The greatest love songs cover all kinds of love, and that, I think, is this song’s triumph. It’s not just about romantic love — you can sing it to your lover, but it would be just as true if you sang it to your child, your best friend, your mother. Furthermore, it’s not about sweeping statements and dramatic declarations. It’s a jolly, rollicking little tune which takes as its message the one thing we have all sighed to our loved ones at some point in our lives when they have come through for us when we needed them the most: “God only knows what I’d do without you”. It’s a song of simple but glorious gratitude. And it makes me terribly happy.
I’m listening to music that is all levels of bad. For one thing, it’s Australian. For another, it’s from the (very) early 90s. AND it’s a girl band. Singing pop.
But I’m honestly loving it. The music reminds me of that incredibly pure time in my life – when I was living in Sydney with my mother and two sisters. I say pure because I don’t have to filter it of upsets or crises – minor or major – to really enjoy the memories. I just remember being… happy. No ‘buts’. Just happy.
This was about 20 years ago, and as worrying as it is to be able to say that about any point in my life, I remember it all so well. I see the memories like old polaroids – over exposed, with a fading sort of hyper colour, but still retaining the simple pleasure of the images they’ve captured. Polaroids should never go out of style. But I digress.
I remember the smell of a sunny weekend morning, walking to the shops holding my mother’s hand. We’d buy candy at the newsagents. My sisters and I would stare longingly at Tilly’s, the art shop, hankering after the glitter and coloured pens. If we were good we’d get VHS videos at the rental store – one I remember in particular: ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy’.
I remember planting that bottle brush tree outside our house with my mum. She taught me how to pat the soil around it and how to water it every now and then – although it was usually her watering and me playing skip with the hose. I remember how it grew over the years. Now, 20 years later, it is a massive tree, bursting with fluffy red flowers.
I remember the corner-shop just up the road from my place. My mum would send me there to get danish pastries and baklavas when we felt like indulging. Sam, the owner, who I think was Lebanese or something, used to slip an extra danish in the bag for me and give me a quick hug before letting me trip on back home. That was before the weight-related insecurities, when I was too young to know what dieting and carbs and calories even meant. Every sweet that touched my lips was savored without an ounce of guilt mixed in with the ingredients. Ah, heaven. Continue reading Remembering to Remember
It’s happening… And yet… Could it?
She giggles. Bites her lip and smiles at herself in the mirror. Checks her hair. Again.
Such a weird mix of feelings. Suddenly strange. Suddenly shy. Suddenly good. Suddenly self conscious. Suddenly happy. Suddenly unsure. Suddenly even a little scared.
The drive is long, the roads are wet. The static on the radio crackles and she remembers with a jolt to put on another song. Quickly sifting through the songs on her iPod, she looks for one to fit her unusual mood. She picks Love and Affection by Joan Armatrading – one of her all-time favourites. She’s listened to it hundreds of times before, but when she sings it now, she mixes up the words. She glances at herself in the rear-view mirror and can’t hold in the laugh that bubbles up into her throat at her own silliness.
A boy on the road catches her eye and smiles despite the rain pelting down on him. It’s a flirtatious smile and she rolls her eyes in exasperation as the car zooms past, leaving him behind. Continue reading That old feeling…