My Mind

Personal website of M.G. Daniel. Sharing poetry, my writings, snippets from my life and whatever's on my mind.


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My lesson for today

#1 – Don’t judge a book by its jarring cover, it will likely stun you by being all cosy, comfy warm love inside.

I just made this up, because I stumbled upon an old song by Jamaican Eric Donaldson that I loved a lot. If you’re feeling cold or down tonight, hear this:

 

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Me, songstress

Apparently, I went through a songwriting phase.  I have the one in the pic below and a couple of other handwritten pages that say they are songs. One of them I remember I had a pleasing little melody for – well it was pleasant sounding to me and my younger brother fan. I thought then and still do now that my no-longer ‘little’ brother had a very good singing voice. Thing about it though, parents can be both your greatest cheerleaders and greatest dream killers, sometimes in the same look or word. My dear, devoted late mother had one standard comment anytime anyone of her kids sang a note. “None of my children can sing.” Mothers know best. I know I can’t sing to save my life, but I also know any and every desired skill can be acquired (to varying degrees of competence) in our times, if you have the will, and money to burn.song

I never took singing lessons but at some point during my songwriting aspirations I did take up the guitar. In additon to books and tapes for self teaching, I enrolled in formal music lessons (in the days before fool-your-friends Apps were invented). I had an instructor from the United States who was on contract with a music school in my birth country. The first songs he taught me to play by sight were Twinke Twinkle Little Star and Redemption Song by Bob Marley. My guitar followed me when I swapped countries but I did not get to doing the music lessons I had planned to take in earnest. Somewhere in the process of adjusting, moving house and understanding the realities of North America, I lost my guitar, or maybe it went out on the kerb in error, or something like that. We became permanently separated. I may take up playing the guitar again at some future time, but for now if anyone were to ask,  I’d say I am rather musically illiterate.

 


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When last did you…escape?

For real – not into books or thoughts or daydreams?

Happy Caribana y’all. A lot of people are pouring in for the Caribana parade today- escaping stress, isolation, the daily grind and such like. Many are coming for Drake’s OVO Fest, plunked down right in the middle of Caribana as it is. Quite a number are escaping town, going to cottages and family activities for this long holiday weekend: a fair few are actively running away from Caribana. Incidentally, not every Caribbean person is a Caribana faithful or party animal perpetually seeking the next carnival high. There is always a raging debate where I come from about the pros and cons of many aspects of the festival – with loud, reasonable voices who love it and loud, reasonable voices who loathe it.

Let’s not think about that today. You don’t have to say a word; just come with me and escape …to Venus. The guy singing below makes it sound sweet.


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Beautiful feeling

This is a beautiful moment: end of day, end of Friday at that, end of a week and a month and in a beautiful way  – for me – end of something that also means something accomplished and start of something that’s making me smile.  If you’re happy and you know it…have a bit of Caribana fun if you are in my neck of the woods. If going to Caribana is not really your thing, then listen to some Caribbean music to stay in the zone. Doing the music is not your thing? Just try it. I won’t recommend any of the the newer Soca music in case you’re new to this. Although, if you’re not from a Caribbean carnival Soca concert background and have had some training in a mosh pit, you will do just fine with the more recent music. I leave you with a song from a time before.


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When last did you…party?

Long time?

When last yuh went to party and de
Music grip you? Oh, oh! Long time!
Oh my earworm. There was a lively wedding dance party with mainly Caribbean music, old and new. Now this is stuck in my head.