Gifts

Good morning to you on this Christmas Eve morning. Listening to Dave Matthews Band this morning. You either love him or hate him, his music that is. I happen to love it. If there were a soundtrack of my life DMB would surely have several entries. What would be on the soundtrack of your life?

Only waiting I wanted to stay
I wanted to play
I wanted to love you
I’m only this far
And only tomorrow leads the way
I’m coming waltzing back and moving into your head
The lyrics to #41

The lyrics got me and now as I have been getting more into the structure and mechanics behind what it takes to create a song, I think he is a master. The below lyrics are from #41. I had not looked up the lyrics till this morning because of my hearing, his singing sounds mumbled as the tone on the studio version does not hit in my range. Anyhow, I looked up the story behind the song and yes there was a story. It was a break-up and trying to get away story but not in the feelings the notes and chords and the tone his voice conveyed. It sounded of longing and sadness. When you discover that this song is about the break-up between the band and their then manager back in the mid 90’s. During that time I was confused and struggling as at that time I had or was just about to have my second son and trying to keep my shit together as my world was quickly changing. The song was released in 1995. Two short years before my last son would be born and my daughters father and I got to know each other across the thick glass window at the LA County jail infirmary after one of his attempts in quieting his internal pain. I’m sure there are people that don’t want to know these facts I am writing, but these are my memories and I am giving them freely as gifts. This brings me to Duncan Sheik as I also got to know him during that time. Barely Breathing is how I felt as I would sing along to the song, ’cause I was. I was going to school to be a surgical tech and I was working for Dr. M in the morning during the week and at Walmart Vision Center in Monrovia, CA, right near my hometown of Duarte on the weekends.

‘Cause I am barely breathing
And I can’t find the air
I don’t know who I’m kidding

Imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
I don’t suppose it’s worth the price
And worth the price, the price that I would pay
Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik

Another prominent artist on my life soundtrack would be Van Morrison and quite honesty, there are too many gems to list, well the is one and now that I think about it I would like to learn how to strum along to The Smile You Smile (I love you). This song makes me truly smile. I remember how good it felt turning up the music in the car when I was behind the wheel back in that last part of the 90’s. In 1997. I, a mother of 4, had just gotten her automobile license and could legally drive. I did have a motorcycle license prior but had no need for it since my stroke.

One last band that I would feature because their sound feels like home and the 90’s is Arrested Development. Even though I had it better off than most, times were still rough but there was always one constant in my life, music. Todd Thomas, Speech, rapped the truth to a hip-hop beat that included some soul moving bass lines and beats and it just made me feel so many things – happiness, sadness, anger, love and community. I pasted the entire words to this song below. Yes, I did not know or assume to understand or compare my life those words as I was a Hispanic from Southern California and living in the San Gabriel Valley far from my birthplace of Bellflower and the city I lived in during the first few months of my life, Compton, California. Often I was accused of being privileged by kids at school when I had to move to a different elementary school but I was no different from the kids in the low-end of town. I saw the band once and you should have seen me dance in front of the stage at Hollywood Park one Friday night in the early 2000’s while played.

Mr Wendal, have a dollar
In fact, no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me
But it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only
Know that if you do, beautiful heaven awaits
That’s the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr. Wendal, that’s his name
No one ever knew his name cause he’s a no-one
Never thought twice about spending on a ol’ bum
Until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn’t charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all that money on big colleges
Still most of y’all come out confused Go ahead, Mr. Wendal

Mr. Wendal has freedom
A free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
For Mr. Wendal’s a bum
His only worries are sickness
And an occasional harassment by the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him
But I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no
Who are we to judge
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
And killed over a racist grudge
Mr. Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
But we don’t hear him talk
Is it his fault when we’ve gone too far
And we got too far, cause on him we walk
Mr. Wendal, a man, a human in flesh
But not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride

Realize that all in all you stand tallGo ahead, Mr. Wendal
Mr. Wendal, yeah
Lord, Mr. Wenda
l

It’s Christmas Eve, as I had started out this post. Funny but Mama’s Always on Stage just came on and I won’t post the lyrics but this is one that I have danced to in my living room and in my seat as I used have my car radio cranked up and I chair danced to the funky beat. The lyrics tho’:

Mama’s always on stage
Can’t be a revolution without women
Can’t be a revolution without children

Well, thank you for getting to the end of this post. May you have a holiday or day to remember, whether it is good or bad or in between. If you see Mr. Wendal out there, be kind. Peace to you and yours and a hugs. Below are a few shots from our latest road trip. I will write more about the magic of San Pedro and White Point soon. As soon as I could legally drive this is where I would go most weekends and time off with and without my kids and I would drive up and down the hills singing to what was ever on in my car.

This is one of the many factories that line the 110 Fwy.
This sign used to mean that it was only 10 minutes down Gaffey and along the coast to the entrance of White Point, that part of the journey has been closed off after some structural issues.
My kids used to like searching and playing with the hermit crabs in the tide pools.
When I was a kid, I thought these rocks were magical and would try to stuff my pockets with them.
One day I will ride the waves like those birds.
This is almost the top of Gaffey St in San Pedro, California. This street reminds me of my Dad. We used to fly down this hill and I would raise my hands like it as a roller coaster.

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