August 19, 2013

Music, When Needed

A couple of weeks ago, I opened a new Pinterest account. I am not really sure what Pinterest is all about, and how other people use it, but for me, it gives me a place to be as kitsch as I want, and Pin all the kitschy-sappy quotes I want and can find, without being ashamed of the fact that even though I am a die hard (and quite pessimistic) cynic, I actually like kitsch and “inspiring quotes”. That is why if you go to my Pinterest you will see mostly quotes & kitsch. I give myself 20 minutes a day, right after dinner, for finding more of them, and I have to say I really am enjoying it. Last week when I was in one of those twenty minutes, I found a quote about music being the answer to everything.
I don’t remember if I pinned it or not, because, well, it isn’t. But it still stuck with me. A few days after that, on Saturday, I got an invitation from Kelly, who writes the lovely blog Tiasmums 12 to join a meme about “my ultimate summer driving playlist”. I have to admit I have no idea what a “meme” is. A quick glance at Google was no help, but as far as I could understand it it’s a chain thing, where I am supposed to write about my chosen summer music, and then tag a few other unsuspecting people to do the same.

Why would someone choose me for something like that, I have no idea. Obviously Kelly did not read my Changes, Kellogg's & iPads post and was unaware that I am incapable of taking a simple question and giving a straight answer. I love complicating things unnecessarily. Just because I can. 
Also, she was unaware that I don't own a car. Or go anywhere.
I didn't want to be a grouchy person, so I thought about actually participating in this meme, but the more I thought about it, the more I found that I have a difficulty with it, with writing about the music that I love. It felt like an intrusion of privacy to me. Funny, because I can and do share so many things others will feel are much more private than music. But my music, the music I wanted to write about, is so much more than music. Some days it's the only thing that kept me sane. That kept me going. And putting it out there to be scrutinised and laughed at, was a tough request. 
But in the end of the day I decided to kind of participate in this meme, because the thing is, music is important to me. To all of us. We have music in the background most of the day, we try and educate the kids that there was music before One Direction, and mainly because I often feel like life should (and do) have a soundtrack. I guess that's why we try to find a theme song for different periods of life. At the moment it's Bob Marly's Three Little Birds, because it's the kids choice, and because we need to go with the "every little thing is gonna be alright".
Orli, Just Breathe - Music When Needed

Having said that, I have to admit that I am very bad at recognising songs or artists, remembering lyrics and music, and being able to listen to a whole album from start to finish. My playlist is an amazingly disorderly mess of almost every genre of music and era out there, played on constant shuffle. It used to drive Hidai crazy. He likes a certain type of music (he calls it "alternative Rock". I call it "people shouting at you"), and to listen to his albums one at a time. It took him a long time to concede and accept that when we are all together, my playlist will be the one playing. I sometimes think this is the reason he likes working on the computer at night. Out of all the activities men can do alone at night, Hidai writes emails & documents and listen to his music. Even Ron has a playlist of his own since he was 6 years old. 
A couple of years ago we were going through some rough times financially, and we didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as part of trying to believe it will be ok I created the playlist "Orli When Needed". At first it was rarely used, but somehow, slowly, it became our evening soundtrack. Every evening when we sit down to eat, will come the question - "which playlist to put on?" and the answer "Orli When Needed, because it's needed". It has become such a regular question at the start of the meal, that yesterday we were sitting to eat lunch and Yon looked at me and asked - mummy is it needed? It wasn't. The playlist has grown somewhat in the past year, mainly because Hidai said he is tired of listening to the same songs all the time, but for this exercise I've decided to give you the ten songs I listen to, when it's needed. And it usually is.
Orli, Just Breathe - Music When Needed

1. Temporary Home - Carrie Underwood. Makes me cry every single time. Every. Single. Time. Because this song, to me, is the symbol of all the ways I am failing my kids. Of being totally and utterly lost. Of searching. But it is also a symbol of going forward. In the time before we left Gibraltar I listened to it a lot, feeling like I am tearing my children from everything they know, and taking them to an unknown future. Feeling that they will never have a home that isn't temporary.

2. September - Daughtry. Because September is never an easy time for me with the house becoming empty, Jewish New Year (which we usually celebrate alone) and Autumn. But this song also belongs to the "before we left Gibraltar" period. It was a very tough time for our family, and not an easy choice to make. I really needed the "it was worth it in the end" line there to be true. 

3. What doesn't kill you (Stronger) Kelly Clarkson. Because it's how we live. What we teach the kids. And the single most important lesson in life. I do apologise to my neighbours for usually in every bad day I have, this song will be heard in a few blocks radius.

4. Just Breathe Pearl Jam. Because It's the only song from Hidai's favourite band I can listen to (and I actually love). And for the same reason it's the name of my blog. It really is what I tell myself every single day, and it's my constant wish, to some day be able to Just Breathe. 

5. Weightless - All Time Low. The one song that made us fly to London and watch an entire show together, for the first time in almost 10 years. Just to hear them preform this song. The clip doesn't do it justice. It was the theme song of our life for a while. In some days, it's still is. 

6. Many shades of Black - the Raconteurs. Because we learned that there really are many shades of black. And we've been through quite a few of them over the years. Because we try to take it as it comes and be thankful when it's done. 

7. Sweet Silver Lining - Kate Voegele. because I think every word in this song was written for me. To me. About me. If I had to choose one phrase to describe myself it will be from this song (unless I would choose Tolkien's "Not all those who wonder are lost") - 
"so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight but I'm just surviving
I may be weak but I'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing in clouds with that sweet silver lining"

8. Home - Daughtry. Because we don't have one. A home. A place where we belong. But because we also don't regret the life we chose for ourselves. It was another one of the songs we listened to on those dark days in Gibraltar, when we realized that we are destained to keep moving, that realising your dreams and living the reality of them is two different things, that the prices for our choices are high, and that we are each other's home.   

9. When You Say Nothing At All - Ronan Keating. Because it was true ten years ago when we chose this song to be the song that will be played when we walked down the (Jewish) aisle, and it is even more true today. 

10. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison. The first song we danced to at our wedding. Kitsch. Told you I am a secretly kitschy person. But how can you not absolutely love this song? For me, this song is the personification of love. It sums up so beautifully what I need to tell Hidai and my kids every single day. Ten years, and still every time I hear this song I get the urge to dance with Hidai.

Orli, Just Breathe - Music When Needed

There you have it. My ten songs for When It Is Needed. In my life today, they are needed a lot. Sometimes more than I would have liked. Writing this post took me back to that time when our future was so fragile, so bleak, so frightening, that I sometimes felt we will not pull through. That we will never be ok again. We did. We are. For me, music isn't the answer for everything, but it is the soundtrack to it and so much more. There were days music was all we had, in good times and bad times, music is a constant companion to our lives. It makes them better, easier, more bearable. It gives us a place to shout, to scream, to feel. Music is magic. it reminds us, day after day, that there is good and light and love. Even when it doesn't seems so.  
My life is still tough, sometimes unbearably so. Sometimes it seems it will never end. Trial after trial. Fall after fall. Hurdle after hurdle. But looking back reminded me that it really did not kill us, and it really did make us stronger, closer, more determined.
Orli, Just Breathe - Music When Needed

*No more kitsch. Next post, is business as usual.
** All these songs are my favourite because of their lyrics. But if you have a few minutes, and especially if you have a Special Child, you should check out Sara Barreiles's Brave. For the video clip.
*** I am not really sure how or if to tag anyone else, so I am leaving this one open to whom ever wants to create a Summer Playlist of his/her own.

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