Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Definiton of Greatness Isn't Perfection!

I watched the funeral service held in Boston for Senator Edward Kennedy and I am exhausted. I cried and I cried, especially when Senator Kennedy's son Ted Jr. spoke. His genuine and incredibly enlightened eulogy moved me so very much and epitomized the greatness of the Senator! I know through therapy that an effect of loss is of course sensitivity to loss. The death of Senator Kennedy marks a place in history that won't be easily forgotten, not only because of what he accomplished in spite of all that he endured, but also because he was able to fulfill the promise that his older brothers were not given time do. The insanity that murdered hope and promise was conquered by a man that overcame many obstacles through compromise, respect and action that in my mind can be described as loving kindness! Ted Kennedy's greatness was indeed due to his ability to be like a lion, but it was also because he was able to be like a lamb, giving of himself tirelessly. Working for, and respecting all, even his adversaries!

There is a lesson in this 77 year long life for all of us who have ears to listen! Broken and imperfect and yet he ends up being the most profound and effective legislator of our time! Listen to the moving words by President Obama!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


The title of this blog comes from a song by HEART.....If you love me like music I'll be your song......sometimes words are not necessary where there is soul.....Please listen!

I do have to explain this next has happened before where I buy a CD and quickly listen to the songs and of course the hits grab me and I find a few more and they become my play list for that CD. Then sometime later on (sometimes years later) I listen again and discover absolute gems! It feels like life (forces of nature) brings us together, the music and me, for a soul filled meaningful reason. Sometimes to make you smile and dance, sometimes to mourn and weep! This next song by Savage Garden is one of those songs and what SYNCHRONICITY! Questions and introspection.....

I just got this vibe to include a poem I wrote in 1977, just two years removed from high school.


You're a first drop of rain
or a whisper of snow
when a fresh climate is needed
for me to grow.
You're a rainbow of color
that paints a vision
a composer of solutions
to guide my decisions.
This poem is a symbol
of what you mean to me
but there is something else
that maybe you didn't see.
Between each of these words
lies a HEARTBEAT or two
of my life in bloom
since I began loving you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I had a nice lunch today with a dear friend. His name is James. I cannot say enough good things about him! Genuine, kind, loving, caring and talented are just a few adjectives to describe him! Oh yes, he happens to also be the minister of my church! I am grateful that he had the time to hear my thoughts and it was nice to be able to listen as well. I am posting a few songs that resulted from our conversation. One is Roy Orbison and K.D. Lang and their duet, CRYING....

I also mentioned the touching tribute that K.D. Lang wrote in Rolling Stone's IMMORTALS--THE GREATEST ARTIST OF ALL TIME issue. Roy was listed as number are her words.

I've always compared Roy Orbison to a tree: passive and beautiful yet extremely solid. He maintained a sense of humility and sensitivity and gentleness uncommon to his era. He wasn't effeminate but extremely gentle. He was someone you felt entirely safe with, whether you were listening to his records or being around him. It wasn't like Elvis: It wasn't like your loins were on fire or anything like that. It's more like Roy was a private place to go -- a solace or a refuge.
He broke the mold of the Fifties tough-guy thing, and even the style of his music was a kind of fine art for somebody from Wink, Texas. It was cosmopolitan in a mysteriously soft and romantic way.

Roy Orbison was like a folk opera singer. I think he was influenced by Spanish opera in structure and in feel. He also loved to express his voice in this upper range, in falsetto. He was vulnerable and strong at the same time. He was extremely earnest in his voice and his appearance, and yet he had this veil of mystery to him.

In 1987, Roy and I recorded a version of "Crying" for a movie called Hiding Out. We ended up recording "Crying" in Vancouver, which is where I lived. I walked into the studio, and it was like staring at the huge image of the Marlboro Man on Sunset Boulevard -- so immediately ominous and present. We were rehearsing the song in the studio with the band, and Roy and I happened to be sharing a mike. When we got to a part where we were singing at the same time, we both leaned into the mike and our cheeks touched. His cheek was so soft, and the energy was so amazing. Not sexual but totally explosive, like the chemistry of some sort of kinship. I'll never forget what that felt like. I can hear that voice right in my ear. His vibrato was sort of fast and had a small waver within it, and that's what gave him the vulnerable sound. That voice.

[From Issue 946 — April 15, 2004]

We talked about Vicki and the last time Dianne (Jame's Wife) saw her in the hospital. I was there and so was James. Vicki quickly told Dianne that her singing voice reminded her of Paula Cole. I sit near Dianne in church and she does have a beautiful voice! She seems to be able to sing in many different voices and yes I have heard that Paula Cole like sound! So I will post a couple of Paula's biggest hits....

I want to post another great song by The Calling that I truly love (to sing)...raw emotion and soul! This is the original music video and since most and not able to be embedded this one may get pulled at some point!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Survivor's Guilt and a Muddled Brain!

I have been writing of late about how hard things are and believe me I am not exaggerating. If anything, knowing me, I am understating things. I feel such powerful emotions and I really feel sick inside. I really feel that the stress of a new position at school is a big part. But, I also think I feel awful that Vicki cannot teach this fall. Right now she would be very excited and preparing to teach. She loved what she did sooo very much. I don't love it nearly as much. That doesn't mean I don't do it well. I relate to students in a meaningful way and can relay information in productive ways. I just feel bad about that....I am doing what she had taken from her! Life just seems to be pressing against me and yet I know if I hang in there, and lower my standards I can be OK! This song by Toad the Wet Sprocket says it well! I'll post the lyrics too!

It's hard to rely on my good intentions
When my head's full of things that I can't mention
Seems I usually get things right
But I can't understand what I did last night

It's hard to rely on my own good senses
When I miss so much that requires attention
Have to laugh at myself sometimes
And I can see that I'm not blind

There's little relief
Give us reprieve
For all the things I've left behind
I'm positive that I'm not blind

I'm not afraid things won't get better
But it feels like this has gone on forever
You have to cry with your own blue tears
Have to laugh with your own good cheer

It's hard to rely on my good intentions
When my head's full of things that I can't mention
Seems I usually get things right
But I can't understand what I did last night

There's little relief
Give us reprieve
Imagining the world outside
I'm positive that I'm not blind

I can't be hard on you
'cause you know I've been there too
Learned a lot of things from you

But life gives little relief
Give us reprieve
And when everyone is cold as ice
I clinch my fists and close my eyes
Imagining the world outside
But I can see that I'm not blind"

This picture was in Vicki's desk when I cleaned it out after Christmas. It had a post-it on the back from a fellow teacher who wrote, "Vicki...I thought this picture of you was really how often does someone take our pictures at work! Have a good year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Could It be Any Harder?

Well, I have been reluctant to post this next song because it meant so much to me before and after Vicki died! The album came out around 2001 and I discovered it by accident thinking it contained a different song that I was looking for by another group. The purchase seemed like a mistake! I listened to the CD and fell in love with this song because of the emotion and depth, as well as the way the lead singer performed it. He just seemed to be letting it all out! So the song made my play list for a long time! You know, a song among many songs that you listen to over and over till it slowly slips off your list of "this moment" songs! I never knew the song would have such meaning. To be with Vicki when she died was the absolute most difficult thing I have ever experienced in this life! She never did really say goodbye...her last words were.. "It's can go...I'll see you in the morning!" She said this the night before she died! I did think about this song in the weeks after she died and I told myself there was just no way I could listen to it. It would be way too emotional and too difficult. Well, while the song did get airplay for The Calling, it certainly wasn't a monster hit, so one morning very soon after that difficult Saturday I was in the shower listening to Live 95.9 for news and weather before work and out of nowhere they play this song. My heart moved to my throat, but I listened and it has become my mourning song! It was a moment of synchronicity to be sure, or at least I thought that to myself! I haven't posted it because it was like I wanted to keep it to myself! My own personal and meaningful psalm of sadness and loss! So now I post it as I enter the most challenging point in my life after Vicki, without her help and support for me, this life, and Bailey! It just couldn't be any harder right now! The original video cannot be embedded so I am using someone elses video with lyrics.....I have listened to this song many times with face soaking tears! So I share this song from my own soul of pain and meaning with several doses of fear and struggle!

I have added these pictures to help this post have some light. The graduation picture was taken by me in 1987 at North Adams State College after she completed her degree to teach. The top picture is from 1986 and was taken even before we were married and it was taken in my room at my parents house.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


No, I am not talking about just one day but this whole period of my life. One by one, people let me down and maybe 2 people in this world have spoken to me with some kind of understanding of not only what to say but how to be present! August, in particular has been the most challenging month for me as I face the most difficult career/life challenge on the heels of way too many challenges! But work doesn't care about that stuff and if I open my mouth I'll only hear cheer leading and empty explanation! I enter this gauntlet without a feeling that I have emotional or physical strength to succeed but I will try the best I can! So in the interest of health I have been walking and while listening to my MP3 player this great song fromt the great CD, The Rising stuck....

Monday, August 10, 2009


Berkshire Living has proven to be a wonderful magazine full of articles about this culture, complete listings of the goings on and even music insights by the well known local critic and writer Seth Rogovoy. In the August Issue,, Rogovoy writes an article entitled FREUDIAN HIP about Roy Orbison. A new box set titled Roy Orbison The Soul of Rock 'n' Roll is the inspiration for his article. He states that Orbison bridged the gap between the first rock 'n' roll stars and the Beatles and the British invasion. Orbison dominated the charts between 1961 and 1963 and that was made a bit easier by the fact that "Elvis was in the army, little Richard found GOD, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis were in sex scandals and Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran were dead!"

But there was also something very different about Orbison in both his style and music. His influences included pop, blues, R&B, Latin, Tex-Mex. country, opera, doo-wop and rockabilly. Rogovoy clearly points out that Orbison was a "total original." His had a unique and amazing voice with great falsettos and amazing range from deep bass to an operatic high-G. His stage presence was the complete opposite of stars before him as he stood motionless wearing his trademark prescription sunglasses.

The thing about Orbison was that while most songs were about puppy love and sexual innuendo, his were about "fear of sex and anguish over the possibility of intimacy." Just look at his song titles which say it all, "Crying", "Blue Bayou", "Falling", "It's Over" and "Only the Lonely." Rogovoy then quotes In Dreams,

I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night. I softly say
A silent prayer like dreamers do.
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.
In dreams I walk with you.
In dreams I talk to you.
In dreams you're mine, all of the time
We're together in dreams, in dreams...
It's too bad that all of these things, can only happen in dreams
Only in dreams, in beautiful dreams.

Rogovoy calls Orbison, "the master of psychological narrative at a time when others were singing about their ding-a-lings or disguising their adolescent yearnings in euphemistic odes to hound dogs and great balls of fire." In songs like Leah, Orbison shared nightmares put to music.

But somethings wrong I cannot move
My leg is caught. It's pulling me down.
But I'll keep my hands shut tight for if they find me
They'll find pearls for Leah.
Oh, heartaches and memories from the past
It was just another dream about my lost love
About leah,
Here I go, back to sleep and in my dreams
I'll be with Leah.

Clearly tragedy is what inspired his writing and he did have a difficult marriage to Claudette who died in his arms after being hit by a tractor-trailer while they were riding motorcycles together. After his early successes the next decade included much tragedy including his home burning down with his two sons inside. Ulcers, addictions and heart problems plagued him. He did finally marry and find happiness till he died after a comeback in 1988. (Rogovoy tells how he saw Orbison in concert in Boston in December 1988 two nights before he died.)

Man, what a song, what a voice! I went to you tube to get this song and as I listened, chills ran down my spine and soon I broke into tears! Crying!

The movie Blue Velvet, which used the song "In Dreams" fueled Orbison's comeback with the Traveling Willburys and his own album Mystery Girl whose title track was written by U2. It is interesting that when David Lynch asked Orbison for permission to use "In Dreams" in Blue Velvet he refused and Lynch used it anyway!!

Orbison's fatal heart attack was a tragedy in a tragic life that brought us great and unique art. I certainly am grateful to my mother for enjoying his music since she owned many of his hits on 45's and I listened to them and sang them and they became a part of my soul! He was certainly one of the great voices in rock history and without an ounce of sex appeal or dance moves, that voice helped dominate the music scene at a key time in history. Certainly Orbison opened the door for song writers to express their deeper, darker shades of life and maybe in some ways helped others to feel their own! I know I did! It is reassuring to know I can find songs to smile or cry, get lost or find meaning, to dance or work, sing with or just listen! Rock music as prayer!?!?

I have to post this next one....rock and roll nirvana by an all-star ensemble!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Finally! Bailey had his cast removed on Tuesday and everything is going well! The Surgeon is pleased with the progress of the bones in his arm! He isn't completely healed and we have an appointment to return in one month. He will still have to have another procedure to remove the hardware in his arm. Bailey's least favorite thing about cast removal is the spinning saw with a vacuum attached for dust because he was worried that it would cut his arm!

He has a pretty decent scar on his arm that will fade somewhat as he ages and the doctor has promised that he can have the titanium rod that is inside one of the two bones! I asked permission to take a few pictures with my phone and here they are! Bailey proceeded to spend most of the rest of the day with a friend in a swimming pool. He was told by the doctor to not engage in high risk behavior like skateboards, scooters, bikes etc...

The Evil saw! Man it was a loud and menacing contraption! So the doctor showed us the bone is filling in and growing just like Bailey, as evidenced by the fact that his pants are too short and he is getting closer and closer to looking at me eye to eye! I can't resist posting a great song from James Taylor's recent COVERS CD....