Category Archives: Music

Fall From Grace

There’s a phenomenon I’ve observed in first-borns like myself, people who gain siblings around the age of 1 or 2 or 3.*

We experience a fall from grace.

For a time, we are at the center of the universe, as evidenced by the fact that our parents’ lives revolve around us. They delight in taking care of us. The are always looking for novel ways to make us smile and giggle. We get 100% of the peekaboos, the lullabies, the goofiness, the spotlight. We experience undivided attention.

And then, it divides. We gain a sibling and lose the limelight.

One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the back seat of our Dodge as Dad pulled into the hospital entrance to pick up my mom, who had been gone a few days after getting quite fat. Dad was giddy to bring her home again, along with something called a “baby sister.” Now, Mom swears this didn’t happen, but in my memory she was wheeled to the car with a pink bundle — pink because IT WAS WRAPPED IN MY PINK BLANKIE!

Mom says of course she didn’t use my blankie to bring my sister home in; Sheri had received her own blankie. No matter. In my mind, I was already sharing with this alien. First my blankie, then my room, and in the blink of an eye I was no longer the center of the universe. I was now forever to share the mom and dad who had theretofore been mine-all-mine. My universe was permanently rent.

A few years later, Sheri and I ceased being enough for Mom and Dad, and Tami came along, further dividing my world. But by then I had the cognitive skills to also see the addition of the situation. As you know, my sisters are among my greatest treasures.

* After age 3 or so, children are able to deal with the feelings of the fall from grace more rationally, using their advancing cognitive skills (as my husband did when his younger sister came into the picture when he was 5). But prior to that, it’s a sheer emotional experience, sans reasoning. You just know that you’ve always been 100% and suddenly, you sense you’re only half that.

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Periodically I’m adding to my Off the Beaten Path playlist made just for you, reminiscent of the days when you’d painstakingly record songs from the radio onto a cassette for an important person in your life.

The way you are in mine.

Last month we were in the 1960s with the Mamas & the Papas and a little cover ditty from moi. This time I share with you a song from the 1970s, Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy, that acknowledges one young man’s fall from grace.

What do you think of this Fall from Grace theory?

Lori's mix tape playlistAnd just for good measure, I’m adding in another song that my dad used to listen to in the 1970s. Loudly. The chords are simple and the lyrics are rudimentary, and Beautiful Sunday works because it reminds me of a simple, carefree, happy day growing up, hanging out with my parents and sisters.

Stay tuned for more off-the-beaten-path music. I’ll be periodically adding to this mix tape, made especially for you, and the playlist will gradually grow.

Image courtesy of coward_lion / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mix Tape: Dedicated to the ones I love

Remember cassette tapes? Remember when someone you love made one for you, painstakingly gathering meaningful songs from the CDs, the radio, or — gasp — record albums?

cassette tapeI’m going to begin sharing some songs I love, ones you may not be familiar with, ones that make me smile when they turn up on my iPod. Over the coming months I’ll be building a mix tape on YouTube, so you can follow along as it grows and as you wish.

The first entry consists of two songs I dig from the Mamas and the Papas. Why? Because they’re groovy, man. My dad was really into this band when the Mamas and the Papas first broke onto the scene, and I have fond memories of Dad blasting their music from his HiFi, which he designed and was most proud of. Oh, did he love those woofers that were bigger than I was. He still does, though they no longer outspan me.

The first clip is my own rendition (yes, this is me) of Michelle Phillips’ Right Somebody to Love, itself a take on an old Shirley Temple clip. It’s only 45 seconds long. Boo boop be doop.

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Which leads into Straight Shooter, characterized by a strong and catchy bass line and gorgeous harmonies by the hard-partying Michelle, Cass, Denny and John. See if you don’t like it as much as I do.

Stay tuned for more off-the-beaten-path music. I’ll be periodically adding to this mix tape, made especially for you, and the playlist will gradually grow.

You are also invited to click over to Jen Kehl’s Mix Tape Tuesday, 1960s edition.

Image courtesy of coward_lion / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Perfect Moment Monday: Love your interruptions

“Mommy, would you cuddle with me?”

My 9 year-old son, Reed, still asks me that at bedtime. It’s at the part of the day when I just want to open up my computer and finish that post, respond to that email, look up that fact I was wondering about earlier. In other words, I’m ready to be off duty for the day.

The voice of my dad, he of the oft-repeated Dadisms, speaks softly but powerfully in my head: Love your interruptions.

I take a deep breath this night and put down the laptop, deciding to make my son’s question not an interruption but, instead, a gift.

We read a few pages of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and I declare it’s time for lights out. He pulls out his iPod and says he wants to play a song for me. I curl my body around his while he finds the song.

It’s one we’ve both been singing loudly in the car whenever it comes on the radio. It’s a catchy tune and I’ve been known to crank up the music for the kids and me to sing along as loudly as we can. It’s become our anthem for us this winter. The song is, at its core, about resilience and relying on people close to you.

May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

There are some songs, when they come on the radio, that transport me to another place and time. I’m sure you have some, too. The first song I slow-danced to at the junior-high Sadie Hawkins dance. The first time a boy told me he loved me, via Commodores lyrics. Any song on the mix-tape that my husband gave me shortly after we met. Your whole being goes there — your mind, your emotions, your body. You are, instantly, 14 again, 17 again, 30 again.

I know that this song, this Winter 2012/13 anthem, will forever take Reed back to the sensations and emotions we share this night, cuddled in his bed, sharing an intimate, loving, resonant perfect moment. When he’s a teenager at college, when he first gets his own apartment, when he’s  a new dad, heck, when he’s a grandfather (there I go, time traveling again), whenever he hears this song, he will feel warm, happy, loved through and through.

That thought makes me supremely happy that I chose to love this interruption.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow LavenderLuz.com.
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post it on your blog (or other site).
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired.
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin February 25.

(Cross-posted on BlogHer.)


Perfect Moment Monday: On the piano bench

Tessa has taught herself  Heart and Soul on the piano, and we’ll often play it as a duet (“often” as in a bazillion times a day).

The other night she asked me to play her a different song, so I pulled out my sheet music from Edvard Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, which I labored over while I was in high school — the peak of my piano talent.

In moments like this, I am reminded how much I used to love the world of arpeggios and key signatures and smallish busts of old composers with weird hair. Music — piano and flute — was so important to my sense of self when I was Tessa’s age.

Let’s say there have been a few years of skill atrophy. This is how Wedding Day is supposed to sound. I did a respectable job playing it for Tessa, but I have been capable of so much more.

No matter. The song lasts longer than Tessa’s usual attention span, and she surprises me by not stopping to move onto something else. When we get to a particularly difficult part — the page filled with flyspecks (as Roger says of written music) and the sounds you hear at 1:30 — Tessa looks up at me with pure admiration and love in her eyes, as if I am Edvard Grieg himself, reincarnated as her mom.

Seeing myself through her wondrous eyes was pitch perfect.

Music can change the world because it can change people. — Bono

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on March 26.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.Perfect Moment MondayWhat Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.