These are a few of my…Breakup Songs

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View over Torrey Pines State Beach, Del Mar, California / 08.19.17 

There are many ways to break a heart. The newest method I’ve learned is when a man you’ve loved for eight years leaves you for the final time (for another woman) one month after your Mom is diagnosed with cancer. You really do learn something new every day.

Life isn’t kind enough to stop and let you heal; you have to do that on the run. Friends, family, work that inspires and distracts you is key, and…slowly…through the pain…you take away the things that made you better, even if, in the pain, you see time and youth wasted. Blame feels good for a moment, but the truth is no one leaves an eight year relationship without blood on their hands. I am certainly no saint. Human beings are tragic mishaps, which is why you can love someone deeply but can’t find a way to make it stick. That’s the crux of the human condition.

But if something is taken from you, replace it. If you can’t fill the void with something new, then stitch yourself together, mend the tear from what you have left. And if there’s power in numbers, then music is the way to reclaim mine–as the notes in each song add up to a rhythm that reminds the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, and keeps the nervous system in check. The last time I had my heart broken, I remade myself as a music journalist and found my footing.

So in that spirit I’m launching a new feature on Nostos Algos with this post. These are a few of my… will be a regular(ish) series that shares a few of my favorite things by theme, and, if musical, will be tied to Spotify playlists. The playlist that corresponds here is titled “…favorite breakup songs, and is composed of songs previously featured on Nostos Algos because I’m stitching myself together with what’s sustained me for years. One exception to this is an entire album by Daughter, since this indie British outfit is my spirit animal. Content runs the gamut in tone, from angry to sad, nostalgic to uplifting, and the order is mixed because that’s the reality of emotions: they are not linear.

There are many ways to break a heart, but there are just as many ways to mend it. Here’s to starting that process by sharing it with you, since there’s power in numbers, and healing…one song at a time.

 

See & Read: 11/4/2015

(C) Nicole Meldahl, 2015
(C) Nicole Meldahl, 2015

“I adore you as much as the vault of night, / O vessel of sorrow, O deeply silent one, / And I love you even more, my lovely, because you flee me / And because you seem, ornament of my nights, / More ironically, to multiply the miles / That separate my arms from blue immensities.” — Charles Baudelaire

See & Read: 4/23/2015

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As I turned the corner to get my morning java fix, I saw a well dressed man of a certain age heading in my direction. Pressed jeans, collared shirt, and a clean pair of brown leather shoes–no scuffs. He and I both slowed seeing our shared destination, and I deferred to him as he led us through the door. He scooped up the last remaining table for two, and I strode straight into the small but substantial line, he to follow up behind me in a few.

I ordered my latte strong (to go), and he ordered his with small talk (to stay). It mattered not that the barista was in no mood; This Man of a certain age was here to talk, and talk he would. I stood aside and quietly waited for my morning salvation. He stood square in front of the sullen barista, and continued on with his talk.

“Pretty busy today, huh?”

“No, not really.”

“Oh,” says the man, with a gentle look down at the shuffle of his feet. “I guess I”m later than usual.”

[clears throat] “Did you walk here?”

“Yep. I sure did,” The Man said with eagerness. “I sure did walk here.”

“You on your way to work?”

“Me? Oh, no no. I don’t work. I’m just a caretaker for one cat. Just one cat and a garden. And a car. I take care of a cat, a garden, and a car.”

“Oh, ok.”

Silence and another look to the ground to see what his feet would do, and there was nothing more. The Man took his latte for here and sat by himself over there. No paper, no book. Nothing to distract him from the company that hadn’t come. Just another man who takes care of a cat, a car, and a garden sitting in a coffee shop in San Francisco.

Just one person waiting at a table for two.

See & Read: 1/21/2015

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So love-starved that a look is all it takes for lust to leap up from its lair and be a presence once again–the dust falling in sheets from its dormancy.

A glance falling from that face, with eyes inspecting downward: eyelashes to lips, clavicle to shoulder tip, and down into desire.

One touch, that taste, these memories to keep through our hibernation–through the times when the No One and the Nothing are near, not even the outline of a thought.