Oh, That Magic Feeling

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I realize my last post was a bit heavy, although it ended well (at least I thought it did!). lol

I wanted to add that I am feeling better now. I feel a bit shaky at times, but it passes quickly enough that I can get by.

I have done some thinking about what I do need, though, when I look ahead.

Mostly I really, really, really need some down time. 

Since I started this job last March, I attempted to take two vacations. 

(The two weeks off after I collapsed were anything but relaxing, as you might imagine.)

I took the week between Christmas and New Years Day off - and spent the entire time in bed, brought down by the nastiest flu bug I have battled in at least 15 years. It took me nearly four months to finally lose the cough it left as a parting gift.

I was then supposed to take four days off to attend First Event, and well, this happened

Enough said about that.

So it has been well over a year since I had any meaningful time off. 

And before that I was unemployed for nearly six months. 

And beginning HRT. 

And commuting back and forth between my old home and my temporary on the weekends once I *did * get a job to pack. 

While recovering from three broken ribs.

So, yes, I think my body is telling me it is time to take things down a notch.

I have a few days off scheduled for the end of July to attend the Newport Folk Festival.

And I hope to take several other days off at the beginning of July to visit a friend. That trip is still tbd, for reasons too complicated to get into here.

But what I *really* need is either two consecutive weeks off, or at least two weeks off that aren't continuous but are relatively close together.

I have had multiple warnings from multiple people telling me I need to take care of myself… well, since I started transitioning, really.

And these past few weeks in particular I have heard it more frequently than usual.

I was chatting with my 88-year-old landlord C on Friday evening outside. It was a lovely evening, and I was going for a walk.

"I know that helps you unwind, dear. But..." she said. 

She paused for a moment, then went on.

"I don't mean to pry, but you never seem to sit still, or to take time for yourself. 

"I was talking with J (our next-door neighbor); she came over to ask how you were doing. She said she never sees you any more. She said your lights are on very late every night. And then you're out the door early every morning, and you don't get home until well after dark." 

"Do you ever let yourself relax, hon? We just worry about how busy you always seem to be. And how hard you seem to push yourself. You look so tired these days."

"You won't be any good to anyone if you keep going as hard as you can all the time. YOu can't work, then to go to the gym, and drive that crazy commute, and then come home and do more work…. everyone needs time for themselves. It isn't being selfish; it's just being good to yourself."

"So please… would you take care of yourself? If only to make an old lady happy."

I promised her I would try. 

How could I let down an 88-year-old who acts like my Grandma, after all?

Besides, the whole point of transitioning is to get to a place where we can simply… be.

And you can't do that if you never give yourself a chance to do so.

It's time I began to learn.

***

I have *so* many posts I need to write it isn't even funny. I feel guilty how backlogged I am right now.

But I promise my next one will be about something upbeat. 

Even if I cried after it happened. :-p

Stay tuned!

***

It's been a while since I posted something from my all-time favorite band, The Beatles. This seems like a good time. And "You Never Give Me Your Money" seem appropriate for this post.

The song, written by Paul McCartney, was inspired by the nasty legal battle being waged between Paul and the rest of the band near the end of their career. 

Without getting into the weeds, Paul was worried that the other Beatles wanted to hire someone as their manager whom he feared did not have their best interests at heart. That he turned out to be correct was small consolation, as the damage was already done.

While it was inspired by their fighting, what it is *really* about is the joy they still found in playing together. That magic never went away. Even at the end, when they quite literally couldn't stand to be in the same room together otherwise.

The lyrics begin by describing the dreary details of their endless meetings to argue over money. "You never give me your money/you only give me your funny paper" indeed!) Paul sings this section alone, accompanied only by his piano and overdubbed bass and vocals.

The next section is an example of how The Beatles revolutionized the use of the studio as an instrument in and of itself. But you need to listen to this section on headphones to appreciate their genius here. And to fully experience the emotional impact of what they did. 

Abbey Road was the first - and only - Beatles album recorded in stereo, using Abbey Road's newly-installed eight-track board. (They recorded Sgt. Pepper using only 4-track, which is still astonishing to think about today! Limitations can bet the best friend to an artist.)

All of their previous albums were recorded in mono. Because that is what the majority of homes owned for most of their existence. But stereo receivers and players were becoming commonplace as the Seventies approached, and, as always, The Beatles wanted to explore and push the boundaries.

The tempo suddenly picks up, with Paul switching to a barrelhouse-style piano. 

McCartney's voice is on the far right of the sonic spectrum as he begins to reminisce about their early days. They may not have had money, but they *did* have something much more valuable: 

Freedom.

Along with boundless faith in themselves.

And their future.

Out of college, money spent
See no future, pay no rent
All the money's gone
Nowhere to go
Penny jobber, got the sack
Monday morning, turning back
Yellow lorry (taxi) slow
Nowhere to go

An arpeggiated guitar lick chimes in, smack in the center of the sonic palette. McCartney's vocal slowly pans across the sonic landscape, from right to left.

But oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go
Oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go
Nowhere to go

As soon as he reaches the far left, singing the final "Nowhere to go," he has completed his solitary journey.

His sonic journey across the spectrum, from right to left.

And his metaphorical journey back from despair, lamenting what has been lost - and looking ahead with optimism to what the future holds.

And THIS is when you hear the voices of John, Paul, and George together, singing the "Aahh-aahhh" wordless chorus in unison. 

Together, for the first time in the song.

Brought together, by the one thing that always brought them together:

The music.

Even though one may start off alone, as Paul does here, they still end up together. 

Because he knew what they all knew.

He couldn't make it alone.

*They* couldn't make it alone.

And they didn't have to.

And all that in one four-minute pop song.

Genius.

Of course, I could be wrong. 

Maybe he just wanted it all to rhyme. :-p

But for me, it means more. 

Much, much more.


4 comments:

Stace on May 19, 2013 at 6:32 AM said...

Coming from someone who does not know how to sit still to another. You need to learn how! And when you do please let me know the secret! :)

But seriously - as my therapist has been telling me for three years - this process takes so much energy, there are times when you need to stop and do nothing, for a long enough period that you can unwind.

Get your vacation sorted and relax - even if it is a staycation just taking time off and doing nothing at home!

Good luck with that :)

Stace

bashashhazbaz on May 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM said...

you've had a tough time of it, true, cass, but stick to your guns. it's up to you to decide to be happy and i agree with stace, if you can stop every now and then and just enjoy the sunset (so to speak) you will be so much more at ease with life and all its fun adventures!

Jenna on May 21, 2013 at 2:19 AM said...

Hi Cass,
Sorry about the rough time you've had recently. Just caught up with your last two posts.

Get that vacation sorted and chill out. You'll feel better for it.

Unless I have something planned then I tend to take the odd day off rather than any real time. However, I've just had a week and a half off and it was really nice.

Cassidy on May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM said...

@ Jenna: Thank you, hon. My vacation time, like many of my colleagues, is quite messed up at the moment. It's a tracking error by the HR team's software, but they're working to straighten it out. I have a few days off at the end of July, but I want/need to take something longer. Stay tuned!

@ bashashhazbaz: Thank you for the kind words, as always. When I first moved to Seattle, I lived very close to Alki Beach. I would walk there every single night when I arrived home from work and simply... be. Simply listening to the sound of the water was incredibly peaceful. (I did the same thing in Newport RI.) Someday I'll be back there - to either one of those places, actually! - and will be sure to do it again. :c)

@ Stace: We *are* birds of a feather, aren't we? lol I think a goodly portion of my next long vacation may well involve taking time to just... be.

The amount of energy this consumes is staggering; I don't think any of us really grasp it while we are in it. I clearly need to work on learning to relax. If I find the secret, sweetie, you will be the first to know - promise!!! :c)

Hugs,
Cass

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