Archive for songs

Happiness hit her like a train on a track

Posted in 37 with tags on April 20, 2011 by ana

I lost three of the most important people in my life in 2010- the thought popped in my head in the middle of a strip dance class I’ve been going to on Tuesday nights. I love this class. It makes me be really present, it makes me feel sexy, and it’s really fun. It makes me laugh when I think- a group of men would never dance in a dark room in hot pants with other men. Actually, I know a bunch of women who would probably not be into it either. It’s sort of like the Korean Spa- you either don’t care if you are naked with a bunch of people or you do.

The Dog Days Are over came on while we were doing some ab work and it just made me think of how far I’ve come. How emotionally intense the past year was, and how well I’ve sailed through the sorrow. But then a little later a really beautiful sad song came on, and I thought of the loss experienced not only over the past year but throughout my life. The deaths that felt like they came too soon. I thought of my uncle who died of AIDS when I was in Seventh grade, of my step-mom who died my freshman year in college, and my cousin who died that following summer. I thought of a boy I was crazy about when I was eighteen who had overdosed when we were twenty-six, of my friend’s sister, and my niece’s dad, and my dad’s third wife, my youngest sister’s mom, who had passed away a few years ago. I thought of my dad widowed twice.

That is the thing about the dead, you carry them with you wherever you go. And even somewhere as inappropriate as a dance studio filled with strip poles they can suddenly, out of nowhere, show up.

I thought of my first night home after my stepdad and grandmother had past away. I slept next to my mom on my stepfather’s side of the bed, where my brother had stayed the first night my mom was alone. Before we went to bed my mom was reading some cards and letters. She’d given me one to read that had been written by an old colleague and friend of my stepdad’s. He said he had no words so he would quote Shakespeare. “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” During the period of time after someone dies when time doesn’t seem to exist and one enters what can only be described as a sort of vacuum, that one particular moment stuck with me. It strange how one can feel hollow and heavy all at once.

Posted in breakfast with tags , , on March 29, 2011 by ana

I found a Kate Bush CD in a box yesterday and it’s been on in my car non-stop. It has been years since I listened to Hounds of Love. Everything about it is perfection-the photograph on the cover, the theatricality of the songs, and how personal each feels. At the beginning of a song she says: I put this moment here. And it felt so apropos. That is how everything feels right now.

Up to this point I have been listening to Florence and the Machine steadily. I don’t know where I would be without Florence keeping me company during this period of my life. I love when music does that, when it carries you through, when it makes you buoyant no matter what you are going through.

Milly and I had breakfast this morning at this pretty place around the corner from me called Olive & Thyme. With its white walls lined with honey and cookbooks, the subway tiles, and the long refurbished-wood communal table it looks like something I imagine would be in the Hampton’s, I’ve never been, or like a small Joan’s on Third. Milly and I shared a yummy cheddar, egg, and bacon panini and a bowl of berries with Greek yogurt and honey. She looked gorgeous. Her hair was big and curly. She wore skinny, light-grey pants with a big cream sweater coated with silver paint, a blush shrug, and bright orange flats. We gabbed about clothes, work, how much we miss New York and what it would be like to move back. Would we be able to bring back with us that calm, easy, loveliness LA brings to our lives or would it be all out, out, out. Eating out, meeting people out for drinks, and coveting every last beautiful thing.

I saw these photographs online of this beautiful two bedroom apartment on Elizabeth street. Unrealistic as it may be that is where I want to be, that is where I would like to be. To walk out my front door and get a coffee at Cafe Gitane, eat the little Belgian chocolate they give you with it and go about my day.

It would be really hard to give up what I have in LA. Specially the long, lovely breakfasts I have with friends. Milly said, “lets have a quick weekend getaway see our friends and the Alexander McQueen show.”

“If I stop spending money like it grows on trees then, yes, let’s getaway.”

There is a song by David Byrne and Brian Eno, Strange Overtones, that has been playing at the restaurant a few times a night. In the song the narrator hears the person next door working on a song. The song makes me miss NY- hearing what others are doing around you. Creating, being creative is very different in New York and in Los Angeles. Here there is more nature, you can easily recede and find a calmness. New York is about the opposite, about the energy outside your door, an inescapable energy. Strange Overtones reminds me of when I lived on Claremont Avenue off of 125Th street in a building very close to the Manhattan School of Music. Someone played the cello all day and it would waft through building beautifully. I loved that. I crave that.

Posted in friends with tags on March 2, 2011 by ana

Last night I went over to my friend Stevie’s house. My high school friend, who is her college friend, is in town for a few days. We had some bubbles and ate some cheese and listened to Olivia Newton John, Grace Jones, and The Smiths. It was a good place to land, a good welcome home, after such a mini whirlwind of a weekend.

That flight back to LA is always so brutal. The extra forty minutes, or whatever it is flying west adds, always leaves me wrecked. I slept so deeply last night that even if there had been an earthquake I think I would have slept through it.

It’s good to be home. It’s good to see my sister, to wake up in my bed. It’s so cold right now in LA. Colder than New York if you can believe it. So much for going too New York to see if I could stand living through a bitter winter again.

That last day in New York left a sweet taste in my mouth. The whole trip did. It was the perfect little getaway.

because my love for you would break my heart in two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 15, 2010 by ana

I used to feel that way. Last night driving home Let’s Dance came on the radio, and when I heard that line I realized I didn’t feel that way anymore. I don’t know what stage of mourning I’m in-if it’s denial or acceptance but my whole relationship now seems like a dream or like something I made up.

I was so in love. I was so happy. I truly did feel that way. Maybe I was blind because now I see so many things that didn’t work. So many ways in which I was frustrated. I can’t quite figure out how I could feel those things and also such bliss.

There is so much that scares me. There are feelings of shame, and a fear of failing that underlines everything. I don’t know how anything is going to turn out. Will I find love again? Will I find love in time to have a baby? What if I fall in love again, and then wake up one day to find that I was wrong about that person?

I feel ashamed that at 37 I still have not found my purpose. These days acting turns me off. I think I just miss the type of work I used to do with my old teachers. I’m also just sick of studying for now. This days writing fills me up. Not only writing this blog excites me but also a screenplay I’m writing with a friend. I want to combine all the things I am. I want to find my niche. I have been working hard to find my answers. I have been constant and tenacious searcher but is that all I am to be- a seeker.

I want clarity. I want my imagination and creativity to expand. And I want my focus and belief to sharpen.

Slowly, surely

Posted in breakfast with tags on November 27, 2010 by ana

It’s so easy to go down the “why?” road. Why is this happening? Why did this not work out? Why?

I walk with a sadness I can’t fully shake. I feel adrift. Last night I spent the evening on my friends couch talking. I slept over, and in the morning when I left I heard her neighbor scrambling eggs in a bowl. The sound shook me. Mornings, kitchens, those things don’t exist right now for me, not in the way I wished and wanted, not in the way that I had planned and built around me. Life is like that right? It is like that for everyone at one point or another.

The other day my sister said something really hurtful that cut right through me. She said, the difference between your relationship and mine is that Leo didn’t want a family with you. Her words were true but they hurt mostly because I had a healthy, loving, happy, stable relationship and that still wasn’t enough. It’s hard not to feel a little shame but I’m not sure why that is. Because I feel like somehow I failed? Because how could I have not been enough.

It’s hard not to compare. I look around and see my friends happily married, happily engaged, in love, struggling but also thriving. Why didn’t my relationship?

It’s so hard to let go but I must. I have to completely cut Leo off. I have to forget him. Every time we communicate it kills me. And it breaks my heart that I know he is in pain too but even in pain he has been unable to grow up, to evolve.

So in the words of Jill Scott:

Slowly surely
I walk away from
Slowly surely
I walk away from love
Oh slowly, surely one step at a time
but surely I will pass the old love aside and love me

Little by little

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 24, 2010 by ana

Boy, yesterday was hard. Maybe the hardest day so far, which means this morning was difficult too. Just the getting used to it all, the missing, the longing, the abyss. I talk to friends on the phone. I talk to my mom on the phone. I cry. But the crying keeps me from the anger, and I think angry is what I need to feel to move forward. My cousin said, there are many levels to mourning and you have to feel them all or they will come back to bite you. When I tap into my anger, to my disappointment I also tap into my leaving. Into my standing up for myself and asking for what I want. I was led on, not on purpose, but I was led to believe this relationship would go somewhere. It was six years! That is more than some marriages.

With the anger somehow I can also feel that everything is going to be okay, more than okay. My mom said, don’t hang on to the thoughts that cause pain. Don’t go to the apartment in your head and the things that could have been. Those thoughts don’t serve you.

Somehow between two auditions and a latte everything cleared up a bit. I found myself singing to my favorite Diana Ross song on the radio not only without crying but actually smiling.

And while I’m still plotting how to move my things. When to do it. (Little by little, at first. Then whatever is left I will tackle after the holidays.) Maybe I can go towards the joy of the next few days. I like looking for the magic in things, and maybe that is one of the keys to all this.


Posted in 37 with tags , on November 15, 2010 by ana

This weekend was a mixed bag of emotions. Ups and downs, jagged ups and downs. I miss my boyfriend but he hasn’t once, since I left, said he misses me. I think he thinks I am on a vacation, a mini retreat. He texted me a little on Friday which made my night a little more emotional. When I asked him how he was he said- good one moment, crushed the next. I imagine him puttering around the apartment. Tidal waves of longing wash over me. I will not tell him that I miss him until he tells me. Maybe that’s silly but the ball is in his court and if he doesn’t make a move I will take the ball and walk off the court.
I want more. I want a man who can put my needs first if it befits the situation. A man who is decisive and strong not indecisive and fearful. A man who can make me and our future family a priority. A man who is present and grateful not anxious, not letting his fears dictate his actions, and I know that inside my boyfriend lives this man. It’s just a question of whether he is willing to find him.

It was tough to shake off the sadness on Saturday morning. I did some translations, I made a collage and went to rehearsal for my acting class. The rehearsal was great. I love when a group of people collectively contribute and brainstorm. It’s one of the most invigorating and inspiring feelings. From rehearsal I drove to my friend’s birthday dinner. The Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary came on the radio. The Cult always takes me back to eighth grade and driving with my stepbrother in his car. Those thoughts inevitably brought me to how much I miss him and how close we used to be.

Saturday also left me feeling like my boyfriend and I stood a chance. I don’t know what started me down that train of thought. Maybe it was my sister who reminded me that we had a really nice relationship. But by the time I got to the dinner I felt that maybe this whole mess could have a movie-like ending. I know that is super silly, a fantasy that is probably best not to indulge in. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me wants him to come storming back into my life, knowing what to do, fighting for us and finding a way to guide us forward. On a good day I believe in our love.

This fantasy has nothing to do with why I left. I just couldn’t stay in limbo anymore. Although I’m having a hard time deciding my next step I can be a swift decision maker. I like taking concrete steps. I cherish the feeling of moving forward. I try always to embrace change. There is no other way if your goal is to make of your life something extraordinary and swim in it’s magic.

One of my co-worker’s, who is also a dear friend, emailed me the other day telling me about an experience she had had at five in the morning when she couldn’t sleep. She kept hearing someone ask: Who are you? What are you? What do you want? She wrote, “I realized that I couldn’t firmly, peacefully, whole heartedly, truthfully, with confidence answer. Well, they said you need to find the answer and believe it, really believe it!” Those questions, that advice was for me to. She said, she was told to tell me. And I, like her, feel I am only just beginning, at 37, to come up with those answers. Taking the break, moving to my cousin’s, those were also steps to find those answers. I know that I feel stronger, that I glimpse at what can be much clearer than I did a few weeks ago.

And so devastated and broken-hearted I start another week full of unease and sadness but I start it also knowing that for some reason this is what I need to go through. That at some moment the pieces will finally fall into place and I will find my way.

What it feels like for…

Posted in 37 with tags on October 19, 2010 by ana

Music has been fueling me lately. It’s like every song from Madonna’s Material Girl to Pink Floyd’s Have a Cigar to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Fright Night fills me with pleasure and inspiration. I drive around surfing the radio just to find something that will surprise and tickle me. Today for some reason almost every station has been playing Gwen Steffani or No Doubt. Each station a different song.

This got me thinking of female musicians that I don’t necessarily love but admire. Gwen being one. Someone who is just really good at all she does. Who can express uniquely how she feels and exudes her essence and creativity in everything she does. I feel that way about Tori Amos too. Very unique in her style and in her music.

How do people find their essence and distill it? Are you just born knowing? Does something push you to do it?

Since I was a little girl I have always wondered what it must be like to be someone else? Musicians, particularly singers, always make me wonder- what must it feel like to be able to sing really well? I wonder what it must be like to be David Bowie? To wake up every morning and see the world from that perspective. To be someone who reaches so many people in your own unique way. But it’s not only musicians that make me think that. I wonder what it must be like to be my landlord- a grown man who lives alone across the hall from his mom and takes care of her. What must it be like to be a a young girl in Somalia or someone my age, maybe even someone who shares my same birthday, but is living in Haiti? Or what is it like to be a European heiress, say Margherita Missoni or a princess like Charlotte Casiraghi?

Everybody struggles and cries and shines in one way or another. We are all mixed bags of blessings and shortcomings. When I was a girl I always wished I could switch Freaky Friday style and be this girl in my elementary school who had two sisters and whose parents seemed really in love. She had light brown hair and freckles, and I always wondered what it was like to look in the mirror and see all those freckles. Sometimes, now, I wish that I could be a boy for a day-just to know what it feels like to look at the world as a human that is somehow so similar and so different from me. Don’t all girls, at least once in their lives, wish they could pee standing up anywhere. Just as I’m sure men must wonder what it is like to have the potential to grow human life inside your body.

What is my particular essence? Isn’t that, as my therapist says, the thing that attracts us to others. What are the thing that make me different from everyone else and what are the things that make me part of the collective? I wonder if I’ll ever stand somewhere and know myself that well.