Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We exist in places
otherwise strange and probably
_______Jean Day

Original Manuscript in Bach's hand of a Klavier Invention

there are too many
____to feel (fall or otherwise
____(down or also
____up.around and away

* * *

Of the prejudices I no doubt have, there is one that I am intimately aware of, and it is: my unfaltering commitment to J.S. Bach. I simply cannot comprehend that there is a person to be found anywhere on this planet, that left alone- with no external influences- in a room with the sound of Bach, would not feel their soul delight. Would not notice their soul feeling depths of love, gratitude, melancholy, faith, humility, pride, hopelessness (in short: humanity. (in short: human. (in short: whole. (in short: understanding (in short: understood (in short:

when I listen to this... I am all I might be.

Things I Might Be When I Listen to Bach
(some highlights to give you an idea of the possibilities)

- made of vibrating air and nothing else... to be sound and no body (the meanings of words without letters)
- a string of hearts attached with thread, hung up on a patio somewhere remote, so that they might feel the wind nudge them gently side to side, each giving a gentle sigh that sounds like pure frequencies. whole tones. semitones. St. Mathew's Passion. those exact notes. Think of the coincidence!
- I might be a star, looking lovingly, from very far away, at a young man typing on his computer screen at 11:49pm on Tuesday night. I could only see him through the blinds not being properly shut.

and all the fear that binds men

* * *

I hear him, Glen Gould, singing in the background, oblivious of his fingers playing. He is two beasts independent. There is the soul of the piano, and the body that supports his elbows, forearms, fingertips... that creates perfect trills, incredibly felicitous staccatos; and there is the human being in him. Who is as awestruck with the sounds coming from the shiny black wooden box as the rest of us. (who'd have thought a casket could sound like that).

I can't tell sometimes which soul of his I'm more transfixed by.

* * *

Why am I talking about Bach? Glen Gould? those odd quotes?

A: I feel like myself (finally).
it is a strange realization to make. I'm not sure how to greet me. It has been too long since I have felt this thoroughly myself. (in fact, I can tell you the date almost precisely: I came home from work at about 3am in 2003. I brushed my teeth. Put on my PJs. Got into bed, put on Mahler's 5th, and read the Trial and Death of Socrates till breakfast. Had a bowel of cereal, alone, with the rest of the house asleep. Then went back to bed, closed my eyes, and rejoined the stars that having had no where to go, had hidden behind my eyelids.

At times like tonight, I wonder if sometimes they don't dislodge and travel along vessels and arteries. I like the idea: it means I can have stars in my heart to greet you. All the you's of you's that have a place there.

... strange and probably

It is true. I am a strange man. I exist in a strange place. A place inhabited by strange ideas. And probably... I will not manage to rejoin the pearls that were my eyes until I manage to ditch this body once and for all.

* * *

I am in a strange place. I have learnt too many things too quickly, I am suddenly a new person without too much experience in navigating this ship. I write on almost all the pages of my notebook:


I like to write it. read it. think it. It makes me smile. That somewhere, hidden in one of these seconds... is the future (read it in a hushed voice, like some beautiful grand secret, like a dream (I once described You as: some dream that found its way out of my head... remember?), that kind of dream, the future!). For once... I'm not soo scared. It's easy now. I've failed at all a man can possibly fail at. Every category is decidedly ticked. You see? I am invincible. Superman. Free of just about every worry.

In the corner of a Saturday. of May. or April. of the number 12 or 25. or the ratio 12:43... somewhere in the crack of an afternoon, the sound of a car passing. a phone ringing. the sound of a woman laughing... in one of those cracks, lies the future! The whole massive, heavy, scary, chest-crunching future. Sitting. Nascent. Living for itself. And I? What am I doing? ignoring it entirely. I am listening to Bach. wayy past my bedtime. In the dark. My asiatic eyes half-closed. Half in love (because Bach makes me feel amorous). Half Divine (because Bach is the sound God would use to address mankind- this I know for sure). Half invisible (because no one needs a body to hear this. ears are useless). A revolution, for me to ignore the future entirely. To concentrate on 12:14am. on F# major (a strange key by anyone's account).

A strange key by anyone's account.
To a strange lock.
To a strange uncertain appointment
That is ticking its way from
Infinity towards today.

We will meet dear future, you and I. You bring your stardust with you, you have come a long way. I will meet you not quite half-way... perhaps you have come from Olympus, bravo. I have come from Adelaide. from Santa Monica. from 19 Hegafen.
- no. certainly no where near halfway.
but we'll meet in any case. Straw hat to straw hat. Dice to dice.

* * *

The night wears on.
I sit in the dark by the dark river Styx.
The stars give us some light.
I watch the bodies float past,
some catch the light.
They stare at me
- nosey bastard
they say.

I haven't touched the popcorn in a while.
I've been sucking on the same kernel,
teasing it between my teeth.
- what are you looking at?
what does one respond to that?
- the future
- and what of it?
(what does one respond to that?

it's beautiful.

1 comment:

capone said...
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