Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our Day: a song about Weddings and Heaven

I recorded this song for my wife in celebration of the five-year anniversary of our wedding, one of the happiest days of my life.  On that day, my bride was stunning, the weather was beautiful, and we had such a wonderful time with family and friends.  All of the planning and waiting for Our Day was done and all we had left to do was to enjoy it.  And that we did.

One of our only disappointments was that we had to miss our grandparents, especially my wife's late grandmother (her Puo) and my late grandfather (my Yie).  That summer, we did a little bit of traveling to visit with relatives that did not make it to our wedding.  On these travels, we also took some time to pay our respects to our late grandparents.  It was around then that I wrote this song.  I knew fairly early on that I wanted to write a song about our wedding, but it took me a little while to realize that I wanted to create something that would complement our memories.

I believe that in spirit, my wife's Puo and my Yie (and Nai Nai) were there at our wedding. But how so?  Were they merely with us in memory, residing within our thoughts and hearts?  Were they floating around right next to us, looking on in earnest?  That didn't seem like much fun for them, to be watching so closely but not really participating.  It stands to my reason that if heaven is truly an idyllic place, that our late grandparents must have been having at least as much fun at our wedding as we were -- if not even more.

So I envision a ceremony and celebration of our wedding going on in heaven, in parallel to our wedding in Napa. It's as if the church we were married in had an extension to heaven, and the winery we had our reception at, spilled into the sky. While some details of our wedding are replicated, like the calla lilies and music selection, what takes place in heaven is much more miraculous.

For example, I imagine that the church in heaven is even more magnificent than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, with marble pews throughout. When we march to Handel's Hornpipe, it's Handel himself that plays the organ. Saying grace before dinner is none other than my patron saint, Saint Lawrence. And the guests are thousands of our ancestors, all hosted by our proud grandparents. Since the guests are primarily Chinese, the reception is a spectacular Chinese banquet, with bird's nest soup, Peking Duck, and the works. And while our ceremony and festivities proceed here, everything moves along at a grand scale up above.  At the end of the evening, as we say goodbye to our guests and drive off, I imagine my wife's Puo is holding on to her beloved dog, Choi Choi, and waving farewell to us.

So here is my song, "Our Day," which commemorates my wedding day, with a slant towards what I imagine must have been going on in heaven at the same time.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Hatchback Sphinx: my own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

If you were to anthropomorphize a car that you've owned for more than a decade, you'd probably be able to relate to the sentimentality I've been feeling about my first car, which I've been recently contemplating giving up. For many reasons, cars are easy to attach human qualities to, whether it be headlights that look like eyes, grills that look like mouths, wheels that look like hands and feet, or the trust in and dependence on our personal vehicles that take us to where we need to go and protect us from the elements. You see it in the movies all the time -- from Herbie to Knight Rider, Disney's Cars to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang -- automobiles can elicit affection. And over the years, my spruce green, 2009 Mercury Cougar has spent enough quality time with me that it's now hard to give it up. Functionally, the car still gets pretty good gas mileage, the rear seats fold down (I've used it to move six times), and it has a manual transmission that's fun to drive. Beyond that, I have a lot of memories associated with that car.

On the other hand, my car has given me a healthy dose of trouble over the years, and it's increasingly hard to justify the repair costs. Furthermore, throughout the life of my vehicle no one else ever really seemed to liked it -- even my insurance agent is now telling me to get rid of it.

Therein lies my dilemma. And so I decided to write a song about it.