Catrin Finch – Lisa Lรขn (Fair Lisa).

Hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

Another tune from Catrin Finch I want to share with you. It’s just so stunningly beautiful. Not so long ago, I showed you the same song performed by the band Alaw and my current music crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys. That one was a song, not an instrumental, so if you haven’t seen it before, you can check out, as well as the lyrics

here

Catrin Finch’s version is a harp solo arrangement of this traditional Welsh love song and it’s very creative and beautiful and relaxing and just so sooo beautiful it makes my brain melting and falling to pieces almost as much as Gwilym’s version.

Here it is:

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Question of the day.

When you are with your family, immediate, or extended, do you feel like you belong?

My answer:

That’s a hard one. I’ve always had issues with that sense of belonging thing, for two reasons I think. First is related to my being far from my family for most of my childhood. I am actually just starting to understand these things about myself and didn’t fully realise it all even a year ago. When I was at the boarding school, I felt like I don’t belong there at all, but that if I belong anywhere, I belong only to my family. I think I had a strong sense of… hm, distinctiveness? individuality, don’t really know how to call it best in English, anyway my Dad has it very strong in his character and looks like we all, his children, have too, and my Mum has it as well. I’ve always felt like I’m an individualist and was glad with it and I always needed to have some private, just my own territory where no one else would interfere, which was almost impossible at that boarding school, especially at the beginning when we all (girls from my group) lived together in one room. Our staff always wanted us to talk about everything (including our feelings) with everyone and wanted us to feel the sense of unity with the others, share as much common as possible, they kept saying we’re “like a family”. I think it was with good intentions, but then it only was making me more and more rebellious and the more I’ve heard about all that unity, commonness and “togetherness” the more I hated everything about these words and the more I felt like vomiting whenever I heard them. I liked most of the girls in my group, but, no, thanks, I already have my family and I don’t need another one, I don’t feel close enough with them, that was more or less how I thought about it. So yeah the only community that I felt like I belong to was my family. But then when I was coming home, I was treated like a guest by everyone, and felt like one in some way, it was usually like a big holiday for all of us and I didn’t get that much of normal, everyday family life, besides longer holidays or stuff like that, and the two years in between my stay at the boarding school when I was experimenting going to integration school which didn’t work out in my a bit complex case. It was impossible to catch up on everything that happened during my absence so I didn’t know about many things and in some way felt like a stranger and had an impression that some people in my family perceive me a bit this way too, not in a bad sense like that I wasn’t welcome, but my life was just so different from theirs, you know. And then I was going back to school and had obviously very idealised picture of my family and of family in general and experienced a lot of this hiraeth feeling I described like a month ago or so. So as I grew up I gradually realised that actually I don’t feel anywhere like I’m at home. I mean, I loved coming home obviously and always was willing anything possible to stay longer here, but quite a bit of the sense of belonging to my family has disappeared with time. Btw I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I like Cornelis Vreeswijk so much, one of my musical crushes whom I mentioned already a few times. He was Dutch, but emigrated to Sweden at 12 with his family and lived and created his music and poetry there for most of his life and became famous in Sweden. When he was in the Netherlands, Nederlenders called him a Swede, while in Sweden he was Dutch, hence in one of his poems he called himself “a man (…) without motherland”. You know, birds of a feather flock together, right? Just my a bit detached reflection. I think there are many people who experience such feelings for their entire lives though, due to various situations.

And the second reason is that for almost all my life I’ve felt more or less inadequate to other people, or like I couldn’t connect with them, which can be at times quite frustrating and can make you feel like you belong hardly anywhere. My anxiety in social situations also gets in the way so it makes for quite an interesting mix.

These feelings have lessened in regard to my family as I am enjoying my life with them since more than three years now, although they are still present somewhere in my mind.

Like I’ve never developed a normal sibling relationship with my brother and we have hardly anything in common to talk about, which is so weird and uncomfortable for me, because he is only younger two years than me while with Zofijka who is ten years younger, I have plenty of things to talk about and we have a very close relationship, though also very dynamic, as we are so different and getting on each other’s nerves, as siblings usually do. I still have these feelings of not belonging sometimes when we all are together, but overall I think now I feel much more in place in my immediate family.

It’s worse with my extended. It’s hard for me to open up to them, there are so many of them and I know they all like me and I like them, but… all the holidays and stuff when we gather as a whole family are quite overwhelming for me, especially with my Dad’s family. I get on better with my Mum’s family, probably because we lived very close to them before we moved a year ago to where we live now, so I was seeing them much more often, and I just have more things in common with them, I feel. But it’s also improving and when my family and I are somewhere where there are more people who aren’t my family members, I feel like I belong and am a part of my family. And I am always proud of my family as a whole and of all the people of my immediate family as individuals and I think I’m very lucky for having the family I have. I am also gradually learning that although you’ll be always alone in some way as my Mum says, this is a really good thing if you belong somewhere because of your own choice, or because you’re emotionally attached to the community you’re a part of. and I am a part, and I feel like I’m one, of some other communities than my family, and I am very glad I belong to them and now I know it is so great to have something in common with other people.

How about your sense of belonging? I must say I’m interested about how it is with other people and do they always feel like they belong even if they didn’t have such or similar experiences to mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day – Al Lewis Band ft. Sarah Howells – “Heulwen O Hiraeth” (Sunrise of longing).

This is my favourite song by Al Lewis, I don’t understand its lyrics fully, but I love it even just for its sound. And Sarah Howells is also great.

And by the way, as a name geek I can’t not make this digression, I wouldn’t be myself if I wouldn’t make it. Don’t you think Heulwen makes such a brilliant Welsh girl name? I have no idea if it’s in use there and I don’t think it could be usable anywhere else, it’s pronounced pretty differently from how it’s written (like HAYL-wen) so not the wisest choice in any other country, but… I might use it in any of my stories, or wherever else it could be possible. Well if this idea seems weird for you, I really had more odd name ideas. Like I’ve heard a word gwanwyn (Welsh for spring), thought “WOW! Such a great name it could be!”, and then got to know there is a word gwenwyn as well and thought it’s even better. Only that I didn’t know what it means and felt pretty disappointed when I got to know it means “poison”. Ughhh… What a pity! But still a great name for a witch or something. ๐Ÿ˜€

But I think that’s definitely enough about me and my crazy name ideas, here’s the song:

 

Present.

It’s often hard for me to live in the present

.I’ve always had a tendency to either worry to much about the future, or delve in the past, analysing all the awful stuff that happened to me or idealising my good memories, or when my future seemed absolutely hopeless to me, to escape into daydreams where everything looked colourful and I could entertain myself with millions of beautiful scenarios of my life and the reality around me.

I noticed it at some point a few years ago, while talking with my Mum about something good that happened to me in the past and I was all like “oh it was so good back then” and Mum finally told me something that really amazed me and gave me a lot to think about. She said she thinks I think about the past or the future so much that I don’t live the present and can’t appreciate it, and so my own life flies past beside me, without me taking actually part in it. And although it sounded harsh and brutal for me back then and I immediately said it’s not true, it stayed with me and I thought about it a lot.

Finally I realised it’s true. I realised that when those things I liked so much about the past, when all those nice moments were happening, I didn’t think much about them, didn’t think they are nice because my mind was focused on so many other things, negative and stressful things, so I didn’t really live that moment, only in my memories afterwards. I know now that there is even the word for it in the Welsh language, which can’t be translated directly to English, it is “hiraeth” and it means longing for things, or particularly places, that don’t really exist, because you idealised them in your mind. Like your motherland for example, when you’re an emigrant. Some time passed away, so it could change, and your mind deludes you that it was better than it ever was because, the grass is always greener… obviously. Hiraeth may also refer to the longing for something you don’t know, so you know you feel the longing or yearning and it’s very strong, but you don’t know what’s it all about so it’s a bit frustrating. Oh but I shouldn’t talk about the hiraeth now!

So I realised I was experiencing that what now I know as hiraeth and decided to change it. I thought it is a total and pointless waste of energy and of time to do what I did.

I started to try to see all the positive things around me and, pretty quickly actually, it wasn’t already so hard for me to notice different small things in life that could be enjoyable. I still am a pessimist, but not of that kind that don’t see any positives at all. My pessimism, as I wrote sometime before, is more of a defensive nature. And it doesn’t stop me from being positive and grateful for all the good things in life. I am very often depressed, but, unless it hits me really hard for some time, usually I’m not anhedonic, so, I still have my passions, things I like to do, and they usually help me. Also I cope better with not so distant future. Like, let’s say about three years ago, if I would have a nice weekend and could do lots of things I like, everything would be great, I wouldn’t focus on the weekend, but would likely freak out about all the stressful things that wait for me on Monday. Now I rarely experience it to an extent that really disturbs me a lot. If I have something stressing ahead, it’s still in the back of my mind, but if I’m doing something better right now, I surely won’t focus on that stressful thing. Why should I do it?

I think it is now easier to appreciate the life and all about it more, because the present is just easier for me than the past was. Just the fact that I wasn’t seriously suicidal in years now means I’m now in much better place than I was back then.

Unfortunately, I’m still worrying, sometimes almost obsessively, about the more distant future, it’s very hard to control it, especially in times like these, when I’m finishing one of the stages in my life and aren’t quite sure what to do next. I am still daydreaming, and, especially at night, different crappy memories like to remind me about their existence. I’m still trying to unlearn it. But at least I haven’t that feeling, that my life is going beside me, and I am stuck in the past or in the future and don’t take any advantage of it.

Do you also feel sometimes like you’re not living the present?