Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Blue Moon b Stamatisgr

Seeking means : to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal – Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Early last October, I was given a glimpse of utopia. Tales of birth and lust and love intermingled with a complete release of the body and a bond formed with the universe. Tales of conversations between bodies and souls that seem to have known each other even before a meeting of the minds; tales that forever puncture the fabric of space & time. I have seen the possibilities that life can hold for me. I say this in the midst of some of the darkest days of my life because I know what is possible for me now. I wish I knew more. I long to. So that when the possibility of the potential for that kind of infinite joy comes within reach, I’ll know to grab onto it instantly and let it take me on the ride of my life. I thought I was having it this year and it startled me to realize it. But maybe what happened these past few months was merely meant to be the catalyst for it. I hadn’t realized or maybe I had just forgotten the fact that within the lost crevices of my soul, I could hold the potential for much more. Until then I had merely been mundane. I had foolishly come to terms with the fact that there could possibly be more for me than the decisions I had made or what I thought was a raw deal that life had decided to hand me. That I was just meant to endure much and come out stronger. And live to tell stories and be a tower of strength for others. I had completely lost the plot. Submitting to the naive expectations of the heart and the tales the world tends to tell you. No wonder I have constantly been so dissatisfied during what could have been the most joyous moments of my life.

Why listen to the likes of Jim Morrison (random example) and in my case Nick Drake these days, if we’re just going to put them on play & take off into a weed or drug induced stupor only to come out of it and go on with everyday as though what they saw and promised us about meant nothing? I told a friend recently that I thought the last big revolution of humankind already began and ended before our time. I saw a glimpse of its possibility during Lasantha’s funeral. But maybe that was merely a show of solidarity. I’m not saying the hippies had got it all worked out. But maybe they were onto something. Something that would have at least made the institution we’re so comfortable with worthwhile living in. There are far too many dissatisfied, restless souls in this world for you to disagree with me on that.

I don’t care who becomes the next president because of what he can do for the price of potatoes anymore. I don’t care if I have enough money to pay the rent and drink enough so that it temporarily numbs the constant pain that I have come to acknowledge is my life. These are all just means to survival that I have placed too much faith and hope in over the years. Necessary evils that beget more necessary evils. I’ve welcomed this way of living and kept it comfortably within me for too long now. It’s not about having an opinion about things or learning things and passing them on or living out mundane expectations. It’s not about learning some epic path to wisdom. It’s about what finding out what your own personal happiness is and where it lies. At the end of the day, if we’re not happy, then what’s the point of it all? It sounds like a simple enough statement, but it has been the furthest thing from my reach for far too long now.

I turned 30 a few days ago and I have come to realize that each one of those years have been a waste, save a few precious moments that most people would kill to have. Moments of complete clarity that I have swallowed back when they would surface. Maybe out of fear that the feeling won’t last, maybe out of some sickened desire to have those feelings dwell in a way of life that they weren’t meant for. Hearts break far too often and too many times have I seen a world full of saddened people without a reason to go on. And I have been those people during many junctures in my own life too many times to let it continue. I can’t, I won’t, I refuse to let the next 30 be defined by the same way meaningless existence.

On the night of the Blue Moon I sent a wish out into the great universe that has shown me the potential of myself when I am open to be a constant receptacle, receptive of anything and everything, come what may.

I have written too often about my own simplified philosophy of the missing sandwich. Aiyo! How wrong I have been to think of life in those terms. Of just one missing element that completes us. There is so much more to me and those I love to think of it in such belittling terms. I won’t close this blog down but I will stop blogging here. It will be kept open should I or another soul come by here someday it and find some solace or recognition in what I have written over the years. I am no longer the missing sandwich. This part of my journey is over. It is time to shed the old so that I have enough room to take in the new life, the real one I am meant to live.

I am not preaching or passing on because I sincerely have nothing of worth to tell you. I am just giving you my personal reasons for the decisions I am beginning to make for myself. If I leave you with anything, it will be a plea to find your own personal happy place and stay there. I haven’t found mine in its entirety yet, I have merely seen the potential for it, like I said. But having received a glimpse of it, how can I proceed without it now?

Happy New Year everyone & I wish you all your personal epiphany in 2010, if you haven’t had it yet. Thank you for all you have done and been to me over the years. Thank you for stopping by here when you have. Thank you for becoming my friends and staying that way. You will always hold a place in my heart for that is the one part of me that is already infinite in its ability to welcome and embrace.

May all our dark days be erased, someday.

Goodbye.

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep & suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life and not when I have come to die discover that I have not lived – Henry David Thoreau

In or Out?

I don’t fit into a box and most of my life people have been trying to figure me out, including myself. During the course of this year I’ve been starting to appreciate that there’s no box big enough to hold the anomaly that is me. A friend sent me an Ani DiFranco song called In or Out which I just managed to listen to. I related. Completely. Thank you Ne. Have a listen y’all…

Guess there’s something wrong with me
Guess I don’t fit in
No one wants to touch it
No one knows where to begin
I’ve got more than one membership
To more than one club
And I owe my life
To the people that I love

He looks me up and down
Like he knows what time it is
Like he’s got my number
Like he thinks it’s his
He says,
Call me, Miss DiFranco,
If there’s anything I can do
I say,
It’s Mr. DiFranco to you

Somedays the line I walk
Turns out to be straight
Other days the line tends to deviate
I’ve got no criteria for sex or race
I just want to hear your voice
I just want to see your face

She looks me up and down
Like she thinks that I’ll mature
Like she’s got my number
Like it belongs to her
She says,
Call me, Ms. DiFranco
If there’s anything I can do
I say, I’ve got spots
I’ve got stripes, too

Their eyes are all asking
Are you in, or are you out
And I think, oh man,
What is this about?
Tonight you can’t put me
Up on any shelf

‘Cause I came here alone
I’m gonna leave by myself

I just want to show you
The way that I feel
And when I get tired
You can take the wheel to me
What’s more important
Is the person that I bring
Not just getting to the same restaurant
And eating the same thing

Guess there’s something wrong with me
Guess I don’t fit in
No one wants to touch it
No one knows where to begin
I’ve more than one membership
To more than one club
And I owe my life
To the people that I love

Reasons to Believe

I woke up in a foul mood today. Instinctively I knew something was wrong. And then I checked the date. I am exactly a month away fro turning 30. A pounding headache & a nightmarish day ensued. And then I checked my mail. A friend of mine sent me a link to a video, posted on this blog. It made me sit still, listen and read and despite the tears at that came at the end of it, I found my reason to believe. I maybe growing older, but my reasons for being are still intact. The personal ones not so much, the purposes more so. Made me want to rush into a phone booth and get into that red cape all over again. It’s beautiful & painful & all too true. Have a watch will ya?

Do pardon the corny song. The lyrics are meant to motivate, so it serves its purpose :)

An Ode to DD

Well not quite an ode. A few paragraphs to be exact.

The man asked why I hadn’t named him in my favourite bloggers and friends post a few weeks back. A silly man I tell ya. Doesn’t he realize that his place in my heart is a special one? He’s had quite a few stories to tell which include me and I think it’s time I returned the favour.

I first met DD in early 2000 when we both worked in Lowe, then Lintas together. A large, dark, well-dressed, slightly overwhelming man, who didn’t wear undies on Friday just for kinks. His arguments with David Blacker were legendary and we’d all pop out along the corridor to hear them. But come 5 pm the 2 of them would be at Old Joes getting drunk together like the best of friends, albeit with some cutting remarks from David which DD would opt to laugh off instead of starting yet another war. It’s from these 2 that I learned the value of not taking advertising personally. We argue in this industry like cats and dogs, but some of us know how to walk out of one of them and still stay the best of friends.

DD told me once that we nutters in the ad industry take ourselves far too seriously. It isn’t this year that I finally began to grow tired of selling soap for a living and began to realize the wisdom of his words. We have brainstorms, we strategize, look for insights into the human psyche… all to sell soap to the masses. I for one have stopped taking my job seriously and I have DD to thank for it. I like my job, I do it well, it pays the bills. That’s it. My life, my real life has nothing to do with the advertising world anymore, unlike years ago.

A bunch of us would go to Old Joe’s after work at least 3 times a week. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a super homey place located on the St. Joseph’s College compound with excellent bites and arrack galore. At 19 or 20 my disposable income was virtually non-existent and most of the time the likes of DD would foot the majority of the bill, reminding the rest of us broke ‘uns that he was also young once and it’s no reason to miss out on all the fun. I’ve had some excellent memories drinking with DD that went on for years and every day we’d sit down together, I’d come away with a new experience.

On my 21st birthday I was at work and way too broke to have a party. I remember he was at home and called me asking me to just drop work and turn up at his house. A bunch of us sat in his living room getting drunk all afternoon. It was the nicest way to turn 21, I tell ya!

But we’ve had our share of legendary arguments as well. We’ve screamed at eachother along the corridors of Lintas and I’m sure he thought I was a right-royal brat at the time, but I wasn’t one to keep quiet and would stand up for my convictions which I do hope he managed to realize even then. But with DD, even the arguments were fun because he’d bring a new, albeit ridiculous perspective to the disagreement just to flummox me, leaving me gaping at him open-mouthed and furious that I had let myself get trapped in a nonsensical argument.

I love ya DD. And I miss having you around a lot more than you realize. Come home soon?

Thanks BlackLullaby & Polka Dots for the tag. I’ve opted to use a term from Richard Bach when he wrote a letter to his younger self in The Bridge Across Forever because it is essentially things I really wish I knew then, which I’ve learned now.

Future__Present__Past_by_JusT_ShanT

Dear sandwich of 17,

You turn 30 this year and it’s been a long journey. Most of what you’ve done is pretty darn good between where you are and where I am now. Here’s just a few things to look out for along the way :

You’re going to skip an A/L exam. It will make for a pretty neat story to tell when you’re older, but it will also prevent you from getting the aggregate you need to go to Uni. You’ll regret it but you ought to know that you do pretty good for yourself career wise until you wake up one morning close to 30 and realize that you’ve been selling soap for a living, albeit in much prettier terms.

Your save-the-world complex never really goes away. It converts itself into a mother hen variant though. You are a nurturer through and through so don’t you ever doubt it when your own mother says you can’t even take care of yourself. There’s plenty of evidence out there to the contrary.

Don’t be such a prude about sex. 23 is way too late in the day to give it away. Trust me, when you finally find someone you can completely open up with sexually, you’ll be able to unlock doors within you that you never knew existed. In my case it was fairly late in the day that I discovered that. Go out there, get laid, enjoy it. You don’t have to worry about becoming promiscuous; we just aren’t built that way :)

Your mum was right though. You don’t really take care of yourself. Especially your heart. As a result it will lead you to making the worst relationship decisions of your life until you turn 29 and finally discover otherwise. It will also result in the terrible friendships with people who walk all over you. But you finally learn to stand up for yourself at 29 too. You get married way too early and it takes you away from the person you are now at 17. But rest assured, 29 will come with you rediscovering your former self and your former passions like never before. You’ll have someone perfectly unorthodox to thank for it. I’m not telling you who though. It’s someone you need to discover for yourself. And trust me, the surprise will be startlingly pleasant. The friends I have today and the people I love in this very moment, I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world.

You look for the poetry and romance in everything. You’ll watch a masterpiece called 2001:A Space Odyssey and feel all warm and fuzzy inside when Dr. Floyd video conferences his little daughter & feel like crying when HAL 9000 is disconnected. You’ll watch AI and curl up in a ball and cry because the robot is abandoned. Don’t ever regret your ability to feel so intensely even if the fact that no one gets that about you will bring you down. You will hurt a lot. But you will also love a lot. Don’t ever deny the intensity and the capacity of your heart. You feel everything. It’s rare. Treasure it.

I know you’re in a rush to grow up, but I have some bad news for you on that front. You never do. Live with it. Your child-like optimism will get you through some pretty dark days and trust me; the decade ahead will be the darkest of your life. But you will come through it and learn to live and love again.

Irrespective of what anyone tries to tell you, you’re a good girl Nat and that’s important to know. I’ve watched you for years, seen how you’ve handled things that would have turned most others stark raving mad or the epitome of bitchiness, to say the least. You’ve just stood there with so much grace and smiled through it all, opting to hurt alone. No matter how hurt you are, you try your hardest to keep things peaceful for anyone else involved, both victim & villain. You have a fierce sense of loyalty that seems unparalleled sometimes and woe unto anyone who hurts someone you love.

Your strengths are your weaknesses and what hurts you most is the lack of reciprocation of feelings. But it’s all-good. You’re going to get through it all. People think you’re superwoman because of how strong you come across but you’re a bloody softy on the inside. I repeat : You’re a good girl. Don’t you dare forget it.

I won’t promise you a storybook ending, but you’re going to have the kinds of adventures others only dream of, every step of the way. Now go out there and live it!

Love,

Me, now aged 29 years, 10 months and 16 days.

P.s. Stop looking for the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Doug Adams already did that. The answer is 42. Go figure.

I hereby tag Hissyfits/Drama Queen/ The mad cat woman etc & the lovely ladies over at Aappa Thachchiya

To bleed forever

My new favourite obsession and the score to the movie they’re going to make about me when I’m gone. Vain, I am :D

GHOST LOVE SCORE – Nightwish

We used to swim the same moonlight waters
Oceans away from the wakeful day

My fall will be for you
My love will be in you
If you be the one to cut me
I`ll bleed forever

Scent of the sea before the waking of the world
Brings me to thee
Into the blue memory

My fall will be for you
My love will be in you
If you be the one to cut me
I will bleed forever

Into the blue memory

A siren from the deep came to me
Sang my name my longing
Still I write my songs about that dream of mine
Worth everything I may ever be

The Child will be born again
That siren carried him to me
First of them true loves
Singing on the shoulders of an angel
Without care for love n` loss

Bring me home or leave me be
My love in the dark heart of the night
I have lost the path before me
The one behind will lead me

Take me
Cure me
Kill me
Bring me home
Every way
Every day
Just another loop in the hangman`s noose

Take me, cure me, kill me, bring me home
Every way, every day
I keep on watching us sleep

Relive the old sin of Adam and Eve
Of you and me
Forgive the adoring beast

Redeem me into childhood
Show me myself without the shell
Like the advent of May
I`ll be there when you say
Time to never hold our love

My fall will be for you
My love will be in you
You were the one to cut me
So I`ll bleed forever

Batman_The_Killing_Joke_1600x1200

I have been on the fringes of Sri Lankan metal politics for nearly a decade. If I were to say it’ll be a sad day when a musician gives into petty power-politics and forgets his reason for being, then everyday would be a sad day for ‘pure Sri Lankan metal’.

I’m going to tell you my Stigmata story & my view of them over the last decade. I won’t go into the obvious & give you the history of the band that you all know, so I hope I’m able to bring a fresh perspective to the party.

My association with the Sri Lankan metal scene began way back in 2000 when Stigmata were just coming into the scene, I think. I started going for gigs at 80 Club where in the midst of the Kreb’s Cycle types, a group of youngsters called Stigmata were just beginning to come into their own.

A couple of years later while helping direct a school play, I heard a couple of the boys jamming to what sounded like this amazing melody during practices one day. I was instantly drawn to it. Nevermore to feel the pain, the heart collector sang. Nevermore indeed. Apparently Stigmata were covering it and it was all the rage. I downloaded the lyrics and within a week I had listened to the entire Dead Heart in a Dead World album. The first modern day metal album that I connected with. I was always more a classic Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Doors kinda girl until then. Maybe with the likes of Sabbath and Judas Priest thrown in for good measure, on occasion. I would go for gigs once in a way but never until that point had I listened to a metal album in its entirety and fallen in complete lust.

Needless to say I got the group of boys to take me to a Rock Saturday. I had heard Stigs a few times after that first time at 80 Club including at On-Stage. I heard their rendition of Andura that night and I was mind blown. They were still so young and yet so confident, bringing something original to the table every time I heard them. There were other bands at the time too. Taunt. Soul Skinner. Whirlwind. Tapas. And others whose names escape me. Some pretty darn good in their own way. Some not so much. Each had a following. Some were even venomously referred to as Stigmata Pataw. But when Stigmata took the stage, everyone would listen. They always sounded better. Tighter. Influenced by the right sound, lyrically topical & relevant, but most of all, talented. Not to say the others weren’t. Stigmata were just more so.

The people I made friends with were from other bands. Some are still my friends to date. We sit down occasionally over a drink or spliff and talk about the Rock Saturday days. Problem is, that’s all we do. I’ve done my share of what I can for them. Design lighting for gigs, stage sets, promote them, compeer, type out their proposals, sober them up when they were too high to go home and helped them nurse their hangovers the next day with steaming hot cups of Milo. They would come over with guitars and jam at my place. I would sit in the studio while they would record their originals and give them my 2 cents worth. But what has happened to those bands that were on a mission to give Stigmata a run for their money? I’m truly disappointed. If they were on a mission, why not take the Avis route and try harder instead of caving in to play for 3,000 bucks a piece at some hotel lounge? Like I said, the people in these bands are my friends and through the years and because of their opinions, I must admit with some sense of shame that I was swayed by them, not bothering to ask Stigmata if what they were saying was true. So I started to dislike them on site. At least on the outside. Within, there was this undeniable sense of acceptance that they were good. Really good.

There was something essentially beautiful about the core melodies of tracks like Love Lies Bleeding, Sylvia and so many more others. But somehow they don’t seem to have pushed their limits and seen where they could go with their music. I can’t say that about Stigmata. I love my friends but not the bullshit they’ve fed me through the years. And I will say this to their faces as well. They sold out. Stigmata didn’t. Obviously they didn’t have the conviction, nor the staying power to have lasted a decade. Correction. Not just lasted. Stigmata have got better. With every gig they’ve played and every album they released.

For reasons best known to my twisted little head, I turned my back on metal for many years. The music and the memories were connected to a bad time in my life and I think I let the music take the fall for my dark days. I should have known better. The last gig I attended was a Stigmata one. The album launch of Silent Chaos Serpentine. That was years ago. On the darkest of days a little Nevermore would creep into my playlist but that would be it. And then this year, something amazing happened. I went for a gig. A relatively new friend’s band was playing and so I thought I’d go. It felt so damn good to hear the drums thundering in my gut and the guitars playing pucks with my ears. I head-banged after years and the morning after sore neck felt like I was coming home. I remembered smoky days in the pit, sometimes on my knees, on the verge of snapping my neck. I can’t describe how good it was to feel that way again. One thing note worthy; there were very few women around back then. It’s nice to see so many more of them around. Metal is no more a sausage fest & I for one am glad. J

Since then I’ve been to 2 other gigs, including The Killing Joke. Someone asked me at the gig; just before Stigs began to play Do you really like Stigmata? I mean aren’t they slightly overrated? I smiled back and unashamedly said I love them. They are the main reason I’m here.

It has by far been one of the best gigs I’ve attended in years. The sad thing was the audience. I expected more. It was a Stigmata gig for fucks sake! Where the hell were you when they brought the house down? Where were you when they played music not only from their own past, but music that was a part of shaping who you are today? Where were you when they played their new numbers, displaying how much they’ve evolved and grown in the last decade? Where the fuck were you?

Strangely enough, I realized that so many Stigs tracks are imbedded in some forgotten corner of my head. Voices, for instance. I woke up the morning after the Killing Joke and I heard Suresh singing Daddy, Daddy… in my head. When they started playing My Malice from the Silent Chaos Serpentine album at the gig, I started singing peel the flesh off my bone, slowly condone, so I may crumble away alone and I didn’t even realize that I was mouthing the words until I was half way into the song.

You don’t have to like Suresh to know the man and his music are intrinsically interconnected elements in equal parts. The same goes for the rest of the band. Besides Tenny, I’ve never really taken the time to get to know the rest of them. It’s a darn shame, come to think of it. The little time I’ve spent with them reminds me of how like-minded we are in some ways. I was on my way to a Rock Saturday gig when I got a call informing me that someone as close as a twin had just died in a bike accident thousands of miles away. My family was a mess trying to figure out how to bring the body down for the funeral in the midst of letting the tragedy of it sink in. Instead of turning around & going home, I opted to go for the gig anyway. I cried all the way in the car and it took me a while to get myself together and walk in, but when I got there and when Stigmata started to play, I was fine. During their entire set, I was fine. To date I will be eternally grateful to them for that. I’ve mourned to their music, made love to it and healed with it. And I never realized it until I sat down to write this piece. It’s strange how the music playing in the background during some of the darkest or most intense milestones in your life will stay with you in your sub conscience until they’re ready to be played again.

The Killing Joke was evidence that Stigmata are still the tightest fucking band around. The most original. The only ones who knew where they wanted to go and opted stayed true to that vision. Too many of us have dreams and let them be just that; dreams. It’s the chasers who deserve the applause, not the dreamers.

So, to Suresh, Tenny, Andrew, Javeen & Tharaka, I just want to say that you can go ahead and have the last laugh, because the joke certainly wasn’t on you.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.