This is what Motherlode will be: The story of being a mother, a woman, a lover, a being… through song.
Each disc will take you on a musical narrative of what I have witnessed as all of these beings.
To me, the songs are more than just songs: I picked each one with a concrete purpose. I wanted each disc to set the tone
and to be a collection of feelings about being a mother, a woman, a lover, a being.
THE UNIVERSAL MIRROR (disc one)
My great- great-great grandfather (whom I never met), was John Quincy Adams. He was the first president to move into the White House, and it was unfinished when he arrived. He and Louisa, my great- great-great grandmother, had to make due.
Back in those days, people wrote compelling and heartfelt letters to one another. Even when they lived together…and perhaps they left them on the bedside table, or on the seat of the buggy…Someplace romantic, sure to pique interest and send a heart a-flutter.
Well, that is what my great-great-great grandparents did. They wrote letters to one another, full of love and dreams and events and wishes. And so the first song on Motherlode is written for them. Written from my pretending to be Louisa…but since I use the word “I” throughout, and no other pronouns, anyone could sing it to anyone else.
This song has the larconic feel of a sedative with strings and haunting electric guitar. It is an open letter to my insomnia…
I have personified it as a being, a ghost that haunts me nightly. I thought, perhaps, if I sent this letter, this song, out into the universe, it would release this grip insomnia has had on me for so long. We shall see….
A WOMAN’S FATE
To tell the tale of all womankind, I went back into the old world. My friend, Robin, introduced me to this song. I altered some of the words, and added a verse, to introduce a shade of sexuality and innuendo. The maiden’s fate is represenative, it is universal, and I approached it as an anthem, of sorts, while keeping it simple and true to its roots.
I sat down at the piano one day and my heart was overflowing with grief. Who am I? Why am I here? Of what use am I? Is this what being a mother means? Do I make a difference in the world? As it happens with songs, this one captured my lonliness at that moment. It took the tears and set them free.
What is going on in this world? How can it be that so much suffering goes unresolved? Singing this song, I wanted to crawl inside of it, and be the voice of a universal mother. I wanted to draw the listener in close, to say, “I am here with you, we are not alone…” and, yet, we ARE alone…We come into this world alone through the creative process of birth; the woman’s gift.
And we must exit this realm into an unknown: we all leave alone. Each one of us will make this journey. There is no stopping it.
But while we are here, we have the choice to be the best human being we can be, to make this moment in time meaning full.
Each moment is a birth, a miracle, and our words and actions create more births, more reactions…More living and dying…
Where can a relationship go that is defined by violence? How can a song talk about this? Through the eyes of a woman who has lived through it and is ready to share her story through song. (This is not a personal experience I’ve been subjected to, although I have had violence occur in which I was the recepient.)
Sometimes we fall for the immediate solution, and it leads to further problems. I took this incredibly huge hit for an all male band and sang it from the center of a woman’s point of view. It shifts the entire vibe of what is being sung.
Everyone reaches a breaking point at some point, and that is where we balance on faith. Faith that things will make sense, or become easier, or someone will step in to help us out. We must have faith in our own journeys, we must believe that we belong…
To look into one’s memories, and finally put the pieces of the puzzle together, and to relish our ancestry…The circle is complete. We carry on our heritage through subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways. Often , others will recognize a motion or a physical component of our mothers….and they point it out to us. It has been unseen, and suddenly, it is very present, very real. We are reunited with loved ones just by being ourselves.
THE UNIVERSAL THREAD (disc two)
The meeting, the preening, the goofy and electric advances of falling and flying and being around someone you are attracted to.
The happiest moments of our lives…finding a soul who is as delighted in you as you are in them!
Everything becomes a swirling lack of time. I’m tripping, I’m falling, I’m crazy for you. The agony of momentary seperation, and the exhiliration of seeing each other again….It’s all so delightfully delicious.
I want to know you. Tell me your secrets. Tell me where you got that scar above your eye. Tell me about your fears and your family and where you want this life to take you. Ask me about me. Let me whisper in your ear…The constant giving and sharing and the falling becomes more connected. The making of love, physically, emotionally….internal explosions. As close as we can be.
The love making starts to drift…Where has it gone? Will it return? Are we stuck?! As a woman, I think: What have I done?
And then I am led into…
Why is this so hard? I thought we were tripping and falling and complete and my womanliness was all you could desire. I know that you love me, but sometimes I just don’t know what to do…Have I lost my appeal? Ah, the frustrations of being a wife who is still the lover.
I know…sometimes I try to do too much. These days…My mind starts playing tricks on me. I want to be this for you and this for the kids and this for my body and it becomes overwhelming….
Watching other women (our mothers, our friends’ mothers, neighborhood women…) with addictions can create a cycle that is difficult for a little girl to break. But we all have the ability to look back and change where we are now….The excess, the greed, finding love in the strangest of places and memories.
And while we are exploring our bond to our mothers, we can find the saints. We can find the ones we admire and challenge ourselves to rise to the occassions….
This too will pass. We have our friendships, our families, our faith, to see us through. Maybe you feel frozen, but there is a greater force for women (for each of us) to keep going.
LOVE OF THE CHILD
And at the end of the day, you tuck in your dearest reward: your child. You kiss the forehead, you see the light. You see how the torch is being passed, and you long to protect and to hold on to and to love with all your might, but it is beyond you. You can only give your best and watch as your child becomes an adult and to complete the cycle. Then you become the great-great-great grandparent someone wished they knew…..and, perhaps, to be remembered in a song…..