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Too Sad to Sing?

Janie 21 Apr 03 - 11:07 PM
wysiwyg 21 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM
Phil Cooper 21 Apr 03 - 11:16 PM
Amos 21 Apr 03 - 11:17 PM
Sorcha 21 Apr 03 - 11:39 PM
cobber 21 Apr 03 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Apr 03 - 12:17 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM
Cluin 22 Apr 03 - 12:26 AM
Mudlark 22 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Apr 03 - 01:06 AM
Sorcha 22 Apr 03 - 01:10 AM
Janie 22 Apr 03 - 09:00 AM
wysiwyg 22 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM
sharyn 22 Apr 03 - 11:55 AM
MMario 22 Apr 03 - 11:56 AM
kendall 22 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM
SINSULL 22 Apr 03 - 07:51 PM
Janie 22 Apr 03 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Apr 03 - 11:59 PM
sharyn 23 Apr 03 - 02:00 PM
GUEST 23 Apr 03 - 02:13 PM
MAG 23 Apr 03 - 02:25 PM
Carly 23 Apr 03 - 05:25 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 24 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM
Hester 24 Apr 03 - 02:06 PM
Little Robyn 24 Apr 03 - 06:00 PM
Little Robyn 24 Apr 03 - 06:44 PM
Little Robyn 27 Apr 03 - 04:45 AM
Janie 08 May 03 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,mink 08 May 03 - 09:07 AM
MMario 08 May 03 - 09:13 AM
Bagpuss 08 May 03 - 09:24 AM
Mudlark 08 May 03 - 06:01 PM
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Subject: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Janie
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:07 PM

Listening to music and singing have always been wonderful solace to me during hard times, and I nearly always have some tune rattling around in my head or under my breath. but I realized today that I have stopped singing in the last few weeks and can not even find the will to hum in the shower. I have been greatly grieved by our government going to war in Iraq--horrified and obsessed. Then I had to euthanize our beloved 14 year old dog. This was particularly rough because my spouse and child were away and unreachable so I had to go through it alone.

In the past, I would sing more through these times to express my sorrow and anger, and to find comfort. Instead I am shutting down. This really bothers me. I used to do some painting and drawing--not a great artist--but it was an important creative and emotional outlet for me. Then my older sister died of cancer, and I have not touched a paintbrush or drawing pad since. That was 12 years ago. I am really frightened the same thing is happening with my singing.

Thanks for listening.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM

It sounds to me like you need, basically, a lap to curl up in and just feel some feelings. They are not supposed to be felt alone. If you can find a safe lap to hole up in and thaw out, you will find your way back to the music.

If nothing else, PM me what you have been thinking and feeling and I can be a starter-lap. (The tools I use are described at www.rc.org.) My time online each day is variable, but I think you will find that the time you spend writing will bring healing tears, more than whatever I say in response, so go ahead and write and let's see if we can get you started.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:16 PM

Janie,

    Sorry to hear that. I, too, have felt that no matter what else was going on that the music was always good. There's not much that hasn't been already said about the folly of Iraq, so I'll not go into that here. I send my condolences on the loss of your dog. I still get tears in my eyes years later thinking of a cat who died at the age of seven from premature kidney failure. Burying him in the back yard was easy, compared to cleaning the kitty dishes afterward. I have always found solace with music, particularly folk music and hope you can find the way back.

    If you're called a different direction, my best wishes. The music will be here if you want it.

--Phil


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Amos
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:17 PM

I sympathize. The way is through, not back -- and you get to decide how long you will have your voice and art suppressed by external events. Somewhere along the line, I would hope you would grab it back iin your own name and restore it to your own control and determination. Your call.

A


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:39 PM

I'll be here too, for PM if you need me. Been there, done that.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: cobber
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:55 PM

As a person who spent most of my life using music to vent anger, frustration and sadness as well as the good times, I know that someti8mes it feels just like you describe and even music doesn't help. Happily, this usually passes and music is often the first support that we reach for. I hope this happens for you. Good luck. There are hundreds of mudcatters who care about you.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 12:17 AM

Reminds me of one of my favorite ditties, West Coast 2001, appropriate for inclusion in the next DT:

Thank god, she finally shut-up!
Thank god, she quit her bitchin.'
Now drink your beer,
Get out of here,
And get back in the kitchen!

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

So you have sought solace the "kindness of strangers?" Give up the writing and go back to the artwork.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM

Can this be moved down to the Lower BS Section?


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 12:26 AM

Why, Guest?

I predict you'll sing again, Janie. Soon. When you're ready.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Mudlark
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM

Janie...I sympathise. My husband died 2 years ago and I thought I would never sing again. It was a while until I could actually pick up my guitar, but after a few weeks I'd occasionally catch myself singing while doing the dishes, just little snatches of things. I finally got myself really back to music by offering to sing and play at a convalescent hospital. Once I had an actual date and time set, sheer panic got me back to practicing.

Susan's suggestion of writing out what you feel is a good one. I have no children or close family, so did much of my grieving, and healing, alone, and writing helped a lot. It gets all that amorphous, circling sadness out of the mind and onto paper in a linear way, where it can be dealt with.

Very sorry about your dog...they are dear companions and they don't last long enough. It's a grievous loss and it must have been very difficult to deal with all alone.

Keep us posted on how things are going, OK?

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 01:06 AM

Nancy - losing a spouse and I am grieved by our government going to war in Iraq are one TOTALLY different levels of loss.

Look, Janie chickie, chick....YOU NEED THERAPY and you need it QUICK!

These are not "normal" reactions for 97% of the population.

Don't hesitate - seek REAL PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL help in the morning....PLEASE!

It could get worse...much worse...and then you won't be able to even write, or speak, or move.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 01:10 AM

Gotta love your compassion, Greg. Back at ya,for what it's worth. Nancy, the other Corgi Lady is always here.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Janie
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 09:00 AM

Thank all of you for your comments and support. Susan, I will pm you--I think you probably hit the nail on the head. Amos, you are right. I do need to reclaim my power.

After I wrote my message last night I just sat and cried, and I think that is really what I needed to do. Reading all of your responses this morning, both those that expressed overt compassion and those that said "Get a life!" helps ease my fear that I will not recover the power of song. I am grateful to this diverse community of folkies.

Thanks from my heart.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM

Here's something you can try to keep the right kind of tears flowing. Think of people watching you do this, with delighted, relaxed, quiet faces.... (Look up my Mudcat picture where I am standing with AMos and his young daughter Barky, in the EVENTS section, and use our faces if you like.) As you do the following, think of us just paying attention to you, waiting but not pressuring you.

Next, think of a song you wish you felt like singing. Then think of the best times in your life at the same time... Then think of opening your throat enough to sing that song relaxedly and in fill expressive power. Then, take a deep relaxed breath as though starting the song, and try to get that relaxed, open throat just right. Next try starting the song.

Somewhere along that continuum of thoughts and actios, I bet the tears will start. Go ahead and let them out. Every time they start to slow down, go back over the sequence to find the spot where the fresh spurt of tears is, and take the time to breathe and cry at that spot. Do this over and over till you feel like yawning, then yawn yourself off to a good healing nap.

This is what I call good-news crying-- it's not at all, on the inside, like crying directly about the loss. The attention is put and kept on the thing we want or miss, the goodness of it, and our own inherent power and goodness. (It's like the happy tears at a wedding or childbirth.) It's far more healing and adding someone else's attention to it multiplies the healing power.

You will find that this kind of crying leads to spontaneous musings about the big questions wrapped up in the know of topics these hurts touch upon inside you. Not only will you feel better, you will find yourself able to think and act much more flexibly about anything connected to it, even things you did not realize were connected.

You can use these kinds of techniques to reclaim anything you have "lost" to numbness or rigid negativity of any sort.

And I look forward to hearing all about the wonderful things you will remember... you can retaste all the sweetness you've known, and put it back in your life, in the present. All you need to remember is that reclaiming the joy that got shut down with the hurt is something you can do, you are absolutely strong enough to do it and you do not have to do it alone; it will bring you more joy than you think you've lost.... and remember that every act of subversion against that numbness brings the best we humans can be, out into the world where it belongs, in a world that needs it so much.

So------ come on out! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: sharyn
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 11:55 AM

Janie,

If you have any kind of spiritual practice -- whatever it is (yoga, meditation, church, 12-step, etc., etc., -- get back to it. It will help.

I expect you might be backing away from singing because it opens up the breath and opens up the grief. Once, when I was trying to get in shape to record an album, everytime I did vocal exercises I would break down sobbing. This was disconcerting, to say the least. I finally just let myself cry.

And don't set yourself any time limits. Grief is different for each of us and has no universal time table. And we all have grieved -- or will, if we have escaped so far.

If it will help you to PM me, go ahead. I check the Mudcat messages a couple of times a day.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: MMario
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 11:56 AM

**note: this advice doesn't work for everybody

rent a really sappy movie; get some double-chocolate brownies (the really gooey kind) and a couple pints of your favorite Ben & Jerry's; curl up with an afghan in front of a nice fire built of apple and cherry.

Indulge a bit. *THEN* pick things up again.

**only half kidding tho' - sometimes what you need to snap out of a depression/sad streak is a bit of indulgence.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: kendall
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM

When the "Black dog mood" washes over me, the last thing I want to hear is, Cheer up, get over it, play music etc. I must let it run its course.
There is a line from a Utah Phillips song, (Rock salt and nails) ...too empty to sing, too lonesome to cry. Been there, done it, and only time cures it.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:51 PM

Kendall has it right, Janie. Sometimes, you just need to grieve and get it out of your system.

If misery loves company: after two depression-free years, I recently found myself crying at odd times even in the office. The recent war brought Viet Nam back full force and the face of a young man who died there. After a week of this, I seriously considered calling my therapist long distance for help. I was able to go back to all the "exercises" I had been taught to deal with depression. I have worked myself out of it. But the major cure comes from allowing myself to be angry and sad and whatever. These are healthy emotions. Let them run their course and you will be fine. Hold them in and they will fester.

garg - I can't read your yellow text. Very frustrating. If you must whisper, please do it in black or blue.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Janie
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 10:31 PM

Until I wrote how afraid I was of losing my music for good, I don't think I really understood the depth of it. And here in this wonderful, music-focused forum, are the people who could hear and understand how essential that music can be to a person. Naming that fear and having it validated, really eases it.

Many of you have sent pm's. Absolute strangers reaching out to offer compassion and support. So many "laps to curl up in" as Susan talked of above. Knowing that many of you have been through something similar and are singing today is very comforting. I see that the music does not have to go the way of the artwork. Indeed, the music has been in my life ALL my life, in a way that the artwork never was. It may have gone underground for a little while, but is not likely to run dry. The music dwells in my heart, and my heart has been hurting from a lot of things, so I have been trying to avoid that place.   

May we all dwell in our hearts.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 11:59 PM

The fore-going question is NOT rhetorical!!!!






PLEASE Contact your local fire/police department...



The mudcat-forum should NOT be considered a valid responce area for "sick" psychological indivduals.



Sincerely

Gargoyle




Yeah,,,,,you can TRY to "wash" this responce in the imperial-soap for the Laughing Feline....but this one is "captured" like a "black-panthin'-panther"



The Joe-Clones   taught me to beware


I don't know WHAT kind of "Kick" you MudCat-Late-Comer's get out of para-psychology....but if this chick...decides to to "give-a-kick" TONIGHT...Her spirit will rest un-easy upon YOUR bones....not my owns!!!!


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: sharyn
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 02:00 PM

Janie,

At some point you might want to pick up a pencil or paintbrush and let yourself see what happens when you do. There might be some pieces to pick up there, too, since you wrote about it.

Indeed, may we all live in our hearts.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 02:13 PM

It will come back try not to worry about it not being there at the moment. Been there,done that and got the advice from a good friend who had been there too.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: MAG
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 02:25 PM

Isadora Duncan could not dance after her children drowned. After awhile when she was able to ease back into it, she found it helped her more than anything. (It WAS a spiritual practice for her.)

Not isolating is a big step in the right direction.

yours, MA


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Carly
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 05:25 PM

I met my first husband through music; music was an important part of our life together, and music was the last thing he let go of before he died. It took me the better part of two years to even begin to sing again, and even now, 18 years later, there are some songs impossible for me to hear without tears.But my voice did return, and music still fills my life. Give yourself time. Talk and cry and listen to music that soothes you. Also, walk away from newscasts if you can until you feel better; the constant barrage about war won't help. In my situation, the support of my family and friends while I was healing quite literally saved me; use whatever support system is available, as long as you need to. I send my sympathy; feel free to PM me if you need another person to talk to.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM

Janie, Darling:
wait until you're all alone and no one can hear you
get out whateve instrument you play, if any., sit down and sing the saddest songs you know. Pay particular attention to the words and let them get right inside you,.
Then, when you can't take it anymore and you feel like crying your heart out,
Do it, lie down on your bed or on a couch or the floor and cry until you can't cry anymore. then get up and go back to sainging like you used to./
Love

Jody and Donna Gibson


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Hester
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 02:06 PM

Hi, Janie:

Until you can sing your own songs again, perhaps you might take comfort from listening to songs about other people who have lost their beloved dogs, such as Anne Brigg's "I Thought I Saw You Again" or Edie Brickell's "Ghost of a Dog":

Ghost of a Dog

how can that dog be barkin' in the backyard?
we ran over him years ago
how can that dog be runnin' by the back fence?
we ran over him years ago
ghost of a dog
barkin' in the backyard
how can that dog be scratchin' at the back door?
we ran over him years ago
how can that dog be lying under that shady tree
where we buried him years ago?
ghost of a dog
flyin' through the back yard

Hope your pup's spirit is running free, just like the ones in these two songs. Best wishes on your recovery.

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 06:00 PM

Today, 25th April, is ANZAC day in New Zealand. It's a public holiday when we remember the soldiers that fought (and died) 88 years back, in the madness at Gallipoli. Eric Bogle's 'Band played Waltzing Matilda' tells some of the story if you don't know about it.
Lots of old soldiers, and young people as well, were up early to march in the dawn parades all round the country and the media is full of it.
The radio was playing the Warsaw Concerto and have promised to play Benjamin Brittin's War Requieum at midday. TV is showing a doco on the last of the kiwi ANZAC survivors and war stuff is everywhere.
When I climbed into the shower I was feeling a bit low but then a voice in my head (sounded like Pete Seeger) started singing 'I can see a new day' which I'd forgotten years ago. The words cheered me up - made me feel lots better!
'....when all men are brothers
and the sun shines on a world that is free.'
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 06:44 PM

I don't believe it!
I can't see 'I can see a new day' on the DT!
So Janie, here are the words that cheered me up this morning.

I can see                   Les Rice 1962

I can see a new day,
A new day soon to be,
When the storm clouds are all past
And the sun shines on a world that is free.

I can see a new world,
A new world coming fast,
When all men are brothers
And hatred forgotten at last.

I can see a new man,
A new man standing tall,
With his head high and his heart proud
And afraid of nothing at all.

I can see a new day,
A new day soon to be,
When the storm clouds are all past,
And the sun shines on a world that is free.

Stand tall Janie. This too will pass!


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 04:45 AM

I found my Pete Seeger record and we played it on our radio show - just after the ANZAC memorial bracket, as a song of hope.
I felt a lot better after that!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Janie
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:05 AM

Just wanted to let all of you know that I'm much better. The tunes are back rattling around my head and I'm singing again. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the magic of reaching out and being responded to by all of you that opened up the flow again.

Blessings,

Janie


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: GUEST,mink
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:07 AM

Really pleased for you Janie.


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: MMario
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:13 AM

Glad to hear that Janie!


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:24 AM

Gargoyle: "The mudcat-forum should NOT be considered a valid responce area for "sick" psychological indivduals."

Leaving aside the issue that Janie was most likely experiencing emotional distress well within the range of normality and it would be a stretch to define her experience as psychologically sick. Why should this forum (I assume you mean the main forum and you think it should be in BS?) not be used by people with psychological illnesses? In fact other people have posted about their experiences of eg depression and how it has impacted on their musical lives. Why should this be any different from someone posting about a physical health problem like for example arthritis, and how that impacts on their participation in the musical world?


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Subject: RE: Too Sad to Sing?
From: Mudlark
Date: 08 May 03 - 06:01 PM

Hi Janie....Glad you reached out...glad it helped. Finding your way back to music must be a joy.


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