Monday, April 23, 2018

Tonight I will avoid writing my dissertation

I've been working on my dissertation, an experience I'm excited about, aiming to base my career on, and loathe to ever repeat.  Funny how that works.

Anyhow, I've been listening to Damien Jurado's oeuvre, since it sets a good background tone for writing.  I know his songs well, so I can fill the empty room while not being fully distracted by the music.  It's always a struggle for me to find that perfect balance of intrusive enough to tune out all my errant non-dissertation thoughts, but not so intrusive that I'm distracted.  The last couple days, that's been Damien Jurado.

But, motherfucker, this song again.

Oh tonight I will retire
To the arms of my lover
The sweetest kiss she will give
As I lay down beside her
What will she think
When she awakes
Just to find I have left here
Oh tonight I will retire
To these hands with revolver
And I don't fear death
I will commit
Like an old friend I've known forever
So come on in, take me on
No I won't stay here no longer
And if I should taste fire
Save me not, I deserve to die
And oh tonight I will retire
To loving arms of my savior
And we will walk through his gates
To the skies of Heaven
And no more tears will I cry
Are my sins, are they forgiven
And if I should taste fire
Save me not, I deserve to die

Admittedly, one of the reasons I love Jurado's work so much is that it's so inherently honest.  I've mused before about this, questioning whether these are songs of his life or songs representing feelings about his life.  At no point have I ever questioned his intent - sure, he might have sad songs about being sad and happy songs about being happy, but they're expressive of those moods as lived experiences.  I find him the kind of guy who probably doesn't like playing the happy songs on the sad nights.

That's part of why this song hits so hard.  It hits because this is a person who has experienced these feelings.  He's not singing about someone else's suicide - he's singing about his suicidal feelings.  Whether or not this is his story or his verbatim thoughts, they're a true expression of his inner workings.  It makes me terrified for Jurado, because these are such wounding, wounded thoughts.  It's impossible to purge them once they settle.  Is this a reexpression of these buried thoughts, or a first expression?  I'd figure the former, as that piano is incessantly sad and repetitive.  Those thoughts don't disappear.

Cripes.  I need to get back to writing about children committing crimes.  Here's some resilience music:

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