April 21, 2016
When I was 10 years old and heard the song 1999 for the first time, I was immediately hooked. It was like my passion for music exploded. I watched the video repeatedly, awestruck by this charismatic singer who seemed to come out of nowhere. I read everything I could about him. I ran out immediately and got the album and desperately wished I was in his band. I devoured everything that he put out: I ran out and bought some of his older albums like Dirty Mind and Controversy...and as the years went on: Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sing O The Times, Lovesexy, Batman, Graffiti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls, Love Symbol, The Hits, Come, The Gold Experience, Emancipation....I even remember taking a bus into Vancouver specifically because I heard a record store had a rare copy of the Black Album. I remember finding out one of my college professors liked Prince, and we would engage in these incredible discussions about how he influenced us. I think I belong to a giant legion of fans who just appreciated what he was doing - that he was constantly re-emerging with new sounds, pushing the envelope, taking a genre and turning it on it's head....I felt moved listening to his music, I felt sexy, I felt like I wanted to dance until I couldn't dance anymore. I wanted to be Sheila E and play the drums for him. I wanted to be part of his band The Revolution in any capacity I could. I would dance night after night in our basement to his music, determined that one day I'd be a back up dancer for him on his tour. I just wanted so desperately to be in the vicinity of his creativity because something about his music connected to me on a scale that no one else had. I bought up sheet music to his songs to play on the piano, bought up albums of artists that he mentored, like Sheila E, The Time, Wendy & Lisa...I just loved his funky hook, his sexy riffs and how he emancipated himself from his record label so that he could keep doing what he loved, without restrictions. I love the fact that he was so shy to interview, but when he hit a stage, he was larger than life, he had the dance moves of Michael Jackson/James Brown, and the guitar skills of a funkier Jimi Hendrix. I am so thrilled that I got to take some of my best friends and my hubby to some of his shows, to share him with them. The last Prince show I went to, I was six days overdue, and people thought I was crazy for getting tickets. But, it ended up being my favourite show of his, and I went into labour when I got home. I love that he is part of our birth story and I can't wait to introduce my daughter to his music.
You might not know that Prince also wrote several songs for other artists, like: Nothing Compares to U (performed by Sinead O Connor), The Glamorous Life & A Love Bizarre (Sheila E), Manic Monday (The Bangles), Love, Thy Will Be Done (Martika), How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (Alicia Keys), When You Were Mine (Cyndi Lauper) It's been an emotional day, but a beautiful day too. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the artists who site him as their biggest influence....artists who I really respect. His genius was far reaching and as sad as I am that I will never get to see him perform live again....I have been listening to his music all evening which is like embracing a friend you haven't seen in awhile....
His music was bar none, one of the greatest gifts my life has ever received.
I like to think he's up there throwing a giant party tonight.....
You are all familiar with his hits, but here's a few of my all time favourite songs, in case you haven't caught them:
The Beautiful Ones
If I was Your Girlfriend
Rest In Peace sweet Prince. xo
April 20, 2016
Hello friends! It's been a long time since I've had a chance to sit down and write in this space. Over the stressful period of the past 8 weeks, between dad's lengthy hospital stay, courses, work, being a mom to a preschooler, I felt like I hit my emotional bottom, like I had completely emptied the well. I felt like there wasn't a moment of my day where I wasn't needed. There were so many challenges along the way, from being called into the hospital repeatedly to try and help dad with particularly bad bouts of delirium, to being called in the middle of the night to say he's been put on life support, to having him look me right in the eyes and then speak jibberish. But last week, when dad was home with 24 hour care, I remember going to his home, meeting with a nurse to get the low down on his care, running up to the colostomy clinic to get his supplies, and while I was there, his care aid's boss called with an earful of complaints, then while I was trying to leave the supply store, I was getting more calls from Dad with grocery requests, then I was trying to go pick up supplies for him from the red cross, and this was just one day off. I remember standing on the sidewalk outside, tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking, I am going to get sick. And then something clicked in me, I had to make space for myself again. I had re-fuel. And as soon as I made that decision, life didn't feel overwhelming anymore. This past weekend, I went swimming with my family, did laps for half an hour, sat in a steam room and felt like I was on vacation....it felt like the biggest treat I had (who knew $3.50 at a public pool could be my oasis?).....I went to a bbq later that evening with friends and kept catching myself looking around thinking, I am having the best time......I went to the beach with one of my friends and her daughter a few days later and while we sat in the sun, watching our girls play, I thought, I am so lucky to be experiencing this.....It's funny how just taking a bit of time for yourself can shift your perspective. Instead of setting up my tent in Camp Feel Sorry For Myself, I began to realize, everyone has tough things they are going through, but if you balance it out with whatever brings you joy, not only will you get through it, you won't lose your spark in the process. The photos on this post are all within the first three weeks of losing my mom. It was the single hardest time of my life, but I kept carving out space for joy, and it is what got me though it all. Looking at the photos you would never know that my heart was in a million pieces at that time. My mom passed away at 9 pm on a Monday night, and I remember the very next morning taking my daughter to her sports class. I sat there in a daze watching her, and sure enough, before long, I was smiling. Watching her abundant joy in that class always brought me happiness and I knew it was worth a shot to see if it could lift me. Always keep close tabs on what makes you happiest and make sure you carve out time for it. Think of it as essential as eating and sleeping. For myself, my happy place looks like: walking in beautiful parks with my family, taking photos, dinner parties with friends, setting up our home, feeling the sun on my face, it's the adrenaline rush of exercise, pushing myself in dance classes, hiking, camping, travelling, putting my feet in the sand, exploring farms, swimming in the ocean, staying in a cabin, it's being woken up by my daughter jumping into bed, it's late night cups of tea with Craig, it's hearing a song you love performed live, outdoor concerts, watching an inspiring documentary, a book you can't put down, a brilliant comedian, laughing so hard you pee (a little), but most of all its a full house of friends/family. If you feel like life is out of balance and that you are run ragged in your days, turn off your phone for a bit, you know, like in the olden days (the 90s) when we didn't have to be available 24/7......pick something from your list of what brings you joy, and invest back in yourself. Namaste. xoxo