Dimly Lit is Still Lit
i call you by a secret name
this is my only secret
i see you every night in every dream
it’s the only thing i talk about
when we are high up there
all forms are one
and sense belongs to us
there’s no jealousy
all the light comes
all the way through
and we are free
this is the way i’ve chosen to describe my love. it’s a music review. when someone says “i don’t listen to music much”, i listen to the sound of their voice. it’s my brother’s voice, and everyone’s my brother.
sometimes i get really really really sad, like all my friends do. mei was playing in a yurt built by our friend who has cancer and heaps of tears poured down my face. as i went to my seat i stood on the guy behind me’s ankle. i cried about that. i cried about our friend with cancer. i cried about how good mei’s music is. i cried about all the people who are not free. i cried about my perpetually brokeback heart.
the yurt was dark inside. it was a saturday night, after dinner, after playing new recordings to my friends with my face in my legs on the floor, their thoughts about it flying all around on top of my own thoughts. after seeing ben witt play at the bird. after seeing hayley playing in the cafe. after playing in the cafe. every night there’s many shows in this city, all friends, all astounding. every night birds wing over head playing too. every night i dream of the same thing. but dreams and wishes are different.
hayley is very very strong. it was right to see her in a room – a cafe – where everyone’s eyes were trained on her. her voice is a gift to all of us, and her songs are a gift too, one she’s crafted with care from trouble and heartbreak and strength. when she plays i send prayers to her body to make it stronger, and her voice and guitar playing send prayers into me to make me understand the earth better. when she plays people hear the beauty of her voice and travel on it through her words into the brief feelings and scenes the words are conjuring – i’m pretty sure. she sung ‘donna donna’, a song from the fourties about a calf being lead to slaughter and at this moment these worlds combined: fragility, strength, purity, blood. in the moment it was about being a woman, being breakable, being gentle, beauty and sadness. anyway… there were all sorts of people there who belong together in art and music, and that’s what every afternoon and evening in the city is like. lyndon blue was there, hero of our town, among those i get shy in front of even though they are friends, quietly taking it all in while i wondered how he was experiencing this moment. lyndon, how were you experiencing it?
well, i’d like someone to write to me and tell me how they experience music when it’s at its biggest. when ben witt played at the bird the same night, i couldn’t understand afterwards how people could go back to their same conversations when it ended. had they felt what i had felt? had they really heard what he’d done? his new songs are more and more intricate, and his live solo performances more and more 3D with sounds filling a bigger space than the room itself – way, way out into the world. intricacies, man-made, arpeggiated, intertwined, trifles and decade-saved heirlooms tucked preciously in various pockets of soundspace and others laid extravagantly out on the table, going through you and through themselves to land as a final pollock of chaotic balance and richness right in front of one… or something.
i was overwhelmed. so i went to the dim-lit yurt and bawled my eyes out, among rows of silent appreciators in the flickering light, only enough light to see dark shapes thrown against the soft walls, constructed by our slightly crumbling friend fighting against the attacks on his insides. when hayley had played that afternoon, i felt the spirit of our friend kate-anna who died, there with us, i felt her actually there. so maybe that’s another place the tears came from.
when nick played guitar parts into a song in the little room i felt it big too. in the lamplight, with aden in one corner, me in another, nick in another, the tiny room and my body filling with energy flowing from the sounds and back into the sounds, my face glowing, my hands hollowing themselves upwards, my legs beginning to shake, all the room shimmering, like the cloud aden later described explaining how he moves the sounds into their places in space for every song.
we’re all made of all of this, heart break aside. shimmering energy of light and sound, all bathing in it together.
(love to sestri-levante)
(next times i promise i’ll write more normally)