Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blue and Grey Shirt

As a pleasant respite from the usual pattern of my processes, I've found myself looking back on certain times from the past few years with, dare I say it, nostalgia. Now that's something I never saw coming. In my defense, I never thought I'd find myself here in the first place; I imagined the experience was the sum total of existence itself, and that its conclusion may as well never happen, because it's not as though I'd be around to appreciate the freedom.

Anyhow, one lesson today is simply what Joni Mitchell famously sang about. It may even be a statement of the tenacity of the heart: even when what I had was barely worth calling a life, it seems that some things were still able to move me. Were it possible to pick out the greatest hits, I suppose near any life might seem not so bad. True enough, taking too much out of this is the likely cause of innumerable bad decisions, made out of simplified nostalgia and the belief that life can always be better. But I'm not claiming anything more than what I've been feeling: as a whole, things were probably as bad as I remember, but that doesn't mean there weren't things to hold on to.

All of which is warming, but I hope that it's a lesson I don't need to be taught too many more times in the future. I'm tired of a life that's just a series of goodbyes, of doors to other hearts shut because my restless spirit demands wandering. And yet I seem unwilling to do what is required to make that not so -- unpack the flag, set it down, and call someplace home. I'll admit there's something vaguely poetic about carrying on as an eternal wandered, stopping ever so often to write fondly about people that are gone. But sometimes I don't like poetry much at all.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

1) Elliott Smith, "Can't Make a Sound". The effective closer to probably Smith's weakest album has always been arresting because of the melody and sound, but to me the lyrics have never been more than merely fitting to the mood. After returning to it several times, I think I've now determined how my senses choose to interpret them -- the repeated last line is surely not to the one thing found, but a mocking question to the narrator himself. As it happens, a question I've had to ask of late, hence this missive. Songs like these remind me why I'm happy to have a weakness for the melancholy -- while I understand the (critical) majority's distaste for the style, if you happen to be afflicted with a pensive persona, it isn't always easy to wish away the shades of pale that sometimes cross the mind. Having this struggle expressed by someone else does, at the end of the day, offer solace in that your struggle is by no means unique. Sometimes it also offers hope, which Smith does to an extent (treating the circumstances of his exit as accidental). Of course, all of this knowledge is only any good if you can do something with it; but until you name your foe, you have no chance of besting him.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Boys Happy

I think I've collected enough data to conclude that on the inside, I'm still not far from a precipice, and that it doesn't take much to make me peer over the edge. Old lesson, but it bears repeating: serenity is best measured when things aren't going well. But this is not to imply that what I've been experiencing prior to this point is illusory, or naive: just that more is needed to truly consider myself far from the edge. Given the circumstances of the latest recurrence, I'd have to begrudgingly admit that they probably would not have come up had I decided to do something else with my time. But things don't seem as hopeless as they used to. Because I'm genuinely optimistic that in the long term, this gig will do me some good. In the off chance it doesn't, there'll be no stopping me from saying goodbye to this path once and for all, and find something more within my capacity.