Listen to an album all the way through, something you pleasurably stumbled upon. Itch to create. Think of what you want, who you want, think of nothingness, think of bursting. Remember your guitar calling downstairs for your fingers. Ignore the dead-weight tension of your parents’ irritation with your music, your (un)sound creation…they used to like it, what happened? Fuck it, opinion doesn’t matter. Play, because you know it is life. Without music, you are a shell. Without music, you are not quite dead, you are uglier than death, you are a ragged receipt bookmarking the death of your story. As a brash and kind woman once told you – “Play! Love! Laugh! Live!” As a sparkly-eyed older sister once told you, “Embrace your power.” As a patient and certainly divine woman once told you – “It’s okay to just be grumpy sometimes.” As someone with love once told you, “That’s what alcohol is for!” As someone with love once told you, “You have a strong will.”
Remember your teachers. Remember how Miranda July responds to feeling lonely and unwanted. (“You know the answer to that. I create.”) Remember the grizzly man in the café who admonished you and your colored pencils. (“Put down your weapon.”) Remember your soft words to yourself, written on a sticky note. (“Create wisely.”) Remember the lusty curves of your guitar, remember the silhouette at the door and the commands of the glass eye, remember NOW your physical body existing in this strange spongy wooden world. Remember tears in the eyes of the toughest bitch you’ve ever known. (“SAY SOMETHIN!”) Give yourself permission to dismantle the tripod. Give yourself the gift of sound creation.
The creator(s) behind Clutchy Hopkins sure know how to work the allure of mystery. activist? student of silence? alias for DJ shadow? Who is this person? IT DOESN’T MATTER. enjoy getting down, especially to track 4, and especially to the other albums (collaboration with Shawn Lee HELLO)… especially everything.
I don’t know what this is? but it was time to make something and share it.
“WHAT IT IS”
I eat. I make strawberry donuts glazed with cream cheese, and I eat half the batch. I dip pretzels in the leftover frosting and lick my fingers clean. I pull on my paint-splattered cross-trainers and break into a run, wiping sweat off of my iPod and trying not to count the squares of sidewalk. I watch TV shows chronicling inexplicably optimistic Midwesterners trying to “make it” in New York. I sit at my parents’ piano, repeating bass lines and scribbling couplets until I have forgotten where I am. The first week at my new job, I scrub down the walls, brew coffee for the baristas, and operate the register with the relentless cheer of a lobotomized school spirit mascot. By the end of a shift, my voice is hoarse and my cheeks ache from holding a smile. I drive to my favorite cemetery to read fifty pages of something funny and not laugh. I sneak gulps of whiskey from plastic bottles in the afternoon and rearrange the piles in my room. Once or twice, I meet up with friends, people who know which questions not to ask. I avoid the coffee shops and sidewalk corners where recognizable faces gather. I drive aimlessly. I lose myself on familiar trails. I do not talk about the ghosts.
…versus disillusionment. (DAMN. My crazy-glue oozed ALL UP IN that shit. Lovers might still have love, but I’m too shamed by my snail-trail to glance back.)
“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.” -Thomas Carlyle
At hand – charting the unmapped/overstated.
() love, ideal: unapologetic authenticity. (“Love means never having to say you’re sorry!” – someone who has never been married.)
() love, experience: mutual goodfeelins, occasional authenticity, ending in apologies.
() love, idea: mutual authenticity, occasional apologies, resolved with authenticity, resulting in goodfeelins.
An onslaught of insight from Thomas Carlyle, as well as writing the phrase “occasional authenticity” just now, is sending my whirligig brain on a jaunty wind away from my heart. Come back! I want to dissect you and vomit you! Never mind, I want to preserve you and display you! Or, how long does this kite-string stretch?
just savor the tasty mash-up.
I am tired of saying everything except what I want to say.
Thankful Thursdays – Lauryn Hill gives back by sharing her Philosophies on Life to Students.
Parts 1 and 2 both, damn. And I didn’t even realize it was Thursday until after I started sharing this (sometimes synchronicity is stifling… other times I am grateful that someone is able to give words to what seems beyond my expression). Disclaimer: she talks a lot about her higher power with a male pronoun. I don’t think she’s necessarily trying to convert anybody. However I’m just making a note because I can be sensitive to religious and spiritual talk and it helps to have my own focus going in.
Thankful for her wise words and smiles this morning. Her references to The Matrix really baked my cake.
Notes and interpretations –
Sandwiches (for mah inner child yo). Bread is encouragement and love, meat is correction, and another piece of bread is encouragement and love.
Also, a loving environment for my inner child that allows individuality. Like, individuality is part of my vision of who I want her to grow up to be (aka who I want to be). So it’s not across-the-board permissiveness…the reason correction is in there is because I have the advantage of experience and its drips of wisdom. I am in the process of learning from many different powers that allowing myself to “just be” all the time, unchecked…well, it is a form of individuality but it’s not an individual I want to become.
“Love is confidence.”
The age-old “life is a series of mountains and valleys” saying with a fresh take. Some people see it as good times and bad times; she reframes it as times of mastership and times of study.
“Never be afraid of ‘not knowing’. Find out.” That’s how to climb to mastership.
Don’t be afraid of experiences that teach me.
Keep learning and riding the waves! If I insist on holding on to the idea that I know everything (or “enough”), then I’m holding myself back. Nobody knows everything, girl. Don’t get stuck. Some people might be on top of a mountain of mastership while I’m in a valley of study, and even though it’s dark and painful, it’s okay. I’m grateful for the words they shout down the hillside. It’s not like I’m climbing mountains in order to join those at the top. I’m climbing because I don’t like getting stuck.
I am grateful for the connection, and the community, and the bonds of friendship. I don’t intend to discount any of that. I know that when I feel so low and depleted like I have nothing of value to give, I want to give my inner child some sandwiches, take the mountainside at our own pace, and not worry about keeping up with other people. Love is my confidence.