For the good times
by Emma
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 

The Majestic Arrows - "One More Time Around (Rehearsal)"

I've been avoiding writing here. I haven't been avoiding the other work I have to do, because thinking about books or video games or movies for people who are paid to triple-check the messiness and perspective out of my prose feels comparatively risk-free. But whenever I write about a song here I always end up taking a deep dive into my feelings, even when I don't mean or want to, and sometimes even the prospect of doing that dive seems exhausting. Sometimes you just want to swaddle yourself in bubble wrap until you get untouchable, until you never hear another soul-ringing sound again.

A few weeks ago, I went to New York to visit my friends. I got in on the 8th and spent the rest of my time wandering around, apologizing profusely to strangers, going to big meetings, going to small meetings, listening to people struggle to describe the outline of a limitless fear. I hugged my friends and I felt the darkness breathe down my neck too. At some point I watched my professional community light itself on fire over an argument that still hasn't ended and won't ever. At some point a friend of mine told me that she did not feel safe liking anyone's art anymore and I kind of got it. I signed petitions and sent tiny drops of money to places I've never seen and read all night until my dreams had screen-glow in them. My instincts started to tangle and knot together. At some point I came home on a plane ride so turbulent that no one was allowed to stand up for the duration. Sometimes you want to wrap yourself in blankets and go back to sleep until two or three or five summers from now.

But you're of no use to anyone when you're swaddled in self-pity. You know this already, you don't need me to tell you. Carlo made me a tape a few days ago, and this song was on it, and the first time that wobbling harmony kicked in, I felt my heart crack inside my chest like an ice cube dropped in warm water. This is a beautiful recording of a song that turned into something completely different, recorded under strange, complicated circumstances. It is important to listen to the things people make and let yourself be carried away, precariously and completely, for three minutes and forty-seven seconds, by them. It is important to feel everything that a harmony, or the loose cascade of laughter that unlaces it, can make you feel; it is important not to shrink away from the world and how it sounds, with all its incomprehensible complications. You know this already, I know you do. I'm just putting it here so I don't forget.

[buy Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label]

Posted by Emma at November 27, 2016 8:41 PM
Comments

thank you

Posted by ADB at November 28, 2016 9:45 PM

Beautiful. This absolutely hit the spot.

Posted by Michael at December 1, 2016 1:18 AM

This is a really great post. I am crying and ruined and hopeful, and I need to not forget this too.

Posted by andy at December 2, 2016 11:30 AM

thank you for the reminder (and the tune).

Posted by Brenda at December 12, 2016 8:52 PM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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