“Say your love grows
With poison grass…”
– Say, The Damnwells
Mercredi, 04 avril 2012:
It is a difficult thing, to forgive yourself, to forgive others, to get over yourself, to reach a sense of closure, to say it is over… Sometimes I think I have come to terms with my imperfect condition, but I never know when I’ll crash into a situation that will just strip my wounds open one more time — and I never have trouble imagining red, hot blood bursting forth from my open wounds, like that time when I cut my hand with the kitchen knife and had to get five stitches to close my wounds. The blood on the kitchen floor. In the sink. On the cabinet door. On the kitchen towels. How could I forget those?
But the wounds I ache from the previous night — no amount of stitches, however expertly done they may be, will ever be able to heal them.
Last night I was reading Marcio Goldman’s piece called ‘An Afro-Brazilian Theory of the Creative Process: An Essay in Anthropological Symmetrization’ in preparation for our Epistemology seminar the following afternoon. During a few minutes of procrastination on YouTube, I suddenly came across The Damnwells’ acoustic piece Say. The moment I heard the first notes in the song, I knew it was a song I’d heard before in Chaos Theory, a movie that I ritually watch at the end of every semester to remind myself what I have — and no longer have — and to teach myself to be thankful at the end of every day…
But when I heard the song last night, the feeling of loss I experienced had never felt so overwhelming before; I could feel it balooning in my chest to ridiculous proportions and at outrageous speed, and the louder I screamed in my mind, the more torturous it was for my ribcage to simply withhold that ever-expanding force colonizing my chest.
More than a song, The Damnwells’ Say is a lament, almost like a threnody. And to me, its melodies encapsulate every single heartache I have felt; they resonate through every single empty hole I have in this graceless heart.
I couldn’t stop it. The moment I stopped to take a breath the harder the next breath became. Who knew that emptiness could hurt so much? That the lack of something would only be compensated by the presence of pain? And that this pain would only carve a deeper hole of emptiness in me?
I turned to my text, to the paragraph at which I’d stopped to take a brief pause before I came across the song, in which Goldman writes:
“This means that the symmetry between the analysis of scientific practices and African or candomblé ones can be obtained only by introducing a compensating asymmetry that is destined to correct the initial asymmetry of the situation. More — or less — than a symmetrical anthropology, the matter at hand is to establish anthropological symmetrizations.”
I remember reading that paragraph, again and again, but still not grasping a single word Goldman was saying, thinking, ‘What the fuck do I care about anthropological symmetrizations when I’ve got a bigger problem to worry about?’
I never quite knew what it meant to ‘cry one’s heart out’ until last night, when I felt as if that fragile organ of mine really were at the edge of exploding. There were simply too much emotions and questions coursing unsettlingly through my veins, and that pain in my chest — these were all real. Real as pain could ever be. I thought it was all in my mind, but my body has also partaken in what I would call this ‘celebration of suffering’, so I mustn’t be hallucinating.
Looking back in my life, I realize that there were many times when I completely abandon myself to these celebrations of suffering. I let my guard down and leave the floodgates open wide. Sometimes I pity myself, sometimes I pity you. Sometimes I feel like I could never forgive you, but sometimes I feel like I gain nothing by denying you my forgiveness. Sometimes I just don’t know what to think, or to feel, for that matter. You have torn and pulled me in a thousand different directions, and left me there.
All the same, I come out of this tear fest feeling much more liberated. That moment when my breaths begin to calm down and my heart palpitations soothe to a bare minimal — that is when I give myself the final word: any last tears? Because starting from the next minute, you’re starting a new battle. But perhaps these battles will never end. How does one win a battle in which one is fighting oneself? I’m quite sure Napoleon nor Sun Tzu have not devised strategies for such battles. You see, so encapsulated I am by your loss and my emptiness that I have lost sight of who my real enemies are. I am no longer fighting you. I am now my own worst enemy.
Last night I asked myself questions — big ones, ontological ones, that will perhaps never be answered. I always have to stop and tell myself, “Ta vie a complètement changé… ” Yet still I have trouble believing that this has happened to me, that our ship has sunk, and that at the moment I am only hanging on to a plank of wood, floating unsettlingly in the middle of the ocean. When I will reach dry land is a question I’m afraid to answer, for I do not see this occurring any time in the near future. The sun sets and rises, and it rains — soft drizzles in the afternoon, or thunderstorms at night — but I am still where I am. Drifting. Going where the current takes me.
Clearly, the sunken ship can no longer be salvaged. But I am slowly making my way back to shore, back to dry land, where I will stay until it is time to set sail again. And the next time I embark on a new journey, I will know exactly where my direction will be, even if it means going against the current of the sea…