Tuesday, January 29, 2008

even in madagaskar (Tu Jésty Fáta)

just like dreams that dance so vividly in your imagination when you wake up - just like songs that ring in your head - just like memories that are disputable - just like the words of a sacred text that cannot be translated properly without losing definition - just like music made with homemade instruments and songs that never sound the same twice..

most faithfully it will occur.

my eyes were bloodshot this morning and it hurts to move them. i was covered in sweat and i didn't want to get out of bed. the dreams i had last night never seemed to end. it doesn't matter what they were about because no body really wants to hear about how strange your dreams were last night. Either way I didn't get out of bed for maybe forty-five minutes. when i did i skipped the morning process, put some clothes on and made my descent to the outside world. i was greeted by a strange balmy winter humidity, maybe 9º c which isn't hot but the unseasonal warmth made perfect sense for the mood i was in. i got in my car and looked in the mirror. i looked terrible. ugly. i made a few faces to myself and wondered why anyone ever finds me attractive. i need to brush my teeth.sometimes i hear voices from afar. not like some psychological disorder (well, maybe) but more like the sounds of beautiful gypsy women singing enchanting songs in a language i cannot understand. the words are probably some warning that i'm paying no mind to but just like mythological sirens i'm fatefully drawn to their beautiful tune. i wonder sometimes when i see people sitting alone bobbing their heads if they are feeling what i feel and i just smile and wonder if the gypsy women are singing to them too.
when i was younger i would spend a lot of time at my grandparents' house because they lived walking distance around the block from me. in their foyer they had this great painting of a bearded man wearing a hat and walking eerily into nothingness carrying a guitar over his shoulder. that picture is probably why i play guitar the way i do. it's not just an instrument to me. i've come close but i have yet to find a student who feels what i feel when i pluck strings. music is a great responsibility. the power in your fingers to manipulate is very tempting. i've been to parties and sat in the corner playing guitar. i'll watch everyone in the room paying no attention to me but in a counter-clockwise motion i'll find a way to hit each of them one at a time be it by a song they recognize or music that i know would strike close to them - a song that reminds them of a lost love, a song that makes them want to smash things. this is the power in your fingers. look at my left hand one time. my middle finger is deformed. it doesn't bend correctly. i've been playing the role of manipulator for a long time.
when it is early in the morning the beautiful voices from afar are very loud however by nighttime they are virtually silenced. on some days they are mute all day and i miss them in great wonder if they will ever return but they always do. when i was younger i didn't hear beautiful women singing to me but i heard violins. i told my psychologist about this and she said i could be borderline schizophrenic.. that was the last time i ever saw a psychologist.

you know.. i like america sometimes. i think it can be wildly entertaining how people can care so much about so little. have you ever seen aeon flux, the movie? you know that part at the beginning when everyone is confused and people's memories are overlapping? that's how i feel when i look at americans. when i was overseas i talked to a sleazy ex-pat who said the first thing he would do when he gets back to america is to go to a shopping mall. i found this to be curious and in return that was one of the first things i did when i got back. i could never explain with words what that was like. slow down... seriously...

one way or another slavic-descendant languages are finding their way into my interest. it started with polish and later ukrainian and now i'm gaining an interest in czech. the day to day language is entertaining just as it is in any language. it's fun to order food, to ask how much things cost, to ask how to say things, to wish someone a good day and to make jokes but the real magic of language comes to life when you are blessed with the company of music. i've heard songs of which i cannot understand a single word but i've been nearly brought to tears. i've heard women lamenting troubles of the world in soft moans that can be counted in the worry lines on their faces. i've heard the words of those who have seen more than you or i could ever fathom but in some magical linguistic-transgressing process i feel as if i understand every one of those words. the same words that sing to me in my head every morning.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

speaking in pictures

If I had one hundred paper cranes I'd wait til it was raining and throw them all off my rooftop. Most would fly gloriously for maybe seven seconds before being shot down by rain drops. A few might spiral to the ground before ever taking flight. Maybe one or two would defy all laws of physics and fly endlessly into the distance. If I had one hundred paper airplanes they would surely put up a good fight against the rainfall. One hundred crumbled pieces of paper would make no difference whether or not it was raining, they would just plummet to the ground. One hundred paper dolls would fall beautifully to the ground and their bodies disintegrating upon the street below would make for a beautiful picture. One hundred pennies would sound amazing crashing into the ground but I'd probably ruin someone's car and I'm not even sure I have a dollar to spare these days. One hundred water balloons filled with different color dye.. that would simply be amazing..

A few nights ago I howled at the moon from the top of a church with a friend of mine who loves wolves. I like talking to her with those huge buildings in the background because she sees them for what they are: man made clutter. I used to love big cities but now I'd rather live in a tree house. Her positivity is contagious and I wish I knew her better. I'm very happy these days. I'm happy with books and musical instruments. My new home is huge and I'm building a fine nest in the far north corner. I like sleeping in and drinking hot tea. The cold sucks but it's easy to get used to. I no longer feel like I'm in Limbo.. instead I feel like I'm back at home. I wont stay her forever but I can appreciate the time I have to spend here. World travel has the uncanny ability to unscrew someone's head like a lightbulb and I kind of feel like I'm at that point when the bulb has been screwed back in just enough for the light to flicker on. I'm not there yet but before long I'll shine bright enough to explore the world again.

I told a good friend of mine that I admire his ability to be both sophisticated and adventuresome. He has good table manners but he also once carved ashes into his leg thus tattooing himself by a campfire. I'm not like that. I'm not the Indiana Jones who has a fine library of leather bound books back at home. I'm just a stinky wanderer. I don't have many possessions and the ones I do have will be left behind. I own a green alice backpack. One of the straps is broke and held together by hard plastic ties that dig into my arm when I hike. I drew a face on it and inscribed my forearm tattoo on the front of it so there will never be debate that it belongs to me. I don't live out of a suitcase, I just wear the same thing every day. Mistakes? I've made a few.. maybe more than I'm proud of but somehow I've made it almost twenty six complete revolutions around the sun and lived to tell about it. I don't have any regrets.. well.. actually I do but regrets are what make us human. I'd love to say that I wouldn't change anything I've ever experienced but I wish I could have been a little more mindful at times. I long for that Christ-like or Krishna-like consciousness that one experiences for short amounts of time. I want it all the time. I want to learn how to slow down without compromising the fire that burns within me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

we have enough whiskey and scars to keep this going all night

I live in a bedroom with walls covered in maps of the world that I stare at like pornography. It's low-lit and painted a warm red. My bed looks like a tent - I've always wanted to live in a tent. Somehow in some unbelievable way humans have discovered exactly why day turns into night and why the sun is sometimes bigger and we can just about predict the weather. We know which way the world turns and we know how many times it has to turn for an entire year to go by and we know that eventually entire cycles will be completed. All things work in cycles. I feel like this year is both the completion of a very complicated cycle and the beginning of a brand new cycle of which I could not possibly comprehend at this time. Almost 26 times I have been around to see the Earth revolve around the Sun and in those revolutions I have seen so much. There are a few smile lines on my face and a few ugly scars on my knuckles and legs (and a gash in my cheek from a dog bite) but I'll raise my bottle in pride for all of them.

So my bedroom. Sexy. I want piles of people for pillows and a few house plants. When I leave there will be nothing left behind except for an abandoned tent and like a gypsy in the night my steps will be untraceable. This is just how it goes. I don't mind getting older. I don't mind being alone sometimes. I don't mind being a stranger in a foreign land. I've drank the water.. don't do it. :)

I met this girl at the beginning of this past summer. What a strange summer it was. Detroit Festival of the Arts was in full effect and we were all drunk. One of those times where none of us are coordinated enough to stay together in a crowd and we often would get split up only to pass each other by later. I wander. Not long ago I had completely forgotten about this girl I met but for some reason I had a dream about her the other night. She had about eight years on me and dressed like a gypsy. Her and her friend were homeless and nomadic, following shows and festivals and hiding from cold weather. She looked like she had been tossed around a few times in her day but she wore it well. I can't remember how we met but I really enjoyed talking with her. We found a spot in the shade below a large art sculpture-thingy outside of CCS and talked all afternoon. Crazy thing happened. This man comes by looking for his wife and for a moment he found his way into our conversation. He smiled whenever he mentioned her but later would reveal that she had Alzheimer's and often she has a hard time in large gatherings of people. Shortly after chatting with us he found her and introduced her but much to her horror she looked at us as if she had no idea where she was. She looked so scared that it made me sad. They walked off and me and the gypsy girl stared at each other for what seemed like hours. I never saw her again.

It's cold at night in the loft but the view of downtown is stunning. I'll raise my bottle to the skyline and watch my breath form in the air in front of me. I gotta get off this island..