What a turn around today. I am loving some old memories in the pre-trauma days of the mid 70s. I am listening to some of my favourite songs from then after watching the movie Dirty Dancing last night. Two of my favourite ‘soft’ ballads are Make it With You by Bread and Sailing by Christopher Cross.
Particularly when I listen to the last one I get transported into a soft dream like open space where my heart opens and lets out what is deeply contained within it. The song softens me, it makes me think of my father for a strange reason and of all that he could not live of what he loved a lot, to be by the water fishing. Sadly he died of cancer before he could take time to kick back and just let go of commitments and relax fully. I think its one of the reasons he used alcohol, never to excess though, in later life but always two scotches and some wine on every day to wind down.
I must balance these softer feelings with the harshness that I felt as a child being dragged on boating outings to fish beyond the headlands which made me sick and made me long for the beach where I could ride my Zippy board in the waves to my heart’s content until I had tummy rash from the salt and sand on my board.
On these begrudged boating excursions 0ften my sisters would jump ship. They’d convince Dad to take them back just far enough in for them to swim to shore. As I remember it I got trapped on the boat, just as I was trapped in the car being left alone in it when they went to the Catalina Country Club for drinks in the lounge where in the later 6os and early 70s children were not allowed. I think my hatred of waiting comes from this time and it echoes with being trapped for a long time in the crushed, crumpled up car in September 1979 with engine pieces all through my legs.
Gosh where did that come from? When I consider the longing tied up in some of the lyrics by Bread it makes sense to me that many of their songs would resonate with me deeply.
I was talking to a friend in the park today. She was telling me about two random acts of violence by people, one of whom went into the supermarket with an axe and randomly started slicing into people’s faces and hitting them on head. I thought about what frustration and pain these perpetrators must have been feeling. I then spoke to her about missing the softness of the 70s music in a time when perhaps not as much violence was around. But what else was simmering away inside us?
I will keep listening to these mellow songs which are a kind of balm for me at present after a week in which inner frustration, pain, grief and anger has been tearing on me and kicking away deeply inside. I want to remain soft but not deny the pain of what I went through. I feel I need to connect to the hidden longing that at times has been covered over with rage, hurt, frustration, angst and pain and treat myself and others from this softer place. That is the only thing that will nurture and soothe me presently. My hurt wounded kid needs to take a bit of a back seat for a while because at times when I am deeply in that space I end up getting retraumatised and paint everything a bit too black. These are the realisations I came to today.