In Retrospect

Regina Spektor’s Musical World and the Ephemeral Moments of Joy – Part I

Coverage
Delicate dance anthem…
[Source – Pixabay]

Walking down the street with old heavy memories, frozen and hazy, not bothering for a while and the unknown liveliness of the fresh sounds greeting us from all around – the dripping thaw, the golden sunny warmth, the tiny twittering birds, the ‘oh my god’ honking of a dashing car’s ghost that passes by, the hearty smiles and laughter – we blush with hope teasing us, giving us bright ideas, gleaming as we experience our quiet, still mind-pond.

These ephemeral moments of joy, so true and innocent, are hard to capture, harder to sustain, probably that is what makes it so special for and loved by all.


Regina Spektor, the star singer, songwriter, musician, the starry-eyed star, the star magician, knows how to hold such moments very well. She doesn’t capture it, na-na, she only knits a pretty, sweet and soothing melody and then soaks it into such warm moments, letting the melody take this ephemeral colour.

To this colour, she adds free-play, emotions and her pianist-self and, voila, a Regina Spektor song wave is ready.

Listen to “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me)” before reading further –

*

…And down on Lexington they’re wearing
New shoes stuck to aging feet
And close their eyes and open
And they’ll recognize the aging street
And think about how things were right
When they were young and veins were tight
And if you are the ghost of Christmas Past
Then wont you stay the night?

Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas…

Regina Spektor

She amalgamates it all so well, life’s experiences, cut both ways and so gently she allows herself to smile an honest smile. How beautifully this song captures time and lets it go.

And she loves Paris, especially when it rains there and so do we all (at least the rasiks* do).

Listen now to “Dance Anthem of the 80’s” –

*

…I’m walking through the city
Like a drunk, but not
With my slip showing a little
Like a drunk, but not
And I am one of your people
But the cars don’t stop…

Regina Spektor

This is nothing but a memory, cold, harsh, but funny in retrospect; one that glares until you glare back at it, acceptingly. And Regina Spektor handles this mixed emotion so peacefully and at the same very eagerly, probably eager for it to evolve.


Also, listen to the live performance of “Dance Anthem of the 80’s”, how sweetly she thanks her audience.

*

Here, at Chiming Stories, the blogger will be covering Regina Spektor’s musical world in the coming posts, trying to live and relish her songs in your company, so dear readers ‘ne me quitte pas mon chere’ (don’t leave me, my dear).


*A rasik, in Hindi language, is a passionate and thoughtful being.


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In Retrospect, I Think I Know What Alice Said

Alice
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

It was the Wonderland, Alice’s Wonderland, but she wasn’t there.

I felt very strange and thought of looking for her, but the very next moment this thought slipped away, dancing in front of my eyes and I stood there, smiling, I even said, ‘cheers’.

The tall trees were beautifully dressed in different shades of green, all of them together, creating a heavy and velvety canopy; mossy green sky with blue flowers and pretty birds singing sweetly all the time. Wonderland!    

When I wished to walk and explore the place, the earth showed a fresh path to me, it whispered to me, ‘this way’, and so I hopped ahead.

To my right, an endless celebration of lights and colours captured my mind. Every time red and green merged and sparkling yellow joined the blue, I took a halt to witness the magic.

Once, while the magical colours were reveling beautifully, I heard someone calling me from behind a huge tree. It was a talking tree and its name was ‘Alive’.

Alive
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Alive gave me a green leaf and asked me to put it in my purple bag. Only then did I realise that I was carrying a small purple bag. I did what Alive told me to do and moved ahead.

After that I met ten such trees – ‘Humble’, ‘Brave’, ‘Love’, ‘Mad’, ‘Pure’, ‘Kind’, ‘Dream’, ‘Courage’, ‘Wise’, and ‘Happy’ – they all gave me leaves to put it in my purple bag. Doing as told, I kept on hopping ahead.

When I danced, the leaves in the purple bag danced along and when I sang, they played music with me.

At night when the wonderland looked silvery dark, I sometimes cried, afraid to wake up and break the magic and end the wonderland journey.  

The leaves in my purple bag cried along, the leaves were just copying me and their failed attempt always made me laugh. The leaves were my best friends now.

A lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond.
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

Years passed in a day while I was looking at a lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond, under a giant mango tree. And all these years, I just kept looking at the lotus flower and kept smiling. Lovely life!

A caterpillar woke me up from meditation and asked me to take a ride with him; he said he was tired but had to offer me a tour because of the tradition of the place.

I warmly accepted and sat on him, but he refused to move until I gave him a coffee cigarette. ‘Coffee cigarette?’, I thought aloud and told him that I have never heard about such a thing.

With a smirk he asked me to check my purple bag and so I did, to my shock, I found one beautiful, golden brown looking coffee cigarette in it.

Blushing red, I gave it to him, he lighted it up and soon I could smell rich coffee in the air.

And then the roller coaster ride started.

The caterpillar took me to different countries in a flash and then to the past and future, underwater and in space, infinity and beyond, through colours and lights, and when we reached the music station, I asked him to stop.  

Every music instrument was playing, the waves in the air forced everyone present to dance to the beats; from samba to jazz, ‘ring-a-ring-a-roses’ to classical dance, I did everything.

I even got drunk, who can refuse a glass full of joy anyway? The rhythm lingers, as fresh as it can be, even now. My hands sometimes do the jingles on the table and my legs do the twist while walking.

At the colourful carnival.
Image by Juanita Mulder from Pixabay

I also remember attending a carnival, but what happened there exactly can’t be expressed in words. I have images in my mind and when I try to put them into words I end up painting and when I try to speak about it I end up singing.

The images are rich in colours and also smell of geniality. You must see them.

The journey was going to end, I knew it. The caterpillar said, ‘farewell’ and shook hands with me, leaving me alone with my purple bag.

On the rough road I walked ahead, dragging my purple bag that had surprisingly become ten times heavier than its original weight.

I sat on a funny looking rock to rest and started sobbing; a single drop fell on the ground and the place slowly started flooding with water. The rock didn’t sink, instead floated, funny indeed.

The rock took me to the shore and I was glad to see someone human. It was the Hatter.

He offered me some tea, but before I could drink the tea he asked me to sit and before I could sit he asked me to pass him the spoon from the far end of the table and before I could do it, he asked me, rudely, to go back from where I came, indicating a huge mirror with cursive letters as its frame, adding that he found me very lazy.

Astonished and confused, I took a step forward, suddenly the March Hare came forward from somewhere and asked me to let Alice go free.

He tried to snatch my purple bag and the Hatter joined him; I was winning until the Dormouse came there and tickled me. ‘Hurrah, hurrah’, they ran round and round the table, leaving the purple bag behind.

Magic happens thrice every day. Did you feel it today?

Flamingos feel the magic thrice everyday.
Image by Esmaylin Arguello from Pixabay

The eleven leaves came out of the purple bag and swirled slowly, then quickly, beautifully, and changed in a blinks time into Alice.

My eyes were full of happy tears. I wanted to meet Alice, she was smiling at me, and I wanted to talk to her about the wonderland. But that jealous Dormouse and March Hare came running towards me and pushed me into the giant mirror.

I saw Alice holding the Hatter’s hand, she said something to me, but I couldn’t understand it clearly.

Either she said, ‘Laugh and look up-up-up’ or ‘Pancake chocolate syrup-up-up’. Does it make any sense?

I’ll have to stop and think so that I can decode it and write and paint these words again and again.

What you said Alice sounded so sweet and true… I am sure I am on the right track.    

The right track that Alice also took.
Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

With the vibrations of Alice’s words still alive and so many green leaves around me, am I out of or still in the Wonderland?   I am crazy enough to know.


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