All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Journey of the Featherless

Day 08: A song that makes you hopeful

Journey of the Featherless | Cloud Cult

whenaddywashomeless2

My home; circa 2010.

One of the most desperate and hopeless periods of my life were the five years I spent homeless. I had no security, no comfort and no love. My days were an endless cycle of survival and time-killing. My nights, a bleak nightmare of little sleep and total discomfort.

In order to survive the nightmare, I would spend my days in the Melbourne City Library. I would read the newspapers, browse the book stacks and listen to CDs on the in-house music system. Sometimes I would listen to music I knew, music that soothed my soul and showered me with waves of contentment. Other times I would take a chance, pulling a CD from the shelf that I had never heard of, just to hear something new, something different.

One such CD was Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) by a group I had never encountered before, Cloud Cult. I was immediately taken by the intricate blend of instruments and canny, clever lyrics. Over time it became a CD I turned to when feeling lost, when feeling hopeless, because I knew it would enliven me to keep going, to keep fighting the good fight. Over time it became an anthem for my homelessness.

I still turn to the CD when feeling lost and overwhelmed. It reminds me of a bleak and disparate period of my life. A period of my life that I thought was going to consume me until, with much assistance, I found the strength to break free of its bonds.

This CD, more than any other, reminds me that hope is the one thing you can never lose, for without it, you are nothing.


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30 Day Song Challenge: Journey of the Featherless

In early 2008, Samantha and I had an epic online conversation about the power of music. After hours of sharing songs, memories and anecdotes we both concluded that music was life’s universal healer. No matter how serious or painful your problems, music has the power to make everything better.

For her, Nick Cave, Evanesence, Aqua and Biffy Clyro were more potent than any painkiller or antidepressant available.

For me? Well, I am about to embark on a thirty day song challenge that I discovered on MM172001’s blog so it would be spoilerific to share them right now.  So stay tuned to find out what songs hold the greatest power over my life, beginning with…

a song that makes me happy!

“So many people
Wondering ‘What’s the right direction?’
As far as I’m concerned
There’s only one way up

When you’re homeless, aside from whittling food-divining rods and searching for safe places to sleep, there really isn’t all that much to do. You roam the streets, work your arse off, day-dream about what life would be like if you weren’t homeless, write random blog posts and generally do whatever you can to survive. One of my survival techniques was to venture into the Melbourne City Library, pick out random CDs I’d never heard of and spend an hour listening to them on the free CD players they provided.

During one of those sessions I picked up a superbly titled album, Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes), by a group I’d never heard of, Cloud Cult. I was falling for it by the end of track one, pondering how many dates I’d need to take it on before I got lucky by the end of track two, declaring my unconditional love for it by the end of track four and – upon listening to track six – planning a complicated, creative and sickeningly romantic marraige proposal.

Even though this song reminds me of one of the most painful periods of my life, it also reminds me of life, love, hope, determination, passion and happiness, for even on the darkest and most coldest of nights, the memory of this song gave me the warmth I needed to keep fighting.

Journey of the Featherless | Cloud Cult

And my fingers, they are blisters
And my eyes, they are bullet holes
But my hearts still beating
Guess I’m pretty lucky”

Today, on ‘Imaginary Menagerie’: A song that makes my voices happy…
Tomorrow, on this blog: A song that helps me clear my head…