there once was a fire. a fire that warmed the heart. a fire that kept us together. a fire that gave protection. a fire that welcomed kind strangers.
this fire burned bright, even on days starved of oxygen she burned as bright as she could. she was beautiful.
all that remains now is debris. memories.
all that remains now are ashes and echoes. echoes of songs, of laughter and mirth. ashes scattered on graves, the graves of my father, my brother, her mother and father. ashes upon ashes of the fires that died before her.
only a small amount remain. all that is left, of that beautiful fire, is debris… fragmented memories and near forgotten smells and images… old photographs and hairbrushes… a favourite scarf, and letters. tattered old postcards, lockets and other empty shells…
proof of life, scattered, like debris in the hearts and minds…
The arrival of the debut solo album from a female singer and musician who’s been at the forefront of a couple of the most adventurous, “out there” and completely uncategorisable bands on the Scottish music scene in the last 15 years, is something you anticipate eagerly.
As it turns out, she’s unleashed five tracks to preview the release, so here’s your starter for ten…..or make that five….. as there are five of Scotland’s finest…….
Miaow McDonaldplays, sings and co-produces everything other than the drums on all the tracks. Engineering, production, and other additional instrumentation, by Rob Davidson aka Aged Choir Boy, are credited where due.
Starting with “Ambulance” -– it’s a short burst of cyclical bass guitar that opens the proceedings as this softly hushed whisper of a vocal emanates from a darkness below, quietly emotional, then all of sudden a burst of guitars hit you, only to disappear and more bass and voice. this time, going from soft to emotive then rising into a yearning hook, as she laments a fear of loss and the drumming begins. a burning sea of guitar riffs ignite, each clipped short for maximum impact, and so the verses continue, the rollercoaster of vocal emotion that this song exudes until it comes to an abrupt halt.
“Fire With Fire” starts as a beautifully restrained slice of alt-country balladeering, reminding me of a more haunting, obviously less American, Lucinda Williams, as solid, slow drum beats herald a shimmering desert guitar, a snake slide and above this the vocal wafts like sand across the heat of the landscape; a wordless vocal chorus, adding to the texture, as the slowly unfolding song oozes with feeling and sultry passion, but still holding back as the slide guitar, performed by Aged Choir Boy, becomes Cooder-esque and this magnificent song and instrumental work just gets more and more impassioned as the theme of love hurting like crazy, rolls ever forward in its state of soft anguish.
“Pink Lemonade For A Blue Girl” is a combination of circus pop, indie strength and flowing delicacy. the moods changing from wistfully melancholic as an almost gorgeously purring vocal takes the sultry side of sadness to heartaching proportions as piano chords hang in the air, then suddenly it’s into the jaunty chorus reminding you of the time when the circus leaves town, with accordion performed by CyberneticZ, only then for the mood and time signature to change yet again as a solid guitar riff echoes and the vocal climbs higher.
“A Fucked Up Lovesong”, oddly enough, is pretty well exactly that – starting with softly strummed acoustic guitar, a plaintive vocal at the higher end of the scale kicks in, a beautiful piano melody, the voice descends, a guitar riff suddenly crashes in, the vocal moves to pleading and yearning, full of regret and angst, just as you’d expect. The sudden presence of low register strings just adds a whole new textural dimension of abject sadness and a life utterly bleak, as they all disappear, reappear, extra layers come and go, but the so-sad, heartfelt vocal just flows through it all, as what is a truly stunning song and arrangement, continues to unfold.
Finally, “Sister” washes in on waves of electronics as an echoed drum beat and percussion roll in, Miaow McDonald’s voice strides over it with emotive authority and delivers a song like some lost sixties singer in a timewarp of modern era strength. As the rhythms drive slowly forward, the harmonies and backing vocals are a thing of great wonder, flowing like honey, as patient as a saint, but with an underlying mix of menace and melancholy, as synth comets fly by, a bass resonates, guitar chords fracture – and it’s gone.
Overall, as a hymn to love lost, it’s a writing triumph, a vocal tour-de-force full of sadness and inner strength. it’s magnificent, and as an instrumental lesson in restraint, subtlety and texture, it’s perfect. On this evidence, the album promises to be something special………
Year Zero will be released on all digital platforms later this year. 2021.
Andy Garibaldi, a.k.a. Andy G, Dead Earnest Podcasts, Gee Force (Bridge FM Radio 87.7fm)
By reading this and listening to the tracks in pretty blue hyperlinks, you are supporting new music. Life is strange right now… unprecedented. There has never been a time when music and supporting new music / musicians has been more important. Music is medicine. Music is art. Music is therapy.
i have a lot of female friends. beautiful women. strong and intelligent women. i love them all dearly. they all have their struggles and face them bravely, like lionesses… warriors. we share a lot… as women, we talk about how we feel. but it’s not always easy…
these strong women in my life are my ‘sisters’… i am grateful for all that they are, and how they’ve ‘listened’ to me throughout my life… and i mean really listened. they have really cared.
women, as a sisterhood, have a supernatural bond… even their menstual cycles synchronise… isn’t that magical? women give birth to new life… isn’t that something that is beyond beautiful?
and so, i wrote a song about women… it’s called ‘Sister’ and it’s a celebration of what it means to be ‘woman’, being someone’s mother, sister… or lover… or friend.
u is for ursa major it will be four years, this July, since my mother left this world…. there’s not a single day that passes where i don’t miss her… where i don’t long to hold her close and smell her hair… where i don’t miss hearing her say my name… where i don’t think […]
a dog barks in the distance. the rattle of cups in the kitchen sink. wash them. make another cup of coffee and talk with my cat, Alf. he doesn’t say much. or it may be that he doesn’t have much to say about things. i have back ache. i have tooth ache. i have an c-PTSD, the Doctor said. but things could be worse. i should be grateful. and i am grateful. writing helps. Alf reaches out to me. a stretched out limb. a paw. a gesture. but there is a smell. eucalyptus and menthol. decongest. decongest. in the kitchen, we filter the water. it’s better that way. safer. or so they say. but these tiny impulses and intrusive thoughts colour my perception and shape my behaviour. i will resist the urge. wave after wave. but two shots fired and i would feel so much better. ephemeral. a flash. then nothing. disbelief and feeling numb. joy. complete and utter joy. bread crumbs. so many bread crumbs but still no whole loaf of bread. don’t you find that strange? remember the Cold War? of course you do. those films about what to do in the event of a nuclear holocaust, remember them? they scared me, when i was a child. the siren. early warning. where would i go? how would it feel to be vaporised. rabies too. remember when rabies was something to be hysterical about? i remember the ‘rabies is a killer’ adverts and ‘educational’ films about rabies. fear. it scared me. it scarred me. terrorvision. television. thank you, TV – you played a big part in my paranoia. my OCD. my PTSD. rabies and nuclear war. but we have new things to fear now, don’t we, eh? why is there always a missing sock when you empty the washing machine? where do all the ‘lost’ socks go? the piano against the wall remains unplayed today again. eighty-eight keys to be unlocked. still these intrusive thoughts come. i have no focus. no attention span. no joy. just rage. despair. frustration. hatred. lots of localised hatred. i say localised but by that i don’t mean i hate those around me, in my immediate locality, but by ‘localised hatred’ i mean it is focused. and close. in my face. in everyone’s face. and i think of the sound. the bang. the recoil. the impressive spray of aortic blood. thick. red. viscid. and that smell. a smell that is not easily forgotten. it stays with you. it clings to the very fabric of you, beyond clothing or cladding. it remains there. vile. the very thought brings up bile. but it’s more than bitterness. it’s more than hatred. it is beyond human emotion and comprehension. where do they come from? these demons. all appears normal. have you ever been to a slaughterhouse? or the city morgue? my cat is on the bed by my side. a hot mug of coffee steams to my left and a slab of ginger chocolate lies open, a sweet distraction, broken up in squares. one square bears my fingerprint. another Sunday. not a fun day. a day of (un)rest. my head feels enormous. it must be. to contain all that is inside it. the entire world is inside there. another world entirely. but do not go there. do not enter into that space. that head space. or you may never return. if you do, i guarantee you will be broken. you will not be the same person. these urges. they are not new. i often have these ‘falling down’ days, as i call them. but today they are out of control wild. is all innocence gone? i think of a sweet little girl i met today. she was nine years old, i think. her mother said that her little girl liked my blue hair, and that she is obsessed with having blue or pink hair. her mother continued to say that she may allow her to have her hair dyed blue for Christmas. i laugh. i am trying to remove the blue. i have bleached my head three times now and my hair is still blue. glacial blue as my lover describes it. but maybe this is how things are. nothing can ever be fully erased, just adapted… bleached… diluted… twisted and turned. i wonder… my right foot itches. my left foot is numb. i have been sitting for too long. i must cut my claws. they grow so fast and create fret buzz. i stretch out my limbs, like my cat, mirroring his behaviour. good grief. it will soon be December already. it will soon be the new year. a new year. 2021. and why is grief always ‘good’? the smell of tangerines temporarily fills the room. sweet and juicy. curtains billow, as a breeze flits through the open window. but what is that banging? what strange creatures humans are! complex, yet so stupid. well, with the exception of Tesla, perhaps. it is fifteen hundred hours. coffee. hey, you can shake your head, if you like. i see you. so what?! what of the human mind? why write this? why? random. fingers type today what my mind spews. but still with censorship. i could not possibly write disclose the truth of these thoughts. these intrusive thoughts. of such unequivocal violence, and beauty. like a tiger mauling a fawn. the blood. the ripping sound. the screams. the smell of death. the flash of excitement in the tiger’s eye. that. it is that very thing. the pure joy. unequivocal ecstasy. intrusive thoughts that paralyse me with fear, and yet tickle and arouse me and fill me with complete and utter joy. like a series of horror movies inside my head. fuck. you have to break many eggs to make a fine omelette. Shiva. death and creation. when did you last look closely at the palms of your hands? their shape. their colour. the lines and their depth. their capability? their warmth, or lack of. their softness. hands: capable of nurturing, capable of killing. when did you last look at your own hands in this way? c-PTSD, she said. and what colour is the most dominant emotion you feel today? what does joy taste like for you? right now, it is the sound of Peggy Lee’s Fever. a fantastic song. Amin… then changes to Bbm, i think… after a while and then changes again. fantastic changes. fantastic song. and that voice. it is cold, yet fevered. but does anyone really care about music? does anyone truly care that Harry Styles likes to wear a dress from time to time? who cares! i think more men should wear dresses if they feel so compelled to. who cares? seventy years, they say. seventy years. a lot of chip wrappers in seventy years. so… are you bored yet? or are you curious as to where this train of thought is heading? derailment? oooh i get it… you are a voyeur of the macabre. a ghoul. do you care where this torrent of consciousness is going to sweep you off course to next? you should, but of course you don’t care. and i don’t expect you to. i don’t expect many of you to read it, or read it all the way through. it’s just another chip wrapper, right? maybe that is all we ever are. how long until i am completely forgotten about? when will that very last memory of me perish in someone else’s memory? it is memories that keep the dead alive. please don’t be so morbid, Kat. stop it. think of something funny. Oliver Cromwell. he was a good old fun sponge, wasn’t he? funny…. did he not disallow Christmas celebrations many, many years ago? interesting. fact or factoid. not that i enjoy Christmas much. i don’t believe in Christ. but i do believe in love, and the celebration of love and enjoying the company of those around me who matter. oh hey, out comes the red pen, crossing out thoughts before they tumble out onto the screen… pixel by pixel… and lay open like a laceration from the bite of a Great White. take that any way you will. i do not care. am i losing my mind? possibly. or perhaps it was never really mine in the first place. all that is there came from outside. from other peoples’ doing. from places that pre-date me. it’s really rather fascinating… when you think about it. reality. what is that? the blue of my eyes will be a different shade of blue through your own. and those bananas on the kitchen worktop. they are too ripe and repulsive for my tastes, but to you they might be divine. how do you find memory? in flavours? in colours? in songs? in smells? in shapes? in stuttering, stammering? in dreams? in lovers? in anger, or fear? in the back seat of a car? i remember my dad’s old car. the leather seats. too hot in summer, too cold in winter. i remember the old steering wheel. huge now, compared to today’s steering wheels. or was it just because i was small, back then? it’s all relative. and irrelevant. it’s all quantum. everything. orange walls. warmth. a cocoon. i feel safe here. i feel at home here. but i really want to go to Tokyo. sakura and karaoke. visit friends. visit the snow monkeys. swim with the snow monkeys in volcanic pools. drink tea with robots. i want to go to Tokyo. but not this year. until then, there is YouTube. and there is YouTube until that implodes. until it buckles beneath its own dictatorship. do you find traveling by boat relaxing? or do you prefer rail travel? when i was 14, i wanted to be recruited by the Starship Enterprise. but at 14 we have to make some of the most important decisions that affect our future lives. at 14, we have to choose what subjects we want to study in order to enable our careers and our life path. 14 year old. a child. fuck… i hated school. on reflection, school ruined my life. school, not education. so many of my teachers were wankers. and from these wankers i learned more than school could ever teach me. not to be like them. not to wind up like them. but at 14, i wanted to be a Starfleet Officer – not a child burdened with this level of responsibility. but when should we take responsibility for our own lives? immediately, right? i would say. when did you last look yourself in the eye? is it true that your own reflection is your most honest ally? they never break your gaze. they can stare you down. and they can destroy you. do they always speak the truth? or do we accuse our reflection of lying because we cannot bear to face those truths? terrible pun there… i do apologise. the sky is darkening. tomorrow, i must photograph a tree. there are some incredibly beautiful trees in the park. tomorrow. on the last day of November. okay. cue the loony tunes music… i think it is time to jump off here while all these plates are still spinning….
i don’t like Sundays. but still they come… reminding me of those times when i shook hands with Death.
first, my father.
one fine sunny Sunday morning in May…
i can still hear my screams: “Kathryn, darling… Daddy’s died” my mum said, softly, cradling me in her arms. was this real? i was 13. a child. why me? why my Dad? why, Death, why? can you tell me that? why did you take him from me so soon…? there was still so much i had to share with him: he should have taught me how to drive; he should have been driving me to and from the airport; he should have been there to tease and taunt my boyfriends; he should have been there to hold Mum in her last days on Earth. he should have been there, then. and he should be here… now. Oh what i wouldn’t give for one more day with him… because
i didn’t get the chance to say “Goodbye.”
i am sorry, Dad. i am so sorry…
and then, another Sunday morning… my little friend, my dog…
i am sorry, Bonnie. i didn’t know you were as sick as you were. neither did the Vet. Saturday, you grew sick. convulsing. struggling, gasping for breath. “keep her comfortable, make sure she has fresh water” he said. i slept by your side, on the kitchen floor,
stroking you, whispering comforting words to you. you died in my arms, through the night.
i woke up and you were gone.
your lifeless body, cold and stiff. blood from your nose and ears on my hands and sweater. i am sorry i failed you, old girl. if only i had known you were as sick as you were,
i would have, mercifully, done the right thing by you. but the Vet sounded hopeful… he was so apologetic when we took her little body to him, for cremation.
i am sorry, little one. i am so sorry…
Sunday 16th July 2017. 5am.
i receive a phonecall… “Kathryn, it’s West Park Care Home… it’s time, darling“
in a haze of ‘this cannot be happening’ i call my brothers. i am first to arrive, a lonely vigil, at her bedside.
my Mum had Alzheimer’s and dementia. i had ‘lost’ her weeks before her physical death. but we cling on, with dear life, to prolong things. to anything…
i didn’t want her to go.
but i wanted her to go… does that make sense? i couldn’t bear to see her struggle,
and writhe, her face contort in pain and confusion. did she know i was there?
was she conscious? did she know she was dying?
could she hear me? could she smell me? could she sense my presence?
i hope so… because that is all i have to cling onto now. a hope that she felt my love in her last few hours.
all i could do was sit by her,
stroke her hair, sing to her, softly….
willing her to go to sleep…
willing her to let go…
was i ready for this? she was ready… i was not.
Death entered her room at 8pm. i felt his chill in the air, and
in her gasping and clawing, in her sweating and writhing, her fever, her delirium…
i willed him to take her. to take her back. back to those she had missed so sorely…
all i could do was lie down beside her, cradle her, as she did me, when Dad died.
whispered goodbyes – could she could hear me? my words, my heart breaking…
i hope she knew how much she was loved. and how much she would be missed.
but i was about to shake hands with Death, he was so close now… the minute we met, i felt her heart stop beneath my hand.
a wave of golden light filled the room, filled my body, like a surge of power. did she pass through me?
i still hear the sound of my heart breaking, when my Mother’s heart stopped beating.
every Sunday, at around 8.03pm…
i am sorry, Mum. i am sorry that you had to suffer so much. i wish i could have done more. but please…. know that you were loved. and that you are missed, so sorely… as i now feel properly orphaned.
the next time i was to shake hands with Death, i refused to give in.
he was my love, my best friend. but where did he go?
another Sunday. he had been gone for hours. no explanation.
my stomach in ropes, i hailed a taxi to find an open door.
i find him, in a darkened room, surrounded by feelings of hopelessness and despair. he didn’t want to live.
i screamed. again. why?? why???
a letter. empty bottles and empty pill packets. the longest 22 minutes of my life, waiting…
waiting for that ambulance to arrive…
listening for his breath. watching his pupils dilate. trying to keep him with me. trying to keep him alive.
No Death! you cannot take him.
you can’t take him. you cannot take him. not this one…. no…. no…!
he has a boy. he has a mother. he has a sister. they need him. i need him.
please let him stay.
you can’t take him! you CANNOT take him!
i can still hear my voice… my screams, as i find him… lying, curled up, on the bedroom floor.
pale. like Death. cold. like Death.
but still breathing. barely.
time slowed down. it was the longest 22 minutes of my life. and his life….
his life, worth saving. because he is beautiful. too beautiful for this ugly world, for sure.
i am sorry. i am sorry that i didn’t see the signs… those warning signs.
i feel like i have failed you. your life should have been saved long before you had to resort to this… this…
but your life was saved.
and for that, i am grateful that i acted upon my ‘gut’ feeling. grateful that we can have more time together, here.
in this life. in this moment.
i hope… i love… i remember… i cherish. yes, we all die, and
ultimately, we all die alone. it doesn’t matter if our deathbed is surrounded by all that need to be there… we all must make that final journey alone. no matter what. sometimes, we have time to prepare – but in reality, nothing can prepare us.
sometimes, we don’t have time then spend all our time wishing we had made time.
time is all we have. make the most of your time. this time. because… they will miss you when you’re gone.
time heals, yes. but calendars are bastards.
(c) Kat McDonald 2020
image source: Pinterest Artist: Unknown… but if you DO happen to know who they are, please leave details in comment box…. thank you. .
i dunno, Kat, you have options…. go for a walk with your camera, shoot the sky – look at it, it’s beautiful this morning, all red and purple? or you could watch a movie, like that Meryl Streep one about the singer with the shrill voice that Lynn recommended. or you could write something…? you haven’t written anything in a while. or maybe you could get your finger out and write a synopsis and cover letter for sending Life’s Rich Pageant to agents…? or you could play your guitar? you’re always bleating on about how your ambition exceeds your ability, well fucking do something about it… play. practise. play. or you could, of course, go back to bed with Alf, or just continue to mope around in this covid-era depression.
what should i wear?
well, i’m up now. teeth cleaned. i hear sirens. it’s all i hear these days. but hey…. is it cold outside? the sky looks pretty, but it is November now… i guess i should wear some warm layers. who cares? i doubt i will be leaving the house today anyway, and if i do i’ll be sure to stick a mask in my pocket. so sick of this…
coffee? d’you want a cup?
oh yes, please…. that would be great.
what time is it?
it’s 9.12am. why? what does it matter?
i guess it doesn’t matter because time doesn’t exist, does it? i mean, it’s just a human construct by which we cage ourselves. you should make the most of each day.oh… remember you have washing on… the cycle should be finished soon.
i guess so… so back to that question… what should i do today? it’s Friday.
… and we’re back to cages. why do we do that? put ourselves in these cages??
i think it’s so we can organise our days… and what we do with our time. for something that doesn’t exist, per se, it’s a precious commodity. much sought after… more valuable than gold, or data.
hey… Kat… the kettle has boiled!
ok… i’ll be right there. one homemade oat latte coming up.
[i get up from the comfort of the smaller of my two green sofas and slip into the kitchen. i rub my eyes. i check the washing machine. 10 minutes left.]
i’m tired. already…
[i take a mug from the mug tree and coffee from the jar. one scoop. i add cold oat milk, and fill my mug half full]
wow, that’s optimistic of you!
[i top up the mug with boiling water… not quite a latte but equally as milky – trying not to fill it ‘vulgarly full’ – as my late mother would say….]
Fuck. i miss her. but i am glad she’s dead. and not here at this time… she wouldn’t understand. Hell, i don’t even understand what’s going on these days… so much fake news, ‘bought’ news, biased and skewed. i don’t know what to believe these days…
[i take a sip of my coffee and return to my seat to find my cat, Alf, has taken up residency there…]
hey little one… shift!
[i give him a gentle nudge, he vocalises his displeasure with a little grunt. i love this cat. he’s my best friend]
so… Kat… what are you going to do today? will you publish this on your ‘inner focus’ blog? will you whore it around your social media pages?
publish and be damned! a wise man once said… was it Hemingway?
it may very well have been. so will you? i mean…. who would want to read this? it’s the ramblings of boredom.
i may as well. it gives me something to do. i haven’t written anything of worth in a while. this has been a good exercise. in self-discipline if nothing else…
self-discipline… something you haven’t exercised in a while. you’re the world’s greatest procrastinator. care to talk more about this?
what are you? my therapist?
yeah. i could be… but if you don’t want to explore these issues then that’s fine by me. i just thought, you know, while we had the time…
oh back to that again! time! yes. much sought-after time. i have lots of time so why don’t i want to make the most of it? what is wrong with me?
i think what you’re feeling is natural. i think a lot of people, in these strange times, feel the same. going through phases of having zero motivation. i think it’s uncertainty.
let me just enjoy my coffee, please? you know… sometimes i can’t stand being around you.
why’s that? because i speak the truth to you, Kat? you need to give yourself a shake – stop moping and get on with something.
sometimes it’s hard. sometimes i just feel so…. disheartened. dispirited. and i think ‘what’s the fucking point?’. everything is so superficial. nobody cares what i have to say, or write about, or sing about. nobody cares how i view the world around me, or what f-stop i used in a particular photograph i have taken. nobody cares. everyone is too caged, by their own periphery and public personae, to care about my little world. i dunno… maybe i should take a break from social media. it can be a toxic experience.
it’s a double-edge sword. you need it promote yourself…
ha! yeah. okay.
it’s true. you do. i think your imposter syndrome needs a brick to the face. i’m tired of hearing this. i’ve told you before – it’s completely natural, during these strange times of change and reset. a lot of people feel exactly as you do. and i think creative people ‘feel’ it more than most. emotions are in a state of flux right now for a lot of creative people, all around the world, not just you. you’re not alone.
so what do you suggest?
i think you should chill the fuck out. drink that coffee, go for a walk down by the sea to blow away this negativity. then return, refreshed, and pick up your guitar (either one) and finish that song you started a few months ago… the one called ‘i hate you’… pour all these feelings into this. it’s a great song, or has the potential to be… finish it.
right now, i wish i had a million quid.
wow… diversion tactics. you are one hella procrastinator, aren’t you? why? money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on… it can’t buy happiness, it can’t buy health, or love….?
well it can actually, even if it’s just momentarily. i am just sick fed up being skint. i haven’t worked since February and i am tired of scrimping and scraping. wondering if i will have enough money at the end of the month. that dark day looming when i wonder what i will spend my last £10 on… top up my gas for warmth or buy food. and it will soon be Christmas. and you know how i feel about Christmas… fuck Christmas!
fuck… you really are in a foul mood this morning aren’t you?
yeah. you said it was normal. that i am allowed to feel these things. don’t you ever wonder how long it would take you to spend a whole million quid? i reckon i could do it in a few days, if i really wanted to.
yeah. i bet you could. i firmly believe you.
you make great coffee, by the way… anyone ever tell you that?
no. well, yeah…. but you’re the first to tell me that today.okay. so a walk along the beach?Better sort out that laundry… hang it up on the airer.
ach… i don’t know. and yeah… i will do.
[picks up Fender Jaguar and tunes it… cranks up amp]
maybe you’re right. maybe i should vent this anger and disappointment into that song….
you know i’m right!
i guess so… now piss off and leave me alone with my guitars and savagery.
that’s the spirit. you just have to keep creating… vent through your writing… your music. there has never been a time when you’ve needed music most. don’t be so fucking hard on yourself. please. it’s heartbreaking. give yourself a shake and fucking create something. do it for yourself and fuck everything else. but hang that fucking washing up!
Sunday 19th January 2019 was a horrible day. one of the worst days of my life. it was the day i almost lost someone i love completely. i have never felt so scared, so helpless in all my life. those twenty two minutes, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, seemed like twenty two hours.
i caught a glimpse of a Death, his shadow, his black dog… i fought hard, and won. Death would not take his soul. not this one. not today.
having to come to terms with this trauma and process its reality, and the many subsequent questions, is something i never want to relive.
but from the intense discourse, in the days and weeks that followed, came an overwhelming realisation that my love for this soul was strong. stronger than i ever thought possible.
from this event, this ‘ground zero’, i learned a lot about myself. there was a lot to process. even now, after a year and more, i am still haunted by that vision of Death and his black dog.
although lessening in frequency now, i still have nightmares and panic attacks in the small hours of the morning. i wake up in a cold sweat, cradling myself and reassuring myself it was just a bad dream and that he is safe. but that coup d’œil of what life would be like had i not arrived when i did, still chills my bones, turning them to powder.
living through this has made me appreciate the little things. it’s those little things, that seem insignificant at the time, that really matter when someone is gone. and by gone i mean not just in a different room. i mean gone somewhere where you cannot follow. ever. one day, you will never see one of their two hundred forty one different smiles again, or hear them sing in the shower. and it’s then you’ll punish yourself for not appreciating the little things, like the little kiss on the top of your head as they walk past, or the smell of their hair. even their moods and grumpiness will be something you will miss with a crushing weight upon your chest.
so tell them that you love them now. don’t wait.
listen to them.
be mindful, watch out for them. ask them how they are feeling. let them know you are there.
listen with your ears, your eyes, and your gut instinct…. it could save a life.
people deal with trauma, shock and grief in different ways. for me, writing is a cathartic process. a compulsion. a necessity. it always has been.
and so, i picked up Julio, my 30 year old Spanish guitar, and wrote a song.
“Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl” will also be available on all other digital platforms to download and/or stream… iTunes, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, GooglePlay, AppleMusic, TikTok, Soundcloud, YouTube etc etc etc…
(c)(p) written & performed by Miaow McDonald
engineered/co-produced by Robert Davidson, the ‘Aged Choir Boy’.
Miaow McDonald: Vocals, Guitars, Piano & Synth
Robert Davidson: Drums, Tuned Percussion and odd field recordings
Joshua Jamieson aka CyberneticZ: Accordion