Some things are meant to be in pairs. They’re meant to be twinned, coupled, one and one. Not because dualism wins. Not because we’ve lost out to dualism, in all of its permutations. After all, it’s dualistic to think in terms of the pairs and us, of the pairs not existing and us. Even of the need for pairs in this world, as if it isn’t already that way, and so.
Fix You and Run, by Coldplay and Snow Patrol, respectively, form such a pair for me. They belong to a category I’ve just invented, stolen from myself, stolen from a non-dualistic sphere, or from someone within it. No. It’s no one’s category, really. As long as no one grasps, it’s no one’s.
Fix You is a song of rescue and healing, ostensibly. But because we live in Cynicstan, that can’t be. It’s not allowed. It has to have loud guitars here and there, to make up … Click to continue . . .
It’s something we really don’t know much about at all. In our own lives. The absence of war. Even to the extent that we’re not involved, we see it elsewhere, hear about it, note its presence on the news, in books, in history, on film. It surrounds us, this absence, this lack of the presence of anything remotely akin to peace — again, whether or not we’ve ever experienced its opposite.
In. The. Air. It’s with us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s like the knowledge of an impending storm we know is ready to dump flotillas of hard rain on us from above. Dark skies. More than that. We’ve internalized this and it’s why we do whatever we can not to think about it and escape.
Escape into buying things. Stuff. Escape into, ironically, stories and films and documentaries and songs about war, violence, overwhelming aggression, death. In many ways, this escape is … Click to continue . . .
Gary Clark Jr. is one of those guitarists other guitarists, and musicians in general, just love. Just love to be on stage with. Born in Austin, Texas, in 1984, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest guitar players of his generation. In 2011, Rolling Stone named him “Best Young Gun.” Extreme skills on that instrument, even after some 60 years of Rock N Roll, still carry a great deal of weight. And when they’re Bluesy and Root’s based, they tend to garner even more respect.
The lyrics for the above song, from his 2012 album, Blak and Blu, seem to contest their own ground, with an ironic subtext of famous people singing about anonymity, demanding to be known by name, assuring they will before the night is through. The cool confidence and self-assured performance deepens this contradiction, and the edgy belief in the power of one’s own skills cuts across many realms.
Directed by Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan, Bokeh is a beautifully understated Sci-Fi movie about the last two humans and what life might mean in that end of days context.
Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley (Matt O’Leary), a young couple from America, take a romantic trip of a lifetime to Iceland, and only the first day is “normal.” Deep into that first night, Jenai wakes up, goes over to the hotel window, sees what looks like the Aurora Borealis, and then a flash of light that spreads across the screen. She goes back to sleep. The next day, as they walk through town, she and Riley quickly learn everyone else has disappeared. There are no humans, anywhere, just the beautiful Icelandic landscape of mountains, springs, waterfalls, flowers and empty homes and stores.
They do many of the things you’d expect. They go from store to store to get tools, water, food and other essentials. They take two SUVs so they … Click to continue . . .
Brains trick us. Not just those who use them, and use them carefully, creatively. Those who never use them are tricked too. We see things not as they are, but as our minds want us to see them. This provides a great deal of amusement for our brains, which is their sole reason for existing anyway. We seriously amuse them; they love this about us; and they tolerate us because of that. Take away our comedic efforts, and they’d shut us down in a heartbeat. For that matter, they’d shut down our hearts, too.
I love taking pictures of that exact moment in time when our brains are trying to pull a fast one on us, translating, as mentioned, what is into what they want us to see. Ironically, as amazing as our minds are, they’re not really as sophisticated as they’d like us to think, because we can — at least I can — catch them off … Click to continue . . .
When blue milk pacifies,
The copper moon sliding up a sleeve of glass,
Her luminous lake
Drowning the city,
A black felt hat against
Heaven’s empty dome.
An indigo deer slips back
Through the shadow of night-green cedar,
Teasing with promise.
I could not look away.
At the End of Autumn
I once watched you ripen like a grape
In the sun’s punishing heat,
Soaking blood into cloth,
Leaves spread under flames,
Flowers brown corpses
Floating face down,
Of billowing tongue.
Night fell down
Thicker and faster,
A purpling sky,
Secrets all bleeding,
The mouth of December
Robed in the cold crawl of it.
Then white noise.
Every cherry-tree skeleton
Aching for shelter,
All in wet catharsis.
I long for the cold harps of Autumn.
So, I’m up in the mountains again, and I’m reading Wallace Stevens — reading about him, reading his poems. I take music with me, listen to it before and after the readings. It’s very windy on the top of the mountain. Actually, the winds are ferocious at times. Merciless. And because I heard the Rod Stewart song in the car before I went to my place, my perfect spot, near the beautiful jagged rocks and the vulnerable pine trees, I hear the mandolin notes in that wind. They’re everywhere, including on the page. I see them dance around on the white pages of the biography and the collected poems, along with the wind that won’t let those pages be . . . still.
One must almost lose the mind of winter in order to feel the mandolin notes in that way, as a call to spring, to the past, to memories of that past. Melancholy … Click to continue . . .