Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for June, 2009

John Black:The decline of the modern man

I am going to just say it: I use to watch Days of our Lives and dammit-all, I loved John Black. I have to provide some sort of context and that means back tracking to my teen years. Back then my parents were crazy tyrants and I had nothing but time on my hands. I was a bored, terribly shy girl and Days just seemed to give me that something. It wasn’t the over the top dramatics or convoluted murderous plots that hooked me but… that man with the jet black hair…the silent, intense, crazy, poetic, brooding, dark mad ass military man who lost his memory and his Marlena to that evil Stefano DiMera from time to time. I loved seeing him all sweaty and half naked messing with his guns while trying to save his woman! Dammit-all he was my man. You could say that John Black was the original cause of all my man troubles. Sure, I loved my father. Daddy was smart, charming and educated – but a putz. John Black on the other hand…now that guy had some wickedly dangerous moves. Seriously, how could any man I ever meet live up to all that?

My love for John Black got me to thinking about men in general. In this day and age it is rather fashionable for men to be “in touch with their feminine aspects”. Now that might sound wonderful, but I want a man to be a man. In between all this esoteric new age teaching some men are ball sack- less. My friend Haroun seems to have the balance right. He is very tuned in but still has the balls and crazy man stuff that drive women around the bend. When I am having a conversation with a man I don’t want to hear airy-fairy mumbo jumbo talk. I want it to be given to me straight and hard if you get my drift. The concept of the metrosexual man is one that fascinates me also. I love that men are taking care of themselves and all that jazz but hell, it would be such a shame if men lost all their inherent John-Black-ness amidst all gelling and styling.

Now that I am a grown ass woman who no longer watches Days, I have found a way to keep my love affair with John Black alive and kicking, but before I reveal my secret a bit of honesty is needed here…John has been replaced over time. Sawyer from LOST…Dean from Supernatural…As you can see John Black never really left me and If you listen carefully enough to my songs you might just find him there…half naked and kicking ass

posted by auriol in soapies and have Comments (6)

Slippery, it’s all so very slippery…

I love watching movies in the early hours of the morning. Thanks to modern technology I no longer have to go a video shop to get my fix. Last night I settled on In Bruges. I will be honest and say that I really wasn’t expecting much. I always thought that the hallmark of any good movie is that it leaves you thinking and this movie most certainly did that. Two hit men hide out in this little town and await orders after a job went horribly wrong. What really stood out for me was the idea of Purgatory and Redemption. For a while I thought my life was nothing but purgatory …lol!

Now that I am a bit older I have a gentler name for purgatory – transition. And the bigger the change the more painful purgatory becomes. We all know that change is constant but dealing with change when it comes knocking on your door sucks. Sure I could say something like, “just go with the flow” and “don’t resist” but what does that really mean? And the other saying that really gets me is this: “make a decision that is best for you”. Take this as an example …There are things that I would love but I honestly could live without . Sure I might not be happy but I would survive. But if I made a choice that made me happy while drastically affecting everyone around me – could I ever really be okay with that? How and where do I find my redemption or any kind of peace in the face of such a big decision?

The movie ( like life) was littered with shady characters ( drug dealers, a mob boss, a racist dwarf, etc ) who are all yearning for something. Again who can’t relate to that? All of this action takes place in a perfectly preserved medieval town….raising other issues around memory and the way time is perceived. Ultimately almost everyone dies and you have to wonder is it fate or destiny….and am I wise enough to know the difference? Slippery, it’s all so very slippery…

posted by auriol in life in general,Movies and have No Comments

LOST

I only got to bed at 4 this morning….and yes you can blame it all on LOST. I think that a lot of TV series (especially the weirder ones) shed light on not only the human condition but also have a metaphysical bent to them. That alone (well for me) make the shows a lot more alluring. Anyway, the theme I find the most appealing in LOST is that of destiny. I always had the notion that certain things are planned way ahead of schedule. Things are set in motion…events and people…like intricate pieces of a puzzle…that will influence the course of one’s life. And yes, I do believe that certain things are destined to happen and that no amount of running can or will change that. Just like LOST there is some mysterious intelligence that knows all the escape hatches and loop holes that we all sprint to when things get tough. I can speak from personal experience when I say that the things I have tried to run from have always found me in the most surprising and unusual ways.

So what of free will I hear you asking. Free will (in my mind) is just another way of saying, “I am going to take the scenic route instead of the free way!” I can freely admit to taking the scenic route many times…. when I decided to be a coward and not say what I needed to say… when I let others make decisions for me because I believed I was helpless and then resented their asses for it…..when I failed to do what I knew I should….and all those times when I hid the truth from myself. Yes, my life has been riddled with detours and back routes. And the conscious decision to take the free way hasn’t always been easy either. That path tends leads to even more questions and greater mysteries, and you never really know if you are where you’re supposed to be. One of my dreams a few months back illustrated that point perfectly. This higher intelligence that orchestrates these things… thought it would be hilarious if it used my favorite show (LOST) to make a few points clearer. Suddenly I was a survivor of a plane crash and was running up and down the island…

Needless to say I got the point and woke up with a huge smile on my face. Now that was clever…

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posted by auriol in tv shows and have No Comments

Man in the mirror

So Michael Jackson died. And honestly having to hear his music everywhere is a bit annoying. Now don’t get me wrong here, I danced (badly) and sang to his songs like everyone else did back in the day….but the way some people are reacting is a bit much.
I could go on and on about how we should honor every life and not place more value on his because he was a famous, rich, weird musician. But strange things happen when people die, and this applies to everyone.

When a complete asshole dies everyone conveniently forgets every shitty little thing he ever did. And even though the bastard never went to church or even believed in God, some pastor will go on and on about his good life and magnanimous deeds. The kids he never supported and the wife he beat up every Saturday night will sit there teary eyed and agree with every word the good old Father said. Death also brings out the ugly in some. I know of people who, as someone is dying, are already trying to hustle them out of property and money. They do this with a big smile, pretty words and gifts for the dying. I am sure there are people who are already profiting from Michael’s death this very minute.

Forgive me for sounding a bit dark here…but I my Granny is on her last legs so to speak. And there is nothing glamorous about it. She is experiencing the dying process like millions out there do. She is doing it without the benefit of a great doctor or a medical aid. As I am writing these words I wonder if I am doing enough to let her know that I care and love her. In fact I hardly know anything about her life as a young woman or that of her parents. I don’t know if she had any wild, crazy dreams… who broker her heart the first time….and when she fell out of love with my grandfather. I think I will call her and catch up….

I recently came through a crisis of sorts. Let’s just say it’s one of those events that made me question everything in my life. It’s not something I would want to repeat or recommend but getting through it taught me something valuable about remembrance. We have kids, boyfriends, lovers, jobs, bills, problems and we move on. It’s just so easy to forget people…to not see them….to cast them aside. Remembering how to love someone while they are alive is much harder and more rewarding…

Back to Michael…he got to live one hell of a life either way. Instead of focusing on him how his sound influenced the music industry, we should pay attention to what really matters in our own life and get on with it.

posted by auriol in famous people and have No Comments

“It’s elementary, my dear Watson.”

People, are all full of crap. We won’t listen to anyone or try anything new without “good” reason. And those “good” reasons are sometimes so arbitrary anyway. “Yes, I will go watch that movie because the radio DJ said it was good”. That we are lazy is nothing new. What is more shocking is our reluctance to listen to anything anyone who does not fit nicely into our frame of reference. This makes all of us super, super, super lazy! This brings me to the real subject of this blog: just when and why did we loose our natural curiosity.

I like the approach that kids have. As them why they did some silly thing and they will look at you with a straight face and say, “Because”. I sometimes wonder if my lost curiosity has made me a sadder, less interesting person…lol! When this thought popped into my mind a few years ago I made a conscious decision a) try out new things on a consistent basis and b) to seek out different people c) explore alternate modalities. In short – I will look into everything and anything before dismissing it. So although I am still full of crap (ask anyone who knows me) I’ve decided to become an investigator instead. This is something I don’t always get it right either. Although I must admit that over the years I have become more receptive. My old boss would often say, “Auriol, you are like a kid with a toy in the corner. You look at the toy for a while and then take it home to see if it really does what it’s supposed to.” I realized that she is right. This approach allows me to be more flexible…

I recently came across someone who I will call Bob for the sake of this blog posting. Now Bob was overtly sexual. So overt that it really shocked me (and that is saying something!). I found it odd that someone would behave that way. Still I knew that he was not a bad person so I gave him a fair hearing. When I am talking to people I try to see past all their masks and bull**it….and sometimes (as in the case with Bob) I get it right. Bob did eventually cross my line… but before he did he made me realize something about myself that I was very reluctant to look at or even hear. At the end of the day I got something meaningful from our interaction. Now this does not mean that every girl should indulge the likes of Bob as I did. Over the years I learnt a little something: when I am confronted with someone who pushes all my buttons or really pisses me off… instead of running away I ask what am I suppose to be learn from this. I know that once I have learnt it that issue or type of event will stop reoccurring in my life.

I have a great friend who has so many issues and problems he doesn’t know what to do with them. One day I suggested he look into other therapies – traditional and alternative – so that he could live life on his own terms. This smart man, highly intelligent man (without batting an eye) said NO. Of course I did take him on and we had a good old chat about it. My final words on the topic were: if there was something that could help me….I would look at least into it. And although he agreed with me on principle he still did not investigate any of it! And yes, he still has the same hang ups and issues that he had 12 years ago…

posted by auriol in life in general and have Comments (4)

No prayer like desire

It’s so silly this notion that we can have whatever we desire whenever we want it. Maybe those reality TV shows and the Law of Attraction is to blame. I just think that there are so many other things that have to be taken into consideration before jumping on that I-want-it-all-right-now- band wagon. This is what I have observed… there are things (of the messy and interesting kind) we have to go through before we can get those things we want.

With my music career…all I really ever wanted was the ability to write and sing my own music. Sure, I wanted money and all that crap but my first priority was always to simply to sing and be heard. I then had the pleasure of working with talented musicians who taught me to trust myself enough so I could sing fearlessly. Now there are many things I do not know about the music industry (and I am sure I will learn it) but I know that I am not scared anymore…and that I have nothing to prove to anyone. The only question that ever lurked in my head was this: What can I do today to get to where I need to be. Once I know what I could do (no matter how small the action) I would do it. And this is the approach I will continue to have.

Call it God or the Universe….but there is an intelligence out there that knows when you are ready to take the next step. There was a time when I tried my best to get my demos out to record companies….and strange things would always seem to happen. The CD would rock up there smashed in pieces or the address would no longer exist. After ensuring that I packaged the CD correctly and had the right address – still nothing happened. So I stopped trying that hard and got on with living my life and enjoyed simply being a musician. Then the miraculous happened. The record company found me. Just when I gave up all expectations the things I desired found me.

Now I wake up every morning excited about my life (our new house, the album launch, doing gigs) and do small things to keep me on track. And if some desire finds me along the way – fantastic! But I am done with all that trying and wishful thinking.

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posted by auriol in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

Where’s my man?

Let’s face it…this is the one question everyone asks. This question is naturally followed by other such as….What’s he looks like? When’s he coming and what can I do to make him come to me faster? Yes, we may deny it but at some point in time we all want to feel like a princess and be swept off our feet. Maybe it’s our parents and the way we have been conditioned and shampooed over the years.

Yes, let’s blame it on them and those soppy chick flicks and toe curling ballads that we never listen to. Some wait for years to hear the galloping hooves of their knight on his jet black stallion….and after years of waiting and lots of credit card debt (as a result of purchasing princess gear naturally), some run to their therapists, astrologers or resident psychics and demand, “Where is my man?”

Those who have a man ask a different question altogether. “When will he start behaving himself?”  This question starts to cause a greater deal of anxiety especially if a single friend (you know that girl who’s always hopping from one man to the other) seems to be having the time of her life or if your other married friends seems so much happier than you are.

Finding out what our blocks are often means revisiting the bloody crime scene of a love affair gone terribly wrong. Haroun Kola, blogger and Kahuna body massage practitioner shared his thoughts. “The worst relationship I was in involved a lady who was sexually abused by her dad. She knew no boundaries around her sexuality and was emotionally manipulative. I say I was blameless, I played a huge part in the destruction of the relationship too; I was extremely possessive and jealous and didn’t really make my true feelings known until it was too late. Some breakups are really hard, and the horrible things that you do to your lover at the end of the relationship allows you to see what kind of person you are, the things you are capable of and how you can be better at loving.”

Yes, terrible relationships can be great teachers. Author and business woman Madeline Lass gained some valuable insight about herself after four marriages. “I had these huge expectations of how I should be treated and when things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them, I took it so personally. I wanted my husband to be my friend, lover, husband, father, mother, child, manager, admirer, and guide. But he was just (4) poor guy (s) desperately trying to find his own way in a world that made bloody little sense. Time has brought acceptance of people’s vulnerability and it has brought self sufficiency because I learned to be my own friend, father, mother, child, manager, admirer and guide.”

The two timing boyfriend, the controlling husband, the emotionally unavailable guy or the commitment phobic partner all come bearing gifts if you take a closer look. These “bad men” bring the gift of clarity. After a terrible relationship we become very clear about how we will and will not be treated as well as knowing exactly what qualities we desire from a partner next time round. If you are really committed to attracting that fantastic man into your life honesty is required. This means being honest with yourself about….EVERYTHING that happened in that relationship.

Most of us are incapable of real honesty. It’s just easier to blame the other person for being a pig or an oaf. Sleep comes so much easier that way. A local musician who wishes to remain anonymous recognized a deeper truth. “You have to recognize that every person you come across is your mirror.

Most of us are not ready to admit that we are controlling or angry. Instead we attract that kind of person into our lives. They make it impossible for us to look away. We now have to deal with that person and all the buttons they are pressing for us. There is great healing if we do. If we don’t deal with it the same kind of person will keep showing up in different bodies.”

Just as easily as people fall in love they plummet out of it. You don’t need to flip through a gossip magazine to see it. Everyone is looking for their own bit of happiness. So just what do we do to get that man? One quotation provides clues… “Kiss your life. Accept it, just as it is. Today. Now. So that those moments of happiness you’re waiting for don’t pass you by.”

Be brave enough to accept what’s happening in your life. Be honest enough to reach out for help if you need it and take notice of all the great things you do have in your life. You may not have that fantastic red sports car…but at least you have enough cash to catch a taxi….

posted by auriol in love sucks and have No Comments

Off stage…

I could (without flinching) list all the things I desire. They would be the usual suspects: the car, money, great health and lots of stuff. But if I had to be really honest with myself I know that those things are merely surface objects. Yes, owning them would make my life a lot easier. I know that what I really desire is something that cannot be quantified….Sometimes I think it is the one quest that we all share…

A while back I bought a book and really I wasn’t expecting much. But boy oh boy…towards the end of the book I was almost in tears. I was really surprised at my own emotional response. When I put the book down I thought, “This writer is so gifted….that he can make me feel this deeply.” And the minute I thought that…I knew how to articulate my deepest desire. I wanted, above all else, to make people feel through the things I do…the music I write and sing and the life I live. I desire above all to know that who I am and what I do matters.

I often tell people that when I sing or write a great song I feel as though I have just eaten the best meal (and dessert) cooked by a chef who loves what he does. Sometimes when I have finished singing a song I look at Keira (my guitarist) and say, “soos kos!” and she gets what I’m saying. Music always leaves me feeling satisfied and nourished.

Before I stared writing my own songs or singing I would drive everyone crazy by listening to Radiohead. My mister hates Radiohead and claims that when I am listening to their music I am either angry or sad…lol! And maybe he has a point. I would put on the CD and in that moment I could be as pissed off or sad as I needed to be. When my daughter was small I would wake up early and listen to music first. That way I would be more than ready to face anything…lol! And I needed that because in those crazy moments when everything’s coming at you so fast…. you need that space. I needed space to breathe. I needed to find something that would let me know that I am okay…that who I am and what I am doing matters…

At first I thought that I would only get that feeling while singing. I wanted above all to feel that good about myself all the time. And at first I got a glance of that something magical every now and then….when my mister walked past me and smiled or when my daughter cracked a funny joke…or when friends call at the moment when I needed it most. It’s funny but as I am writing this I realized that…over the years I have learnt to give that to myself and finally…lordy lord…I am okay…I am enough….off stage and on…

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posted by auriol in inspiration and have No Comments

Intimacy

Real Intimacy is rare I discovered. It’s the one thing we all want. No, let me be honest and say it’s the one thing I desire most. It’s one of the main reasons why I write or sing. Ask any real musician and they will tell you that it’s what drives them ….the ability to reach people. If only achieving intimacy could be as easy as switching on a light. Whether we want to admit it or not we are all influenced by silly things like soppy chick flicks and other people’s experiences. We look at what they have and decide then and there that that is what intimacy should look and taste like. And anything that does not fit that mould is instantly discarded. I am no better at this intimacy game…the truth is that I am more intimate and vulnerable with some friends and in my music than I am with the some people.

I have decided (for my own self preservation) that I am never going to find all the things I desire in one person….and so I come up with an ingenious solution…I have multiple misters…lol! I have my real mister…my musical misters….my facebook mister…my best friend misters….and my party misters… And while it all seems rather fun and frivolous I know that it is based on fear. Sure I could take that leap and just put myself out there….but eish…I am too much of a coward for that. Does this mean there isn’t real love or understanding with my real mister? Not at all…in fact there is – just of a different kind.

People are weird in general . My best friend Mo and I had my family worried for years. They just didn’t get how we could spend so much time together…why we are so in sync with each other. In fact they would walk past us and say, “You should have married him instead.” Both of us found this rather hilarious…because we understood what our relationship was really about – real honest intimacy…

So when I write or sing a song…or listen to other musicians…this is what I secretly hope I will find…

posted by auriol in love sucks and have No Comments

The drugs don’t work…

My youngest brother was a drug addict. This started when he was 14 and 2 years later…and for a while it seemed as though nothing changed. Now when all the drama was going down  I had the luxury of not living at home or in the same city…So I really didn’t know what my family was going through on a daily basis. Believe me when I say they keep me informed about everything. I got so many phone calls….and in the end there was really nothing I could do but listen to my parents and try to understand and empathize. Well, I thought that it didn’t affect me until I sat down to write a song. The song is called “IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE”. Here are a few lines from the song I wrote for him…

Don’t have time for regrets, not today
It’s just so hard to forget you anyway
You thought you could fly, so you clipped your wings and took to the sky
In the blink of an eye, I
I watched someone I love, slowly die
He didn’t even say goodbye, in the blink of an I, eye

It’s odd how I will write a song and only once it’s done will really understand what the song is about. I have waited a long time to write a song about my brother…because I never knew (truthfully) how I felt about him….Yes, I love him and dammit I am so angry…I keep thinking that this will end soon. Still the truth is that my brother does not know why he is doing what he is doing. All he knows is that it feels good….

posted by auriol in Addiction and have No Comments