Candle light and soul forever. A dream of you and me together: say you believe it. Free your mind of doubt and danger. Be for real, don’t be a stranger: we can achieve it. Illustration: Simone Klimmeck
Here’s your music. Here’s a cryptic/pithy/pun-laden paragraph. Here’s an illustration. Easy enough, maybe, in the normal course of things. But things haven’t felt normal for some time. There’s a loose flapping bit at the corner of reality, and things feel like they’re fraying more every day. Maybe you learn to ignore it, or tether it down with illusions. Maybe you become a flattergeist, letting yourself dissolve. Maybe, for you, this reality doesn’t even exist. When people say the world is ending, whose world do they mean?
This column is a trust exercise between you and I, Reader. I agree to trust that you will find something in my words. You agree to trust my taste, but you also agree to trust that what you are reading is true. You and I have likely never met. It’s more likely we never will. Am I, each Monday, opening myself to you, giving you my thoughts and ideas—or is this merely a character I produce, a narrative dance imagined for the purpose of a scenic backdrop to the sounds you find here? If you knew that it was, would you still agree to be my partner in this false dance, or shall we return to the antiseptic anti-narrative of straightforward music writing?
I know I ask a lot of questions today, Reader. I have more of them than answers. I know as well that these snippets of my brain are hardly precise. They’re clumsy, sometimes, and hurled toward the reader at whim: “Here is the mercurial thought process.” And if you were to say to me “I trust you”, we both know that such a casual oath would mean nothing, whatever the intentions behind it.
I am writing these words as I sit in my kitchen, the bubbling sickness in my throat and lungs extending plagued fingers ever-upward. Each phlegmatic ejaculation makes the shapes of the world caper, seemingly no more real than a bedtime story I might have heard as a child: Once upon a time there was a man.
Here is a gradual acceptance, the emergence of a stronger persona. Here is learning to celebrate life without ignoring the loss that comes with it.
Existence is the trial of carbon—but the sun also rises. In that light, a form of peace may be found.