I like this post by Rex Hammock so much. I feel like I should say something more about it, since Coble and I were talking about this very same thing last Wednesday and I yakked her ear off about it. But I can’t put it better than this.
1. That it says “P***y Liquor” on my iPod, like a.) I can’t figure out what word that is or b.) the young punks who might steal my iPod need to be protected from seeing the word “Pussy.” I bought the album. I listen to the song. I hear the word. Why do I have to be subjected to those protective asterisks?
2. That we’re going to have a cabinet level position for copyright dealings and yet we have no mechanism for freeing art from copyright and moving it into the public domain after a reasonable period of time. Copyright should be for the life of the creator, period.
3. Those songs that get stuck in you and you have to listen to them like eleven times in a row, not because you like them, but because they’re clearly working on you in some way you only half understand and you just have to let them do that work or you spend three days walking around feeling discombobulated. Since I wrote that post last week, it’s been “Farewell Ride” that I keep coming back to like a parched woman to wet ground. But today it was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” and I can only assume that there’s something about that slow, driving insistance, in both songs, that gets hooked on me and I about can’t bear the weight of needing to hear them over and over and over. I shouldn’t even bring it up, but sometimes there’s also “Ain’t No Sunshine”–the way Withers sings “I ought to leave the young thing alone” feels like some truth about men that my life is shallower for not understanding.
4. That there’s so much shit like that. Who knew how much of your life you were going to spend feeling that there was something larger and richer and deeper and truer than anything truth you currently have and if only you could–I don’t know–readjust somehow–you could break through to it. It’s like those orgasms where you’re obviously coming and it’s obviously very wonderful, but there’s that feeling like you’re up against something cold and flat inside you and if only you could knock that loose–either by throwing up your legs or throwing your partner across the bed lengthwise or putting you on the counter or them in the fridge or they sing Ave Maria while you do your best imitation of the demon from the Night on Bald Mountain section of Fantasia or something you just can’t quite arrange yourself to make happen–you’d crack open right up the middle and spill out all over the floor and across the lawn and out onto the street and everyone who slowed down or swerved to avoid the shining fragments of you would, for a second, be you at your sixth birthday, when your grandma showed up with the exact stuffed cat you wanted, or be you in seventh grade when you leaned over to kiss Kenny Powell, or you when you stood to get your college diploma.
And then, every day, for the rest of their lives, they would drive that stretch of Clarksville Pike, whenever they had the excuse, day or night, just hoping, just once again, to find a way to make their way through your soul spilling out all over the road.
Is it better to feel like you might, if only you could figure out how, spread out all over into that transcendant place or to never know about that place? It’s there, but you can’t get to it? Or you don’t even know it’s there?
So, last night was the first night of nine. I was totally unprepared, but forced by the calendar, so I went out in my own back yard!!!!!!! Anyway, so I do my thing, I’m all laying lying there, watching the stars blink on through the trees, thinking, “Holy shit.” and I sit up, write everything down, turn to get up, and, bam, huge leg cramp sends me back sprawling to the earth.
I guess it’s not that funny in retrospect, but at the time, it cracked me up–we may all have big, transcendant souls, but they’re trapped in frail bodies that cramp up and get crawled on by bugs and which fail us, one day for good. It seemed fitting to be reminded of that right at the start of this very spiritual time for me.