My first attempt at making a video. Although I hate having my photograph taken, somehow video cameras are less intimidating.
At any rate, this is another song about the Pine Fairy, a fairy on his way to becoming a magician. Being of a piney nature, he is prone to piercing, torturous bouts of grief. However, in the end, these feelings become the key to his power, lifting him above the humdrum of life and compelling him to seek out those things which are truly eternal.
Recently, I was suffering from ridiculous allergies, but when I finally recovered I felt better adapted to living in West Virginia. Living in the hills is just so thick and dense that if you aren’t used to it, it feels like trying to eat a whole stick of butter with no bread. There is a sense that your future does not exist and your present can not be changed.
Coupled with that, is the black and purply feeling of death… or more specifically..
1. A black feeling of our human reality being sandwiched between so many other, non-human realities which cannot be understood, much less controlled.
2. A purple feeling that the whole of our life is just a dot in eternity, and even a dot in the larger picture of who we are.
That is my impression anyway, I doubt a single other person would agree with me. But I do think you have to run your furnace hotter here to avoid being swallowed up by feelings of futility and fatalism.
At any rate, this song was inspired by my newfound appreciation for West Virginia. After my allergies, I could see more of the value in accepting life as it is, rather than always trying to sculpt it into a shape of my choice.
may not be real
Pikey what a thing to say
you know that you weren’t raised that way
sometimes I fear
God has left me so alone
a million miles from any home
To walk a road that has no end
The golden hay lies beyond the bend.
But why would we break?
Why would we cry?
In the end it’s only pain
we’ve known it in so many ways
she felt it too
Remember her, that little bird
so soft we never heard a word
A hint of pink behind the door
and in the end a pile of feathers on the floor
Pikey, you know it won’t be long
Take my hand, I can feel their eyes
descending from the bluest skies
My iron bar
Life remember I was your friend
I knew that you had no end
Your fields were filled with golden hay
Three clouds they fly above then slowly drift away.
Ever since the initial exhilaration of living someplace new wore off, I have found myself rather depressed in West Virginia. It is just so green here. I cannot even see a slice of sky from my window, only walls of green from trees rising up the side of a mountain. Being green probably sounds wonderful, but to me, green is the heaviest color- dense, dark and difficult to digest, like a solid stick of butter with no bread. Heavy things, things that are difficult and thick with no bubbles, have always been my weak point in life.
In New Hampshire, the conversations I would overhear, tended to revolve around movies, restaurants, politics… airy, impersonal things. Here, it is mostly thick and sticky gossip, or else ironing out the details of Jesus’s Millenial Reign. Football, faith, and family are all that really matter here, and it isn’t clear to me how I can be a relevant part of that picture. Plus, I miss the ocean.
So, about every 36 hours I get so depressed that I can neither move nor stop crying, which will provoke James to drive me out to one of my favorite parking lots (yesterday it was Walmart). I tell him what I am feeling, and invariably he shows me a new way of looking at the situation, which causes the depression to evaporate almost instantaneously, giving me the energy to get out of the car and explore all of the parking lot’s interesting nooks and crannies. It is strange, how quickly even the heaviest feelings can change in response to seeing things in a different light.
Which has really underscored for me how much our feelings reflect our thoughts. And our thoughts- these seem to reflect something even more rarified, which I would call our spiritual perspective, our core beliefs about life. What is life? What is its purpose? Is it guiding me? Is it forever? Does it want the same things for me that I want for myself? And so on and so forth. Mostly we go through life answering these questions only subconsciously, but still our conclusions form the basis for all our other thinking.
But how can we know the true nature of life? It isn’t really something which can be determined by our intellect. But I think we have faculties which go beyond our intellectual, emotional, and physical ones, even if these faculties are not always acknowledged by our society. On some level, we KNOW what life is, and we KNOW who we really are. But too much confusing feedback from the world can cause us to doubt this part of ourselves who knows.
There is, I think, a golden sun in the center of the universe, whose light feeds our minds with truths about life and our place in it. If we shut our eyes to this sun, the world grows dark and confused. We strain our minds, trying to find reasons to feel good about ourselves, we strain our emotions, trying to stimulate them towards happiness, and we strain our resources, burning through them to fill the emptiness.
If I had to name this sun, I would call it The Future. In a way, I think our most important spiritual belief may be the idea that we are immortal beings living in eternity. Without this, the future can never truly be bright, and without a bright future, happiness is impossible. Without eternity, there is no true love, no true meaning, and no true growth. Without eternity, there is no reason to believe that the universe loves us or that we have much value at all. But with an infinite future, all set-backs are temporary and all gains have infinite value. Relationships take on a new dimension, and we can set the most lofty and profound goals for ourselves. If I could change one thing about our culture, I would change our belief in impermanence to a belief in forever, because I think this would cause us to honor the golden things that really matter. And on a personal level, I wish I could regain the feeling of timelessness I knew as a child. Because when time ends, peace begins.
Well, it looks like this is my final song! I have finally recorded and posted all the songs I have written so far. Phew. Now I am free to move on to something new… maybe I will grow my fingernails out into out long, golden talons studded with rhinestones and tiny teddy bears. Ah, that sounds like paradise!
I think this is a decent song for my grand finale, because… well, I remember when I wrote it, the sky was so so blue and the song unfolded page by page in my mind like a storybook, filling me with a sense of eternity. Which is to say, I have positive associations with it.
Also, this song captures a world I frequently try to capture in my songs– a place I call “Checkerboard World.” Checkerboard World is more or less the same as this world, except that everything seems slightly more luminous, more crisp and defined. Plus there is a giant checkerboard that covers the earth and one in the sky as well. The checkered squares in the grass are large- maybe 10 feet wide on average- but in the sky they are even larger, maybe up to a mile wide! But the size of the checkerboard grid varies from place to place, sometimes expanding, sometimes condensing. It all depends on how much space the space contains.
But don’t confuse Checkerboard World with heaven. This is not the land of golden angels. There are still thugs in their dark alleys and scoops of chocolate ice cream that topple onto new white shirts. But there may be something about the clarity and spaciousness of the place that makes it easier for people to recover completely from the bad things that do happen. And in Checkerboard World there is no time, meaning there is plenty of opportunity to sit and cry for as long as you need to. Well, technically time does exists, but only as a way of subdividing eternity, which stretches out around people in all directions (like a checkerboard). Even death is nothing but an opportunity to evaporate up to the giant checkerboard in the sky so you can pour down again like rain.