Song #21: I Feel the Need to Know You

Sometimes at first it is tempting, or seems easier or safer, to just dislike or hate a person/thing that I don’t understand, or that I feel threatened by,  instead of examining the feelings that come up. That stance has never worked out too well for me in the long run, though.  The more dug in I get with my dislike and mistrust, the more disoriented I feel, until eventually I am obliged to go poking around in there, trying to understand.

This is another song from my Walking Songs collection.  In college I found myself in a weird love triangle and I wasn’t sure what to make of it all.  So I wrote this song.

new brown rectangles

 

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I Feel the Need to Know You
Written and performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music

I feel the need to know you since you’ve come into my life
‘Cause everywhere I go you’re in the corner of my eye
If you’re gonna be my enemy, you might as well be my friend
‘Cause once this love and hate gets going it’ll be the same thing in the end

And I know that I’m a dreamer
I know that that’s what makes me strong
You say that you watch life, while standing behind your window
We’ve got more in common than you think
We’ve got more in common than I know

Well, I feel the need to name you since you’ve come into my mind
I know you won’t stop moving and I won’t be left behind
I dreamed I had an apple, and when I gave you half
We found I’d cut the worm in two, we both just had to laugh

And I know that I’m a dreamer
I know that that’s what makes me strong
You say that you watch life, while standing behind your window
We’ve got more in common than you think
We’ve got more in common than I know

 

Song #18: Soapy Water

red shirt

Here is another lullaby, this time from my Walking Songs collection.  I wrote this one somewhere around 1991, when I was 21.  I remember it was a gray rainy day, early Spring,  and I was in downtown Amherst, MA, waiting for the bus to take me to the University of MA.  As always in those days, I was a little bit anxious and heart-broken.  I had a new pair of used shoes.  They were black and pink L.A. Gear hightops and I’d bought them for 50 cents at Salvation Army.  They were magical, sturdy shoes, almost like boots, and they kept my feet very cozy.  I was also wearing my favorite red flannel shirt and thinking longingly of warmer weather or at least my cozy bed.

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Soapy Water
Written and performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty, Bernardston, MA
Album: Walking Songs

This soapy water, gonna wash you with it
Gonna send your bad blues spinning down the drain
Can I scrub your back, maybe it will soothe you
Soak you in loving, strong as any pain

I’d like to live my life like a red flannel shirt
Jumping into the wind clean free of the clothes line
And I’d be dancing in my colors between the sun and the Earth
And the same wind that takes me away can carry me home
The same wind that takes me away can carry me home

Thinking Out Loud

Song #7:  Found Myself Walking in Rain

scratch tree

 

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Found Myself Walking In Rain
Written and performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded Fall 2018, by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music, Bernardston, MA
Album: Walking Songs

Found myself walking in rain and everything seemed so clear
I almost forgot who I was and I almost forgot where I’d been
I know I’ve been living a lie and it scares me how long it’s been true
But the obstacle that blocks my path has become the only door to go through

Well, I came to the edge of a river and I saw the water spinning
There were fishes and trees inside of me and the cold gray sky above
Well I stood in that place and I remembered your face and I heard the words you told me
You said “It’s easier to take care of you then to let you take care of me”

It just ain’t easy changing, you can only do your best
How much can we chop off and examine and still have something left
Oh we give birth to ourselves through the belly, baby, its just like you’ve been told
You can lie on your back and push it out or you can spit it up on the road

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This is another Walking Song, circa 1991-1992.  I think I was in Amherst waiting for a PVTA bus (which never seemed to run on time) to Mass.  It was raining and I was puzzling over stuff, trying to figure it all out, a little bit bored, entertaining myself.  I guess this song is kind of about growing up.  A process which apparently, never ends.

 

Song #2: Glacier Baby

icebergscan

Glacier Baby
By Jon Mirin and Carrie Ferguson

I may be cold and old and moving slow
I may be white and thick and got a ways to go
If you walk on me you might find fleas
Or Polar bears and seals or arctic seas

And when I left, I carved the mountains
And when I left, I carved the hills
And when I left, I carved the valleys
I left the rocks and clay, it lies there still
I left the rocks and clay, they call it til

I May be below zero celsius
I may be below 32 fahrenheit
I covered this whole valley, I covered Canada
My ice was everywhere sparkling white

And when I left, I carved the mountains
And when I left, I carved the hills
And when I left, I carved the valleys
I left the rocks and clay, it lies there still
I left the rocks and clay, they call it til

I’m a glacier baby, keep me around for you
I keep the world cool so just say thank you
Don’t count me out don’t let me get melted down
I keep the world cool, you need me around
I keep the world cool, you need me around
I keep the world cool, you need me around

Glacier Baby is a track off of the album Piti Theatre’s Greatest Hits, Vol. I, which will be coming out in CD form in March 2018.  This song is part of a “play with songs” written a few years ago by Piti Theatre director, Jon Mirin, and performed with third graders at the Ryan Road School in Northampton, MA.  The lyrics were written by Jon, with some additions and edits by me.  I wrote the music and recorded it with Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Studios in Amherst, MA.

I’ll say more about Piti Theatre and my ongoing collaboration with them, as well as our “greatest hits”  project, in a later post.  Right now I wanted to post this song because of what is going on, or maybe is about to go on in Alaska.

It doesn’t seem to be getting talked about a lot, but the big tax bill that just passed in the U.S. Congress, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, includes a sneaky little clause that allows for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Alaska.

At 19 million acres,  ANWR is the largest expanse of protected wilderness in the US and is home to polar bears, migrating birds, caribou and the McCall Glacier. The question of whether or not to drill for oil in this pristine wilderness has been a partisan controversy for decades.  Unfortunately, the Republicans have finally succeeded, at least on paper for the time being.  For more about ANWR and oil drilling, check out this wikipedia article.  For more about efforts to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, check out the organization Defenders.

Besides the inevitable damage to wildlife and habitat that comes with drilling, there’s the larger question of Fossil Fuel usage and its roll in contributing to global warming.  For more about this, check out this Global Warming FAQ sheet by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Earth is currently comprised of 10% ice in the form of glacial ice sheets and icebergs. Glaciers are shrinking world wide, which is both the result of climate change, and a contributing factor.   When this ice melts, not only do sea levels rise, but the chemical make up of the sea water is changed, both of which have negative affects on natural ecosystems and the humans and other creatures that depend on them. And, something else that maybe many of us don’t think about, all that ice is Earth’s natural air-conditioner.  It helps moderate the planet’s temperature.  As it melts, the temperature and weather is drastically altered. For more about this, check out this article from the Extreme Ice Survey website.

Honestly, thinking about global warming terrifies, depresses, and overwhelms me. I feel COMPLETELY POWERLESS. I feel enraged that so many bad decisions have been made, are being made; I feel grief-stricken, paralyzed by hopelessness, unable to do anything, not sure what it is that I would do anyway. And then I judge myself for being whiny, self-absorbed, and passive.  I HATE THESE FEELINGS.  I want these feelings to stop.

But, of course, here’s the thing:  there’s no way around it.  Global warming is happening; things ARE going to change, things are changing.  But who says there is a fixed outcome? What if there IS a more positive future? And what if these feelings are not only normal and unavoidable, but necessary wake up calls in order for us to get there?

I often say to myself   “Well, if there were something obvious I could do or not do, then I would do it.”  But you know what, it turns out there ARE things I can do.  I just don’t do them because I feel hopeless.  My little daily contribution, even participating in larger collective actions to fight the greedy powers that be, feels futile and pointless.  It is much easier to collapse into despair.

Hey, I know this is not a new revelation, but, what if EVERY DAY, EVERYBODY did their little individual thing, or participated in a big collective thing, to fight global warming?  THAT would be a movement, right?  That is really what it is going to take.

If we’re all paralyzed by these feelings of despair, that’s not going to happen.  There’s no way around these feelings.  We have to actually FEEL them and move through it and then we have to change our behavior.  And keep doing it.

Here’s a list of 35 things we can do every day to help fight global warming.

For resources, inspiration and support in transforming feelings about global warming and other environmental threats, I suggest checking out the brilliant work of Joanna Macey and her organization.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!  What do you think about all this stuff?  What different things are you doing to save energy and stop global warming?