Sound Education

I mentioned before that as my belly has expanded my belly button has also increased in size. Because I often have to find a purpose in everything that happens, I surmised that the bigger belly button might also be used for feeding Baby.

My belly button used to look like this, more like a slot-shaped abyss. Things like lint and crumbs would be lost in there forever:

belly00a

Now my belly button looks closer to this, which makes it so much easier to clean:

belly01a

Here are some food items I’ve considered giving to Baby through my belly button. My first idea was a carrot, since that seemed most likely to fit:

belly02

Then I also thought about Red Vines, since they are also a skinny food:

belly03

 

I also wondered how junk food like French fries (since Red Vines aren’t really junk food) would affect Baby:

belly04

Then I started thinking about protein and how important it is to Baby’s development. I thought about how much Baby might appreciate a steak:

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But then again, Baby might like something a little lighter:

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As you can see, my new belly button could really come in handy.

The other night I discovered another way to help Baby. It was around 2 or 3 am, and I had some trouble getting to sleep. I was getting frustrated and thinking of ways to fall asleep, and I decided to listen to some music on my Kindle. When it’s late at night and Reilly’s already sleeping, I usually plug in some earphones into the Kindle and watch Netflix or Hulu or listen to music.

Up to this moment, Baby had only listened to music from the regular speakers from a regular stereo system. And the stereo was never up close. Maybe the late hour caused some delirium, but it occurred to me that I could use my earphones so that Baby could listen to music with me. I decided to try sharing my earbuds with baby:

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I put one earbud in my ear, and the other earbud went into my belly button. Baby and I listened to music for about an hour. Of course I made sure to keep the volume low.

Baby seemed to like certain types of French music, like Carla Bruni’s “Quelqu’un m’a dit”:

belly08a

She didn’t like “Comme des infants” by Coeur de Pirate:

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And she seemed to hate “Satellite” by Indochine:

belly10a

But Baby seemed to calm down while listening to classical music, such as violin concertos performed by Hilary Hahn. And the last song I played before going to sleep was Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day,” which we both agree on:

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I can’t wait to see what else Baby likes to listen to.

This Song and the Heart on My Sleeve

This song is from Patty Griffin’s first album, Living with Ghosts. It has been on my mind a lot, especially as I contemplate my life. If I were an island, the song would not make any sense. The principle would be ridiculous.

Maybe just a mini-review of this song.

It’s Patty and her guitar and her feelings. Rawness and purity and vulnerability. Universality and dissipation in bygones. It hurts, it heals: I like it.

May’s rating scale:

MAY!

May.

meh…

meh?

MESS.

We are swimming with the snakes at the bottom of the well
So silent and peaceful in the darkness where we fell
But we are not snakes and what’s more we never will be
And if we stay swimming here forever we will never be free

I heard them ringing the bells in heaven and hell
They got a secret they’re getting ready to tell
It’s falling from the skies, it’s calling from the graves
Open your eyes, boy, I think we are saved
Open your eyes, boy, I think we are saved

Let’s take a walk on the bridge, right over this mess
Don’t need to tell me a thing, baby, we’ve already confessed
And I raised my voice to the air and we were blessed
It’s hard to give, it’s hard to get
But everybody needs a little forgiveness

We are calling for help tonight on a thin phone line
As usual we’re having ourselves one hell of a time
And the planes keep flying right over our heads no matter how loud we shout
“Hey, hey, hey!”
And we keep waving and waving our arms in the air but we’re all tired out

I heard somebody say today’s the day
A big old hurricane, she’s blowing our way
Knocking over the buildings, killing all the lights
Open your eyes, boy, we made it through the night
Open your eyes, boy, we made it through the night

Let’s take a walk on the bridge, right over this mess
Don’t need to tell me a thing, baby, we’ve already confessed
And I raised my voice to the air and we were blessed
It’s hard to give, it’s hard to get
It’s hard to live, baby, but still I think it’s the best bet, hey, yeah
Hard to give, and I’m never going to forget
But everybody needs a little forgiveness
Everybody needs a little forgiveness

On Moving Again

Except I don’t know what to say.

I’m basically moving around the corner, but I’ve lived at this apartment for a proper year and a half, and in the college world, that’s a very long time.

But, it’s also a very long time.

Two semesters left, and sometimes I panic. Sometimes I’m giddy.

I’ll miss my bedroom window view of the mountains. I hope whoever lives in this room after me enjoys it just as much.

I return yet again to Patty Griffin. “Useless Desires” makes me think and feel a million different things at once. And this happens whenever I move. Even with this move, when I had an entire year and a half to form close friendships with people in my apartment complex, but it seems I went out of my way to make friends with people who don’t live here. There are nice people. Lots. It’s been hard to find people to relate to, to click with. Things are just different, which is okay, and I’d rather be continuing to transition somewhere else for the next ten months. Because it’s time.

Just around the corner, but it’s still a move, and my soul’s a-swirl.

Useless Desires (ctrl+click)

Say goodbye to the old street
That never cared much for you anyway
And the different coloured doorways
You thought would let you in one day
Goodbye to the old bus stop
Frozen and waiting
The Weekend Edition
Has this town way overrated

You walk across the baseball green
The grass has turned to straw
A flock of birds tries to fly
Away from where you are
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
I can’t make you stay
I can’t spend another ten years
Wishing you would anyway

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
And even I’m getting tired
Of useless desires

Every day I take a bitter pill
It gets me on my way
For the little aches and pains
The ones I have from day to day
To help me think a little less
About the things I miss
To help me not to wonder how
I ended up like this

I walk down to the railroad track
And ride a rusty train
With a million other faces
I shoot through the city veins
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
You wanted to be free
Somewhere beyond the bitter end
Is where I want to be

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
And even I’m getting tired
Of useless desires

Say goodbye to the old building
That never tried to know your name
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
You won’t be seeing me again
Goodbye to all the windowpanes
Shining in the sun
Like diamonds on a winter day
Goodbye, goodbye to everyone

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
It burns the last of the day down
And I’m the last one hanging around
Waiting on a train track
And the train never comes back
And even I’m getting tired
Of useless desires

J’irai La Voir Un Jour

The first time I heard this song was in April 2007. At a Patty Griffin concert. My very first one. It was at the Beacon Theatre, and I had never been to that venue before. It’s one of those moderate-sized halls that happens to feel intimate at the same time.

This song combines Patty Griffin and French, two of my most favorite things in the world (though French is starting to slip in the rankings these days).

Patty introduced this song as one her grandmother sang to her when she was a child. Simple tune, simple lyrics, but beautiful and touching. It was just her and the piano for this number. Her voice, her memories. Her music causing my tears.

It makes me think about love and family and eternity. It makes me think of my own grandmothers, whom I didn’t really know. But I interacted more with my mom’s mother, and I never knew my grandmother on my dad’s side.

My mom’s father was a very gentle man from what I can remember, and my dad’s father was stern.

I wish I knew them all better. But I will.

I will see them one day.

J’irai la voir un jour
Au ciel dans la patrie
Oui j’irai voir Marie
Ma joie et mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai mourir aux anges
Pour chanter ses louanges
Et pour former sa cour

J’irai la voir un jour
Cette vierge si belle
Bientôt j’irai près d’elle
Lui dire mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai près de sa tombe
Recevoir la colombe
Dans l’éternel séjour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai loin de la terre
Sur le coeur de ma mère
Me poser sans retour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour.

I Could See All Around Me

I’m off to bed soon. But first, a short tribute.

After Dr./Ms./Madame Secretary Rice’s speech on Thursday and thinking about what today’s holiday means, I can only go back to Patty Griffin. She’s interviewed that she pulled lines from Dr. King’s “I’ve Been up to the Mountaintop” speech to come up with this song.

Thanks to those who have enough courage to wake up and do something about their dreams.

(In case the player doesn’t work.)

Up To The Mountain

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
Everywhere
I could see all around me
Everywhere

Sometimes I feel like
I’ve never been nothing but tired
And I’ll be walking
Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to

Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice
Come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so

The peaceful valley
Just over the mountain
The peaceful valley
Few come to know
I may never get there
Ever in this lifetime
But sooner or later
It’s there I will go
Sooner or later
It’s there I will go

Poignant Stuff

My dad was in the military for almost twenty years. He was born just before the end of World War II. He was around during Korea and Vietnam. He’s been on aircraft carriers and it was through sea duty in the mid-’70s that he met my mom.

My friend Matt graduated from the Naval Academy. His dad is a high-ranking officer, and I’ve always admired their strength of character.

My friend Karissa payed for medical school through serving in the Navy. I’m sure she can appreciate how complicated the military is.

Then there’s this friend and that friend, and this relative and that one.

Thank you.

I always have to go back to Patty Griffin. So, I have to thank her, too.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Hey, Interwebs, What Conclusions Can I Draw from How You Come upon My Site?

You’re KILLING Me, Patty Griffin

I can’t even think properly around this song right now; my heart gets in the way. Patty wrote this years ago; I don’t know why I haven’t come across it until now. Girl can sing the sad ones.

I cry pretty easily, but with this, I never even had a chance. Never saw it coming.

Maybe it’s the timing. It’s definitely the song.

Patty Griffin, “My Dear Old Friend”

How will we smile ever again
I’m asking you sincerely, my dear old friend
What do you say, is there a way
My dear old friend

How will we laugh just like before
When there’s water rising up to our door
And we may never see each other again
My dear old friend

Will there be someone to remember
A little place that we loved
How the music played all night and day
Through the windows up above

How the birds sang in the morning
How the dog barked in the yard
I guess that’s nothing much but everything to us
And that’s what seems so hard

How will we smile ever again
I’m asking you sincerely, my dear old friend
The moon on the hill says we probably will
My dear old friend

Earworm of the Day: Patty Griffin, “Rain”

It rained nearly all day yesterday. Thunder, lightning, darkness at midday; falling, steady, splashing sheets veiling the windows and everyone’s vision; soaking everyone to the bone. It got this song stuck in my head. Sometimes it really captures how I feel, especially the chorus. Patty and her songs. Man.

Today? Gorgeous.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Patty Griffin – Rain“, posted with vodpod

 

It’s hard to listen to a hard hard heart
Beating close to mine
Pounding up against the stone and steel
Walls that I won’t climb

Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you’re gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I’m holding on underneath this shroud
Rain

Its hard to know when to give up the fight
Two things you want will just never be right
Its never rained like it has to night before

Now I don’t wanna beg you baby
For something maybe you could never give
I’m not looking for the rest of your life
I just want another chance to live

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
But I’m holding on underneath this shroud
Rain

Patty Griffin, “Mary”

I’m posting this here. Again.

Patty is performing at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ on June 2, as part of Three Girls and Their Buddy. It would be awesome to go, but tickets are sold out. The next closest concert is on May 29 in Atlantic City. I mean, I already saw them on February 20, but … now it seems I’ve my train of thought, but you get the idea. Anyway. 

The very first Patty Griffin album I got was Flaming Red, back in 2003. The album was already five years old at the time. The song on repeat was the penultimate track, “Mary.” The lyrics are simple enough, and they repeated enough I could follow them quite easily, yet they’re deep enough, and the melody is also simple and beautiful enough that the song bears repeating, because I just can’t get enough of this song. “You’re covered in treetops, covered in birds, who can sing a million songs without any words.” I like how the melody is strung out for that line.

Apparently the story of “Mary” is that it’s about Patty’s grandmother. I mean, it depends on who you are and where your sensibilities lie, and while this song means a great deal to Patty personally, what does it mean to you? What kind of power does this song hold? The answer to those questions for me is why “Mary” is part of my top 10.

Vodpod videos no longer available.Mary
You’re covered in roses, you’re covered in ashes
You’re covered in rain
You’re covered in babies, you’re covered in slashes
You’re covered in wilderness, you’re covered in stains
You cast aside the sheet, you cast aside the shroud
Of another man, who served the world proud
You greet another son, you lose another one
On some sunny day and always stay, Mary

 

 

Jesus says Mother I couldn’t stay another day longer
Flys right by me and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels are singin’ his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

Mary she moves behind me
She leaves her fingerprints everywhere
Everytime the snow drifts, everytime the sand shifts
Even when the night lifts, she’s always there

Jesus said Mother I couldn’t stay another day longer
Flys right by me and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels are singin’ his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

Mary you’re covered in roses, you’re covered in ruin
you’re covered in secrets
Your’e covered in treetops, you’re covered in birds
who can sing a million songs without any words
You cast aside the sheets, you cast aside the shroud
of another man, who served the world proud
You greet another son, you lose another one
on some sunny day and always stay
Mary, Mary, Mary