On the Way to Oz || Original Tune on Depression and More

with my Ukulele in Central Park – Pics taken by my sister Roxane

Here is a live version of a song I wrote when I was in France.

It talks about how the pressure of society/family leads us into feeling down and that may lead to depression. We could help each by offering judgment-free space to our loved ones and feel more empathy towards one another.

Live version of “On the Way to Oz” – Daphné Mia Essiet © All rights reserved.

Lyrics:

There are places we’ll never let ourself go

And to cope we drink, take drugs, have sex, and scroll 

Up and down until we numb ourselves so cold, so cold 

We pretend to enjoy things we don’t care for

And to cope we tell the world how much it cost, 

And we post until we numb ourselves so cold, so cold

Then one day, the chasm between our heart 

And the reality is so wide we can’t breathe

Then one day the pain we subject our soul

chatters our sanity way too deep 

Some believe that money will quiet their wounds 

When in fact it emphasizes their own flaws

And to cope they wander aimlessly 

in virtual reality 

We keep at it despite red flags and the signs 

Trick ourselves into contortionning our mind

Fool ur friends and hide in plain sight

Til we no longer can lie

Then one day, the chasm between our heart 

And the reality is so wide we can’t breathe

Then one day the pain we subject our soul

chatters our sanity way too deep 

There’s a way to get back t yourself

It’s not easy but

You gotta let it go

And if you want

We can hold each other’s hand

On the yellow brick road

On our way to Oz

And if you want

We can hold each other’s hand

On the yellow brick road

On our way to Oz

You can download a version on my soundcloud

Daphné Mia Essiet © All rights reserved.

https://linktr.ee/daphnemiaessiet

On D’angelo One Mo ‘Gin

From Voodoo released on January 25, 2000.

Produced by D’Angelo
All vocals performed by D’Angelo
Vocal and musical arrangements by D’Angelo
Bass: Pino Palladino
All other instruments: D’Angelo

Probably one of my favorite tunes on d’Angelo second studio album, Voodoo released 20 years ago, in 2000.

The intro is just a well-thought out foreplay to the song – and the layered vocals turn this particular performance into this almost elusive yet haunting feeling of golden love making – many can relate 👀

It is almost as if one could taste the compounded desire in their own mouth on this one, *while you sing or recite along’.

D’Angelo really makes cheating sound sexy.

Dayum.

Poetry – “Race” by Elizabeth Alexander

Elated Strokes #310 – Art By Daphné Essiet

“Race is neither biological fact nor dismissible fiction, but an unwieldy set of narratives that Americans live inside.” – Stephanie Burt

I fell down the rabbit hole that is the Poetry Foundation Website… Mind you I was just supposed to check out something – and go back to sleep – cause yes, I am jet-lagged…

I ended up reading this great Elizabeth Alexander poem titled “Race” on the topic of “Passing”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, this refers to a person of African descent who has caucasian features/hair texture and is “passing” as a white person.

I never had heard of that word or the concept before watching The Human Stain then later reading Kate Chopin’s Désirée’s Baby in college.

If interested, you should also read  Stephanie Burt analysis of the poem which was very insightful and throughout. You can find it here

On Jill Scott – Crown Royal on Ice

From The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 released on September 25, 2007.

*Please avoid listening while driving or operating heavy machinery.

That snippet is as delectable as the breuvage, and may even burn the tip of your tongue, if not listened carefully.

I’m usually more of a Hendricks and Tonic kinda drinker, but I guess “Crown Royal” sounded better in a song.

It “almost” made me reconsider my (life’s) choices; although I doubt she is talking about whisky 🥃…

Most definitely for grown folks.

My Poetry Book on Amazon + FREE download !!!!

I am not sure I ever advertise the fact I had self-published a book on Amazon this past July 2019.

Well here it is. I’ll share a little bio with you and if you scroll down to the end, you will be able to download a free sample, and some video I made – and all the way, if you wish to support, I put the links by countries!

“On Love and Lust and Everything in Between is originally a series of 4 short thought pieces Daphné wrote between 2015 and 2016; the reflections triggered her creative-writing bone and she started to write prose as blog entries. Daphné always read poetry growing up and specially loved Baudelaire, De la Fontaine and Verlaine. However, it is when she started to read Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni that she realized her words sounded too like poesie. In September 2017 she took a poetry class through Interactive Poetry Workshop in City College lead by JP Howard, curator for Women Writers in Bloom Salon, and performed live for the first time her poetry. Still too shy at the time, she focused her effort on performing her music and songwriting, but kept filling blog entries. At the beginning of June 2019, she realized she would be able to self-publish through Amazon – that same day she decided to “go for it”. For the three days straight she sat in front of her computer to curate 50 of her poems, format a book, design and create her cover in Illustrator. The result was a 123 pages of content mainly revolving around self-discovery of a woman”

Free Sample

Thank you for your time!

SHOP HERE

On FriendZone by ThunderCat (2017)

From Drunk, released on February 24, 2017

Happy Post Valentine’s Day! I hope you had a great time.

Unrequited love and/or attraction is a cold place to be in, literally; and it happens to the best of us.

I’ve been that friend, but I have also been “friend-zoned”, ghosted and ignored.

One thing I can say is that this shit hurts like a mofo [Larenz Tate Voice] – you pace back and forth, stomping on our ego – and if you are not careful, you will think it has something to do with you, when in fact, the Universe always has a plan.

Somehow, this song feels this was a true story. Unfortunately, even if being one’s « biggest fan » is good, it is NEVER good enough! Either you are a fan or you are not, and if to think this should make a difference there may have been ulterior motives, which tends to end badly most of the time. I’d say the bullet was dodged from both side.

I really love Thundercat’s music and really like that song, He is one of the few artists I would just purchase their album without previewing. Once listened to it repeatedly from Melville to my house, this was a great ride. I event went to see him performed by myself – what a treat.

I’ll end up by asking if we could agree that despite the hurt caused, this was the ground for inspiration which lead to the song, or is it me being selfish?

On Being an Intellectual

I recently spent some quality time in France with family – I was staying at my grandmother’s house. One day we we had a disagreement and she said to me I was “such an intellectual” – she said it the same way republicans call you a “liberal”. I laughed things off and kept it moving as I usually do: to deflate the hurt a kin inflicts others when themselves are in pain.

To say the truth, I was annoyed at first, but then got curious about why she thought that voicing my opinion was a problem. It took some time, but after thinking about it for a while I came to some conclusion of my own. Every time I had felt powerless in front of injustices was when I did not know how to respond to attacks – which as a result had made me angry. So, I am constantly trying to educate myself on issue pertaining to feminism, racism and the like – because it felt empowering: in other words analyzing and instructing when feeling attached is my “defense mechanism”.

I had heard about Anna Freud’s theory on defense mechanisms for the first time a few months prior by watching The School of Life‘s episode on Psychoanalysis. I decided to find out more. Turns out that what made the most sense to me, according to this theory, was that I may champion at “Intellectualization”. 

According to Freud, intellectualization as a psychodynamic defense mechanism refers to an emphasized focus on facts, logic, and abstract reasoning to assert control over and reduce unpleasant emotions associated with internal or external events.

Yes, this made sense. I constantly need to know why things happen the way they do.

I tend to seek explanations to any and every out-of-the-ordinary-situations that may affect me – and by extension, others like me. I even wrote a poem about it:

When I feel threatened, my brain automatically fires up into “Overthinking” mode . Rationalizing helps me to calm down in stress-inducing circumstances. For instance, if someone felt entitled to say something out of line or mean to me, instead of reacting, with the tools that is knowledge, I can logically respond: I am only able to do so when I am educated on a topic. That say it does not mean you’ll be able to convinced the person in front of you – since facts are not enough to convince people!

In my research I also found out that there were a biological aspects of defense mechanisms: In short, the very ancient part of the brain called amygdala is responsible for triggering the sympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for the fight or flight response. Once that type of stress is triggered, there is no switch to turn it off on its own. Our only option to “calm things down” is to activate its counterpart, the parasympathetic system. There are efficient ways to do so, including walking in nature, breathing and meditation (more here). I should also mention that eating, although it is not mentioned,  triggers the parasympathetic system: oh that’s why, when we are upset your freewill is highjacked and your are uncontrollably drawn to the Ben and Jerry bin int he freezer!!!

Reflecting on this helped in many ways. Firstly, I learn ways to manage even better my anxieties by understanding how they arise; it also brought lots of empathy towards myself and others – in finding out there is a part that is rooted in “instinct” and early childhood experience – hence very hard to control. I am grateful I was able find some insight and happy my grand mother initiated this introspection.