invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

it’s the simple things December 14, 2008

Filed under: life — clementine @ 2:54 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been using genius at itunes and really loving the feature. certain play lists bring back so many memories, both good and bad. i never listened to music as a child/teenager with the exception of Madonna, Michael Jackson and The Cars (oh, ok a little Tiffany, Journey and Pat Benatar) but over the past several years I have found comfort and happiness in so many artists (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Amos Lee, Tori Amos, James Taylor, Death Cab for Cutie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Nick Drake, Ani DiFranco, Jeff Buckley, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, The Cure, Interpol, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash,Tom Waits and Nina Simone to name a few…) I have a difficult time writing these days without music playing.

Last night I avoided going to a party-still not quite ready to socially interact. And yet, we’re hosting a holiday party on the 20th. I will spend this week planning a party (with no money) and luckily it’s potluck so I’m hoping to find something creative to make with items in our pantry and counting on friends to bring a variety of good foods. I will prepare myself to interact with friends and loved ones without breaking down. That’s the tricky part about medications, you never know how they might affect you on a daily basis. (I won’t get into why I really despise the antidepressants and antipsychotics tonight)

Tomorrow I will paint. Nothing significant or fancy. I’m painting the trim in our guest bathroom. I’m using the excuse that I need to do this before our guests arrive next weekend and liven the room up a bit. But in reality, it’s a form of therapy. Lining the floors with blue tape, paint splattering everywhere and all over me, shiny new trim and finally…a nice long, hot bath afterward.

Five years ago I was fortunate enough to befriend Joni Mitchell and she immediately told me upon our first meeting, “You need to find your center.” It was a powerful statement especially coming from her and I’ve never forgotten it. I think that’s what most of us living with a mental illness long for…finding that center. I have been working on it and have decided sometimes it’s the simple things in life that get me closer to that place.

And so I will paint, and listen to music. stare at our Christmas tree lights and our fireplace. shop for angel tree families with money from the richest of rich in our town. i will burn cinnamon sticks in water over the stove since I can’t afford one of my most favorite things in the world-candles. open holiday cards and smile. and i will dream of reaching that center…

RIVER

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

But it don’t snow here
It stays pretty green
I’m going to make a lot of money
Then I’m going to quit this crazy scene
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I’m so hard to handle
I’m selfish and I’m sad
Now I’ve gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Oh, I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby say goodbye

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Copyright © 1970; Joni Mitchell

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2 Responses to “it’s the simple things”

  1. Stephany Says:

    wow, ‘you need to center yourself’ is a really powerful statement. recently at my psych appt, my doc told me my heart and my logic or something like that was out of sync…taking on too much guilt and worry about my daughter. he told me he knows my assets and he is going to help me see them.

    how is it that other ppl can see us before we do?

    I love that song, and wish i had a river to skate away on many, many days.

    As far as the cinnemon on the stove? that smells really good! sometimes better than a candle!

    Have a fun party, just be that day. Be in it, you know what I mean?

  2. clementine Says:

    I am not sure but I do believe certain people are meant to meet and words were meant to be spoken, in other words there is a reason behind everything and why I have no regrets in life because everything is as it is supposed to be no matter how painful some moments can be. I also believe some of us are more in tune with others…at least I am. Sometimes it frightens me. I know what someone is going to say before they say it…things like that…

    Joni actually felt a strong connection because of our astrological signs and the fact that she too may be one of those “in tune” people. There’s a word for people like that and I can’t think of it. Joni also went the yoga route, her mother taught her as a child (or at least that’s what she told me) and it had a profound effect on her life. Does she experience pain, the blues, anger? Sure…but I always felt “calm” around her.

    Finding that center is tricky, but I think it’s crucial.

    During my last visit to my acupuncturist (several months ago) he spoke in his sweet broken english that he was going to do something different. He did the usual, treated me for headaches and depression but then it told me he was going to “center” me because he felt I needed it. I must say, I felt wonderful for several days after that visit and only wish I could afford it more often.

    anyway, the cinnamon is burning now—i can’t believe I’ve never used that trick before…it smells wonderful!!

    and thanks for the advice on the party.


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