25 June 2016

Music Day - Place In This World

Been listening to a lot of Michael W. Smith lately. Something about the '80s angsty stuff is resonating right now, putting into words the feelings that numb my own pen.

This is one of his most recognisable songs of the era. There are many, but this one resonated with an entire generation. I remember reading an interview somewhere once from someone in one of the bigger bands of the late '90s -- I don't remember exactly which one, but it was on the level of Audio Adrenaline or Jars Of Clay -- and this guy said when this song first came out, he would sit in his college dorm room with his headphones on and just play it over and over. He cited this as a defining song for him as a musician.

It was the perfect radio ballad -- keyboard-driven, with just enough power chords to appeal to its intended audience, soulful, searching. MWS has proven himself skilled at walking the fine line between radio-friendly arrangements and rather personal soul-searching.

Title: Place In This World
Artist: Michael W. Smith
Album: Go West Young Man
Year: 1990
Label: Reunion Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.
For novelty's sake, watch Mark Lowry's parody here. This parody, I think, is almost as famous as the original.

These are my own questions right now -- my own feelings. Thank goodness somebody else made something haunting and lovely out of them because if it was up to me right now, it would never get out of my muddled brainpan.

This becoming is harder than it seems...
Among the many, can You still hear me?

23 June 2016

If You Buy Different Pointe Shoes...

22 June 2016, 3.37am.

In the spirit of the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie books, I have written a fine piece of literature on what happens if the dance store is out of the pointe shoes you've been using for the past five years and you decide to buy a different, 'comparable' pair because you've already driven an hour in rush hour traffic to get to the store and feel it shouldn't be wasted.

If you buy different pointe shoes...
They will have those ridiculous elasticised drawstrings that are about as useful as an umbrella in a wildfire (the point of a drawstring is to pull something tight. The point of an elastic is to stretch. Am I the only one who sees the oxymoron here?).

If said pointe shoes have the aforementioned ridiculous elasticised drawstrings...
The shoes will slide off your heels with every single relevé, necessitating that you stop, pull the heels of your shoes back on, and continue -- until the next relevé, when you have to stop and pull the heels on again. (Consider that in your average minute-long warm-up exercise, you can have up to thirty-two relevés.)

If the shoes slide off your heels with every single relevé...
You can't break them in. (Think about it. How can you soften and manipulate the shanks of the shoes when they are not in contact with your foot because they're flopping around because the heel has slid off again?)

If you can't break them in...
You must find a way to break them in. This means doing anything possible to keep those stupid heels on your feet.

If you try to find a way to keep the heels on your feet...
Since the aforementioned ridiculous elasticised drawstrings are, as previously established, completely useless, you will try rosin inside the heel of the shoe.

If you try rosin...
It will do absolutely nothing because it turns out the heel of the shoe is not actually in contact with your foot, which is why it keeps sliding off in the first place.

If rosin does absolutely nothing...
You will tie the ribbons even tighter.

If you tie the ribbons even tighter...
Your ankles will bruise spectacularly. This will also severely exacerbate the ankle issues you have been having for five months and entirely remove your ability to plié.

If your ankles threaten to break under the tension...
You will try sewing elastic on the shoes.

If you try sewing elastic on the shoes...
You will, due to your busy schedule, end up writing an overdue letter, showering, and sewing the elastic on your shoes almost simultaneously at 2.30am when your pointe class is at 9.15am.

If you end up sewing elastics on pointe shoes at 2.30am...
You will inevitably stab your thumb with the needle and bleed all over the shiny new pointe shoes (which are only shiny and new after three weeks because you have been unable to break them in because the heel keeps sliding off so you can't actually manipulate the shanks with your feet...).

If you have to pause to wait for the bleeding to stop...
It gets even later.

If it gets even later...
You are now sewing pointe shoes at 3.30am with black spots floating in your vision and cursing everyone who has ever said that dance life is easy.

Moral of the story?

For dancers: If they don't have your size in your shoe, don't buy a new brand/style. Just go home and nurse the dead ones you already have for another week or two until they get your size in again. And next time, ask when you call to book the appointment if they have your shoe in your size because if not, you're not coming in. It's just not worth the hassle (and expense, and time) trying to find another shoe that fits right.

For non-dancers: Don't ever tell a dancer that their life is easy. If you do and they punch you in the face, don't say I didn't warn you.

12 June 2016

Spots Of Light and the Deepest Dark

27 May 2016, 2.25am.

Is it better to be consistently depressed, with no bright spots at all, or is it worse to hope and hope and hope for something... only for it not to happen?

I have such a vivid imagination (or at least I did...) that I can imagine any number of ways God might answer a prayer. So I think on the myriad of creative ways He could help me... and He doesn't do any one of them. In fact, He doesn't even come up with an alternative that I hadn't thought of yet. He just doesn't do anything.

Which is worse, an imagination so beat down by society and circumstance that it no longer functions at all, or an imagination that supplies hope that will always be in vain?