Category Archives: Lyrics

between the notes

Photo © T.Nikic, 2013.

1

silence

noun si·lence \ˈsī-lən(t)s\
  1. 1:  forbearance from speech or noise :  muteness —often used interjectionally

  2. 2:  absence of sound or noise :  stillness in the silence of the night

  3. 3:  absence of mention: a :  oblivion, obscurity b :  secrecy weapons research was conducted in silence

(SOURCE)

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Sometimes it’s the silence between the notes

Which makes the song.

The pause, which allows the note before

And the note after it

To be heard and understood.

We write songs in our daily lives

Often without knowing it.

We pause before replying,

We walk away,

We breathe.

It’s what determines the song’s melody.

If I had to tell you

What my last song was about

I’d say it was about fears

And that it’s important we face them.

It’s about wounds and scars,

Covered up and bound with

Band-Aids and bandages

Which, at some point,

Need to be ripped off.

It’s about being present,

In the moment,

Without definition, expectation or direction,

Where one exists as they are.

It’s about staying in the moment

And trusting that that space will evolve,

Grow,

Change,

Grant life, beauty.

It’s about meeting another’s gaze,

Without looking away,

Not being scared of that sacred space.

It’s about SOULfood

Where freedom exists

And there are no limits

Placed on humanity

Or creativity

Or BEing.

When one song ends,

The silence before the first note of the next

Will surely be of influence.

And when the new song starts

Listen carefully,

Because it just might be the song

Which becomes the oyster shell

For your heart.


A Song Broken Down…

Any form of art we create, has its own life, which is carried by those who receive it with any of their senses. Its life lies in connection with a memory, feelings, a recognition of, and a relation to past experience(s) of the person who is engaging with it, be it via visual or auditory (or taste etc) stimulation. We are human beings. What makes us truly human, in my opinion, is our ability to FEEL. Emotions, feelings, are part of our human experience.

 

Photo ©T.Nikic, 2012

Photo ©T.Nikic, 2012

A very important side note: Our souls don’t ‘feel’. Our souls are a distinct energy which allows us to develop a spiritual awareness during our human experience. We are able to ‘recognize’ souls we’ve met in a previous life or those souls we are inherently connected to (i.e. soul mates). But our souls, even at the moment of recognition of another, do not have the experience of FEELING. But our humanity does. Our souls simply experience an elevation of the vibrational frequency of their energy at this time. That’s something we as humans can FEEL as part of our human experience, but our souls just have an energy ex/change. That is all.

Why am I talking about art, souls and the ability to feel as part of our human experience?? Because of a song I just stumbled upon. Yes, it’s that deep. Why am I going to the extreme of writing a blog post about it? Because it matters and because I recognize our human tendencies of getting caught up in emotions which can subsequently lead to an emotional roller coaster ride. Remember Adele’s Someone Like You? Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You? Or even bits of Rihanna’s Stay ft. Mikky Ekko? If experienced in a misinterpretation, rather in a state of being that is in an uncentered emotional turmoil, those songs could lead to a prolonging of (or the creation of) an attachment to a feeling which is fleeting, as all feelings are. ALL FEELINGS ARE FLEETING. This song, to me, is a more mature, aware, grownup, male version. Oh you’re wondering what song I’m talking about? Read on, please. 🙂

When I first listened to it, I found the song, like parts of the aforementioned songs, ego based, because initially I felt that it was written from a space where there was an attachment to a person/feeling (as the songs above were). However, after watching the video, and listening to the song on repeat for a few hours, just reflecting and connecting to it, I realized that (or interpreted that) this piece of art was rooted in honesty. I felt that it wasn’t a song about longing for a lost love but a realization that one missed out on the experience of love because he did not allow himself to be vulnerable. He realized too late that his fears and ego prevented him from experiencing LOVE, because he was scared, for whatever reason, and now he is in this melancholy, not regretful, but a very mindful state of awareness: TO EXPERIENCE LOVE, WE MUST BE VULNERABLE WITH ANOTHER, AND OVERCOME OUR FEARS.

 

 

In relationships with another, irrelevant of the intensity of the connection, we have to be emotionally naked in order to truly experience LOVE, with another. After all, in order to receive a hug, we must give a hug. The difficulty for some lies in showing love, but more often than that, it lies in difficulty in receiving love, of ‘allowing’ another to love us. The reasons for this can be complex and are often rooted in our childhood ‘misinterpretation’ of love. But it basically boils down to feeling unworthy of someone loving us. That’s a painful and damaging lie we carry with us, unknowingly sometimes. But this song, as simple as the lyrics are, describes that realization, of the fact that he did not experience that closeness with her because he couldn’t go there with her, on an emotional level. His ego led him to think that she’d come running back to him, but she found happiness with someone who wasn’t scared to go THERE – to be open, and honest, and vulnerable on an emotional, spiritual and mental level. He held on to that ‘ego thought’ until he realized that the reason it didn’t work out between them, was because of his fears and ego holding him back from that soul baring nakedness, that is needed to experience such closeness with another human being. He is grieving the death of his fears, as he realizes that those fears are what was ‘killing’ him, his spirit, and his ability to experience LOVE, with another.

 

I have shared my breakdown of this song because I wanted to remind all of us that in order to experience LOVE with another, we MUST not just be vulnerable and courageous enough to love another, but also be vulnerable and courageous in allowing another to love us. I wrote this because I want to see people engaged in mindful, loving, and emotionally fulfilling relationships, myself included. Of course there is more to relationships than this – they take work. But imagine if we based them on, and built them in a sacred space of honesty, vulnerability, and soul baring nakedness? I bet there’d be more happy people walking around…

Love liberates. Love doesn’t bind. Love liberates.

 

And no, it will not eradicate powerful art. If anything, it may feed and fuel the creation of more art, that’s even more touching and powerful.

 

Oh and about the song that inspired this post? Click here to hear it.

Peace and love,

T

 

 


Slow Dance

Nat King Cole’s voice, his music, his words, make my day better when I hear him. 

It makes sense it’s interwoven into a dream, right?

Dance well.

T

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I want to slow dance
While Nat King Cole plays
In the background
With my best friend…
In our living room….
Amidst the chaos the day has left behind –
Toys, bibs, papers, – the results of lives
Our love has created.
I want to look into the eyes of my best friend
Before we embrace for our slow dance
And see his heart, his pain, his soul, his love….
I want to still see myself.
As he holds me close,
I want to rest my head on his shoulder
To take in his comforting familiar scent,
In gratitude,
And remember all that it took
For us,
To get to that present moment,
With the knowledge that it was all worth it.
I want to slow dance with my best friend…
Dance…
Slow…

 

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gETTFM2PCYg


Think about us….?

I wrote this poem earlier this year as a reflection to a monologue I wrote and was asked to perform at a spoken word event called LoveJonesSundays. Sometimes it’s REALLY difficult to accept our past as just that – the past. Our humanity drives us to break it down, explain it, justify it, see it ‘clearly’… Well, for me, I believe in lessons, and continual growth especially from adverse situations. I think it’s necessary, however, just as all things in life, this too is a choice.

Sending you peace and love,

T.

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It might have been love

But it wasn’t my lifetime.

Isn’t it funny?

That which we fear to lose the most

Is often what we end up losing.

Now I realize that love is enough to remember.

Yes you were a heartache

But I learned so much from that about myself.

Like what not to say or do

If you don’t want to skew the truth.

What honesty truly means

And no it’s not simply not saying anything –

That’s just an inability/will to communicate.

Yea maybe I created a situation/vibe

Where it was hard for you to open up

But I didn’t realize my strength

Would be a deterrent for your love.

 

Did you even think about that?

About us?

All that I gave you?

Words that left your mouth?

I am not sure I’d call that love…

 

I learned so much from you…about me.

I hope you saw me for more than

My reactions to your fears and insecurities.

Crazy, isn’t it?

How we often become the person

We’re trying to run away from.

In the end you realize

It wasn’t love that hurt so bad,

Just fears and insecurities we both allowed

To creep up in THAT us.

I think back and all I really remember now

Is what love doesn’t look like.

 

Do you ever think about that?

About us?

All that you gave me?

Words that left my mouth?

I am not sure I’d call that love…

 

But I’ll always remember you as

The prologue to my lifetime

‘Cuz you showed me

Who I didn’t want to be

And what love doesn’t look like.

 

Think about us?….


Window Seat…

A moment of reflection, St Mark's Basilica, Venice

I’ve been thinking about reflection and how valuable of a practice it is for inner peace. Some may say that I am writing about something obvious but there is a depth there which often goes unacknowledged, in my opinion.

I, just like many who live in large North American cities, lead a busy life. Of course this is by choice but the fact remains – we stay busy. In the midst of that chaos (because at times it really can feel chaotic) we somehow ‘have to deal’ with whatever is going on in our lives, with whatever has happened that’s not been dealt with, and with whatever else comes up. Often, I have found that I do the minimum not because I don’t want to deal with an issue or a situation (although sometimes that IS true) but simply because of lack of time I make for self.

Recently, me, myself and I traveled abroad for four weeks and got to spend much-needed quality time. I wasn’t even aware that I had that actual need to spend time with myself, until I was there and all the things that have happened in my life in the last few years finally surfaced…but you could say, I finally allowed them to. They were all pretty major things – passing of my grandfather who was one of the biggest loves of my life; getting out of an unhealthy relationship which left scars and damage that I realized during my alone time I had buried deep and hadn’t allowed myself to feel; coming into my own as a woman and an adult which is complex on its own; and dealing with all the matters of the heart which I tried to run from or ignore….

I’m not interested in writing about personal details of people, situations or moments which happened on my trip or in my life because it is not necessary. If you are going through or have gone through something which you’ve not been able to, or have not allowed yourself to deal with and feel, then you already understand my words and all of what I’m trying to say.

The thing which has become obvious to me however, is that all those things I ‘have to deal’ with but don’t make time for, eventually DO need to be dealt with, reflected on, digested, discussed, released…for me to keep going and most importantly to be able to grow and to be able to feel. I am not talking about every day stuff we have to do but big things like relationships, death of someone close to us, love, etc. All that ‘stuff’ requires and deserves time with self. YOU deserve time with YOURSELF.

Sometimes it is just a feeling  – you know you must spend time to reflect and to feel in order to move forward. And it doesn’t even have to be that you are unhappy about anything in your life or about yourself. It’s really just about you taking the time to reflect and I mean REALLY reflect on whatever it is that your soul and your heart are telling you is important.

I’ve come to appreciate my own ‘stripping’ of outer layers and being emotionally and spiritually ‘naked’ with myself. It is a scary thing, I won’t lie but what scared me more after-the-fact is that I had not allowed myself to feel up to that point. The inability of feeling had crippled me emotionally, spiritually and somewhat mentally without me even realizing it. It’s strange because before I left for my trip I felt great about everything in my life – I was happy and content. After I faced my fears and allowed myself to feel, by reflecting on things that I thought I had ‘dealt with’, I realized how much growing I still had to do as a person. More importantly I realized that I can be my own best friend or worst enemy depending on the amount of realness I serve myself and how much time I allow with myself.

To some of you reading this, you just read a bunch of gibberish. But to others who are dealing with ‘stuff’ and yet haven’t really dealt with anything, I hope you allow yourself time with yourself to reflect. My biggest wish for you after that time with self which I hope you find, is that you allow yourself to feel all of that which you need to. Know that we all have a story and that someone else has gone through what you’ve gone or may be going through – the details may be different but the feelings which you were left with are the same. It isn’t an easy road to travel on but it’s the most important one to follow….

Much love and peace,

T


Lifetime…My Reminder

I reflect a lot about the value of now, as in, this moment, right now. There is so much that can be achieved, accomplished, said, felt, thought, decided, experienced….but it was specific things and all things which happened up until right now, which have lead to this moment, shaped this moment, determined everything within this moment, including the way of thought and the perception chosen.

I have always felt an incredible appreciation for life and living, and although one of my favourite songs has served as a reminder of this, my true understanding of trying to make the most out of this lifetime, really came about through experiences during my childhood.

*****

I grew up in Bosnia. My family went through poverty, discrimination and many hardships as a result of the war in the early 1990s. Although I am glad not to have been in the war zone where the fighting happened, what I did experience was being a refugee in part of former Yugoslavia which at the time was the same country. (I still don’t understand how we were refugees in our own country although I was aware that religion played a big role in the war, and was interchanged with nationality.) There is something about having that status of a “refugee” which makes you feel like an outcast. We didn’t have the nicest clothes, or the best quality of food, provided we actually had something to eat. (I remember one day my mom was crying over the stove because she had no food to cook.) We definitely couldn’t afford to buy very many things and it was a struggle to maintain what little we did have.

We were able to receive help after obtaining our “refugee” status. The people at Red Cross were amazing and I’ll be forever grateful to them for all of their help. The trips to Red Cross, to get staples of flour, oil, Spam, sugar, salt, and if luck was on your side, perhaps a ‘new’ used piece of clothing, often left me feeling grateful but small. My parents usually spared us those trips but one visit is enough to stay with you forever.

One thing I remember from the times we went to Red Cross was the crowd – other refugees, in similar or worse situations than my family’s, waiting in line, sweating in the summer months, shivering in the winter months, always asking for a little bit more this time out of need, but unable to get more from the limited supply Red Cross had to ration out. Then there was the walk ‘home’ (for some reason I don’t remember the walk to Red Cross), loaded with precious heavy cargo, with many breaks along the way to catch our breath or rest for a few minutes. I remember holding my head upright and looking straight ahead as I did not want to meet the eyes and gazes of the onlookers (locals) for the fear of seeing pity or anger in their eyes. (Refugees were seen as a burden to some in the parts of former Yugoslavia we were in – from Montenegro to northern Serbia.) I avoided those common looks of judgement because silently they picked at my spirit and jaded my views of the world, lessening the height of my dreams and thoughts. It’s incredible that discrimination causes a 10 year old girl to feel all of that, don’t you think? I doubt that discrimination based on race, religion or sex is any different, and I’m always amazed that it still exists. But I digress…

When my parents moved us to Canada, I felt lost in the beginning. It is a country of people with many different cultural backgrounds and races of which I knew nothing about. (The first time I ever saw a non-white person and interacted with someone in English was a month before leaving for Canada and it was a black man, in a UN vehicle, who was asking for directions.) With time, I realized that I had more in common with people of non-Canadian origin as many of them experienced some type of discrimination either prior to or after moving here.

Very quickly, I also realized that moving to Canada gave us a chance at a new life, a better life, however different it might be. I learned about different cultures, foods, customs and have continued to do so in the last 17 (almost 18) years we’ve lived here. And through the examples set forth by my parents (see my last blog “Be One of My Heroes”), I realized that life truly is what you make it. It is about taking a chance in following your dreams, working on your goals, following your heart, doing what makes you happy and making the most out of each moment (by being and living in the moment). Of course all of this is achieved through very hard work, taking chances, making mistakes, living in this lifetime. Perhaps the very ambitious nature of my character, stems from my very experience, feelings and memories of war.

After moving to Canada, the little girl from Bosnia, who lives in me forever, after experiencing poverty, and discrimination based on a social status, chose to always follow her heart, stay true to it and not limit herself or any of her dreams. But most importantly, that little girl decided to face all of her fears and make the most out of each and every moment, as each moment is a blessing in itself.

Some of the things I’ve done to date: I’ve competed as a fitness model and a figure competitor, modeled, traveled (and will continue to do more), worked different jobs through last few years of high school and all through the 8 years of university (including a retail clothing store, sold knives, worked as a personal trainer, ran a small part of a gym for a little while, worked as a pharmacy technician for many years, helped run a marketing company and a fitness organization, coordinated fashion shows (and did make-up)), completed two university degrees, tried painting, learned how to play alto saxophone, wrote poems, started a blog (!), made many mistakes, got into and out of bad situations, learned from all of those experiences, and took chances!

I wrote all this to make a point –  no matter what you’ve gone through in life, no matter how hard it gets or how much it gets you down if you want to do something so long as YOU believe you can, you really can! Remember that being ‘special’ isn’t exclusive to anyone – everyone has a story. I just chose to share mine. Now let’s get back to the music and my reminder….

*****

Anyone who knows me personally, works with me, is friends with me on Facebook or follows me on twitter* knows that I LOVE music. I listen to any music with realness and a soulful feel. I’m talking about music you can relate to through lyrics which sometimes help with how you’re feeling at the moment or even gives you a different point of view on something you’re struggling with. Of course the actual music – notes, melodies, beats, composition – from which the song and lyrics are born is what speaks to our hearts through our ears and has the ability to lift us and carry us on emotional and spiritual journeys if we listen and feel it. I’ve been very blessed over the years and have accumulated quite a large collection of CDs of soulful, real goodness. (Yes, I still buy CDs!)

Although I loved music since I was very young, I think I really allowed music to take me wherever I needed to go – mentally, emotionally, spiritually – ever since the war and it remains a big part of my life, especially my many growth journeys (that’s another blog topic ;)).

I believe I was formally introduced to the music of Maxwell by my best friend, E. It might have been late 1990s, early 2000 when I REALLY listened to his work. It was soulful, meaningful, and often had me thinking or reflecting on the topic of the song or lyric(s).

I have a very deep appreciation for all of Maxwell’s released work, however, my ALL-TIME favourite is actually a song from the Now album called “Lifetime”. On my portable CD player (I know some of you will remember those – they came out after Walkmans and before mp3 players and iPods!) I used to listen to “Lifetime” over and over on the bus and subway to and from university and before I went to bed.

For those who aren’t familiar, here are some of the lyrics which I felt and thought of as important, but self-explanatory:

I was reborn when I was broken
I wouldn’t believe I wouldn’t believe,
been thru a storm no use in hopin’
that you would come rescue me
somehow your love set me free. And now

 I can let my life pass me by
or I can get down and try
work it all out this lifetime“…

“There was a time when love was unchosen
and now I’m just hopin’ for more
and now I’m just reachin’ out for something better
than I had before“….

I can let it all pass me by
or I can just try and try
I can move to the light
oh if I take it one day at a time
oh spread my love out and fly
I can move to the light
ooh I can just make you understand
that love is not a fairytale in a melody
if you want it you can have it girl
maybe you will see? maybe you will see?”…

I am sure that my interprertation of this song doesn’t match what it was originally written about, but I think that is okay. Every time I listen to “Lifetime”, I let it remind me of what I had learned and believed before hearing it – you really only have this short life to do what you want to do, to be who you want to be, to make the most of your life. THIS LIFE!

Out of nothing, we can create something and we can always do more, do better, if we believe and simply try. I think it’s easier going through life ‘living’ in fear and not trying but I also think that that is the very thing which hurts us. I chose a song as my reminder of this, but a reminder can be someone you look up to, or a poem, a story, a book, a picture, a movie….it could be anything really. My hope for everyone is to remember those reminders for always and make the most out of THIS lifetime.

T

Here is the Youtube link for the video “Lifetime” by Maxwell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMAHTZ2nBvk

*If you choose to follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tamaranikic


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