Me against Myself

Wish you were here!

Old words
Wings
ebony_nivory
Just when I thought I might not remember my password to livejournal, I found an old bit of writing on some piece of paper from a long time ago. It needs a place to stay...

As I waiting for the band to set up to play in the pub, with the general hustle of people talking and a song I did not know playing in the background... I suddenly remembered his voice. Why would I do that after all these months of nothing. It was like sand, even from back then his voice reminded me of rolling my hands in fine grains of sand but never smooth. But why now? The tone and the pitch were always even, like the dry sand by the beach away from the waves ...
And then the band started their first song ...
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Sakura , the pink snowfall
Wings
ebony_nivory
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/14290504635/

They say the Sakura flowers fall at 5 centimeters per second. In their short span of life, every breath they take is beautiful. As a bud they are concentrated with all the colour that they are going to ever be. As a blossom they make every onlooker at some point take a deep breath and sigh.They inspire wonder in many, nostalgia in some, peace to others and onto making the present magical for the rest. And when they think that their time is done, none other have such a beautiful demise. The soft rain of the Sakura petals coming down while you are walking underneath could not be a better embrace by nature.The petal rain forming a beautiful carpet on land and a colourful raft in water. And while it falls at 5 centimeters per second it is sure to reflect on the joy that it gave as it lived and as its dying out. It has no regrets that it could only stay just that long.

Most beautiful things last a small time, like the Sakura. As you wait to come across them again next year when your life is in a different place but you hope that it brings to you all the joy that it did an year ago.

Somethings in life come together like the existence of cherry blossoms. While they are alive they fill your life with those various uplifting emotions but they must leave and must go as beautifully as they had entered. The only thing you can do is say , Thank you for making me a part of that magical existence.

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Sand in my shoes
Anastasia
ebony_nivory


https://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/10965252264/

Two weeks away it feels like the whole world should've changed
But I'm home now
And things still look the same
I think I'll leave it till tomorrow to unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I'm back in my flat on the road
Where the cars never stop going through the night
To a life where I can't watch sunset
I don't have time
I don't have time

I've still got sand in my shoes
And I can't shake the thought of you
I should get on, forget you
But why would I want to
I know we said goodbye
Anything else would've been confused but
I wanna see you again


Tomorrow's back to work and down to sanity
should run a bath and then clear up the mess I made before I left here
Try to remind myself that I was happy here
Before I knew that I could get on the plane and fly away
From the road where the cars never stop going through the night
To a life where I can watch sunset
And take my time
Take all our time

I've still got sand in my shoes
And I can't shake the thought of you
I should get on, forget you
But why would I want to
I know we said goodbye
Anything else would've been confused but
I wanna see you again


I wanna see you again
Two weeks away, all it takes to change and turn me around,
I've fallen
I walked away and never said that I wanted to see again

I've still got sand in my shoes
And I can't shake the thought of you
I should get on, forget you
But why would I want to
I know we said goodbye
Anything else would've been confused but
I wanna see you again


~Dido

Between the Bridge and the Intro
Wings
ebony_nivory
Let me live the evening in this song. A thought that has crossed my mind numerous times, for the longest time! I don't mean the situation that the lyrics is charting out, but living in feeling that the tunes is painting on.

These need not be my most favourite songs, but they are just right, they feel snug when you wear it. Living in "Your latest trick" for the evening could be one of smoothest things to do. Or I might just want to stay safe in "One headlight" for a day. Or between "What the water gave me" if it's one of those upbeat afternoons.Some evenings just living it between a fun 90s tune. Or those nights when I want to sit with "Layla" and feel all classy.

Could I build a portal to that parallel universe where maybe I could just live between a song everyday, and another song the next day. Live it, breath it and Be it, bridges, riffs and all. Hopefully I won't get stuck in a single song :)
"You got me on my knees! Layla"
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Wish to Mars
Wings
ebony_nivory
She used to wish upon the stars, not a shooting star, but just to the magic that was always looking over her in the night sky. Then it was to the moon as he always seemed to calmly listen to everything she had to say. But slowly somewhere down the lane she just stopped troubling them with her pure hearted wishes but just lay in wonder in their presence.

Today only Mars stood red and bright in the cloudy night sky.Even in all his adrenaline shimmer, he still seemed to be the only one listening intently. And then this sudden urge she had after all this time to make a wish , but to Mars. A silent thought rolling towards a red beacon millions of miles away...

Reliving Lingdum (Ranka) Monastery
Wings
ebony_nivory
Tibetian Monasteries, They do come close to sprinkling the magic calming dust on me. Among the very few monasteries that I have visited, many in Sikkim, some in Kalimpong and the rest in Bylakuppa, one monastery , just thinking if it transports me back. Lingdum or Ranka monastay near Gangtok in Sikkim.

Perched on a mountain Ranka welcomes you with a series of prayer wheels (Maybe close to hundred) just after you enter the monastery complex, running along in an arch. The need to walk by and turn every one of them is so strong. As you turn them, I remember the sound of the wheels slowly coming to a stop one after the other on it's wooden pivot against the cool mountain breeze. It is such a sweet sound. Knowing that they contain scrolls of "Om mani padme hum" written in them never stops to amaze me.

Then you come to the actual entrance of the monastery, you can see the far off painted wall from the entrance door, but you only realise the space and the size of the monastery once you enter. A quadrangle with a pillar in the middle , spacious, clean and calm. With a monk or two walking across it. Rooms of 2 floors on all three sides and on the 4th side stands the sanctum of the monastery, so majestic, almost empty as if it's structure just has been sitting there from a long time. The colours of the monastery, patterns on red and orange against the lush green mountain side is hard to forget. With the monks wearing their brick coloured robes walking past the beautiful mural paintings, it was hard not to keep photographing, but I did feel I would disturb the place with the sound of the shutter release. Once on the level of the inner sanctum, the building and doors and paint on the side walls were exquisite and almost alive with vibrancy.

I must have shot every door there, obviously. I can't even remember how many hours we were walking around, but what I remember the most is the sound of the flute, played from one of the rooms where the monks stayed. I stood in the corridor and listening to the flute for many minutes. I felt like it was the right music for that mood of the place. Ranka monastery radiates a calming aura. I do not remember the flute tune but as I close my eyes and think of Lingdum monastery I remember very well how I felt standing in the shade of the corridor, with the flute playing in the background overlooking the quadrangle and the structure around the inner sanctum against the green hills with a hint of prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze.

sikkim 021_s
http://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/12618858025/

sikkim 023_s


sikkim 036_s
http://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/5874018386


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Wish you were here
Wings
ebony_nivory
So, yesterday I was reminded during a conversation that my blog name was "Wish you were here!". This song is something that I have accepted as a part of me without a question and it being in my blog which I started to write as an outflow for my thoughts , a silent marker to many small, what I consider milestones of my life, was only natural.
I have made umpteen references to it, I have shot photographs of it, for it in my flickr. So yes, it did deserve a section for itself.

Pink floyd's most magical song - Wish you were here.

Wish you were here, in all truth is a melancholic song. Something that associates itself with a certain pensiveness and sadness of something here but not here - to be considered as a song to associate oneself with seems a little odd. But the first time I heard it on radio (The days when local FM played wonderful songs) I remember how it stole my heart. The feeling of something rustic , far away on an old radio channel tuned slightly off leading to the begining of Gilmoure's acoustic guitar was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. Nothing else, no distractions between The man playing his guitar and me listening to it. Building up with the lyrics, that had no stanza's and chorus'. Just simple lines and ended with the acoustic sound fading away in the wind. It was nothing like I had ever heard. My first Pink Floyd song. Ah! that was a nice feeling.

But as I listened more to it, the lyrics, the first half is How I see the world and things I want to ask it. And the four lines after that was just me. Roger Waters wrote it for ailenation from people, about Syd Barrett, all the reasons fades away when Floyd songs starts to talk to you and ends up being your song.

It might have been naive thoughts of a young girl many years ago, but listening to it again, even today, my feeling for the song haven't changed at all. Something about evergreen songs always evoking the same emotions in you no matter when and after many many years.

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell, Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field, From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade, Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange, A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?


I feel the need to ask the above to myself and to everyone around me most of the time. Well did you exchange it?

WishYouWereHere
http://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/4375750706

But above all of that, these next few lines hit home, swimming in the fish bowl and all that matters in jar of the brain, year after year.
But yes running over the same old ground have we found the same old fears?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls, Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here!


There will not be another song like this one.

I have had my moments with it :)
WishYouWereHereTorn
http://www.flickr.com/photos/variedreflections/4581262077

The Long Con
calvin world
ebony_nivory
How long is your Long con Miss Alice?


Like everything else this also starts small, just for a little while.
She did see the rotten inside from the very beginning. The very first day. But the shimmer on the outside was tempting. The golden glow.
It was a marshy garden she could see it.
But what if,  what if the next garden was a marsh too?
And barren without even the rotten  yet shimmering fruit?

So the short con went on. As apparently she could use the shimmer for a lot of things in exchange. Those things in return was what was truly worth living for. So the short con wasn't so bad.
Atleast unlike others she did know that it was all a con.
Did you know that the rest of them really started to forget it was all a con and lived in it. Marshy, rotten and all.

Slowly the short one kept going on and on, she met more fancy people in the business. The shimmer, the meaningless flashy words were easily faked in the elaborate dresses in spring and the temporary sparkle of the snow.
She always knew that this was a con even in the spring even in the snow. From the very first day.

She needed a plan. A plan to get out of the con that had got so long that it was now the Long Con.
A plan where no act was required.
No marshes, no rotten fruits just the morning sun and the colours of spring.But wait, so how long is this long con Miss Alice?
The morning sun , the spring and the big fat rabbit hole is waiting for you to fall down.
Take a peek!

The tailored accomplishments
calvin world
ebony_nivory
In the recent adult years I have noticed one amazing quality of my brain. It is highly socially trained to come up with an answer custom made to the person it is talking to. Especially when asked about how I am doing in life, or what is 'new'? Half of my brain has already run it's algorithm to understand what this person thinks as achievements in life, picks any event close to that from my life, a snip here, a stitch there, and there you have it. A designer quality , momentarily satisfying answer. During this time, the other half of the brain, the social rebel is thinking, "what a lie, so untrue to yourself. You don't even think of that event of your life to have any significance whatsoever. You just said it so that they move on to the things you find more interesting to talk about."

It's a rather strange thing. That the milestones of society accepted personal life, work, career comprehend so little. The few of those milestones that I have passed have hardly given me joy or satisfaction. That half of the brain just wonders, "well if so many people think it's great and are telling me that, maybe it's not so bad, smile... a little bit wider."

So this also makes me a bad person with reactions, when I hear of these accomplishments from others. Suddenly my head has done that algorithm again, realised that this occasion is important to them and is yelling at me, "Oh wake up, Smile, give a surprised expression, use that excited whatsapp emoji and say the appropriate congratulations." After the act I am thinking, that was close. Though their new ringtone got me more excited!

My accomplishments are very 'small scale' if I have to compare, but no less in the joy department. The new song I am listening to in a loop, with every listen I find something more interesting in it. Finding such tunes is that day's accomplishment. That one photo in a hundred that turns out almost as you wanted it to. That picture which shines slightly with the magic dust shimmer. Making of such an image is the most satisfying thing. Small colourful new things, Big colourful old things, old or new make my day, just by them existing. The fresh air of a new culture around. Watching and discovering new sights as a passerby in a new town. The charm of not belonging to that place but at that moment it becomes just the place to be. Such travel experiences. A beautiful evening filled with conversation that keeps my mind ticking. This has become so less off late and I miss it. Thoughts that had never crossed my mind, or just the nature of the topic, such conversations. Many such things are deemed as small and insignificant from an other eye, which didn't add any 'social points' , but they do make my existence a little more worthy.

So don't be surprised if the next time you ask me how is life or what is 'new', I might just start talking about a tune, a picture, a place or a concept..... If my other half of the brain doesn't take over that is... The rest seems to me like the concerns of the world outside my head :)
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Diva!
myself
ebony_nivory
My top favourite female music artists. This has been something I have always wanted to write about but I never got around to do it. As much as I would like to include the all time greats and Divas of their own age like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston , Donna Summer, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson in my case it wouldn't be right. I have enjoyed their music, but the ones who absolutely delighted me with their Diva persona are:



Madonna
1. Madonna : She didn't even need a last name to get her to the top. Other than getting 300 million records sold, the image she created for herself in every video was not like anything before. She reinvented herself each time. The sound of Madonna didn't remain constant, she experimented, from "Material Girl" to "Like a Prayer". From "Frozen" to "Hung up". It was always something new, strong and confident.
Without talking further, I will just quote Sue Sylvester's Voice over from Glee :
SUE: (voice-over) “Madonna." Simply saying the word aloud makes me feel powerful. Even in voice-over. How I have worshiped her ever since I was a little girl. Sorry, Angie Jolie, Catherine the Great. Madonna is the most powerful woman to ever walk the face of the Earth.


Christina-aguilera
2. Christina Aguilera : Her voice range is enough to make her the Diva that she is. If you only remember her from Genie in the Bottle song, then you got it all wrong. She had a full powerhouse inside that tiny little girl who was in that song. The maturity she showed in "Beautiful", "Fighter" was incredible. But I like the bad side of Christina too in "Dirty" and of course, she did blow everyone away with her hair and her singing in "Lady Marmalade". Even if she just does sing for a few seconds like in "Moves like Jagger", she is what she is. Brilliant.



Amy-Lee
3. Amy Lee : If there were angels and they could sing, it would sound like Amy Lee. But Amy Lee can rock so hard, that the angel would be so terribly lost. If she is playing her softer side or if she is coming strong, she is all soul. From "Bring me to Life" to "My Immortal". She is the life of Evanescence. I have never heard a rock female singer to have that much power and control. She cannot be touched. There might never be another female rock artist like her. I can't even remember how many time I have listened to "Going Under" and "Tourniquet".


Gwen_stefani
4. Gwen Stefani : Gwen and No Doubt , oh how I liked her! No one rocked the blonde hair and red lipstick better than her. It didn't matter if she was in a flimsy top and a pant, in pink, blue , orange any hair, or dressed up stunning, she was just fun and music on stage. During the Tragic Kingdom days Gwen singing "Don't Speak"  and later "Hella Good" still brings back such great memories. She did make her solo career interesting too with her ever more fun songs and videos. But she will always be a "No Doubt" girl to me.


Pink
5. Pink : She represent crazy freedom to me. She didn't even need any part of her own name to make it big. She is everything that the Pink colour doesn't represent yet she is Pink. I like how 'to the point' her songs are. I still love her song "Most Girls" and every song in the album "M!ssundaztood" hit it home in its own way. She doesn't think twice about putting the crazy anger of her life into a song and turn it into something stupidly fun. I also like her "I don't care what the world thinks" attitude :) . But Hats off to her dancing in her new song "Try" . This side of Pink I didn't know before.


Beyonce
6. Beyonce : When Beyonce walks in you know a Diva has arrived! It was a power house of empowerment with Destiny's child. It started around the time of "Say my name", then if it was "Bills" or "Independent Women", "Survivor" or "Emotion" Destiny's child was all about don't take any mess from the world. But they could sing though, if you did listen. :) Have you listened to their twist to amazing grace? But then Destiny's child unleashed Beyonce. Could you stop her from there? Let it be "Crazy in Love" or "Naughty Girl", she was a "Diva" here to "Run the world". Also if I didn't include her in the list, someone at home wouldn't have let me see another daylight ;).


dido
7. Dido : By putting her in a list with the women above, they might try and eat her up. But Dido is "No Angel". She wrote the most wonderful songs. She has such a unique voice and sound, she was a Diva of her own kind! I treasured her "No Angel" and "List for Rent" tape. Eminem might have introduced her, but her songs very golden on their own. "Thank you", "Hunter" , "Sand in my shoes", "Who makes you feel" were just a few of her bests!
My honorary mentions should go to Alanis Morisette, Women from TLC, Kylie Minogue, Alicia Keys. They rocked as much too! And Lady Gaga, still needs to hold her own for a few long years.
So if you are feeling down girls, just put a song by any of these women and they will turn your day around for sure.
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