“We fell in a field it seems now a thousand summers past. When our kite lines first crossed, we tied them into knots. To finally fly apart, we had to cut them off. Since then it’s been a book you read in reverse, so you understand less as the pages turn. Or a movie so crass and awkwardly cast, that even I could be the star.” — “Pink Bullets,” The Shins
I do look back a whole lot. Is this blog about anything else?
I’ve been listening to “Chutes Too Narrow” a bunch these last few days. We all have a few albums capable of completely transporting us to the first time we heard them, and for me, this one has the ability to do that while simultaneously remaining relevant to my current situation. Maybe that’s just a commentary on the idea that people don’t change. Isn’t that cool? Our brains get so used to running the same electrical paths that the neurons don’t want to jump the groove. Like a needle in a really deep record. Like a needle in a really deep.
A few more I’m stuck on:
“But I learned fast how to keep my head up / cause I know I got this side of me / that wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and / drive the whole mess into the sea”
“I find a fatal flaw / in the logic of love / and go out of my head” “So get used to the lonesome / girl you must atone some”
And the entirety of “Fighting in a Sack,” but mostly:
“But you’ll find those lingering voices
Are just your ego’s attempt to make it all clean and nice
And make a moron out of you
Crossing a bridge on weakening cables
Huddled up in fear and hate because we know our fate
And it’s a lot to put us through.”
Sitting on my bed today, eating cheese and drinking Mountain Dew, I got lost thinking about how pointless things can be. Kenny Powers can’t reconstruct his baseball career and he certainly can’t get the girl. He even shoots the one person who cares about him in the leg. Liz Lemon never gets no respect. She just gets an “I Met a Congresswoman” sticker. Don Draper is yet again seduced by the silhouette of a secretary. Are we just monsters left to our own devices? TV tells me that the more you get pushed down, the greater potential you have to spring back even higher. I guess physics tells me that, too, but I was never very good at math. But the more we recoil, squish and scrunch to fit below the radar, the less chance we have of getting picked back up. Isn’t that right, too? Surely there has to be a point where we can’t spring back.
I always think about this one segment I saw on CNN or something about the use of anti-depressants. Larry King or somebody interviewed a novelist who said she was always depressed. But when she was on anti-depressants, she couldn’t write. She didn’t have anything to say. She was so happy to be writer, or just so convinced that she couldn’t do anything else, that she was content to be clinically miserable for her whole life. Happy being unhappy. I guess a lot of artists are that way. But still, should they have to be? Or can’t they stop being that way? Once some positive reinforcement comes from the product they create while being miserable, they associate good things coming from their awful feelings, and maybe they do it again… and again… and the needle gets stuck.
But what if the TV box lied to me? What if, the worse I feel, the less I become a tragic hero and the more I become a tragedy?
[SPOILER ALERT] At the end of “Community” this week, Jeff, Pierce and Troy listen to a CD from Pierce’s dead mother, telling him she’s really gone, and her spirit can’t be reincarnated like he thinks. Pierce listens to the CD and then chucks it out the window, and Jeff and Troy finally reach the point where they’re okay with letting him believe that his mom is living in a lava lamp. And then the narrator– whom I think is Pierce’s mom (though it could be Shirley)–makes the point that life is supposed to be this way. We’re supposed to fill it with as many mistakes and miracles as we can, and then, we let go.