May’s Song Review: “Home” by Meg Hutchinson

May’s synopsis: It’s winter. It’s time to feature a song about depression.

May’s rating scale:

MAY!

May?

meh…

meh?

MESS.

 

It’s a grey day. A steady rain showers the city, and traffic skis through the puddles. The air is heavy, thick. The sun doesn’t rise as early, and it sets sooner. It seems colors are muted, lights are dimmed; all that remains are the smoldering wicks of just barely snuffed candles. It’s very easy to feel depressed.

The grey, the darkness and gloom and suffocation are all one experiences when she is depressed. Meg Hutchinson masterfully presents and demonstrates the difference between depression and living a full, productive, present life. Depression is a place, but it isn’t only an institution where you’re committed. She won’t tell us where she’s been, because to retell is to relive, and she would rather talk about how it’s so good to be home. Depression isn’t home, and home isn’t only those four familiar walls with a roof on top.

She definitely knows who she was under ever cloudy skies and who she is now, and who she has to thank for helping her through the dark times. She’s become healthy again; enough time and experience (and perhaps medication) has healed her, and she’s using her experience to reach out to those who might relate, to create awareness, to let others know they’re not alone. Depression affects everyone. Did you go there too? Was it dark for you? Were you thinking self-destructively? Were you a patient or a loved one? Did you wait there too? Did you find a cure, too? The world might pale and darken, she knows, as you may know. But, it gets better.

I love this song, because it’s about getting better. It’s a song about overcoming this particular hardship. The tune is catchy, especially the chorus, and it rings repeatedly throughout the song, like a mantra. “I’ve been getting better these days. I’ve been sleeping in my own bed again”: Life is new, life is hers and is no longer as much of a struggle with a clouded perspective and heavy heart. “I’ve been dreaming in full color”: Can you imagine, colors popping in your dreams, the world coming alive around you? “Goodbye sorrow, I’ve found another way to stay”: Another way to deal with sadness. Another way to stay home. It’s so good.

Here’s the song. Hover over the link, then press “play” in the pop-up, or just let it download. Lyrics below.

Home

I won’t tell you where I’ve been
Only that it’s so good to be home
It’s possible to go so far down
As some of you might already know
Did you go there too?

I won’t tell you what I’ve seen
Only that this world can be so mean
Brave souls shuffling up and down the halls
No one visits no one even calls
Did you wait there too?

But I’ve been getting better these days
And I’ve been sleeping in my own bed again
And I’ve been dreaming in full color
Goodbye sorrow I’ve found another

I won’t tell you what I would’ve done
If not for my dearest ones
Chemistry can sorta leave you in the lurch
I’m just glad they found a cure
Did you find one too?

But if the world should really pale
Dark night of the soul is real
Let me offer I’ve been there
And one day that darkness clears

A Few Random Things

One of my recently discovered blogs I’ve been following is oh-so-close to finishing his 50,000 words for the month. You see, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, and if you’re up to the challenge, you’d try cranking out a pretty hefty novel in 30 days. He has 4,366 words to write today. My fingers and toes are crossed for him.

Some of my muscles are really sore today:
triceps
deltoids
little pectorals (minor, not major)
quadriceps
glutes (maximus and minimus)
lats
abs (rectus and obliques)
my stupid left gastrocnemius

I’m getting back on a regular exercise schedule starting tomorrow.

One of my Sunday school students declared in class today: “In my previous life, I was a penguin.” I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that. I mean, we didn’t discuss it. The student said it so seemingly out of the blue. And this would be one of those things if I were a student and not a teacher, I’d be laughing and trying to ask questions about why some people used to be penguins. I normally wouldn’t mind mixing my religion and reincarnation. But today, I couldn’t do it. The kids are 7 and 8 years old. I just kept going with the lesson. Which was about resurrection.

Scattered Actings

Becky and I are still trying to decide whether to enter our video in the Lingos competition. We decided to hold off filming the last scene until she gets back from London, only because my noggin had a painful protuberance the night before she left. My headache has gone down considerably since then.

What we’ve finished so far of the video is on Becky’s laptop. Since Thursday, I’ve watched those five minutes of footage at least 10 times. I’ve laughed at the same places each time. I’ve tried watching it with a critical eye. It’s not perfect, but it’s not all that bad, either. I think. Hopefully when Becky gets back, we can shoot the last scene and wrap the whole thing up and get it in the can in case we decide to turn it in Tuesday when it’s due.

My brain isn’t working right now. I exercised this morning, cleaned the bathroom, walked down to the farmers’ market and back, had a taco, came home, took a really long shower, and now I’m contemplating preparing lessons for Sunday school and seminary. I’m also watching Golem act like an idiot on the television. Oh. I’m also instant messaging Karissa.

None of that explains why my brain has shut down. Karissa, I didn’t mean to imply you were a reason my head feels empty. 

Oh, now that I’m in a video of quasi-substantial length, I pay more attention to people’s acting. Becky’s a better actor than me. After Friday, we’ll stick the video on YouTube, and you can see for yourself.

Whenever Becky is gone for a long time, when she comes home, I act like a puppy that’s been waiting for her owner all day. In this case, 5 days. She walks in and I’m all happy and bouncy and I zip back and forth across the apartment and I talk and she talks and I scoot along the floor then Becky holds up a treat and I sit up on my haunches and Becky drops the treat on the floor and pats my head and tells me I’m a good girl. This description is not all that figurative; I really like when Becky’s home.

Photos of Thanksgiving, 2008

This one was for me. I’m on 6th Avenue, and not on Broadway, so the actual parade was a block away but the view was straight on the intersection of 37th and Broadway. I knew Snoopy (as Joe Cool) would be there:

IMG_5013 by you.

These are for my little friend, Aerie:
 IMG_5034 by you.

IMG_5035 by you.

This one kind of wraps up the rest of the day:

IMG_5109 by you.

I spent from 3PM to nearly midnight with some friends from church. I was in charge of the mashed potatoes. Nothing some butter and heavy cream can’t make delicious, right? We had great conversation and good laughs and amazing food. We went around the table a couple of times saying what we were thankful for. We had a pretty in-depth political discussion, and on my way home I replayed that dialogue in my mind, except trying to interject a republican viewpoint. Yay, cognitive dissonance!

More photos at flickr.

My tummy is full, folks. My heart goes out to those victims of terrorism across the world. My prayers are with them as well as with all those who might be sad for whatever reason. Abuse, hunger, loneliness. May you find comfort and peace. May we all.

Imperative

I need to post a video. Not only did I have Thanksgiving dinner with the creator of this video, and not only do I think Annie is ultra-cool, and not only do I not believe I’m actually friends with her and her friends so now they’re my friends even though I was already friends with some of them because I didn’t know my friend was her sister, and not only did she create this video for a contest Coldplay is holding, and not only am I posting this video so more people can see it, and not only is she indescribably talented, but because of her creativity and sheer effort that are so apparent in this video, I cannot stop watching it.

I. Cannot. Stop.

Press play. Then, before you press play again and again and again times infinity:
If you like what you see, go to Annie’s YouTube page and comment on the video. Don’t forget to rate it.
If you like what you see, pass this video on. Post it on your blog, email the link to all your friends.

Everyone has to see it, because everyone deserves at least this glimpse of brilliance. Check out the detail, the layers, the shadows, the story, the mythology, the smoothness in transitions, the virtually seamless editing. See if it doesn’t move you.

When I found out she’d be showing the video at her home tonight, I immediately expected greatness, because that’s just her. But this exceeded that, so now I’m obsessing about it. I hope she doesn’t mind.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Lost? Coldplay music video“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Morning Observations

I wake up at 6:15 this morning. I set my alarm for 7:30, but I can’t go back to sleep. I listen to the quiet rumble, the muffled echoes of occasionally passing vehicles bouncing off the buildings that form a labyrinthine cavern. I am in that cavern, and the sounds are like a blanket.

Dusk. I look out of the window, and barricades line 6th Avenue, and people have started gathering along Broadway. I hear more cars. I see more people. It’s not too cold outside; it’s actually a perfect day for a parade to celebrate gratitude. History. The sky fades into morning, and the clouds are translucent, like a twilight mist, except they decorate the sky.

My roommate is spending Thanksgiving in London. Interesting situation. Thank you, Britain, for letting us get fed up with your restrictions on worship and commerce and teas. We needed more variety of teas. We got fed up, crossed the pond, established a country I love with all my heart.

The rising sun rouses the east facades of this concrete canyon, New York City. The natural and manmade fuse, and the glow from the buildings isn’t artificial, quite. It’s other-dimensionly, and it’s magnificent.

Police cars are testing their sirens. I’m switching between VH1 and GAC while waiting for the parade to begin. I see cameras flash from neighboring buildings. The crowds are growing.

My head still hurts. The bump is virtually gone, but it’s still somewhat tender, and the pain radiates toward my left temple. I’m grateful that it didn’t get any worse. It’s nothing a little time and good company and food in abundance won’t cure.

family
friends
food
shelter
gospel

However many hundreds of subcategories apply to this list, I’m grateful for them all. Everything. My gratitude reaches through the internets and across the country and around the world and hugs you. I am thankful for you, for all you do, for all you are. I hope you feel that, and I hope today isn’t the only time you do.

It’s almost time to put on another layer or two, camp out on my balcony, watch some floats and giant balloons pass by (hi, Snoopy!), listen to music, feel grateful evermore.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Letter to My Seminary Class

Dear Class,

My heart is full. Tomorrow, my stomach will be very full, and it will push up against my full heart, and it won’t be very comfortable. That’s why I’m writing this today.

Gratitude is one of those things that keeps us remembering the Lord. Friends, family, other blessings and the little things in life are the bounty that I behold and cannot comprehend and do not feel I deserve. Heavenly Father is so good to us, even in these tough times; especially in these tough times. I know you can see and feel that. We’re pretty safe in the boat. I’m glad we have the strength of our class to help see us through.

Below is a little activity. Try matching the class members to the reasons I’m grateful for them. You might have to use process of elimination if some of the descriptions are vague. Please note these aren’t the only reasons I’m grateful for you.

[A matching activity involving class members’ names and some of their characteristics]

No logic can really explain why I’m so excited to wake up at 4:30 every morning. Nothing really makes sense at that time of day. You fill my waking moments and float through my dreams. I get to class and I see you walk in and you’re glad to be there. Smiling, awake. I’m suspicious at first, but I’m also glad you’re there. It makes me nervous sometimes, how I wonder if people are going to show up. Without fail, you do. Beyond that, you analyze and discuss and share personal experiences. Every morning, the classroom is about to burst with camaraderie and laughter and testimony. Every morning, my heart swells. It is full.

In Elder Holland’s talk on Sunday, he mentioned the Lord’s Prayer. He specifically mentioned the passage, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” He tied this in to the importance of families and children: Families are the fundamental unit of society in heaven, and we should strive for strong families here on earth. If they have seminary classes in heaven, our class? the class we have now, every day, that makes my heart so grateful? That’s how I imagine heaven’s seminary.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Love, Sister Anderton

i have an ice pack on my head.

the frame for my room divider came down. i stood one of the beams against the wall, because i decided to take apart the frame because i’m not putting it back up. so as i was removing the other beam, the beam that i put against the wall fell down on my head. i waited for a few seconds to crouch down in pain. i felt for the bump. it got big right away. it is on the left, rear occipital bone. the ice pack has reduced the swelling, and becky gave me some pain relievers. she came home about ten minutes after it happened. i’ve been holding the ice pack with one hand and typing with the other and proofreading as i go, so it’s taken me at least five minutes so far to type this paragraph. i’m going to stop typing now. i will go to bed in a while and hope i don’t wake up to a concussion. if i say a turkey got absolved today, people might not think i’m all there. everybody knows about it, though. not my fault; i’m not the president of the united states. i am the mayor of maytown. i pardon the damned two-by-four that clobbered me just over an hour ago.

oh. we have one more scene of the video to shoot. we’ll do that first.

my head hurts.

Sniff Harder

I just finished baking some biscuits and blueberry turnovers. The biscuits were from scratch. The turnovers were from the leftover pie crust and frozen blueberries from the Americafied! party. So, there are all sorts of simple, empty carbohydrates on the table, and I don’t know why I was baking, and I know even less who’s going to eating that food. I can’t eat it all. My roommates are going to be out of town, so maybe I might accidentally stuff myself. I mean, I didn’t go swimming tonight, but it wasn’t necessarily for a date with the oven. I think it’s from the various invitations to Thanksgiving dinner I received, and it put me in a culinary mood. Maybe it’s just that I want to expand my stomach as much as possible before Thursday, when the gorgefest begins and doesn’t really end until well into the new year. Yeah, so no swimming tonight. Plus, I had a headache. Exercise would have helped it, I know, but I wanted to make sure the I was home tonight in case we shot more scenes for the video.

I just tried a biscuit. Not bad for my very first biscuit attempt. I love the word biscuit. I put a few different spreads on the table, too: butter, strawberry jam, honey. I also put the leftover blueberry pie filling I made, in case people want to be daring. I used some of the blueberry stuff and a little bit of honey. They aren’t bad.

I guess I could have cut the biscuits thicker, but they’re not too thin. If I had just plopped the dough onto the baking pan, they’d look more like scones. The possibilities are endless with scones, people. Savory, sweet. People put cheese and scallions in them. People dip them in gravy. Sometimes sausage gravy. People put cranberries and orange zest and maybe almonds in them. Almost like a muffin, but definitely a scone. People mix in pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin scones. Oh, my. Um, rosemary scones. I need to try that. I know I said once it would be nice to die by baklava, but the aroma floating around in my apartment right now has convinced me I might already be in heaven. You totally wish you were here, and I’m sorry you’re not.

Um, I think I might be getting a little smarter. I helped some people with a crossword puzzle today, and I completed a “difficult” sudoku puzzle. Granted, the crossword puzzle was typically Monday, but the sudoku puzzle wasn’t, and it was a nice challenge to this old noggin. I can’t remember the last time I exercised my brain like that.

I guess I can check that off my list for today after all. Time to eat.

Shooting Too Many Funny Scenes. And Talking About It.

Becky: I don’t have to hog all the editing. Do you want to do some?
May: Nuh-uh. You can do it. I’m not quite as daft.
Becky: (laughs while looking at her computer monitor)
May: I mean deft. Deft. Sorry.
Becky: That was a Freudian slip.

Becky and I are making a movie. It’s pretty funny to us. Karissa is fortunate enough to get the play-by-play on instant messenger. Because there’s a 14-hour time difference and it’s 1PM in Japan when it’s 11PM here. Because late at night is when we reach our creative peak. Yes.

May (8:27:36 PM): we’re talking about filming scenes right now
Karissa (8:27:43 PM): awesome!
May (8:27:47 PM): we’re cinematographic geniuses
Karissa (8:27:53 PM): you should give the bunnies a role.
Karissa (8:27:55 PM): lol
May (8:28:02 PM): hee
May (8:30:01 PM): okay we’re getting ready to shoot now
Karissa (8:30:10 PM): okay
May (8:30:23 PM): we can’t go over 5 minutes
Karissa (8:30:37 PM): for youtube?
May (8:31:46 PM): we might enter it into the church singles film festival
Karissa (8:31:52 PM): ohhhhhhhh
May (8:47:33 PM): dude. this video will be kind of interesting. but funny
Karissa (8:47:38 PM): lol
May (8:48:18 PM): it’s about all the mirrors in our apartment
Karissa (8:48:27 PM): ohhhh
May (8:48:47 PM): you should take the cats out for a walk
Karissa (8:48:53 PM): hee
Karissa (8:48:59 PM): that would be hilarious
Karissa (8:54:29 PM): gosh the breeze coming in is so nice
May (9:22:32 PM): this scene is complicated
Karissa (9:23:04 PM): oh?
May (9:25:20 PM): trying to establish context for the point of the shot
May (9:25:26 PM): we had to get a few angles
May (10:16:58 PM): barry’s gonna have a pretty awesome cabinet
Karissa (10:17:13 PM): yeah, it looks like it
May (10:17:23 PM): you can be surgeon general
Karissa (10:17:29 PM): hee
Karissa (10:32:57 PM): what is your cabbage patch kid’s name?
Karissa (10:33:01 PM): i forget.
May (10:33:09 PM): david john
Karissa (10:33:15 PM): oh yeah
May (10:33:25 PM): you two never met
Karissa (10:33:31 PM): nope
May (10:37:22 PM): what were the names of your ponies?
Karissa (10:37:33 PM): ponies?
May (10:37:44 PM): did you have cabbage patch ponies?
Karissa (10:37:48 PM): nope
May (10:38:02 PM): i’m confusing you with someone else
Karissa (10:38:08 PM): you must be
May (10:39:30 PM): amy adams is lovely. she’s great in enchanted
May (10:40:27 PM): i just drank a few gulps of mountain dew
May (10:40:29 PM): hee
Karissa (10:48:46 PM): so i guess you won’t be sleeping tonight
May (10:48:53 PM): we’ll see
May (10:50:31 PM): how’s dr. ken?
Karissa (10:51:00 PM): he’s fine. he’s the wedding we’re going to in jan.
May (10:51:12 PM): oh, he totally didn’t ask me out
Karissa (10:51:17 PM): i know
Karissa (10:51:22 PM): dunno what his problem is
Karissa (10:51:30 PM): i’m not a huge fan of the fiancee
May (10:51:33 PM): oh?
Karissa (10:51:35 PM): but then we only met her once
May (10:51:44 PM): playing any fun pranks?
Karissa (10:51:48 PM): lol, no
May (10:58:23 PM): becky’s doing an awesome job editing
May (10:58:42 PM): she does wonders with my filmwork
Karissa (10:58:56 PM): cool!
May (10:59:54 PM): this is totally oscar worthy
Karissa (11:00:02 PM): i bet it is
May (11:00:07 PM): LOL
Karissa (11:00:11 PM): lol
Karissa (11:00:57 PM): when do i get to see it?
May (11:01:07 PM): well, we have to finish by wednesday
Karissa (11:01:14 PM): ohhhh
May (11:01:19 PM): so hopefully sometime this week
Karissa (11:01:25 PM): you’d better share
May (11:02:04 PM): we will
May (11:04:48 PM): we’re fixing to do a reading
May (11:10:00 PM): there’s a dancing scene with just me
Karissa (11:10:20 PM): rofl
May (11:11:14 PM): you’ll get the impression we’re really full of ourselves
May (11:11:18 PM): it’s awesome
Karissa (11:12:05 PM): hahaha
May (11:23:37 PM): just finished shooting the dancing scene
May (11:24:23 PM): becky had to close her eyes while the camera rolled
May (11:24:32 PM): so she could hold the camera still and not laugh
Karissa (11:24:40 PM): awesome!
May (11:24:53 PM): i’m probably building this up way too much
Karissa (11:24:59 PM): lol
Karissa (11:25:13 PM): the awesomest part is that you do it without alcohol.

That last line was probably one of the greatest back-handed compliments anyone has ever given me. Right now, Becky is trying to work on some soundtrack stuff. We’re pretty close to being done, but cramming a 5-minute film into a single weekend is a lot of work. Sure, we’ve laughed a lot, but we’ve also gotten multiple takes of each scene from various angles. There’s voiceover work and synchronizing sound, and Becky’s such a pro about everything. It’s a lot of work. Propers to her. Hopefully, this turns out.