First, a shameless endorsement and a big kiss to Joshua at the Reebok company. I love my fantastic work-out boots and running shoes.
Last night, 80 mph on the interstate in a downpour. The cab of the truck is cold with the a/c and I’m performing an intellectual exercise; analyzing a modern soul/groove sound as it slinks from the speakers. The filtering/ processing on top of the mix- something done in the mastering- makes the sound quality synthetic / blurry as if behind an audio veil.
It is hard to me to listen to it (I am not making any qualitative statement of the performance or composition)—-even though I think the purpose of this veil is to be soothing and addictive —–and as the next song comes on with the same veil on top of the mix, I am aware of my actual suffering as I no longer in my mind run through the possible sound tools / effects that have been thrown on top of the music but realize that for me to listen to this is an act of endurance.
Something not synthesized but REAL – in the same genre – like Motown or Aretha Franklin or even something like the string sound on the guitar on my own song ‘Honey’ from Anhedoniac- would be as fresh and full of life as the rain – charged air as I shut off the music and the a/c , roll down the window, and BREATHE IN to my full lung capacity…
July 26 1:35 A.M.
when you open yourself to another, be prepared to be challenged and even hear things that could to a pedestrian view – be interpreted as harsh, rude and even cruel. there are a couple of people now that i have allowed ‘beyond the barricade’. one is an intellectual exchange with someone i have known off and on for several years and who came into my life on a professional basis but has now transcended that into someone who is always ready to exchange , challenge, and engage with me. there is also someone i have known for a couple of years whom i view as a partner. sometimes this person is harsh in his commentary and i may instinctively want to hide and be alone, hold my head in my hands. and feel the weight of remembering just how alone i really am. and then with this inner heaviness, wearing my face and my demeanor like a mask and listening to the inner voice that reminds me who i am and of the loyality i have to my own self , i know that nothing he or anyone says to me matters because they do not know my experience or what i feel or what i think. and i do not have an obligation to explain myself to them. and if i let outside forces decide my attitude– like feeling that my feelings are hurt—, i will be nothing more than a puppet tossed about helplessly. and to do that gives importance to the unimportant. YOU ARE NOT YOUR EMOTIONS. emotions come and emotions go. One day you are happy. The next you are sad. None of it is real. None of it is YOU. do not become a slave to your emotions. The most efficient way i have found to balance is to go off on my own and run and walk and experience Hard vigorous exercise. being in touch with the physical body and the connection your mental chemistry has with it. I cannot state that enough. The mental chemistry your thoughts and feelings /moods, have with your body’s condition. exercise is amazing ‘therapy.’
on a related note, in one of my recent good exchanges with a third person i respect, M.G., , I asked him what he would say is a positive thing to do when one has that feeling of being ‘hurt’ and his reply was : ‘let it go through you’……….
don’t let it touch you just let it go through you………….
July 25 1:10 a.m.
There is a beautiful cool breeze tonight and I am enjoying such rare luxury on a July night in Georgia.
Lately – I am startled by an undeniable profound sense of developing communion with someone I have known for over two years but am only now really seeing beyond the initial layer of our interaction into the vastness of our connection.
From the ashes……………
I will not place expectations. Let me open my eyes to it.
“and the river of fire consumes all things..”
Last night, an incredible burst of power surging through my whole body as I ran. I decided as a personal challenge to overtake and pass a man with impressive form who was some distance ahead of me. To do this I would have to take a hill with no hesitation and not break stride even though with this intense summer heat —-waves of sweat rolled down my body. My hair and clothing were soaked. On top of this I had to overcome my ‘training’ shoes which are well….not exactly sleek. Even with these obstacles, I not only ‘shut him down’, I prevailed until the end of the course even though I heard his breath getting closer the while time. When he got to the parking lot to drive home, I was stretching out with my head down between my knees breathing like a racehorse. I looked up at him and he stood there with his hands on his hips and nodded at me and smiled. I smiled back feeling the glow of winning. Without a word he got into his Z-3 and gunned it – leaving me in his dust.
to be continued? … …
Tonight I went for my run in the midst of an intense lightning storm which came along suddenly. Branches were flying. The sky flashed. Light rain came down. I was the only one on the path. It was incredible. I sensed something behind me and heard a presence but of course nothing could be seen. A surreal moment occurred when I came onto the part of the path that goes along the open road. A young man who when I looked over semed to be completely nude with one hand on the steering wheel and another in his lap had slowed down his vehicle. I was irritated to break stride but I slowed down my pace and looked over as I thought I was going to be asked directions. But to my surprise as I realized he was most likely nude —through his open window he asked me if i would enjoy something that i won’t type here but it was — take my word for it —‘obscene’…. and utilized the word ‘balls’ and a mouth action. I made a face and yelled at him loudly and accusingly : “WHAT????” Then another car came along –and he sped off.
was this a david lynch script?
July 20 Its 1:15 a.m.
what is Artery? it is my journal made public with the hopes that in being myself i will be able to show a part of myself that others can indentify with and feel less alone. it is not hype and it is not intended as a showcase for anything other than being real.
not wanting to become self conscious about what i write —-now that i get personal email about whatever it is i write about….
someone write to me that i sounded bitter sometimes. that is not my intention. i don’t feel bitter. i am not a victim. i make my choices . i will try to be more aware of the attitude i convey here.
and since i started Artery, i get strange messages. would you believe it if i told you that currently i am simultaneously being stalked by someone in my own city , as i am getting warnings that are numbered. sometimes when vanessa replies to these emails, it comes back as undeliverable which makes it all the more frustrating. sometimes they are threats and sometimes they are obsessive. and sometimes they are enlightening. thank you, “s”, all the way in Oman….
the most important person in my physical space life who is a mentor as well as the person i could give my heart to – does not know as much about my internal dialogue as you do- reading this. its funny. the persons closest to me don’t visit my virtual world . i suppose they think they know me by seeing me .
i am in a place with my work with regarding business that is confusing and contradictory. there is so much talk from artists about how horrible the labels are and yet booking agents say you must be signed to one of those COMPANIES to get the guarantees required to take a show on the road. i am ready to master and manufacture my new album but want it to be distributed and promoted beyond the scope of my own website. And to do live shows especially in Europe. The decisions are many and I hope with the aid of mentors and supporters I will make the right decision.
can the suffering of the “wicked” be justified and is the supposed awareness of “wrong” and “right” a commentary on a choice made willingly and now the price is paid? “Reap what you sow?” and if that premise holds true for some, how is the suffering of the innocent explained ? that is what i am thinking about and it sends a wave of anguish through me that makes me cry out in an empty room while alone. a child who accepts literally , in a state of complete trust , suffering with no understanding and in total purity. not a child of 2 or 3. i’m thinking about the childlike state of the elderly with dementia. ‘they know not what they do”….
this is the war of the soul many must face.
learn not to cling to what you think is reality. reality is flexible. .
July 14 Friday
I’m still processing yesterday.
It was the first time of anything more than superficial “dressing- room hellos” that Michael and I have spent together in two years. It was awkward and very disorienting for me but also important for many reasons.
For those of you who will be in New York City in October for the CMJ Music Marathon, Michael told me that Young God Records will have a whole ‘night’ at the club Tonic . The new YGR bands will play as well as The Angels Of Light.
We had some snap shots made and I will post them up on the site soon.
I am still involved in behind the scenes work in preparation for the release of the new projects.
July 13 2000
MG is in Atlanta tonight.
Earlier there was lightning in the sky and now there is a cool breeze and the sound of frogs and light rain dripping through the trees.
This room has a row of 4 windows. I am facing them as I write this. The air that I breathe in has the weight and depth that is distinctly Southern. This air is in contrast to that of the house on the other side of the tall fence with its constant air-conditioning roar…
And I am feeling displaced and home simultaneously.
What is it like in the breathtaking New Mexican/Colorado desert right now? If anyone reading this is there or near there, let me know.
And what is loneliness? I feel it. Do you feel it?
The human bond. The connection we feel to one another. To one that we feel a ‘sense of comradry.’
The time when we must face ourselves .
And for all who have been so enthusiastic in mailing me about it , yes. the music both recorded and live performance is coming. I promise it will a surprise and it will be worth the wait.
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.