The Gift of Freedom

Once there was a fairy, whose wings were stolen from their back as punishment for dreaming of a world that they lacked.

This was simply not done. Other fairies knew best. Fairies must stay together from their first day until their time of final rest.

“Why dream?” they scolded, and sneered, “Why are we not enough? We should be all that you think of, and all that you need, but you are a strange one, clouded by greed.”

The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why was it so outrageous that they should wish to too. They stared at the ocean waves, and they cried beneath the moon’s wax and wane. Left to wonder why daring to dream caused the others so much pain.

But if they could not fly, that did not deter them from attempts to try.

They walked to the ocean’s edge, and built a boat to sail away. It wouldn’t be forever, it would be just for today.

All the same the boat was sunk, and torn asunder, as the fairies cried each one to the other. Leaving was simply not done. What kind of ungrateful creature did not wish to stay forever with their own, instead choosing to run?

“What will we do when you’re gone?” they wailed, and wept, “What if we are sick, and we need ourselves kept?”

The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why happiness could not be theirs to choose. They stared at the ocean, and they joined not in any dance. The others whispered in disbelief, for whatever could cause such a trance?

Time shifts and sways, futures sought crumble and decay like so many dandelion puffs adrift and gone away.

Stolen wings get covered in dust, lying forgotten amidst dregs and rust.

Yet still that fairy stares at the ocean.

“Come here,” the elder fairy finally says, “come here and listen, my dear. I’ve stories to tell and lies to dispel.”

Once the elder fairy dreamed of faraway lands too, they longed for all that they hoped to do. But they were told only bad fairies leave, and doing so would cause the rest to grieve. You must stay, they said, you must care for us all. For who would tend our wounds should we plummet and fall?

The elder fairy believed these words, and thought it only fair that if they should be hurt, surely the others would take their turn to care. The elder fairy stayed due to this belief, watching opportunities pass with concealed grief.

But time shifts and sways, and futures sought crumble and decay.

“Look at me now,” the elder fairy says, “I stayed behind because of their words, yet when these old wings faltered, my cries went unheard.”

They told the elder fairy they were one and the same, in blood united had been their claim.

“But now they fly without thoughts for me,” the elder fairy says, “and they only wanted me to stay to sate their needs. Once upon a time I know I told you to stay, but my heart has changed and I see the hurt you bear this way.”

“What should I do?” the wingless fairy wonders. “Without wings I can no longer go yonder. When I built a boat, they did naught but tear it asunder.”

A final gift the elder fairy offered to bestow, a return of the stolen wings that they may now go.

Stolen wings now in disrepair, for all those years locked away from the air.

Flexing their wings, the young fairy laments, “I thank you for this gift, yet I fear their strength spent.”

“Try to fly,” the elder fairy says, “try to fly far across the ocean, to a place where the rest of us haven’t even a notion.”

Afraid and uncertain with wings returned, the fairy flew to the ocean, towards that which they yearned. Their weakened wings faltered and frayed, yet onward they flew, daring to dream all the same.

For time shifts and sways, and futures sought may yet come to be one day.

In Blood, Divided

Children No Longer
by Lola Lorne

Long ago you were kind to me,
Long ago you tried to protect me from harm
You were my first inspiration
You were a hero in a little girl’s eyes

I believed in your music,
I admired your art,
I read your writing with an avid heart

When the first punch came I brushed it away
Telling myself it was just a sign of your pain
When your words became cruel I defended you all the same
Because after all, long ago . . . you were kind to me

When I asked to be taught, you turned me away
You didn’t have the time for a little girl today
I offered whatever you wanted in return
And I did not understand your greed because long ago, you were kind to me

When you took, and took, and demanded more
I could not see this as an act of a user
Even when my hands came back empty
I was just a little girl you see, and long ago you were kind to me

You would not teach me your music
You refused to ever show me the ways of art
You mocked my joy in writing, and broke my heart

When I grew up and you still hit me, I asked you to stop
You laughed thinking it funny and insulted me on top
When you said my body mattered more than my mind
I swallowed my discomfort because once upon a time, you were kind

When I gave up on asking and began to teach myself
You ignored my efforts and thought only of yourself
Instead of pride that I managed to get by
You told everyone I hurt you by daring to try

When you demanded money, and I gave all I could give
You made false promises, like so many wishes poured through a sieve
You took everything and more, until I began to sell the things I love
For gifts for your children, but even this was not enough

I should have known when you hurt me
I should have known when you betrayed my trust
I should have known on that day you sold me out to a stalker
That my love for you never truly mattered much

But I carried my tears throughout the years
I hid the constant pain you caused
Because we grew up with shared hurt
And so very  long ago . . . you were kind to me

But little girls grow up to be fierce and strong
And I am no longer someone who will stand silent when wronged
Wish me death all you want, throw tantrums, it will be for naught
Because the love I have now will always win over what you’ve wrought

Long ago you were kind to me,
Long ago you did not think compassion for the weak
But your boy’s heart has been twisted into entitlement
Your words filled with hate, so now I must speak
Because I hope this fog lifts from your heart
Because I know you weren’t like this from the start
But I won’t be hurt by you any longer
Because I am not that little girl from long ago.


Lament for the Fallen

Fallen Petals, Broken Stems
by Lola Lorne

I scoop up fallen petals, palms open to the sky
Traces of beauty scattered too soon
The heat came on suddenly
As did the storm that followed
What chance did they have to survive until tomorrow?

My mother weeps for the tulips she wanted me to see
Their stems now broken, beaten down carelessly

Crouched amidst fallen blooms I have to wonder
Did their hearts ache when the wind tore them asunder?

I scoop up fallen petals, a gust sweeps them away
Traces of beauty too fragile to stay

Winds of Change

Longing for Equity in a World Saturated by Greed
by Lola Lorne

Winds of change, come quick, I beg
This world needs reshaping from its sorry state

Dethrone the barons, their wealth ripped from oil
Elevate the working class that they should not break with their toil

Day in and day out, constant and unending
They scrimp and save with the hope for the future bending

But every penny gathered eventually bleeds away
Taken by governments and businessmen who care not in any way

They tell you to be thrifty, they tell you not to splurge
But lifetimes seep by without a single fulfilled urge

They will shove celebrity health gossip into your face
Manipulating you to forget reality, and care about their fate

The ‘poor’ wealthy, the tragic stars
Are closer to being  theirs than ours

The rich have shaped the world into their home
The only freedom ever gained shall be their own

Another year passes, yet again a dream turns to despair
Every saving and effort siphoned into medicine and care

I watch my father slowly suffocate
Told to be grateful to the government
While I drown in their tangle of red tape
Knowing with a heavy heart, any aid to be too late

So, winds of change, come quick, I beg
Lest I tear out their hearts in your stead
Winds of change, come quick, I beg
For I will do what I must to keep myself fed.

Moving Forward

Depression manifests in a multitude of ways. It can spring from a genetic disposition, a traumatic event, grief due to loss of a loved one, and in recent years even concerns for the environment can tumble someone down the melancholic path of emptiness and abject loneliness.

I make no secret of my own struggles with depression, and though I am dealing with it in far more healthy ways than I used to in my twenties . . . my journey is far from over. It’s not like I woke up one day and suddenly my entire outlook changed. It’s a lot of work. Mental, emotional, and even physical because in order for the brain to be in a decent functioning state, you have to take care of the body you’re in. Despite knowing this now, there are still days when the effort seems too much, or simply . . . not worth it.

That’s the whole difficult fight with depression. Surmounting that feeling of pointlessness. Even when someone actively works on their recovery, the depressed brain does not immediately stop bombarding you with those negative thoughts. This is in part why so many give up when they try to work on themselves. The results are not immediate. And in some cases, quite often, you can despite making headway slip straight back down if you are  hit with a tragic event in your life.

There is another pitfall as well . . . working on yourself not because you want to for your own good, but because you are trying to be someone to someone else. This . . . might work short term but ultimately it is not the optimal means of recovery. It is of course good to want to be there for other people but change has to come from within. There is that saying floating about the internet about not putting your recovery in the hands of someone else, and that is absolutely true.

I have known too many who grapple with depression throw themselves into the high of a new relationship thinking that ah, yes, this is it, they are cured! All they needed was love! Only to watch them crumble as the euphoria of new romance fades.

Of course love is a wonderful thing, and if romantic relationships are important to you then by all means, pursue them, enjoy them. It is one of life’s sweet joys after all. However, I wish people understood that it is not a partner’s job to fix you. Support, yes. Absolutely. Encourage, I should hope so. But . . . the work and the effort has to be put in personally.

The simplest example I can think of is eating well. Yes. Eating healthy is very important for the brain. Will eating blueberries once cure your depression? Absolutely not. But . . . forming habits slowly and making an effort to eat healthy food instead of foods that tend to feed negative thoughts and feelings of lethargy can improve your mood and your general energy levels which in turn can help in combating the lows of depression. You may still experience them but hopefully you won’t plummet as deeply as you potentially could.

So how can your support system help? Obviously they can’t force you to eat well, that won’t be good for anyone involved. But . . . if you are struggling and you know you should eat a proper healthy meal but all you want is to grab a bottle of wine, and shove your face with a greasy burger, and the greasiest saltiest fries you can find then be honest about it. Tell someone. Let them know you are struggling to stay on track. They can’t magically make you stop wanting these things, but they can help remove temptation or assist you if that’s what you need.

To cite a personal example, my sister and I both struggle with depression but we support each other. So . . . when she wants to say screw it and eat nothing but junk, I am there to make healthy food for her. Maybe she doesn’t have the energy to make it for herself, so I do it for her. Sometimes just having that bit of help makes it easier to choose the right thing. It’s a lot easier to resist going out to buy fries when there’s a lovely meal already prepared in front of you. I also try to find things that my sister likes. For instance, she loves zucchini. So when I know she’s been having a hard time with food, it’s time to break out the roasted zucchini with her favorite spices.

Similarly when I don’t have the energy to cook for myself, my sister will help me by cutting everything for me. I am the type of person who if a task is halfway done, I can’t leave it. So. With everything cut, I am more likely to finish it up by cooking it because well, that’s my nature. I feel compelled to finish tasks.

This is I realize, a very simple example and it will of course not be the same for everyone with depression. Maybe you’re good with food, but it’s exercise you can’t bring yourself to do, or getting dressed, or keeping up with your laundry or remembering to feed your fish. Whatever it is, be honest. Tell people. Those that support you will find ways to assist, let them.

I know it’s hard. I struggle with accepting help. My sister is one of the few who I trust because unfortunately I have a lot of trauma around people helping me for ulterior motives. So I am wary of people trying to assist me. It is something I am working on.

But that’s just it. In part I am able to work on this because I have assistance and support in the other aspects of my life. Support with depression doesn’t cure you, no, but it lightens the weight enough at times that maybe . . . maybe you can take another step forward.

Blue Butterfly

Wind rushes through long grasses. They sway and ripple like a golden sea. The sky overhead a brilliant blue, and the sun a soothing sting. A forest rings the field, green and lush, and I walk with my hand in yours.

Voices call, singing in an ancient tongue. Familiar to my heart though never uttered. Welcoming, joyous, and I know your heart swells with the beauty of the hymn even as my heart sinks with understanding.

I walk with you, afraid to face you.

If I look back at you . . .

If I look back . . .

We walk hand in hand, your light bright behind me as I lead you through the dazzle of gilded grasses. I feel your happiness as the song calls you forward, calls you home.

The golden fields break for a river. A bridge awaits.

All the same I’m afraid of facing you. If I look . . .

If I see . . .

I don’t want it to be real.

I don’t want it to be goodbye.

It is beauty and it is ineffable, and my heart can’t help but long for it even as it aches.

Then you are walking past me, a last smile before crossing that river into the arms of peace.

We didn’t say a word but I knew.

When the dream began I thought I was here to comfort you, to lead you, to assure you this walk need not be alone.

But no. I understand now, this was for me.

A last gift. A wordless farewell. A moment offered to show me your joy, your elation. You were there to bestow solace, to squeeze my hand as you always did before we part ways.

My heart aches, yes, but it will mend with the memory of your smile.

So I looked . . .

So I looked . . .

And I saw you.

Beautiful and free, as butterflies like you were always meant to be.

New World, New Dreams, New Life

Today being Sakurai Atsushi’s birthday, I wanted to post a little something in his honor. Wishing him love, and all the delicious things he can eat, and hoping the year treats him with kindness~✨💖🥂

He will always be a writer whose words I cherish, and a unique and powerful vocalist whose voice speaks to my heart. 💖💖💖

 

New World
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi
Translation: Lola

 

You May Dream an eternity in an instant
An inundation of life
Traced in spiral steps as we dance

They don’t even know the meaning of love,
You say with eyes filled with wonder
I’m sorry  that’s all but an empty dream

But look at how the stardust glitters in the night sky,
Isn’t it beautiful? Is anyone really alone?[1]

This world is your world, a world of dreams and darkness
Wherein you are a shooting star
A dazzling world is the world for you,
A world where you cut through the endless darkness[2]

No. 9 New World Just Calling You[3]
Wherever did you come from?
How far shall we keep going together?

I don’t even know their names but,
Their stardust is beautiful isn’t it? Is anyone really alone?

This world is your world, a world of dreams and darkness
Wherein you are a shooting star
A dazzling world is the world for you,
A world where you cut through the endless darkness

Look at how the stardust glitters in the night sky,
Isn’t it beautiful? I guess everyone feels alone

This earth is so small, but it is yours, a bereft world that makes you weep
A dreamy world is the world for you, a world where you laugh at its strangeness

This world is your world, a world of dreams and darkness
Wherein you are a shooting star
A dazzling world is the world for you,
A world where you keep cutting through the endless darkness

 

Notes: Translated March 5, 2022. Words in italics are originally in English.

 

[1] This verse is originally one line in Japanese, but I separated it into two in English for coherency. This was also repeated in the sixth and eighth stanza.

[2] Similarly, this stanza is originally two lines, but I separated them into four for the same reason.

[3] I touched a little upon the meaning of the No.9 dream in this post. But aside from that there is also some who see the number nine as a symbol of faith and love within numerology. And of course there is the Symphony No.9 otherwise known as The New World Symphony composed by Antonín Dvořák which Neil Armstrong brought with him for the first Moon landing. Now if you’ve been following B-T for awhile and have been reading my notes then you will see that once again moon imagery gets tied into the lyrics, as well as the cosmos, the infinite. From the metaphysical of space to the small dreams of a person on earth.

 

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Love is Varied

Love is varied.

A friend longs for outings with her lover, for fancy diners, and endless gifts. Another tells me they want nothing more than to live a life of adventure with their significant other. While yet another wishes for country living, complete with hobby farm and acres of land.

Love is varied.

As for me, these things while nice are not what I dream of, not what I long for. Glitz and glamour can be pretty but ultimately it is not what matters to me. Adventures are fun . . . but not a necessity. Shared work can be fulfilling and rewarding, and I understand the appeal but I also know the importance of  having separate hobbies and interests lest two people become too entangled with one another to the point that they grow weary of each other.

Perhaps my view of love makes me less exciting because it is not about the rush, not about strained hearts and raging passions. These things are nice, and they have their place but . . . if I am honest, it is not what I want the most.

I do not wish to know that I make someone crazy but . . .  instead that I can provide comfort, and peace. I hardly want them to lose themselves for my sake, but . . . instead become their best selves while I encourage them.

I dream of sitting together in our pajamas, sharing a blanket.

Imagining what a luxury it would be to walk at their side. To wander the night knowing if I reach out my hand, I can find theirs as we look up at the stars.

I think about a garden with the sun on my back, and if I lift my gaze I will see them there, waiting for me.

I dream of cups of tea and quiet, meaningful conversations just as much as I long for moments of laughter at the ridiculousness of life.

How wonderful it would be . . . to hear them working in another room, to simply know yes, they are there.

That is really it, I think.

Presence.

Love is varied.

But love is everything that is beautiful about the world, simply because . . . you’re there.

Remixed & Re-translated

Admittedly, I had hoped to have these posted back in October, but life and circumstances being what they are I had to keep putting these on hold until the past week or so.

Right on time for the birthday of BUCK-TICK’s bassist, Yutaka Higuchi~ 💖

Best wishes to him today, for a wonderful birthday! May he always shine bright~✨🥂💖

Below you will find my edited and re-translated versions of the remixes paired with the single, “Go-Go B-T TRAIN.”

(Ver. 2021)
Ballad
Music: Imai Hisashi
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

 

Why the hell do I even exist?
Feels like I want to just freak out to prove that I’m alive

But I just keep losing my nerve, while my heart feels like it’s constantly racing

As I call your name, lost within a deep forest

There’s nothing I can do to escape this, got no clue how to stop it
But I’m begging you to listen to me when I say despite all that, I love you

Will you hold me and comfort me? Yes, that’s nice
But no, you musn’t! I’ll end up drowning in your kindness

I guess everyone must want to cry sometimes, I guess everyone must want to be treated kindly

I give you my love through the friction of fevered flesh

I can do this living thing, not like I know how I’m going to die anyway
Despite all that, I’m offering my hand because I love you

Ah~ in this world it’s beautiful how there is no end to life
Ah~ we were meant to burn fiercely in this world

Why the hell am I even forced to exist?
You know I just want to scream to prove that I’m alive

But I just keep losing my nerve, while my heart feels like it’s constantly racing

I breathe my love for you against a slit of burning skin

I’m ready to disappear, not like I know the reason to keep living anyway
Yet I’m offering my hand

There’s nothing I can do to escape this, got no clue how to stop it
But I’m begging you to listen to me when I say despite all that, I love you

Ah~ in this world it’s beautiful how there is no end to life
Ah~ we were meant to burn fiercely in this world

Notes: Translated January 21, 2022. As opposed to individual notes on this, I will simply say overall I chose to go with an emphasis on tone, and feeling. So no, the translations are not literal, and yes I had to take liberties here and there to capture the desperation, and frustration because I wanted the words to be as impactful as they are in their original.

JUST ONE MORE KISS (Ver. 2021)
Music: Imai Hisashi
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

 

DREAM & DREAM etched upon my heart
SLOW MOTION a dream of one night
JUST ONE MORE KISS how beautiful your profile was in that moment
JUST ONE MORE KISS drowning[1] in your scent
But it all grows fainter and fainter just as I awaken. . . . . .

NIGHT & NIGHT a person dances[2]
 ILLUMINATION sleeping before long
JUST ONE MORE KISS that’s when we get to embrace in the city of our dreams[3]
JUST ONE MORE KISS swaying on tiptoe[4]
In a fleeting dance of love. . . . . .

An angel’s murmur and a devil’s whisper meet in a sweet kiss on a moonlit night

Though your sparkle is out of my reach, I murmured,
I WANT YOU TO LOVE ME
I KNOW YOU LOST YOUR HEART and I know you struggle to keep going
Now that the thrill is gone[5], but I love you
I WANT YOU TO KILL ME
GOD KNOWS I LOST MY HEART and just keep crying

AH-AH ONE MORE KISS . . . . . .

JUST ONE MORE KISS  how beautiful your profile was in that moment
JUST ONE MORE KISS drowning in your scent
But it all grows fainter and fainter just as I awaken. . . . . .
JUST ONE MORE KISS that’s when we get to embrace in the city of our dreams
JUST ONE MORE KISS swaying on tiptoe
In a fleeting dance of love. . . . . .

An angel’s murmur and a devil’s whisper meet in a sweet kiss on a moonlit night

Though your sparkle is out of my reach, I murmured,
I WANT YOU TO LOVE ME
I KNOW YOU LOST YOUR HEART and I know you struggle to keep going
Now that the thrill is gone, but I love you
I WANT YOU TO KILL ME
GOD KNOWS I LOST MY HEART and just keep crying

Notes: Translated January 20, 2022. All words in italics are originally in English.

[1] Literally, the scent is referred to in the lyrics as “choking” but in English usually when we write or talk about a scent that is so overpowering it takes our breath away in a good sense we say we are “drowning” in it. Choking has a slightly more negative connotation, whereas drowning calls to mind more romantic imagery. For instance you may be drowning, unable to breathe, but a kiss from your lover breathes life back into you.

[2] An interesting note here is that BUCK-TICK put this song on the same single as “Koi” given the dreamlike elements in both songs, and both referencing love for a dancer. In some ways it’s almost like “Koi” is the continued story of a transient love.

[3] Literally, “City of imagination.” But I was trying to keep things on theme with the idea of meeting someone in your dreams while you sleep.

[4] Here the literal line means the type of movement is on tiptoe, but that sounds clunky. So keeping in mind the idea of being in love with a dancer, and then borrowing the verb ‘to sway’ from the next line, I chose “swaying on tiptoe.” Which is why the verb is then omitted in the following line. I also added the word “dance” in that line to keep the imagery on point or should I say en pointe? This is entirely my personal interpretation however of a couple engaged in a dreamlike pas-de-deux. You could also simply read it as, “Swaying in a fleeting love.”

[5] This is mostly personal interpretation here on my part but the Japanese gives me the distinct impression that it is referring to losing one’s passion for life.

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Hello, Stranger

Hello, Stranger

I missed you the first time.

I was cooking and did not hear you chime.

When I glanced at my screen and saw, “Unknown Caller”

I shrugged, and decided it likely a wrong number.

Now months passed, and I put it out of my head.

But what should happen then but my phone lit up on my bed.

I stared at my screen,  after emerging fresh from the shower

Perplexed at these missed calls listed as “Private Number.”

Worse yet, I did not miss just once this time but several it seems

Stranger still that it should be the exact amount I use for emergencies.

Was it family? Was it a friend?

I call and text, but no, not them.

You know my trick, but it could be coincidence.

All the same I am sad for having missed the chance

If only just to say, “Hello, Stranger.”