Music Monday | The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows – Gretta Ray (covers Gang of Youths)

Lyrics

Cause not everything means something, honey
So say the unsayable
Say the most human of things
And if everything is temporary
I will bear the unbearable
Terrible triteness of being

Songwriters: David Immanuel Menachem Sasagi Leaupepe
The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Pty. Ltd.

Virgo Season

It’s Virgo season, baby! And that means, it’s birthday month. Years ago, I started with birthday week–but I’ve now learned to stretch it out, long and slow, over the course of a month instead. Three days ago, my coffee machine died. It was just a small pod machine I purchased in Queensland from the store my ex worked at. It had done well to last nine years with the amount of use it received. But without coffee, I’m not that pleasant to be around. And since I’m off work for a few days and we are in lockdown number seven, G surprised me with one of my birthday presents; a barista machine. As much for his sanity as mine, I suspect. I’m going to have to get up half an hour earlier for work to make my coffee now, but even the almond milk I’ve converted to this year frothed nicely with the steam wand. Happy birthday to me!

What I’m Reading

Lately I’ve been ‘reading’ audiobooks. I started last year, when G was in hospital–there is something deeply comforting about having someone else read to you. In the last couple of weeks I’ve finished Sarah Krasnostein’s The Believer, Nardi Simpson’s Song of the Crocodile and now I’m working my way through Paige Clark’s She is Haunted.

The Believer is a narrative non-fiction of six separate tales expertly woven together through Sarah’s curiosity, non-judgement and her own life. In it she shares how her own beliefs (or lack of) intertwine with these six vastly different people and how we have more similarities than differences even if some people believe in ghosts, UFOs, heaven, and hell. It is a work of compassion and empathy, and, as the back of the book says, The Believer looks at the stories we tell ourselves to deal with the distance between the world as it is, and the world as we’d like it to be. How they can stunt us – or save us.

Song of the Crocodile was both heartbreaking and beautifully written. Nardi’s artful description and incredible story-telling contrasted sharply with the story itself and the pain of race relations between Indigenous and settler/coloniser families in this novel. I don’t read a lot of fiction but this was a stunning debut novel.

She is Haunted is the debut collection of short stories by Paige Clark and while I am only half way in, I’m hooked. Paige’s characters have compelling voices, and the collection features themes of transnational Asian identity, mother-daughter relationships, grief and intergenerational trauma. I will finish this book tomorrow; less than 48 hours from when I started–an extremely rare occurrence for me.

Music Monday | Hero – Mariah Carey

We are still in Lockdown 5.0 in Victoria. I’m not sure how many weeks it’s been now. Two? No. Three? Like I said, I don’t know. So, I’ve reverted to spending hours consuming what I call “wholesome content” to keep me sane: Mostly YouTube–which is as close to a time machine as we have–and Mariah Carey, whose song Hero was released at the end of my sophomore year in high school.

I’ve also been reading, and have just finished The Believers by Sarah Krasnostein, and am now devouring Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson. I’m still reluctant to call it reading, because I’m mostly listening on Audible; I don’t have the ability to sit still to read with so much anxiety coursing through my veins. But I’ve “read” more this year via Audible than in the last three years together, so that’s something.

And for anyone else who also needs a little lockdown pick-me-up, last year, the Phillip Island Penguin Parade was livestreamed during our 112 days of hard lockdown in Melbourne–and they are bringing it back from tomorrow night. The Speed Cubers on Netflix is a documentary about friendship and the fastest rubik’s cubers out there. And added recently to my rabbit-hole (and not on YouTube) is an Irish dancing group called Cairde. Apparently they have a TikTok, but I don’t, so I watch them on Instagram.

We are hoping some of the lockdown restrictions will be eased tomorrow. I’m hoping I’ll get the results of my 7th covid test that I had this afternoon. And, more than anything, I’m hoping they’ll be negative.