Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for February, 2011


When I was in university I was asked a strange question. “Auriol, do you think an ant knows its purpose?” I looked at her  and after a dramatic pause said, “Let’s go smoke and eat. We’ll talk about this later”. Later, of course, never came but I always wondered what sparked that question.

Now that I am older and have faced those looting ants, I have come to the following conclusions. All animals have an instinctive knowing; they know and deeply understand their purpose. They know what it is they have to do to survive.  We are the ones who struggle, question and live our lives (at times) without grace or understanding…

Just the other day I was out walking in my garden when a thought occurred to me. Just like animals we too have our natural rhythms and seasons.  The problem I have is that I never know just where I am on that wheel. That’s when dreams come in handy. When I am out of sorts I am plagued with dreams about missing trains or I find myself at school and later in some dodgy part of town.

When I am particularly troubled I go for a walk in my garden to get clarity. On one of my meanderings the image of a river came to mind and a message along with it. We all get ourselves into troubling situations and instead of accepting where we are – we fight, we deny or we run away. I was being shown that if I just relaxed I would get to where I needed to be. Instead of trusting that there was something bigger than myself at play, I got out of the boat, plunged into the waters and loudly shouted “I need”, “I want”, “Why I must I?”  and “Dammit all to hell!”

Who knows why we go through the things we do. Some would say we are tested from time to time. After coming out the other side I know this for sure. Trying to control never helps. Having a level head, family and friends do. Instead of shouting and cursing the heavens, I write music and through it am reminded of my purpose and grace. That way I can stay in the boat and enjoy the ride…

posted by auriol in the other side,Uncategorized and have No Comments

The Will to Live

My mother taught me many things – some good, bad and some down right ugly. The one thing I will always remember is how she starts her day. When we moved to JHB I discovered just how important it was that I do the same. The only thing I have added to my morning routine is a good dose of Ben Harper.

I listen to one the song I Want To Be Ready. I love the opening lines: “How I am strong is to know what makes me weak//How I am found is to know just whom I seek”. For me this is a call to remember what matters  most because trust me, sometimes I do loose the plot.

The one thing I have experienced firsthand is that when I forget the Universe bitch slaps with me a horrendous reminder. She knows that I am not smart enough to figure it out myself.  So she prods me in the wrong direction so I can  get to the answers on my own. Once I broke my ankle and the inability to move at my own speed made me question just where I was going. Then there was a time when I could not hear a single musical note for months….

A few days I managed to get hold of a documentary about the migrant workers of China. After watching it I know I will look at the label “made in China” with greater introspection. Sometimes I forget what my parents had to go through so that I am where I am. I will talk to my daughter about this movie and about the migrant workers in our own country. Maybe she will clean her room more readily and stop giving me silly reminders that her birthday is around the corner…

Yes, my mother taught me how to start my day: with a clear head and a greater deal of gratitude so that I can be ready for whatever comes my way

posted by auriol in human nature,insight and have No Comments

When She Believes

About 3 million years ago I was a pagan. No, scrap that, it was roughly about 10 years ago.  I had the robe, the wand, gemstones and books. Over the years I realized that it was the rituals that I loved most, especially the ones I created myself. A few days ago I bitched about how small my world was and blamed my love of music for that. Truth is I am just an unbalanced person. You see somewhere along the way I forgot many things and my world just went to hell for a while.

My mother starts her day at 5am by quietly sitting and reading her bible and getting her head sorted. That’s her ritual. I use to do the same thing – but with a Tarot deck, writing pad, pen and some tea. I would jot down the things that were important to me and why. That was the perfect way of staying on track. I felt motivates and energized.

I know that I have to re-visit my morning ritual. Hell, I refuse to wake up feeling so tired and directionless, wandering round in my pajamas till 3pm. No wonder I write these depressing songs!  Does this mean that I will be super perky and positive all the time? Hell no! I know a few people on Facebook who have these outrageously positive status updates.  Secretly I think they are headed for a nervous breakdown because no one can be that positive all the time. No, I take that back. You can if you are on drugs or stupidly in love! For some the effect is the same.

So I will invent some rituals dashed with a bit of paganism and a squizz of new age thinking just to be on the safe side. I will do it because I know the effect these rituals have. Through them I gain a better understanding of why I am where I am.

Is it a cure all? Hell no but I do feel more in control of my “stuff” and  right now that’s enough. And if my blog posts are ever too positive – Good Heavens, someone better do something…

posted by auriol in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

Diamonds on the Inside

Sometimes I am convinced that my world is too small and that I am making it smaller by the day. I am full of crap when it comes to who I  spend my time with, the music I listen to, the food I eat and everything else in between.  My husbandis a big thinker. He loves  new ideas, gadgets, new music and anything and anyone who’s innovative and cutting edge. While I am simply trying to control what’s in front of me. In fact I will only expand myself when it involves creating music. This makes for every interesting conversation, monstrous arguments and great songwriting.

As I sat on the couch at 2 in the morning it hit me; music is my drug of choice. And if you think this is funny blog post you would be wrong. I am happiest when I am about to write music or perform. Virtually nothing comes close to it. So when I am not engaged in those things I tend to be very introspective, sullen and down right cranky. The husband  is constantly expanding his horizons. He wants to do this and try that. All I want to do is write music and sing. Do you see the problem?

I make no space for the possibility that happiness might exist outside of music. The only exception is my daughter but even  she notices that my head is littered with music. So I step back, delay or avoid music altogether and…become the most miserable person in the room! I do not laugh as easily or smile as much. I end up spending hours in my pajamas. There is no reason to wake up with a spring in my step…

I also wondered why I struggle to write happy songs. It’s not that I don’t feel it or that I am a sad person. There’s this switch in my brain, I realized. It says “you shouldn’t feel good for too long”. So I don’t revel in feeling good about myself anywhere except when I write music.  And because writing music is so intensive and laborious that feeling stays with me so much longer. All of the things that would make me a balanced person I sacrificed in the pursuit of music. My love of learning, Capoeira, writing, going out….all willingly offered to great gods of Music.

See the addiction and why I risk living in a small world?

posted by auriol in Addiction,career,Insanity and have Comment (1)

She’s Only Happy in the Sun

I have been a little obsessed with Ben Harper lately. Most of the time I do not listen to music. I prefer writing music or just singing badly when I am alone, but when I do listen it usually means that something is going down. Each  emotional cycle comes with its own soundtrack.  My undying love for Radiohead had a lot to do with unfulfilled expectations. Now some would argue that their music is depressing and I can’t say I really care. To each one his own, right? But this Ben Harper phase has nothing to do with the fact that he is that good looking. Promise. I listen to his music and it always leaves me feeling strangely comforted.

When I have really bad days and am without music, I listen to Ben and it reminds me that there is a time for everything. There’s a time to be on stage and a time to be aggravated by my daughter and driven insane by my husband. This has been a hard because on bad days it’s music that I crave more than anything. As you can see I am struggling with balance…

The one thing I have realized is that I don’t want a life filled with music. I want my life to feel like music. I remember a vivid dream I had a while back. I will spare you the esoteric mumbo jumbo – but will say this. In the dream I saw how music affects people.  It was beyond extra sensory. I got to touch it, feel it coursing through my very being. It was an ineffable experience and simply knowing that drives everything when it comes to music. Sure, I write the odd meaningless song  but then there are those songs that feel wonderful as you write it and even better when you sing it…

My mister gets upset with me because I forget basics like cooking at times. My head is filled with music and it can crowd out everything else. Thanks to the Food Network I have discovered that I can get excited and passionate about food as well. This has  made life a lot easier. Trust me, I would get a headache just thinking about what I needed to cook! I doubt that I will ever feel passionate about cleaning though! I am not that mental.
So I watch a Ben Harper clip when he is in rehearsals  and am reminded – I have time..
posted by auriol in My music,on the wild side and have No Comments