Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Compass Girl

On the eve of the 1-year anniversary of the conception and birth of my Go Mama blog, as I revel in its new color makeover, I can't help but reflect back on the title track and name of the CD I made, er, 9 years ago, a few years after I moved to LA.

Compass Girl.

Compass Girl…a concept I resonated with so deeply, an identity I clung to and well, completely identified with…a phrase, an image, a cellular snapshot, a touchstone, a moving icon, a theme song, a melody that announced my presence, my own personal ringtone…it couldn't get much more "me." We embodied each other.

I envisioned her like some spinning ballerina in a child's jewelry box, both mystical, delightfully magical, and the longer you stared at her going round and round, somewhat cheapened at the same time. Her gilt showed some wear, the too bright lipstick belied a too-perky smile, the pointe shoes were the wrong shade of pink. These flaws merely hinted at something being a bit off. Still, she draws you in to her ever-spinning world to examine her compartments, knowing they hold secrets, transformative in their power.

Unfortunately, those who looked with an untrained eye would never fully grasp her and she would spin herself into perpetuity, frozen in half-dream half-reality, popping up when the lid was opened like some ever-hopeful jack-in-the-box desperately wanting to be "seen," recognized. Only a child's pure heart could ever fully embrace both her imperfections and her perfect majesty. Only love could break the spell.

I suppose in some ways the notion of Compass Girl represents my ideology at the time, my memoir in song, with every inch of it true, actual, literal yet also layered in double-deep significance.
This was, afterall, my life.

It was heartbreaking really when it didn't stick, professionally speaking. But then lots of things don't. Go figure.

Moving on.

Skill-sets like so many pages ripped out of a diary, were tossed into the street, caught by a blast of wind, scattered into oblivion. Dancer, singer, actress, waitress, coat check girl, chef, accountant, personal assistant, guru's disciple and retreat staffer, songwriter, recording artist, radio personality, talk show host, editor, producer, music rep, music publisher, chick singer, session singer, background singer, voice-over artist, line cook, pastry chef, head chef, kitchen manager, event coordinator, private chef, home improver, landscape designer, chief gardener and bottle washer… Bills, one hundred, two hundred, three thousand, slapping them down, used and consumed, muscles aching and repaired, spirit cracked and bonded, relations disconnected, discarded, personas shifted and realigned, deliberately disposable, invisible, not lasting. Momentous moments. Momentary all. Transitory.

Moving into a whole new world of change and disruption and death and rebirth. Could I ever foresee this happening? As a woman, now as a mother, finding my way, finding my voice, forging a family connection where none grew before me. Out of new mama crisis, the tearing apart of any shreds of identity and dignity and self-preservation my ego stubbornly clung to, I come through the fire anew, and this time instead of song, words were born out of the chaos into the stream of consciousness and flow into the collective force of mothers everywhere. I found my step, tentatively at first, I found my voice, and most importantly, I found connection. With support, anything is possible.

Perhaps it's the passage of that identity, the loosening of its tight inner-grip, as well as the realization that I'm no longer her, not so mobile, not in that same indie spinning way. No, I have put down roots. I have been here longer than anywhere. A dozen years. That must count for something. I have created a mate, a family, a home, a village, and I have witnessed the re-creation of myself and the sound of the rallying cry as we cheer each other onward:

Mothers in unity, not judgment. …Go Mama, Go Mama, Go Mama…!

So in homage to the past, to the girl I used to be before I stopped spinning long enough to stand still, with arms outstretched to the cosmos I honor her, the girl, and with open heart, I listen to her story once more:

Compass Girl

I've been around this world

Searching for my lost pearls

I've dragged them through the mud and swine

And I told myself it was…
fun, fucked… fine.
I'm just a Compass Girl

Spinning around this world

A nomad and misfit, wandering spirit

East coast, west side and true north, but

It's going to take a lot of snow to freeze this heart

And I come to you still…

I'm just a Compass Girl

Following my own free will

And if it feels right, it's alright by me

But when the feelin's gone, you know it's time to move on

I spent a long, long time finding my place in this world

I'm just a Compass Girl

Sightseeing and nightseeing, feeling with eyes closed

My life, your knife, twist and turning

Hey! it's gonna take a lot of jabs to cut this light

And no matter what you do

I'm just a Compass Girl

Following my own free will

And if it feels right, it's alright by me

But when the feelin's gone, you know it's time to move on

I spent a long, long time chasing my tail in this world
I'm just a Compass Girl

And oh I keep searching, but oh, I just keep spinning

Spinning around, around, around and round-oh-
I'm chasing 'round this world

A Compass Girl, a Compass Girl
watch me chasin' round the world

…all my life I've been a Compass Girl...

But in reflecting backward in order to connect to who I am today and "see" the transformation of my life, I am witness to the truth, the actual experience that so much has changed since then. In fact, I embody change. Change and possibility.

I'm still spinning, but this time with purpose.
I'm still going places, but this time I've got an anchor.
I'm not in isolation pining away, but in community inter-connected.

I'm still the Compass Girl, but now the compass is inside me.

And I have unlimited possibilities.

Use the compass, use the compass….


And act accordingly.

* * *

Happy Independence Day!


Jerri said...

Love the lyrics. And the list of jobs you've held.

You're the very definition of not being defined by a job, my friend. There's a lot for me to learn in that, as I've always been way too invested in what I do, do, do.

Happy blogiversary.

Rodrigo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.