Sunday, 27 July 2014

Following my Song to an Old Town

It is not an average competition – I don’t like to compete against others, only when I am challenged will I accept competition. It looked so innocent to submit an entry for the

IBLA Grand Prize for Composers


I didn’t do much research to find out what it was really about…….

Okay cool, I’ve submitted my "African Morning Song" - maybe somewhere in the world there can be more people who will enjoy it, I knew there will be, to be honest, many people I know do enjoy it, and I was in a way expecting a tad of positive response. This was on 14 March 2014.

Little did I know what effects this was going to have exactly one month later on 14 April 2014 when I received an email confirming that my composition was accepted. I thought I’d be elated and jumping with joy, but I went into a bit of shock and this increased drastically within hours. I remained in shock for two days before I realized something is terribly wrong with me.

I hardly ate, my body remained icy cold – just because I essentially had to learn a bit more about this competition and it was a knock over. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, suddenly I was confronted by something far bigger than I thought it to be. Yet, an urge to follow my Song came and regardless of the jitters and scared as a captured bird, I became wild and took a further maverick leap to ‘face the music’.

If I had died a thousand times and been resurrected each time ever since, it was each time into a new world, a new life, learning about myself. I didn’t know this being I am and I became scared of myself at times.

WHY DID I KEEP LEAPING LIKE THIS? I could not stop and when the moon turned red in April, the music of this experience has hit me and I began composing feverishly to get the big picture of what was happening to me. I knew that I’m going back to my music which is my life and my love. Nobody will steal it from me ever again.

Within a month “Petals Vol. 1” was born in all 11 chapters and I found that music is indeed my strength, far more than I’ve experienced in a tough life as journalist. But, this strength eventually also forced me to face my weakness - music lures me into a world of truth about myself, all my passions. I began living my passions in music, I became trapped before I even knew it.

Too late to get out of it, I like it too much and I didn’t care anymore that I fly with my songs. Captured, yet freed into a far greater world than I’ve known before.

I was a small kid when this first happened to me, but it was limited to a child’s perception and by that awful thunder, my own Mother. How she hated anything I did, hated me even more when I did something good, hates me for I knew her lie already when I was little. I cannot hate another, which resulted in a very sad song I carried all my life. Today I understand it.

I grew up….. now I live in the innocent dreams of a child with the passion of a mature woman. A purity and beauty I protected jealously all my life, I even forgot it exists. I was a Mother and breadwinner most of my life, a dear role I so happily fulfilled. (making me wonder how dark a heart is of a mother who hates the fruit of her own body – she must be hating herself to be like that)

Following my Song was a great experience, it lead me to more music than I could dream of. Visible and invisible, old songs, new songs, even songs of the souls I’ve seen and met.

There is my ‘Lady Art’ – I was fascinated when I saw this being the first time, something so familiar about her, I saw her music and thought I could even have known her from somewhere. I didn’t see her face at the time and didn’t want to take a photograph of her from a distance. I respect people’s privacy. I just made a simple sketch of her in my book. To my own joy I did meet her later.

And one night I saw a sad song in another being’s posture that ripped my insides, I could feel my heart and soul reaching out, touching it and I wanted to cry. It was in a public area, very difficult so I had to control myself. I couldn’t just grab my spectacles, put it on and stare or run to this broken spirit. But I saw it again, well hidden, though. And more, I was frightened, confused, maybe even a bit angry. I realized that I have been very absent minded and ignorant of actualities going on right under my nose. I was overcome with an avalanche of emotions of all kinds.

The most accurate shot, neat and secure - not to kill, neither hurt, only to lame. It sure stopped me in my tracks and started a replay. I was indeed facing the music of my life…….a happiness filled me, passions woke in me and there I was, always the tough one, suddenly I was shy by knowing truths inside me, yet I couldn’t resist reaching out, touching it, keeping it in my heart.

Sweet waters of the Hyblaen (Iblei) mountains, perfumes of the earth and that which grows there, old stones in Ibla that have been moved by man, used to build walls and homes and much more brought ancient memories to me, sounds and songs I’ve never heard before.

Having my double expresso in the mornings, listening to the Sicilians waking up, hear them talking is absolute music. I became aware of this in Catania already where I had spend my first three days. What a beautiful harmony amongst people on this island.

A gecko on a wagon invited me to take off into the beautiful sunset over the med from the courtyard of Villa Criscione which I declined and I am sorry I did for I later saw a painting depicting a war between people on horses and I cried - it was so sad because the horses didn’t want to fight the war of man. I also had to cope with intoxicating alcohol fumes and essentially stole some jasmine flowers from that beautiful garden to comfort my nose.

(During a later confrontation with the intoxicated one, I was merely told that it was a most boring two weeks – no apology even to the inconvenience and delay caused for a busload of people – at first I was ashamed that evening, but experience learned me that I am not responsible for another’s actions if I did not instigate it. I searched high and low for a way to apologize to all those who were affected by this action and the only thing I can find is that I am sorry I had it in trail, but at least it’s the one who picked up the bills. Time for me to become independent again, pay for my own things. I made that decision on Christmas morning 2013)

Another unusual music with humor also came when by the last day on the beautiful Sicilia, I had to get to a doctor with my knee which I damaged a few days earlier after slipping on the smooth stones while walking downhill.

At the time of my injury I was fuming a bit for being ‘ordered’ around which in my opinion was caused by some lack of communication. Oh heck, do I care really about the technicalities of it, I lived in awe those days, had no idea of time and date. There was something about that old town and all the silent and audible music which had me on a high. I can forget about reality at times when I’m absorbed into a world that I like. I am willing to take the blame for it. I should have looked at the path I where I was walking and wore shoes that could grip on those smooth stones.

By that last day the pain was unbearable and the hotel owner at the magnificent Vittorio Veneto took me to the nearby hospital in her little red car. Humor began. I begged her to tell the medici that I do react when someone inflicts me physical pain and my knee was damn sore. I wouldn’t have wanted to floor someone with a straight right or upper from the left – my late Pappy trained me in boxing and I’d use it when necessary. Then again, if it could have happened, maybe I could be sitting happily in a jail in Sicily now….. composing the ‘lament of the ligament’. A really funny one.

Surprisingly, mosquito didn’t really feast on me, probably because I buy Sicilian lemon juice in Norway which I use almost each day in my food and drinks, and I eat plenty olives and cheese. Maybe I didn’t taste like new blood to those blood suckers.

I mostly ate cheese and olives during those two weeks – I should really write under a separate subject about the cuisine and excellent wines But this I must add here, the wildflower honey “miele millefiori” tasted each bit as the air I breathed and it works as a medicine.

The whole experience of sending my song in for a competition has filled two weeks of my life to the brim and I had to hurriedly find buckets to catch each and every drop which just kept pouring.

And I thought the time before since learning what it was all about was already a lot.

Little did I know.

Aaah, sweet music, I’m yours forever.

27 August 2015: I now revoke all I ever said/praised about Italian wines for it contains the blood of 'slaves'. I never knew before about the horrid ways of employers on whose fields workers practically work themselves to death.

I was so saddened today when I read an article about a mother who died during her work, picking grapes. She complained that she was not feeling well, but she was not released from her duties. I became sick in my stomach, I wanted and still want to puke up all the Italian wine I've had. I always believed it was a good culture

The good culture can only be when employers rather reduce the shifts by half and double the pay. They earn enough profits to afford it.

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