Concierto de Aranjuez: II. Adagio

Trust me, take the 12 minutes to listen & watch it preferably. 

There are several pieces of classical that I have loved since rather early childhood, this is one of them. To me, all people should have the opportunity to fall in love with classical. Not every piece will strike you powerfully, but when they do, you are changed. 

To soothe & break all at once, this is my pick for today. 

Drugs Are Drugs Are Drugs

This is the only version of Black Hole Sun I’ve heard live. This was stuck in my head on replay ALL day yesterday, this version, tho I did not listen to it until today. 

It seems a common thread in the tales of artists & suicide that they were on something that made them go crazy that caused them to commit suicide. 

Personally, I have yet to hear or personally see a positive course of mental medications from start to finish. Literally everyone I know who’s decided to take medication for anxiety & depression have gone through a terrible time, most even either becoming suicidal or attempting suicide. Some have the sense to commit themselves before it got that bad, but all in all, messing with the body chemistry has not gone well, without major issues for anyone I know. 

That being said, I don’t doubt that some people need medication to function, frankly, I think writing, music, video games, alcohol, exercise…can all be used as ways of coping from what I’ve seen. But generally some coping techniques are safer. 

People who take anxiety medications & antidepressants, in my opinion, need a very extensive personal network of individuals who are deeply in tune with what’s going on & should be under close supervision. Especially if they are prone to addictions & unpredictable. 

Now that it has come out that Chris Cornell was on Ativan, it all makes me less angry, and I had assumed something would be behind such a shocking turn. I have little doubt that prescription medication will be found as playing a suspected roll in his death. 

May anyone who feels the need to be on these medications stick close to their loved ones & speak up if they are having suicidal thoughts. It’s heart breaking that after seeking help for anxiety, these people become so susceptible to suicidal tendencies. 

The Long Read…

Once, many years ago, I learned to read. Like most children of North America, I learned at school. I recall my Gr.1 teacher painstakingly pulling a classroom of reluctant emergent readers through various tales of “Mr. Mugs” like it was slew-water, each child dreading their turn to read aloud before all the other dreading emergents. 

Reading became a sport. Skill & desire to participate were closely linked & some of us, tho perhaps not pre-school readers, had extensive home libraries where we had poured over books on long lazy afternoons. Our home library had been carefully stocked by my mother. We were nearly banned from consuming tv and so, books were our thing. Everything from picture books, large illustrated collections of fairy tales, bible based books for children & adults, comics—some my dad’s in German, some classic Disney & such—one memorable one was an illustrated version of The Hobbit, but we also had encyclopedias & science & nature books on so many subjects I simply could not get bored. “Reading” to me in preschool life had been a slow, leisurely consumption of information & imagination. 

Then, “Mr. Mugs” wrecked it all. Reading became, as stated, a sport. Competitive relays & speed & written reports & never a quest for genuine adventure. It was forced upon us all. 

I believe I retained some of my early joy of reading, finding treasure in Beverly Cleary & a plethora of horse novellas in the mid elementary grades. I discovered I preferred adventurous animal fictions & discovered Richard Adams, at my mother’s suggestion, and then moved in to Tad Williams, & that genre carried me into high school. High school became the ultimate attempt to turn love of literature to hate. Tho I loved most novels we were assigned, historical fiction beginning to really emerge as the perfect marrying of adventure & history education to spark my interest, for the most part, they take the driest, most detestable forms of reading, throw it at you, impose a deadline & report upon you, & expect you to enjoy it. Few if any do. 

Most develop a keen & awkward hate for Shakespeare & for poetry, for short story & certainly for writing about literature. School takes the pure adventure out of reading, stripping it down to the bones & leaving it unsalted. 

After high school, I began the classic adult life of the uneducated. Life gets hard quick & reading usually gets set to the side. Between 3am feedings & laundry, brains just don’t function so well, let alone eyes for words on a page. Over the years my reading consumption has been mostly spiritual in nature with the odd splurge on something fictional. 

I say splurge because it has been. I pick up a book, and in three days it must be done, at the cost to nearly everything in my life—the house is a mess, the suppers are barely made, kids are left to veg on tv—all while I binge on a book, or heaven help me, sometimes a trilogy. This has been how I’ve consumed literature for years—a guilty pleasure squeezed into a life overflowing. I’ve not had the leisure of slowly consuming a book. If it gets put down, that’s it. Game over. The book hits the shelf & isn’t likely to be picked up again. Life gets too busy & frankly, I lose interest. 

The first book I recall meandering through, perhaps ever, was The First Men in the Moon, H.G. Wells, just a few years ago. I slowly read it, pondering his writing, his skill at taking what little he must have known of the moon, and braiding this beautiful sci-fi from that knowledge. The characters were lovely & the adventure was so very real. It was a classic & instead of rushing it, I savoured it. 

Now, I’m working on book 3 in an eight book series, the writing having spanned from the early nineties until just three years ago. It is historical fiction with just enough sex I don’t care to recommend it—to each their own. But it is the long read. It changes times from the 1700’s to the 1900’s, the details can be cumbersome, quite unlike popular fiction these days which tends to be more like you’re watching a movie than reading a book, so it takes some amount of digestion & processing. I think I’ve gotten lazy. I’m more used to the easier reads now. But, because of the length of the novels, plus the amount of them, I find myself unhurried & able to set it down, days at a time, and return to continue the journey of these characters. 

It just dawned on me, that perhaps after a life time of school-taught reading style of binge consumption & hurriedness, this is how reading is meant to be. How nice. To just take your time, & read. 

It Feels Selfish

So, this is an unfair statement, but it is how I feel: when I hear someone who had family, talent, friends, money, everything that so many don’t have, have taken their life, I’m angered. Yes. I know about mental illness. Yes. I understand, they were in enough mental torment they chose this. But, man I’m angry. 

It makes me feel, snippy & defensive. My inner dialogue says: how dare you. When you had all that, to just disregard life and end it. How many people struggle & despite having far less, find a way to fight on. But, I suspect I don’t really understand mental illness to this degree. I have felt many times like we are all running from a black wave, a tsunami. I do. But then, a moment, one brief, minuscule moment & I can feel how quickly you can feel every pain is so worth this thing called life. 

That being said, I have a very strong belief in life & a hope after death, and a hope within this life that many don’t have. 

But I just feel angry. More than sad. I don’t understand how they can put those suffering life’s ills through yet another, purposefully. It feels selfish. How dare you inflict more pain on a world in agony. That’s what I feel. Nothing else. 

The Harder Days…

So among the thing seldom spoken of among pet owners are the days when you’re kind of just waiting for the inevitable. 


We’ve had Nysa (Nee-sa) for over a decade. She’s such a lovely dispositioned dog. We got her from a rescue society & to my surprise she has been the best dog I’ve had. She’s been my companion everyday, guardian to my kids, and a faithful watch in the night. 

The last few months she’s really slowed. She’s begun to seem disoriented and often, I will wonder if she’s dead on her dog bed as she stares at nothing, barely moving. This week I’ve begun to find blood on the floor, assuming it’s from her mouth, and she’s been throwing up water. Otherwise, she seems okay, tho she sometimes opts to be let out the door rather than going through the dog door. 

This morning, she’s super not herself. She’s been like this before, but not with fresh blood on the floor. She’s bleeding from somewhere tho I can’t find where & it isn’t obvious now. I would guess cancer. She’s lathargic & I’m feeling quite weepy about the whole thing because tho I’ve grumped about her hair overload, I know it’s getting time to take her in.

Funny how tragic these things feel. I kind of feel broken hearted because I know I have to make the call, probably in the very near future, unless she just passes away in her sleep. Which is what I want. No one wants to make that call. 


Her & Spitfire have always had the most special of relationships. Probably because Spitfire is her baby. Until these two, I’d never experienced how a dog can just love a child. X & Roxy have this same closeness.  Dogs & their children, so sweet. 

She mothered a litter of abandoned kittens & certainly mothered Roxy. 

These last days are just so hard to watch. I’m sad to know our days left with such a lovely creature are almost done. 

Chris Cornell

I can’t say I was a huge fan but I can appreciate a musician for what they are & I certainly appreciate when artists grow & that they leave musical Interlude threaded through our memories. 


I’m happy I did get to hear & see him perform live & those early nineties rusty songs of dirt & despair had become songs in a sound track of my life. Songs like Black Hole Sun & Fell On Black Days were as much a staple in those young years of grunge as Nirvana’s music. 

Driving to the mountains in a car packed with eager youth there were some bands that were always on the playlist…Soundgarden was one of them. Tho I certainly lost touch with him until last year when he came through in the Higher Truth tour, I can appreciate that he was a great artist & am sad to hear about he’s passing. 

On that note, here is my personal favourite by him that isn’t from the nineties, a cover of Nothing Compares 2 U

Sculptor 

So, among the things as a mother I have grown to love, are these little treasures my children make me. My youngest & only son is now in his first year at school & has begun bringing home sculpted treasures for me. I hate to say it because all my children are very artistic, but he is my favourite sculptor. His are the most colourful & the most divergent from the plan they are given. 


His dinosaur, even his sister had to admit, kicked the butt of the one she did in Kindergarten. 

That all being said, these precious momentos of my kids when they are/were little grow more precious as they get older. I’m sure parents the world over have things the little hands of the children made that they treasure, and look back on in fondness. I am no different. These all sit, proudly displayed to remind me, this is the best job I could ever have been privileged with. These kids are my everything. 

Subtle

The subtleness of the man he is, 

Gazing out upon the world

Not knowing where he goes, or in fact,

From what he came, but 

To have touched what soul is mine

And breathe with it, the hints

Of grey upon us both, yet still,

I feel this—

We are young & we are Love