Sea Offered Me Energy and Spiritual Healing While in CornwallPosted by Mike Schumacher
My family performed okay through the first lockdown, which was medium-to-spicy. It was only myself, my husband Mark, [my daughter] Tash, and Oliver, Tash’s boyfriend. “Is it OK if Oliver and I come down?” Tash said as the kids were escaping university in London.
“Of course!” Mark and I answered, assuming they’d be gone for three weeks at most, like a lengthy school vacation.
They were still there five months later. We were quite lucky to be in Cornwall, in the countryside, where we had more room than many others. We’re just a few steps away from the water.
The Cornish shore has a fierce beauty about it. There are beautiful beaches, but there are also crags and boulders to contend with. It has a gentle brutality about it. At some time, I gave in to the land and said, “OK, I’m in exile here.”
I can’t return to the United States because I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to return [to the United Kingdom] if I do. I’m going to vanish if I can’t go back to Mark and Tash. They are the reason I get out of bed in the morning.
However, by the third lockdown, in January of this year, I was not feeling well. For the first time in my life, I felt sad that I hadn’t been able to perform live, that I hadn’t been able to do what musicians do.
There is no spiritual rite associated with collaborating in front of a live audience. We’re talking about a voltage that I won’t be able to reach on my own. That was lost forever, and there was no way to get it back.
Going to the ocean and feeling the tides pouring in and smashing those rocks was the closest thing. Yes, the water might be quiet and peaceful, but when the gales blow, my gosh, that’s a another story.
I got gloomy, unhappy, and depressed, and I felt a sense of loss. At 50, you’re striving to develop new coping techniques, and you may not even be aware that you’re doing so. And it was there that the songwriting started.
“Write from where you are,” the muses said. And you’re on your knees in a state of despair and sadness. “You have to begin there.” It was my own personal hell, which I had to exorcise via writing.
I started writing from the chair I was sitting in since I couldn’t move out of it and didn’t have the energy. Tash and I were able to cook supper together. It was something we were going to talk about.
Mark, on the other hand, had given up trying to persuade me to come inside the studio. I don’t need to be near an instrument to compose; it’s simply not required. It is important at a certain stage, after I’m exploring the structures that I’ve imagined in my brain, but I wanted to break free from this funk.
Metal Water Wood was the first song to be released. I was battling a wave of depression and loss – a quagmire of “What is it that’s zapping us, almost stealing our life force?” I began researching Bruce Lee.
I’m not sure what drew me to him. Sometimes the inspirations lead me to unexpected areas that don’t always make sense. “Be like water,” he advised. As a fire being, as a fire creature, it seemed almost as if I was betraying the element that had always helped me get through difficult situations in the past.
When it became winter and I began to go out into the countryside, I realized I needed to do it more often. It started to show me and collaborate with me, with the songs, as a result of my engagement with it.
Of course, the muses were present. “OK, I know I’m a visitor here, but will you share your secrets with me?” I had to ask. “Are you worthy?” the earth inquired. Tori, what are your plans with these secrets?
Will you respect their wishes? Or are you going to tinker with them to make them fit your needs? Or are you going to be really honest with yourself and admit that this has shattered you?”
“I’m not the mom I want to be,” I said. I’m not the kind of wife I’d want to be. “I’m not the kind of artist I’d like to be.” “Oh, please stop with the dramatic postmenopausal crap,” they remarked with a roll of their eyes.
I want to get out of it, but you have to accept you’re not there occasionally. You’re in the midst of a difficult situation. My mother died away some years ago. People discuss the phases of grieving.
And there are moments when you have to say things like, “You know, I miss my mother.” And she isn’t here, and I can’t reach her by phone. And she’d know just what to say.” “OK, I need my mom back,” Tash says as she enters the room.
I’m sorry you didn’t have your mother with you. Please accept my sincere apologies. I also miss my grandmother. “However, I require the assistance of my mother.” Jesus. Then you think to yourself, “OK, I have to stop acting like a child who is missing her mother.”
I used to travel by listening to the Beatles’ music and then performing it on the piano when I was a kid. The song has the ability to transport me to any location in the cosmos.
I could get on that sonic spacecraft and fly if the music was good. And I had to rediscover that talent, but this time the catch was that I needed to create a song in order to locate my mother, Mary.
Speaking with Trees and Flowers Burn to Gold is where she may be found. “I’m not trying to put you down, T,” others have remarked, “but you had a mother who loved you unconditionally.” That’s something you’ve been through. What a blessing.
Will you be able to keep that gift? She’s in your blood, too, so why can’t you channel her if you can channel the songs?” And that, my God, had me dumbfounded.
I received a telegram from Samuel Adamson, the writer with whom I collaborated on The Light Princess. He’s a fantastic writer. “I just had a vision,” he said. And I’ve got to tell you, Cornwall is looking out for you.”
What was I thinking? “I’m just giving you a message,” he said. This is something I am aware of. She’s guarding you. She’s keeping an eye on you.” And I thought to myself, “OK, then I have to keep her safe.”
Not that she needs such protection, but her tales do. I feel compelled to repay this wonderful, caring energy. Collaboration with the earth, the sea, and the muses was the method to portray that energy. Trying to offer folks a peek of the essence I’ve been working with for the last 18 months.
Cornwall’s mythology has a vibrant aspect to it. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a long time. If you strain your eyes and gaze about you rather than at the café on your right, there’s something antique about it.
You may convince yourself that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will appear at any minute, or that Ragnelle will appear. There’s a feeling of being guarded by something so old. It was necessary for me to let it into my bones.
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