Music track: “Whenever”

Today’s personal info: in senior high I was in a music class. We played in a band, learned musical notation and also recorded hell of a lot of music in a studio. It was totally awesome, and we were all going to be producers or singers or at least freelance sound technicians “when we grew up”. Need I say that not many of us followed up on those dreams? Well, at least I didn’t. Until now.

Almost exactly ten years after my graduation from upper secondary, I caught my brain thinking crazy thoughts. It wanted to write lyrics, learn how to play the guitar and record a song. I was like: dafuq, brain? But my restless mind would not be placated with less than a sincere attempt at the art, and thus I got to work.

Writing is seldom a problem in my world, so the lyrics were a small thing. And for the music… well, I seemed to remember some chords from back in the days, so I managed to beat together a fitting melody as well. The recording part, however, here’s when things got interesting. Fruity Loops was my weapon of choice back then, so I decided to make a revisit to those good old hunting grounds. I can’t say I remembered it all, but at least enough to make sounds stick to the recording files in my computer.

The real problem was the equipment. I have no real microphone, so I had to settle for the mic attached to my headset. And, though it worked out well enough in the end, I can really tell why people spend money on that kind of thing. I mean, really. I had to use my headset to record both the song and the guitar tracks, and leaning over your acoustic in order for the mic to pick up the sound at the same time as you are playing will only take you that far down Abbey Road. But again, I managed.

The song was a birthdaypresent for an important person, and I finished in time. That was in January. Now, finally, I have put together a simple video to go with it, and uploaded it to Youtube (the pics in the video are my own, taken during some of my adventures together with said important person).

I thought I would share it here as well, even though it´s scary and I’m not a pro and many of you are probably much better at this kind of thing than me and… I could go on forever. But fears are supposed to be conquered, right?

So, well, here goes.

– – –

Lyrics:

Wherever life seems to take you
I’ll be there, right by your side
Whoever sits down beside you
I’ll take their place when they rise

I’ll be there through all of the years
You have nothing to fear
When life’s a war, and nothing seems right
I’ll be your sword in that fight.

Whyever hopelessness grips you
I promise to make things right
Whenever darkness surrounds you
I’ll struggle to be your light

I’ll be there through all of the years
You have nothing to fear
When life’s a war, and nothing seems right
I’ll be your sword in that fight.

Wherever life seems to take you
Whoever sits down beside you
Whyever hopelessness grips you
Whenever darkness surrounds you

I’ll be there, right by your side
I’ll take their place when they rise
This is my promise to make things right
I will always be your light

I’ll be there through all of the years
You have nothing to fear
When life’s a war, and nothing seems right
I’ll be your sword in that fight.

I’ll be your torch in that night

At Sea

I can’t seem to be able to remain in one place for very long. Recently home from Florida, where the nooks and crannies of both Miami and Key West were pleasantly roamed, I kind of grew sick of sitting still. So now I’m on the road again. Or, more accurately, on the water. I’m going to Åland to visit with a friend and have been driving (what feels like) the whole day. After working my  last job pass before the Swedish Easter Holidays, that is. I’m kind of tired, to be honest. Caffeine and sugar keeps me going right now, and luckily those are the main ingredients in the coffee drink on the table in front of me. Life’s good.

I’m using these two odd hours onboard the M/S Rosella to get some writing done. Not my average random stories, but a couple of music album reviews that are due this Wednesday. Genres: metal and jazz. Totally in line with my current craving for variation, I’d say.

Hmm, what’s more… Apart from working with myself, on myself, I’m still working on my many projects. The novel is growing, but not in volume – I’m in the editing phase now, and trying my best to cut away at it so as to make it publishable. I’ve decided to give it a meta-voice in between chapters to make it more interesting. I hope the attempt will be successful. I’m a bit behind in the journalism course I’m doing (blame… life I guess), but I’m hoping to catch up before long.

And I’m playing Dota2 like a maniac. Seriously. I started playing it as part of my research for an article, and then I got stuck. So far I’m a total disaster at playing any hero other than Lich and Dazzle, but, well, I’m getting there. I think.

That’s my life right now, broadly speaking. I hope that all of you reading this are safely traveling as well, irrespective of whether the journey is a physical one or if it’s taking place in your mind. Those mental journeys are often the greatest ones.

Until next time: take care and drive safely!

/Chris

Two Years Later

Two years later and I’m here again. Same place, same streets, same sun.

Nothing much has changed here, and yet everything about me has.

My fears then, my worries, my desperate feeling of not knowing how to survive without destroying a life upon my return, all those things have joined the other bottled memories on the shelves in my mind’s library.

But yes, I feared and I worried. I survived and I destroyed.

I never meant to. I wanted fairytale sunset ending as much as anybody. I’m not sure if I failed or if I was in the wrong kind of fairytale altogether. Maybe the one where the scarred warrior princess gets saved by a masked black knight and rides off into happily ever after, never to look back, was not for me. However much I wanted that ending. If you’re ever reading this, you might as well know that a not at all insignificant part of me still does. And that’s what pains me today, two years later. That I could not live it, and that I lost so much. That I lost you.

Writing this might be inconsiderate, of course. Not the most pedagogic thing to do. But then again, I’m not writing this for anybody else but me. This time it’s for me. Because I write, that’s what I do and what I’ve always done to get those itchy voices out of my head. And right now they’re loud.  So I write.

This sun sees so many people come and go, and everyone has their own itchy voices. I’d be surprised if it remembers them all. The footsteps I made in the sand the last time around sure as hell aren’t there anymore. And still when I look up at that sun, when I walk on that beach, I remember. I have changed so much and so much has changed me, but I’m still that same person with the same worries and fears and a feeling of not knowing how to survive without destroying lives in the process. The desperation is gone, now it’s memories that haunt me. I miss you, and I’m sorry I broke.

And being here again, two years later and with so many new bottles on my shelves, this new thought is taking form, growing roots: what kind of fairytale am I really supposed to be in? Will I ever know, and how many things must yet be destroyed in order for me to find out?

And maybe the sun knows, but it never tells.

A Good Talk In The Night

Most good talks happen during the night. What I had not managed to convey well enough before I was able to tell him tonight, in those secret hours between twilights where rules and conventions simply don’t apply. Then he listened.

He listened while I told him everything. About how my mind had started turning from beginning insight already three years earlier, even though I didn’t fully understand it at the time. About how I had fought, ever since then, to hold myself together, to stay the same. Not to lose anything and everything. But after that trip nothing was the same. It journeyed farther and farther away from the same, as did I.

I told him about the numbness that came over me during this struggle. Repressing insights growing inside of oneself takes also repressing thoughts and feelings and passions. He listened, and I saw in his eyes that finally he began to understand. This was never about him. I never meant to break his dream and his story, I wanted to be part of it but I couldn’t.

One thing I didn’t tell him, but in that moment maybe he knew that as well. It felt like that, anyway. And he smiled sadly but knowingly, when finally I described my feelings when in the end none of my struggles were enough. When I realized I had failed, that I could not repress this and that this had always been a losing fight. But that it was never about him, that those feelings were never affected. This was simply something I had to go through to be whole, to be me. And I saw no other way than the changing of everything to make that happen.

I was finally able to explain to him this whole transgender business and all the thinking and contemplation and development I had gone through since last we spoke, more than a year ago. He understood, finally, how things had exploded in my life after I left his. How so many thoughts had been released and finally allowed to be thought and how I had changed in all ways imaginable. On the inside, at least.

And of course I listened to him as well. He had much to say, and I respected him for all of it. He had his own struggles and battles and fears, and he had his own story about all of this. But it was not about me, not entirely. And I felt such relief to hear him talk about it, because I had worried for him and thought about him every day, not knowing anything. A monumental weight was lifted from my shoulders and from my heart by just hearing him talk about the things I had been thinking for so long.

We agreed, finally, that we both had our own, personal stories. They intermingled and entwined, but they were not the same. His story was his, and my story was mine, as all people’s stories are their own. We could not save one another, but we could do our best to understand and so make our own stories more whole. We would speak again, he told me, and hugged me, and let me go. He let me go.

And I don’t remember what I felt or thought when I walked away and he walked away, each back to resume our own separate stories. But I was lighter, I was almost flying. I hadn’t broken anything, I hadn’t failed. All I had done was to allow my own story to tell itself finally, and now he understood that as well. He and his story would be alright, and we would speak again. And then I woke.

How come that most good talks, the ones that really matter, happen in dreams? How come that I always meet him there, and how come that talking there always feels so good but makes me sink like a stone upon waking? I don’t know any of this, but I know that I am crying as I am typing these lines and that one of my greatest regrets is that all our good talks only ever happen inside my own head.

Christina Smedbakken 2015-10-31