July 10, 2000

July 10 12:34 A.M.

It is essential for some people, people like me, to have intensive exhausting exercise every single day. This evening , an hour run all around the park in this HEAT. I am finally getting able to endure this heat and when I hit stride, and the endorphins kick in, I feel completely ALIVE and strong. Before I joined Swans, I worked out for 4 to 5 hours a day. I was trying to make a decision about becoming a professional body builder or a vocalist.

Music won out———- but now that I am healed from my surgery of last year and facing a type of stress that could take me over the edge if I did nothing to stop it, I am going about building a new machine and going about it like my life depended on it. I am getting stronger and building my endurance. Changing my hair and changing my attitude. This is no time to be weak. This is war.

I do not believe in wallowing in self-pity, depression, and victimization. If you are having these issues, I strongly urge you to go to an Al-Anon meeting. They are not just for families and friends of alcoholics. They are for all types of abuse and co-dependent situations. You do not have to be a Christian to go to AA or Al-Anon, contrary to what some people say. I know someone in New York who is a self-described ‘Satanist’, and he regularly attends meetings.

I go to meetings.

The main thing is: don’t let the bastards get you down. Loving yourself is the hardest thing many of us will ever do.

I love you.

July 8, 2000

July 8 In addition to the guestbook comments, I received numerous personal emails about the July 6 Artery. I value what everyone wrote. Tonight I went to a contemporary art exhibtion space where several Norwegian artists’ works are on display. I spoke with Kristin Ytreberg from Oslo. She had the severe and beautifully strong bone structure of the type of Norwegian women that I have found warrior like and inspiring, I had a flood of incredible memories come into me about Norway and the effect it had on me. The fjords are impossible to describe. You must see them for yourself. The problems of this human life and all the pains of relationships pale to less than a ghost when you gaze at a fjord. And I never saw such intense colors of leaves …. The astonishing mile upon mile of unnatural neon orange of the trees lining the long stetches of rural highway roads.

So ……. regarding the July 6 Artery, my memories such as the sketch I have done for you above which comprise a rich set of experiences as a result of being alert and ‘recording’ what i observe when traveling , my aloneness now, and my music and my cyber world and a small circle of other people …compose my world now.

Yes, of course, I have thoughts about what it must be like to be passionately and joyously loved by another person. And there are times when I wish I was loved in this way. But the fact is, I do not have this in my life. Does this mean that my life should be any less? Tenderness and love i agree is very beautiful. But because it is not part of my experience, I have to stop giving it energy and desiring it on any level. To be told by a man that you have fallen in love with that he does not want anything more than a platonic relationship with you and only then when he wants to be around your energy is a deeply painful thing. And I have fjords to dream about and audiences to sing to and give THEM my heart, People like YOU. You deserve my love and consideration . And the ONLY lover in my life is my work.

If you have found a mutually equally loving relationship, bless you. Bless you.

Fjords. Boe. Oslo. Trondheim. The pagan gargoyles on the Church in Trondheim….The Hotel Brittania ….. Rock sauna….130 degrees. I love you Norway. I want to see you again and be yours.

July 6, 2000

Choose your battles with great care. FInd what charges you with energy and protect it ruthlessly. All of your great sacrifices mean nothing if you betray yourself. It’s all true. What I heard the women in my life say to me about self-love. All girls and women reading this now: the most important thing you can do is to learn to be self sufficient and love being alone. Work out the money thing as soon as possible so you can have power and not NEED anyone. Then, fill that void—-that aching black void that you thought only another person could fill—–fill that damn void YOURSELF. Do you hear me? Stop needing him or if you are gay, her. Stop it or you are DOOMED. There are seducers out there. Let me tell you how they operate. They are going to send you a spark and you are going to start day dreaming about them and fantasizing and then the big seduction scene and then you get sucked into it and then all that heat and then you are consumed with addictive bliss and you feel superior to everybody and you are glowing. You know why you are glowing, honey? You are glowing because you have just become a drug addict. That’s right. It’s true. It’s a damn drug and you just signed your death warrant. If you are feeling this way, I got news for you. It won’t last and as intense as he (or she) is now, that is how hellish it will be later. The withdrawal pains are worse than kicking junk and you will carry baggage for way too long. It isn’t worth it. Very few people are mature enough to handle this thing…this drug..whether you call it love or something else….It is destructive and unless you are enlightened, you are not ready. Listen to me………There are activities out there that will fill that void. It might be running or mountain climbing. It might be volunteering at a nursing home. It might be the wonder of traveling on your own. But the thing is, all that romantic stuff? All that sentimental stuff? In other words, all that BAGGAGE? Drop that shit right now!

You are ALIVE girl! Find your power! It’s YOUR’S and YOUR’S


as always, I welcome all feedback posted in my guestbook and I WILL read it.

June 29, 2000

June 29 finally, rain

a letter from obsessive delusion an email from a ghost a poem from a memory


and I’m seeing you

but you aren’t here.

and I’m hearing you

but you aren’t here.

and I’m FEELING you

but you aren’t here

June 26, 2000

June 26

it’s a beautiful night. there’s a slight breeze. it’s dusk. i have music in my head …….and a heavy heart. it’s like just getting over ……or about to come down with ..an illness. you know what i mean? when you don’t have an appetite and your mind is racing?

going for a walk.

June 24, 2000

June 24 there comes the time when a decision has to be made and even if you are not positive it is the right decision, you begin to feel that in order to move forward, you will have to take the chance.

there have been so many horror stories circulating lately about the music business and all the ways it fails the artist.

in a quiet voice, a musician who is a friend of mine asked me the other day, “so is the answer just not to do music at all?”

i understand the reticence to have an ounce of faith in dealing with people in this business. i have seen a lot of things go wrong.

Something Robert Fripp wrote comes to mind: “Scepticism is a virtue, but risks becoming cynicism. Cynicism is a vice. Faith is a virtue but risks becoming belief. This is a weakness. May we hold scepticism close; May faith hold us closer. But let us not belittle the beliefs of others, for although beliefs are legion, they may lead to faith. And faith is one.”

(thank you for sending that to me, C.P.)

June 23, 2000

so that the loss of your heart does not kill me i’m pushing my body i’m forcing my lungs to breathe out fear wraps itself around my thoughts the panic that sets in is familiar but unwelcome i’ve been here before there is a romantic myth protected in the back of a young girl’s mind but the woman tells the story of experience you want your dream to be real but it isn’t and you wish the attention would return but the fact is your lover is by you it’s self confidence you earn

you cannot look to another for affirmation or identity. and it’s true that all love is free will.

and whenever contentment sets in: red alert. red alert. red alert.

this morning: I remember the gypsies on the Yugoslavian mountain top. And the outstretched arms of the scream approaching Laibach. *************************************************************************** *************************************************************************** ************************************************************

June 22, 2000

Is the magic and mystery of a performer and / or artist dimmed when they come across in a ‘down to earth’ fashion and make you feel so comfortable that you can approach them like an old friend?

When can you say ‘no’ without inner doubts as you battle the old foolish desire of wanting to be ‘accepted’ and ‘loved’?

What are the things that take you away from your creative center and what are the things that only do so in appearances? Which can as is said, be deceptive…..

There is only so much time and so much energy and as I sit at an unfamiliar computer writing this on a strange keyboard, I ask myself about the nature of comfort and famiiarity and the discomfort and the strange and what it means to be alive and what it means to see and what it means to hear and breathe and eat and let the restlessness of creation just be restless….

At our first concert in Copenhagen, we performed in an open field in the late afternoon before a nude audience. While we were setting up, people bounded and ‘bounced’….. in front of the stage playing frisbee. ….I was singing during the show and my eyes happened to look directly at a very elderly man sitting crosslegged in front of me who had large hanging hairy breasts.

Public nudity is not the norm in the U.S. and our ideas of how things ‘are’ were questioned by that experience just as it was by our 1986-7 excursion into Eastern Europe . I can still see in my mind the massive RED flags hanging from the buildings as we pulled into Prague at dawn………Being a touring rock musician gives you a very different experience of life and exposes you to numerous cultures. You are then part of an elite tribe and you are not like other people. The musicians reading this who have toured for years know what I am saying.

Tonight’s thoughts are for you, my tribe.

June 19, 2000

Monday June 19

Francis Ford Coppola : “If you are a serious artist, your work will be about you. There’s no other way.” I haven’t posted for several days because I have had a lot to absorb after attending CMJ on Friday and Saturday as well as numerous emais to my friends and mentors around the world. (You know who you are!) ………..It was especially terrific this weekend to talk with Megan Frampton of CMJ network and Amy Leavell from Capricorn Records. (Photos from CMJ on the site soon) It was also cool to read in the June 19 issue of the CMJ, Pellet’s (Relapse Records) list of favorite recent records which included Swans ” Various Failures ” compilation. Thanks, Pellet! ********************************************************************** Oh yeah— the SECURE ordering system is now done. Thanks so much to Todd the God Zino. ********************************************************************* Back to CMJ, I have been thinking about how to expand The Living Jarboe as a label because it is the only one that seems to define what I do. I am my own brand and what I do is BOLD. I do feel an alignment with Tom Waits and Tricky and PJHarvey for example, and certainly their intensity is not licensed to one particular record label/company. If I had a label where I was looking to sign other artists, I know what it would be about and the type of artist I would promote. It would be like the original days of Island or Virgin when companies had a distinct profile and you could buy every new release on that label with total faith that you would dig it. And at the same time, I would do my best to encourage and bring out the individual artist’s vision and not just impose my own.

I’m going to be doing some of my own ‘market research’ via the Swans subscription list. In fact, its already started. SO if you wanna be included, sign up!


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