#InMyFeelingsFriday: Nina Cried Power

You watch these politicians you didn’t vote for make decisions you don’t support and you feel powerless.

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It’s not the war but what’s behind it
Lord, the fear of foul men is mere assignment
And everythin’ that we’re denied by keepin’ the divide
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin

Like many Americans I have woken up to news headlines that have both flabbergasted and frightened me. You watch these politicians you didn’t vote for make decisions you don’t support and you feel powerless. So when I heard “Nina Cried Power” off of Hozier’s newest album “Wasteland Baby!” I felt it captured perfectly that weariness. He sings “it’s not the wakin, its the risin”. When I hear those lines I interpret it as the heaviness that you feel when you wake to bad news. Opening my eyes was the easy part but getting up and dealing with the ways of the world now that’s a little harder.

The song is a protest song that honors other artist who were known for their protest songs. Songs like Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn”, Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, and The Staples Singers’ “Freedom Highway.” These songs are as relevant as they were back in the Civil Rights Era as woman and people of color continue to be denied their rights. Staples Singer member Mavis Staples is even featured on the song providing that bridge to the past.

Art in it’s various mediums is a great way to broadcast political messages. Music is able to communicate to the world a powerful message in a three-four minute enjoyable package. Hozier isn’t American, he hails from Ireland but I appreciate his tribute to the protest singers before him in this highly contentious time in our country.


And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power

(Photo by Shawn Hoke)

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Duet

I’ve seen you, I know you, and I’m not going anywhere.

I’ll be honest with you I don’t know anything about Penny and Sparrow. I haven’t heard any of their other songs. I randomly came across “Duet” on my way home one afternoon and have not been able to forget it. It’s a simple love song with a few good voices over a slow melody. It’s simplicity is what pulled me in I believe. The lyrics aren’t heavy with metaphor or cool word play. It basically says this: I see what you’re going through, I know it’s a lot and I don’t always make it easier. But I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be seen, to be known, and to know we’re not alone?


I bet your back can carry more than
Just the weight of your button-down
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

I’ve seen you carry family
And all my insecurities
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

Because I’ve seen you
And I know you
And I’m not going anywhere

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Superposition (Reflection)

I don’t believe in fate
No psychic vision
But when things fall into place, superposition
In any universe you are my dark star

Young the Giant

Indie rock band Young the Giant has always been favorite of mine since their hit “Cough Syrup” rocked my soul in 2011.
Their 2018 release “Mirror Master” is great and I encourage anyone to take a listen. Today they released another version of the first track on “Mirror Master”, Superposition (Reflection). The song melds the poetry of science with the beauty of love. Superposition is defined as the action of placing one thing on or above another especially so that they coincide, usually sound waves. In the first line of the song, lead vocalist Sameer sings of not believing in fate or psychic visions but of relying on chemistry to overcome the space between them. Although superposition is technically physics I get the sentiment just the same. Let’s not worry about whether it’s meant to be, the connection is clear between us so let’s explore it


I don’t believe in fate
No psychic vision
But when things fall into place, superposition
In any universe you are my dark star


I want you to want me
Why don’t we rely on chemistry?
Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us?
I want you to want me

Popular culture tends to put romantic love on this magical pedestal of meet cutes and predestiny and that’s why this song has me in my feelings this week, because it scoffs at that idea. All of that stuff is noncommittal, I want you, so let place ourselves in each others lives and see what happens.


Superstition aims with imprecision
But when things can’t be explained, superposition, oh
In any universe you are my dark star

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Almeda

Twelve days ago Solange released her highly anticipated 4th album, “When I Get Home” and I’m still processing it. Much like her last album “A Seat at the Table” this album gets you thinking. Solange is a highly original and individual artist and she leaves her art open to interpretation. The song that has me in my feelings this week is track number 9, “Almeda”.

You’ll find a lot of opinions on the internet with opinions on what exactly the lyrics coupled with the unique music video means. To me, when I hear that trap-ish beat and Solange’s voice singing about all things black and brown I hear a celebration of blackness.

Brown liquor, brown liquor
Brown skin, brown face
Brown leather, brown sugar
Brown leaves, brown keys
Brown zippers, brown face
Black skin, black braids
Black waves, black days
Black baes, black days
These are black-owned things
Black faith still can’t be washed away
Not even in that Florida water

The music video affirms this. It is filled with black faces. Some in afros’s and beret’s, some in those stiff auntie hairstyles and long red acrylic nails. There’s also this scene of a bunch of black women, Solange included, in brown dresses and blonde wigs dancing. I’m not sure what it all means but the message to me is quite clear, we have to celebrate ourselves, our culture, our skin, our blackness because no one else will.

Diamonds they shine in the dark now
Diamonds they shine in the dark now
They takin’ me in, what I done? (What?)
They takin’ me in, what I done? (What?)

Under Pressure

Do you feel that? 

That pressure all around you? 

that’s the weight of being alive 

the heaviness of indecision

the force to be successful

the burden to take care of those who depend on you

the energy to take care of yourself

the pull to be happy

the need to be in control

the drive to keep going, when you want to give up

the hope that’s a fire within you.

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

15 Small Things That Make Me Happy

After a long hiatus it’s time I dust off this blog. So for my first post of 2019 I wanted to go with something light and joyful. Sometimes when I can’t seem to shake off the sadness I think of things that can make me happy, small things that lift my spirit. So maybe today you find yourself slightly down, I hope this lifts you up.

1.The first sip of coffee in the morning. Green Mountain’s Breakfast Blend is my personal favorite

2.A great opening line in a book. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

3.Songs about love. A lot of the greatest songs ever made are about love.

4.Random texts from old friends.

5.”The End” in an old movie. After you’ve been holding your breath in anticipation of every moment the entire movie, those two words let you know that you may breath now.

6.The first “I love you”.

7.Learning cool new facts about someone I’m already a fan of. Did you know that Audrey Hepburn helped the Dutch Resistance during WWII by smuggling secret messages in her lunch box?

8.Waking up and realizing it’s the weekend.

9.Going salsa dancing. 💃🏾

10.Lunch with my coworkers. Where I get all of my tea. 🐸

11.Rainy days at home. Preferably with a cups of tea, and Netflix.

12. Nineties alternative rock. Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt, 1995.

13.The podcast “The Read”. They keep me abreast on black culture while also keeping me laughing from my soul.

14.The laughter of a child. Who doesn’t love the sound a little kid laughing?

15.A bottle of good wine. Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti, 2016.

Loving Your Life When You’re A Late Bloomer

 

Sometimes loving my life is a fight.

I am not at the place I wanted to be at this time in my life. It took some time for me to find my passion and even more time to find the courage to begin to go after that passion. I look back and I wonder what life would look like if I’d believed in myself back then. My peers are firmly planted in their careers, getting married, having children, pursuing post-grad degrees and me? I’m pursuing a bachelors degree, something I’ve been doing off and on for the past 9 almost 10 years. There’s nothing wrong with this, my rational brain knows this, we’re all on our own journey’s. But I can’t help but scroll through my Facebook feed and wish I’d done things differently. I can’t help but wonder, as I go everyday to a job I don’t love how did I get here?

I’d love to play the blame game, blame my parents for not pushing to me enough. Blame the public school system for my so-so education that didn’t prepare me at all for college. I can’t even really be upset at myself because there’s no way I could’ve known how the decisions I made when I was 18 or 19 would have affected my life today. This is where I am, I can’t go back and I am making moves to change my situation. I’ve never stopped pursuing my education and trying to better my life. That is something to be proud of. Where others might have given up, I haven’t. Because I refuse to be unhappy forever, I refuse to be stagnant. I want my life to have purpose and meaning, not mundane drudgery which it seems it’s always has been.

So how do I love my life in the meantime? How do I love the climb when it’s arduous? How do I look at myself and not see someone whose failed to launch when my peers have left me behind? How do I stay focused on the bigger picture, when the devil is the details?

 

Photo by João Ferreira on Unsplash