This past winter has brought with it more tragedy than I have ever experienced, and more isolation than I have ever known. It didn't bother me too much at first, the deaths and the funerals and the sadness. But one by one they became real to me, taking their time, like a block of ice that melts in the cold sunlight. What has seeped into me over these months will stay with me forever.
For the past week or so I've been listening to Death in June's But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter? every night in bed, trying to string together all the tiny memories I have of Phonsie. I always skip to "The Giddy Edge of Light," and the tears fall and dampen my pillow, but I think it's only because I'm laying on my side. That album is really incredible. People are always saying that Death in June is a poor man's Current 93, but listening to that album, I can't imagine anything more glorious. The main theme of Symbols seems to be:
"Do not weep, / For all this is passing..." and
"This is not Paradise."
I can't help but take comfort in at least the dream-like consolation of enduring this life and bracing myself for the next. All I can say is that the album brings me to a place of calm, the only place where I can gather my dwindling memories with as much accuracy as I can, careful to not let one slip through my fingers.
To remind me of my grandfather, I listen to Popol Vuh's Nosferatu. The album is like a mantric homage to my ever-hardening heart.
As for my grandmother, everything. Everything in this world reminds me of her.
I sometimes wish I could stay 17 forever. After 12 months I would turn 17, again, forever. But I know I cannot. Murakami said only the dead could do that.
I feel like my life is incomplete if I am not starting or in the middle of any Murakami novel. He is the key to my existence.
My teenage years went by a lot quicker than my younger ones, I think. I can't recall very many exact moments of the years 13-16, but some very vivid things stayed with me. I found music that changed everything, I found people that changed everything, and I myself changed into someone I can hardly recognize sometimes... The days when I found solace in myself are gone. The days when I can obliviously live in my perfect little world are gone, too.
All that I have left are memories.
Each season there is something I either occupy myself with or am infatuated with, and later on I remember these seasons by the various things that had their hold over me during that time. These memories are all I have left, but I treasure them...
For example, two Christmases ago, I listened to Kauan's Lumikuuro over and over again, and wore a heady jasmine perfume that I cannot find anywhere. It snowed that Christmas, and I got my favorite T-shirts.
The summer before last, I lived in a completely dream-like state for almost 3 months. Someone had control of me. I could not let go. I was introduced to the nature of adulthood, to things that took away my innocence, to things that scared me and thrilled me. I have a few pictures of myself from that time, kept in my aging cell-phone. My eyes look slightly out of focus in each one... I don't even look like myself. Along with the dizziness I felt, I also found music and books that I now hold invaluable.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Dead Can Dance's Within the Realm of the Dying Sun
Death in June's But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?
Cocteau Twins' Head Over Heels
Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness
Deathspell Omega's "Chaining the Katechon"
Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps
Swans' White Light From the Mouth of Infinity
These are the memories that I frequent the most often, like hidden rooms in the back of my consciousness that I must always remember to visit lest they never open again.
I had a dream the other night that Jhonn Balance came to my room, but his body was comprised of words. His whole body was words. Out of his mouth, the opening lines to "Tiny Golden Books."
Brought golden books from darkened skies
Every word from every world within was written down
They read it all aloud to us with silver tongues of fire
That licked the sun and stars and moon
All space became a choir
Shining shining shining then they left without a sound
Then they left without a sound
Then they left without a sound