15 May 2016

story telling

this afternoon i found myself on a lovely walk out by the small plot of woodland near where i live. blessed i felt, delighted that the many trees and birds and flowers that i noticed were there for me to enjoy. i feel very grateful to live where i do.

then why was i feeling a little glum?

because yet again, i was walking there on my own... as i have done for as long as i can remember... even when i was in a relationship. even long before i was in a relationship. and even though i can appreciate being alone - in fact, i love being alone - then what was it about my being alone that keeps bothering me?
why am i still alone...? repeatedly alone...

there must be something that makes me convinced i don't deserve to be With Someone...
something in my beliefs that seems to make it almost impossible for me to be Not Alone... what then makes it so?
am i a horrible person to be around? i think not... not more so than others... i empathise, i show interest, i can have a laugh, i share stuff - i can be social enough...
am i smelly? again: don't think so...
am i hideously ugly?

30 March 2016

judgement days

why do humans have a tendency to compare themselves to each other?
i mean, i haven't caught the cats comparing themselves to each other, and i don't believe that hamsters spend much of their time on earth thinking about how they compare to their fellow hamsters... they don't judge themselves, or each other, they just Are. hamsters, or cats, or whatever creature god decided they were going to be this lifetime... us humans however...

this morning i found myself comparing myself to ex {and deeming myself hopeless, cos Still Alone and Sometimes Still Upset Because I'm Not With My {supposed} Soul Mate Anymore} and my mum {and stamped myself lazy, cos i'm not involved in loads of clubs, haven't single-handedly rearranged the garden and haven't been to a funeral to emotionally support a friend} and this particular blogger {and gave up hope of ever being able to have as many followers/draw pictures as nicely as she can/write Witty & Fluffy bits of text to go along with aforementioned pictures...}. i came to the conclusion that i might as well give up...

6 March 2016

kookie

as i've gotten to know a bit more about the man and his work, i've noticed that there's a few things i find increasingly appealing about Bavid Bowie {as was}.

apart from his physical attraction {which was decidedly missing during the Station To Station/Diamond Dogs period, i must admit...} and the haunting beauty of his voice, i find it wonderful to see how humble he was. he didn't take himself and his fame very seriously, which is rather amazing to see in a star of his magnitude and reach... in many interview i've seen him take the piss out of his supposed cultural importance {"he keeps reinventing himself, ch-ch-changing all the time, like a chameleon of rock..." - from this {rather wonderful} interview} and even how unimpressed he was with his own voice {?!}, instead wishing he'd just be able to pass his songs on to others... {though i have a feeling he could also be quite arch and flippant}

another thing i've come to really like about Bowie's songs is the lack of anger... he may have felt alien, alone, misunderstood, insecure maybe, but he never turned to rage and hopping frustration to express his feelings... quite the opposite - he wondered and wanted to connect. and it's that wish to connect, i guess, that gave him the status he gained, from Ziggy Stardust onwards. he understood people, maybe due to a wisdom he always had, or due to his studies in Buddhism, or whatever - he had a kind of grasp on human nature, and an innate need to connect, and share, and Not Alienate... love, not hate...

the song that points that out to me is Kooks, which he wrote for his son Zowie {now Duncan}, which to me says Love and Hope and an Arm around your Shoulder... funny, and sweet, too...

{as the article in Uncut read: the ultimate Bowie song, in many ways...}

Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing

We bought a lot of things
to keep you warm and dry
And a funny old crib on which the paint won't dry
I bought you a pair of shoes
A trumpet you can blow
And a book of rules
On what to say to people
when they pick on you
'Cause if you stay with us you're gonna be pretty Kookie too

And if you ever have to go to school
Remember how they messed up
this old fool
Don't pick fights with the bullies
or the cads
'Cause I'm not much cop at punching other people's Dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we'll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown

23 February 2016

queen b{itch} *2*

{guess it's easy to underestimate the need one feels for Confident {Strong} yet Compassionate Leadership... which i've been looking for in so many people... failing to find it in my parents {who were sweet and kind, but quite insecure in their abilities as Leaders}  i've turned to teachers, church, other people's parents, and in the end: the Famous... anybody that seemed to offer this Strength and Confidence, even in the distance form of Film and/or Music, Alive or Dead, would do for me... despair will do that for you, i guess...

ending up with ex was pretty logical... no idea what he was looking for in me, but for a while it worked - his ego was flattered and mine was safe... his strength and confidence was amazing to me... there was enough compassion, or maybe it was tolerance, to sustain us for a few years, until his boredom with my need for feeling safe and loved and connected got to him, and the slow deterioration started. and the vacancy for a Strong, Confident yet Compassionate Leader had opened once again...

i guess the stuff i found while discovering David Bowie showed me that yes, he would've been perfect, and in a way he still is, even though of course he's not around anymore. it's become a kind of posthumous glorifying of a person who seemed to posses so much of what i'd like - confidence, beauty, humour, composure, curiosity, bravery, determination, kindness, self-awareness, artistic prowess, exuding sex appeal {tonnes of it}, a sharp mind, and although others may not see that in him at all - they somehow shine to me like a beacon... and i could easily carry on admiring this in him, glorifying him, instead of finding it in myself... somewhere...

i need to become my own Confident yet Compassionate Leader... i've learnt enough along the way...}


21 February 2016

queen b{itch}

the next conviction to fall victim to the whirlwind of Life After Bowie {after realising i'm Not Alone; i'm not that bothered about feminism, any more than i'm interested in Human-ism; Madness runs in his family too} is the one that has kept me believing that i need to be dominated. for someone else to be in charge of me, basically.

quite a few times i noticed that i'd {internally} run an idea past the Ex-ometer, as i'm wading my way through 50-odd years of David Bowie/Jones. what would his opinion be on this, or on me wanting to know more? especially Bowie's thoughts on sexuality {fairly crucial to getting an idea about what made the bloke tick}, his wild, experimental years, where anybody {any body} was up for grabs - boys, girls - and a prude he was not... as opposed to yours truly here... i am a prude... or rather, i'm very careful... maybe not a prude as such, with regards to others and their need to express their sexuality in whatever way they chose, but i don't feel the need to join in... i'll just fantasise about it, thanx...

ex claimed {early on in our relationship} that as soon as i'd stop being so careful about my sexual feelings and desires, a world would open up. if i'd just let go of my perceived, repressed notions about everything, especially the ones that didn't concur with his, i would be free. he had a few more thoughts on what i should or shouldn't do anymore {but in the end i should really make my own mind up!}, and because i trusted him, and was keen to move on from a lot of what i'd known before, i took his word as bible. just as i had before with my parents. and certain relations, and school. and the church. and certain rockstars. anything but learn to trust my own thoughts and ideas... anything but work out what was my gospel... cos how the hell was i supposed to know what was good for me?! my mum decided that, or my dad, or school, or church, or friends... any notions that i didn't like what i was deciding, or that it actually felt awful that i was allowing them to ride roughshod over my feelings, or that i was being totally disregarded i ignored.  it didn't matter what i thought or felt or wanted - other people had decided that it was good, and they did what they liked...

cos i allowed them to...

up until a few years ago it just didn't occur to me that i had a say in stuff... of course, to a certain level i did, for things that didn't matter too much, but as soon as 'important'  things had to be decided, as soon as things mattered i'd often freak out and refer to what others thought was a good idea. i remember one session at my art therapy, where i was 'forced' to paint over a load of pretty pictures i'd carefully cut out of magazines. i really liked them and assumed that i was going to use them in a collage, to show the things that were important to me. my therapist gave me the cue to get the paints out and splosh a load of it over the pictures. i couldn't. i started crying, and then decided that she said i should {she probably had some kind of Greater Good in mind...}, so i was going to... until she asked: wait, what do you want?
huh? i thought... what do I want?! am i even allowed to want anything? is my voice important???
i don't want to cover them, i said, quietly. why not? she asked with a stern voice. cos i like them... i don't want them ruined... then don't, she answered. i was confused... hadn't she just asked me to paint over them? but...
so i didn't. and i felt so incredibly weird... What I Wanted Had Mattered!?!!

so, what do i want...?
it had never occurred to me that i had something to want... i went to the local secondary school, cos that's what everybody else did... i went to do a course that i knew my mum would be happy with, not the art school that i'd dreamed of going to... i agreed to come back to Holland, cos... i did what i thought wouldn't ruffle too many feathers, fitted in as much as i could bear, with the odd exception {listening to weird music, watching weird films, not going out, going to England, going to America, attempting to go to Ireland...} and lived my life...

well... lived other people's lives. not because they made me, but because i didn't know i had another option... or if i did, i had no idea how to get there... on my own i'm okay to be me, to listen to my gospel, but as soon as i'm with others, i tend to fall into their line. i surrender my Self. strong, dominating personalties, like ex, render me incapable of being Me... as soon as i feel that others have more clout, over shout my quiet voice, i'll let them get on with it... i'll fit into their party line.

and i'm done with that... i'd really  like to get to a point where strong personalities {mainly ex, and his quite often assumed opinions} don't get to me anymore. where people with a louder opinion, with a more pushy way of doing things, don't push mine out of the way... it's up to me to feel innately okay about saying what i want and what i don't want... not hope that others will be lenient to my needs and let me off the hook. i can feel i'm almost there. fear of rejection or disapproval still win sometimes, but it feels like my inner Queen Bitch is winning...

about time too...

17 February 2016

moonage daydreams

one of the drawbacks of not being in a relationship - to me - is the notion that i'm not with anyone anymore... it had felt very comforting and calming to know that i was with someone, someone who liked me in their lives... for a few years i had felt i'd landed, i was Home... with Him... 

i didn't have to play the dating game... that gruesome game, of getting to know someone, of being meat-marketed, inspected and judged, by eager men, only to see the disappointment on their faces when they realise i don't fulfil their expectations of women... time and time again {some being quite aggressive in their disappointment}... i don't play the Game, and that's what most women do, cos they know that that's what most men want... it doesn't really matter, but along the way i've started to believe that i'll have to play that game, by the rules, if i want to ever find someone else again...  

it'd be great if i could let go of the notion that i'll only be happy, whole, Home, if i'm in a relationship... it'd be nice if it happens, but it's not the be all and end all... i know i'm not alone, i don't need someone else to be complete... {being with someone else brings it's own challenges, and i don't feel remotely ready to tackle that yet, thanx...} 

until then i'm quit happy with the new love of my life, in the form of David Bowie's entire back catalogue, either on Youtube or the cd collection that's steadily growing... hearing his wonderful voice, staring at the beauty he represents to me... enough to keep me out of mischief for a while!! 



5 February 2016

pennies dropped

it was almost half past ten. in half an hour my allocated timeslot at the exhibition would start, and i was sat on a bench in the yard next to the church of the Martini tower, which protruded high above my head. the sun was shining, and although i was feeling great, these past few days in Goningen {town in the north of Holland}, i sank into some sad pondering. i felt alone, lonely. even though i was very happy to be in Groningen, and keen to make this kind of trip more often, intensely enjoying all that i saw and heard and felt and thought, and it kind of took me back to a time before ex, when i used to go away on short trips fairly often, somehow this loneliness kind of took over. there is nobody to go back to whom i can share my intense feelings with, when i go home... no one that really gets what i feel... why this is all so important to me... what am i to do? i asked in the general direction of the tower, where birds flew and the sun shone like crazy. please give me a sign... a small group of teenagers walked past with sausage rolls and fizzy drinks, and i got up from my bench, gearing up to walk along the alley underneath some lovely old houses that were alongside the offices of Groningen Province, carrying on my walk towards the Groninger Museum. the church bells {which sometimes play a tune} started chiming, and it took a few seconds before i made out the song that was played - China Girl... the church bells of the Martini tower were playing David Bowie!! i started to cry. thank you God, i thought.
i must go to Bowie...


Space Oddity was released in the same month i was born. which means not a lot. my mother was more bothered by the fact that i insisted on entering the world on the day of the moon landing {i always had pretty great timing} and my folks weren't very impressed with that strange geezer from England. even less so when he became Ziggy Stardust. the fact that David Bowie actually had a great deal to say to me didn't dawn on me until after he passed away. why then? why not when he was still around, doing his things? why has it only now dawned on me that he has always been there for me. for lonely types like me, the weird ones who had a hard time dealing with the world around them, for those who thought that they were alone... many before me recognised this in him, found an ally , someone who became a kind of friend, someone who was on their side. whether they had trouble working out their gender, or sexuality, didn't feel understood, by their classmates, their colleagues, or their families. who felt alien in the world around them. a world where everyone seems to get the rules, apart from them.

the exhibition in the Groninger Museum turned out to be the revelation i never expected. i'd hoped to find a glorious collection of costumes and suits, sheets from his note books, pictures, stuff that's never been shown before, notions of general attitudes at the time, contexts within etc. which would give me an inclination of the man and his processes, and that's what i got. the costumes alone would've been fantastic {coming eye to eye with the pierrot costume he wore in the clip for Ashes to Ashes touched me deeply... i loved to be within touching distance of the slashed Union Jack frock coat, used on the cover of an album he released in 1997... the strange, beautiful coat he wore for his 50th birthday... all those wonderful incredibly elegant looking suits that were so unmistakably his, and his only...}, but the combination of everything i witnessed and heard and saw, and more importantly: felt, deep down, made me not want to leave... right at the end was the Live Shows part {fairly important to who he was} where some oldies were sitting on comfortable looking soft benches, enjoying the music {played at concert levels}. i decided to join them, and watched him perform Rebel Rebel, on a gigantic screen {behind which were some more suits on display}, and  The Jean Genie. and Rock and Roll Suicide. and very slowly i felt my composure wane... "Oh no love, You're not alone..." he sang. just for me... "You're wonderful...". along with the live-sized wink and smile i remembered from Starman near the beginning, the timid clown from Ashes to Ashes, the intensely beautiful  Life on Mars... as i felt myself break down, it suddenly dawned on me what it was...

You're not Alone...
i never am really alone... 
if i have my true self, am at peace with who it is that i really am, love myself...
we all have so many different versions of ourselves that can be explored, that may be highlighted {even just to ourselves...}. we are so much more that what we grow up believing about ourselves, we are so much more than black or white, the clothes we wear, the people we hang out with... we are never really alone... we are always with and from ourselves, and those who 'belong' to us, or we belong to will find us, as long as we really are who we Really Are...
just like David Bowie came onto my path, again... 
a posthumous soul mate...
you're not alone... you have him too...
thank you David Bowie... 


26 January 2016

urged

decided that this Bowie thing is a mixture of the realisation that life is limited {life as we know it at least...} so maybe it's time to go live it, the notion that he was a decent guy with a kind heart {from what i keep reading... the testimonies of folks he helped along the way, who knew him as a good man, keep coming up, proving that  being a genius rock god doesn't have to be synonymous to being an ass hole...}, and he lived outside that bleeding box. he didn't let himself be restricted by what was right or proper or acceptable, or commercially sensible, he did what he felt needed to be done, made, created. he WAS... he still is...

not that he's the only one, or more super special than others - John Lennon had that same urge, as did Janis Joplin, and Johnny Cash, and Virginia Woolf, and Vincent van Gogh and Rudolf Steiner... all slightly ahead of their times, following their passion and adding something great to the world... not that they were always wonderful people to be around, or saints, only ever doing the right thing {a friend of mine was quick to point out some very questionable sides to David Bowie, for instance}, in no way, but they felt they had little choice but to BE, to DO, to FEEL, to LIVE...

i guess that's what i feel inspired by, that's what i need to unlock in myself - my urge, my authentic self... i have an inkling as to where it lives... now to make it feel safe to come out...






20 January 2016

star ★ man

much of the past 10 days i've spent trying to figure out how come the death of David Bowie has made such an impact on me...


i mean, i haven't been a fan since early childhood, he hasn't dragged me through adolescence or other dramatic times in my life, i didn't even listen to a great deal of his output for much of my music-loving years, although i was incredibly impressed by Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, and was blown away by Hunky Dory and other albums i got to know via the brother in law of my friend Mo, who had a very impressive record collection... he was special, i could see that... there was something about this strange, thin, spindly, colourful man who seemed un-pin-down-able... all i knew him from up to then was his pop-dance stuff, and although he looked gorgeous, it didn't seem to me he was much different to the glitzy stuff that Elton John, Tina Turner and Freddy Mercury were doing, and they were to me like my boring bourgeois relations that i wanted nothing to do with. i had a hard time believing that the man who groaned his way through China Girl was the same guy who sang Life on Mars or Ziggy Stardust... but i fancied him despite Let's Dance... and his voice was so deep...

like quite a lot of my cultural upbringing post 1992, i gained heaps of my memories through my ex husband. being highly sensitive and having crappy boundaries, i tended to absorb his references to culture and his past, or what he wished me to know, cos it was so immensely more interesting than my childhood and adolescence... i gave up mine and adopted his, when i look back... a big part of that all was David Bowie...

so now when i feel sad about Bowie's death, mourn his demise, i also mourn the fading links to my ex, who's moved on ages ago, while i still feel sad and pained and rejected and misunderstood...

David Bowie represents so much of the culture that i grew up with and was intrigued by but was afraid to explore at the time - Berlin's art world, cross-dressing, extravagance, being outrageous and not giving a f*ck, drugs, trying to understand human drives and nature, how genuine you can be, how authentic...when i see photo's of him now, or footage on Youtube, i see mirrored back the person i always wanted to dare to be, as well as a massively attractive man... massively attractive... not to mention that voice...

and then there's the painfully personal side of his last cd... the farewell, the vulnerable, the dreaded death... comes to us all, and when i look at clips of interviews he did 13, 14 years ago, and see this vibrant, funny, charming guy, it makes it only more galling to see him in the clip for Lazarus, dancing with death... {incredibly well written about here in this blog post} how can this be the same guy?! but it is, and it's dauntingly amazing to know that he did what he was so brilliant at throughout his life, from Space Oddity onwards - create something worth listening to, watching, exploring...

so as i unpick my memories from the past 25 years, i try to find which Bowie is mine... as someone said on FB this week: when we mourn an artist, we don't cry because we knew them, but we cry because they helped us know ourselves...