Friday, May 25, 2012

A Playlist for the Journey Moon

New Journey Moon 

**** **** **** **** **** **** ****
It is the Journey Moon, the time when summer is here and living is easy. People set out to seek their fortune in the world and have adventures. That is very much what the Journey Moon is like for me this year, and I need some good traveling music. Luckily, I was given an iPod touch for my birthday last year and have been making great use of it. 

Last winter I mostly listened to podcasts like On Being, Radio Lab and Snap Judgement. I find the stories told in these kinds of programs to be amazingly inspiring and I learn something new every time I listen. This spring, however, I noticed a shift in my habits. All of a sudden I was listening to music again. Being the analytical girl I am, I of course have some theories about why this might be. It has been an amazing emotional journey lately, and I really felt my focus shifting down a few chakras as the days got longer this spring. On days when I am feeling comfortable in my emotions, or enjoying manipulating them I listen to music. Other days I want to retreat back to the cool comfort of my intellect and I queue up Jad and Robert over at Radio Lab. It has been an interesting journey into previously uncharted territory this spring. And it has had an awesome soundtrack.

Here is the final version of my epic Grabbing the Tiger By the Tail 2012 Mix. I've provided links to videos for the songs wherever I can and if you need more information about any of them, let me know. Allons-y!

*** *** ***

      A solid pump me up, Grab the Tiger By the Tail kinda song sung by a solid, Grab the Tiger by the Tail kinda guy. "Well I know what's right. I've got just one life in a world that keeps on pushing me aroud but I'll stand my ground. I won't back down."

     "So you've been broken and youve been hurt, Show me somebody who ain't. eah, I know I ain't nobodys bargain, but, hell, a little touch up and a little paint... I just want something to hold on to.
And a little of that human touch." Bruce explains it all, again.

     What's important in life? Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey and more money. Don't believe me? Ask Tom T. Hall. 

     Every mix needs a 1980s power theme, right? Well, here's this one. "I can climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest sea, I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me." Also, 21 year old Rob Lowe with this hair cut. Yes please.

     A question to ask in every situation. The answer will always be helpful. (Note: the video link above is from the Southpark movie and so is not entirely safe for work, small children or your grandmother. Unless you're grandmother is really, really cool.) And for some totally gratuitous fandom, check out this video of this song, with a Doctor Who video montage. Be still my beating heart. 

    It was sweet in 1992 and it is sweet in 2012. Haven't you always wanted a monkey? 

     In the mid 1980s They Might Be Giants began recording songs, fake advertisements and other bits of joy onto an answering machine cassette and publishing the number in local New York papers like the Village Voice. By 2008 they had recorded over 500 distinct songs for what they called Dial-a-Song and have become kind of a big deal, if I do say so myself. "Not to put to fine a point on it, say I'm the only bee in your bonnet. Make a little birdhouse in your soul."

     "Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase. Hakuna matata, ain't no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of our days!"  Actually inserted right here on the play list is Tenacious D's F&#k her Gently. It is not safe for work, children, grandmothers or most people with a sense of decency. But it's on my playlist and you might think it's funny. 
     Another one I love to sing along to very loudly. "I want your love and I want your revenge. I want you love, I don't want to be friends." The link above is to the Oregon State men's acapella group singing the song, but if you haven't seen the original video, go here.
     The 1984 cult classic "rock n roll fable" movie Streets of Fire is like a strange ghost from my childhood. For years I wasn't sure if it was a figment of my imagination, but the soundtrack was there in my dad's cassette tape collection. This one, produced by the same guy who produced Meat Loaf's 1992 Bat Out of Hell II album, is one of the greatest rock n roll songs ever written. "Everybody's going nowhere slowly, they're only fighting for the chance to be last. There's nothing wrong with going nowhere baby. But we should be going nowhere fast."

    Bruce Springsteen lays it out in black and white. Thanks, Bruce. Also, imagine what trouble the guy who shot this video went though to get this footage in 1992. Thanks, man.  

     Boy bands are great summer fare, right? This is my Driving to Meet a First Date, Pump Me Up For Anything song right now. For the proper experience, sing this at full volume with all your windows down while driving through a really hipstery neighborhood. Then listen to the song a second time. That's the way I do it these days. You might appreciate this amazing parody. I do. 

*** *** ***

 What music have you been listening to? Do you make mixes or playlists? What are important elements for you in a good mix? What journeys are you undertaking this summer? 

**** **** **** **** **** **** ****

New Journey Moon 2011: Perseus and the Journey Moon

New Journey Moon 2010: Journey Moon is New

New Journey Moon 2009: Journey Moon - it's always interesting to look back and see synchronicity between the years in a given season. The anxiety and restlessness I describe in this post feels very current, though our weather is much better this year  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Hours and Pirate Queens

The Full Mating Moon

**** **** **** **** **** **** ****

The Mating Moon is here! The spring of the year is in full swing and every living thing out there is rocking and rolling, making the most of the longer days and fairer weather.

Danny Perez Photography
In Annette Hinshaw's calendar, the Mating Moon reminds us not just of physical mating, the coming together of two bodies to create a new life, but the intellectual bringing together of ideas that is so essentially human. This spring I have been so very busy, but out of that activity has come a flowering of realizations about my life, physical, emotional and spiritual. The Mating Moon is doing it's work!

As this crazy month has rolled through I have been doing something I've never done before - dating. I have been active on an online site popular here in Portland have met a bunch of people for drinks, meals, conversations and whatever else might come up. What a strange ritual we go through in this culture! I have stories of boring dates and brilliant dates, but among all of that I have been able to do so much thinking about myself through my conversations with these other people. Every time I meet someone new I have to retell my own story and get to hear their story and that exchange is amazingly fruitful. It has been fun to come away from each new encounter with a new person knowing something a little more about myself, what I like, what I know, what I am good at and bad at. I know more about myself, my life and my world because I have been rubbing up against others who know different things, and that is the main point the Mating Moon is trying to make.

Danny Perez Photography
It's been an interesting ride this last month, being pulled into a very physical and emotional state rather than the intellectual and spiritually focused state I feel I've been in for the last few months or even years. I have had some interesting epiphanies and realizations, mostly along the lines of encouraging me to keep going and exploring. One morning I woke up seeing a giant, flashing neon sign in my minds eye saying YES. Yes, what? I sensibly asked. My response was simply more yes. I laughed and said, sure, whatever. Yes! Bring it on, bring it all in and on and on! Shortly after that, though, I was faced with one of the perils of "mating", or of bringing Other into Self; the risk that you might lose track of who Self is. As I wrestled with this, Havi Brook's image of sovereignty, the Pirate Queen, came to me. It was such a pleasure to see her and be reminded that though I can reach out and say yes to every thing that comes my way, I am expected to stay strong and centered in my own awesomeness, too. A Pirate Queen is not going to send an "I miss you" text at midnight on a Tuesday, is she now? :)

Lilacs and tulips, horse chestnuts, snails, salamanders and bumble bees. The whole world is out and buzzing around. Saying yes and enjoying what this glorious spring time world has to offer. And I'm right there with them.

How are you feeling the energies of the Mating Moon? Did you get out to see the Super Moon or have you been observing more terrestrial miracles like blooming flowers and leafing trees? What encounters with Other are making you smarter, happier and wiser?

**** **** **** **** **** **** **** 

Full Mating Moon 2011: The Green Month

Full Mating Moon 2010: Mercurial

Full Mating Moon 2009: The Flower Moon

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Dauntless Youth of the Year

 May Day

**** **** **** **** **** **** ****

Ode in May
What is so sweet and dear
As a prosperous morn in May,
The confident prime of the day,
And the dauntless youth of the year,
When nothing that asks for bliss,
Asking aright, is denied,
And half of the world a bridegroom is,
And half of the world a bride?

-William Watson, 1880

May Day by Nick Smarto

**** **** **** **** **** **** ****

May Day 2010: Glory Days

May Day 2009:  May Day