January 8, 2003

January 08, 2003 03:30 AM

a systematic way of life. practice, running, writing, living simply. to eliminate many distracting aspects of my existence and get to a place of being/living with a good digital piano and a simple recording system in a computer . a quiet burning in me to compose and make recordings of piano and voice and maybe bass. i don’t yet have the proper instrument to realize this project. that must change in 2003. my hands ache for the keys. my head floods with the music. it is in there constantly and must get out. to do recordings with a focus on my piano compositions. .. the last several months have been ones of my guts churning and turning inside out. it is as if my flesh has been sliced open down the center of my body and pulled back. i no longer have a deep sense of trust or faith. the hope that i have had which somehow kept alive in me all my life is a flame that i no longer sense . i cannot say if it has gone out entirely. i can only say that it has gone into the darkest part of me and i cannot see it now. this flame of hope was there even in the most tumultuous of times in Swans and all the hardship we faced in New York during the leanest years. i don’t mean the hope and faith is gone now in a particular person although that is part of it. i mean in everything. that door was opened in me by a particular person. now i am more alone and more “lost ” from what i even grasped as “jarboe” than i ever imagined was possible. none of the usual advice or consoling comments available in books or from compassionate people have a profound or revelatory impact now. everything is broken and in pieces around me. when i think i have found a slice of joy, or let me call it enthusiasm about something that gives me a sense of light and possibility/healing, it is ripped out with an outraged and indignant voice. it is as if i am deemed to have no right to “joy” or even temporary relief from my grinding guts. ….

the oppression is like a cement wall covered in blood from a little boy’s furious pounding hopeless fists. ….. this is not something i have experienced to this degree before. i have mourned before but not like this. i can’t tell you that i am not scared. i AM scared. and there is nothing outside of myself to “hold me and make it all better.” there is no gallant knight. this time i have to face all of this as painfully as possible on my own. the danger is an infection of neurotic self absorption .. ………

today i spoke with Fabrizio on the phone about details for the upcoming shows in Italy and the one in Poland in Gdansk on March 9 at St John’s Church. The dates for the ones in Italy will be posted soon. I’ve been finalizing the set for these shows with Larsen and will be doing a combination of old and new material. Since I will have various instrumentation to work with, I am also arranging instrumental passages in the set. My way of singing the older material will be very different. Especially that from Swans. The new work will include To Forget and Found and Feral – all from the MEN album due at last – this summer.