Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for September, 2010

I Shall Not Walk Alone

I have written and thought about killing myself many times. But when someone close to you actually gets it right – everything changes.

I just read an article in the New York Times where a student taped his roommate’s intimate encounter. The roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide a few days later. What struck me most was just how lonely and vulnerable he must have felt.

I told my husband that my “job” as a friend is simply to listen to what those closest to me can or can’t say. Everyone needs a safe space where they can share their craziest stuff and not feel judged for it.

This world is littered with people who make the “wrong choices” and sometimes I have been right along with them. Trust me, there is nothing more painful than that feeling. And the crap that goes on in our heads during that time is even worse.

It’s filled with “why did I?” , “I should have…”, “I must do…” and “why couldn’t I see that…?”

It really is the hardest thing to do: Accepting where you find yourself. …

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Guns on the Table

I am usually more intrigued by the psychotic villains than the boring, predictable heroes. I like to think that most people share this view. So yes, I was really annoyed when they killed off Franklin in True Blood and relieved that Russell, the King of Mississippi did not die a true death. This kind of thinking worries my family a great deal…lol!

I think they would be happier if I wrote funny, happy songs about love and teddy bears. I ignore them because writing about the darker emotions is just more appealing. When I write music I often become the people I write about. Over the years writing music has become more than merely cathartic. It has made me more empathic.

I have never dismissed people who think or do things differently. Although I might shoot them the odd “are-you-out-of-your-mind?” look. I am open minded not insane, remember? I think this tendency had its roots with my father who was a bit of a revolutionary in his day.

I was always being lectured about this struggle and that injustice. And while I always listened, I was always more interested in the emotions and thinking that lead them down a certain path. Whereas the old man was more concerned with in righting the wrongs and overturning the “system”.

The ability to empathise with people comes in very handy when I write music. Even when I write about a crazed lunatics or happen to be killing off someone in a song – it really does feel good. Why? Because there is such freedom in just allowing oneself to feel an emotion and release it.

It’s been hammered in us. Don’t think this. Don’t feel that. And all those repressed stuff tend to drive people batty and make them do some crazy s**t!

So what if I don’t always write about the “good stuff”? There are more than enough musicians doing that. I write and sing for balance and maybe some kind of peace. If I happen to find people that can relate – cool. If not I guess the body count in my next album will be a lot higher….lol!

posted by auriol in life in general and have No Comments

I’m Every Woman

I get to meet lots of interesting people. It is one of the perks of my job. This past weekend in Eldo’s was no different. Whenever I meet exceptional people I wonder where they get their courage and balls from and why I, at times, feel like I have none.Let me explain. When I sing I feel the most free I ever get to be.

Yet, despite all the good fortune that has come way there is still this 6 year old wondering, “Are they really talking about me?” So when I ran into a compulsive attention seeker I was really taken aback. Everything about her screamed “look at me. This lady was the exact opposite of who I am. Was I jealous? Not even a little bit. But I knew why she was being shown to me.

She got me thinking about the fallacies and plain stupid thoughts I have about my own self worth. There’s all these “should be more of’s” in my head. I should be more organised, smarter, street wise, cook better, prettier, thinner, more exciting in bed, easier to approach, sociable, run a better house and dammit I should own a car by now! But because I suffer from all those “should be more of’s” I end up committing a very grave sin. I demand less from the people in my life.

Immediately my standards drop because I am less than I should be – in my head. I think everyone can relate to that. In my mind there is a link between your self worth and how capable you are of giving and receiving love. On stage I often say that love sucks. But if I had to be truthful I would admit to being an incurable romantic. I am just full of shit because I don’t feel I am worthy of any of it. Yeah, love is for other people….

At the gig Charles made an insightful comment. “Most of the music today celebrates the loss of love. They are all mourning it,” he said. Of course he had a point. My argument will always be, “You need to have a balanced view of love. Love is not always kind or easy or nice.”

Trust me I do write songs that speak of love and all it’s magnificence. I just don’t share them or even take them out of the closet that often. Most of the times I peek at them from behind a half opened door. Give me time. When my balls drop I might let others hear me sing that song…lol!

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Don’t Smoke in Bed

I always tell my single friends to wear good panties “because you just never know when something interesting might happen”. I am not advocating promiscuity by the way. If you are lonely and in need of a good ole rogering – good panties just make sense…lol!

There are certain things you can logically anticipate. Other things will catch you unaware no matter what! I think it’s vital that we accept that for our own sanity. Here’s another thing to consider. No one can be aware 24/7. It is just not possible. Desirable – sure. Possible – not always…

Honestly, I can’t be nice or take the high road all the time. No one can unless they are prepared to visit a psych ward.  Someone once told me, “You are an entertainer. People don’t want to see someone who is moping or anti-social.” My first reaction was, “You have no idea of what it means to be human. There’s a time for everything.”

I get that people loose interest easily.Musicians are being packaged and produced every second. Fans want access to “their” musicians and real contact if possible. But what happened to accepting people’s humanity in between all this mess?

There is just so much pressure to “live the life of your dreams”. Sometimes we forget that there is something bigger at work than ourselves.  When you forget that  – the “should do this” or “must act like that” comes into play.

Crap (kak) man – just be yourself and wear good panties. After all, you just never know what could happen!

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have No Comments

Dreadlock Holiday

“Mummy, I have a hard life. I wake up early in the morning (6:15) and come back late. Why do you have to stress me out like this?” All of this drama because she could not locate her socks. I did not have the energy to start an early morning war with that little girl – so I said nothing.

Her little rant really got me thinking about gratitude and empathy. In her world she matters most and who am I to argue with that? Granted, she is only a small girl but I worry. Some people never grow out of that mentality and if I don’t wake her up to her (sometimes) selfishness – who will?

Sure, we get older and life gets trickier. We have bills to pay and things that we cannot run away from. That is just part and parcel of being alive but does it mean that we stop caring about others?

Granted I am not in the soup kitchens or working with the disadvantaged but (and here comes the justification) I do make space for people as best I can and I try to be aware of my own faults and double standards when they crop up. Empathy is what matters most to me…

I do not believe in the saying “charity starts at home”. It starts wherever it starts and that should be good enough because a kindness rendered to someone – whether it be a kind word, smile or a piece of bread – matters. It changes the one giving it and the one receiving it.

So while I get annoyed at my daughter I am aware of the fact that I spoil her. A lot of who she is has everything to do with me. And did I mention that she is one fantastic kid? lol

posted by auriol in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Jazz on the Lake

The last few weeks have been pure hell and I am going to blame it on Mercury Retrograde! Everything that could go wrong in terms of communication did. Mails did not reach people while those who did receive mail did not understand what I meant to say. I got nasty texts and crazy calls! It was just so messy!

I know I can be difficult. I like lurking in corners. I don’t always want people to see me or know I am there. I also don’t always pick up my phone. Honestly, I can be a real hermit and sometimes this singing business gets in the way of all that…lol!

The communication hell I went through really got me thinking about my need for approval. I really thought I was above all that. After all I am a grown ass woman with a family and mad cats too boot! I don’t need anyone to like me or think I am nice. But when I got a particularly nasty text I really was taken aback by how much I was hurt by it.

I opted to just put the matter behind me and made a very important decision. I will let the people know, those who mean most to me, exactly how I feel about them –  Mercury Retrograde or not! Anyway, I always learn the most when things go wrong or at least not as planned!

As they did in Montreux. I learnt so many things in Switzerland. I learnt the value of control and order. Sure it was an expensive lesson but believe me every time I step on stage I am reminded. At Jazz on the Lake I learnt to identify the feeling that says, “I am ready to sing!” I never knew what it was until it was pointed out by Wolfgang.

It really is true – there are certain things that you can only learn by doing. Sometimes that doing sucks and causes so much anxiety but all it takes is finding some meaning in the doing…

posted by auriol in life in general and have No Comments