Desire and Grief

One thing about this rewrite that stands out to me is just how close for me desire and grief are, like two notes in a chord where I’m not quiet sure what the third note is yet. I guess because both are a kind of longing.

The rewriting is going more quickly than I’d anticipated. Of course, I haven’t gotten to very many of the parts that have to be massively rewritten because of the narrator change. Mostly I’m just fleshing out some details. and adding some bits about John’s early life. As I get further in, I imagine it will get stickier.

The thing I wonder is how a man like John can be redeemed. If, indeed, he can. I mean, I’m not sure I even believe in redemption, exactly, but what I mean is, if your first act is as a serial killer who doesn’t face legal consequences–because in one time you don’t really exist and in the other time, your victims are already dead–but you regret it, kind of, what is your second act? In that regard, it’s good that he’s run into Ed, who feels such a grave responsibility for each one of his men who didn’t come home.

But it troubles me a little how fleshing John out, giving him a more adult voice as a man with absolutely no boundaries and very little morality in the conventional sense, makes him attractive to me. Charisma and brains are really almost enough to make me not care if a person is a monster. That’s not a trait that’s good for one’s well-being.

On the other hand, fiction is a safe place to explore said feelings, right?

I guess what I’m saying here, folks, is that Han Solo has a lot to answer for. Ha ha ha ha ha..

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It’s Only What I Want that Makes Me Weak

It’s time for a reckoning of the best Gillian Welch songs, in album order.

1. “Pass You By”–Starting with the chug of the music and the cocky smoothness of the singer and going straight through the fact that she drives an “old V-I from the year I was born” this song is just beautiful and menacing in ways that please me.

2. “Caleb Meyer”–It’s frightening and there’s a ghost and there’s a way that the guitar part is menacing with the amount of notes in the song. It’s hard to explain, but this is as close as they come to a heavy metal song, I think.

3. “Elvis Presley Blues”–This song will literally tell you everything you need to know to understand Elvis. It’s a song about magic, how it’s done in our culture, about one of our greatest practitioners. They linking of it with the myth of John Henry is just… ugh… so brilliant I about die of jealousy every time I think about it.

4.  “Wrecking Ball”–“Look at Miss Ohio” has that one genius lyric–“I want to do right, but not right now,” but I think “Wrecking Ball” is overall better. It’s like the 70s and old timey music had a baby and here it is, heading toward the wall, like a… well… you know the words. Plus that line about being a little Deadhead hits me right in the heart, even though I never was.

5. “Tennessee” Oh, holy god, how do you go on not loving this song after he presses his whiskers to her cheek?

Extra! I assume we all know why. (Hint: It’s the greatest country song ever, hands down, don’t even fight me on it.)