Amber in Paris #3 Frogs are the Best People
so soft other humans. i hope wonderful things are happening for you. wonderful things arriving from wonderful times, and wonderful things arriving from times that seem to hard to bear.
im in the apartment in the dark. beautiful david who lives in a tiny room upstairs and comes down to use the kitchen and the bathroom just came by to brush his teeth or collect condoms or just to see our faces. we’ll never know. he just came down in his boxer shorts, his hair is blond at the ends and dark all the rest of the way through, and his mum sees lights flashing by when people in his family die.
asleep, perhaps by now in her bed is melody, getting rested before flying away to america to do shows. i was sitting by her room on the loungey chair, while eva made me a special drink with herbs from melody’s parents garden to help my little throat, and i took the guitar and played ‘hot date’ very softly and without singing the lyrics, just humming, through to melody lightly through the wood of her bedroom door. i imagined her with a smile across her face as she fell asleep, remembering the days of friendship we clothed ourselves in, tears, embraces, prayers, much talk of how dear our dear friends are.
and andras fox is on his way back here with a bottle of wine that i’ll leave to the others, after passing a day of swimming in pools and a day before of buying sunglasses from a man who played the ud in his store and watched ud youtube clips as andy browsed all the frames from 1920 and 1950 and 1960 with special names of special designers. i left after 20 minutes but andy was there for 5 hours, eventually getting taken to a small cafe by a rival vintage sunglass frame peddler who said he had the same pairs for half the price.
an architecht came to see me today. he told us great stories about the way the air feels at his parents home in the south of france after the rain. i remember the word “felt”, as in, that soft touching jumper you might wear while you’re doing meditation in a room with your friend, and all your other friends are brought to mind before your closed eyes, and as each one comes before you, you put good energies across them and see lovely things for and about them and you clothe them in light and touch their faces and their private parts but only as much as you’re meant to.
so last week a man drove me to a forest here, in a very old mercedes where only one door opened so we both had to get in on one side and squiggle across. we went walking in that forest, and came upon a marsh after a while, and some frogs were talking in it. i tried to see – was it frogs or was it little fish jumping in there? and i had the feeling to go over to one side of the marsh and sit by it, and even though it’s hard to express my feelings in a different language, i did, and so we went to the other side of the marsh and sat there by that tree i’d felt to visit. after a few minutes we were quiet and just listened as one by one the frogs jumped, and i tried to learn the name of dragonfly – “libelule”, and touched my hand against the mosses. and after a few minutes a new things happened, in that the entire marsh slowly awakened with ten million thousand billion frogs all singing at exactly the same time. the sound flew in a slow immense wave from one side of the marsh to the other, our two human mouths open in the most complete awe possible at this two minutes of magic, until it all stopped and we sat in awed silence waiting for it to happen again, which, in fact, it never did. we had come just at the right time to hear this one thing, one thing i will never forget.
i went to a big party too, on a boat that david explained a few days later had been sailed over from england where they used to use boats as lighthouses instead of building them on rocks, to show where the sandbanks were. there were drugs around (not in me), and there were just the normal people that go to bars all over the world, andras fox did djing, and my friends asked “how do you know it’s him?”, because he was far away in the dj booth in the dark with a sea of french and australian people swinging their bodies in front of him and i said “i recognise the way he moves” which is in fact the best way to recognise people from afar even if you hardly know them. a great dj set with some australian music with the old languages in it that made me grin wildly in the dark. but still, the frogs, they took the marshy cake.
we went to radio france too, and got to play on the big steinway piano where they record all the famous classical musicians and i played to the others in the dark and we all did duets and the french friends did fake french improvised operas that i wasn’t sure when to laugh in, but yes, still, the frogs win everything.
one thing i’ve been thinking about and saying a little to my friend here, and my friend who sends voice messages back and forth with me from tour, long messages that go in waves across the marsh of time and distance, is that in perth everything is free in music and art – as in, people don’t really try too hard. i said to eva how someone will make something that took five minutes and everyone will say “that’s siiiiiiick!”. and we discussed how this is the great thing and the not so great thing – but mainly great. there is freedom there. (this is an intense generalisation and not particularly true, but there’s a truth in there that people from that place might recognise.) and soon afterwards she was talking with another australian who explained mr squiggle to her, after she’d said how it takes about a year for her to make a drawing. he showed her mr squiggle on the internet, and showed how in one minute, upside down, mr squiggle could take a spontaneous piece and turn it into exactly what it was meant to be. so, i’m going to wonder for a moment now, whether those frogs try or just do, and then head to the dream world where i’ll see them again and maybe speak the same language too.