"As I Whisper in Your Ear..."
(January 20, 2007)
This is a story about connection or dissociation, or maybe a bit of both; they're not mutually exclusive ideas, after all. In order to reach for the sky, you have to release the grip you've got on your own heart, untangle your fingers from your hair and hope that everything holds itself together even without your studied self-consciousness.
I spent last night with excellent company in a small basement club just north of tie-dye territory. The best moments were functionally identical to those found in a hundred glowing memories that have swum upstream from evenings spent at Velvet Underground, the Reverb, and dozens of spaces too private or too open to have proper names: moments where my companions and I lunged across dancefloors both prepared and impromptu, sharing space and time but sacrificing conversation in favour of the practical application of kinetics. It's not a common occurrence, but when the variables align properly, I cease to be a distinct being for the duration of a song or two; the vibration frequency of my internal matter matches the frequency of the music, and my muscles oscillate in response. Bodies, lights, and sounds blend together, their energy compressing into a single point just waiting to burst into something sacrosanct. I am a girl swimming in chords, and I am a song dripping note-perfect over a girl's sinews.
Music is the easiest example, but it's just one.
I've always shied away from conversations of projected self-identity and style; human bump mapping is not my forte. I'm one of those people who doesn't fall easily into any cultural slot, since I'm comfortable in PVC or flannel or jeans, happy to sport dreadlocks or a mohawk or a shaggy mop, in my element finding my way into whichever group temporarily seems most intriguing, and not willing to identify myself based on any of the above. Others have occasionally accused me of having no preferences or a weak personality, but it's fairer to say that my preference is for a rich variety of experiences. I want to go everywhere, learn everything, and watch everyone; if that results in less visibly defined individual parts, I don't mind. I'd prefer to believe that distinctiveness isn't issued by poly-cotton blends or an arbitrary selection of hobbies. What better way to let one's personality grow into itself than to leave it free-range?
Think of it this way: I crave the instant when my hand connects with a doorknob and I realize that I am an extension of it, even if for no more than a second, just as it is an extension of me. It's bridging the gap between organic and inorganic with no conscious effort, letting the feeling of my fingers sliding across the keyboard or my foot pressing against a gas pedal settle as deeply into my being as that of my heart beating against someone else's chest. It's lying on my back on a lawn in summer and feeling the blades of grass growing into the back of my legs, a few of the more tenacious green strands stretching long between me and the ground before releasing their hold when I roll to my feet. It's walking outside on a still winter's day and realizing that there is very little difference between my existence and that of the crow balancing on a power line above me, believing soul-deep that in atomic terms, I am a contiguous strand liaising between the soil and the sky. I'd happily trade a lifetime of self for an eternity of existence, and if I am not so attached to this structure of bones, it is because I am more attached to the greater structure supporting it.
I believe in the potential synergy between humans and humans, humans and machines, humans and whatever visions of God they may entertain. Music is the easiest medium of connection, but again, it's just one; the same attraction exists for minds, hearts, metal, and gaseous nitrogen. Our self-concepts and egos are only temporary constructs built from memories and ephemeral influences; why fear abandoning them in order to dive head-first into everything else? It's not as if you'll lose yourself in the process of gaining more. Sometimes I'm me and sometimes I'm not; endogenous and exogenous are flexible concepts, and as time goes on, I worry steadily less about them.