Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mint. Yellow. Chocolate. Orange.

Before the entry, here is an mp3 of perhaps the best song I've heard in quite some time. If anybody would like it removed for any reason, just let me know and it will be taken down at once. (Gui Boratto- Beautiful Life).

I used to be really good at being alone. Not to say that I am especially bad at being alone now, but something has definitely changed. Perhaps it has something to do with touring constantly, acquiring more levels of management (upon whom it is easy to become dependent), and thus becoming, in some sick and indirect way, addicted to attention. Or maybe it's none of these things; maybe it's just a part of getting ever so slightly older and reevaluating one's priorities.

Today was a good day, though, even if it was, in its own cruel way, possessed of a certain sadness. But I've always maintained the notion that sadness is not always something to be avoided. Part of the reason that certain melancholy indie artists appeal to me is because they are not afraid to treat sadness with an even respect. Just like any other emotion, it is not flat and direct- it is multi-colored and multi-faceted and therefore deserves the same examination and dissection afforded to more positive chemical reactions. It's important, for the sake of this discussion, to separate depression from sadness. Sadness, in my definition, is less of an affliction, and more of a general sense that washes over you: for a brief second you can see the past, present and future at once. More specifically, you understand too much about loss, mortality, and the human condition to be in full possession of your conscious character.

But like I said, today was a good day. Sometime in the early afternoon, I watched "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner." the book of which I had read years ago, really enjoyed, and primarily forgotten. It's a really beautiful film, full of nuance and subtlety, even if it does mildly divert from the narrative structure of the original text. I have never been particularly good at vicious rebellion, but something about the silent protest of the main character, I found awe-inspiring. Following the film, walked to my local grocer and purchased an orange, but not just any orange, a really large, potentially-genetically-modified-now-that-I-think-of-it-orange, perhaps the brightest one in the shop. As I walked home I flipped it up in the air repeatedly, marveling at the mere wonder of its weight each time I caught it. Immediately upon arriving home, I placed it on my bed, enabling myself to employ both hands in the the act of shoe-removal. Just as I had removed the second shoe, I turned around to see the marvelous color combination of fresh fruit and fabrics: mint green top sheet, white quilt with some sort of yellow floral pattern, chocolate brown bottom sheet, and of course the orange of the day, large and luminescent as ever.

In this moment I realized that this is one of the benefits of being alone: to notice things like this, these sorts of bizarre simple pleasures. When you are alone, you suffer silence, you are more prone to contemplation, to noticing nature's little eccentricities that spring up round about you. Just for clarification, bear in mind that I am not talking about loneliness on a catastrophic level, the sort that is inflicted upon people against their will, but rather the kind of everyday loneliness known to many on a more basic level. And so, proceeding...Yes, I whole-heartedly agree- it's hard to live without real love in your life, but sometimes you have to use that particular silence to enrich yourself, to notice the wonder of brown against yellow against orange, to watch something that inspires you, and, eventually, to create. We have to learn to process the desire for human contact into something more positive, at least until something more substantial comes along.

And so this series of bitter and sweet realizations melts into something that I will once again refer to as a certain sadness- it is not necessarily a direct offense, but just that- a certain, inescapable sadness. For me this feeling is epitomized by the sunday evenings of my younger school days. That bizarre combination of fading light, dissipating energy, and terrible TV programs, iced with the threat of impending responsibility and anger brought upon by the school week. I can clearly remember sitting in my parents' old living room, the one with thirty foot ceilings and insanely large windows, watching as the angle of the sun decreased, and thinking to myself just how intense the silence was. Not so much an absolute silence, but more the sound of the last cello note played in the last symphony on the last day of humanity, forever decreasing and decaying to an almost inaudible buzz, across the darkening horizon that somehow managed to embrace the entire world.

In that moment, you know that, one day, you will be lucky enough and stricken enough to face bigger things.


Blogger C.Johnson said...

You should read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, its themes deal with what you wrote about, and about how in such hopelessness beauty can be found... that is, if you can call living in a hopeless world beautiful. But, at the least, it's a beautiful book that will devastate and deeply touch whoever reads it.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Fluffo said...

I think I'm going to seek The Road tomorrow morning, courtesy of the first comment...

but for all's sake: amen. The world is stupid and wreckless without loneliness, and if it wasn't for days like this we'd have all died out by now.

8:26 PM  
Blogger chi-mee said...

I've been constantly contemplating the idea of being alone recently too, and have realized that I cherish those insignificant life's moments more and makes me realize how incredibly beautiful the world really is more, instead of having to stay up to beat with the social interaction i'm otherwise engaging in... It opens my eyes and makes me more in-tune with myself, my thoughts, feelings, nature, perceptions and everything else around me... it's a nice feeling.
The mint green on brown and orange. must be a coincidence but I have those colors in my bed too!
The silence of being alone makes you notice so much more than you'd otherwise not realize... I think the best is when you find hilarity in something when you're alone and you have those sweet genuine chuckles to the self ^_^

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Tabi said...

There is something about Sundays. They've always made me feel something unique. Not quite deja vu, and not exactly nostalgia. I've never felt it ridiculously early in the morning on a wednesday before now.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

i just wanted to make two comments. the first one about your pointing out that when you're alone, you notice the eccentricities of life more. and i totally understand that. in fact i thought i was kind of weird because i do that a lot. last year i was going through a lot of issues and ended up drifting from friends and missing a lot of school, and i would sit on porch behind my house and just watch nature and the little things. its weird how when you're COMPLETELY alone, things seem so different. im not sure if you meant a different kind of alone. but i just tend to notice strange peaceful things when im by myself. its kind of nice, it brings you down to earth i guess. haha i make no sensssse.

another thing i just wanted to say was that everytime i read your blogs, i always have to go to the dictionary to look up at least one word. i mean that in a good way, not that you're showing off your large vocabulary, more power to you. i just fail. but im learning new things. so thats nice.

8:40 PM  
Blogger manda said...

since someone already made a book suggestion, I feel alright in saying that Desolation Angels by Kerouac is the best description of being alone that I have been able to agree with.
the mind rambles to where you've been and where you want to go.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

And on an unrelated note, is there any way we could get an RSS feed of this site? The white-on-black color scheme makes my eyes go funny.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Niklas said...

Dear Ramesh, you should check out Vitalic's "Trahison", a supreme instrumental electronica track, that shows all the things Giorgio Moroder was good at - combining that with a really great track is rare.

Thanks for the Borrato track, even though I prefer Terence Fixmer and Dave Clarke.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Tree said...

It's nice to have good days and to observe their beauty.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

This is a brillant and moving entry. Thank you for sharing.

6:41 PM  
Blogger wildflowers said...

so i listened to the song you posted, and there's something about it.. maybe it's the unwavering note (or humm) throughout the whole song, i don't know, but it really is a good song. indeed, the " song I've heard in quite some time."
you know it's funny, that as i read your blog, i could see you doing everything you described, i could even see you typing it behind a computer or laptop screen. and it's funny that as you read this comment i leave you, your mind might fight to remember my face. and you might think, "maybe it's that girl from our show in new york..the chubby one.. no no. it's the one from phoenix.." maybe you don't remeber faces at all. -i'm not sure why i'm writting this, as it is not remotely important, just something that was on my mind.
what i wanted to say is that there is this song, "Glosoli- by Sigur Ros" it's also a very good song. it fits your mood on this day.
i didn't link it though, i'm not a big computer person. i don't pressume to know what type of music you like, but i think you might enjoy this one.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous V said...

This post reminds me of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. He talks about the solace and importance of being alone, as a way of getting to know yourself and the world, and how too many people sacrifice that in love and relationships. I distinctly remember the first time I read them, my sister had printed them out for me, a mere twenty pages of courier new, and I read them while riding the bus to work in Seattle, and for some reason, in that context they struck me as particularly profound. Wisdom that made it across many years, where a large, busy, and cosmopolitan city can be full of the loneliest people all sitting right next to each other.

This post has the same kind of insight. I'm glad you've retained a sense of groundedness. I've always felt the most difficult thing is to be able to spend time with yourself.

3:08 AM  
Anonymous victoria said...

I echo all of chi-mee's comments (except my bedspread is magenta, ultramarine, light green and orange) - and add that not only does being alone wake your senses up to the stimuli around you, but sadness does too. There's something to be said about a really good, sad song that immediately takes you, without fail, from wherever you are into the depths of the mood and the words and the new atmosphere and state of mind it induces. Songs that can't be listened to as background music and as anything other than all-encompassing. Though, actually, I'd say sadness in this way makes you aware of your world in a more abstract way than the detailed, concrete, micro-level realizations of being alone and noticing the gritty elements of your surroundings.

In any case, like fluffo says about loneliness, the world is stupid without sadness. You can't have the good without the bad; I'm thankful for both.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Weston said...

It's been forever since I downloaded the Gui Boratto and I'm still in love with it. Thank you.

1:21 PM  

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