Dreams Really Do Come True

love you celine

Tuesday night a dream came true.  I fought back fear and was seated in the O2 arena, listening to what some have deemed the eighth wonder of the world: Celine Dion.  I say fought back my fear due to the recent terror attacks in London. I was debating with myself whether it was selfish of me to go. What if something did happen?  Having children has definitely made me more fearful. More fearful of everything.

I was very uneasy of leaving my children anyway, my youngest is not even 4 months and my eldest is old enough to know that I won’t be home for bedtime cuddles and kisses. Getting to the O2, the security was much more stringent than I remember and despite my earlier protestations my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful meal together prior to entering the actual arena. To be honest, I felt uneasy throughout the night and when we found our seats I couldn’t help but look for the nearest fire exit and wonder how many people could make it out of the arena safely.

It was not long until Celine’s supporting act entered the stage. I had not heard of Veronic DiCaire before but I hope this night was not the last time. She was beyond amazing and although I knew Celine was coming on stage as soon as Veronic completed her set, I was left wanting more. She reminded me a lot of Celine in her looks, the way she spoke (as a French/Canadian she had the exact same accent) and she definitely warmed the arena with her voice and her charm. Commenting on the recent terror attacks, she remarked on the British resilience with such feeling, I was left in tears. She remarked on the need to celebrate music and that was exactly what we did. Terrorism is more than how many people are killed (as heart-breaking as each death is) but how much fear they bring to our lives. They want us to stop living as we do and I am so glad that I refused to let them win.

Excitement was building when the time came for Celine to come on stage.  What seemed to be from out of nowhere she was there.  Although the concert tickets were sold out Celine Dion is able to make you feel she is performing to you only.  She converses with the crowd throughout the show with humour and compassion and you feel she is talking directly to you. It all seemed so natural and unrehearsed. There was no grand display on stage, or grand costume changes. It felt more about being there for one another rather than putting on a show with grand lighting effects.  My husband fortunately brought good seats, however towards the end of the show, Celine broke with protocol and walked off stage, through the crowd and sang the last song from a podium less than 15 feet away from where our seats were. Having an aisle seat meant that Celine walked straight past me. Most people had their phones up to their faces and taking pictures but I wanted to remember that moment.  The moment she looked at me and smiled. The moment I felt that she and I were the only two people in that arena.

She may be thirteen years older than me but I feel I can relate to her on so many levels, as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister. We have both suffered the loss of a loved one through Cancer and know that grief is like the disease itself. You will forever be recovering rather than free from it. As she dedicated the song to the victims of the Manchester and London terror attacks, you could feel and hear the compassion she felt for everyone. 

celine-o2-2017

Celine Dion, despite her ‘diva’ status has no pretence in front of others, there was a moment when she was overcome with emotion during the concert. She is not shy at showing her feelings or at laughing and joking, even at herself. I feel I have walked away from the concert with a new friend. For me she is so relatable on so many levels as a person rather than a product that just happens to sing beautiful music. It was the memories of her singing at the O2 that helped me through soothing a feverish 4 month old to sleep in 33 degree heat while her older sister was crying for me to cuddle her. 

So many people say it is risky meeting your idols and that often our expectations do not meet the reality. Watching Celine at the O2 was reminiscent of seeing my daughter walking behind Elsa in the parade at Disneyland. Elsa spotted her and several times blew her kisses, made a heart and even sent her some magic. The look on my daughter’s face was unforgettable. Now I know how she felt. Reality did not meet expectations, it exceeded them. Not only that but I am determined to keep those feelings safely tucked away for times when I need to draw on them. Like last night.

It just goes to show that you never know the effect you have on people. In a similar fashion, you never know what is going on behind closed doors, behind the smiles that people portray.  That is why we must always be gentler with people, kinder and less inclined to judge them. I had always known that and have tried to put that in practice in my relations with other people, however it was watching Celine that bought it home for me. There is a reason that Celine Dion is as successful as she is, having a good voice is not enough. You need to be likeable. Relatable. Human. That is exactly what she is.

Celine

Opening image: my own

Second image: www.metro.co.uk

Closing image: blastingnews.com
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The Language of Love

I remember in my younger years how I would actually study MTV. I would sit and watch the channel from morning until night. I would know each song and artist by the first chord. Music was my world back then. It still is but very rarely do I experience the hair on the back of my neck rising at a particular song. I do not begrudge the music of today but correct me if I’m wrong, it always seems to be about showing the most flesh in the videos and singing about love, unrequited love, broken love, new love. There is nothing wrong with that, we all go through such feelings at sometime in our lives but surely there is more to our life, more to our story than that? Maybe I am showing my age but I have increasingly become much more restless with music. Very rarely do I turn on the music channel these days and when I do, I’m always remarking “Who??” when the latest pop band plays. I sound like a broken record each time.

I have recently become fascinated by the various names the channels are called now. No longer is it as simple as MTV – I can’t even remember the name of the channel we were watching it seems to be that random. So when Mr. Husband tuned in yesterday morning, I was preparing to tune out. Until this song came on:


Now I understand what the saying: ‘if music be the language of love play on’ really means. Love does not only mean love between people but also love of yourself. We all suffer from self-doubt at some point in our lives.   Thanks to Katy Perry, I now feel like I am wearing a coat of armour. Whenever I catch even traces of self-doubt, I will remember to show people what I am truly worth.

We were all given gifts that are unique to us. We should be proud to let our colours shine, even if they do not match our counterparts. Free yourself from the  harsh reality of self-doubt, of consciousness and be proud of who you are. Ignite your firework and watch your beautiful colours shine.

Learning To Take The Good With The Bad

Friday was a particularly tough day, deadlines loomed and continued to grow and I have to say any of my other colleagues would have crumbled under the pressure. I am proud to say that I have my father’s endurance in such matters. Most of the time I am proud to stand strong and not rise up in answering back to others and yesterday was one of those occasions. I was even taken aback when my colleagues actually said goodbye to me as opposed to simply walking past and ignoring me. As I collapsed on the train home with all my deadlines met single handedly I was desperate to drown in the world created by Susan Lewis.

Alas, I happened to choose the noisiest of carriages, even listening to my iPod louder than normal could not drown the “what to have for dinner tonight” discussions. As I more or less crawled home from the station I found myself stopping to take in the divine smell of freshly cut grass, one of the first signs of spring. I opened the door to my husband running down the stairs to me, and a thick envelope addressed to me in my brother’s handwriting. Having previously discussed music, I expected the new discs he promised to send me. It was not only that but wrapped around them was a lovely card. I don’t often see him as life always seems to get in the way but it was so heart-warming for me to read the easy way in which he wrote. Listening to the mixes reminded me of how he and I would sit together and listen to music. As always, he pins down exactly what I need musically and finds an eclectic sound that moves me to my core.

I barely had time to sit down before I had to leave to have dinner with a friend. Over a deliciously homemade dinner, we moaned about our jobs, bills and shared holiday plans. Working in the same field, it was refreshing to share my misgivings with her and while our better halves discussed the latest IT developments we bonded over tea and chocolates. Tearing ourselves apart at near midnight, me heavy laden with gifts and promising to cat-sit and a repayment of the favour I drove home with no recollection of the days events, of the one man show of meeting deadlines, the exhaustion…

Now, as I write this on Saturday evening still full from the divine Iranian kebab I consumed at lunch and excited for the Iranian New Year in two weeks time, I feel so lucky to be me. To be Iranian despite all the negative rhetoric that currently surrounds us. My life isn’t perfect, my job isn’t perfect but I tell you – the people I surround myself with are certainly perfect for me.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jackson

On this day 53 years ago, the greatest entertainer of all time was born. I have written on several occasions about Michael Jackson but this time I will say very little and let Michael speak proving why indeed he was the greatest entertainer of all time. The following videos, although not by far the complete list, give testimony to his genius, his talent and his rhythm and why he still is the greatest entertainer of all time:

Watching these videos this morning, brought it home once more. This man was pure genius, he transcended age barriers, cultural barriers and race barriers. He made music what it is today and that is what he must be remembered for.

Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson. 


The Power of Music

‘…don’t let no one get you down…just keep your eyes on the prize…’ that was the advice to me at the end of today.

I had always thought music was a powerful instrument and today was no exception. The above are lyrics to a Michael Jackson song: Keep the Faith. By 5:30pm this afternoon, I was ready to give up. Give up with my job, my plans. I had not listened to my iPod all day (quite unusual for me, I might add) but when I shut the door on the working day I turned my iPod on loud and the first song that sang in my ears was Keep the Faith. Sometimes I fail to listen to the words of songs and just enjoy the melody, but this afternoon words in this song rang so true to me.

I never thought I would get bullied. I thought bullying was over once you had finished secondary school. Oh how naïve I was. One of the well-known bullies of my secondary school asked me to meet her after school, code for she wanted to ‘punch me one’. I actually waited for her. I waited and waited. Not actually sure what I would have done if she had turned up, but I called her bluff and won. She left me alone after that. Half my classmates thought I was crazy to have waited for her, the other half thought I was more powerful than the bully… at least until the end of the week. Now each day I can not be bothered. I no longer rise to the challenge and now it has become more habit than anything else. Indifference is far worse than hate, because with hate at least you feel something.

I might now use Keep The Faith as an anthem in the coming days, just as I used to for most Michael Jackson songs. Each day, as you are my witness – I will set a goal that will lead me to achieving my dreams, I will create new distractions, build new barriers. Success is the worst form of revenge and I am only powerless when I stop believing.  When I stop writing. When I stop listening.

The Kindness of Strangers

Most days I feel my ‘life has been way off line’. Earlier this week, however was slightly different. Walking from the office to the tube station at the end of the day, I felt dejected and invisible. I was selective in terms of the music I listened to on my iPod and chose those that reiterated what I was feeling (most notably the one above).

I was relieved to find a seat on the tube and sank into it. I usually bury my head in a book but that day did not even have the energy. I stared at the floor and as the doors opened at a station, I looked up and saw a pregnant woman board the train. I stood up and offered my seat (hoping I was not shouting as one does when listening to music). Although I was happy to stand, the man sitting opposite me stood up and offered me his seat. I thanked him and accepted.

I tell you truthfully, sitting there I had tears in my eyes. After feeling invisible all day, it was so nice and so uplifting to be noticed by somebody, a stranger, someone without a hidden agenda. It was such a small gesture and so insignificant that he probably forgot it two minutes later, but it strengthened my faith in humanity. It felt like he was offering an olive branch after a day at the office. It reminded me that sometimes the world is not such a cold and unfriendly place.

The moral for today my fellow readers is in the words of Plato, to always be kind to others because everyone is facing their own battle.

My Scream Out (ft. Michael Jackson)

Thinking about my first piece to start my marathon session of blog writing, I attempted to write on many topics this week but the real inspiration came to me last night while watching an old interview with Michael Jackson.

The footage was recorded on 10th February 1993 with Oprah Winfrey and watching it after many years, I felt goose pimples listening to the then exclusive release of his single: Give In To Me. Like many of his songs and like his scores of fans across the world, I felt he was singing about my life. There was something so powerful in his song and his dance that even seventeen years after the interview and the video aired and what will soon be two years after his death, he is still moving people with his music.

Even after writing about Michael Jackson on three other occasions, I am still amazed at how his music can stay so current, years after its release. Throughout my life, I have resorted to Michael Jackson’s music for comfort and this time is no different. Just as I was thinking of the week ahead, curling up on the sofa and trying to make myself as small as possible, I heard a song that gave me the strength to fight back against my demons. Words that I have listened to throughout today and which now, come Sunday evening I am feeling a little more ready for the onslaught of terrors that I face on Monday mornings.

Now, that is a song that is firmly set in my iPod…

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