31 days of bipolar|day 6: while you live, shine…

…have no grief at all; life exists only for a short while and time demands its toll.

 

This is the text of the Seikilos Epitaph… the oldest surviving complete piece of music, including notation. It was engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image (icon). Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.)

It was found engraved on a tombstone in modern-day Turkey, and is said to have been composed in the 1st or 2nd Century, CE. The composer only lists himself as Seikilos, son of Euterpe (the Muse of Music). Also engraved on the tombstone is the ominous “I am a tombstone – an image. Seikilos put me here as a long-lasting (timeless) sign of deathless (eternal/undying) remembrance.” (translated, probably pretty poorly, from ancient Greek…. I am obviously a modern-Greek speaker.) Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician.

Music is literally in my blood as a Greek-American musician…. passed down for centuries in my ethnicity and culture.

I’m a bit behind on this… primarily because I hit this nasty string of instability again. I don’t even know how long I slept, but I stayed in bed for the better part of a week. My illness does that to me sometimes, where I pretty much just disappear.

 

What do you wish you’d known when you were diagnosed?

continue reading.

31 days of bipolar|day 3: you thought that you had known me…

…but I wish that you had only known just what was wrong with me long before you did.

Today, I turn to Steven Page, and an album I’ve been avoiding listening to for nearly a year.

Surprise Surprise is a song off of his newest album, Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct, the first half of a double album, with the second to be released at some point between this year and eventually.. I’ve been hesitant to listen to it since last March because a friend had told me that it would likely hit way too close to home. This song came up on my iPhone on my way home this evening, so I sucked it up and started to listen to the album. Big mistake.

I didn’t make it too far in before turning into a pile of emotional on the train.

Steven Page has been one of my biggest influences musically for most of my life. He has this way as a lyricist and musician where he could take the most depressing text and turn it into the happiest tune on the freaking planet, without losing the feeling of the lyrics. His open struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction have gotten me through a lot of bullshit over the years…

So my friend was right — what I’ve listened to so far has hit too hard and too heavy for a Saturday night. This album is a musician trying to find his voice again, regardless of mental illness and addiction. In his honesty, there is hope.

 

Tonight’s prompt is about coming to terms with life. I feel like this song is very fitting to this prompt.

 

How old were you at the onset? How old were you at diagnosis? How were you given the diagnosis and are you satisfied with the way it was handled?

continue reading.

31 days of bipolar|day 2: … but all my memories…

…only take away from me any hope I’ll be happy in the end.

Today’s lyrics come from Haven, by an awesome band called Enter the Haggis. They’re a Celtic-ish/whatever-the-hell-they-feel-like-playing band from Canada-ish that I’ve been following for longer that I haven’t, so check them out! (I say “-ish”, because they have a US citizen and also some recent Philly in their ranks.)

This song fits into today’s prompt, and it’s one of my favorites in their repretoire.

What is your baseline mood/state? How does that impact your life?

continue reading.