It is no secret that this has been a rough couple of years. Lots of trials, tribulations and many challenges of the spirit. Yet, the battle is being won day at a time. Things are getting much better.
Still, there are little “set backs” and things happen that are hard to understand or define.
Today, Karl and I had to do our taxes. Karl has been going thru a great deal with the death of a dear friend and being placed in the position as Executor of her estate. I think the stress of it all has taken a big toll on him. We had not seen each other for about a week or so.
As we sat with the CPA and reviewed papers for him to prepare our tax returns, and then, on the way back to our respective neighborhoods — there were feelings of awkwardness. Disconnects. It was odd to experience these moments wtih someone whom I have shared so much of my self and my life.
This is a year of transition for us both. Maybe it is normal.
WORDS OF BEAUTY
I came across some lovely phrased words this morning. Every once in a while you read or hear something and it stirs so much truth that the power of that art burns into your brain — into your soul.
“Love that lives in the heart
cannot be terminated by time
Even though the encounter is brief
the impression shall last a lifetime
No one can change the way of
love that lives in the heart
If you have loved,
that is the answer”
There is nothing new expressed in this thought, but it is espressed so well. I wish I could say I had written it. I am not sure who wrote it. It is translated from another language and I can’t help but wonder if it might even be more beautifully stated in
original pre-translated form.
I think it was written by either film director and writer, Yonfan, I guess it doesn’t matter, but isn’t it lovely?
WHO IS THIS TERRORIST?
As a gay man, it often seems that I bond easier with straight women. As much as I do love men — and contrary to the recent opinion of an obviously loose-cannon of a dean, I find women to be more intelligent and certainly more in touch with how they feel and what they want. Very often I find myself verbally bashing the way of emotionally detached boyfriends or men who just want to get into someone’s pants or men who are terrified to commit or even say that they love the person with whom they are sharing the most intimatie of moments. And, just about at the end of any discussion I might be having with a female friend we come to the conclusion that most men are pigs. …sometimes one of us will admit that there are exceptions and that there are always two or more sides to every story or situation.
Tori Amos has released a new CD along with her autobiography. Now, I know that among my friends I tend to be the lone devoted fan to the Church of Tori. Sure, she has a lot of issues. But like another performer of the same age and sex, Bjork, Amos has no fear to follow where her music takes her. In truth, for some time I have felt that these two female artists are two of a sadly dying or neglected breed of musical artists. How many artists whose works are so far off the beat of the Middle of the Road Pop Hell that seems to be consuming the radio, cyberspace and music stores. Somehow, both Tori Amos and Bjork have managed to maintain contracts wtih major labels on their own terms. You may be able to make a case that both are a bit off the loop of life — and maybe just a bit crazy. Images of a frustrated and confused Bjork on the set of DANCER IN THE DARK hiding in a closet trying to actually eat her costume only to be found by the ever cool Catherine Denueve. Or, Tori Amos who, so I’ve heard, discusses her “intimate relations” she had with a certain dark angel known as Lucifer in her newly printed biography. …these are not your average pop performers. In my opinion, most extremely creative and almost genius-like approach to their art are quite often lucky to be artists or they might be sitting in a padded cell somewhere.
Anyway, as with all of Tori Amos’ CD’s for the past 10 years — I normally just let it play several times while I just listen to the lovely and complex melodies she crafts. …and, after several very general listens I will lay down on the floor, close my eyes and focus on her lyrics which have become more and more cryptic and disturbing. The so-called “hit single” of her new CD is called “THE POWER OF ORANGE KNICKERS” is hardly the sort of song one can expect to be placed in rotation with JLo, Madonna or Ms. Spears. However one of things that caught my attention as I was listening to this song was the haunting deep voice harmonizing so flawlessly with hers — turns out to be the voice of Damien Rice, who along with Rufus Wainwright and Bright Eyes seems to be forging a somewhat similar trail for male musical artists. These are men who have managed to lock into major contracts and have not sold their collective souls. As Tori Amos made a great score with Getting Rice to sing with her — I decided to listen to these lyrics first.
…they are not very cryptic at all. The song is a bit startling as it presents the often ignored “other side” in the never-ending battle of the sexes. The song is about the power of women and how all too often a woman will use the hidden powers behind her knickers to control and even emotionally abuse the men who are fooled into trying to love them. As the concept that a woman can be just as horrid — in fact maybe even more horrid than a man — is asserted, the lyric asks the listener if she is alone in her thinking that the power of a pretty girl in her knickers can snare and break the heart of her lover in a mere moment that will scar the man forever. The chorus refers to “those girls who smile nicely and then rip your life to pieces” and then asks, “Who is this little terrorist?”
All the while sung to a somewhat tribal-ishly repetitive tune that sneaks in under your skin and makes your foot tap to the rhythm. Interesting idea/concept regarding the “hidden” power women have over men. It is unusual to hear an artist of Tori Amos’ standing make such a challenging statement aimed at a minority. However, I doubt that she is alone in this. I just wonder how all of those girls who flock to her concerts will feel when they hear their GIRRRRRL POWER Priestess turn the tables a bit. I admire the fact that there are still performers who could give a shit about how their audiences will respond — but who are brave enough to share their thoughts and fantasies without apoplogy.
…and, all the while managing to make it sexy by mixing her distinctive voice with the equaling deistinctive and sexy voice of Damien Rice.
I love this CD. …now, the book may be a whole other animal — and I’ve not yet even attemped to start wrestling with that potent volume.
Am I alone in this?