Cupid & God

0

Thirsty yet fearful I waited for an answer
On a dry field I walked, 2 years

Trusting in a life of air, honesty and inaction

Looking up to the sky
I was waiting for my chance with cupid and god
But as my eyes stared up, focused and blinded
Beneath my feet the ground did vanish
And all that was left was a hole.

Dark and dry, the lips of my hole ripe for a kiss
From fate, not now, it will come.

But my lips, they stayed dry
A dirt filled mouth to pray
Just catch your destiny. It will find you.

I willed and wished apathetic and passive
Do nothing, let it be done.

Stay safe in dirt and indecision.

God and cupid revealed in passing
But dirt attracts dirt and they stayed away.

I stared in the face of meteors, begging for a sign
Inviting rocks as my tribe, I cowered on the bed of dirt

Familiar, hard and dry.

A beating feels safe when you’ve met the abuser.

The meteors they plummeted
And crashed through the clouds stealing rain
To wet the lips to my hole

But the dirt lips eroded while mine were wet
And as I remembered how it felt to taste drops
The opening closed and I was encased in mud, wet mud.

Grains in my eyes and sealed breath
I thought, how peaceful it would be to quit
Have no more meaning, have no more drive, have no more me

To drown or be wet.

You can’t swim in dirt but mud you can persuade

So I stroked to the top, birthed on land
Exposed and vulnerable but closer to cupid and god

Making changes in holes when all you see is the sky.

Under Chandeliers and Gold

0

I never really knew you. You never really spoke.

But do words always matter?

The essence of a person speaks without sound. Does it?

All I ever wanted was for you to know me. But you did know me, you knew your daughter, the one character I become with you, a facet of myself.

You, always at a loss for words, dying or living, I struggle to tell you who I am. Dying or living, your words are sparse.

But here hiding away from the world so vulnerable, so weak, dehumanized and disrespected by tubes and drips, bloody diapers and a soaked red pillow I try.

Is your soul pouring out your mouth? Rich and red velvet blood.

“I’m sorry” did you say?

Did all the words you never said rot and corrode your insides?

The eyes that once judged now plea but I can’t. I can’t and all these years I would have done anything.

You never asked.

One eye trying to escape: “I can still speak” it says. “I must break free of this corpse.”

In a pile on a starched bleach white pillow pieces of you pull your soul out.

Tubes keep your body here.

You wish that container of blood were a bottle of Courvoisier.

That the tube in your arm was a joint in your hand.

That the fever was just the feeling of scorching sun on the Barbados beach.

That this hospital gown covering your protruding ribcage were a silk robe and the fluorescent lights cruelly revealing the grey scale of this setting would turn to sparking chandeliers and atmospheric candles.

and you …

You in a 4 post mahogany king size bed, draping silk and velvet, French doors and ladies who wait on you.

The colour of your blood is so rich, you know, like the decadent wallpaper in a casino. Your eyes rolling, blankly following the blood.

If you blur them do you drift to the roulette tables?

In your morphine coma I hope all the people, poking, prodding, sticking sticks in your mouth, changing your diapers, counting down till you are no longer. I hope they transform into maids, butlers and gardeners.

You wish that this was just a flu, the strained breathing would go away with antibiotics, that the cancer was just a nasty bacteria killed by penicillin.

“We just have to wait it off. Wait till the drugs kick in.”

But we tried that. The queen’s doctor could treat you and still we would have to live this reality.

That you will never know me, meet your grandchildren, see me on TV, be proud. Dreams you had, that I shared evaporate from your hollow body and settle on your pillow.

You can forget. You are gone.

You left days ago.

I dreamt we danced under chandeliers and gold. Connected and understood, you spun me. I had a daddy and then exhausted we walked off the floor, like through an invisible wall of reality. This was our last dance. Time was over.

I’ll hold onto that dream and toss the trapped man in a dying shell. You, so proud and vain, I will not do that to you. Your charm and charisma will live on in me. My bones and veins like the pinstripes on your suits. An elegant flamboyance that made a statement, made it’s way from you to me.

The Road Of Mini Successes

1

We can all be extremely hard on ourselves and expend too much effort relying on the judgments of others to validate our existence.

Many of us are born into a society that dictates a very specific concept of success that is entirely measured by dollars and cents. Unfortunately, this kind of “success” ignores the individual’s non-monetary personal milestones. For example, take 2 men standing at the corner one morning, waiting for the light to change. One is well dressed. Nobody can tell that he is hungover for the third time this week. The other, shabbily dressed, has been sober for ten years straight. The latter’s success is invisible to the rest of us, so we look down on him. In fact, our society encourages us to look outside of ourselves for validation instead of looking inwards and accepting ourselves and recognizing our own private successes, a process that continually wears down our confidence by implicitly telling us that we are not good enough, rich enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, happy enough, successful enough. Ironically, this system may well be dependent on our lack of confidence in our own selves.

It’s hard not to look outwards into the eyes of others as a mirror to see ourselves, to gauge our worth and determine our place in this society. We are all in some way or another trying to give meaning to our existence and what so many of us do is look outwards instead of inwards.   How do we compare? To her? To him? To it? To them?

I too have been part of that black hole. For years I have been writhing to break away from this hammering concept that tries to deafen my inner voice and natural trust in myself.   We all have that inner voice and innate trust in ourselves and we all have our own method to hear it. But it’s a constant battle to turn the outside volume down and silence the fears perpetrated by this system.

I turn to music to silence the pounding. And thus, for me each song becomes a personal success where I’ve managed to conquer that concept for just one day.

Getting this album out to the world has been a challenge. Yes, there is the planning and time and the work and the money that had to go into it , but that’s not what I mean. To me, the challenge was to push forward, to keep pushing forward, to not cave in and give up despite the constant pressure to chase the capitalistic concept of success, i.e., the path that implies the promise of money and security – rather than my own path, which is to be myself, listen to my inner voice and take a massive risk.

My greatest challenge is to accept myself. It may seem to you that I already do but, believe me, it is a continuous battle and I’m not giving up. With each song I write I am putting it all on the table, my hopes, my values, my faults, mistakes, wounds and vulnerabilities – putting it all out there for anyone to judge as they wish. What I have learned though is that, if I were to depend on other people’s judgments of me, I would go insane because for every person on this planet there is a different opinion and though people may believe their opinions are correct, no one person’s judgment has more weight than another’s.

Of course, a good review is always nice and greatly appreciated, and 100,000 albums sold would make my life a little more comfortable – but it wouldn’t suddenly give value to my work, to my album, or to me as a human being.

At the end of the day, I look back at this entire process, see the stories and experiences and emotions behind each song and know that each one alone was a personal success. Bringing together an incredible team of musicians and technicians who understand my vision, developing lasting relationships with them and recording an album is a personal and shared success. Deciding to mix the album in Berlin and delve into the technical world of dynamic sound in a country with a different sound esthetic, all the while learning new information about engineering, was a personal success. Problem solving in the later stages of mastering, when we realized that technical practices between Germany and Canada differed greatly, was a personal success. Digging deep to uncover the artistic direction for the album and then bringing together the perfect team to shoot the album and promo photos, the music video, and design the album and website was a shared and personal success.

And although it would be wonderful, regardless of whether the album is considered “successful” in the eyes of others – whether With Blindfolds On charts, sells a ton, or garners great reviews – I know that I have done something that forced me to push myself to the limits, to learn about who I am, to better myself, and to turn an idea into something others too can experience.

So here we are now: the album has been released and how its life will unfold is no longer in my hands. But for me, this project has already been a success, or rather, a collection of mini successes culminating in one of the greatest feats of my life so far and something I will forever be proud of. All I can hope for is that With Blindfolds On touches people and gives them a little extra courage to look inside instead of outwards, to accept themselves and take the time to appreciate all of their own personal mini successes.

Hey! Living each day is a success.

And now, as I head on tour with the support of an unmatchable band (who are not only freakishly talented but also my closest friends), I sit here quietly for one moment in time, and appreciate who I am where I am right now.

12000863_10207734669827270_3656731913892231785_o
Photo by Davide Santi

 

#BeenRapedNeverReported: My Story

19

For those of you who are not Canadian, you may not have heard the media report that prominent Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been fired from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, (CBC), having been accused by 9 women of harassment, physical abuse and sexual assault. Although this recent news is shocking and ugly, it has led to something positive by shedding light on a very common yet mostly unspoken issue:  sexual assault and assault of women in general. It inspired Toronto Star writer Antonia Zerbisias and Montreal Gazette reporter Sue Montgomery to create the hashtag on Twitter, #BeenRapedNeverReported, a platform for women to share their stories of abuse without shame to the world and astonishingly, it has been tweeted over 8 million times.

I too wanted to join in the discussion by sharing my story in support of all survivors of sexual assault.

WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people.

It was my first month of highschool.  I was 14 and wanted desperately to be cool.  I lied to my Mom and went to a party with a couple girlfriends.   I knew the boys who were throwing the party.  And I knew they weren’t good news – they were known to be into drugs – but I wanted to fit in so I went anyway.  I was naïve. I had one drink, a mixed drink made by one of the boys. When one of my friends was getting picked up, I asked for a ride home but her mother didn’t want to drive out of her way  –  so I stayed.

The next thing I remember is waking up in a dark room with no windows, unable to move, half on a bed, my pants being pulled down by one boy who stood between my legs.

I couldn’t move.

My friend came to the door, saw what was happening and shooed him away.

But then she left me there alone, probably too inebriated to realize what was going on.

Then again:  black.

Throughout the night, I woke up only for minutes at a time – paralyzed, undressed, poked and prodded, violated by the hands and body parts of 4 different boys – and then blacked out again.

This cycle continued throughout the entire night and all I could ever do was mumble a nearly soundless “no”.

The next morning I woke up unable to focus my eyes, seeing more than double.  I could barely stand up.  Everyone acted as if nothing more than a really fun night had passed.  I pretended everything was okay as well – I didn’t know what else to do – and waited for my ride home.

These boys were my peers, in my classes, in the halls. They were proud of their behaviour and told everyone who would listen that I had consented to their evening of  “fun”.  They bragged about it and scratched explicit comments on desks at school detailing what they had done.  People snickered at me and I was suddenly the slut at school:  tormented by girls, “easy” for guys.

Why didn’t I say anything?

I was embarrassed.  I was ashamed.  I felt it was my fault for going, for lying to my Mom, for not knowing better, for taking that drink.  I was imagining it. It was a bad dream.  I was crazy and hallucinating.  I was a bad person.  I let it happen.

That was many years ago and I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed or deeply tormented, but the healing process was long and enduring and there are still lasting consequences.

With such an invasion your mind dissociates from your body, and from that point on you search for ways to feel intact again.  This separation may be a good coping mechanism that serves in the moment and perhaps keeps you from feeling far too much at the time but the poison leaks into the future and all future relationships.

When someone invades someone else they leave a trail of dirt, images behind your eyes, memories in your skin and fingerprints on your future relationships.

Later on, when someone comes along who truly loves you and touches you with respect, they undeservedly have to bear the consequences of that past invasion, side effects that are often hard to explain or understand and can be destructive to a partnership.

However, this love can help you heal, but let me tell you, it takes a lot of love to kill those memories and even still, after all these years, after therapy, songs, time, and tons and tons of love and respect, now, even though I am comfortable talking about this, I can’t lie:  every once in a while, even when touch is full of love and beauty, intimacy triggers fear.

In the end, I believe that it is really love and respect that heal these wounds, and that over time the positive experiences outweigh the negative.

If I were to leave you with any suggestions for working through such a trauma, or traumas in general, I’d suggest you go and create anything at all, without any inner critic, without caring about it being “good”.  For me personally, it was the combination of love from others and creativity as a means of releasing, understanding and connecting with others that aided in my healing process.  Creativity is one of the most healing outlets as it can give you the power to transform the unspeakable into something beautiful and full of power, something external which does not really need words, to be used for you alone for whatever means you see fit or to share with others to communicate and foster understanding.

I hope that my speaking out is empowering for other survivors of sexual assault and for our society as a whole.

Lots of love

Chloe

 

P.S.  I am more than interested in your comments and personal stories.  If I can lend a hand, just let me know.
P.P.S. Feel free to share this post.

 

 

Win tickets to German shows this fall!

0

Hi Germany friends! I’m so excited to be coming back for 5 shows this fall!

You can win a pair of tickets to a show in your town by following these three easy steps:

1: Tweet your favorite song of mine with the hashtag #ChloeinTubingen, #ChloeinErlangen, #ChloeinLeipzig, #ChloeinBonn, or #ChloeinHamburg 

2: Tweet every day for a better chance of winning

3: Await your prize, to be announced 3 days before each show!

The winners will be chosen at random and will receive 2 tickets to the show in their hashtag. Good luck and see you all soon!

Lots of love!!
Chloe 

Just chilling with Ella Fitzgerald! No Biggy!

0

The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam is amazing. It is absolutely mind blowing that they bring so many crazy artists together in one space for 1 weekend. The amount of talent there is jaw dropping. It’s a city that is beautifully built inside a convention centre, fitting something like 25,000 people each day. What an honour to play where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald has played!!!