Directing my energy toward creativity

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been pouring myself into creative outlets lately. It’s not as though I have a ton of spare time, but if a day goes by that I don’t engage in some kind of creative activity, I feel lost. For me, creative practice is part of my sadhana (spiritual practice) because it’s a way that I can look inward and not only be honest about what I see but also do something with it. I don’t tend to stay in one lane creatively, either. Some days I need to write a poem. Some days I need to sing a song or make art of other kinds.

One of the cool things I learned from roller derby was how much fun it is to start something you have no idea how to do, and then really see it through. It felt amazing to put on skates and learn to hit and play and really become strong in the unique way that derby makes people strong. Likewise, it feels awesome to pick up the ukulele and learn a new chord or compose a little song with one of my favorite meditation mantras. The process of learning is deeply satisfying in itself, but the reward of having learned something and getting to engage in the act of creation using what you’ve learned … it’s just stellar.

This is why I’ve been enjoying audio recording so much lately. I’ve been spending a good bit of time on  my Soundcloud experiments. A long time ago I recorded some poems for sharing, but more recently, I’ve been experimenting with music using Garage Band, my ukulele, and my voice. Admittedly, I’m not starting 100% from scratch on the music thing. I did have piano lessons, voice lessons, and a few years of choir to learn the basics, but I was not a strong student of music theory, so I’m kinda winging it on the composition front.

If you’re into meditation songs or ukulele punk, you’re invited to follow me on Soundcloud. For a taste of what I’m all about, here’s a meditation song I finished today.

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Miley Cyrus Wrecks Your Idea of Herself


So, I recently watched Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video, and I gotta say … I know everyone’s still pissed about her VMA performance, and I have some feelings about that too, but this video on its own is actually really fucking good.

People have been saying it’s disturbing or cheap or trashy, and I disagree. Women wear skimpy clothing and dance provocatively in videos for male artists all the time. Every day, we see women in the media used as props to make the men around them look better. A woman’s beauty and sexuality are used as a marketing tool for cars, beer, web hosting, you name it. What people can’t stand is that in this video, Miley absolutely works her stuff in way that benefits herself instead of someone else. She’s getting naked to sing a song and sell some records. She’s making money. Yes, it’s shameless. It should be. If a man had *ahem* assets like that, you bet he’d be working it to sell some records. Why shouldn’t Miley?

I’m not saying I agree with everything the girl does. I think her VMA performance (along with her video for “We Can’t Stop”) was a disaster because it treated black women’s bodies as a joke. I wasn’t fond of the dancing with Robin Thicke because his whole damn song is about date rape. And I don’t approve of twerking not because it’s too sexual but because the mere thought of doing it makes my back hurt. Yeah, so what, I’m old.

Anyway, I’m not some die-hard Miley defender. I’m not really a fan of her music. I think she needs more sane adults in her life. But as for her music videos, I think the strong reactions people have to her are more indicative of our own hangups than something wrong with her. If it freaks you out that much to see a woman acting sexy without a man around, maybe you’ve got some shit to work through. If you’re afraid she’s sending the wrong message to young women, maybe think about what message you’d like your daughter to receive and then have an honest conversation about that. And of course, if you simply don’t like what you’re seeing, you have options. You could go make something better.


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Little Lies: The Soundtrack

by ~dauragon-mikado
Scott hadn’t had so much as a drink last night. He woke up in his own home, the same place he’d gone to sleep, and when he’d shuffled into the kitchen to make coffee, he’d found the pot already brewing and the angel sitting at his table.

Ethereal wasn’t the word. Because one does not expect to find an angel in the kitchen, one does not have expectations about what this angel should look like, but if you had asked him the night before what he thought an angel in his kitchen would look like, it wouldn’t have been this. She was sitting to avoid startling him, but she was staring intently at the doorway when he entered as though she knew the exact moment he would appear and was afraid he’d manage to dodge her gaze like an inattentive waiter. Her face was urgent yet placid, the look of someone who lacked the capacity to be ignored.

“Good morning,” she said in a voice so oddly soothing he felt not the least bit alarmed. When the angel spoke, although her mouth moved, the sound seemed to come from somewhere inside him, like his spine. Like the nerves themselves were humming with a brighter electricity than usual. “Please sit. I have something for you.”

He sat.

“Let me get you some coffee,” she said as she rose and began to make her way around his kitchen in the familiar way of a house guest. “I do hate to have startled you, but I have a lot to do today, including, well, I won’t trouble you with that. I took the liberty of making coffee. You don’t mind, do you?”

He shrugged. On a normal day, a normal person with a normal stranger in their kitchen would have minded quite a bit, but given the circumstances (some of which he was quite unaware of at the moment though they affected him anyway) he didn’t mind.

While he drank his coffee, she chattered warmly, telling little meaningless yet charming bits about the universe. Her pace was lilting like a small bird’s, and her voice was as sweet as sleeping in on a Sunday morning, which she informed him God didn’t actually mind at all.

“Well, that’s good,” Scott said thoughtfully, becoming gradually more certain that he was actually awake. “So, you said you had something for me?”

“Yes. You should listen to this,” she said, handing him a burned CD that looked no different than the indy band mix CDs his friends would loan each other in the late 90s.

“Um, OK,” he said. She continued to hold the CD out expectantly, and he realized he’d waited a beat too long to take it from her. Her eyes, which had softened during their conversation regained that look of intensity. Her arm seemed to grow longer toward him. “So … now, then?” Her face was impassive. He took the CD from her hand, stood up from his place at the table, and crossed the room to get it playing. When he turned back around, she was gone.

The CD continued to play as he went about his morning. He was glad to find it soothing music with a resonance similar to the angel’s voice, and in fact, similar to her face as well. The notes themselves seemed to form the image of her face in his mind, a sound portrait replaying the most subtle notes of her voice. Though he did ponder for some time the full purpose of her visit, he never once felt anxious or uneasy when recalling it. If nothing else, this one fact would remain true for the entirety of his future.

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I Love Nicki Minaj


I ain’t gotta get a plaque, I ain’t gotta get awards
I just walk up out the door all the girls will applaud.
All the girls will come in as long as they understand
That I’m fighting for the girls that never thought they could win.
Cause before they could begin you told them it was the end
But I am here to reverse the curse that they live in.
Got two bones to pick I’m a only choose one,
You might get addressed on the second album
Which means you can breathe until I mothafucking say so.
To all my bad bitches I can see your halo.
-Nicki Minaj, “I’m the Best

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