On December 1st, 2013, some concoction of nature, humanity, or both, was seen galavanting across the northern sky and spiralled out of control, careening down onto our heads. Reports of ear-witness accounts implicated some manifestation of a blue police box, a hollywood celebrity or religious saint, a tiny dragon, a tick-ticking clock, an unrequited love, and an enourmous pair of rainboots falling through an aurora borealis. As the panoply of conflicting testimony was unsatisfactory, we were compelled to investigated further.
This reporter was on the scene, burrowing deep into the inner voices and neurons of the newly silent, humbled audience. With unyielding journalistic prowess I was able to divulge what mouths wouldn’t speak, what voices could not inflect. I heard whispers on the surface of the mind, utterances of soul and wisdom. Some said –
I know I am too weak for my ambitions
I know I’ve faced these demons down before
But some amnesia keeps me on a mission
Some inner lunatic I still have not learned to ignore
The words took the path of least resistance and sprang between those around me as well as those farther away. Together, we laughed and we cried and we laughed again, clockwise and counter. We turned and turned, our glowing boxes illuminating soft light and darkening the sky. I lifted the glow in the direction which was at that moment still up and tried to capture the moment. But I couldn’t see, and I worried I was not up to the task. It wasn’t about the task, only the risk. I listened to the lightning overhead.
O turn me southbound to the sea, the paper and the pen and me
O cut the electricity, oh wheel Orion over me
Oh spin the stars and spun I’ll be
The paper and the pen and me
The sky and the earth wheeled over and under, trying to trade places or create new ones. The ground and the air shook, carbon and sulphur dioxide reverberating on all sides. As I felt myself fracturing into the crevasses, and the mood seemed altogether hopeless, just at that moment, further whispers rippled the surface –
But my hope is not light, it is not frail, it is the anchor anchor
My hope is not slight, it’s not the sail, it is the anchor, oh…
I felt my sense of self flittering away as I joined the congealing mass of fellow and friend. Our individuality but a faint fuzzy memory, I allowed our heart into our eyes. I had wanted to resist, break away, and be re-formed molecule by molecule, valence by valence. I could hear the song.
And it’s the rocks that grind us down into the sea the sea the sea
It’s the rocks that grind us down into the sea
I didn’t resist any more. So together, we took our quarrel to ground, to pulpy white, ruled, sheets of paper. Our hands rode on a curved lexical road, swerving between jagged dialectical peaks. The keyboard artillery division was shell-less and out of ammo. Together we picked up a leather-bound door, held our nose high and jumped. That clock looked on, speaking nothing but tick tock tick, and gave no indication of stopping, but we paid it no mind. We set our eye on the task at hand. We opened that door and spread through all those other worlds, seeds to the wind, recalling and remembering what we will always know.
It’s easy to slip time into your pocket.
Sketchbook is a new album by Marian Call. You can listen to the entire album for free using the embedded player along the right column of this post, or you can follow the link at the bottom right of the player to bandcamp.
You can read Marian’s celebratory blog post about Sketchbook, which was released December 1st, 2013, and discover other amazing things on her website.
Disclaimer: This is not a review.