Thursday 15 April 2010

Part M: The Meaning of Music and My Memoir

The Meaning of Music

Music is a melodic moan; a muse for mourning melancholic moods and the manic mayhem which meanders through time. It is the master of mind and soul.

Music masquerades materialistic matter. It masks meaningless methods of our existence with motive. It mingles madness into a four-minute aural meditation on life - life vignettes, motionless, yet emotionally moving.

Music is not meek; it's magical. It's an eternal vessel for mercurial messages. Messages which must be heard; messages which we may mull over, but ultimately nurture; messages which we may never understand, but nevertheless welcome mercifully.

Music is how I'd communicate, if there were no such thing as speech. If music were wind, I would like to be in a hurricane. If music were a mother, I would like to be in it's womb forever.

If I were music, I would like to be immortal.

A Minute of My Memoir

I listen to my mother groan from my bedroom; her gentle, velvety voice mimicking childish sobs amid animal grunts.

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my GAHHHHHD!” Thump! Thump! … Thump! “Somebody help me! Some ... ah ah … body ... heheheeelp meeeee!” she cries and heaves from what seems like fear.

I hide my head under my pillow, and pretend I am camping in Africa; or that I am an unseen witness to a murder in an abandoned graffiti-coloured crime district. I cradle my teddies, close to my chest, covered head to toe with my duvet, and whisper, “There’s no need to be scared. I’m here. Shhh, don’t cry.” I stick my fingers in my ears so hard it hurts, so all I hear is fluff and my mum’s muffled moans.

Silence. I tip-toe out of bed and peer through the crack of the kitchen door. The room smells like sweat, toxic breath, menstruation blood, and remnants of the canned salmon pasta we ate for dinner. Is she dead? No. Dad is there. He gives her a sleeping pill, prepares a hot water bottle, and rubs her back while she crouches down on all fours, wearing nothing but a pair of underpants that have lost their elasticity. Her wet stringy hair is stuck to her neck and forehead. Her naked, paper thin breasts are hanging from her chest, her face is twisted, and black eye-liner is smeared across her temples, cheeks and earlobes; she’s like a gothic Neanderthal giving birth to its offspring.

No matter how many pills mum takes, nothing soothes her. She takes her tablet courage, month after month, in the hope that something, anything, will ease her pain. But little do we know, this is only the beginning. This is a paradoxical reaction.

So, have any of you got little scary childhood memories that you would like to share?

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  1. Chilling. I feel so bad for you as little girl having to go through that.

  2. How terrifying!

    I remember at nighttimes when Dad would become paralysed through his diabetes. I could hear his crying and moaning. Horrible.

  3. The hairs on my arms stood on end reading that. Beautiful and sad. I have too many horrific memories to choose from, but you've inspired me...

  4. I loved Music, and your memory is definately scary.

    I used to have a reoccuring dream of giant formless masses devouring each other and twisting and changing shape and devouring each other again. I don't know why but these dreams were terrifying to me as a child.

  5. How terrifying for you, I can't recall anything scary happening to me ......if it i can't remember,

    Yake care.

  6. Magnificent!

    I used to have those little toy trolls and cut off their heads - so my memories are more on the weird side :-)

  7. I liked the first part about the music. The words flowed so well. Intense memory, but a very good read.

  8. I am so sorry you had to survive that but so glad that you did! And your post on music was PERFECT! And the alliteration was amazing!

  9. I am so sorry you had to go through all that. Must have been scary, really, really scary.
    Makes me so glad I had a normal happy childhood- any troubles I had, I had when I was much older, and more equipped to deal with it.

    Thanks for sharing, however painful it may have been for you.

    Hugs, Rayna

  10. I started the evening feeling like Hemingway and ended up feeling like Edgar Alan Poe, but that's just me. Guess there are probably better comparisons. You had me with the music part, ah yes! Then the next freaky memoir scene was pretty wild. Make me meet the music once more.
    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

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  12. Childhood traumas leave their mark. Scents can whip you back to the moment so fresh, your heart jack-hammers against your chest. Sounds as well. In many ways, we are like Pavlov's dogs.

    You are a survivor, and I applaud you. Have a beautiful tomorrow, Roland

  13. Everyone - just to be clear, I am not scarred by my childhood. I used to be, but I have learned to remember it as a positive. It pushed me to be very strong-willed. I know I can get through anything, if I only try.

    My mother and I are also on very good terms now. She no longer suffers as badly as she used to, as she has given up every single chemical - she doesn't even eat chocolate becasue of the caffeine. Even though I had quite a tough experience having to deal with her, I can't even imagine how terrifying it must have been for her. She is the one you should feel sorry for. :)

    Anyway, I apologise if I depressed you. Tomorrow will much more cheery! :)

    Candyland: I'm glad I inspired you!

    Charmaine: I used to give my barbie dolls punk make-overs ;)

    Roland: Why on earth did you delete your first comment? So glad I read it in my email before you did :) It was very brave of you to share. What a shame. Maybe one day you can share it with everyone on your blog. :) I hope you do.

  14. I appreciate your honesty and ability to put yourself out there. Your writing is captivating and it's a moving piece. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    - Shannon

  15. I like music but I don't listen to it on purpose. I have the equivalent of a photographic memory in my inner ear and songs get easily stuck in my head. It's annoying.
    You're memory was beautifully written, made my heart beat faster. Kudos to you for coming to terms with your childhood and moving onwards. Not an easy thing to do.

  16. I can tell you love music--your writing has an amazing cadence to it, rich and decadent. Your memory is awful, but beautifully told--so rich in detail that we are RIGHT THERE.

  17. Wow, I have often said the exact same thing (word for word) about are so great at alliteration, great job on the scary story about your mum...wonderful post as usual!

  18. I love the line about life vignettes and four minute meditations. That is so true!

  19. Jessica, you have to be one of the most interesting people I know (well, internet know)

  20. I love how music can move and inspire. It is a great way to communicate with strong emotion--something I think it has in common with writing.


  21. Loved both sides of your "M" coin, so to speak. The msuic was fun and the memoir haunting!

  22. That's a very scary memory. I'm glad I don't have anything at all like that. Well, there's one of my best friend. She was a couple minutes late getting home, and her parents locked the door. I was heading down her driveway, to my own home, and I heard Tracie pleading to be let in. She was maybe 12? That was bad enough, but I heard a screech and turned around to see her mother pulling poor Tracie in the house by the hair and slapping at her with the other hand! All that because it was a couple minutes past 8pm.

  23. I wasn't depressed at all by this. I guess having lived through a very scary, dysfunctional childhood myself, I could relate to it in some way.

    I'm glad your mom is doing better. That's what matters - the here and now.

  24. Great rhythm in your words, lyrical~
    Scary stuff; Sorry! Scary was hearing my Mom scream for me in the night to help her. My Dad had
    died in his sleep. It took a long time, 6 months before, I could even
    sleep upstairs again. Time does help heal, but one never gets over things, time erodes, the memory of the pain.

  25. Mary and Ellie: Thanks for sharing :). Ellie, my goodness that must have been just horrifying...

    And thanks everyone else for you comments. :) hugs and kisses to ALL of you. :)

  26. Mm, my memories were tucked away by a counsellor after she had rid the demons for me. After that I could move on with my life. Maybe one day I will find the courage.

    Thank you for sharing yours, it must have been painful to do so.

  27. A story that makes me shake. I'm sorry it happened -- glad she is better now.

    My scary memories are more the kind where everyone else thinks everything is normal, and I am left wondering what's wrong with me that I'm feeling so hurt, so marginalized, even oppressed.

  28. Glynis: no, it wasn't painful. It hasn't been for a while since reconciling with my mother. It gets a bit much sometimes when I spend days working on my memoir, in which case I have to move onto my fiction project for a while. But it sure does make for some great writing material! ;)

    Pro: Thanks for stopping by! :)

  29. Jesus Christ Allomorph! That memoir was powerful and very well-written! 4th paragraph was awesomeness....and I hate to be such a stupid slut but what was wrong with your mom? Was it mental illness? You don't have to say and besides, I'll just read it when it's published :)

    I'm also gonna go out on a limb and say that your alliterations are so good, they're starting to piss me off!! ;)

  30. Slutface: My alliterations are pissing me off too :) Got no prob telling you about my mother. Not mental illness. To cut a long story very very short, her body didn't react well to drugs, but was also addicted to them - Valium to be exact. So what would normally calm a person down had the opposite effect on her. This she didn't realise till after about 15 years of abusing them - then suffered crazy crazy withdrawal for years.

  31. Oh! I'm always outraged out the addictive pharmaceuticals that Doctors prescribe, especially when they don't inform the patient beforehand! Makes me mad and then they go on earning a rather nice living doing the same over and over without any accountability for those actions...Grrr!


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