Stages of Grief

Must... stay... awake... long enough... to

Yesterday: "Hurt", performed by Christina Aguilera. I am not a psychoanalyst, but I'll hazard a guess that this song describes the "bargaining" stage of grief pretty well, what with the lyrics in the pre-choruses and the bridge ("there's nothing I wouldn't do", etc).

This song is in a minor key, not surprisingly. E minor, to be exact, one whole step above "the saddest of all keys" - (shout-out to Spinal Tap fans).

Warning: I am just beer-influenced enough right now to try to explain a scientific concept I can barely grasp myself, and am far, far too tired to be very thorough or very accurate. So, first I am going to provide you with a link to a page about the Overtone Series.

And, second, I will try to make sense of it in my own words...
Basically, when you play a note on a pitched musical instrument (one on which you can play a melody- many drums are non-pitched), that note vibrates at a certain frequency which we recognize as a particular pitch. But it is also simultaneously vibrating at faster frequencies. What we hear the most is the slowest-vibrating (lowest, or fundamental) tone, but in the mix we also hear the faster-vibrating tones (or overtones).

There are whole-number ratios involved in the differences in frequency (like I said: beer, fatigue). Whole-number ratios in different frequencies = notes that sound good together. The first few overtones consist of the notes of a major chord. It starts to get a little funky after that, but one could argue that the overtone series spells out a slightly out of tune dominant 7 #11 chord - a hip jazz chord one often hears at the end of big band numbers.

This occurs in nature! I think that is so cool! So anyway: major chord = as nature intended, happy, bright, yay! ...
Bum, bum, bum...
Minor chord = slightly deviant from nature. Sad. Brooding. Also, sexy.

Today I learned Sheryl Crow song "Strong Enough". Given that she talks about "tears of rage" in the first verse, I'm going to stretch and call this song representative of the anger stage of grief. Yes, I am making this up.

I love this song. What do I love about this song? I love that the chord progression is really simple and repetitive, making it easy to memorize (even though the internet chart I found had bogus chords on the bridge, sending me to Ear Training 101 for a hot second). I love that it's in three-four - not too many pop songs are. Lyrically, I love that she clearly is jaded enough to hold out for a man who's strong enough for her, but lonely enough to invite him to lie to her if he isn't strong enough to be her man. I love how the pitch of the melody rises on the lyric "please don't leave", and she switched to head voice - vulnerable, plaintive.

Why am I writing about grief tonight?

"Hurt" really struck me as I listened to it yesterday morning. I suppose it saves time to show up at therapy already in tears. Then tonight I saw a play about grief, which involved a character who had been a singer but hadn't sung since her infant child died. So it seems to be the subject of the moment.

The excitement of moving in has faded as I am beginning to settle in to my new place. Things that I couldn't process while still living with my former beau begin to surface. I dip my toe in the surface of the pool of Social Interaction with Boys Who Are Cute, and realize that it's been almost five years since I've been out with a boy I don't already know from doing a show together. And I'm just hella exhausted from moving and life and my crazy schedule.

And that, dear readers, is why I have written about grief tonight.
Hasta pronto - let us see what adventures tomorrow brings!