Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for the 'family' Category

Under The Bridge

Girly, two years from now we are adopting a boy” I announced. “No Mummy, wait for that man who will give you babies.” I love my daughter but clearly she does not know me. “But what of your music?” I was asked. Being married and divorced taught me a valuable lesson around balance. Dammit-all, I cannot and will not lie about what I need. A friend once remarked. “Auriol there is no perfect time for anything. All you have to do is decide and when you do it will be right; perfect” and finally I have.

I loved every second of being a mother to a young kid. Granted, I was not a “traditional mother”. Fairy tales would be transformed into horror musicals, menacing imaginary friends would be allowed to roam free on Friday nights, hours were spent in the bath where we would broadcast our tv show and on really hot days there was always the Chair of Doom…

Fun and jokes aside, being a single mother has been challenging. I won’t lie. Every second of everyday I feel as though I have failed her. I question every action, every thought where she is concerned. I am relieved I no longer have to answer her when she asks “Why can’t things go back to the way they were?” Still, it eats at me. “I must do more” I keep telling myself but then the recognition hits; I cannot be anymore than I am right now. And I will not apologize for it.

I envy people who have kids on their own terms. Home sorted, car paid, nice green lawn and a dog to boot! I was barely a fully functioning adult when my daughter was born. I did not know what to do or where to turn. All I had was this one person who, truth be told, I needed. Every so often she creeps into my bed. Before I violently expel her (by making dirty sex sounds), I take a few seconds and marvel at the person she has become. A self proclaimed confabulator, comedic writer, painter, lover of all things odd and gory, all round good kid and the love of my life. Why would I not want to share all of that madness with another child?

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“I am never getting that drunk again!” Before you think too badly of me allow me to explain. I wanted to have one last bash in a place I called home.  My daughter and I move at the end of this month. That house, although we owned others, was the first place that felt like a home. I planned to grow old there… have more kids there; knew love there.  Now it’s all gone.

Mostly I wish I could have handled everything better. But tell me, how can you ever deal well with loosing someone you have loved for almost 20 years? I tried my best to explain, rationalize and reassure my daughter. “Yes, darling, we will be okay.” I say those words like a prayer because I have no idea if I will ever be okay again. I feel so damaged, so broken and worn. So I apologized for those times when I withdrew, could not talk to her, when I disappeared to the beach or spent hours talking to my sister. “Mummy, you did go mad for a little while but afterwards you just became very sad. I don’t want to see you that sad again.”

Sad? That’s an understatement. I bought pills and alcohol when I was at my lowest. Thank goodness I have a Shaman! She knew something was off, called my friends and family and intervened. You must understand. I forgot, lost my way and allowed the loss and the despair to swallow me whole. But seeing and hearing them speak  reminded me – I am loved, will always be loved, will know happiness again and should never loose hope.

In short – I needed to let go.  So I got drunk, fell a few times, muttered some gibberish to my daughter and passed out.  I learnt something valuable last night. There is no easy way of saying goodbye, you can’t always depend on logic to see you through…oh, and I should steer clear of alcohol that has shiny lights. Nevertheless – never again. Never. Ever. Again. I will not loose hope or faith in myself. I am loved, will always be loved and will find someone to love again. But for now  – goodnight and goodbye.

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Goodnight My Love…

“What are you cooking?” is one of the first questions I ask my friends as I walk into their homes. They know all about my torrid and tempestuous love affair with food. I love cooking and eating but  had no appetite to speak of for the last year. So being in the kitchen became a torturous experience. I would never know what to cook or how to combine foods and would end up eating cereal at night.

My mother will hate me for this but the lady, bless her soul, can’t cook to save her life. My father makes what I term “peasant food” – wonderful stews and soups that will induce gut wrenching flatulence – if prepared correctly! Aside from that I paid little attention to food until my friend Mark came into my life. Our conversations revolved around food and sex. That sounds facile, forgive me. Our conversations revolved around food, sex and music…Did I mention sex?

Being in Uitenhage with my best friend over the last weekend inspired me to get back into the kitchen. He often says I can’t cook and I often threaten him with a knife or a shoe but at least the desire to experiment has returned. The last year has been especially hard and somewhere along the way the self preservation button clicked in my brain and my life became increasingly concentric and insular…and then the amnesia set in. I forgot what it felt like to be part of a big family; to be surrounded by people who know, love and care for you …

There is no point belabouring the fact that I am no longer part of a family. I am just glad that I do not feel the loss as keenly as I did before. The only thing I can do now is try to regain my balance and it starts in the kitchen. Seeing that my sister’s birthday is around the corner, I will cook up something just for her. That means calling up all those wonderful people I met in Uitenhage and bugging them for recipes, getting tips from Mark and forcing my best friend into the kitchen…to oversee operations. I will invite the family we like and those friends, who have, despite their objections, became family. Then we will eat, laugh, tell dirty jokes, listen to bad music and possibly wake up without a hangover! That’s a perfect way to end off any day in my books…

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Muddy Waters

Many things annoy me and I have been told I can be a difficult customer. I like to believe that I have become a tad more tolerant over the years… but if I have to hear “You will learn something meaningful from this experience” one more time I will hurl something sharp and big at someone.

You always tend to hear this from people who claim to know better. You know those who have no personal experience or depth to draw from. Yes, those sanctimonious pricks who say things like, “ It does not serve me to do….” Or “I have so much more to give…” Sometimes I want to say “Bitch please! You and all your boring soap opera theatrics are headed straight for Nervous Breakdown City!”

Look, I know I am not perfect and will make mistakes like everyone else. When that happens I don’t want to be preached at, given solutions to my problems or be made to hold someone’s hand. This is what I do need; to know that I am surrounded by people who have the ability to listen. People I can trust, admire and whose loyalty I will never question. I use to think that every person on the planet would want a bit of that – but was proven wrong. Some just want money, status and a thin body to lay against. I have slowly leant to honestly not give a fook and tune them out of my life.

I can hear what you’re thinking, “Shoo, Auriol, jaded much?” And I would respond “Yes, yes and yes to infinity!” Even though I don’t believe in many things any more I will not write sad songs about confused people. I have enough of that in my own life. Anyway, Music won’t allow me to do that. I sat down to write the other day and was surprised at what presented itself to me. I ended up writing a song that was cautiously optimistic. Me? Cautiously optimistic? That was a shocker!

Maybe life isn’t that bad after all, I thought as I listened to the new song. I don’t want to be preached at. I need someone who will listen. I don’t want speeches about obligation and what is right – instead show me, with your actions, what your right looks and feels like. If pressed to choose between Love and Career, I would choose Career hands down. It was always the safest bet. Now all I want is balance.The only reason why I have a career in music is because I have mastered Balance. I didn’t just sit around and make vision boards and read metaphysical books about the inner workings of my mind and soul! I worked at it as best I can whenever I can.

So Universe, if you are listening I have a few orders I would like to place. I promise I will always try to balance them out and not get side tracked. I want a life filled with more Music, more time with my daughter, Love, enough money to take care of our needs and definitely another child. If you want to throw in a new man and some overseas trips  - that would be cool. Not a necessity though..but cool

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Annie Wants a Baby

Even though we don’t mean too, claim we know better, evangelise the advances of technology and how it has propelled humanity into the galaxies and beyond, at the end of the day we are terribly, boringly human. Some of us never get past our conditioning.  We get up, live our day and at time don’t understand why we feel the way we do.

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday and she was miserable. “Why do I feel this way?” she asked.  A few years ago I realised that I unconsciously took on some of my father’s energy. The old man has a habit of hiding out from the world on his birthday. Doesn’t pick up calls, talk to anyone and generally is not a happy chappy.  As we grew older my sister and I started to mimic his behaviour.

When I made this connection, I decided to break the habit consciously. “The best birthday I had, “I explained “was when I was alone in my house. The sun was shining and I put on some good music and danced like a lunatic.” After all, if I am responsible for my own happiness, who will be?

Over the years I have questioned why I behave the way I do, where it stems from and tried to identify the triggers that set off certain behaviours. My friends say I over think and over analyse. I spent years not understanding why I feel the way I do. Some might call it mild depression. I prefer to think of it as a period of adjustment during which I gained insight into myself.  I made many life altering decisions then too – like being a musician.

Occasionally I worry about my sister. She can be rather fragile – even though she doesn’t appear to be so. I say occasionally because my sister can be fiercely protective and scary when she has too. She swore at a nurse and a judge in court once! All for perfectly good reasons, I assure you….She is stronger than she thinks. I just wish she could see that. I wish we could all see that when it matters.

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Tango Till They’re Sore

It’s hard to see people for who they are on even the best of days. Generally we tend to gravitate towards an extreme. They are either mangy tongue twisting bitches or angelic being who perch on God’s shoulder for fun. This kind of attitude always lands us in trouble. Inevitably people can only be this: flawed, imperfect and very human.

Why is it so hard to look at someone’s actions and say, “This is who I am dealing with now and there is very little I can do to change that?” Yet even in that moment of utter disappointment we take on a burden that is not ours to carry. They aren’t the ones who are wrong. We are. There has to be something wrong with us.  I have girlfriends who stay with abusive men for years. They can’t look at their men or themselves in the mirror for too long….

There’s just so much to consider when you interact with people. There’s conditioning, projections and unfulfilled expectations from both sides. At times who the person is gets lost in between all that crap. At other times we prefer to only see the best in people – even when they act like assholes. “I know they’re better than this,” we say to ourselves. And usually we are right – just not at that particular moment.

The ability to see someone for who they are takes time and often comes with a great turmoil. You can’t really know someone when life is sweet and things are good. Most of us don’t want to think about  the bad times or people’s deeper issues. We are too concerned with ourselves and getting what we need from them. That doesn’t make us bad either – just very human…

There are a few things I know with 100% certainly. People will surprise you. Life will surprise you. Having family and friends that really see you and love you in spite of it all – can and will get you through nearly anything..

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Here Comes the Sun…

I am not a perfect mother, I can admit to this. I swear too much and am not the most sympathetic person on the planet. If you have a problem – try to understand how you got there and get out. That’s my approach. Bitch about it…but not too long and not with me! Sometimes I think my daughter wants me to be the kind of parent who makes an annoyance of themselves at school functions. You know the kind who smile too much and wears bright clothing. I told my Bad Horse that she has to accept that I am who I am and get on with her life…

That girl, who is almost as tall as I am, is one of the few people who can make me howl with laughter. And I do feel guilty that I am not always able balance family and my career. I know I can’t do it all and have made peace with my limitations. I don’t always cook the perfect meal, even though I love watching the Food Channel. My house isn’t always sparkly clean and I tend to forget my manners every now and then.

Despite all that, my daughter and I are close. We talk a lot just like my mother and I do. I always share how I feel about things. Not how I think things should be (except when it comes to her room, of course. I am not perfect, okay) and she does what all kids do eventually. She drives me up the wall and around the bend! lol

I love that our relationship is what it is.  Sometimes I miss the three year old girl or even the baby she was. I do worry if I will be able to relate once she hits her teens but then I remember how my mother makes me feel to this day. Safe.  All I can do is try my best to give that to my daughter. It also helps remembering what the psychic said…I will have another child…a boy….eventually…

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Food Glorious Food!

So Christmas has come and gone and I feel terribly guilty for overindulging. I remember sitting at the table as a kid refusing to finish my food. “Think about the children in Ethiopia,” my mother would say, trying to blackmail me. What my mother didn’t get is that I really didn’t give a hoot about people in Ethiopia or any of the starved nations out there. I was just a kid who really didn’t like the food I had to eat. And, if you knew my mother (and I love her most) and tasted her cooking you would understand my great reluctance.

Yes, the post Christmas guilt really got me thinking about food. There were only two times in my life I stopped eating chocolate – during my pregnancy and now. I was so happy when I was barefoot and pregnant. I would talk to my daughter in my belly about everything, make up stupid songs, listen to crazy Tango music and was just silly happy 24/7. Now, I have my music so the need for something to sweeten up my life is gone.

That does sound like progress doesn’t it? Now I have another little bitty problem it seems – coffee. I would start off my day with one cup in the morning to get me going and next thing you know five or 6 cups have gone through my system and its only 3pm! There are places I need to be at, things I need to do and sitting around and wasting time is something I cannot afford to do! So when I feel anxious I reach for one more cup of coffee. I want everyone to know, for the record, that I am taking a serious look at this coffee addiction.

I reckon my food choices are directly linked to what’s happening in my life. A few months ago I fell madly in love with Sushi and here’s why. I associate Sushi with my husband. After an all out argument when the terms of peace have been negotiated and the needed documents notated we would find a suitable restaurant where we would celebrate our truce.

There is a great sushi joint around the corner from our home but the lights are too bright, the decor garish and the sushi overpriced. This is a quick fix-me-upper place; our Switzerland. Our daughter tags along for those. But when we need a bit more time to talk and relax certain things are required. Dimmed lights, chilled music, great cocktails, oysters and even more chilled out people. Our sushi outings become intimate…and I always feel slightly high afterward…lol!

Hang on a second here…it just hit me. I do not feel guilty about Christmas at all. Hell, I had a great time! The food was fantastic, the people even better and I felt deeply satisfied when everyone left. I didn’t have to cook a damn thing and we have a dish washing machine! My mother –in-law’s cooking skills are legendary. I can’t wait for next year to come around and then it will be more Food Glorious Food! Seriously who could ask for a better way to end off a year?

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