I call this my summer of contrasts. For one, I experienced incredible opportunities to travel and visit family. On the other hand, I dealt with difficult heart wrenching conflict, pneumonia, and emergency eye surgery. I am still healing from the surgery, but with my good eye I am watching an abundance of dead leaves drift to the ground in my backyard. Perhaps they are a positive sign suggesting fall is coming, despite the current 100 degree temperature. Nature is a gentle reminder of the circle of life…birth, infancy, maturation, mortality, and rebirth. The four seasons reflect it beautifully and provide hope that difficulties will pass in time. Some days I am less patient, but it comforts me to have a visual reminder that my situation will change, if I give it time.
Whenever I find myself a bit lost, I ache for my mother. I remember her gentle care with fondness, when I was sick and stayed home from school. She allowed me to watch whatever I wanted on TV, she would whip up a special poached egg on toast for my breakfast, and always remained on call for fluid refills and temperature checks. I imagine she never sat down during those days. My mother was in constant motion either cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry for a family of six, and my sickness only added to her worries. Her sweet loving comfort always proved to be a healing medicine which would bring me relief. I depended on her in times of illness, but also in times of indecision, emotional support, and the careful planning of my future. My mom was always the first one I shared joyous news with, as well as the first one I cried to when I was in pain. She returned all of my emotions with abundant, unconditional love.
My mother passed away 22 years ago. Yes, I had to look it up again, even though the year should be memorized by now. My brain refuses to store any detailed information for that period in my life, because the pain still pricks like it was yesterday. So, after wading through this summer’s struggles, I have to admit to you all, I long for her gentle manicured hands of healing and her kind mothering sympathy. I long for the season to change.
I love this music blog I created many years ago. It provides the kind of sweet landing cushion for the crazy moments in my life where I often wonder, what is what. After several months of writing hesitations/blocks and complicated summer diversions, I have searched my heart to understand why I took so many long breaks between posts. Now, I believe I need to return to the format when I first began my music blog. This shift to a more simplistic style may not be grabbing giant audiences, or boosting social media presence, or competing with seasoned music critics, but my voice needs to be true to who I am. I am listening to my mother, and she is whispering that my intuition and sense of purpose needs to be nurtured and cared for exactly like she would do, if she were here.
I am paying attention.
The incredible song, “You’re Me and I’m You,” by Black Belt Eagle Scout, actually launched my soul searching. Originally, I planned to write an album review of their latest album. I wrote it and rewrote it, but felt like I couldn’t do it the justice it most certainly deserved. After much contemplative thought, I realized I was forcing it. I would rather focus on a stand out song. As I listened to the album, one song emerged and reminded me of the importance of being quiet and listening to your own inner voice, the one my mother encouraged me to recognize. So it prompted me to share the song which means the most to me, right now. No matter who you are, no matter the color of your skin, the storied background you have, or the place you live…we each have a mother. A mother who hopefully champions our every move and supports our important differences from her. If not your mother, I hope you know someone who nurtures you and your uniqueness, listens to you, and is certain you will grow exponentially and leave the world a smidgen better, after they are gone. I pray I support my own incredible daughter in this way.
“You’re Me And I’m You” lovingly refers to the singer/songwriter’s own mother and reminds me of the universal connection of all people everywhere. Her carefully plucked acoustic guitar and soft vocal simplicity shreds the current political divide of the loud, angry, agenda driven haters with a reminder of our commonality and universal bond. We are all connected. We need to explore our shared experiences and learn from our differences. I am in awe of Katherine Paul of Black Belt Eagle Scout and her unique story as an indigenous, young, female feminist, and talented songwriter/musician. Her second album, At The Party With My Brown Friends, is out now via Saddle Creek. It is an album about many types of love and sheds light on important relationships. Hazy and soft, each song glows with delicacy. Paul’s songwriting for the album offers a gently filtered unique perspective among multiple colored stones in a churning kaleidoscope. When the album is listened to in its entirety, the stones fall gently into place and the vision it creates is something quite wondrous. The last song on the album, “You’re Me And I’m You”, is a gorgeous tribute to the forever bond of mother and daughter and leaves us with a final note of grace.
“I am the one, the one she loves, no matter what my heart becomes”