Kristina Furey

The Hook

 

I love that song by Blues Traveler, “Hook”.  For years I thought they were saying “The heart brings you back,” telling of me, Freud would say.  Give the song a listen and read the lyrics and you’ll realize how cleverly it was written, brilliance on John Popper’s part!  He did “hook” me or his reuse of Pachelbel’s “Cannon in D” did…  Either way, I was trying to sing along for years, before one day, I finally looked up the lyrics and was astounded to realize what John Popper was saying and how precisely he proved his stance.  I realized I’d been playfully wooed into a deeper realization of a thought he was trying to get out, that sly man!  Considerate, not to come off bitter and bring up the walls of his listeners, he delights us instead, pulling us in until we understand him not as a bitter singer/songwriter but as someone with a definite point.  By the time you realize what he’s saying you’ve already been duped by exactly what he’s concerned about, so it’s not really his opinion (which could be construed as griping), it’s fact, irrefutable, if you just fell for it. 

I could go on and on in many directions with this.  However today I’m asking, “What is the hook for you?”  I ask myself this same question.  For me, it’s the heart, mine and other peoples.  It’s what I knowingly  will go through pain and discomfort for, it’s what will have me dropping everything, to turn around when I’m this close to where I want to be or what I want.  By this close I mean a half of half the distance, half, of half of that, then half of half of that etc…   which becomes that infinitely small space that never resolves because my heart won’t allow it to and that has me needing to be honest with myself about the direction I will and can’t take. 

I’ve been chasing my own tail with ideas of what I need or more likely, what is “success”?  It’s funny how many times I find myself relearning what I already knew/know.  When it’s quiet, when I find my distance from societies idea of what is a successful singer/songwriter, I realize that I’m no more a singer/songwriter than I am many things, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a member of my community, the list goes on and on but I am also a very small working part of a very vast universe, that has been very giving to me, since before I had thoughts in my head and the experiences it has offered me, has taught me that I want my music to be able to support itself and be giving too and hey, it has!  When times have been good financially, I’ve even been able to use some of the money for my love of people, by investing it in their welfare.  My short history in the professional side of music has taught me, I don’t need to be larger than life and I don’t need to spend more money than my music has proven its worth to be, on some great CD recording and I don’t need to be funded from some outside source.  I simply need to keep doing what I can, when I can and how I can, as that has proven to be the route of my success.  For me, my “hook” has helped me realize my path, as well as, who I am, who I’m not and what I naturally need to be content and happy with myself.  Turns out that being true to those needs gives me the most satisfaction!  “Because the hook brings you back.  I ain’t tellin’ you no lie.”---Blues Traveler

 

January News Letter

 

Hello!

I hope your new year is off to a good start. If not, take heart, every
day, every hour, every moment, is a new beginning and chance to take what
you've experienced and put it to good use. I wish you all passion that
excites the mind and stirs you to your toes this year! Along with that, I
wish you the energy to push you in the directions you want to go, until
the gravity of passion takes over and pulls you along on a path greater
than the one you had in envisioned in the first place. I also wish you
love. I wish you to be surrounded by love and be able to recognize it in
all the forms it takes, so you can feel the blessings of life in all its
abundance and so that you can become its, (life's and love's) advocate. I
think this year has a lot of possibility to offer us all, so drink it
up!!! :-)

As far as performances go, Dan and I have taken this and next month off.
We have been trying to record since November and just as soon as we
stocked up our recording studio, Dan got sick, followed by me getting
sick. Then we tried to find time during the holiday season to get back on
it, adding a very rough vocal track (as I did not have use of my full
vocals) and a pretty decent rhythm guitar track to add to our drum track.
The learning curve of our updated equipment and some new equipment has
also had us trekking along at a slower pace than what we had hoped. After
many hours of recording, many scratch tracks revised and re-recorded, we
do currently have our first rough recording of our first song for our next
CD. AND THE WINNER IS. "Here We Are Again." We just need to re-record
the vocals. I'm waiting for my new insurance cards so I can schedule an
appointment and do something about finally getting rid of this sinus thing
that started with a cold 2 days before Thanksgiving. I'm aggravated with
that but looking forward to being able to put the finishing touches on our
song. Here's a link to our Youtube performance of "Here We Are Again" if
you're not sure which song that is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3wOVUoETXM

I'm sure you have challenges facing you this year and I'm sure if you take
some time each day to think about what those challenges are and brain
storm on them, the answers will come. I'm a fantastic brain stormer,
should you find you need some guidance there. I'm feeling a little
overwhelmed with the task of how to balance our recording, our performing
and Dan's love of sailing this coming spring and through the warm seasons
but as I said, I do believe the answers will come and this year has a lot
of possibility, so I'm nervously, excitedly, looking to see where the
answers come from and where the passion takes us!

All the best!
Kristina :-)

PS-For more of my life epiphanies and general inspiration check out my
blog @ http://kristinafurey.com/blog/ where in the past month, I've
covered the topics of how much better we feel when we take a moment before
reacting to take a look at the big picture, also,how expectations can be
lies that lead to disappointment, and how I pushed my own awkward feelings
aside and got comfortable with a lifestyle that makes me feel very
uncomfortable.

PSS-I finally figured out how to enable blog comments. :-)

 

A Deep Freeze-2 experiences of mine from the past 24 hours

 

It was 2:30am this morning when I awoke to the fear that I had forgotten to leave the kitchen faucet dripping before I went to bed.  I ran to the sink and turned it on.  A little water came out and then I heard a sputtering sound and there was nothing more.  Into the bathroom I ran for hairdryer.  Dan woke up and followed me into the kitchen, fiddled with the faucet and then quickly got to work with the hair dryer.  A little later, our son joined us in the kitchen asking if he could help in any way.  By that time I had found a very sad space heater (I had meant to get rid of) and I pulled the extension cord from our music gear.  Three hours later, our pipes were defrosted.  I was so glad our one and only hairdryer did not burn out in the process of trying to defrost the pipes. 

I almost called to cancel my meet up with some friends this morning at Starbucks and surprised myself by showing up a little early.  I saw a lady there I recognized from around and had correctly assumed was homeless.  It was an answered prayer to see her and her companion.  The two of them and some other folks have been heavy on my mind since I heard about the deadly freeze.  I had never spoken to these particular women before as it had never seemed natural to me to strike up a conversation with them.  They mostly just keep to themselves.   Today, I pushed away my awkward feelings and anxiety aside and stepped up, asking the woman (she was alone, her friend in the bathroom at the time of my arrival) if she would like some coffee or something to eat.  She had just finished what appeared to be coffee. 

We chatted for a bit, some things she said, I couldn’t really make sense of but I got the gist of it.  They had a decent, heated place, to sleep last night.  When her companion walked over and she and I got to talking, I got the sense that she was more the caretaker in this relationship.  She was easy to understand.  She said she had hoped to be out of this area by winter and certainly did not expect things to be as cold as they’ve been.  She spoke of some places where there was shelter for them, explaining the hard part was getting to those places as she asked me for a ride.  They had food stamps and were off to get groceries and then If I wouldn’t mind…   I didn’t.  I took them where they were headed.  We shared some personal information, which I think reminded each of us how similar we are and calmed each of our nerves about our choice of getting into a car with a stranger/strangers.  I saw each of these women as me, who I might have been, could be even.   I wished, I could have done more for them and wondered if I could have, after dropping them off and heading back to be with my friends.  I took comfort in knowing I had saved them what would have been a freezing, cold walk, as I headed back to join my friends at Starbucks and drink my warm coffee.

 

End of the year ponderings...

 
WARNING:  I've been feeling introspective... ;-)
I'm a dreamer, have been, all my life. I look at things and I see possibilities. I look at people and I see potential. I'm also a realist. This part of me came at the price of investing my time, money and efforts, where I saw potential and learned it's very draining to pour yourself into what could be, without taking into serious consideration, what is. The most painful of lessons for me continues to be expectations. I have witnessed people whose expectations are met at every turn. Some may call those people successful. I have heard other names used for these people too... I also believe you can find success without it coming at the cost of another living being. I've learned that I personally, can't impose my will on another without chipping away at the love I have for myself. So for me, expectations are fragile, like glass and not something I knowingly choose to put my weight on. Most of my broken expectations in life have come from naivety and most expectations were shattered by the time I was 20. That's about the time I started to realize that expectations were lies I was telling my heart and with each broken one, my heart was paying a price and my ability to be open hearted was shutting down.
What really perplexes me is how all these years later I'm still picking out shards of the fragile glass that was my expectations? Sometimes, this has me facing the truth that all these years, I have continued to hold onto some of those broken expectations tightly, as if for dear life, even as it had me bleeding away the joy of life. Try picking up some sharp glass and squeezing it tightly in your fist to see what I mean. Actually don't, that would be self abuse and you'd only end up with shards that embed themselves in you and fester. Years later, I still occasionally find myself picking at those embedded, broken pieces. I tell myself, if I can get out all the shards and allow myself to heal with clean, open hands and and an open heart, one day I will be free to grab hold of something real and for me, that's a true goal to have something real that I can enjoy because I know I acquired it honestly and not through some form of war, emotional blackmail or other type of manipulation that robs someone else of their potential, leaving them clinging to shards of their own broken expectations. Every year, since I was about 26, this has been my goal and as I embark on 2014, I'll still be chipping away at it...
Extra thought on the subject: I also struggle with expectations of failure, therefore setting myself up for it. It's a shame that some experiences in life can be so painful or traumatic that we become blind to the truth, that possibilities are limitless when we have the courage to believe in something better for ourselves and our world. Again, I feel I can confidentially point out expectations as fraudulent, yet I still get taken in by them occasionally and hurt by other people wanting to bend me to their expectations.
 

Merry Christmas

 

Greetings All,

Whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, warmest wishes for you, your loved ones and their loved ones, this holiday season and all through the new year!  I wish you all health, peaceful slumbers, energy to get you through in all you do,  success in your endeavors and that you always feel loved and supported! 

In the words of Dicken's, Tiny Tim, "God bless us everyone."

Kristina :-)

 

Take a moment, give a moment

 

I hope you are having a happy holiday season! I hope that your getting a chance to slow down and really feel the moments that you're having with those you love. I've had some real reminders this past week to take time and be thankful for the wonderful people that are in my life and all the blessings and good fortunes that I've had in my life. The first reminder came from Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, the parents of Avielle Richman, who was their only child and one of the students shot and killed a year ago in Newtown Connecticut. While questioning "why" these things happen, Jennifer and Jeremy set up a foundation, with the mission of studying brain pathologies in hopes of discovering what it is that leads people to aggression and violence. They hope to find ways of preventing future violence. I have a lot of thoughts on this subject but I don't always keep them in mind. I, like so many people, can be caught in the heat of a moment and find myself reacting to the moment instead of doing the thing we humans are equipped with the ability to do. That is to reason before we act. My ability to slip up in this particular area became very apparent to me later, on the same day that I heard Avielle's parents talking about their mission on NPR and I was slipping into that aggression feeling, only a few hours after hearing them talk about it. That was when bus 131, stopped in front of a car, in front of me, on my way home from the grocery store. I was hungry. I had frozen and refrigerator foods along with other stuff, I needed to get put away and a list of things to get done. So I found myself irritated as I sat there waiting for the bus. And waiting. And waiting. When I really started to pay attention, in my quandary of what was taking so long, I saw a person just chatting in the direction of the bus driver. I considered the horn but thought, "Eh, if the person in front of me hasn't hit theirs..." More waiting and then I saw the parent that had been talking to the bus driver start to back up from the bus and that's when I saw the child she was wheeling away in a wheel chair. Oh my! I was just really glad I didn't lay on that horn! It was bad enough I had gotten myself so worked up. I'm so glad I didn't react in such a way that would have adversely affected those around me, especially that young child who was having a happy reunion with their mother. I kind of feel like we owe it to parents like Jennifer and Jeremy, heck to ourselves and our loved ones, let alone the communities we live in, to just take a moment before we act and put ourselves or our loved ones in the position of the person we feel at odds with and just give them the benefit of the doubt. We may never know what took that bus driver in front of us so long or why anyone around us is somehow intruding on our ideas of how people should act or things should be but maybe if we all started to just take a moment, it would be like giving a moment and maybe that moment would equal a little more peace or happiness in someone's life. Maybe that moment would allow them to take a moment too and then they'd give someone a moment and moment by moment we would find ourselves with a little more peace in the world. Maybe, if people were a little more peaceful, people would feel less reactive and maybe that, along with more studies on the brain and finding more ways to cure mental health conditions, would eventually stop the sudden violent attacks like the one in Newtown.

If you're interested in hearing the interview with Avielle's parents and about their mission here's a link to the podcast: http://www.npr.org/2013/12/12/250287971/newtown-parents-seek-a-clearer-window-into-violent-behavior there is a link on that page to the Avielle foundation and I have it here for quick reference if you'd like to read up on it or get involved: http://www.aviellefoundation.org/

A link to my "Peace On Earth" song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4D0hQT1_Kc

Be kind to yourself and one another! <---(That's just as much a reminder to me.)

Kristina :-)

PS: Dan and I will be at the Lost Rhino Brewery 12/18/13 from 6-9pm.

 

 

Curious dreams

 

I’ve been sick, miserably, like can’t get out of bed for two days sick! Whenever I’m sick like that I have the weirdest dreams. As a child I had this recurring dream of being out in space, similar to Sandra Bullock in “Gravity,” except I would be flying around while passing stars, planets and beams of light, at an incredibly fast pace. I remember feeling motion sickness from my dreams only to wake up and find I had gone sideways in the bed and my head was hanging over the side or I’d wake up ready to vomit. It was as if dizziness caused the dream… Sometime, before my teens, I stopped having this dream.

Even when I’m not sick I have some pretty strange dreams…

I once had a dream that I was biting into a kiwi and began to think, “I’ve been poisoned.” I felt my head start to expand, while the sound in my head was something like that of a latex punching balloon being blown up to its limit and being stretched extremely taut and right as I thought my head would explode, I found myself traveling inside of some living thing, which I realized was the kiwi! Then I just had this knowing feeling in my head that I was part of the kiwi, one with it, connected. I remember it so vividly because it was incredibly realistic and at the point I realized I was one with the kiwi, I had this realization that I was in my bed sleeping, at the same time and when I made the realization, I woke with a startle and a thumping heart. That’s not the only time I’ve felt like I was having an out of body experience while dreaming.

The dreams that have continued to unnerve me over the years are the ones I call my coma dreams. I would realize I was paralyzed and just laying there in bed. I would think I was stuck somewhere between a dream state and being awake. Sometimes, I would see figures around the base of my bed. Sometimes, I would hear them talking to me. I’ve wondered if I was viewing my future and if I would one day be in a coma but on occasion they told me specific things that it seemed they wanted me to tell specific people. That freaked me out and I barely ever passed on the messages. There was one place, whenever I slept there, I would end up in that “comma” state and hear what sounded like a dog with tags jingling, coming up the stairs sitting at my side and panting. It scared me the first few times until I realized it was nothing to fear because I would realize during these dreams that “Yes, this has happened before and maybe I’ll wake up soon.” When I was really young, I remember telling myself in my dreams to open my eyes, so I could wake up when I was having the same scary dream and recognized it.

I also used to fall asleep in the car or in a room where other people were conversing and I would hear them but not be able to answer. Sometimes, I could answer. On a family trip we took by car, I remember, hearing my family talking about me and later I discussed with them what they had been talking about and they were surprised because they thought I was asleep and I explained that I had been asleep and awake at the same time and unable to communicate. Interesting thing about these family trips we’d go on. I would normally sleep in the car to avoid car sickness and then at night while everyone would be sleeping, I’d be in the bathroom, dizzy and sick to my stomach. This happened enough times that my parents would have me bring my sleeping bag on our trips and have me sleep right outside of the bathroom door.

I mostly slept while I was sick but when I was awake, I had plenty of time to think about all my weird dreams over the years.

 

 

Confessions of a liar

 

Hello,

Are you sitting down? Okay, I told lie. Not on purpose but it just so
happens that right after I sent out my letter saying The Mad Horse Brewpub
would be our last performance of the year, we received an unexpected gig.
So, the bad news is I lied, the good news is, it's at The Lost Rhino
Brewery and what makes it extra special is that it will be on Wednesday
12/18 from 6-9pm. "WHAT???" you say, "A week night!?!" I know, not
something we normally do but Dan thought, "Okay, I will put in my days
work and still go out and play for the people that need just one more
chance to gather with friends or escape the traffic and holiday madness."
So stop by after work or after a little last minute shopping! Give your
honey the night off from cooking. Better yet, how great would it be to
invite your friends unbeknownst to your honey and then surprise them with
a holiday gathering? While you think about this, check out this menu:
http://lostrhino.com/downloads/fall_menu_web.pdf
OR AT THE VERY LEAST, this one!: http://lostrhino.com/web/beers#1

So this Saturday(12/7), we'll be at The Mad Horse BrewPub from 6:30-9:30pm
and Wednesday December 18th, we'll be at The Lost Rhino Brewing Company!

Hope to see you!
Kristina and Dan

 

Our final performance of the year!

 

Hello!

I hope your holiday season is off to a good start. I wish you health, a
relaxed state of mind and that you feel an abundance of love and joy this
season and well into the new year!

I'm at the tail end of a cold that I got from snuggling a little too close
to Dan but as of rehearsal tonight, I finally have the confidence that my
voice is going to be okay for our gig this Saturday 12/7 from 6:30-9:30 at
the Mad Horse BrewPub. http://www.madhorsebrewpub.com/ So, if you're
looking for something to do, come on out for some social time in the real
world. Sure, you can bring your smart phones, ipads, techie gizmos and
gadgets too if you like. ;-) Just so you know, we have no current plans
of gigging again until March, so if you've been meaning to come out THIS
would be the night to do it!
After Saturday, we will be disappearing into obscurity...

We'd love to see you!
Kristina and Dan

 

My Heritage

 

It must have happened on more than one occasion because the memory is so sealed in my mind.  She took a drag off of her cigarette, hesitated, and then slowly let the smoke pour out through her 90ish lips.  She said, “I’ve been smoking these all my life.  They told me these things would kill me one day.”  Took a thoughtful look at her cigarette and said “When?  When?”  She smiled that devilish smile she sometimes had and laughed, what was no doubt, a full husky smoker’s kind of laugh and then brought the cigarette back up to her lips.  She said to me, “You’re thirteen?  Don’t run off and get married now like I did.  That’s too young.”  She would know.  Her life hadn’t been easy, a single mom, in her time.  Single moms today think they got it tough.  Women like her had it tough.  They paved the way for all us women here in the US.   A single mom trying to make a living while raising two young daughters in her time but she managed. 

We would say, “Play us a song!”  She would sit down at her piano and start playing some good old church hymns.   I would make a request for something more upbeat and jazzy or I’d say “Play Daisy.”  “Let me see, how does that one go?”  I’d start singing it and she’d come right in with the chords, often joining me in the singing.  A part of me wanted to be like her.  Her job in music and in history had a sense of romance about it.  She would play in the movie theaters.  The first day a new film would come in, she’d have her eyes watching the screen like a hulk and she’d be doing her best to accompany each scene with the proper soundtrack, having to change tunes on a dime.   It wasn’t easy and she liked to get it just right.  She never used sheet music for it.  She could read it but there was no time to be looking it up.  She relied completely on her memory and quick thinking skills as she married the music to what was happening on the screen.  It would make all the difference to the viewers that the music fit.  They may not have realized, just how particular she was at creating those moments or what went into it.  They more likely where just taking in the big picture and liked it or didn’t, without any real reference or regard for why.  It was an art to her.  A love/r.  To the average movie watcher it wasn’t highly regarded or greatly appreciated.  It was just a job.  But it’s never just a job when you love what you do.   So after a few runs with the movie, she would have a good idea of which pieces of music to use and just how much and what part of the music, best fit the scene.   

I understood as she told me about this part of her life.  I understood it with my heart, not through my head by reasoning through my own life experiences.   She was a lady who made up her own rules as she went along and made her own way.  She meant it when she asked the cigarette, “When?”  I think my great grandmother was kind of bored just sitting and watching her stories, waiting for visitors to stop by and pass some time with her and waiting for those cigarettes to kick in. 

My brother, Kevin/Trip, he had her gift.  He was exceptionally talented!  I envied how easy it came to him and I wished so much more for him and for his music, while he was alive.   Like my Great Grandmother too, he took up cigarettes at a young age.  I believe he told me he was 13 when he started smoking.   I miss him.  I have nothing of his musically to remember him by.  I wish I had something.   I have a copy of a song my Great Grandmother wrote and when my Great Grandmother died, I got her makeup case.  We great grandkids got to pick something of hers to remember her by after she passed.  I thought it was a cigarette case when I grabbed it.  I don’t smoke.  I never did.  I also waited till I was 22 to marry.  I do remember her and that’s really something because how many people get to remember their great grandparents?  I look at the makeup case every now and then and I open it up with its dried out, broken makeup inside and cracked mirror and I hope to see a little bit of her in me.   I know it’s those conversations and moments that I shared with both my Great Grandmother and my brother,  it’s those things I learned from them and keep with me, that allow me to realize they are still here with me in some capacity.  Even if I never get to hear my brother or Great Grandmother play the piano again.  Even if my Great Grandmother never winks at me when I open the compact and see the cracked mirror. 

I have posted a picture of my Grandmother’s compact on a page of the song she wrote.   I always have that one day thought, “One day, I should learn to play the song and sing it.”  Maybe a hidden track for our next CD…  (To see the compact and sheet music picture I posted go to my FB page:  www.facebook.com/pages/Kristina-Furey/34854122318