via Daily Prompt: Bewildered
Bewildered was a song by one of Asia’s most popular singers Leslie Cheung, who sadly took his own life in 2003. (I have worked in the area of suicide prevention for years, but even though I know the technicalities of suicide, I am still bewildered by it, which, I guess is hardly surprising as I’m not in that space).
Cheung was a very gifted person, a successful singer and a successful actor. He had/has a huge following. I recognize his name from acting – if you ever saw the movie ‘Farewell My Concubine’ then you have seen Leslie Cheung in action. I couldn’t find a version of ‘Bewildered’ with English subtitles, but even so, I quite liked the experience of listening to him sing in Cantonese, and watching him perform/act on the clip. Cheung is considered to be one of the fathers of Cantopop, which is a genre of Cantonese music. Which reminds me of personal truth – I don’t always need to understand something in order to enjoy it. In fact, I can sometimes enjoy the unknown or not understood more than if I did understand or know. Which is an even greater truth, I don’t need to understand everything. Sometimes mystery is good for the soul.
Filed under art, life, music
via Daily Prompt: Blink
Blink 182 released the album ‘Enema of the State’ in 1999. On that album is the song ‘All The Small Things’ which was regularly featured on the MTV playlist that year. The song was for guitarist Tom DeLonge’s then girlfriend, and uncharacteristically it was a pop song, and ironically, their best selling hit. But the video was soemthing else. The video was a parody of the Back Street Boys, N Sync, and takes a swipe at Britney Spears as well. I found it refreshing because I was sick of the unimaginitive pop music, and the very formulaic dance videos at that time, and this was comedic release. I love comedy, especially satire, and this was a fabulous production. I particularly love the blackened teeth when they play the boy band – mocking the perfect toothy grins of boy bands.
For me it is a reminder that we sometimes become too serious about everything and there is a place for humour, comedy, parody and the like. There has to be a valve to release the pressure. In his major work ‘A Secular Age’, philosopher Charles Taylor raises the point that in the Dark Ages all sorts of devices were created in order for society to let off steam, so that with Mardi Gras, and other public celebrations, it was possible to break the rules and be naughty and incur no penalty. We need a bit more naughty and some fun as I see it, we’ve become a narrow and judgemental world that perpetuates fear in order to maintain cohesion, albeit, control. It’s the small things that make me laugh and help me get by sometimes.
Filed under history, life, music
via Daily Prompt: Percussive
We were waiting to make a dash for the car. It had been raining all afternoon, and now into the night. The rain was percussive, it was pinging off the metal of the car bodies, drumming on the bitumen, splashing in the puddles, and sounding like a rivet gun on the awning where stood. I love rain, it’s a sign of life, hope for life to come. Rain is refreshing, like petrichor, the smell ofrain on summer scorched earth. When I was a kid, I loved running around in the rain. I still don’t mind bush walking in the rain.
I love the sound of rain too, that percussion on a tin roof! I find gentle rain quite comforting, it’s like natures mantra.
And the song always comes to mind: ‘I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone.’ It’s like the rain somehow intervenes in my life, it overwhelms my senses, enables me to refocus. In some way, rain helps me to be more vulnerable, but most especially in the bush.
via Daily Prompt: Mercy
Oh Mercy was the 26th studio album by Bob Dylan released in 1989, which seems a lifetime ago now. It was a return to moral, social and political themes following his turn to Chrisitanity and three overtly religious albums, and two mild productions. Oh Mercy carries religious and political themes but more in the usual style of the understated Dylan. For me the two significant tracks on the album are ‘Political World’ which decries any attempt to segment or compartmentalise life sealing off anything political. Dylan makes it very clear that everything is political and we are political, thus the world we live in is unavoidably poltical because we are in that world. We make it political because we are. But there is a hope for a differnt world because politics dominates and poisons our world. Thus, ‘Political World’ is a typical Dylan muse about life and a tirade against the corruption of politics.
The second track I love is ‘Most of the Time’ which a song about lost love, another Dylan genre. It is both whistful, biting and grieving in one. The rest of the album is as good.
And the title says it all. a desire to be rescued from the forces of the world over which we have seemingly little control. There are no solutions, but a deep listening and resonance with life as we know it. The solutions are in our understanding and response as we deal with life and listen deeply to our needs and purpose.
Courtesy of Youtube: Official Dylan Site – ‘Most of the Time’
via Daily Prompt: Mushroom
When I was a kid there was a popular song in England in 1960 called “My Old Man’s a Dustman.” (in Australia we’d now say garbo or garbage collector). It was sung by Lonnie Donegan, and jointly composed. It made it to number one, which is amazing as it is a comedy routine and story song, certainly not a pop song. The song had cockney rhyming slang, dad jokes and double entendre. What comes to mind from the song is the line:
“My dustbin’s absolutely full with toadstools.
How do you know it’s full?
‘Cause there’s not mushroom inside.”
The humble button mushroom in the photo is one of my favourites, great as fresh in salad or as grilled on the BBQ for breakfast. I always have room for mushrooms.
Filed under food, music, nature
via Daily Prompt: Riff
From Youtube, an excerpt from the doco ‘It Might Get Loud’ featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White.
This gives a few seconds of that iconic riff from ‘Whole Lotta Love’ which filled the airwaves 1969. Simple but yet inspiring, when I first heard it I couldn’t stop moving to the riff.
Riff also brings me back to wonderful conversations. To riff on someone or their contribution to a conversation is to build, diverge or dip into that conversation. Like when you have that meaningful moment in a group where everyone is excited, not competing, but really contributing and enjoying each other. Riffing requires openness and patience, respect. It’s worth it because the result is connection, growth and fun. Its even better with good food and wine, but its main ingredient is willing journey friends. And the riff of conversation can move me even more than a guitar riff, it goes deeper.