December is quickly coming to a close. A new year and a fresh start is upon us all and I think it begs all kinds of questions.
No, I am not one to list resolutions, but I do consider the future. Once again, as the calendar page turns, I make a point of assessing and reassessing my life. What makes me happy, and how can I better my existence here on earth? If you have been following me for a while now, you will recognize this common theme seems to crop up over and over.
Many times we stay stuck in the same place, the same spot, and never change. We remember growth can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable so we tend to avoid it at all cost. For me, change is woven in the very fabric of my existence. Moving every few years for most of my life, I learned the knack of ‘fitting in’ wherever I land. Lately, I have been very still and it has felt different and surprisingly good. For example, I have stacks of books and piles of familiar ‘stuff’ in almost every corner of my cozy house. The sofa I am sitting on right now is worn to a soft perfection and the feather pillows provide a lumpy security. Late at night, when I turn out the lights, I can wander easily throughout my house because it has become so familiar. I am accustomed to every floorboard and squeaky step.
Thinking about this, and the comfort I have been cocooned in, I sense a need to change. Perhaps, I have stayed still past the proper expiration date. I am beginning to feel a real need to change. I wonder if this gurgling thought will materialize into action this year.
Right this very minute , I want to examine new ideas, move forward, and push myself into the unknown. I hope to grow and learn in 2016. As I mull this over, the music seems to find me and influence my ideas and opinions. Today’s tune is a case in point. Some days, I accidentally stumble upon the most amazing music. Today is one of those days and I am over the moon about this gem of a discovery. The lyrics jolted me out of my holiday slumber and oblivion stupor. The lyrics help me consider change, not because “Mama Said”, but because my own soul seems to know, despite the secret internal pull of not really wanting to evolve. Listen.
Cat Clyde-Mama Said
“Mama said, there’s gonna be a flight,
we gotta pack our bags and go
Mama said we gotta go right now
I don’t wanna go right now
Mama said, we’re goin’ away
I’ve never been so far away
I think about it all the time
I think about it all the time…”
Cat Clyde is a new artist on the scene from London, Ontario. In “Mama Said”, her velvety voice and thoughtful lyrics are somewhat striking after a generous slide-guitar start. The vocals become a musical game changer, but also balanced well and perfectly echoed with the twang of the guitar. It is a combination that produces a spacious atmosphere and a chill vibe, full of depth and meaning without the need of over production. Simple yet powerful.
Cat Clyde is Caitlin Blockeel. She reportedly (learn more here) came up with the band name because she frequents cemeteries where she found and liked the name Clyde, then played on her own name of Caitlin, to come up with Cat. Cat Clyde was born. I am smitten with her bluesy sound and her modern take on a throw back sound of an age old past. She describes her deepest influences as the Delta Blues as well as artists like Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Patsy Cline.
As I listen to her music, I contemplate the future of my small little world. Perhaps my ramblings will influence your own change and growth. Maybe one day I’ll move and really change, but for this new year ahead, I think I will make just a few slight adjustments.
I need to find more moments where I will laugh until I cry. A good belly laugh is a serious attitude adjustment and fires off Endorphins that keep us healthy. I highly value my friends that can make me laugh with their wit and wisdom, and of course, I am sometimes my own source of laughter because I am incredibly goofy and fun loving.
It would also be miraculous to sleep a full, restful eight hours more often than not. Sleep is essential to my well being. I have seen a direct correlation to my improved attitude when I have had a good night’s sleep. Because I am a night owl, I feel guilty for sleeping later than others and thus am always at a deficit.
Perhaps while I am considering the new year, I should contemplate all the lessons I learned in 2015 and make an effort to shore up my resolve and not repeat any of those mistakes. My emotions get the best of me and can react before my head can catch up. Knowing that little fact is key to any positive change in my life.
I believe I should journey beyond my comfort zone more often, and in doing so, find more people who bring out the best in me. You know the ones that are continual learners and forever discovering themselves and the world around them? Knowledgeable and thoughtful interactions keep me sharp and make me want to step up my game. I read more, involve myself in political debate more, am on the lookout for fun creative outlets, seek out opportunities to help others, and exercise more when I am surrounded by people that are naturally curious about the world.
Then finally, I want to listen to more music, even though my 2015 Spotify minutes is in the tens of thousands and my Soundcloud account is a close match. I could also add up hours from my radio/cd/record listening, constant streaming of new music, and all of the live shows I frequent. Despite all I do, I still find music to be one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. I don’t think I can ever have enough of it. Send me your sounds, share what you are listening to, and fill my inbox. I love hearing from my followers and music friends, but I especially love those artists who delve into their own hearts and souls with their music. We are all kindred spirits.
As much as “Mama Said” has influenced my mood today, I can’t help but share another song from Cat Clyde’s stellar collection of songs. If you listen, you will hear the range of talent she possesses. Then, you may very well put her album, Ivory Castanets, on your listening list for 2016.
I look forward to the new year and will be listening on repeat beside you.