OT7

So, after the horrendous day today turned out to be, I needed my calming mechanism.

Music.

So I turned to the most logical choice for me, lately.

Yes, BTS.

I must have watched 8 or 9 videos, before I hit one that actually had the English lyrics transcribed on the screen…

And I lost it.

Please…if you do nothing else, go watch “Magic Shop”. It will go a long way towards explaining why I love these boys so much.

When they sing this in concert, the ARMY sings this with them. I’ve seen videos of it, and it’s an ocean of sound. The boys have actually cried on stage because of their fans. They truly do love their ARMY.

But here…let their words speak for themselves…

BTS – MAGIC SHOP (ENGLISH TRANSLATION) LYRICS

I know that you’re hesitating because even if you say the truth
In the end it will all return as scars
I’m not going to say anything blatant like “find strength”
I will let you hear my story, let you hear it

What did I say?
I said you’d win, didn’t I?
I couldn’t believe it (really)
Could I win it?
This miracle that isn’t a miracle
Did we make it?
(No) I was here
You were the one that made your way to me
I do believe your galaxy
I want to listen to your melody
Your stars in the Milky Way
Don’t forget that I found you anyways
At the end of my despair
You’re the last reason
For me who was standing at the edge of the cliff
Live

On days I hate being myself, days I want to disappear forever
Let’s make a door in your heart
Open the door and this place will await
It’s okay to believe, the Magic Shop will comfort you

While drinking a glass of hot tea
And looking up at the Milky Way
You’ll be alright, oh, this here is the Magic Shop

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you show you

Like a rose when blooming
Like cherry blossoms when being scattered in the wind
Like morning glory when fading
Like that beautiful moment
I always want to be the best
So I was impatient and always restless

Comparing myself with others became my daily life

My greed that was my weapon suffocated me and also became a leash
But looking back on it now, truthfully
I feel like it’s not true that I wanted to be the best
I wanted to become your comfort and move your heart
I want to take away your sadness, and pain

On days where I hate myself for being me, on days where I want to disappear forever
Let’s make a door. It’s in your heart
Open the door and this place will await
Magic Shop

While drinking a glass of hot tea
And looking up at the Milky Way
You’ll be alright, oh, this here is the Magic Shop

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you show you

Would you believe me if I said that I was scared of everything too?
All the sincerity, the remaining times
All your answers are in this place you found
In your Milky Way, inside your heart

You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You found me. You knew me
You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You’ll find it, the galaxy inside you

So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you Show you.

Do you understand how the words could shatter me?

Maybe not.

The next post might explain better…

Or worse.

I don’t know, anymore.

Fringe

First off… There will be no pity.

This is simply me, telling about something I’ve figured out about myself. I don’t want any sad looks, or “sympathetic statements”.

It is what it is, and that’s what it is.

To start, I started listening to a new type of music, for me, about 3 months ago. K-pop.

I know, odd choice for a 48-yr. old woman, raised on hard rock & heavy metal, right?

Anyway… I’d been watching videos on You-Tube, and found this song called “Pop Stars” by K/DA, created for the game League of Legends. If you haven’t heard of it, which you probably haven’t, it’s an animated video, and it’s amazing.

I loved it instantly.

I started looking for more K-pop (Korean Pop) to listen/watch, which led me to Blackpink, a girl group, who are also kickass.

And they led me to…

BTS.

Yes, BTS.

A boy group, comprised of 7 members, who – yes, again, sing mostly in Korean.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan – which means “Bulletproof Boyscouts” in Korean)

I don’t even care.

I fell into the gravity well that surrounds this group. Wholeheartedly.

Why?

Because these boys are a family, even though they aren’t blood.

And they treat their fans like family.

And the fans, known as ARMY (Adorable Representatives MC for Youth) treat each OTHER and BTS like family.

At least, the ones that I’ve met so far, which have been quite a few, have all been respectful, welcoming, kind, and warm.

Which has been really, really nice to experience, for a change.

You see…

I live my life on the fringes of everyone else’s lives, anymore. Always on the outside, looking in.

And, I understand.

I always kind of hung back, growing up, too. I was always “someone’s friend”, or someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, girlfriend, or whatever. I’d walk into a group, slightly behind and to the side of whomever I came in with…I never walked in somewhere on my own. I needed to belong with someone else.

And then, I grew up & became “someone’s mom”, and then “someone’s wife”. Later dropping the “wife” part.

And now…

My children have their own lives. They must go live them, and NOT be immediately tied to me. This is a good thing. They have their wings, they have to fly. This is life.

My parents and I are not immediately tied together, either. This is a good thing. I’m not super dependent on them for things, and they aren’t at a stage in their lives where they need me to step in, either. I’m glad they are still young enough, vital, strong, independent, people who don’t need a caregiver. There may come a day when that happens, but that day is not now.

And, I don’t have a significant other. This is obvious. No need to rehash this.

My best friend, my Beloved Nephew, lives in Georgia, while I live in North Dakota.

He has his family there, his dad, brother, extended relatives, etc. Yes, he is still my best friend, but we are no longer enmeshed in each other’s daily lives like we once were, due to geography.

I’m on the fringes of all of these relationships.

Hanging by the threads of phone calls, text messages, short weekend visits maybe once or twice a year.

And, I can’t deny that it hurts, sometimes, dangling from those delicate strings.

Hmm..so, what, you say, does BTS and the ARMY have to do with any of this?

Well…

I figured out WHY I fell so eagerly and completely into their orbit.

Because with them, I don’t have to be fringe.

I’m just another member of the extended family.

They let me right in and gave me a hug and told me to sit down and get comfortable.

And it felt good.

I’ve missed that feeling.

I haven’t had that in a long time.

And, I think that’s the saddest thing of all.

That it took strangers to make me feel better.

(Please don’t feel bad Beloved Nephew! This is me, not you!)

This is just where I am, where I’ve been…for months, now.

On the fringes.

Of everything.

Hanging.

But the music helps.

And so do the boys, just by being who they are. The message they send out has to be listened to carefully in order to really be heard.

It’s difficult to explain, I learned it in small steps, as I watched many, many videos. Not just the music videos, but other ones, too, about the guys, ones that they put out themselves, and ones that fans put out about them.

The fans are super loyal. No joke.

And yes, I’m one of them now, all kidding aside. I don’t care what anyone says.

I really don’t.

Because I purple BTS. 💜

And if you want to know what that means??

Google it. I dare you.

Songbird

Chester.

I wanted to write about this last night, but couldn’t. It was raw, & I’m not sure if I could’ve even written a coherent sentence without breaking down.

I still feel like an open wound.

As though a friend died.

And I know, some might not understand, they might say…”But you didn’t know him, he was just another celebrity, blah, blah, blah…”

Not to me.

Chester has never been just another celebrity, or just a singer to me.

Linkin Park has never been just a band, and their music has never been just anything to me.

Pts. Of Authority was the first video, the first song of theirs I ever heard or saw, on MTV, back when they actually still played real videos. 

I immediately fell in love with their style & their heart. Mike’s ability to rap his anger, his frustration & his Alpha status, Chester’s cracked-glass screams and his plaintive cry to the audience to hear his heart and his pain…they understood what was inside my head at any given moment. As though they were snooping through my daily emotions, and my nighttime dreams & nightmares, they seemed so in tune, so in synch with exactly how I felt.

Hybrid Theory, Meteora, The Hunting Party, all these CDs have given me outlets for my emotions in one way or another.

Their music has gotten me through some of the darkest, most awful, deepest depressions of my life.

2007 saw Minutes to Midnight come out…and in 2009, my best friend/soul sister passed away.  Her nickname? Midnite. She passed, literally…minutes…before midnight… And Linkin Park was there for me with Leave Out All The Rest. (which to this day, I still have difficulty listening to without losing my shit)

Their album, A Thousand Suns, released in 2010, was the music that got me through my divorce in 2011. I listened nonstop to that CD, playing it over and over…screaming and crying through the lyrics.

Living Things came out the year after, in 2012, and helped me work through the pain of starting over, post-divorce. It helped me work through being, once again, a single mom, trying to make my own way in the worlds of parenting, dating, and handling emotional baggage.

And… This year’s One More Light…breaks my heart…and mends it…and breaks it again…over and over.

The song, Heavy, so exactly describes what it’s like having anxiety, it makes me wonder, again, whether the guys have set up cameras inside my head.

Good Goodbye… Is just brilliant. Both song & video. Although, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to watch any of the videos for a while that have Chester in them. Not without breaking down.

But…Sharp Edges…wins. Hands down, my favorite song on the album. I love them all, I really do. But that one – for some reason, just grabbed me by the heart & won’t let go.

Just like Linkin Park did all those years ago with Pts. Of Authority.

Just like Chester did with his cracked-glass pain-filled cry.

Just like Mike did with his Alpha rapping and his smooth synchronous singing.

I never got to see them in concert.

It might sound selfish, but to me, it tears a hole in my heart every time I think about that fact. I will never see them all together in concert. And the tears start again.

I hope the band does decide to stay together. I do. Someday…I hope to be able to see them in concert, even if it’s with someone else singing the other lead. But I know that’s not the top concern on the guys’ minds right now.

My heart goes out to them, and to Chester’s family. Their pain is immeasurable right now, I’m sure. 

As a fan who loved his music, and as someone who feels as though she’s lost a friend… I leave you with this:

Songbird on my window, 

Please sing a song for me

As I sit here crying

I’ll join the harmony

Songbird the end is nearing

I hear it, I am not wrong

You’ve flown, my eyes are tearing,

Songbird, please…

Just one last song….


The Music in My Head

It’s kind of funny, but I have music in my head most of the time.

And it all depends on my mood what’s currently playing between my ears.

When I’m up, happy, lights on the board all green and go, I’ll be listening to a variety of things, like Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles, Danny Kaye (yes, Danny Kaye) singing funny old songs, Gino Vanelli‘s Black Cars, the Black Eyed Peas, and a new group I recently found called Bond, which is a group of women that re-works classical music to sound waay more modern and just really cool.

If I’m in a contemplative mood?  It’s a lot of Enya, EKO, Classical (especially piano like Chopin, and violin like Tschaikovsky), and a few Japanese and Chinese performers (LOVE taiko drums, thanks).  There’s one Asian performer called Agatsuma, that plays a really wicked shamisen, sounds almost like an electric guitar!

A lot of the contemplative artists are also the ones that I listen to while I’m working on the novel.  I have a specific playlist I use for that, which is music I feel has an “airy” feel to it, or “drives” me to write.  Sets the mood and tone for what I’m working on at any given time.

If I’m down, then it’s generally the more emo-style of music.  Placebo works well for me when I’m depressed, as well as song called “Cut” by Plumb.  There are also a few songs by Queen, Sara Bareilles and Katy Perry that really help me to express those emotions, without actually screaming and yelling.  Even Linkin Park helps here, they have a few songs that aren’t as hardcore, and can actually move me to tears.  Leave Out All The Rest in particular, as that is the song that I identify mostly with my sister and friend, Midnite.

If I’m angry, or have a stress headache (yeah, I know it’s weird, but it works for me), then it’s loud and forceful, usually pissed-off-type, music.  Pink, Linkin Park, Metallica, Godsmack, Celldweller, Fort Minor (which is an offshoot from Linkin Park, so there’s continuity there), AC/DC, Ozzie Osbourne.  The louder I can sing it, or have the drums pounding in my head?  The better. 

Really good drums always put me in a head-space where I can almost drift off to sleep.  I love drums, and as Sparrow can attest, it turns me into a drooling, vacant-stared goob.  But ack, I love it, and it seems to help calm my nerves, switches on the serotonin in my system, and generally puts me in transcendental state.  Oooh, look at all the pretty colors….

thump thump THUMP thump… just like a heartbeat.

And then, there are the random songs that squirm their way into my head.  Spongebob Squarepants singing his F.U.N. song, or It’s a Small World, or ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ by Big Bird.  And if you don’t know that one?  Here.  Yer welcome.
Oh, and notice – Big Bird’s head! I don’t remember it being that SMALL!!?!