Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Madonnathon: "Ray of Light"

After the catharsis of an address to my readers, how better to follow it than a Madonna video; and so, having just parted the clouds of the past hundred days, what should appear but a Ray of Light? This was the song - from the album of the same name - which saw me through a much darker time than this...

Ten years ago on April 1st my grandmother died; that she was more like my mother than my mother was needs to be said. Additionally, she was my best friend. She used to piss me off from time to time, but then that's what I look for in a friend, and what I wouldn't give to have her pissing me off still. She still haunts me dreams, though; in fact, I dreamt about her last night. She smiled at me and said, "You're driving yourself crazy again. I wish I knew why you did that." I wish I did too, grandma, I wish I did too.

It was a confusing time was 1998; although I was in one of my rare relationships, my then-boyfriend was a cold fish from an emotionally abusive Christian family, and so I got no support from him. I was mad at the way the doctors had failed to treat my grandmother - diagnosing a gall bladder attack when in fact it was a heart attack she was having - and my mother's blind faith in them and the toxic little pellets they're so fond of dispensing meant that I grieved mostly on my own.

I might have been alright if I hadn't still been hurting from the death of Princess Diana the previous August, but as it was, it felt like yet another of those times when the universe decided to pile on Michael. As it is, it would take me almost an entire decade to pull out of it, and in fact, I may not be all the way out yet. No one ever fought as hard for peace of mind as I have, though, so I may come to it still.

Fortunately there was a frenzy of activity to keep me busy then; the day my grandmother died we'd moved across the hall into a larger, brighter apartment. With her death the decision was made to move to Vancouver, which we did. Through all the packing and cleaning and moving this album was more or less the soundtrack, and hearing it still takes me back to that time. For a long time I couldn't listen to it, for the painful memories it brought up, but lately I've taken to playing it again. Now it reminds me of movement and progress and change - all of which I need more than anything right now.
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