Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Song | December, In Dreams I Forgot

Never for the life of me would I have ever thought that I would end up singing here, and I am still figuring out why now, above all times seems like the most suitable. I am not Beyoncé, and I am certainly not talented in the slighted when it comes to these vocal chords, I usually try to stick to pen and paper. However, I wrote this recently, and I honestly think it would have come across rather bland without some heir, be it crackled, horrific or otherwise. I had intended for this to be a ballad, possibly sung at a local public house establishment (HowAreYa Lynotts, hey). But until the summer sessions come around - this would have been left, and possibly forgotten about by yours truly. I honestly think ballads are a forgotten art, they are starting to slip away as the years go on, which is disappointing as I think they are still, one of the most beautiful forms of expression out there. (Not necessarily mine, of course, all of the others are good eggs, though)

I wrote this in loving memory of a family member - and if you read my last post, you will understand who and why.

Without further ado, below are the lyrics and at the very bottom you will see a link to listen. If technology is on our side, it should play (please let me know if there are any hiccups).

December, In Dreams I Forgot

Did you hear that,
From the periphery,
That there's a woman -
A young widow of the sea
And she sits by her window
To mourn for an island
That she left and forgot
When she was only seventeen

I would call her brave but,
She might not agree,
She held a love of the shore
And the cold sand in her feet.
She could have it all again,
The land that she knew,
If God's will, in three weeks
She'll return to the fountain of youth.

Did you hear that,
On the periphery
That there's a woman,
A woman returning to the sea
And she's swimming past her window
Not looking over her shoulder
Latching on to years
She lost at the hands
Of the tide

In dreams, I forgot
What this woman meant,
When she told me that
Hardship made her life
Well spent
She said "For I shall remember
the times that I'll smile,
From here on in, it's just
Myself and the sun 
For the last little while."

Do you remember that
From the periphery,
The woman that carried all 
Her strength across the sea
And now the kids sit at her window
And they sing songs about her
That we'll hear across the wind
To be in our lives
Forever after.

Did you see that,
Right by the banks -
She can be seen talking to the 
Ghost of a man,
But she's just as content
As the very First Day
That she caught that
Brilliant herring,
In his currach,
On December's finest day

Friday, 18 December 2015

The "C" Word | Christmas

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? Have you all of your shopping done? How many Christmas jumpers have you bought? Did you cry when you saw the John Lewis advertisement?

Ah, Christmas.

Christmas is an interesting time of year when you sit down and break it up into pieces. For me now, it is a time when the faaamily gather round, good food hanging around to eat, dodgy films to pass the cold nights and the visitors you see over the course of the few days. Since the numbers of young people who have fled these shores in search of work has increased dramatically over the last few years, it is a particularly important time for families and communities to come together and have a grand aul' do.

It is something that I have not talked about hardly ever before on here, but it also something that ticks away and consumes a large part of my brain this time of year, every year. If I was to tell you, that Christmas excites me, that I own ten jumpers for the time that's in it, that I am on the countdown to D-Day and I am watching Christmas movies to get me in the festive cheer - I would be lying. Do not get me wrong, it is a magical and exciting time for children and families alike - but it is easy to forget those who find the Crimbo shinagegans a bit hard to digest and plough through.

It's not a common, or even a popular opinion to share: "I find Christmas hard".

Anyone who is in the same boat as me will have their own reasons, and I have mine. It will be eleven years this December that my older, beautiful, wonderful sister had her life cut short - so tragically close to Christmas. At twenty-two years of age she had not long graduated from college (top of her class), she on the cusp of something great; the entirety of her life in front of her to live and enjoy. In a handful of seconds, that was all taken from her through no fault of her own. While it is something that I am usually open to talk about in person, tapping it onto these keys knowing that you are reading it is a tad teriffying. But the reason why I am sharing is simply to make other people feel not so isolated in this amazing and haunting part of the year for some.

Some people have discarded these notions I have towards all of this, "Sure you were only young when it happened" or "You hardly remember all of that, surely?" Little did they know that I replayed from the time I found out the news, to the day we said our final goodbyes over and over in my head at night, reliving the horror almost, so that I would not forget. It has left it's mark on all of us, and our family has never been the same since. It was a nightmare, that is the only way to put it. While time, in essence is a healer as they say, there is always that empty chair and her room will always be "Ashling's room" or the question of "What would she have said if she saw or heard all of this?"

A lot of the mechanics behind Christmas are regrettably, highly influenced corporately. I do not see why we cannot make time for each other, and our families especially, throughout the year. You only realise how much you miss something until the day that it is no longer in your grasp.

I am not Scrooge, I am just part of a minority. All I can say, is that this year was the first year I bought a Christmas jumper and I am starting to sing along (half hazardly) to the songs on the radio. Fairytale of New York gets me every time, dunnit.

If you take anything from this; keep an eye on those around you. Something as small as calling in on the elderly members of your community for a quick cup of tea could mean the absolute world to them. We are always busy, well we seem to be anyway. Can we really be too "ran off our feet" to neglect people during their loneliest time of the year?

Still don't believe me? Last year, half a million elderly people in the UK spent Christmas Day completely on their own. I stumbled across this video last year and it stayed with me afterwards.

After this post, ordinary content will resume again. I have come very close to discarding this one completely. However I made a promise to myself that I would be as authentic and as true as I possibly could be on this space. I also thought it would be interesting for a young person to shed light on this topic, as it is not a problem that is exclusive to any background or age bracket.

I do wish you all, a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and that you spend the holidays the way you want them to.

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit

SNAPCHAT: catherinegal