Monday, May 20, 2013

More, my little sweetheart!

Ground Control adds a feature about us, again with wonderful words about you, my love! Excerpt here:  

"...the story of how (Of Love and Loss) came to life, where the band has been, who they are, what they have done, and specifically, what this new album represents - a bridge of memory from life and love in the real and present world into a tribute to memorialize their tragically lost friend, band member Summer Serafin, well, it’s sound is now something that has gotten under my skin. Michael and Summer were soul-mates. They met each other as cast members of a play and became inseparable. Summer joined the band and is present singing inside many of the tracks, but then she is also a presence inside the CD. Seemingly inconsequential captures of the giggling of a mermaid or the humming of an angel, bits of dialogue caught in the studio, even a phone message she left Michael capture her spirit in an almost haunting way. You have to listen to it to see what I mean..."

All for you, my little sweetheart!



Talking about my sweetheart...

Oh, little sweetie. Such a nice review of our record and almost all about you! Love that! Ground Control Magazine gives Of Love and Loss big ups calling it: "taut, emotional, urgent and altogether haunting. A testament of love". But best of all, this quote about you (from my interview with them) my love:

"“We just wanted to be together all the time and I just wanted to write for her. And she was so fucking magic intuitive. I mean, you can hear it on the tracks. Especially the one that closes Disc two, the second version of “Moulding,” which is essentially a rehearsal with me playing through my practice amp and the both of us singing a new song and the whole thing recorded just for reference on my iPhone. For reference. Thank god I have it. Not just because I fucking miss her, but – and this is why it’s on the album and this is why it closes the album – she follows everything I do with the most incredible sensitivity. Her harmony is unusual and perfect – this is why I say Low and X, she’s like Exene or Mimi – and she goes from loud or quiet, light head voice to deep chest voice not just when she hears me go but in the exact instant that I do. It’s not a moment later, it’s right fucking on it. Like telepathy. She knows where I’m going before I do, even. And all of her stuff on the record is like that. And we did those parts in one four-hour session because we didn’t ever imagine that we wouldn’t be back to do more. And that’s also why there’s so much outtake spoken word stuff of hers – like "talkback" – on the record. If Summer was here, there wouldn’t be any need for it – and she’d never allow it, probably – but I just wanted people to get the most visceral sense they possibly could of what a delight it was to be in a room with her. And another thing, it wasn’t just me bringing her along. She turned me on to some amazing music that I frankly did not even fucking know about. Goldfrapp for one. And you can hear Allison in Summer’s vocals – “No Answer,” especially, which we wrote
sitting on my futon in New York. I wish... I wish like hell she was here. Not only because she was the love of my life and my best friend and my partner but because she made this band amazing and I wanted to make records with her forever.”


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Yoga with the cosmos...

About a month ago, at the onset of this heel injury, I looked for some online yoga classes that one can watch and practice along with from a laptop.  I bookmarked the homepage for a site called Do Yoga With Me, which offers dozens (if not hundreds) of pre-recorded classes at all levels. Later, I came back and bookmarked a specific one called "From Burnout to Bliss", that looked about right - a little over an hour in duration for beginner/intermediate. Finally, I actually started doing the workout last weekend and have been continuing each day since. I think it's helping.

I liked the instructor, a very soft-spoken young woman who sometimes would lightly giggle, a bit self-conscious being filmed, but lovely and very competent. I noticed after, during the credits, that it said it had been filmed at a yoga studio "in beautiful Victoria, BC." So... there was the first "oh, wow" moment.

A day or so later, I thought I'd go back to the search page on Do Yoga With Me and see if, later, when I'm ready for a challenge, there are any advanced classes offered by the same woman. Her name is Nicky C. Jones. I clicked on something and it took me away from the Do Yoga site  to her personal yoga/healing  site. Here's what I first found:

"Before I say anything else, I want to acknowledge that you are probably here because you lost some one you loved. I’m very sorry for your loss. I recognize how hard it must be for you, and I praise you for being here and taking a step towards using your loss as a catalyst for personal transformation."
I didn't have any idea what she was talking about at first. I just came over from another yoga site but she was talking about loss. So, I clicked on her "About Me" page. Here's an (rather long) excerpt:

"I originally discovered yoga 13 years ago as a cure for ‘dis-ease’. During difficult times, Yoga became a necessary therapy to bring balance back into my life. Grief has very much been a part of my personal journey, and because of this I feel called to help others move through their own transformative process...

That’s the formal bio.  But here’s the real deal. I know that grief is an extremely personal journey and since you are trusting me with your heart. It’s only fair that I give you a piece of mine…
In my 33 years on this planet, I have journeyed  through the losses of fifteen loved ones.  For now, I’ll tell you about the two most significant ones.When I was 24 I was living the life of most ‘twenty-somthings’.  I worked as a server while attending the University of Victoria and saved any extra to finance my ever-increasing travel bug.  I was fun-loving, adventurous, and also slightly self sabotaging in my ‘party girl’ ways. On Christmas Eve, my boyfriend (and love of my life) was diagnosed with Liver Cancer.  That January, I dropped out of school to become his primary caregiver (along with his beautiful mother).  After six months of doctors, hospitals, surgeries, and alternative therapies, he lost his battle…And I felt like I lost mine.

That was the same year that my mother (who growing up was the text-book definition of ‘soccer-mom’) was thrown into a Costa Rican Jail for overstaying her visa and having an expired passport. I travelled to Costa Rica two times in a desperate attempt that there was something that I could do.  She was later deported.  A few months after she returned home, she took her own life.

My grief was overwhelming.  I felt like I was sinking and I knew in my heart that if I was going to get through this, I had to swim.  Hard. So, having done late-night research on every type of alternative therapy imaginable in hopes of saving my boyfriend’s life, I started using what I learned to save my own.  And what I found was that I resonated most with those therapies that had a basis in energy and ‘whole-person wellness’ and those therapists who were the most down-to-earth.

I found a Yoga Teacher, a Reiki Master, and Intuitive Healer and a Thai Massage Teacher all of who embodied this quality and who I love and am so grateful for.  I returned to the University of Victoria and finished my Bachelor’s of Education.  I even taught for a year at the BC International School in Cairo, Egypt.
I believe that Love is the most important thing there is. And that letting go into Love is the only thing we truly need. I’m a crier. I mean, I cry. A lot! Once I even cried while watching the movie ‘Dodge Ball’.  Sometimes I’m still hard on myself for this as it often feels like a weakness.  But, deep down I know that it is really a sign of great strength. I also use swear words. Like a trucker at times. I’ve been working on changing this for years.  One day I may need to accept that I come from a family of loggers and sometimes they just slip out. I was once told that ‘kind’ is my word.  I believe that all beings are kind underneath all of their ‘stuff’.  Straight-up kindness without expectation is very important to me.

 The “C” in my name stands for Crystal.  It snowed the day I was born and later when the sun was shining it looked like millions of tiny crystals.  My Mom named me after the snow.  I like this because it shows that she, like me, also had a lil’ hippy in her heart. My work is my passion. It is an extension of my heart.  I truly believe that if I can do it. So can you! "

There's more but you get the gist. And maybe see why I was so "mind-blown" with the discoveries as they unfolded. The Victoria connection, first. Then just the entire thing: I randomly (is anything truly "random"?, I'm beginning to ask myself) hit upon a yoga site and then randomly select a class from its myriad offerings. I wind up with an instructor born the same year as Summer and who exactly like myself lost both her mother and the Love of her Life in the same year - out of that making it her mission to teach (free!) yoga and try to help others. Who believes in love (sound like anyone we know?) and values above all kindness.

Summer, who was always off to a yoga class in a minute, and often dressed for one (when she wasn't dolled up or in her pj's with her hair up), in cute, comfy yoga pants and usually an even cuter t-shirt, I know is, as ever, guiding my better actions. "Why don't you do some yoga, sweetheart? I think it'd be good for you.". Yes, my love. Right, as always. Thank you, my little gingersnap. Love you forever.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013