There’s a distinct possibility you’re going to think I’m utterly crazy for this, OR you’re going to take one look and give me a roll of your eyes and a “TLDR” but stick with me and give me a chance – you can only judge if you know what you’re judging, right? Cos I’m going to confess to something which is…okay…a little ‘out there’.
For as long as I can remember (and possibly before) I’ve been subject to that oh-so human tendency of getting caught up in music. I could sit here and expound in great tracts about the aesthetics and the ways our very neurones are made to respond deeply, soulfully, to beautiful auditory stimulus, but I’m confident you know all that already. Music resonates with SO many people, it would be fallacy to suggest that it isn’t very fundamentally linked to what makes us, at our core.
Music can transport us. I still can’t hear Beethoven’s 5th Symphony without being whisked to a magical world of centaurs and angry gods; beautiful rainbows to slide down, and cherubs watching delightedly over everything, nor can I listen to Bach’s ‘Tohnet Ihr Pauken’ without smelling the delicious scent of pine, and feeling the excitement of fairy lights and anticipation and Christmas and happiness…but in recent years I’ve kind of wobbled off sideways. Or gotten deeper into the association thing. Because now it happens with people.
Yeah. You heard me.
Sometimes it happens quite by accident. Sometimes because of something someone else has said. Sometimes I almost feel a NEED to link music to someone, and to better understand them by knowing ‘their’ song. And the wonderful thing is, the association can grow so strong that those songs become intense, buoying events when I hear them – it’s as if I’ve brought a little of the person’s spirit through the speakers, to be near me. And it’s wonderful – I feel I am able to immerse myself in the music of my friends’ characters and enjoy their musical company.
Granted, it’s a little odd, but it’s my
blogspace and I thought I’d let you know what level of bonkers you’re dealing with by sharing a few wonderful ladies with you, via ‘their’ songs: a selection of the SisterWives
, past, present, and sideways. Some of these are women I don’t know very thoroughly yet, but who have made a deep impression on me. Some are women I warm to immensely, and am delighting in getting to know ever better. Several have my friendship forever, if they choose it. There are those I cherish far more than I tell them, and whom I love very dearly. Two I talk to every. single. day.
* * *
(cos of course
my BlogWife has to come first (as it were (!))) has a
bit of a
reputation for being slightly cheeky. Or a little risque. Or absolutely downright filthy. She rapidly earned the nickname ‘Smutster’, and has delighted in maintaining her status as The Racy One. It’s almost mandatory that any conversation with Beth shalt includeth the words BOOBS or PENIS, at least eleventytwelve times, and she is a past master (or mistress?) at both double-entendre and flirting. I can’t remember precisely how or where this association happened, but suffice it to say, it’s there and each time I hear the song I smile and think of my Beth. [Disclaimer – this ^^^ is an incredibly one-dimensional view of my dear friend, but were I to wax lyrical about her kindness, her sense of fun, her determination, her steadfast encouragement and support, and the thousand and one ways I am thankful for her friendship every day, it would totally ruin the vibe and not fit with the song any more. Search her name in my sidebar, if you want to know more…I write about her aplenty – she’s a keeper]
* * *
is so much more than who she plays online, but she plays her role very well, and she writes beautifully in raucous HD, giving us a window into a life which has more LIVING in it than many of us are like to see. She’s witty, spicy, full of piss and vinegar, and always ready to get raucous on your ass. This song fits her persona to a ‘T’. It’s intense, multifaceted, a bit sexy, and a lot confusing. [Disclaimer – For fear of being sued for discrediting her badass reputation, I’m not going to tell you about how kind and smart and loving she is, or the reasons I call her Precious, or the way she seems to experience every aspect of life amped up to ten, making it more exhausting, more painful, and more beautiful than you or I could ever know. She tells me she is my friend for the long haul, which is an honour and a delight (and a relief, because short-haul *really* upsets me)]
* * *
is one of my new favourite people. I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore her, and from the moment Samara introduced me to her writing, I somewhat fell head over heels in WriterLove (see ‘Blogygamy
‘ – it’s *totally* a Thing) and decided that this was a person whose mind I needed to know more of. Since then, I have come to know Gretchen as a kind, incredibly intelligent, shinybright soul, whose spirit of compassion and social consciousness is matched by her determination to find fun and enjoyment in life. She eagerly became part of the 1000Speak team, and begins her blog posts with music. The afternoon I was idling my brain around what song might fit her, the radio station I was playing happened to have a disco hour. Something clicked (which was bizarre, because to my knowledge she’s never included a disco vibe in her writing) and I had this sudden very intense picture of Gretchen in a giant rainbow afro and sparkly everything, at a roller-disco, bringing light and music and happiness to all around her [Note – it was such a compelling and incongruous connection that I went as far as asking Gretchen about it, and to my astonishment not only does she like disco music, but she used to rock out at the roller-disco. Crrreeeeeepy. But also kinda perfect for my beautiful purveyor of music.]
* * *
has one of the most exquisitely beautiful brains I’ve come across. Her writing is intelligent, stunningly well put together, her character is one of the most complex and wonderful I know, and she can talk sensibly about gun control one minute, and the next be involved in an interpretive-dance-off with a pal. All with equal enthusiasm. She sings. She sends me delightful messages on WhatsApp. She tells me her troubles and hopes and dreams with delightful candour, and somehow we have developed a gorgeous friendship which might be put down whilst life gets in the way, but will be picked up as shiny-new as it was left, and just as lovely. [Note – When I say her writing is stunning and her brain is exquisite, well there are (*counts on fingers*) two writers, one scientist, and three musicians whose brains I’d like to lick. She’s one of those writers.]
* * *
is someone I am still getting to know, but who I have already experienced as kind and funny and thoughtful. She has many sides to her, and I sense that this is a lady with more layers than parfait. She also has one hella attitude and I suspect would hold no qualms about flipping off the Queen of England, if Her Maj dared to diss her! I’m also pretty convinced that she’d snap the world in two if you needed help and that would enable her to provide it. There’s more to Renee than meets the eye, and that’s intriguing.
* * *
Michelle is a raver, a rager, a writer supreme – full of heart and profanity and everything in between. She’ll catch you out, between cursing and humour, by proving to be an incredibly warm and wonderful person. I first ‘met’ her on Twitter, where her picture (her own hand, holding a burning image of her own face) intrigued and compelled me to start pestering her with tweets. I was delighted when she joined SisterWives, and have long known her to be full of grit, determination and AWESOME. A true inspiration, and her song comes from my certainty that she’d drink with you, dance with you, punch you in the middle of your face if you got rowdy, then drink with you again. I also think that she’s the kind of friend who’d be there with all guns blazing on your behalf, if you needed her.
* * *
once sang to a select group of us on video, and the song she sang STUNNED me with its wonder and poignancy. Carly is a beautiful, bright, infectiously bubbly person, and in spite of her share of challenges and agonies in life, she has more bounce to her than India-rubber, and is utterly determined to go the distance. Her tagline is about butterflies, and that’s how light her soul is, most of the time, and how beautiful. And DAY-UMMMMMM she can SING. But this piece was shared with me recently and it took me a few minutes to realise where I knew it from. Now it’s the song which sings Carly to me.
* * *
is a delight. Knowing her is like playing with fire, not because she’ll burn you, but because her brain is so bright, it will set you alight and you will want to keep adding her thoughts to your own mind like tinder, until the conflagration of brilliance engulfs you whole. She sparks off new ideas approximately every 30 minutes (or after every other greyhound) and when she’s generous enough to involve you, buckle up – it’s going to be a glorious, incredible ride. And she’s so very, very elegant. And always ready with a beautiful song or a cultural reference which I smile at and pretend to understand. I *cannot* keep up with this amazing writer, nor ever hope to come close to the level of output she generates. And in spite of now knowing ‘Helena’ as Ken, I relate to him as I ever have, and call him ‘cherie’, just as I did her. He is as kind and engaging and enigmatic as Helena at her very best. [Ken’s brain is another I would lick, just for how stunning it is. And this song is a lullaby he sent me once, when I was tired and upset. It is every bit as complex and wonderful as Ken and the gorgeous characters he creates. It still brings me comfort, this song, and I listen to it when I’m sleepy.)
* * *
Sandy, otherwise known as my Darling American (or DA), is the only person (to my knowledge) who has ever kindasorta stalked me. She rocked up one day, announced that she’d decided she liked me, and proceeded to come back post after post after post, to leave thoughtful, caring comments, encouragement and lovely feedback. Once I’d gotten over my surprise at her enthusiasm, I took time to get to know her, and discovered a wonderful, warm, witty, kind lady, who rapidly became a friend. Then a close friend. Then one night she took me to bed* and our relationship was cemented forever #kissingthefrog [Disclaimer – *IN HER PHONE! Good GRIEF! I was up late and upset about can’tevenremembernow and Sandy talked me through. A lot. With gorgeous common sense and compassion and loveliness.] The association with this song was actually Beth’s fault – she’d had some kind of medical appointment and apparently the doctor she saw was a doppelganger for Sandy. Jokes flew back and forth about Sandy secretly being a sexy, Texan doctor, and at some point during my involvement in the conversation, a radio was playing (I suspect I was in my phone, on a lunch break, with music in the background) – this song came on, and it clicked. Almost audibly.
* * *
Hasty, is how you probably know her, but very early in our knowing of each other, I was struck by a gorgeous photo of her with flaming, red hair, and immediately thought “This woman is a Sunset”, and she has been Sunset to me ever since. I have absolutely DELIGHTED getting to know her, and it’s been the strangest, most beautiful journey of love and friendship that I think I’ve been part of, because somehow, in this incredible poet from Oklahoma, I’ve found my SoulTwin, my 1000-Mile Heart, and one of the people I am very most closest to in life. Our outlook, the way we experience things, our temperament, our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us, are so similar as to be identical in many cases. It’s as though I know her well enough to ‘feel’ her spirit, sometimes. She has taught me so much about life, about love, and about myself, that I am forever indebted, and eternally grateful to her. Whatever else happens, this one I will not let go. Sunset is beautiful through and through, and she writes poems in ways I only hope to achieve when I grow up. They speak to me in a way which I’ve never before experienced, and I will quite often find myself responding to her pieces with poetry of my own. In fact, I can safely say she has inspired more poetry from me than any other person, ever. We wrote this together and mean every word. And because she has added such colour and joy and vividness to my life, this song made me immediately think of her, and it stuck. [No disclaimer needed. Ever.]
* * *
Mandi earned herself the nickname ‘Squishy’ at some point in our friendship (as in, ‘I shall call her Squishy, and she shall be mine, and she shall be my Squishy’), and though I apologised, she didn’t mind, and it stuck. I confess, in the beginning, when I saw Mandi hanging around Beth’s blog and realised that they know each other IN REAL, I decided I wouldn’t make friends with her, because I tend to be terribly bad at sharing, and knew that I’d likely find it difficult to manage my envy. But she was so incredibly funny and sweet that I followed her back to her blog and kicked myself, because I knew I’d stumbled across another very wonderful person, and that I wouldn’t be able to resist either her writing or her shinybright soul. That said, Mandi remains an enigma to me. She keeps me on my toes, and I’m never certain whether I’m privy to soul-deep stuff, or kept at arm’s length; shown her struggles after she’s sorted them out, or allowed to know and support her through them; whether some of the Best Comment I ever Got is genuinely just for me, or something she does on purpose, for everyone she likes; whether I’m a true friend, or someone kept in a little internet box where the rules are different and things can be wonderful without spilling over into Real. These confounding feelings have done little to change how much I adore her, and for whatever reason, the music is strongest with her. Perhaps because she’s a musician as well as a writer. Perhaps because she somehow ended up as my muse for the longest story I haven’t finished. Perhaps anything. All I know is that there are many, many songs which speak her to me so strongly that she almost shimmers into being next to me, and her name hangs in the air on the chords as they play. [Note – in keeping with the Finding Nemo theme: “Mine!”]
* * *
So there you have it. A foray into my mind and friendships via the music which reminds me of some of the most wonderful people I have the pleasure of knowing. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you stayed with me to the end. And I understand if you suddenly fall for these incredible humans, because I know I’ve written them glowing reviews, but no. I still don’t share well and you can’t have them.
Do you associate music with people? Or places? Or experiences? Did you stay to the end? Who’s your favourite? TELL ME!