This morning on the way home from preschool drop-off and listening to the embarrassing morning show with the name I dare not mention lest I lose major cool points with all you kids reading, I heard a song that, at first, I swore was sung by a woman. A throaty, possibly androgynous woman, but a female vocalist nonetheless.
So, of course, thinking that, Joan Armatrading came to mind. Remember Joan Armatrading? If you ever took a Philosphical Tenets of the Gay and Lesbian Movement or Gender in Historical Fiction & Fashion Design class, I know you have. Seriously. Every feminist worth holding a Gloria Steinem card fucking LOVES Joan Armatrading.
This song, this acoustically and slightly amped up song that is juuuuuust this side of country/lite, reminded me of this Joan Armatrading CD I accidentally-on-purpose never returned to a fellow women studies student back in the grad school days when it was perfectly legit -- even RADICAL! -- to put the Dead, Jewel, Calobo, Bjork and Joan side by side in the old CD player. That CD is probably lodged in the middle of avery serious and highly academic text book chapter on how to Venn diagram inequitable gender-biased pay rates with release dates of from Britney Spears' discography. Thank the goddesses for YouTube, though, so you can listen and nod your head in agreement like a good little Indigo Girl.
First, these Carolina Liar chicks guys with long hair from Sweden (huh?...I read their blog and bios and can't tell if that is real or some kind of ha-ha band funny that's been overdone on a bus from Omaha to a suburb of Philly).
And now, the amazing, invincible, timelessly headbanded and frohawked Joan Armatrading for comparison.
And then, just because I've already gotten out my "Feminism is the
radical notion women are people too" t-shirt, here's another dose of
It was a weekend to exhale. That didn't mean there was a lot of relaxing, though. Lil E's Friday night meltdownseeped into Saturday and he came home Sunday to tell me he "had a tough time with Daddy" and needed to talk. I knew that meant he needed a quiet day to transition back to his life at our home during thisalready-big transition to our life right now.
I canceled our plans to go sledding and instead, took down the Christmas decorations while he played quietly with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Baby Jesus (who knew this pairing would be such a natural send off for the child savior before being packed away for another year).
I wasn't sorry to be quiet and still -- or at least, more quiet and still -- than I anticipated. I pressed through the weekend, staying out late and having fun but not taking any time to process all that went on in the week before. We had a good Sunday, a happy Sunday, staying close to home and each other. And in between songs playing softer than usual from my laptop, I realized that I need more of this.
It's not a revolutionary thought. In fact, it is the recurring realization that keeps my therapist going on cruises with my co-pays. But once again, it was good to be still enough to hear how much I need some and space to let this all sink in. I'm OK, just ready for a new way of living.
Maybe Lil E and I both need that. And while we are moving through this week at a slower pace, I have a feeling this song's going to be playing often. Not loudly, just often.
(Shhh, it's Sia's Breathe Me. You've probably heard it already. Do sit back, take a moment with me and listen again. You know it will soothe you.)
As a part of reclaiming nearly the whole CD collection (except for some key guitar riff-driven reminders I do not need coming through the speakers....yes, that's a big, smiling buh-bye to you, Rusted Root!), I also listen to music while I do all the things I haven't done in years or ever -- while I am dutifully paying bills on time, strategizing how to get a month's worth of grocery shopping done in the twenty minutes I have left before the boy is dropped off and talking to my grrrlfriends late into the night.
I've dug back into boxes and pulled out CDs and mix tapes I haven't heard since long before I met the Almost-Ex. Those songs seem to call to me as I remember who I was before that love scene became several long acts.
Now, words and direction are appearing on pages that were once blank. Now, there is also new music playing in the background. For months, I've wanted to write down what plays at certain times, to create some kind of soundtrack for all of this. And now, it is time.
This first playlist is an easy pick: Songs for moving on. It's where we're starting because it's where it all starts. Simple (and complicated) as that.
Whether you are a single parent entering or exiting stage left or are leaving a job or need some new music in your own speakers, I hope you enjoy.
And for the record, my iPod is about as functional as the oversized, soy butter and fishy cracker caked extra remote control we have floating around here for some reason. For that reason, we're kicking it YouTube style this set, my friends.
If this music isn't your style or I've left out a critical song, make some suggestions. Some days I'm just happy not to hear the theme song to Caillou or Lazy Town again, for God's sake, so I won't be offended if I'm not exactly on top of things over here. And not to worry, we are so going to get to the songs of bitterness, raunchiness, cussing and Justin Timberlake. All in good time, mamas. All in good time.
Click and cook or coffee or clear your mind or pack your own CDs up (after the jump, of course). Cheers to you and whatever plays out in your next scene.