Monday, March 26, 2012

Singing love songs to the self

Apologies for the ad...they were everywhere.  Listening to Eva Cassidy, with goosebumps, reminded me of a Ry Cooder album called Chicken Skin Music.  Eva, here, = chicken skin.  We'll save Ry Cooder for another day, though his soundtrack for The Long Riders tempted me.

What has been tugging at me is the bafflement of being in a relationship with self, for that is what it is, what we're asked to do.  If only one voice spoke in our heads, if there were only one clear path, one strong, reliable premise.  I do not find that to be the case.  We have dual citizenship, conflicting allegiance, to our separate parts.  What if we sang love songs, read love poems,  to ourselves, brought the disparate sides together with affection?  Who might we become? 

Though not born under the sign of Libra, its influence is strong (and belief in astrology is not a prerequisite to continue here); I seek balance.  It is not a state reached without consideration; it is not always reachable. Who and how we are, to and with ourselves, mirror our external lives, or, more likely,  they are mirrored within, based on how we go through the wider world.

The notion of a love song - for that is what Fields of Gold seems to be - narrowed to exclude any other and instead explore how faithful we may be to ourselves is not something I sought.  It was just, suddenly, there.  I have been working for years to stop seeing myself as a suspicious character, one of the usual suspects when something is amiss.  I work to stop taking myself into the interrogation room, probing motives and explanations, sowing doubt. 

It feels as though I reach my goals slowly, but to what can I reasonably compare my pace?  That I am Ferdinand the Bull in a land founded on the Puritan Ethic has become clear.  That I and my mind wander in several directions at once is no longer shocking news.  Coming to accept life as a more fluid substance than once thought takes getting used to.  Whether or not other - perhaps all - lives have this in common seems possible, though others appear to resist the ebb and flow with more determination than I.  From moment to moment, I now do my best to surrender to a current distantly outside my control.  I don't swim especially well and I suspect that's not the lesson.

"I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We will walk in fields of gold"

I have not always kept the promises I made to myself; not through indifference, not through cruelty, but because keeping them was simply not possible with the tools I possessed.  I believe that each day, each moment, we have the chance to start fresh, to reevaluate and regroup. It is startling, yet not impossible, to think of myself with a happy ending.  Not the classic movie final shot.  Maybe I'm Claude Raines AND Humphrey Bogart, walking companionably, arm in arm, into the Moroccan night.


Kerry O'Gorman said...

The eternal struggle indeed!
Love Eva's covers of songs...such an angelic voice.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - Such a pure, sweet voice. I like this one especially. And thank you. I am glad not to be the lone voice out here trying to make friends with myself. xo

Erin in Morro Bay said...

"This could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

Rubye Jack said...

Rather like a friend, I became a mother to myself years ago. It helped immensely as I think this is when thinks begin to really change for the better for me.

T. said...

"I believe that each day, each moment, we have the chance to start fresh, to reevaluate and regroup. It is startling, yet not impossible, to think of myself with a happy ending."

Words to hang by my bathroom mirror so I'll see them every morning.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Exactly, and never too late to begin. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rubye - That is what's required, a process of re-parenting. I love a story about things changing for the better. The life-long task of becoming us. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - "But I swear in the days still left..." that's the part that really got to me. I never dreamed there were so many second chances. I never dreamed we had so many choices. xo

Kass said...

Oh so beautiful, Marylinn.

These are things that I think about a lot. I make notes to myself constantly in my planner when I'm on the go about how I want to be "in the days still left." I fight against my constant critical voice-over. I read blogs of people who inspire me to be real and in the moment.

You are a joy to be around.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you, more than I can say. I just posted a piece of fiction that's been in my mind for, oh, only bout 27 years. I had to do it before I got the cold feet. The voices of readers reassure me that what feel, at times, like odd notions and unconventional ways of trying to put the pieces together are not complete madness. I have a new phrase, about the critical monkey mind that would have me wither from shame and insufficiency: Send the monkeys to the movies. I am only grateful not to be in the theater at the same time. xo

molly said...

wow, excellent post. while my first instinct is to say, 'i wish i could write like this', i'm going to go with 'super inspiring! thank you' which feels all the better.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Molly - Thank you. I become less resistant to introspection as I witness the courage of others. Ideally, we are all teachers.

Penelope said...

Thanks, Marylinn, for saying it as it is. The wandering mind/s, seeking some kind of balance, conversation, arm-in-arm-in-armness. As an uber-Libran, I get this and am glad for companions on the trail. xx