One line is my sins, the other forgiveness for these sins – part 2

~ Arvo Pärt

Read part 1

If there is a line of my sins, then there should also be a line of forgiveness. A few days ago, I felt its roots. Suddenly a part of me decided that the guilt I spoke of was exaggerated. I admit that I’m to blame as well, but this was one single event, one single time, and I’m convinced it’s not all my fault. So this strong-willed part of me was fed up with the guilt and decided to let it go.

I’m still doing my best to accept, to believe that there are no other consequences than me feeling somewhat bad about it. The only damage is a hurt ego. Whatever the damage was though, there is no point in reminding yourself of your guilt over and over. I did something stupid. I did something stupid.

But I only did it once, and at least I know it was wrong.

Normally, it doesn’t take long for me to find my crown again. When you wear a crown, you have a straight back. When you have a straight back, you are strong. I’ve always felt a certain pride, a certain self-respect when someone hurt me. The fact that this time, I stupidly took part in something that hurt me, made it difficult to feel this. It is, though, always the way out. If I have my crown, all will be well. If I wear my crown, it means I have forgiven myself.

It doesn’t happen just like that, but I felt the line that’s forgiveness, and that is good. Something will eventually distract me and classify this under ‘things I did when I was young’. I’m not the only one doing stupid things. And it could have been worse. I will never think of it as ‘good’, or even as a ‘good lesson’, but it shouldn’t haunt me anymore. It should be what it is: history. And only that.

Do you want to hear what it sounds like, sin and forgiveness? I think I can hear it here:

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Once upon a time in a coffee bar

Once upon a time, when I still lived in Poland, I was working in a very atmospheric little coffee bar close to my home. The coffee was very good and very cheap as well, in comparison to my country and other cities. Of course I didn’t live in Warsaw. There were bikes hanging at the wall, even better, bikes cut in half. The menu was taped on vinyl plates. It was a great and quiet place, perfect for work.

So I sat there, trying to do something useful though I couldn’t focus – nothing new. Then I noticed that the music was getting quite 80s. There is some special beat about this music, which makes it easy for me to put songs into categories. It’s such a “danceable” beat, you know. Take any 80s song and you’ll know what I mean.

So they put on this cd with the unmistakable 80s beat, and modern as I am, I shazamed it. (For those who are like I once was: shazam is an application that recognises music. Sometimes. Anything but classical in my experience.) It turned out to be SoKo.

SoKo? I’ll kill her SoKo?

Exactly. Apparently she has this 80s inspired cd now, which was just perfect to put on when I was packing all my things on the rainy last day in Poland. The catchiest (apparently this is not a word, but I’m keeping it anyway) songs are Who wears the pants? , My Precious and Temporary Mood Swings. Then I stumbled upon the white raven, as we say here. One of the songs on the cd wasn’t like the others. It was a quiet, sad break up song. I played it almost on repeat.

From then on, I have been stumbling on more songs of her, which without exception were played almost on repeat. I don’t know what it is, but something about those songs catches my eye, or rather, my ear, and makes me addicted. After Keaton’s song, as described above, there was Don’t you touch me, which has this beautiful sad anger about it. It beautifully builds up to a climax. Great song when you are struggling with liking someone who doesn’t like you back.

On a quiet, not peaceful evening before the exam I still had to take here, I put on I’ve been alone too long, and immediately had a new target to play on repeat. It fitted the situation a bit. I was almost all alone in the city of my university, where I dramatically didn’t want to be. As soon as I arrived in that city, I felt everything overwhelming me. Everything I had been through there flushed over me and fucked my mind up. I was happy to stay over at my brother’s place there, so I wouldn’t be confronted with more memories. While revising, I put the song on repeat. It has this calmness that I need when I revise.

The exam went well, and I spent a great day there, with friends, beer and sun. I crawled out of the wave of memories, luckily.

I’m still not free, because I have to finish my bachelorpaper. Since I write on a computer, modern as I am, I play music all the time. It’s extremely boring when you work without music, isn’t it? So I clicked on yet another SoKo song, Why do you treat me like you do? , which is a cover. It has a sort of country thing to it, although it’s not country. Lovely to sing along, I can tell you that. Catchy, but in a very different way than the 80s style songs. But catchy still!

Right now, my latest crush is Treat your woman right, which is an equally sad song about loving someone who doesn’t like you back. (Okay, I may have issues, what about it?) Above all the haunting humming makes this so very touching for me. It’s hard to explain what it is, but it has this feeling to it, this atmospheric sad feeling. I try not to kill it by playing it too much, but that’s hard. I could hear it all day. And I am hearing it all day. I can’t stop it.

This is a serious music crush, as you can see. I like the way this music is intertwined with my life though. It’s not important whether I relate to the lyrics or not, although I do for a part of course, because the music in itself is enough to make its way into my head and heart. Next to that it reminds me of the time spent in the coffee bar, of the rainy day I spent packing, the strange evening spent in the city of my university, and everything that came after. Life is unexplainable and unpredictable. And life needs a soundtrack. For the moment, mine is SoKo.

What kind of man

Every once in a while, I stumble upon a song that instantly becomes my new music crush. As you may have noticed. (If you feel the need to be kind, you can now pretend to be surprised and say ‘No! Really?’) A few weeks ago, not to say a month, I accidentally ended up watching one of Florence & The Machine’s new clips, and it caught me straight away. Not only the song is really good, but the video just makes it better. It’s well composed and beautifully made. The combination struck me.

Which wasn’t really hard, because the song is about a difficult relationship. Seeing how things have been going with The Boys lately, I feel something inside scream dramatically ‘O MY GOD YES’ at the lyrics. The video includes a lot of touchiness, like when some guys takes Florence’s face in his hands – that kind of touchiness. Next to that there’s also more explicit touchiness, but all brought to you in such a way that it’s never really uncomfortable to watch.

In short, I’m just very fond of this song and video.

Now, inspired by this video and by my most recent adventure with A Boy, I came up with a few things you can do when things go wrong.

What To Do When A Guy Stops Talking To You Or When Things Go Wrong In General

1. Don’t even do the effort of thinking there is a logical explanation

People, unfortunately, are not logically thinking creatures. If only! I often think there’s some understandable reason behind things, because I like ratio, but let me tell you that that’s too much to ask sometimes.

2. Take a ballet class

Thank god for my ballet classes here. My muscles and stamina obviously need it… Also, ballet demands control of yourself. Of your muscles, of your thoughts, of everything. And you need to maintain a straight back all the time. Somehow it makes me feel very powerful, and that’s not bad, is it?

3. Put on your heels

Sometimes, those 5 extra centimetres added to my 180 cm can change how I feel. I’ve told you that before. Especially with my height I sometimes feel intimidating. Which I don’t mind! (If I don’t want to be too intimidating, I just smile kindly at people.)

4. Bother those who should be bothered

After a few bootycalls in the middle of the night, I decided to take a small revenge by bothering him a few times, reminding him of the fact that he’s got some explaining to do, as he promised. I knew he wouldn’t, but at least I reminded him of it. There’s no way I will just keep my mouth shut and give the impression I accept this. My sleep is important to me, so if you wake me up in the middle of the night twice, you just ask for revenge.

5. There are other things

That are certainly more important to be worrying about right now. Something along the lines of presentations, tests, trips, money, and so on. These are things that cannot be battled by wearing heels or going to a ballet class. So I’m doing my best to focus on making everything go right. Which isn’t always as easy as it seems… But hey, we’ll get there.

Now, go ahead and watch this video, listen to the song, and enjoy the drama!

Variations on the Same Theme

It was somewhere between four and half past four during the night. There was no one in the streets, and it was raining softly, turning this into a sad kind of darkness. I was walking home, slowing down with every step.
I absolutely hate rain, but something in me was very satisfied with this decor.

I continued my existential crisis at the kitchen table, eating biscuits and staring at the sink until I realised that if I didn’t move immediately, I would become too tired to even brush my teeth. Somewhere around five I finally laid down and noticed how the sun was rising already. It was noticeable lighter than it should be when you go to sleep.

However much I dislike the situation I’m in, my dramatic soul fully enjoyed these conditions. The only thing missing was a good soundtrack to this all – but next to that, all was perfect.

The crisis is still there though. I’ve recently found out that I’m still stuck in the same old pattern, the pattern I wanted to escape by going away from Belgium. Maybe it’s not connected to Belgium at all, but to me. I should have realised that before, shouldn’t I… This is the thing: I’ve had a few nice dates with a guy, and all of sudden, he’s disappeared. Well, that is, he will respond if I ask him something by text, but it seems he’s not keen on more contact anymore.

Well, that’s not a big deal, I know that. And no, my heart is not broken, I’m not in tears, I didn’t fell in love or something like that. The point is just that it pisses me off for real, because I don’t see the reasoning behind it. Why would you first be nice to someone and then just stop talking to that person? Often there is some kind of explanation, but because of bad communication skills, you never get to hear it. Not until you put them in a dark room and put a lamp in their face.

Just kidding, of course. (Though, coming to think of it, that might just work…)

I used to think that thinking rationally would help me understand things, but I didn’t realise that guys aren’t necessarily the most rational species you can find. It’s a lie that women aren’t rational – so far, my experience tells me that it’s more the opposite. I’m never the one who suddenly stops talking. A lot of my friends are just as confused about the behaviour of the Male Species as I am.

Don’t get me wrong though – guy friends are awesome, and often way more laid back than girls often are. I like having guy friends and everything. That’s never really the problem. It’s only when there’s this extra factor involved, let’s call it ‘attraction’, that troubles begin. Or silence. More often just silence, after a while.

For those wondering, I’m pretty sure this guy is not too shy, is very well aware of what he’s doing, and I have tried a few times to stay in touch. As I see it, there’s nothing more to do. I’m not going to beg for attention, that’s for sure. After all this problem boils down to the fact that it was all very sweet and then, out of the blue as it seems, it’s dead. It annoys me.

Also, another guy tried to kiss me, only for me to discover afterwards that he has a girlfriend. That’s not a nice thing to do.

If I’d write a book about my story with the Male Species, I’d call it ‘Variations on the Same Theme’. It would be a boring book – different faces, different circumstances, different time, but almost always this end of sudden silence.

As for the soundtrack that would have fitted that night, I think Arvo Pärt will do.

For good results, add violin

We have this saying here that there’s a fair going on in hell, when it’s raining and the sun in shining at the same time. Isn’t that a wonderful saying? A little while ago it was hailing over here, and yet the sun was shining. A strange sight. And then it started raining too…

But hey, no worries, I’m safe inside.

This intro has absolutely nothing to do with the point I want to make here, but it was too good not to mention. So now to the actual post, that has something to do with the title. You may know that I like violins and strings in general a whole lot. And though I like to say that I’ve got a slightly alternative music style, I have to confess that every once in a while I still have to give in to something popular.

Oh man. I hope you still like me when I confess that I kind of like Katy Perry’s song E.T. …

But the truth is, the song has an awesome rhythm to dance to! It’s so catchy! It’s not the best song ever and not highly poetic, but it makes me want to dance. On a sidenote, even Iron Maiden sometimes makes me want to dance. So okay, I kinda like that song, but there’s always room for improvement, and that’s where we throw in the violins…

There’s this Aston band, which covers well-known songs in a more classical way – with strings, a piano, a guitar and so on. They turn the song into something very good and it still makes me want to dance. A great bonus is that you can listen to this song without people disliking you for listening to Katy Perry. Yay!

 

Please note that I don’t care that much about what people think of my taste in music. I will never immediately say that I like ET by Katy Perry, but hey, I listen to whatever I want still 🙂

Ten Things Thankful’s Debut on NBI

I was planning on writing a post on the small things that make me happy – to make up for all the whining here – when I read the Ten Things of Thankful Post by Lizzi, and I decided it would be a good moment to participate at last. There are still many good things in my life, but of course all the bad sides make me write and whine a little. To give you a better view on what my life is currently, and to not scare you away with negativity, I’ll give you a list with ten things that light up my day.

1. The pleasure I still get from using my new bag (well, the one I bought in July – is that still new? It feels like it) and from wearing my heeled boots. Call it superficial, but they still make me feel good, fabulous and elegant. I love those things.

2. Or the pleasure I get from wearing my new winter vest, it’s the lightest shade of dark green, in combination with my green earrings, well, that can make me feel good. For real!

3. The beautiful autumn weather. It’s getting colder, but that’s okay, because it means I can wear my winter shoes! And the sun shines, there are still coloured leaves, it all looks so pretty and postcard proof. I want to go for a walk.

4. Having discovered Warpaint, I listen to them so often now. And in their songs I can appreciate the little moments, like from 3:10 on in this song – that guitar/bas, whatever it is, it sounds so good. Well, the song is just lovely in my opinion, but that say 1 min piece is extraordinary.

5. My brother’s girlfriend is here at last (she’s not from Belgium) and she turns out be the prettiest, sweetest girl. Which is nice because a) my brother deserves a good girl and b) if she becomes my sister-in-law, I can be sure that all will be well.

6. Going for a drink always makes me happy, especially when I do it with someone you can have a good conversation with. Thursday night a friend and I went to some book presentation, where three of our current professors were, so bonus points!, and then we went to a cafe. She’s the kind of person you can talk with for hours and hours and you know you can trust her. I find that a real pleasure.

7. I’m starting to notice that I really want to learn to cook better, which is nice because I think everyone should be able to cook a little. Of course I can do some things, but with two classes having finished, I now have the time to actually make some decent food. With vegetables. I’m more and more thinking of a healthy life style and I like that about myself.

8. But no fear: my brother’s girlfriend brought very delicious deserts. My god, too good!

9. I ordered a book for a very big paper I have to write, and there are photos in it, and it’s about ballet, so I was happy to see all the pictures! Besides, that book will save my paper. Huzzah! (Probably more to come about that paper…)

10. I’m keeping a kind of secret, but it’s a good secret and it makes me happy, it makes me happy. I’m probably posting about it sooner or later, but for now let’s call it a silver lining.

So my life definitely isn’t all tears and sadness, despite the fact that sometimes, not being in Russia still cuts in. There are always bad sides to everything, but as you see, there are also still quite some good sides. Whether those good sides are sweet or heeled, they are still present and can light up my day!

What are you thankful for? What small things can make you happy?

To Dance Or Not To Be

One of the first things most people get to know about me, is that I am a dancer. It’s one of those most present, obvious things about me, apparently. NBI the dancer.

But I’m not taking dance classes anymore. I didn’t enroll myself, because of a few reasons. The first one, obviously, is that I believed I would be in Russia now. When I decided to stay, I only had one more week to enroll myself. But I also suddenly had to start my life in Belgium over again. The second reason is that I didn’t want to pay for a whole year while I could only attend classes for three months. And last but not least, they would be preparing a show, which I couldn’t take part in, because I will be abroad then.

Long story short, I’m currently not taking dance classes.

But how I miss it, how I miss it… Mentally, physically, I think I underestimated this. I don’t mind not getting up at 8 every Saturday morning, but that’s about the only bright side so far. I just really want to dance, I always feel the need to dance, but now I lack the space to properly do exercises. Every Saturday, every, every Saturday evening, I do dance in my room at home. It’s something. There is not enough space to do all the fun stuff though. No real jumping, no going from one side to the other while turning, no such things are possible.

There is also no good teacher who makes up new exercises, who corrects me, who makes good choreographies. What I do every Saturday evening is mainly to do something physical, to stay in shape a little, to not lose my technique and flexibility. Also, I do it to move. I still feel good when doing ballet exercises, even when space is limited.

I’ve come to realize that dancing makes me deal with things as well. It’s a form of meditation. You think of the music, the steps, all that, but you don’t really get the chance to think of the assignment you still have to do, that one thing you said to that person, what you still have to buy for dinner. And sometimes, when you’re really struggling with some issue, it helps to dance it out a little. Therapy in the dance studio. Yes, I know I’m getting cheesy.

I don’t just miss it mentally though. I’ve never had back aches so often, and I think I now where they come from : I move too little. The best cure for back aches so far for me, is to use my back, bend it, dance. It helps. Backs should be used often, and when you sit for too long, it will protest.

So you see, I’m made to dance. I’m not made to dance professionally, but my body screams for moving when I hear music. I still can’t go from point A to B without throwing in some arm movements or kicking legs. That’s what I’m made from still, that’s what I’m made for still. So I can’t wait to take dance classes again, to be in a dance studio again and to move, and to sweat, to feel elegant again.

I don’t want it. I just need it.

(To breathe, to feel, to know I’m alive – bonuspoint for anyone getting that Tool reference.)

Of course, no post on dance without a good video. This dance duet is so powerful, so beautiful, so heart crushing and impressive (all those lifts!). Warning: may beat you up mentally. But trust me, it’s worth it.

 

Is there something you cannot live without? What defines you for most people? Do you love dance? I promise not to hate on you if you don’t, however hard that will be 😉

Music Crush : Warpaint

Major Music Crush. I have more music crushes than I ever had crushes on people in my entire life. That’s the bitter truth! But you see, this time I really want to share it, because a) it’s not a Russian song for a change, b) it’s such, such a good song and c) this one has a sort of story behind it all.
Well, story is probably a big word, but let’s take a look.

Three years ago we had to write a paper for our Latin course. I chose to write about sirens, the mythological creatures who sing so well that seamen are lured towards them, leading to their death. You could say they are femmes fatales avant la lettre. While writing on this topic, I came across a video on YouTube, a scene from the movie ‘Siren’ (I believe). In this scene, the siren sings a song, which I liked, so I decided to listen to the original song.

This song was Elephants by Warpaint, and inspired me to write this.

About two weeks ago I was eating in the kitchen of our student house, on my own, with the radio playing. Suddenly there was this song, and I thought by myself: this sounds like Warpaint. I was done eating, I was alone, and I started kind of dancing, because I felt like it. Ooh, how I liked it. Randomly dancing in an empty kitchen to a good song.

I decided to give Warpaint another shot and that’s when I stumbled upon this song (see the video below – or better, listen to it). Those guitars! That voice! Those sounds! This kind of guitar sounds is what I call raw, and it reminds me of the 80s guitars. Give me 80s guitar and I melt. Together with those lyrics, it just all fits. Not so much because of what the lyrics mean, but because of the sound of the words. I don’t often say this, but the dark ‘o’ sounds fit so nice here. (Does anyone remember the literature classes in which the teacher suddenly stated that ‘o’ is a dark letter? Turns out he’s right after all!) It has this power and groove and all to it.

You see, it’s a major music crush I’m having. What do you think? Any more fans of this kind of 80s reminding music?

 

Hunted down!

Great news: The Indecisive Eejit has hunted the music down! Wonderful, wonderful. I would like to thank everyone who has commented and tried to help me. I knew that asking help here would lead to something, like it has done before already. I can now present you the one and only piece of music used for the Simple Things pas de deux:

Silouans song!

 

You see, the harder it gets to find something, the more you want to find it. And now Juls has helped me out, I can listen to this music without the coughing and background sounds. I like this piece of music a lot. If you know some of Arvo Part’s music, you can immediately recognise it as his work. I’ve never known any other composer who works with silence like him. He builds in these quiet moments, where you almost want to hold your breath. And strings, how I love strings. It’s such beautiful music and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, especially now it’s got a name!

Thank you so much, Juls 🙂

Treasure Hunting # 8 : The Hunt is On

It’s been a long time since I took out my gun to go on a hunt. The hunt for music, that is. I think I kind of forgot this more or less series. But I need your help. Recently I stumbled upon a video of a danced duet including my favourite ballerina (Ekaterina Kondaurova, if you’d like to know). I immediately recognised the music as being Arvo Part’s work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was exactly. Even after using my high tech systems (Shazam, Google music recognise thing) I couldn’t find it. I’ve searched on YouTube for a while, but this piece of music seems to be hidden away.

So now I would like to ask your help. Do you recognise this? Do you know a way to find out what it is? Pretty please?

I think I have found the choreographer on Facebook, but I find it a bit weird to send him a message asking what that particular piece is. He’s Russian though, so it would be good to send him something in Russian. Still I’d first like to try it this way. The last time I asked your help, it worked, so I have good hope that this time you will hunt the treasure for me.

The music I am searching for starts at 2:03 and ends at 7:24. Meanwhile you can watch the interesting pas de deux. It’s a good pas de deux if you ask me – especially with such music!