Dancing, searching for home.
Ashley is a sneaky genius and psychic friend. Seriously. The shift from “Home” to “Homecoming” is a slight one, but it completely changed the trajectory of this playlist. See, when I read the word, “Home”, the first song that came to mind was the epic Homecoming segment from Green Day’s American Idiot album, and I figured I would use it to end the playlist. Then, that little change. Suddenly, Homecoming became the starting point. What if you come home so changed from an experience that your notion of what home is becomes completely fucked? How do you navigate what used to be your base but is now foreign territory while grieving for the places (and people) that took up residence inside your heart?
Well, in my case, I tried to drag remnants of my new life into my old home, and it was disastrous. I was devastated, a mass of sobs and sadness. Then, I slowly woke and began to claw my way through the wilderness with bitterness and cynicism. I shoved my grief deep, deep down. I drank and danced and made a glorious mess out of my feelings. The ache was still there, of course, the longing for home, and it would make itself known, usually in the quiet hour in between the end of the party and my head hitting the pillow. I also had nightmares where I would return to my happy landscape with a palpable dread, feeling that something was off, knowing that I would wake up to a life that was at once completely suffocating and strangely hollow.
This time in my life was painful but necessary. I found my voice because I had to make my presence known in order to survive, and I started to go beyond merely existing. I started to live. It was even fun a lot of the time. I laughed and wore too much makeup. I played and had a recklessness about me that allowed me to try things I never would have had the courage to do before. I kissed strangers and partied in my pajamas. I sweated and screamed in mosh pits and chased after rock stars. I tottered around in high heels and push-up bras and short skirts. I cried a lot, too, but I kept that mostly to myself. Somehow, as I went through all of this, I managed to create meaningful friendships. Some were short-lived and some are still going strong, but they all helped me to live through hell and figure out how to make a home again. I got to try on different versions of myself, little bits seeping under my skin to help me become who I am today: a fighter, a storyteller, a marvelous weirdo who can face all the fucked-up realities of life and keep going. I built myself from the ground up. I am home.
Enjoy this sonic interpretation of my journey. I hope you all find yourself at home in your own skin.
I just want to run and dive in.
This picture is from the last time I was at the ocean. It was at a wedding; the air was crisp and perfect. The waves gently lapped against the shore, and I wanted to dive in so badly. I was wearing a navy cotton eyelet dress and shiny patent flats, which I took off to dig my toes into the moist sand. I wonder when I’ll ever be able to go to the ocean again.
I wasn’t going to write about this or bitch about it any more than I have, but to hell with it. I miss the ocean. I feel the swell in my belly and my breast, but I cannot go to the ocean right now. I have solar dermatitis, which is a skin rash that flares up in the sun, and boy, the sun has been one hell of a showy bitch this summer. I have to be outdoors for work, and that is bad enough. The itch is immediate and strong. My skin is deeply tanned but blotchy and bumpy, little white spots peeking through the caramel in a mocking sort of way. Mind you, I am religious about sunscreen, so it’s not for my lack of sun safety. No, the heat and brightness of that big star has overpowered me.
One week, we had continuous clouds and rain every day, and I was actually joyous at times. My skin had stopped crawling for a few days. But now….
I have, of course, made a playlist of all the songs that bring me some sense of cool and calm, that speak to my longing for water. I wish the beach was close enough that I could at least visit after sundown, just go and inhale the clean saline scent, feel it on my skin. I feel so lost without it. Perhaps my love for autumn has manifested itself as a burning hatred for these hot and humid times.
Enjoy while soaking up the sun or, if you’re like me, looking outside your window and wishing your body wasn’t rejecting summer.
So I’ve been holed up in my loungeroom for the past week, studying for exams, drinking herbal tea and eating coffee ice cream and listening to this album on repeat. I can’t quite pinpoint why, but I think this is perfect for this week’s theme; something about the way she sings unnerves me but I can’t stop listening to it. And the album as a whole just has such a beautiful narritive quality, as each song unfolds so perfectly into the next. My favourite line is probably from the song ‘You Know’, which I’ve posted below. Seriously you guys, her lyrics are like poetry.
“And I was so sure,
but you free wheelin’ troubadour,
you took my mind off the scene”
Once I Was An Eagle
Enjoy! I promise I will have some fiction for you very soon! I’m almost there but not quite.
Some songs have this magical way of helping you become conscious of both what is happening inside of you and the world around you. It’s a beautiful marriage. Here, a playlist, perfect for an hour of wandering, meandering, and reflecting: