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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Balance




Obvious? Of course. Mannered and artless both, the visuals and the gestures. We overlook it. Because he is very old, and near death, and it shows, and he knows it, and he wanted to say something true.

Regret is almost all the truth there is. Regret, and love, in roughly equal measures. Our self-pity is redeemed by any genuine hurt behind it. If we're harmed, we deserve pity. As for love, there should be no universe, without it. Where does that leave us? At the entrance of a cave, at the edge of an abyss, in a twilight between vast darkness and inapproachable radiance.

I don't listen to music any more. I look at faces. This face for instance. He's only twenty years older than me, here. How brief life turns out to be. What's to be done with it. Worms that briefly dig through dirt, their empires defined by latices of casings -- or insects preserved four thousand years in a matrix of amber. What's the difference. Calories are a unit of heat. What we consume, consumes us. The symmetry of it is not pleasing.

God crafted creation with hands that would bear scars, eternally. How very sad that is. But there's no getting away from it. All we can do is resolve ourselves, resign ourselves to it. Somewhere there must be joy, unalloyed with the memory of pain. This must be true. There must somewhere be an unambiguous joy, not ambivalent, not equanimical. Because there must be, somewhere, something that is in itself pure.

What, then. Just this. We live forever. So why is this particular life so hard. I don't know. Maybe because this life is the counterbalance of that future life, promised, of eternal joy. Let's hope this is the reason. Any other seems insufficient to justify such a universe.


J

4 comments:

bob k. mando said...

and artless

i disagree, oh do i disagree.

does he maintain perfect pitch? is his timing without flaw? does he lack breath? what of it.

this is a song for an old man. with all the infirmities and weaknesses inherent therein.

bob k. mando said...

if you liked "Hurt", i think you'll appreciate this one as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e0EQlQXoEo

Cash's versions of these songs put both Reznor and Moby to shame.

Jack H said...

re artless, I don't mean his voice. I mean the on-the-nose gesturing, and the indicating of the visuals. Art is not mere representation. No, in what he does best, he did best here. Frailty made him more of a man.

Then there's this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AratTMGrHaQ

bob k. mando said...

mmm, Leonard Cohen, very nice. that Jeff Buckley cover is well done ( i like it better than Cohen's original ) but his characterization of it is strange:
"an homage to "the hallelujah of the orgasm""