Nicholas and I spent last saturday evening with some of our dear friends at a music party.  Since it was indeed a music party, there came a time to lay a hush and just sit and sip and listen.  The front door opened and closed many a time and before we knew it, there was a small handful of remaining listeners.  You see, everyone had compiled their 'life mix-tape' and then chose what they felt to be their all-time favorite song to play amongst the rest of us.  Just the process of making our mix-tapes lead nicholas and I down this wild, wrenching ride; on december 24th we sat in front of the fire and just listened to music on our laptops, intermittently pausing to tell stories... or laugh... or cry.  So now here we were amidst some of our fellow most avid music listener of friends, all of us sharing this gigantic piece to our lives that many of us would have otherwise possibly never known; our true life story in a song.  Some chose to share the 'whys' and the 'hows' on their songs.  Others not.  And that was fine.  It was all so fine.  And it all had an overwhelming amount of value to me, especially right now. 

I have three songs that narrate my life rather perfectly.  One that is very nostalgic.  One that slapped my heart across it's face.  One that is exactly now.  The first is one that I heard as a child, as a teenager, and often now as an adult, and I love it every time.  This one, this song my father sang every lyric to me as we danced our father-daughter dance; the moment that he got to chose 'our' song this was the song he wanted to choose and, like him, it was perfect.  It is my number one.

The second song was the song my husband chose to dance to for 'our' song.  This song, as I said, slapped my heart across it's face.  Literally, I have the lyrics tattooed across my heart; "darling so it goes, some things are meant to be."  Some things, they are great, they are bad, and they are just meant to be. 

The third song, well it goes like this: 

drifting in and out 

you see the road you're on
It came rolling down the cheek
you say just what you mean
and in between
it's never as it seems

help me to name it, 

help me to name it

if you built yourself a myth

you'd know just what to give
what comes after this
momentary bliss
the consequence
of what you do to me

help me to name it,

help me to name it

found yourself in a new direction

arrows falling from the sun
canyons calling would they come to greet you
let you know you're not the only one

can't keep hanging onto what is dead and gone

if you built yourself a myth

you'd know just what to give
or let the ashes fly

help me to name it, help me to name it

This song, we played on vinyl and we slow danced to in our friends living room... for a few minutes with our friends, then just us.  And I held on to Nicholas for dear life and silently cried, as I had all evening, and kept asking, "help me to name it."  This song is now.


I never have been the photographer to do one of those 'my year in photos' blog posts.  Heck, I just tried to do an instagram 'year in photos' and couldn't do it.  I contemplated changing that this year, but alas, this was not the year for that to happen.  I did however take myself on a mental 'mix-tape' journey of my year in memories and when I was done, I have to be honest, I felt winded.  I felt inspired. I felt spent.  I felt proud.  I felt sad.  I felt joy.  I felt confusion.  I felt and I felt and I felt.  I've never in my life, unbenounced to what I previously thought, felt this much of anything, nor did I know I was even capable of experiencing such, let alone in a years time frame.  I can very much recall last december 31st, 2012 and what Nicholas and I were eating and drinking and talking about and crying about and making goals about.  It brings a smile to my spirit to see that within all that has been the past 365 days, here we are, we survived, and for the better at that.  who. knew.  any of it.  who. knew.  One entity certainly knew it all...

All that said, this moment of finding words to express what's in my heart and mind and soul as 2013 ends, it's troubling and difficult and a task quite possibly impossible to complete in entirety, or even semi entirety.  And I'm okay with that.  Because at least I can feel.  I am thankful for that.  I didn't feel for a long time, especially not properly.  And if it took all of 2013 and all of the time from 1986 to now to be able to feel like I can feel now, then that is just fine.  And I while I do have many of my own details and thoughts describing the past year: 

... wanderlust fulfilled, spiritual healing, reliance and faith, pain and suffering, friendships/relationships in migration, urgency and priority, value, nostalgia, family ...

... I do have a rather ridiculously amusing life mix-tape that really does just perfectly embody everything I need to be filled with to begin this next year.  It describes my senses and my reflections and my questions and my hopes so, so spot on.  And at a time when I'm yearning for peace and continuance and groping to recall as many lovely memories as I can, I can listen to these songs and get so much of all that.

So here is to a mix-tape.  My life mix-tape.  And here is to your mix-tapes, whatever they may be filled with, whenever you may chose to make them... 

*above images from this past july in paris at the palais royal.  outside in the courtyard was the most mesmerizing string orchestra. I stood entranced with tears in my eyes for as long as nicholas would let me. this is one of the most fond and precious musical memories I have.  Let alone was able to briefly document.


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