Kristina Furey

What does a boat have to do with music?

 

APRIL IS HERE! Hopefully that means no more snow for us in the DC area
and we'll all feel like going places and doing things. Speaking of going
and doing, Dan has been getting things ready to pursue his passion of
sailing and just sailed our boat "Athena" to Galesville, Maryland. He's
been happy to accompany me on my musical journey and I have been waiting
for the opportunity to once again do the same for him. So we were both
very excited last fall when he found a great boat to suit his sailing
goals. We had a Cape Dory we named "Jolly Mon," for about 8-10 years and
we have wonderful memories of it, along with some memories of trippy
Dramamine inspired dreams for me. We sold it a few years back with the
intention of one day getting something a little bigger. One day was last
fall. We plan at some point in the next couple years to sail it down the
intracoastal waterway to Florida. OH MY! I had heard of this riverboat
music tour that takes place in England and I was daydreaming about having
the ability to do something like that a couple of years ago, so I put
boat, intracoastal waterway, and music together and thought what better
way for Dan and I to spend vacation time, now that the kids are old enough
to fend for themselves. This is exciting times for us and next month we
get an idea of how this is going to work. We will be playing Big Mary's
Dock Bar at Pirate's Cove in Galesville and then we will stay on the boat.
That gig is on May 24th from 6-10pm and folks if you want to get away for
the weekend they have lodging at Pirates Cove:
http://www.piratescovemd.com/

THIS MONTH we will be getting some sailing experience in AND playing music
at THE CAJUN EXPERIENCE on April 19th from 7-10pm.

Hope to see you soon!
Kristina :-)

Picture of Dan sailing:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202418311431761&set=a.10202418311271757.1073741827.1012823496&type=1&theater

 

What do you honestly want?

 
Mostly I had a sad and introspective day yesterday. I didn't feel up to posting a blog.
I've been thinking a lot about life lately. With my Father going to cancer treatments and my Father in-law in the hospital, a family friend just recently diagnosed with cancer and with me getting sick and having to go to Doctor appointments, and also hearing about three different people committing suicide in the past week. I feel like the universe is pointing out something here... The question pops up for me a lot. What do you want from life? What do you honestly want? Do you think it is attainable? Does it matter? If it isn't attainable is it worth pursuing?
My ego and its idea of what it wanted is once again dying it's sad, slow little death over what it wanted thought it deserved, verses what it got. I try to mentally separate myself from the ego in an attempt to stop the pain but it's not easy. In my rational moments I console myself with the idea that maybe my ego will just stop fighting this and then I can let go and trust the little voice inside that says, "It's going to be alright. You will help yourself by answering the question, What do you honestly want from life? What is the thing you want without a doubt? Work towards it NOW because time can not be relied on in an ever evolving world" I sensed it might be a trick question, one my ego would quickly fall for, so I put it to my heart, evaluated my history, imagined myself on my death bed and answered kindness. I want it from myself to myself. I want it from others. I want to give it to others. I want life and the universe to be kind to those that are suffering and kind to the people that love them. I want that and I want to get my own affairs in order and have them organized in such a way that I don't have people cleaning up the messes I've left or made, figuratively and literally. When my time comes, I want to kindly leave this world.
I'm sure my ego will rise again (oh yes, it has it's own list of what it wants) but hopefully it won't cause harm when it does! To ward it off I'll keep "The Velveteen Rabbit" quote in my head, "“Once you are real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
---Margery Williams

 

The past few days

 
"Time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go"---Green Day
Saturday we had a fantastic night out on the patio of The Cajun Experience. It was a beautiful day that turned into a wonderful night. We shared a song we had written special for the owner, the staff and everyone there. It was a beautiful moment! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5hA2_Zc4Ho
Sunday we slept in late and then Dan got off to put final touches to his boat to de-winterize it and get it ready for the water. While I tended to bills, working on music stuff, laundry and a bunch of odds and ends I can't even remember now.
Monday morning I went grocery shopping, cooked some Beef Stroganoff and got myself together, packed a bag and packed up the Beef Stroganoff, a bag of egg noodles, a bagged salad, a rosemary seasoned artisan bread, along with some strawberries, blackberries and blueberries and headed for Maryland. My parents stay there with my brother and family, so they can be closer Johns Hopkins, where my dad goes for his cancer treatments. I spent the night at my brother's families house and today, drove my parents. Getting the treatments has become like a part time job that my parents commute to each morning and come back from each afternoon. Their drive is only forty minutes. I met a couple today who come from Alexandria each morning in rush hour traffic and a good commute for them is an hour and forty minutes. That's the same time it takes me to get there from my house without real traffic. The most exciting part of the day is if someone has finished their treatment and they get to ring the bell to announce that they are done with the radiation part of their treatment. The staff is wonderful, often greeting the patients and their families with a hug.
After I dropped my parents off, I headed homeward and on the way stopped off to visit my Grandmother (my Father's mother) and show her pictures, tell her about my visit and spend a little time with her before I headed back home. The whole day the snow has been falling but luckily it's not been an issue. It's only made all my time on the road today more scenic. When I got home I found a beautiful handmade thank you card waiting for me and thanking me for some flowers I had sent a dear family friend last week when I found out she too has cancer and will be starting treatments immediately. I really just want to go lay down for a bit but instead I've chosen to blog, mostly out of habit but a little, I think, to express that life is made up of these moments and we are made up of what we chose to do with these moments. Those choices are us living.
Tomorrow I get to celebrate a friends birthday. :-)
My Grandmother just called the house to make sure I got home safely. :-)
"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." ---John Lennon
 

The Cajun Experience (a little ditty we wrote for tonight's gig) :-)

 

Beware of sleeping in the moonlight it will make you go moon mad

Beware of Alligators hanging out underneath your house

If you're in Northern Virginia and your luck is going south

What you need is an experience boone chance without a doubt

So if you be a Rodee', a local or a Thiboduex

The Cajun Experience is where you want to go!

 

You see the fifolet, that eerie burning light

Hovers over The Cajun Experience where the Ju Ju's always right

They got oysters on the 1/2 shell, Catfish, Crawfish Gumbo too

They even got your Po Boys fuh sure for true

So raise your Abita's, your sazaracs and Breauxs

Raise them high to The Cajun Experience a toast!

 

 

Black Holes

 

I keep falling into black holes, unintentional but habitual.  Partly I think it’s a form of self protection.  I’ve just always drawn back into myself and comfortable surroundings, when life gets hard, chaotic, confusing, or there’s just too much on my plate.  It’s not like I try to disappear, it just seems to happen.  I reach into myself more than I reach out.  When people take offense to this it compounds the situation with me reaching in instead of out.  I’ve had enough experience with that and so I have a really bad habit of not reaching out for fear (Yes, fear and I hate that I let fear dictate anything in my life but there you have it!) fear of having to jump through hoops to get back in people’s good graces and so I tend to disappear. 

I feel this has something to do with having foster brother and sisters come and go in my life early on and my mother leaving for a couple years when I was eleven and moving away from all the friends and people I’d grown up with when I was 16 without being able to say good bye and then spending the next two years at a school I didn’t want to be at with people around me I didn’t know and didn’t want to have any attachments to.   (Sorry, those of you that I formed attachments to and you stuck around, I’m fortunate and thankful that you did!)  We didn’t have the internet then so people were just there for me one day and gone the next.  I often tried to stay in touch early on and then it got too painful to be the one always reaching out sometimes impossible (again no internet).  I’ve learned to appreciate my own company and understand as much as I enjoy connecting with people it’s probably too easy for me to disconnect.  It seems to be a good thing with the music as I learned early on with that, people have great intentions to see you again or contact you for a job and then you never hear from them.   I’m not the only one with good intentions…  :-)

I leave my music, my goals and dreams too when I fall into black holes.  I’ve learned that every relationship and every item I own comes with a price tag of time spent, as does every song I write, every goal and every dream and that’s even before I start thinking about the time I spend on the internet, watching TV or on some other distraction from the real world.  And then there’s me, the black hole I fall into, my own need of self care and falling into my own peace.  I need more of it when I’m experiencing extra challenges with my health, my relationships and those curve balls life throws.  It’s not easy for me to fall into those black holes but it seems necessary and strangely comforting.  When I emerge, I always feel a little wiser for it.

 

The countdown to Spring begins…

 

Next Thursday, March 20th, is the first day of Spring!  If you’ve kept up with my blogs and read my March 5th one:  http://kristinafurey.com/blog/holding_pattern/  than you know this has NOT been a good winter for my family.  So I for one am REALLY anticipating some warmer weather and the beauty that starts to spring up all around us at this time of year!  I’m also highly anticipating getting back to THE CAJUN EXPERIENCE, which we will be doing on March 22nd from 7:00-10:00pm.  For me it’s the people, the food, being outside with the familiarity of knowing the environment and what we need to do to give you our best and all while in an intimate setting, where we can just hang with everyone, chat and play things by ear, that’s what really makes it an enjoyable experience for me!   So I not only encourage you to come out but feel free to chat with us in between songs.  I know some of you already do that and I so appreciate that because it gives the people that don’t know us the message that they too can add their two cents or ask questions if they like.  It’s those nights when we all share with each other that turn out to be almost magical.  And that is my favorite thing to do, just share an evening outside and make the typical evening into something special.  Those are the moments I want to fill my life with, so come out and be playful and let’s make that happen!!! 

 

Holding Pattern

 

I’m a big believer in living in the moment, while planning for the days to come, while honoring my core needs. While these are my beliefs, I am still working hard at living them and trying not to betray myself along the way. It’s the WANTS, with their empty promises that have taken me down dead end paths that and occasionally confusing my own belief system and needs with those around me. Quiet, is my friend, offering a safe and comfortable place where I can check in with my core needs. Not that they ever change, only that they are constantly challenged.

We live in the moment as children. We get mad, angry, sad, whatever, it doesn’t matter because the next moment comes along and we evolve with it, back into our natural states of contentment (so long as our survival needs are being taken care of). Could it be that the moment we start having expectations on what life will offer or should offer, that living in the moment becomes such a challenge? It’s hard not to have expectations. They kind of go along with planning. Yet when our expectations aren’t met we often find resentment because we thought we were owed it. “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies.”---Nelson Mandela

I recently expected to meet up with my parents in St. Kitts and instead learned my Father was having stroke like symptoms while in between flights to St. Kitts, that later turned out to be a golf ball size tumor and that later turned out to be a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Sooo not what I expected! I think my whole family was in free fall mode there with each diagnosis.

This brings me back to my core needs. The desire to nurture and be nurtured by those I love. My mind since January 21st has been so occupied with “What can I do to make this better?” Realizing all I could do was just be patient and to try to be comforting to my parents but that was about it, until we learned the specifics. Now the plans are beginning to surface and I find myself once again trying to get real with myself over my needs and my wants. Trying not to drink any poison along the way and learning it is a BIG BOO BOO on my part to try to push my loved ones buttons, during my dark moments, in an effort to make them feel like I do, out of my own need to feel validated, to feel the way I do. It seems to me to be one of the worst ways we not only drink the poison but poison our own loving, nurturing relationships with each other. I’ve heard that your life is either an inspiration to others or a warning. I’d like to believe my life offers both. So, this friends, is a warning from me to you and one I was thankful to pick up on while in my own state of distress. I hope you will keep this in mind the next time you feel antsy, desperate or dark minded and I hope it will be a reminder not to push that other person’s buttons to make them feel your pain. You don’t want them feeling your pain and you certainly don’t want to push away your support system. Bring them close, hold them, for your benefit and theirs. Allow yourself to be vulnerable instead of angry. Anger is not strength. It’s a destroyer. Vulnerable on the other hand, is truth. We are all vulnerable. As my brother said to me, four years ago before he died, “None of us get out of here alive.”

Love each other! We are all living with a terminal condition called life and tomorrow may never come. We all crave love to fill those dark, empty places that somehow end up inside of us, along life’s path. So do what you need to do, to fill up your life, heart and soul, treat those around you with kindness, so we can all enjoy the moment as best we can!

Love,

Me

 

We Can't Deny

 

We Can’t Deny

http://www.reverbnation.com/kristinafurey/song/20176936-we-cant-deny-to-go-wblog-titled

We can’t deny what’s happening here. You’re getting older and I’m getting older. And I see the lines etched on your face a map to the past, a reminder of yesterday. A time when you couldn’t love me, the way that I needed, I thought you only loved me when I pleased you but now we push that pain aside, cause what good is pain, once we’ve learned the lessons it teaches?

And I can’t deny when I look at your face, the love that I feel, the love that you’ve given me. Please, won’t you give me your hand, I’ll help you stand, I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me, that would take great strength in deed!

We can’t deny, that all that we have, is just here and now, it’s only this space in time. Please won’t you give me your hand, I’ll help you stand, I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me, that would show great strength indeed!

Please, won’t you give me your hand! I’ll help you stand! I can be strong now that you’re not and you, you can be strong for me, give your hand to me and it will give us the courage we both seek!

(I recorded this song back in 2003 to accommodate a screen play I’d written called “The List”, about a woman that finds a list, her recently deceased friend wrote of the things she wanted to accomplish by age 40 and so the woman, who was just about to end her own life, chooses instead to complete the list for her friend. I had copy (written) the screenplay as well as registered it with the writer’s guild and then sent it out and about into the world, never hearing a reply but some years later was told by a friend there was a movie called “The Bucket List” coming out and it sounded a lot like my screenplay. A kick to the gut! (Though not a direct steal, different stories, strangely very familiar to each other) Realizing I didn’t have the kind of money it would take, to take such a thing to court and thinking there’s always the chance they never saw my screenplay or the plot I had written and sent out, also keeping in mind my own belief in a collective consciousness… Instead, I took my Mother’s advice and tried to find comfort in what writing the screenplay had given me and how it helped me evolve once again into a songwriter pursuing her craft.

It offered other gifts. It helped me realize that we get in life what we practice every day. If you’re complaining, you’ll get better at it. If you’re holding resentment over the past, you’ll get better at supporting that resentment and telling the stories that strengthen that resentment to yourself and others. On the other hand if you practice hope, you will more easily find it around you and inspire it in others. If you practice healing you will get better at recognizing the things that hurt you and the things that help you and once you learn the skills to help yourself, you will want to help others and then they will want to help you and so the more you practice it, the more you allow it into your life, give it to yourself and receive it from others! Occasionally, I think of the list but it stills sours my stomach a bit so I try to focus on other things. I was never happy with the recording I did of “We Can’t Deny.” The gentleman, whose services I used had his own ideas about how it had to be musically. He was the professional and I just a stay at home Mom that wanted to record her song for her screenplay. I see myself differently now and one day, hope to record this the way I originally heard it in my head. The professional did an amazing job on it, especially for the money I paid him! It was my own insecurities and my own fault that I didn’t speak up to get everything I wanted out of the experience.

In the past week we have learned that my Father is facing an aggressive form of cancer. This song and the particular line “We can’t deny that all that we have is just here and now, it’s only this space in time,” has come to mind. I wanted to share it because I think it holds a lot of weight and truth that may be beneficial to you.

The song was my way of delivering something that I know as truth, without any doubts. We are all people doing our best in life and we need to practice patience, compassion, understanding, communication and forgiveness of ourselves and others, if we are to get the most out the relationships that we hold so dear.

"I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality."---Byron Katie

No promises on how long I will keep this link active, I’m still learning to hear myself with kindness, when recordings don’t come out the way I want or hear it in my head. It’s a little OCD of me. It drives me bonkers and I’m working on it!)

 

February Newsletter

 

Hello beautiful people!

Could it really be?  Is it almost really March???  Yes!  Just a week from this Saturday is March 1st.  Ahh March, that wild crazy month that burns hot and cold as it plays the liaison between bitter frostbite February and the return to beauty, life and nurturing, Mother April.  I am really anticipating March, along with our first performance of the year, at Mad Horse Brewpub, March 1st from 6:30-9:30.  I really anticipate the warmth of seeing some friendly faces and sharing some music and good vibes!

Hope to see you!

Kristina Furey

 

How and why I started in music

 

Okay,  (deep cleansing breath).  I’m taking the online class that Dave Kusek put together called the NEW ARTIST MODEL CLASS and while going over the question, “How and why you started in music?”  I’ve had to come face to face with the truth and also some shame, over my past.  But this is good cause I’ve walked through the shame and came out on the other side with some important realizations about myself.  I’ll try to brief.  Well no, no I won’t!  :-)  If I tried to be, I would just do what I usually do and say nothing for fear of diving too deep. 

I lost my way on life’s path at age 11 and yet, I found my own way.  I was skipping school and spending the days in my bedroom writing lyrics from top 40 songs that I taped off of the “Casey Kasem’s Top 40” show on Sundays.  I was unimpressed with life, school and where it all appeared to be heading.   I was suffering from what I now understand were panic attacks.  So while my peers were at school, I would spend the mornings watching “People Are Talking” with Richard Sher and Oprah Winfrey (local talk show that was out of Baltimore), followed by Phil Donahue and then I would listen over and over to the songs I had recorded and try to understand and write the lyrics to the songs in the notebooks, the ones I had been given for school work.  I guess it was my own lesson plan, though at the time, I shamefully did this as my grades in school seriously plummeted.  But this routine brought me some comfort and hope that one day, life would be better and I could forget the dark side of my life for a while. 

Later, I started writing my own lyrics as a way to daydream my way out of the real world or purge myself of the darkness.  While I realize this all sounds very sad, it was, BUT I had a desire to learn about life and this routine was a joyful one for me.  My teachers, Richard, Oprah, Phil and all the wonderful songwriters and singers, oh and those long distance dedications Casey would read…    they were my heroes and they helped me understand that I was not alone.  I learned every life story has so many perspectives and we can choose the one that best works for us.  I took hope in the idea that even the adults were dumbfounded and they were getting by alright, so maybe I would be okay.  I learned new things to try in navigating my way through life.  I had hope that I could one day put together the life that would make me happy and I strung the happy moments  together, like fine jewelry and cut the fabric of my life to create the most  beautiful quilt I could make out of it and that revolved around writing my own lyrics and creating my own songs. 

In high school, I realized I was not so alone in my struggles and I began to write lyrics for others and found that they too benefited. 

In 10th grade, my teachers were joined by Alec Guinness, when my  drama teacher showed me a film on him that opened my mind to a whole new world of books on acting and the mental and moral qualities we all have, which then lead me to books on psychology and self help.  I was jazzed and ready to save the world but in need of some saving myself!  Still struggling with school, it was the music classes, drama classes, and performing opportunities that got me showing up on a more regular basis.  I had so much shame of not fitting the scholar mode!  I didn’t realize at the time, I was a student of something else, something bigger, that had a very powerful hold on me and was using the resources I was filling myself with to create through me.   I get these songs and lyrics racing through my head that if I don’t write them down quickly enough, they’ll be forever gone.  Well, maybe not.  Maybe it’s a collective consciousness and it will keep repeating like an SOS until someone brings it into the material world.  Maybe?  In the meantime I listen and try to oblige it.  I see them as musical prescriptions for healing and/or prescriptions to connect us to the feelings we need to open ourselves to and completely feel, so we can let them go and make room for better feelings.     When I try to write without this connected feeling, what I come up with seems very synthetic in comparison.  Maybe that’s just me not trusting myself.  Don’t really know?  But I love the feeling of putting pen to paper and feeling it flow through me or just opening my mouth and singing it without any prior idea of what will come out and having something beautiful show up! 

So when I started down the path of music I really just wanted to honor what was coming through me and use it for the sake of healing and helping but we’ve found it’s a whole lot easier to find paying gigs when you play cover songs that others already like and add in some they request and keep adding songs, and for my own joy add songs we’ve written with the same feel as the songs we are already playing and then record those songs and before I knew it…   I’m happy to be doing what I do.  I think Dan and I have learned so much about music and have gotten so much more experience in songwriting from the songs we’ve covered.  I have loved every smile, laugh, and tear (though that last one kinda shocked me) and I love people and it all makes sense but at the same time, I want to give voice to this beautiful thing that possesses me and wants to heal the world.  So it’s conflicting to me!  My current plan is to have two simultaneous plans, which I have been working on!  One is to continue the path Dan and I are currently on and one is to give voice to my core.  So here I am.  That’s why I started and that’s how I started.  Thought I’d share… :-)