BEAUTYTUDES: Hypnotic notes from Odesza – “It’s Only”

18046_105179996166692_4221737_nI’m in one of those moods… when I wish I still lived near the beach and could lie out on the sand under a full moon, listen to this song and just float out into orbit for a while.  The right music can do that to you.  I get nothing short of a natural high when a powerful bassline, a string of minor key notes, and lyrics that echo feelings that I simply cannot express combine to put me in a trance.

I first discovered this song on Pandora after a particularly painful tangle in one of Cupid’s webs…  And it’s ironic that, while the song causes me to immediately recall the pain of the encounter, it also brings to mind an overwhelming sense of wonder, freedom, and love.  Maybe it’s due to the rawness of feeling that only comes from acting with complete vitality and authenticity…  It’s a good memory.  It’s a really good memory.

And hey, you know what?  It’s crazy how jarring song lyrics can be when you READ them and find out what is actually being said.  For the record, I do not identify literally with the lyrics… only in a poetic, “death/ending is a changing of the seasons” sort of way.

I do wonder, though, is Lust simply a form of Loneliness, as the lyrics seem to imply?  What do you think?

LYRICS

I heard the news today;
That you’re not mine to keep.
Don’t struggle too much now
While I kill you in your sleep.

What is lust if it’s not being by yourself?
I won’t be gentle to the body on the shelf

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only slaughter
We’re only liars
It’s only blood

They’re only thoughts that I’m having;
Thoughts safe within my head.
You’re only crying
You’re only dying
You’re only dead.

I heard the news today,
That you weren’t mine to save
I hope that you’re comfortable
In the quiet lasting grave

What is lust if it’s not being by yourself?
I won’t be gentle to the body on the shelf.

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only slaughter
We’re only liars
It’s only blood

They’re only thoughts that I’m having;
Thoughts safe within my head.
You’re only crying
You’re only dying
You’re only dead

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

It’s only slaughter
We’re only liars
It’s only blood

They’re only thoughts that I’m having;
Thoughts safe within my head.
You’re only crying
You’re only dying
You’re only dead

[Obtained from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/odesza/itsonly.html]

 

Whoooaa!  Okay, hold up.  I had to come back for a minute after listening to the song AGAIN.  Those lyrics are just too loaded with symbolism to leave my previous post as is.  Here’s my interpretation of the parts of the song which touched me the most:

I heard the news today;
That you’re not mine to keep.

Isn’t this always such an unfortunate discovery?  Though the better part of our brain knows that we cannot possibly possess another person’s body, heart, and mind, or control their evolution, we are nonetheless caught off guard when someone evolves beyond or simply leaves us (physically or emotionally).  Such a thing should not be “news” at all.

Don’t struggle too much now
While I kill you in your sleep.

Upon getting the news that love (or the thing which made us comfortable) is no more, we are sometimes compelled to simply kill and bury the memory of it.  Or at least we attempt to.  We’d rather not struggle with it coming up over and over again to taunt us.

What is lust if it’s not being by yourself?

The longing for something is a glaring indication of the fact that you do not have it.  It is out of reach somehow.  You are separated from the thing you want, and you, therefore feel alone in some way.

I won’t be gentle to the body on the shelf

You feel it necessary to kill the thought, the longing, the memory as aggressively as possible. 

It’s only water
It’s only fire
It’s only love

Sarcasm, cynicism. You play it off. You act as if these things which are fundamental to life are no big deal. You can do without them.

It’s only slaughter
We’re only liars
It’s only blood

This kind of thing happens everyday. Hearts break. We’ll get over it.

They’re only thoughts that I’m having;
Thoughts safe within my head.

Now maybe the song’s writer really WAS dreaming of offing somebody with whom things simply did not work out, but had no plans of actually doing it.  I won’t touch that.

 To me, it speaks to the myriad things we dream up, the lustful thoughts we hide, all the secret daydreams we keep locked away in our heads and never allow to see the light of day.  We think the recesses of our minds are safe hiding places… 

You’re only crying
You’re only dying
You’re only dead

Wait… now he’s/she’s really gone…

Who knows if the writers actually meant anything close to my interpretation. But that’s the beauty of art. The person enjoying it can take away from it whatever lessons are made available in the moment, whatever makes sense to him or her.

Let me know if you find any other hidden gems in there!

BEAUTYTUDES — to the infinitely magnificent flower

Poo-Poo on those who would never buy fresh flowers because they are too expensive and they only die days later!  (I used to say something like that myself.  No more!)

There’s nothing like having real flowers around.  I think they force us to live in the moment and to appreciate life while it’s here,

floral 1

and that things (or people) don’t have to be in our “possession” forever to be authentic, loving, full of goodness,

floral 2

or that even God is probably (at least) a little vain,

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that a little “showin up and showin out” is okay,

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that Beauty is a virtue…

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…that “happiness is a character trait which must be cultivated in order for us to be balanced.”  –Pretty Little Mess

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BEAUTYTUDES

 Random statements of utmost bliss

More bliss on Pinterest

Female Viagra? Not quite…

addyi 3I love Bill Maher and all unabashed commentators like him who know how to sum up bullshit.  Take, for example his comments regarding Addyi, the new “female Viagra”:

“…the new female sex pill, Addyi. Yes, that’s right.  There’s now a pill that makes women want more sex, but can also lower blood pressure and put you to sleep… It was invented by Bill Cosby.”

Maher goes on to explain that while Viagra was invented for men who still desire but simply cannot engage in sex physically, Addyi, while masquerading as a female equivalent to Viagra, is actually a mood enhancer intended to make totally physically capable women want more sex.  And herein lies the problem…

Who gets to decide what is “satisfying sex”?  The people paying actors to feign orgasm, the ones who have perpetuated the notion that sex isn’t sex if it isn’t loud, explosive, a reenactment of some porn scene, or tied to notions of happily-ever-after?  Many a wayward soul has diagnosed her level of satisfaction as abnormal based upon these fantasy-land notions about sex.

Who has decided what constitutes “normal sexual desire”, and that millions of women don’t have it?  Clearly, the people who created this pill and their cohorts.  They may insist that it is absolutely the prerogative of the individual woman to decide what is normal for her, and they would be right.  But the very existence of this drug (and the campaign to market it) reveals some skewed thinking regarding women’s sexuality and autonomy–or ANYbody’s sexuality and autonomy, for that matter.

When women began to emerge, en masse, from their kitchens, delivery rooms, from behind ironing boards and mops to enter voting booths and colleges in droves and to kick ass in business, many people stood up for the right of women to explore and enjoy their sexuality as well.  They rejected the notion that a woman should be coy, “hard to get”, or act as if she had no interest in sex in order to appear pious or demure.  No problem–if coy and demure is not that individual woman’s natural disposition.  But somewhere, we failed to develop a balanced perspective.

addyiNow the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and it seems that any women who is not ready to swing from a chandelier (or a shower curtain) at the drop of a hat wearing a thong and a cat tail is labeled with a sexual disorder.

I call bullshit.

Here we are “medicalizing a woman’s natural mental state” all over again.  I understand that the organization Even the Score had a hand in pushing for the invention of this drug.  They considered it unfair that so much attention, expertise, and resources were being pumped into the creation of a drug to help men enjoy better sex while it seemed the girls were being neglected.  They failed to recognize that a medical prescription is probably not the best long-term solution for most people’s intimacy/sexual issues (whether male or female).

Micromanaging sexual urges based on arbitrary standards of normality doesn’t make for better relationships.  In some cases it exacerbates the problem as people race from one opinion/therapist/prescription to the next hoping to find a fix to their so-called dysfunction, which really was never a “dysfunction” to begin with.  In many cases the problem is simply boredom.  Boredom, the need for novelty, and the need to develop more realistic expectations around sexuality and more flexible relationship structures.  No prescriptions or pills.  Just a shot of reality and an adventurous spirit.

Sexual autonomy is the freedom of the individual to operate comfortably within their sexual truth without undue meddling and criticism from others–whether that personal truth is a very active sex drive or a “once a month will do me fine” disposition.  Once our society is mature enough to handle the kind of honesty that will make this freedom possible, there probably will be little need for these placebos, I mean prescriptions.  Until then, the drug pushers are going to hold down the block with blue pills for the boys and pink pills for the girls.

What do you think of Bill Maher’s summary?

Adventures in Bermuda

white roofBermuda’s on my “Traipse Across the World” list.

No, I haven’t been.  Yes I’m dreaming again.  I’m picturing myself there.

It’s a little game I like to play called Pretending–that’s Pre-intending.  I’m setting the scene in my mind, just the way I like it.  Sooner or later, the Universe will have no choice but to plop me smack dab in the middle of Bermuda where I’ll suddenly find myself and my husband darting around on Vespas, wallowing, on the pink sand beaches, wading among the towering limestone rocks, eating fish chowder and hot cross buns, and drinking swizzle.

But then what?  I don’t mind a little resort area life, but I’m eventually going to want to chill with some people and get into some adventures that aren’t connected to the ministry of Tourism  or it’s aims.

Local flair.  It almost sounds cliche, hearing some tourist in hiking boots and a backpack say they want to go “off the beaten path” or “meet some locals”.  But who wants to travel all the way to another part of the world just to stay in “little America” and watch dance performances at the “cultural museum”?

The best thing about travel is meeting the people who live in the place you’re exploring, having them show you how they live, and discovering just how different and alike you are.

So, Bermudophiles, where are you?  What exceptional activities do you recommend?  Any popular, local characters I should meet?  Is there some tucked away bar or restaurant that shouldn’t be overlooked?  A little known spelunking site that’s worth a peek?  Lemme know!

Distance Lovin’ Part 6: Can a Sistah Get a White Man???

swirl

“Mmmmm!”

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting and corresponding with Kimberly Butler, owner of the Black Girl In Berlin blog.  Since December 2011, Kimberly has been sharing her experiences as a young, African American woman, living, dating, loving, and making a life for herself in Berlin, Germany.  Particularly, I found her observations about dating across racial and geographic borders to be pretty insightful.  If you haven’t already been there, or you haven’t been in a while, you should definitely go over to her place and see what she has to say about living and loving abroad!

While you’re there, check out a post that Kimberly recently shared.  It’s by yours truly and touches on this ever popular topic of black women dating white men.  Read the full entry and join in the conversation.  This “Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl” topic has plenty of angles:

“As an author whose work overlaps the Women’s Fiction category, I’m aware that the Interracial Romance genre has been a quite popular one for some time now, and interest is growing. If Barnes & Noble hadn’t changed its Fiction display so that you can no longer see Women’s Fiction, Afro American Fiction, Romance, etc., grouped separately, you’d more easily notice all those virile young black American women swirling with white/Latino men on many of those covers. (Not so many depictions of black women with, say, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, or African men—‘sup with that?) The idea has become quite public. And while I wouldn’t say that it’s mainstream, advertisers are all over the black girl white guy pair now in commercials and print ads.

“What bothers me is all the statistics and negative labels that complement this steady flow of images, and the scarcity mentality that insists that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a black woman to find a suitable mate. I’m one of those weird mind-over-matter types who believes in the idea that what you think and expect are what you get. And I’m not convinced that Black Women are in dire straits or that we should allow a barrage of that kind of information to make us believe that. Why the heck would I, of all people, want to buy into that…”

READ ENTIRE ENTRY ON BlackGirlInBerlin.com, and let us know what you think!