Did you know your Heart has a friend who follows him through life with only one goal- to protect? This friend is called The Heart Protector.
When you get heart broken or betrayed The Heart Protector can sink into depression. Where did he go wrong? How did he let his friend down?
Maybe he learns something, makes sense of his mistakes & goes back to work.
Or maybe he’s not sure what he did wrong. He moves into a state of hyper vigilance to ensure this never happens again. He builds new walls thick and crusty. The Heart lives inside these walls & starts to be deprived of light.
The Heart Protector builds walls in many ways. He may become paranoid & carry a magnifying glass looking for tiny red flags. He may become cynical & tell himself Love doesn’t exist. He may even reach the point of believing that Knights & Unicorns never walked the earth.
He can make you critical. Pointing out flaws in anyone who gets close. He can make you queasy at the thought of one day walking hand and hand with someone wearing matching pajamas.
He gives you reasons to reject people before they reject you. He fills your legs with adrenaline and tells you to run. Run to the river and drown yourself. He has a million ways of protecting his friend.
Recently my Heart Protector has been too tight & its hard to sing. I can’t catch my breath. I don’t want to go out and see people. I do it anyway but a part of me stays inside. I don’t want to write songs because there’s nothing to say. And no one to hear me.
I don’t know what I am supposed to have learned from my experiences or what I did wrong. I don’t know how to not let the same thing happen again. The Heart Protector is in a state of confusion. What to do? What to do?
So like the genius I am I’ve been trying to learn songs to make other people like me. My friend Arthur plays Sweet Home Alabama with me and Country Roads take me home. We play a gig which requires carrying 500 pounds of equipment for miles with the help of a grocery cart, setting up, playing for two hours, taking it down & carrying it back home. We make about 3 dollars each. I’m a bit worried about survival.
I can only hope popularity will help me survive. I want to reflect the culture back to itself so people will like me. Confederate flags are popular here. So are guns, knives, dicks, motorcycles, alcohol, drugs and nature.
I feel like something is off with my nerves. While walking down the sidewalk (in daylight), a jogger passed by saying “Excuse me” and I let a blood curdling scream rip into his ears. I didn’t mean to. He didn’t like it. Then a bicyclist rode by on the opposite side of the street, and I accidentally screamed at him as well.
Next, while standing alone with a candle in my hand, I suddenly smashed the candle as hard as I could against the ground. Glass flew everywhere & it broke a window too. (Oopsy!) I don’t know why I did it. My hand just moved faster than my brain could think. Now my recording room is filled with glass and James won’t let me in there since he is convinced I can’t clean it up without getting cut.
After that, I accidentally topped James’s pasta with a thick layer of salt rather than Parmesan cheese. And to make things more bizarre, I discovered I was wearing two pairs of shorts at the same time, one on top of the other. Somehow I hadn’t noticed.
Something is off. But what to do? I secretly tried cleaning the recording room and now my feet feel as though they are filled with glass though that is probably imagination. I have no paper left or else I would draw a picture of a man masturbating in a glass chamber, or maybe a picture of someone bleeding through the hands.
Many things have me unnerved at the moment. One is an incident from the other night. I was taking Slippers out & a car approached, slowing down as it came near me then parking. It gave me the creeps.
James came outside because he had gotten a bad feeling. He walked up to the car but they didn’t see him because they were looking towards me, with one man talking on the phone. He was telling someone that I had my dog with me. Once they saw James they zoomed off.
James thinks they were just random men up to no good and not looking for me specifically. But so many people have come looking for me in the past that I am a little paranoid. Just thinking about it makes my kidneys bubble.
I might be slightly disturbed by my little #metoo moment as well. The fact that none of the very liberal organizations, such as his record label, gave even a cursory response to my story (posted in reply to their tweets about his deep humanity) makes me realize the whole #metoo thing was completely fake. No one cares about sexual assault anymore than they ever have.
Not that I expect them to. Why should they care? This is their golden moment to sell records and selling records is their job- not social justice. But why do people have to fake care? I don’t think it is right to use social issues for personal elevation & branding, especially if you aren’t willing to put out when they land in your own backyard. It would be less confusing if people could just be honest about their true motivations. But why should they be? Wars were never won through transparency.
And what are values really, but the flags we wave to signal tribal affiliation? That is another thing that has been weighing on me- realizing the central role tribes play in human life while also realizing that I have no tribe and probably never will.
Tribes are everything though. Consider music. A musician’s value is judged by how much access they have to the tribes who run the music business. A performer at the Grammy’s is ‘talented’, even if you don’t personally like them. They have a recognized social value. They can trade on this value for resources & protection.
What makes the musical tribes- such as record labels- a little sinister is their efforts to convince people that they are a distillation of America’s best talent, and anything outside their glossy grip is not worth listening to. It is lower tier music that couldn’t make the cut. When in reality these record companies are just families- tribes- with the resources to buy lots of makeup for their members.
Once upon a time, when I thought getting a record contract was important, I submitted blank cds to them, because I had a suspicion the submission process was a sham (I already had experience with this sort of thing from my time in the art world.)
And of course, they all sent me back polite rejection letters, telling me that my music was not what they were looking for. So why lie? Because they need to pretend to be meritocracies in order to monopolize people’s musical imaginations. They need to pretend they have already searched out the “good” music so people won’t feel the need to search for themselves. This lie hurts music.
So, anyway, I guess feelings of mounting threats along with a growing awareness of my precarious position in society has me feeling on edge. Or maybe it is something else entirely. The problem is, when you are blogging with your actual name you are doomed to share only the most superficial aspects of your life. I wish I had thought of that from the beginning. I would have given myself the name Lacey Pendleton and she would do a complete Tell All. That would be paradise. But instead I am forever stuck in the gray zone, balancing an urge to express with a need to survive.
Random Thought #1: I don’t know how much longer I can keep making recordings because it is so much pain just to get the most primordial recording. Technology is cold and hard. I wish there was a plastic pink recording machine made for kids that I could use with just a few chubby buttons to press and no cords.
Random Thought #2: You can never reach Truth, but the search for it causes your reality to expand. I think that is the whole purpose of truth- not to pin down reality, but to open it up. Though I don’t consider myself a virtuous person, Truth would probably be one of my favorite virtues, if I had to choose. It is always exciting and gives you little chills up and down your spine.
If I had to choose a God, I might choose the God of Truth, because I do believe truth will set us free. And the more truth we know- including dark truth- the more we realize everything is okay. Somehow, we are already living in Teddy Bear World and just don’t know it. I hope.
Random Dog Photo: Downtown with Slippers observing city life. People who go out 2 have fun at night- What do they do? we wondered. Why & how do they do it?
In the movie Brooklyn’s Finest, a Brooklyn cop goes on a killing spree in order afford a safer home for his family. I can totally relate to his feelings, and yet, I kept wanting to yell at him, “Move to Indiana! Why don’t you just move to Indiana!! Don’t you realize there is cheaper housing there?!?”
Why does Brooklyn even exist- why doesn’t everyone just move to Indiana? What is the upside to Brooklyn? As far as I can tell, there isn’t more stuff to do, there isn’t greater earning potential… so, what gives?
At any rate, this is another song I wrote while struggling to keep my head above water in the belly of that concrete monster. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the hardest things to deal with was feeling deprived of all the things that make life feel happy and comfortable, like friends, nature, a happy home, a slice of pizza that hasn’t been held in a stranger’s dirty hands. My mind would spin around and around trying to think of ways I could bring this lost pastoral energy back into my life (Because somehow, just as in Brooklyn’s Finest, the idea that I could simply leave never seemed to enter my mind.)
At one point, I was convinced that the color orange was the answer. I saw Brooklyn as basically being the Kingdom of Gray, and thought orange might be the color that could cut through the thick dullness that gray represented, and bring in the energy of the Harvest, that time when all your efforts are rewarded and all the seeds you have planted come to fruition.
So, not having much money to spend on the color orange, I bought a basketball, a pair of orange high top shoes (the only orange shoes I could find for $9), plus some orange tissue paper and candles. I taped the orange paper to my wall and lit the orange candles beneath it. But when I opened my door, the paper caught fire and flew across the room like a giant orange monster, landing on the floor where I stomped it out (and then extinguished the wall). I decided to put the orange candles on my kitchen table instead, and let them burn through the night so I could wake up and enjoy my harvest in the morning. Instead, I was woken by a strange sound that turned out to be the entire surface of my kitchen table burning. The spirits of the harvest at work!
One of the last Odyssey songs… I was so enamored with fire at the time, that I would sometimes light up to 100 candles in a single room of my house. The air would get all hot and swirly and it felt like sitting in an oven. In addition, I was addicted to the fiery stimulation of performing. I couldn’t go one day without it, and if I had to, I would find some kind of trouble to get into to make up for it. Soon after writing this, I decided to move to Las Vegas so I could be free from the dampening, depressing effects of water once and for all.
But, in this song, are already the first cracks of doubt that fire is really the answer to everything.