Monday, December 24, 2012

Scenes from a summer Christmas...

A few pics, before I disappear for a few days!  Merry Christmas to everyone!

The last piece of unwrapped panforte, because I forgot to take any before I cut them up, and wrapped them!

A munchkin who wants some!

Little nativity on top of the heater (which won't get turned on until late May or early June!)

Our family room with Christmas tree (and guitars, which seem to be multiplying!)

The Green Lady who watches over us all year round.

This is about as tidy as it ever gets!

A small dragon caught in the flash.

The tree...and the other tree (an ex-light pole made of jarrah) which holds our house up!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Wolf Bride", of the non-christmassy type...and happy Summer Solstice!...

(Oh, and happy Solstice everyone!  Here it is midsummer, and I look forward to the gradual slanting AWAY of the sun, though we have long, hot, stifling months to get through yet!)

I thought the last post would be my...well, last...for the year.  But inspiration strikes when we least need it sometimes!  I've made some panfortes, I've wrapped most of the presents, the house is semi-clean, so this morning I lay in bed with the beginnings of a song going round in my head.  This had its genesis a few days ago.  I was laid up on the couch with one of my shocking headaches, and when I cop one of these, there is nothing much I can do but lie down, wait it out...and think.  It gives me some small comfort, to weigh against the depressing fact that I probably lose one and a half to two months out of every year to headaches of one kind or another, that occasionally the enforced stillness and thinking produces an idea for a painting, a song, a poem, or SOMETHING so I can tell myself it's not time totally wasted.  I was pondering the problem of my song 'Beauty Remembers'.  Not a problem in itself, but to perform it requires about 10 minutes of explanation.  That's what happens when you change a beloved and well-known fairytale to suit yourself, and then write a song about the END of it!  So it occurred to me that the best way to avoid a long and boring introduction would be to tell the WHOLE story through song (and perhaps some spoken words/poems).  A 'Beauty Song Cycle' if you like.  I didn't think anymore of it then, and the last few days have been a bit mad.  But this morning the thought returned and woke me early and then wouldn't let me get back to sleep.  So I wrote another song.  It's still very rough and I don't think it's actually finished, but I really wanted to get it down quickly, because if I don't, by the time all the Christmas chaos is over, I won't remember the tune at all!

So here is 'Wolf Bride', which is Beauty explaining (well, I hope it explains) why she loves the Beast and why she doesn't need him to turn into a man.  After this, I'd better start thinking a bit more clearly about how many songs I need and roughly what each of them need to say.  And once they're all written and perfect (ha ha), I'll need someone willing to sit and listen for a half hour or so.  But first things first. Create the songs, worry about audiences later!

And if I get really keen, I might post some photos of our decorations and so forth later.  I've gone a bit bonkers on bunting (making bunting can become an addiction, I've discovered), but I think I like it better than tinsel.  I've also been painting and making things for little people and relatives...phew!  Unfortunately all my prayers for a cool Christmas day have gone unanswered and it looks like it will be another scorcher, about 40˚C (or just over the old century).

We finished 'The Hobbit' this morning.  Well, I actually finished it last night, and closed the book to discover the munchkins fast asleep on the sofa next to me.  So I had to read the last chapter again today.  I'm going to start Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' tonight, despite our weather, it seems an appropriate choice in regard to the time of the year, and the fact that biggest munchkin is 11 just like Will in the book.  And it will be such a pleasure to revisit a childhood favourite!

Late addition:  The lyrics, in case they're not clear

Wolf bride - Beauty song cycle (© Christina Cairns Dec 2012) 

The stories will tell you it takes one kiss
The stories will tell you it takes just one kiss
But I don’t need stories to make a prince of you
I would have you no other way than this.

You are my wild and terrible one
In Nature’s great (pure?) image made.
You are my wild and beautiful one
And I would have you no other way.

This talk of curses and kisses
Conceived in the minds of small men
Why in God’s name would I choose one of them
When I have you (a king?) instead?

Why would I want a mere man in my bed
When I have a whirlwind, a tempest, a storm.
Your howling cry wakes something deep inside
I choose the river, the mountain, the snow
I choose to be the Wolf Bride.

I have lived among men long enough
To know they are petty and cruel,
They beat their wives, they lie to their friends
They beat (starve?) their children too.

And you, with the strength to tear me apart
Have not touched a hair on my head
Your wild eyes full of truth, no guile in your soul
Why would I not give you my heart.

So I will choose mountain, and river and snow
And I will let the wild in my own heart grow.
I will choose the great (rough?) beast, I will walk by his side
I will be no other’s but the great wolf’s bride.

The stories will tell you it takes one kiss
The stories will tell you it takes just one kiss
But I don’t need stories to make a prince of you
I would have you no other way than this.

Edited 7th June 2017 to add new Soundcloud link, as Divshare seems to have swallowed all my old recordings!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas...peace and goodwill to all

We are nearly at the end of another year.  A year of pain and sorrow for so many, and my heart goes out to all of them.  I hope 2013 will bring peace, and compassion, and hope for us all.

As for me, I am my usual disorganised self, and have not sent out my cards, nor even made my usual 'every-christmas-without-fail' panfortes in time to post them to far-flung loved ones (sorry little brother, maybe a new year panforte?!).  I'm feeling a bit numb by this time, the over-commercialisation just depresses me, even when I find myself getting caught up in it.  I long for something simpler, cleaner, quieter.  Christmas carols, real ones, not 'Frosty the Snowman'.  Sung by people I know, not pre-recorded by the latest pop sensation.  Family and friends and small gifts, home-made or chosen with care.  A story about a tiny baby, small children dressed up as shepherds and kings and tripping over their dads' old dressing gowns.  And hope.  Hope, compassion and peace for us all, no matter what spiritual creed we follow, no matter where we are.

And so, I wish you ALL a safe, joyful, peaceful Christmas season, and a happy and hopeful new year. Follow your dreams, be creative, love and be loved...and don't forget to fly.

With love and hope,

I must not forget how to fly (detail.  © 2007)
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