Being Human and Mental Illness pt 2

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My relationship to music is a very intimate one. I have often said that if it wasn’t for the presence of music in my life I would be dead. Perhaps physically, perhaps just emotionally. I cannot say for sure. But I have my guesses.

Throughout life I have been dealt some heavy instances, somethings I am only now understanding where not at all okay for a child to endure. And in my darkest hours music was there for me. From my walkman, to my discman, to my ipod, to my smartphone – it was and is rare that i didn’t/don’t have my comfort blanket on hand. Music, It never hurt me, it never abandoned me, and it held me and those I held dear when no one else would – or could.

Today was a dark morning for me, Dolores O’Riordan the lead singer to The Cranberries was found dead in her hotel room late last night. I’m crushed, and a sea of torrential tears followed. Dolores was not just her music, she was a Female lead in a country that certainly didn’t encourage that, she was fierce Irish Woman battling mental illness, she was an artist and a revolutionary, she was a Mother of three, she was 46, she was a heroine of mine since I was a small girl. She was art, and her art saved my life.

In Dolores I saw my own reflection. She taught me it was okay to be a rebel, to be a poet, to be different. In the end, in her ending, Music couldn’t save her, but it saved me.

Growing up my Mother loved The Cranberries, my mother loved music in general and most of our days were filled with the shared dance that came with knowing that all we had was each other, and our music. The Cranberries, The Stone Temple Pilots, David Bowie, Queen, and SoundGarden were all a staple. Now their front people are elsewhere than in the living realm. Dead, but not really.
When things got hard, as they often did, music would blare out our car window as we drove, just drove anywhere and listened to music. When my Mom and Stepdad’s domestic abuse would reach a crescendo, music would cradle us in our shared strife. Music was a Mother to me when my own Mother couldn’t be there, Music was her Mother too. The Cranberries often took this space. Her heartfelt irish wails cascading over our shared sorrowing. It encouraged nourishment, grieving, and going forward – only because of the fodder these sounds provided us.

I found home only in my Mother, but something in Dolores’s songs, in her voice reminded me of a home I had not felt yet. It reminded me of my blood’s mother land, it reminded me that revolution, courage and endurance ran through my veins. That I was put on this earth to be brave, that I was put here to receive and to give back ten fold.

Fast forward to me, age 15 – I’m sad, I’m lost and I have no fucking idea what am doing. I need guidance, I need support, I need something – but I am alone, scared and in that strange place in-between being a child and an adult. I reach a space of breaking, and for the first time in my life I go further than just contemplating suicide. In the Fall of my 15th year I took every pill in my house and waited for death to retrieve me, I was tired – and now looking back I understand that I was more tired than any girl my age should have been. The world was on my shoulders and I didn’t know how to ask for help. So I waited, and I listened to music. I listened to The Cranberries album “No need to argue” on repeat, and I cried whilst clutching my “last slurpee”. Melodramatic, hell yes. I never claimed anything different.

The immense physical pain hit, and the music played on. In my delirium it sounded as if she was singing to me, good gods I just wanted a strong, kind, Woman to sing to me. She sang her sonnets, these songs that effected me in a way I had no capacity to understand at that point. And suddenly my breaking point hit a wall; No. I didn’t want to die, I really didn’t. I just wanted someone to sing to me, hold me, and to empower me to make change in my own way. I just wanted a world where people would sing to each other when things became broken. I called 9-1-1 and they were there within 10 minutes.

I lived, obviously – and while I would like to say I was healed completely, I cannot boast such a thing. There were many other slip ups over the next ten years, the scars on my body only a minor reflection of the scars inside. But I was a little bit healed, and a lot less dead than I had planned. Bonus!
Music, has always been the salve that enabled me to pick myself up again, music has saved my life so many times. My desire was only to return that favour with my own artistic expression.

But Dolores is dead, and while this is shattering news to me I am proud that I do not feel the need to join her. We live in a world that does not know how to tend to the mentally ill, A world that sees it as something to be swept under the rug, as a cultural burden. This is bullshit, as it was the culture it’s self that enabled these woundings.

I woke up this morning and I sobbed for an hour, at first I sobbed for her death, and then I sobbed with terror – if she one of my heroines could not do it, then how the fuck could I? Much like I felt when Michael Stone and Chris Cornel had lost their battle with mental illness. They were so strong, how could I possibly keep fighting a battle they lost? And then I cried for her Children, I cried for her fans, her band, and then the plethora of people in the world that felt weaker knowing she had succumbed to her grief.

And then I cried for my mother, she was my best friend, my sister, my home – and now we are estranged. She choose a much different, and very much conflicting path than I. And after Amplify Her came out what little remained of our relationship imploded. These past 3 months I have lost a hero, a home, a Mama, and a very toxic relationship between them all. I cried because I knew somewhere, she was crying too.

I miss my mom, I miss Dolores, and I miss all my dead heroes.

But I still have their music. In addition to that I have my own. and perhaps that is the only respectful form of immortality available to us. One day, I will die, I will feed life with my death and that is proper; but perhaps having lived in such a way that the music and art flowed through me authentically I would be offered the ability to keep giving after my dying. Much like Dolores has.

Her death was too soon, I will not fuck around and say otherwise. She lived in a sad world, one that we all lived in – and she gave until she could not anymore.

I have much to give, far past my young age, far past her age of 46, I have shit to do and a world to fill with art and love. And I promise you I will not do this alone.

There are no lone wolves in the wild, lone wolves die.

Thank you Dolores, thank you so god-damn much for holding me and the others that you did, in the way that you did. Thank you for stirring my ancestral memory as you did, thank you for fighting as you did, thank you for the revolution. We will continue on where you left off.

In my blood there is music, art, magic, power, grief and an infinite amount of love. And god damn it one day I will be in my 90’s telling my great grandchildren all the stories I have been fated to collect. Surrounded by the living, and surrounded by my dead.

This I promise you.

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A Love Letter to Erotica Electronica

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Poetry is a selfish lover. A Bratty Princess.
She rolls over, at all hours – regardless of where I am, what I am working on, or whom I am working on – and she demands to be to be pleasured.

But – when I desire pleasure? inspiration? Like perhaps to ignite in writing my passion and adoration for each of you and these gatherings she replies

“ooooh sorry applecat, I have a headache – can I offer you a haiku? or a limerick even? that will do I am sure”

No, Poetry – a haiku will not do, not for the each of them – not for the dance we together weave.

Thankfully Poetry, -like me- is a voracious switch, and to evoke her submission all you have to do is own it Alpha Wolf style.

“Poetry you naughty little bitch!”

I command.

“I. Am. Your. Mistress. Roll over this instant and fuck me, fill me up with your LUSTFUL musings – for you are mine and I am yours, and with respect I demand you fuck me this instant”

and so with a sly and subby grin, as if that was her plan all along – fill me up she did.

And so, my love letter to Erotica Electronica

There are so many nights
left as blurs, memories of a memory
so many names I claimed to know, faces shifting into one another
some would have called me a shameless slut, others an empowered wanderer
But tonight, I will remember,
as you dance, fingers brushing against skin,
penetrative song, and teeth digging further in
I will revel in each orgasm, post party – regardless if I were there or not
Because tonight, the many are one.

This mask, his mask, her mask, their mask
all these masks to mask our truth, each a delicately crafted work of art,
each a facet of ourselves we choose illuminate
Masks of MULTIPLICITY,
you are not alone in your dark duality, wanton whispers as wet LIPS swell and part
by my MOUTH remands SHUT
Tried on, worn well
cookie cutter paper maiden, slide on, slide in – and out again – smeared over intense expression
Tied tightly, taken off
thrust hard against a wall of rebounding breath, face exposed, fairy tale
ravaged and unveiled

I see you, KIND OF HOLY, and A LITTLE PROFANE – together we gather, naked and BRAZEN – masks deemed obsolescent

you
Undress me with your eyes, dance as I pry you open
imagine lips between your thighs
like animals – teeth and bone, ivory and pink tissue dripping
this salacious carnality tastes like music
and perhaps, just perhaps
thats enough

I
with this found connection, our collective synchropation
half devoured,I slip deeper
into you,
SATIATING, with these secret SOUNDS
quivering in anticipation I BESEECH,
WITHIN this TANGLED orgy of MELODIES
drink me,
love this,
and I will be your slave

So hello tribe
I have mostly come to define you, by my bewildered inability to define you
So please, let whisper these songs to you
The carnal, earnest rage of BASS swelled in hot crescendos across my throat, beneath my ribs, guided by passion
each crafted sound, penetrating your ear, and body with a kind but fierce thrust
I’ll deliver each beat as my coveted discipline
for seeping from my every pore, is an arousing score
the bass and violin, making music of my sin

ah, may it be so that we mount and ride these deep sensual sounds into revolution

I would sip every drop of lust
From the expanse of our souls
back arched in ecstasy
body aching for the barest of touch
For sadistic as I am, how could I possibly be so cruel
to deny you the collective and cosmic climax you crave so much?

In this wild and broken world, you my loves – are both my comfort zone and my edge

The Music will play
Skin on skin, muscles clenching, bodies drenched.
beats are moaned, whimpered and sighed.
with every bar, each cavort grows more intense.
Harder and faster, throbbing, we delight in the ache, squirm and spiral -until-

FUCK

dramatically it crests, gasping, we collapse and fade into afterglow,
– and that is the true love letter yet to be played, and these are the songs of lustful adoration about to be told.

Deeper Still

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I fell hard from my self inflicted cataclysm; deeply plunged in the depths of a medium;

learned to breath – something other than a harrowing doubt
learned to see past what I had been taught.
Heard what could be sanguine, crafted a dream past that goal
and
continued to swim.

For the first time I was fed; after years of devouring unpalatable miasma.

Willing and eager I am bound and beaten by lore;
learned from the best
this wizened domination I invoke to tame sound
-my thirsty and ambitious subordinate
catering with ease to my fluctuating sovereignty.

These Creations are birthed from dualistic understanding and the grace that follows.
These words are mine and I theirs; for nothing can completely destroy and idea once sowed.

Roots: Sex, Music, Activism, Love

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These are the seeds I sowed; ones that spark, Sexuality, Creativity, Activism, Love, Understanding and Spirituality.

Just notes for now.

*3 Years old: My nights are lulled to bed by classic celtic folk songs, Enya’s sweet blend of cosmic future sounds and ancestral lullabies. I remember something, I don’t know at the time that I am remembering; but I feel it. The childlike contentness with not understanding, but knowing deeply regardless; cradling me to sleep

*4 years old: I cannot stop staring at my Moms Cassette and Vinyl inserts. In particular Guns and Roses “Appetite for Destruction”; which features a drawing of aliens, a post apocalyptic dystopian world and to my fascination a very vulnerable very nearly naked woman. I stare, in private and am absolutely entranced. My first memory of a realization of my desire for women (and considering the context perhaps kink)

*5 years old: One year later another pseudo obsession arises; I cannot stop listening to the NIN “Pretty Hate Machine”, Madonna “Like a Prayer” or “Catching up with Depeche Mode” Cassettes. It just can’t be done.

*Six Years old I hear Moonlight Sonata for the first true time, this is my first fundamental memory of getting goosebumps when I heard a song. After this I was hers, music had laid it’s groundwork in each vein in my heart and there was no chance of removal without utter dismal termination.

(Fun fact, wrapped around the tree of life on my arm are the notes to said song)

*Seven years old: My Mom goes with her boyfriend to see Les Miserables, she brings me home the soundtrack and I fall in absolute love. Again I listen and listen and listen, the words to each song now deeply and permanently imbedded in my mind. The heart and soul and anguish of Victor Hugos story, exaggerated by song and theatrics! My little Revolutionary soul ignites, and merges forever with my already prominent love of music.
And suddenly I have this unyielding desire to write….

*Eight years old: My unadulterated adoration for Freddie Mercury of Queen has grown to a peak. His Operatic vocals mixed with theatric rock and roll grab me by the throat and force me to dance.
A delightful mixture of my early love of Rock and Theatre. My first crush, or rather an idol of sorts. My first experience with the ever prominent theme in my life of being attracted to talent and uniqueness, so much so that I would bark at the top of my lungs “God damn it he’s Bisexual with a preference to men, and one day I will marry him!…. he can have a husband too, that wouldn’t bother me.” (Also my first experience with the irritation of the media world depicting Bisexual individuals as solely gay, or “Transitioning”)

One summer day in my Moms Buick I sat in the passenger seat dancing away to “Radio Goo goo”; the song ended and my Mom broke the news to me that Freddie Mercury had passed away; I sat stark and quite, and then it all came pouring out. I cried, a lot; I cried because his chapter was finished, I cried because his music would flow out new no more, I cried because his soul had faded away in to the next life. I grieved, and with that; I knew death.

*Nine years: old I discover Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins) and Purple (Stone temple Pilots). Absolutely in rapture I proclaim with great jubilation

“Holy FUCK!”

*Ten years old: I find Prodigies “Fat of the land”, paired with Ministry, and Crystal Method I note; Whoa Industrial breaks, Whoa BASS; I remark they sure can do a lot with Computers and sound.
My first love for Electronic Music blossoms……

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!

Sometimes I feel it’s swallowed me whole

This found love-
-Half devoured as I sink in to you
Satiating you, a secret inside
Shivering in anticipation. I beseech-

-Drink Me.

Before.
I sought redemption by
personal crucifixion,
-for this so called tragic human condition

A veteran in wandering

I traveled in pilgrimage; for so long
I forgot where I came from, forgot what I was looking for
I knew only the search-
and all I remembered was the song

Upon dusted venture I lay claim to my great grey in-between;
to my aloneness; my obliteration
Until you answered my song.

“How dare he”

I thought.

Come in-between me and my coveted plight.

“How DARE he”

I growled

Eye to eye with the moon, to the night

Love; abashed. Returned to it’s home
like Lady Macbeth I bellowed

“Out damned spot”

But to no avail.

Devotion sprouted like a weed; and demanded I take flight;
memory jogged, the proverbial apple bitten
it’s flesh torn.

I remembered
I sought not a kingdom to overthrow, but a companion to build it a new

ashes to ashes; dust to dust

So;
To you, the uninvited adversary
and only to you
this dragons treasure I entrust.

Now hush you,
and listen to my song once more.

Ancient Babylonian songs and reoccurring myth

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“What really lasts in this world? What dies, what can be revived? Are humans basically the same now as in ancient times? I was left pondering these questions after listening to singer and composer Stef Conner’s album The Flood. It’s probably the first ever to be sung in ancient Sumerian and Babylonian, and it’s hauntingly beautiful’

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/what-did-ancient-babylonian-songs-sound-like-something-like-this/

A direct link to these haunting ancient babylonian songs/soundcloud (I have had them on repeat for over an hour; and am contemplating remixes and personal renditions)

https://soundcloud.com/newsweek-tech-science/sets/the-flood

and my personal favourite.

https://soundcloud.com/newsweek-tech-science/ishtars-descent?in=newsweek-tech-science/sets/the-flood

Ishtar was the babylonian goddess of love, war, fertility, and sexuality.

A complex deity, Ishtar combined the characteristics—both good and evil —of many different goddesses. As a benevolent mother figure, she was considered the mother of gods and humans, as well as the creator of all earthly blessings. In this role, she grieved over human sorrows and served as a protector of marriage and motherhood. People also worshiped Ishtar as the goddess of sexual love and fertility. The evil side of Ishtar’s nature emerged primarily in connection with war and storms. As a warrior goddess, she could make even the gods tremble in fear. As a storm goddess, she could bring rain and thunder.’ Continue reading