Dangerous Compassions

risking post-songness with someone I trust is a pleasure beyond words

Failing math was actually very handy because it taught me how to fail.  Before that, I was a Smart Kid.  I was the kind of smart kid where the teacher said, “Oh, she got that question wrong–there must be a mistake on the test.”

Failing was liberating.  Suddenly a field of forked path choices appeared to me.  I could leave the path I was stuck on.  I was surprised by the freedom.

Lately I want to hear this song a lot.  Not sure what it’s about, but I understand a few words.  I think it’s about a jungle bird.  I hear feelings that I like, though I’m not sure I could name the feelings either.  Maybe a caring interest, and then a specific longing, at times.  Those feelings are familiar to me.

If you were sitting beside me, I could whisper “this is my favorite part” and you could hear the longing with me, and then we could anticipate it being repeated.  I like about songs how they usually have repeated parts, and I can look forward to them.

I think how kids like to hear things over and over again: the comfort of the repetition.  My friend was saying how kids like to have control.  Of course–they’re told what to do all day.  Something about being able to predict what will happen and then being right.

I said it was like when I’m at the shore and a kid sees a flock of birds on the sand, and the kid runs up to scare the birds into the air.  Of course if could feel good to have power and make the birds do something. 

Maybe the parent is like, “hey, leave those birds alone!” but the kid is laughing.  Or maybe the parent know the kid is told what to do too much and wants the kid to make the birds go up, up into the air to move together and then resettle somewhere else later.

Something about song structure feels very human to me, that humans need the format of songs, like the song is a small ritual we share together.  Something we get through together.  And it could inspire us to move our bodies and help us a lot.

Sometimes I get concerned Sufjan Stevens is going post-song, so post-modern we drift away from the familiar into a weird scene of confusions.  Can we trust him to take us there and lead us out, back home again?

Yes, I trust him.  I feel safe enough at home and in the world that I can risk going to a weird weird place and believe I can find my way home again.  Risking my well-being with someone I trust is a pleasure beyond words.  I guess that’s why people jump out of airplanes together, but I’d rather be a psychonaut.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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