Posts Tagged ‘Ruthie Foster’

Tonight was Ruthie Foster and The Blind Boys of Alabama performing at The Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver. It was an absolutely amazing concert. Both bands were fantastic. The Blind Boys are this amazing gospel group and Ruthie is an amazing blues artist, easily my favourite who speaks to my soul in one way or another with every song that she sings. One of her songs, in particular, has been resonating with me lately. The song is Ruthie’s recording of this poem. I’d strongly listen to the linked video (you can read the lyrics, the video links is for the sound, not the photos of Hillary Clinton) too as you read it:

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

This song, these are the words that I have been trying to say to myself as I was describing in my positive self-talk post and it spoke to my soul. It definitely meant the world to me and meant the world to dance to this song at the concert.  At the intermission, people on the level below had seen us and came up to talk to us. Apparently we weren’t the audience, we had an audience!

But, by now I’m sure you’re wondering what all this concert talk has to do with crashing a date. I love Ruthie Foster. She’s my favourite blues artist, easily, and I listen to her often enough that I probably know blues music less well as a result (due to not expanding my palate).  And one of my friends mentioned the concert to me a couple of weeks ago at a dance and so once I decided to go I contacted this friend. He’d already bought tickets but let me know where he was sitting. So I decided to risk it — I assumed that he’d be clear if it was a date and if he didn’t want another friend along. I looked at the tickets with the rule that if I got a seat directly beside them I’d take it, and if not I’d skip the concert. As it turned out, I got a ticket right by them. So I bought it.

I let my friend knowthat if I was crashing a date I was sorry and I let his girlfriend know that too (who’s also a good friend of mine). They seemed okay with it. I’ve had lots of friends in relationships when I’ve been single. I’m used to being with a couple. It always bugs me to a degree but I’ve learned to get used to it. Some days it bugs me more than others. Tonight was a night when this couple was very ‘couple-y’ so I’m pretty sure that on one level I wasn’t wanted there — or that they too wished for another guy.  But I’ve done this many a time over the years. And, with most of my good friends getting coupled off, it seems like my wing women are becoming fewer and fewer.

To be honest, though, being number three where the other two are coupled — tonight it did bug me more than usual, but that’s because there’s a part of me that is sad that the ‘distraction’ is so far away. I know that I’m in the right place in that situation — he’s too far away to be involved with seriously, so the interest is there but it’s casual. That’s where I’m at and we’re on the same page. I know I’m trying to continue to make the conscious choice to remain emotionally available if I meet a good guy that’s local.   And it’s okay, I know where I’m at, I know that the situations are right, I’m happy with that. But, it doesn’t stop me from feeling a little lonely at the moment. From wishing I could have that man in my life on a regular basis with whom I could plan things like this. Tonight was a night when I wanted a date. No, not a date, a partner.


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I’ve spent this weekend making sure I’m pretending H.D. doesn’t exist. I’ve had amazing times at the dances, the mask was easy, because I am so abhorrent of H.D.’s lies, gossip, the things he’s thought and said about me. It makes it easy for me to not care how much he does the pouting, the puppydog moping look.  That it’s been 2 weeks and he hasn’t had the guts to at least approach me.  I realize that I’ve been a bit well B@$#%@# towards him, but you know what? I don’t care because he disgusts me. He walked into the dance Friday night, while I was working the door and said to me very quietly and contritely “Hi, how’s it going?”. I calmly looked him in the eye, used my professional “dealing with customers” voice, and responded with “That will be $8, please”. He knew exactly that I was pissed. He got all confused and uncertain “Uhhh… I need to borrow $1.25, uh, I’ll be right back” — you see, normally I’d be the one to lend him the money. I waited, he paid, I ignored him all night. He even followed me around — intentionally dancing near me (not always controllable, but some of it was intentional) — following me around, trying to stand in my only pathway to my bag forcing me to acknowledge him (a friend who knows the score distracted him so that I could slip past).  He even followed us to the door, I didn’t acknowledge him.

Tonight at the dance, I was ready to say to him what needs to be said — that I’ve heard the gossip and lies and horrible things he’s said about me, from multiple people. I want to tell him that he needs to seek professional counselling from some sort of licensed psychotherapist that isn’t his best friend (who can’t be objective). That I don’t want him to talk to me until he can come to me and outline all the ways he’s screwed up with this over the last months — from the first moment he moved things from Friends to ‘Other’ (because, frankly, if he truly wasn’t interested he never should have made a move in the first place — not with me or anyone he’s been close friends with for years), and talk about what he’s doing to learn how to be a real man. I want to say to him that unless I know that he’s gone and done some serious counselling I do not want to speak with him. At all.

So back to tonight’s dance. I planned to keep my distance, I didn’t want to make it easy for him to find me. I didn’t want to ‘invite’ him to come up to me.  But I was ready, so there were a few times when I looked directly at him, half caught his eye, and almost ‘dared’ him to come up.  As I was leaving I was talking with a friend of mine “A” (who’s good friends with him), and with another friend “B” who I was driving home  home. H.D. came up to us, I kept up the light banter I had going with my friends. We were ready to go, so I gave “A” a hug good-bye. “B” gave H.D. a hug, then I turned around, he looked at me tried to say goodbye and half waved. I will admit that I was a B!#@$@ and looked him in the eye, didn’t respond and walked away.  But after being treated like dirt or trash, I have no qualms about throwing up walls.

And you know what, I’m still smiling. Because he’s crazy, the lies he’s said about me are untrue and those he’s told know the truth.  And you know what, I feel free. I’m excited about next weekend, I’m happy to finally have some semblance of control over things, and I’m so disgusted with him that I’m 100% emotionally available — though I’ll readily admit to being very bruised.

Friday night there were two songs played that struck me and spoke to where I was at:

Janiva Magness — You Were Never Mine

I saw someone again today who remembered me and you
They asked all the same old questions, I gave the same excuse
They said, “What a shame, what a shame, to lose a love so fine”

But I never lost you, I never lost you
I never lost you, you were never mine

I kept on believing what I wanted to believe
The unspoken promises that you could never keep
But it’s a sin, oh, it’s a sin to tell yourself a lie

I never lost you, I never lost you
I never lost you, you were never mine

Did you give me all that you gave me just because I needed you
But when I needed, all your love completely was it more than you could do

Sometimes deep in the night when I hold you in my dreams
I get lost in your loving touch, baby, I can’t believe how real it seems
And I know, yes I know, I’ll have you till the end of time

‘Cause I never lost you, I never really lost you
I never lost you ’cause you were never mine
I never lost you, I never really lost you
How could I lose you, you were never mine

Because really, I was used and played, and he was never mine. So I will move on and find a guy who will treat me well.

The second song from Friday night is by my favourite artist: Ruthie Foster, Walk On (I can’t find a video for that at the moment). Because I just need to keep on walking ’till I find my way. She’s worth googling.  This is one of my (MANY) favourites, not the one from the dance but it’s still relevant…

Today I had my running clinic — so I can feel my voice being a bit raw — and I’m tired. Yowza this is intense — I was behind in my training because of my injury. It was great to hang with my friends and I’m happy I have this community. I’d miss it if I left.  Then I went with a girlfriend to look at rings, and I FOUND ONE. more than a year after my break in (that’s covered in my old blog, which I haven’t yet moved to this blog). I can hardly wait until it’s ready. 3 weeks. Since the ring is being made, I don’t have a specific photo, yet, but I will be getting one. This is quite similar in style to the one I’m getting  (though there are minor details different):

A style quite similar to the diamond ring Ive ordered.

A style quite similar to the diamond ring I've ordered.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m ready to move on. Though I may have one more conversation relating to H.D. before I will be released from this frustration (because I don’t think I’ll ever have one with H.D. because he’s not man enough to bring it up and I’m going to take Mel’s advice and not go there). So it’s time to sleep, dream of sparkling, plan my to do list for tomorrow and get ready for next week’s fun and delight.

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