#dreamgoals

This song came up on my shuffle last night while plugging away at the gym, and I was immediately reminded about why it spoke to me so deeply when I first heard it. Ah, this song. Not only that haunting melody and those vocals (those vocals, though), but the lyrics. Are the truth. Are my truths. Banning further ado, here it is, followed by the lyrics, followed by my commentary.

Closer to my dreams
It’s coming over me

I’m gettin’ higher
Closer to my dreams
I’m getting higher and higher
Feel it in my sleep

Some times it feels like I’ll never go past here
Some times it feels like I’m stuck forever and ever

But, I’m going higher
Closer to my dreams
I’m goin’ higher and higher
I can almost reach

Some times you just have to let it go (Let it go, let it go)
Leaving all my fears to burn down
Push them all away so I can move on
Closer to my dreams
Feel it all over my being
Close your eyes and see what you believe

I’m happy as long as we’re apart
Then I’m moving on to my dreams

I’ll be moving higher (Moving higher)
Closer to my dreams
And higher and higher, higher
Feel it in my being (I can feel it flow around me)
I know that I could not go alone (No, no)

I’m moving higher (Higher), oh…
I’m going higher and higher and higher (Higher and
Higher)
Closer to my dreams (Higher and higher, oh…oh…)
I’m moving upward and onward and beyond all I can see
(Stretching out my arms so I can reach)

Feels so close it’s like i can just reach
I can feel my dreams (Closer to my dreams)
I’m moving closer to my dreams
I’m moving (Higher and higher) higher and higher
(Higher and higher)
Moving higher, oh…

Some times it feels like you never gon’change (Never gon’change)
But you never choose to walk away

To me, the song is about a lot of things. Relationships. Choices. Fear. But singularly, I’m drawn to the aspect of the pursuit of dreams.

I’ve never been a go-getter when it comes to certain dreams and goals. By and large, I’ve long believed that what will be will be, and what will come will come. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t taste the proximity of my soon-to-be fulfilled dreams. And this song speaks to that. It reminded me that I may not charge at my dreams like a Pamplonan bull, but I’m moving toward them at my own pace, higher and higher, upward and onward, beyond all I can see. Even when “it feels like I’m stuck forever and ever”, eventually, those dreams and I will meet.

As that linked post mentions, I’ll be reflecting on a few fulfilled dreams/changes that are coming to my life in a few short months. Needless to say, we will discuss. Until then, I’ll continue to spend some music-on-repeat time with Goapele and Closer.

Tell me: any songs you’re listening to (or still listen to) that speak to you? Like really, really speak to you?

The Boss.

DianaRoss

Last night, a friend invited me to join her for Motown: The Musical. So well-done, first and foremost, and such a great opportunity to reminisce about how those incredible songs have been with me since I was a child. What a wonderful journey.

But above all, above all, the musical reminded me of my enduring love for the woman you see above. The Boss. The BOOSSSSSS.

Diana Ross has been with me since birth, y’all. I sang Touch Me in the Morning and Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) to various family members until they begged me to chill out. (Didn’t work.) I told old classmates that she was my real mom. (Long story, but it had to do with my big hair and her big hair and feeling that we were bound.) I would gaze at her in silent awe during films, interviews, while looking through photos. Last year, when Mom and I went to see Lionel Richie in concert, he teased us and told us that he had invited a “special guest” for the concert, one of his closest friends, a woman and singer we all knew. Naturally, I bolted up from my seat, my heart thumping and racing, my bladder about to let loose, my lips repeatedly forming the syllables of her name, because I just knew it was her. My mother looked up at me, agape, aware that this would be the highlight of my life. Well, I said Lionel teased us, right? He was kidding. She wasn’t there.

The jury is still out on whether I forgive him for that.

Anyway, just recently, I was in the car at a red light and I was blasting Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. I was singing along with abandon, with drama, with wild gestures. Then I noticed that the woman in the lane next to me was watching my performance, wild-eyed and stunned. Amused by her reaction, I continued with my joyful, slightly crazed rendering of one of my favorite songs and kept it moving. To me, that’s life as a fan of Ms. Ross The Boss: joyful adoration.

So to that lady in the next lane: you’re welcome.

25.

adele25

I haven’t appropriately discussed my permanent spot before the altar of Adele, have I? I briefly mentioned her in this post, but no, you are not yet aware of This Square Peg’s endless devotion to this young woman and her overwhelming ability to cull forth emotions you didn’t even know you had through the power of song.

Now you know. Onwards.

With the release of her new album, 25, I officially accept that Adele rules my life.

I accept that when I listen to the songs on her new album, such as Million Years Ago and All I Ask, I can expect to peer down and see my heart about to take a swan dive onto the ground.

I accept that listening to Adele in my car is dangerous because of all the tears, and the driver needs to see the road in front of her, doesn’t she?

I accept that there will be times–like now–when I need a break from her music because I need to live a normal, weep-free life.

I accept that some people may not get her music and that there’s no need to react violently to said people. (I won’t comment on whether violent reactions have indeed occurred.)

Go get this album, won’t you? If you have it, you know what I’m going through.

adelegif
You guys. She cries to her own music. We’re all goners.

Another Love.

Is it the whimsical melody? Those lyrics? (If you don’t want me, baby, I’ll find another, another love) Is it the fact that this song, beloved since I discovered Alice Smith a year or so ago, now takes on a personal poignancy that I’d rather not elaborate on at this moment? Sigh. But I will elaborate in another post. Maybe tomorrow. Until then, enjoy Alice and her voice and this song.

Music? [The Soapbox Series]

Since I was knee high to a grasshopper (always wanted to say that), music has been a significant part of my life. I mean, my father was playing Simon and Garfunkel and Aretha Franklin records until they scratched and wore themselves out. I grew up hearing all the greats in my household, from Sam Cooke to the Rolling Stones, from the Bee Gees to Michael Jackson. Not only was music significant for me, but I strongly believe that hearing so many different art forms expressed through music blissfully exposed me and my siblings to a sea of unique and different perspectives and emotions. albert

With all that said, here’s my opinion: the current musical landscape, as we speak in 2015, is lamentable. Just today, I read an article where the singer Pink mentioned how let down she was by the MTV Video Music Awards. (Note that I haven’t watched that spectacle or MTV since I realized that the “M” part had become optional.) She stated that music saved and inspired her as a child, and was saddened to see that the acts and performers on the program weren’t doing anything of the sort. I agree. I can think of maybe 2 or 3 performers right now that mean a hill of beans to me musically. Adele. Sam Smith. Emeli Sande. Yeah, that’s about it. Honestly, I don’t even listen to the radio that much anymore, unless there’s an off off off chance that I’m going to hear a new artist that amazes me. Rarely happens. What happened to those moments when you heard music and wanted to scream because lyrically, sonically, and emotionally, you were soaring and being taken on an incredible journey? And hey, I certainly don’t want to diminish the people that may experience those things while listening to a girl group repeat “Give it to me, I’m worth it” about 1,000 times, but come on. Are you kidding me?

I have a memory. I’m in the kitchen. I’m holding a broom, as I’m supposed to be sweeping. But the radio is on so my attention is diverted. I stand in the center of the kitchen, my eyes closed, singing along to the song on the radio with the broom as my microphone. I don’t remember the song, but I distinctly remember how I felt standing there: joyous. That’s music to me. Pure joy. Sitting in a car and hearing lyrics that bring me to tears. Excitedly telling friends about a new, talented artist that I happened to discovered on those rare moments when they are found. Like my father, playing a song over and over again and hearing/feeling something utterly new each time. Moments like those aren’t necessarily gone, but I’m getting them from artists I’ve loved for decades. Not really anyone new. To me, current musical acts are playing up their visual content rather than focusing on songwriting and the sound. And while they’re at it, these are visuals that require a bleaching of the eyes after you’ve seen about two seconds. Throw in a bit of auto-tune, some canned lyrics, and round-the-clock plays on the radio and there you go: stars are born.

No, these are no longer the days of Like a Bridge over Troubled Water and I don’t expect them to be. I am quite content listening to artists I’ve always loved and the few current ones that I’ve come to thoroughly adore and admire.

I just miss the joy.

Two James Taylors on a Seesaw.

Because he is my favorite singer-songwriter (no, seriously; of all time) and because I thought it was silly and cute: here are the real James Taylor and a fake JT (Jimmy Fallon) performing a silly and cute song on The Tonight Show. Fallon is great with imitating his musical guests, by the way, and I love how he got James to reprise his long haired look from the 70s (which I, unsurprisingly, call the Dreamy JT). Enjoy and tell me who your favorite singer-songwriter is in the comments.

“are you wearing pants?”

Last night, me and my younger brother attended a concert starring none other than the Man, the Musical Genius, a member of my Top Five Favorite Performers of All Time, Stevie Wonder. This was my second time seeing Stevie Wonderful, but I was no less thrilled, excited, and happy to share the event with my bro, who is also a big fan. For what I wore, I decided to keep it simple/dressed up but dressed down: (p)leather leggings that had been lounging in my room for almost a year, still boasting the tag, a blouse, and some short boots.

Concert2  Concert3

When I came downstairs to twirl and show the ensemble to my Mom, she uttered the question you see above. My reaction: I laughed until I could no longer breathe. I then explained that yes, I was wearing pants; in this case, leggings. She commented that they looked very “close to my skin.” (Mom-speak for tight.). So close that it didn’t seem like I was wearing pants. Assuring her that it would never be my choice to leave the house pantsless, I then explained that leggings were made to fit. She gave me the Mom side eye. I smiled and sat down to put on my makeup. That was that. Back in the day, I would have likely changed, believing that I appeared half-clothed and not wanting to incur that look of disapproval. But…

1) the leggings were actually kinda loose.
2) I was very comfortable in them.
3) they looked great!
4) I’m not 14.

Regarding #4, I love and respect my Mom’ opinions, but gone are the days when she dressed me and/or had that kind of significant influence on my fashion choices. That’s not to say that I don’t take her style advice (I’ll share of her gems in another post), but at the same time, I recognize that some of her advice is inspired by a different generation and culture. And, quite frankly, my mother would rather clip her toes with a rusty wrench than put on a pair of leggings. (My friends don’t refer to her as The Diva for no reason.) I get that. But I was (and am) OK with them, and I loved my look. So there you go.

Me and my bro.
Me and my bro.

She wasn’t going to let it go that quickly, though. She also mentioned that she would have chosen jeans, and warned that I may get cold. I took it all in stride, kissed her face until she playfully pushed me away, and left for the concert with my bro. A good time was had, Stevie was amazing, and it was an experience to remember.

How was your weekend?

Restart. (Blogtober #24)

My love for him knows no bounds, as you know. That said, if you assumed that I’d heard every song Sam Smith had sung so far, you’d be right. But, you see, I didn’t buy the deluxe version of the album. So, when perusing YouTube yesterday for something to play on the headphones that would drown out the cacophony of the people I share this office with, I naturally went to In the Lonely Hour with plans to just listen to some of my favorites from the album all over again. That’s when I saw the deluxe album and song titles I obviously wasn’t familiar with. I clicked on Restart. And went a little crazy.

It’s not just Sam’s voice, or the melody, or the rhythm, or how the song takes me back to that awesome feeling of dancing in the kitchen when I was supposed to be doing my chores. I think my passionate response is also borne from experiencing what he’s singing about. Those times in life when you finally get over a person who didn’t want you, when you finally move on, and while resting in the sweet relief that comes from leaving those feelings/people behind…boom. The past calls, and the individual you finally buried back there reaches out to you. The desire to communicate what Sam sings (what do you want from me? Let me restart) becomes acute. I’ve heard many “I’ve moved on/let me go” songs in my lifetime, but there’s something just really powerful about this rendering. Or maybe it’s because I love him more than sliced bread? In any case, listen to the latest song on my autumn playlist and think of all the weirdos that came calling back and how grateful you were when, eventually, they were booted back to the past where they belonged.

 

It was a Monday night when you told me it was over babe
And by the Friday night, I knew that I would be okay
Don’t say it was a good thing
Don’t say it was the right thing to do
Don’t say it was the best thing for the both of us
When I’m the one playing the fool

What do you want from me when I just wanna restart
You keep coming back for me when you’re the one who tore us apart
And the truth is I’m better on my own
And I’m the one to leave it apart
So let me restart

You’ve been lightin’ up my phone
Worried that I’ll be alone tonight
Wanna make sure that I’m fine
But baby you’re not on my mind, no more
I know it was the best thing for the both of us
Cause you’re the one who looks like a fool

What do you want from me when I just wanna restart
You keep coming back for me when you’re the one who tore us apart
And the truth is I’m better on my own
And I’m the one to leave it apart
So let me restart

What do you want from me when I just wanna restart
You keep coming back for me when you’re the one who tore us apart
And the truth is I’m better on my own
And I’m the one to leave it apart
So let me restart

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