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

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.

Travelling Back In Time: A Dedication

It’s funny where your mind takes you unexpectedly. As always, I prepared for work this morning, donning the mask of eyeliner; occasional eye shadow; mascara and lip gloss. Despite the recent events in Libya, I mostly listened to my favourite album, which happens to be Iranian. I surprised myself by knowing some of the words and as always  I would smile thinking how much my father would have liked that. Suddenly as I was sat there in front of my mirror, it was like I had stepped into a time machine back in time when I was in my late teens, at Heathrow airport while I was waiting for my father’s arrival from Iran. I remember how he was so late the arrivals lounge was more of less deserted. I waited and waited and waited with my mother. As the lounge emptied further, I sat on the floor willing him to walk through the doors. Finally it worked, the door opened and there he was. I literally ran into his arms. I remember a man also waiting, watching me and smiling. Although it was not on purpose, I liked how he saw the scene and how much my Papa was loved.

Since then, I have stood in that same spot where I sat waiting for my father while waiting for other family members. Each time a part of me still waits for him and sometimes I am surprised when we start to leave and he has yet to arrive. Immersing myself as much as possible into Iranian culture helps me to feel closer to him but it also adds further pain and regret that he’s not here to see what I always promised him would happen.

One song on the album I listened to this morning strikes a particularly painful chord with me and I’d like to share it with you, dedicating it to my Papa. The lyrics are translated below, with a brief description of the video:

 

English Lyrics:

‘Empty’

I go through my diary every night

your name is on every single page of it, I read them and break inside

I tattooed your name all over my body

so you believe, that the one who always remembers you is me.

Whoever asks me how I am, I answer everything is great

nobody knows how much your place is empty here

now, I understand how it feels to be empty 

“empty” means “without you”, “without you” means “empty.”

I always think your absence won’t hurt me tomorrow

but tomorrow comes and I see I want nothing but you.

I dont talk to anybody, there is no funny jokes or laughter

it is obvious that there is no longer spring after winter.

The song repeats the lyrics above until the end, the video is more or less self explanatory. The little boy at the beginning tells his mother, how he misses his grandfather and wants to be with him. He mother replies that he will see him one day in heave. His parents are seperated and unfortunately the little boy dies, his mother is distraught at her son’s graveside but her son appears with his grandfather. “Why are you crying, Mummy? I’m in heaven with Grandpa”. Unfortunately, the song and video was inspired by a true story and unfortunately again – we all have one thing in common. We all die and we all have to say goodbye to our loved ones, whether we want to or we are ready.

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. 


In Death We Are Not Alone

I believe that nothing happens by chance.

In two weeks it will be Father’s Day. I always used to make an effort, using that day to spoil my father when really I should have used everyday to do that. I’m sitting here now watching an old video of my first trip to Iran with him and finally can hear his lovely voice once more. Whoever said time heals was lying through their teeth.

I now have another reason to celebrate Father’s Day, albeit on a different date in accordance with a different culture. My father-in-law is staying with us and reminds me so much of my father. Sitting in a local restaurant with him I missed my father so much. I am so happy to be able to keep his culture alive and even his language but it brings with it the added pain that he is not here to enjoy it. While I was thinking and feeling all this, what should be playing while we ate but Michael Jackson: You Are Not Alone. Hearing the words, I felt my father was talking to me and I remembered those times that we would sit side by side and watch the video together.

My Papa was not only my father, he was my brother and my best friend. He was my soulmate. Five years ago, I did not lose just one person, I lost four. When you die, people will know two things about you, the date of your birth and the date of your death, but what some will not know and what is most important is what was in between.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight ~ Kahlil Gibran

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.

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…

Previous Older Entries