Songwriters: Arnold Lanni / Michael Maida

Death is a thief; we are all it’s takings.

Death does not care if you are rich.
Death does not care how popular you are
Death does not care how young or old you are
Death does not care how loved or hated you are
Death does not care for pain or peace
Death does not care about the colour of your flesh
Death does not care about what gods or goddesses you worship
Death does not care how much you fight it or not
Death does not care

Death is. Nothing more, nothing less
Death comes for all, no matter the shape, size species or form.
Death is.

I, and many others I know, have suffered too many losses in the last few years. It seems to be one hit after another, old, young, healthy, disease filled, awful or angelic. We lost them all.

I’ve always loved this song. I know it was written for a young girl with a brain tumor. From Wikipedia – “Vocalist Raine Maida has stated that the song was written about a young Kitchener girl that he knew named Mina Kim who had an inoperable tumor in her brain. The “thief” mentioned in the song refers to the tumor. The short clip at the end of the song consisting of a young girl singing a Sunday school song is a real audio clip of Mina Kim singing “Little By Little” with Maida‘s wife Chantal Kreviazuk and band member Jeremy Taggart.”

To me, that Thief can represent so many things – illnesses, heartbreak, loss, emotional trauma.

Just remember you are never alone, even when you feel you are.

Our Lady Peace – Thief