Sunday, October 19, 2008

we are like the sea

lisa hannigan's album sea sew was released in ireland this past september. i discovered it soon after, and have been losing myself in its ocean storytelling ever since. i'm thinking between the over-arching theme of stories from the sea, and lisa's hauntingly gorgeous voice, this is an album that would be impossible for me not to fall for. her previous work with damien rice has played soundtrack and muse to my dreams and writing, over and over again, as well as accompanied kisses and tears of heartache. i am beyond thrilled to have this collection of songs inspiring me, and filling my musically-addicted veins; the following songs, especially.

"a note, penned clumsily in this century's type-ruined hand
saying gone down the shops for a walk
i'll bring back some sandwiches and then i kiss your face,
the black and the blue tie it into my laces,
i don't want the wander blocking up the view."

venn diagram reminds me of holidays by the ocean, the salt-laced moisture from the air clinging to the errant tendrils of my hair, still messy from sleep, tangled. seaside, that was where my aunt and uncle's beach house was, we used to stay there. i always thought it sounded like a fictional town, something out of a "where the boys are" kind of summer flirtation, or a stephen king penned murder. it was twenty-two steps to the water's edge, we used to carry pails and shovels, and that kind of childhood abandon, every morning and i would count the numbers as we went along. the scent of it, the feel of the breeze blowing into the bedroom through the open window; you propped it up with three books, the ones i had brought along. the one on the top with the torn cover, it holds a love letter, now used to mark my place (he thought i would never keep it, or remember). the morning comes and a family walks by, the vibration of words and laughter cling in the air. the youngest, a small girl with dark hair and eyes, she looks up at me. she has a daisy tucked behind her left ear. at that moment, that exchange of stares and a crooked smile, feels like life passing through. i was that girl once, and she, well someday she will be me, sitting here squinting my eyes into the morning, holding a cup of coffee in my hands.

"there's one man so bright he blocks the light,
and he'll always be so...
he's like no sleep on the weekend,
and though he is like the sea and he's right to be so,
when i hold tight i sink down deep..."

sea song continues the images of life by the sea. this one feels different, though. it seems as if it holds secret embraces in the side alley by the arcade, and notes etched on the backs of matchbooks, passed under the table with a slight raise of an eyebrow. so many words pass unspoken in just a look. by the ocean the passions alight, and the exchange, it can be swept up into the sea foam, washed out into the seemingly never-ending horizon. and you will forget my name, and i will cease to remember how your arms felt around my waist. we will become the silhouettes and shadows of a weekend away, the loopy-lettered script on the back of a wish you were (still) here postcard. you will tell your friends how i gave it away so easily, and i will never speak of you at all, except alone, in dreams. the way i truly felt about you, well you will never know that either. only the ocean knows, on the songs sung silently to the sea.

"we went out to play for the evening,
and wanted to hold on to the feeling,
and the stretch in the sun,
and the breathlessness as we run,
to the beach endlessly...
as the sun creeps up on the sea..."

lille reminds me of falling in love for the first time. the calliope spun-sugar dizziness that comes in waves, deemed butterflies inside, or some kind of electricity. but to me it felt like running on sand, chasing after you, arms raised and your legs hurting slightly from the effort. you push off and persist in running, but the earth tries to steady you, fights against the movement. but you keep running, you keep trying, the other part of you castings shadows in front of you, and you take them as an invitation, as direction, as the lead you will follow. and when it is gone, when the day ends and that first flutter ends, you will remember it. that love will be the echo that you hear anytime you are held in a lover's arms, you will see it as a reflection as you search for the familiarity, and hope for that same reckless abandon; that same feeling of being finally free.

ocean and a rock

"i am far away from where you lay,
awake the day while you fall to sleep,
an ocean and a rock away.
i keep you in the pockets of my dresses,
and the bristles of my brushes,
spin you into my curls today.
i spoon you into my coffee cup,
spin you through a delicate wash,
i wear you all day."

possibly my favorite track off of the album, at least today. a long-distance love song, which rings so pure and true, and utterly relatable to anyone who has ever been in love with someone who is miles and miles away. i love the notion of keeping someone tucked into a pocket, or spooned into a morning cup of coffee; the way love sticks to us, and how we carry its precious glow into everything we do. distance is merely an obstacle to overcome, an ocean, or state lines, is nothing when it comes to being in love. this is such a beautiful song.


"put me back in the bottle where the sea meets the sun ,
when the bones and their rattle don't mean anything to no-one.
i had a swing when my salt was my own,
i'd my teeth bared for battle,
til love lost made me dull."

and then there is heartbreak, ending, and the death of love. the ocean is the place for that, too, i suppose. i know i've stood at it's edge with tears streaming down my face, trying to let the waves wash my sadness away. the death-rattle, we all hear it when it is nearing, we try to blink back the vision, shake our heads and make it go away. but just as we have books with happy ever after endings, we have the tragedies, as well. and this, well this is a song for that feeling.

if we never knew the elaborate pain of loss, we would never know the exquisite bliss of love.

1 comment:

Peter N said...

Hi Lucy, where have you gone to? I hope you come back soon with your excellent posts. Just to let you know I'll going to let mixtape4melfi die out in the new year. I have begun a new blog at...

Hope you can link up and drop by sometime.