Where I was when it happened. // BOY – We Were Here (Album Review)

0_BOY_We Were Here_AlbumcoverBack in the late summer of 2011, when Boys break-through single Little Numbers was omnipresent, I was in the middle of studying for an exam in clinical psychology. I vividly remember escaping the university library for a break in the cafeteria, and I couldn’t wait to return to my headphones for that contagious hookline. When Valeska Steiner finally hit the passionate sigh of the line is there a cure for me at a-ha-halll, expressing her obsession with her fling, all I could think of was control groups, RCTs, „needs based intervention“ or „treatment as usual“. In my mind the state of having fallen in love and the vocabulary of treating mental illnesses had gotten mixed up (which makes sense, considering that all symptoms of falling in love could be expressed in clinical terminology, not indicating an illness, but a general change of state of mind. The expression of being „crazy in love“ is not necessarily just a metaphor). Anyway, the way the song conveyed the craving for the excitment of falling in love with its animatedly bouncing piano line, especially in contrast to my current studying routine, had something very tempting.

A lot of the short stories of Boy‘s 2011 debut album Mutual Friends revolve around a general vague vibe of anticipation, the situation of still standing on the threshold of entering a new, exciting and promising stage of life, but already impatiently waiting for the journey to begin. Drive Darling recapped the car ride, in which singer Valeska Steiner‘s mum took her from her hometown Zürich to Hamburg to start her musicial career. The Waitress tried to escape her monotonous it-pays-the-bills job by imagining scenarios of something happening. Even the romantic exhilaration of Little Numbers still stemmed from what could be, if the stranger she presently was only stalking, actually called her.
Since 2011, a lot has happened for the band: A gold certification, extensive touring through the USA and Japan after significant success in Germany/Austra/Switzerland, and various features of Little Numbers in movies, TV-shows and, most prominently, a TV ad for a leading german airline. So if Mutual Friends was capturing the essence of the feeling of anticipation „before“ – their second album We Were Here now recapitulates the „after“.

One of the recurrent themes of We Were Here is the intent to stay mindfully present in the storm of impressions happening around you, which probably can be led back to the experience of extensive touring. How do you stay receptive and interested if something extraordinary (visiting other countries, performing, meeting new people) suddenly becomes a regular, sometimes exhausting job routine?
In this sense, the repetition of the title-giving We Were Here in the songs chorus becomes a retrospective self-reassurance: It wasn’t all just an indistinguishable blur that passed us by in a rush. Everywhere we’ve been, we have been leaving traces. This mindful, probably buddhist inspired attitude reminds me of the opener of another very successful second album of a german band: Back in 2005, Wir sind Helden expressed their proposition of savoring every bit of the experience, not letting it slip through your fingers, in their song Wenn es passiert (roughly translated: A heartbeat just for me and the ones with me / Open your eyes, watch this / who hasn’t got any tears left for this / will become blind tomorrow / if you can’t love this, then what? (…) I never want to ask where I was).

BOY_2015_5_credit Debora Mittelstaedt(c) Debora Mittelstaedt

The back side to this is introduced in Hotel, where the sterile, impersonal comfort in hotel rooms cannot distract from the isolation of the people inhabiting: Different city, different hotel room, but the look of the room stay the same, as well as the feeling: a longing for a home instead of a house.

It’s just a stop along the way /
just a temporary place /
for nameless neighbors in the dark /
wall to wall but worlds apart /
a hotel room is a hotel room is a hotel room
.

Eventually, BOY even try to integrate the spirit of emotional discovery to their life coming home, not allowing the sudden decline of adrenaline turn into a coming-home-blues. Therefore, New York states that with the right mindset, it’s really not about the place (any street that I’m walking with you / anywhere with you could be new york (…) but i woke up all eyes and all ears, / when you whispered / (…) it’s all really happening here).

Another recurring, more personal motive is how to accompany a loved one through rough waters. Fear evokes associations to Angst (fear), a song by Fotos, the band of Boys current touring guitarist Deniz Erarslan, who Valeska Steiner sang background vocals for on their debut album before Boy had been formed. Both songs describe fear as being possesed by a demon crawling under your skin and invading every aspect of your personality and every area of your functional life as an individual (with every step i feel its weight / in my eyes you can see its face / in Angst) or as a romantic couple (in Fear).
Steiner sings from the perspective of the partner of someone with anxiety issues and illustrates the desperate attempts to help her loved one: the strong will to put up with the fight against this powerful invisible enemy, energised by her love (i’ll shield you ‘til it disappears, all my love against your fear). Eventually though, she also realizes her complete helplessness against the omnipotence of this condition. In a similar context, the character in Flames utters her resignation: „and i call your name / but i can’t get through (…) oh dear love, if only i could find / a way to ease your troubled mind“.

BOY_2015_1_credit Debora Mittelstaedt(c) Debora Mittelstaedt

In the album closer Into The Wild, we find the protagonist torn between the decision of accompanying a loved person into the unknown and missing the comfort of home, or staying home and gloryfing the missed love. Realizing (and accepting) that there is no solution to the dilemma between the travel bug and the wish for a secure and comfortable home, the album ends decisively indecisive on an ambiguous note (so when the music is over / will i finally have my answer?).
Funily enough, the chorus of the song uses a very common chord progression that is also prominently used in U2’s With Or Without You, which in a way makes even sense considering the content. When I returned from a long time abroad, my mother noticed pictures of friends from another country on my wall and said: Well, over there you had fotos up from people here, now it’s the other way round. So it never actually feels right, or complete: There is always something missing.

Boy have often been accused by critics of being too accessible, of making music everybody could agree on, of being too tame and simple-hearted. And again on this record, it is pretty easy to find arguments for this: We Were here is very traditional acoustic singer-songwriter record, with maybe some new traces of the currently trendy 80’s power pop synth lines here and there. But: In a recent review, Pitchfork  defined a good mainstream pop record as capturing emotions everybody can relate to with so much individual personality that they actually can become universal representations of a certain feeling. And in this sense, Boy succeed to create pop music that represents a certain sense of simplicity, a non-judging curiosity and excitment, conveying enough character in order to still be interesting.

Boy‘s melancholy of longing or being stuck in between the attraction of new experiences and the longing for security never turns into negativity, as at the end of the day it’s an expression of richness and content: There’s just still so much to be seen and felt in this world.

Sources

  • Promotional photographs of Boy: Copyright Debora Mittelstaedt.
  • Fotos – Angst. From Porzellan – Snowwhite, 2010.
  • Wir sind Helden – Wenn es passiert. From Von hier an blind – Reklamation Records, Labels, 2005.
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Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from Borderline Personality disorder? / No kidding, this article actually exists!

Are you just as excited for the upcoming first part of the new Star Wars Trilogy starting in December? Well, then this is fun for you: In 2011, Eric Bui, an Italian psychiatrist from the Toulouse University Clinic, published a letter to the editor in a serious psychiatric journal, in which he applied diagnostic criteria for mental disorders on none other than Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader. Bui stated that Skywalker fulfiled various criteria sufficiently in order to get a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The symptoms Ani fulfilled included

  • impulsivity
  • anger issues (Patience you must learn, young padawan…)
  • sudden changes between idealisation and degradation in relationships with close persons (could be applied on his relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi, his Jedi Master),
  • an incomplete sense of identity, an incapacity of feeling his inner self (indicated by sudden changes of personality – the changing of his name might count as an indicator)
  • an excruciating fear of losing his partner (talking of Natalie Portman Padme Amidala here)
  • experiencing dissociative episodes due to stressful events (dissociative episodes refer to a condition in which patients can’t feel their body or experience their surroundings as not feeling “real”. The article e.g. interpretes the moment when Anakin kills a whole tribe after discovering the death of his mother as an dissociative episode.).

As a conclusion (and justification for it, if you ask me), the essay lists three reasons why this investigation might be helpful in real life: 1.) It might explain the appeal of Star Wars to adolescents, as (sane) adolsecents are known to show a lot of these symptoms due to their normal development. 2.) It aims at reducing social stigmatization of people suffering from BPD. 3.) It might be useful in order to illustrate the main features of the illness and to train future psychiatrists and psychologists.

Even though I am very fond of the whole Star Wars universe, and enthusiastically enjoy to apply psychological knowledge to popcultural phenomena and characters, I still see the danger of hurting the feelings of people actually suffering from this horrible and excruciating disease. It might be received as offensive, either because it apparently makes fun of symptoms that severly impede their everyday lives or by apparently declaring them as morally flawed by comparing them to one of the worst villans of all movie history. But this is just one side of the story.

If you read the article closely, you’ll realize that there’s not one sentence in it that makes fun of people with BPD, but that it is driven by the desire to understand what the subjective reality of this people has to look like. It also states possible traumas in the autobiography of Anakin Skywalker, as shown in the movies, that are known to be vulnerability factors to BPD (lack of a father, early seperation from the mother, not to mention growing up in poor and dangerous surroundings, and having been sold as a slave). Furthermore, I feel like, if anything, the whole point of the Prequel Trilogy is for the audience to identify with Anakin, even though he does all these terrible things – in order to allow the audience to relate to him. Why does he do this? It’s probably not right – but you still can relate to it. And, in my opinion, this is exactly the attitude sane people need in order to be able to understand subjective realites and perceptions of people with mental disorders, even though they don’t experience the same feelings as these people.

Obviously, various pop cultural magazines picked up on the article. There even is a professional reply to the investigation in the same journal that questions the diagnosis, stating that other Cluster B personality disorders as narcissistic or antisocial personality disorders might have a better overall fit to Skywalker. The article I liked the most (from Wired) concluded with a statement by Carolyn Kaufman, a clinical psychologist from Columbus, Ohio, who said, probably with a winking eye:

As for the 30-year-old Star Wars series, “We’re probably lucky nobody has started analyzing the lightsabers as phallic symbols,” said clinical psychologist Kaufman. “Come to think of it, someone probably has.”

Sources

Stages of Grief / Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (Album Review)

Sujfan_MG_0475_bw

Sufjan Stevens / (c) Selective Artists

In 1969, the swiss-american psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced a theory on how people with terminal illness deal with being confronted with their diagnose. This model later on was adapted to how people close to the sick person dealt with their loss after their loved one had died. The so called stages of grief included various phases of attempts to deal with this shattering life-changing situation:

  • denail („This can’t be true! S/He’s still alive.“),
  • anger („Why does s/he do this to me? I need her/him!“),
  • bargain („Maybe if I just live in my memories, it’s gonna feel like s/he’s still there!),
  • depression („Life without her/him isn’t worth living any more. All my sense of purpose has died with my loved one)
  • and acceptance (Even though it’s hard and difficult, at some point I’ll have to continue my own life, even if it’s hard“).

Encountering people in our lifes leaves traces inside of us, not only memories, but according to object relations theory, we develop an inner image (an object) of a person. This image includes how we see this person, of what they remind us, associations, expectations, fears, mutual experiences etc. These objects, either via identification or demarcation („I am like this person!“ vs. „I’m so different than this person!“), become part of our identity and how we see ourselves. Morgenthaler says, refering to Freud:

When an object relation ends, commonly an identification with the lost object occurs. Freud wrote in „Mourning And Melancholia“ that objects possibly can never really be relinquished, but always leave their traces as identifications in the Ego. As the Ego develops itself through its relations to the objects, one can state that the Ego is constructed out of identifications with former love objects.

Speaking in less technical terms, American poet e. e. cummings expresses a similar sentiment by simply saying:

I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

While listening to Sufjan Stevens‘ latest record Carrie & Lowell, which deals with the death of Stevens‘ mother Carrie in 2012, in many moments I felt reminded of these descriptions of a desperate mind trying to come to terms with the experience of such an existential crisis.

Sufjan Stevens is an US-American singer-songwriter, who’s been particularily known for his storytelling, dressed in beautifully arranged alternative folk / country-songs. By now, I’ve grown tired of journalists still mocking his idea of making a concept album of every of the 50 states of the USA after gaining commercial success with his albums on Michigan (Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lake State, 2003) and Illinois (Come on Feel The Illinoise, 2005), respectively (Seriously, guys! It was a joke! A promo joke! It’s been ten years! Can we let this one rest, please?). In 2010 he dipped into ornamenting his songs with delicate electronic experimentation, resulting in The Age Of Adz. This record explored the perceptions and subjective realities of people suffering from schizoprenia, and was inspired by his personal experiences of his mother suffering from the illness, and the work of american artist Royal Robertson.

On his recent album Carrie & Lowell, the listener is invited to peer through Stevens inner eye while it passes reminiscing through various biographical scenes of his relationship with his mother and his time of grieving. You see a person being thrown around by his emotions and impulses in reaction to what is happening: the numbing, the paralysis, an inability to react in any way, helplessness, desperation, that eventually lead to an outburst of emotions – and still everything inside of you is fighting the moment of realizing the dimensions of what is happening here.

SufjanStevens_Carrie&Lowell_Admat11x17

(c) Selective Artists

Stevens voice has a very soft, almost mumbling quality, to the effect that the vocals crawl right up your skin, creating the notion that the things he sings about are so intimate that they can’t be spoken out loud. An example is the opener Death With Dignity, where the sparse arrangement mirrors the process of hesitantly, timidly approaching what it is there in your stomach (both, Stevens reflecting, and the listener entering the record), and how, when you found out, it overfloates your whole being and your body. A lot of the songs start restrained and reduced, before, when coming to the core of the sentiment, expanding into a sonical landscape, where the intensity of piano sounds, crescending electric guitar feedback, reverb, tremoulous and wafting notes build up to a lulling and washed out sound cloud where everything sinks into the sentiment. This is the moment where the running away, the fighting and rearing up against what has happened doesn’t work anymore and the barriers break. The songs become haunted by faded nostalgic memory flashbacks and the echoes and traces left by the people who disappeared come to the surface, accompanied by the anger, the sadness and the remorse experienced by the one who was left behind.

The different stages of grief can be found all over Carrie & Lowell. The process of passing through these stages typically is not linear, but curved, with various fall-backs and advances, and in Should Have Known Better, Stevens, still in shock, tumbles between the stages: Don’t back down, concentrate on seeing / the breakers in the bar, the neighbor’s greeting (denial) // Don’t back down, there is nothing left / the breakers in the bar, no reason to live (depression) // Don’t back down, nothing can be changed (…) My brother had a daughter / The beauty that she brings, illumination (acceptance). The mentioning of his newborn niece alludes to the (cruelly? consolatingly?) neverending circle of life: We all die. And at the same time, new human begins get born. Life ending and beginning.

SufjanStevens_Carrie&Lowell_Admat11x17 Album Artwork

(c) Selective Artists

There is the overwhelming moment of Fourth Of July in the hospital, a recap of the ultimate conversation – a mother trying to console her son before she dies. The scene is not unlike Death Cab For Cuties heartbreaking hospital drama What Sarah Said, where Ben Gibbard concludes: There’s no comfort in the waiting room: Suddenly the realization hits that you never really grows up and you’re never as much faced with being responsible completely for yourself and on your own, as much as when the person who always has been there in your life – your mother – is gone, and you subsequentley loses all balance: „Was it all a disguise, like Junior High / Where everything was fiction, future and prediction / Now, where am I? My fading supply“. I think everybody has, despite of all loving, certain issues with their parents. But knowing that a mentally ill mother who under the burden of trying to stay stable for herself, asks her son, probably worried or regretful: „Did you get enough love, my little dove / Why do you cry? (…) Make the most of your life, while it is rife, while it is light“ – it just tears my heart apart.

On various occasions in the lyrics, Stevens refers to the part inside of him that now feels dead as for having been so closely connected with the person who died. The variety of religious and biblical images serve to illustrate his personal Job’like theodicy conflict, and these pressing questions after a sense gets asked in Drawn to the Blood: „How? How did this happen? (…) What did I do to deserve this?“ His desperation and rage reach its peaks in The Only Thing, where he resignes: „Do I care if I survive this? (…) Should I tear my eyes out now? Everything I see returns to you somehow / Should I tear my heart out / Everything I feel returns to you somehow“ before rhetorically, sarcastically asking: „How do i live with a ghost?“.

In another song, All Of Me Wants All Of You, he is alluding to the loss of a unresponsive and ignoring partner („You’re not the one to talk things through / you checked your text while i masturbated“). Again, he comes to the conclusion that the deepest anger and animosity often stem from a previous deep, frustrated love. An explicit attempt of steering clear of her („Now all of me thinks less of you) changes to moments of missing her („on the sheet i see your horizon / all of me pressed onto you (…) I’m just a ghost you walk right through“) until it eventually changes back into the primary sentiment of affection, longing and missing („all of me wants all of you“). Anger is a phase, but unfortunately it’s not remedy, and not the end of the process.

Sufjan IMG_8841

(c) Selective Artists

A remarking quality of this record is that even though it deals with heavy states of mind like regret, frustration and depression, it always succeeds in guiding the listener a certain mood which is mainly charactered by innocence. While listening to this record, one is so closely connected to the protagonists feelings that one is never tempted to follow him in his self-reproaches, one never actually wants to judge on anyone, etc., because the sheer authenticity of his suffering is so apparent. We intuitively feel that in order to „get“ what he is saying, thinking is not the way to go. You get completely absorbed by his suffering, his longing and his craving for redemption.

To loose someone is such an existential moment that consequently it puts everything else in perspective: „The real world“, the functioning, the reasoning. Instead, by brutal force of the situation, we are very close in touch with who we really are in a very pure way, even though it might still be hold off by the impulse of avoiding the pure desesperation and the feeling of finding yourself being completely lost.

There is something about country / folk music that makes it appear a perfect soundtrack to road trips or movies: a sense of being open, curious and particularily receptive of the unknown surroundings. So maybe, after all, it does make sense: On this record, Sufjan Stevens does not take the listener on a journey through an US-American state. He takes us on a journey through our insides.

Sources:

  • Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1969). On Death And Dying. Routledge.
  • Fritz Morgenthaler (1986). Technik. Zur Dialektik der psychoanalytischen Praxis. Taschenbücher Syndikat / EVA: Frankfurt am Main (translated by the author).
  • Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell. Asthmatic Kitty, 2015.

I’m a bit broken and a bit messed up” – Darren Hayes on growing and accepting personal flaws

When reflecting on recurring schemes or patterns in your life, we’d often love to apply a very pragmatic approach: Something doesn’t work. We analyze it. We have an hypothesis. We fix it. Everything’s fine. Bad news is: Experience shows that it’s normally not that easy.

There are things that can be fixed, and other things that will probably follow us through the rest of our lives. There is a saying that even 20 years of psychotherapy won’t change a penguin into a giraffe. Obviously, you can recommend to the penguin that he might feel better leaving the ecosystem of giraffes in order to find something more comfortable for himself. But, nevertheless, both patients and therapists normally agree on a lesson learned by experience: By analyzing your patterns, you do not learn not to fall into the same hole over and over again. Normally, you just learn how to get out of it quicker and how to try to avoid it.

At first sight, this might seem a bit frustrating and disappointing. But actually, it’s not that bad, because in the moment we accept it, we feel the relief of not having to fight for change any more, and the sensation of a burden lifted can be enormous. Therefore, almost every form of therapy concentrates on two aspects: Acceptance and Change. Or, as my father used to tell me: If you can’t root out your neuroses, pour them some water.

To illustrate the point of acceptance, I’d like to quote one of my favourite Pop Singers, Darren Hayes.

2015-08-24 ttmabIn both, his career as the lead singer and songwriter of 90’s pop band Savage Garden and as a solo artist, Hayes used music and his lyrics to express feelings like alienation, solitude, anger, depression and longing. One of the first hits of his former band, To The Moon & Back told the story of an alienated lonely girl escaping herself in Science Fiction fantasies in order to express the wish to run from her bleak and desolate reality (which might even include an allusion to suicide). I have already mentioned Two Beds And A Coffee Machine, a song from Savage Garden’s second album Affirmation that describes a mother escaping from her home after experiencing domestic violence, caught between the responsibility to protect her children and the reality of not being able to provide them on her own. Especially his second solo record The Tension And The Spark dealt with many of these topics in a very blunt way: The lyrics to Unlovable illustrate how a recent rejection experience can reanimate 2015-08-24 ttatsold schemes of self-accusation, anger, aggression, shame, blame and self-hatred (You make me feel like my mother, she abandoned me / You make me feel like the act of love is empty / Am I so unlovable? / Is my heart unbreakable? / Do I remind you of a part of you that you despise?)

During the campaign of his third solo record This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, Darren consciously decided to disclose how his personal background and the way he grew up influenced him and caused a lot of these emotional turbulences:

“My whole career as a big commercial pop artist was fed through self-hatred, basically. It was all about escapism in a fraudulent way. I became a pop star because I knew I had to become something extraordinary to escape”.

If you trace a line through the work of both Savage Garden and Darren Hayes solo, there is a recurring theme of being unloved and unlovable. It is part of what connects him at his most popular to a mass audience. If Darren is a master at articulating the simple sentiment of what it feels like to be rejected, it does not come without its own poignant back-story.

Darren grew up in the working class suburbs of Australia’s Brisbane. In the early 80s, on the run from his Father’s violence and alcoholism he was just 10 when his Mother took him and his siblings to live in a caravan to escape regular scenes of violence. His relationship with his father has been both the making and undoing of Darren Hayes. His father having long since recovered and redeemed himself (sober for 25 years) – the childhood clearly left an indelible mark on Hayes. It was his need to please that propelled him to invent a life as a pop star. The fame came but could not fill an emotional hole.

(from the official promo biography 2007 written by Paul Flynn, source below)

In a blog interview during this promotional campaign, Hayes was asked about whether his view on these topics has changed thorough the years, and he gave some remarkable answers.

Do you feel that your prior concept of being “unloved and unlovable” is still a melancholic reality for you? I think there will always be a part of me that feels hideous. I am very lucky that I am in a really gorgeous relationship – I am loved by someone that just sees me for all my strengths and weaknesses and accepts me whole. I never thought I would find that, I always thought I would end up alone. (…). The fact that I can’t lie about my insecurities is my thing. I’m a bit broken and a bit messed up. Thankfully, I’ve worked out how to put one foot in front of the other one and get through life and smile.
(…)

What’s the symbolism behind the paper crane that features on the cover artwork? It seems complicated, but it’s not. It’s an album about relationships and how fragile we all are. The paper crane is a metaphor for being alive. When you unfold it, you can see all of the creases representing the scars and choices that we have made, whether they are good or bad. That’s our life, that’s what 2015-08-24 tdtwmmakes us who we are. The idea of This Delicate Thing We’ve Made is just my way of saying that everything that happens to us, creates us. Essentially you see a whole life unfold when you unwrap the bird. [Darren then begins to fold a paper crane for me.]

Sources:

Erich Fried – Fügungen

Fügungen (no traducible, juego de palabras de „destino“ y „juntura“)

Se dice
un poeta
es alguien
que ensambla
palabras

Eso no es cierto

Un poeta
es alguien
que aún está
medianamente
ensamblado
por palabras

si tiene suerte

si tiene mala suerte
las palabras le
parten a el.

 

Es heißt
ein Dichter
ist einer
der Worte
zusammenfügt

Das stimmt nicht

Ein Dichter
ist einer
den Worte
noch halbwegs
zusammenfügen

wenn er Glück hat

Wenn er Unglück hat
reißen die Worte
ihn auseinander

Erich Fried: Lebensschatten (1981)

Dolor fantasma – De llevar luto

(Este texto ya está mas o menos viejo, lo escribí hace seis años. Ni siquiera, aun me gusta, y por eso lo desempolvé y edité un poco para volver a publicarlo).

Estoy seguro que probablemente hay tantas formas de llevar luto como existen personas en el mundo. Siguen algunas formas que me gustan por sus caracteristicas simbólicas.

El primer ejemplo es Dr. Izzie Stevens, la cirujana en practica de Grey’s Anatomy, que, después de la muerte de su novio (que sufrió de un corazon defecto), se negó de desvestirse de su vestido de boda y simplemente se acostó en el suelo del baño para llevar luto. Cada persona que quisó intentar de hablar con ella para saber como estaba tenía que acostarse también en el suelo del baño para estar capaz de hablar con ella y ver su cara.
Por las otras historias en la telenovela no se puede verificar con seguriudad, cuanto tiempo de veras pasa allá élla. Pero ya solo preguntar esta pregunta de “cuanto tiempo” toma el punto de vista de personas afuera del proceso, con una actitud de continuar, pensar en el futuro, vivir/ SEGUIR adelante. Por el contrario, la posición de ella esencialmente consiste del hecho de que, para ella, los relojes, los horarios – el tiempo! – han parados en el momento en que él murió. El momento en el cual ha empezado el proceso de ella de poco a poco, paso a paso darse cuenta de lo que ha pasado, en toda su grandeza, importancia, gravedad y en sus consecuencias.

2015-08-19 eluunEn un proceso similar se encuentra Thomas Schell en el libro fantástico Tan fuerte, tan cerca del escritor estadounidense Jonathan Safran Foer, después de perder el amor de su vida bajo circunstancias desconocidas. En su vida cotidiana después se da cuenta que en su comunicación con otras personas, poco a poco pierde más y más palabras, cuales, solo así, ya no está capaz de usar, por su pesa emocional y por los acuerdos conectados. Asi al final se le deja tatuar solo si y no en los lados adentros de sus manos y luego solo se comunica por si y no o por frases escritos en un libro blanco que siempre le acompaña. En algún momento se le acaban las hojas y el se queda en silencio. La pérdida de su querida mujer le dejó literalmente sin palabras.
Unos años después, su hijo, llevando luto por la muerte trágica de su padre en el ataque de las torres gemelas de 9/11, se imagina como sería si cada persona tendría un micrófono para reoporducir el sonido de su de su corazón pulsando. Y además, más al rato también juega con la idea de una piscina para colectar el agua de todas las lágrimas en New York City.
También en éstas ideas para invenciones se manifesta su solicitud de establecer el luto en la vida cotidiana, de construir un lugar fijo en la realidad para expresar las emociones y la tristeza en voz alta, de vivirlas en lugar de nada más seguir como antes, funcionar o distraerse, por saber que eso no es una opción de que el se siente capaz.

2015-08-19 leichtigkeitseinTeresa en La insoportable levedad del ser de Milan Kundera quiere terminar con la pesa del cinísmo de su madre de ver a las personas como iguales, insignificantes y vulgares, por ponerse enfrente de un espejo para encontrar su alma en su propia reflección. Su idea de la conexión de cuerpo y alma es la de un barco, y en momentos importantes depende del equipo del barco, si se presenta en el puente del barco o no. Así que en esos momentos Teresa pide desesperadamente, que o el equipo se presente o que se esconda, dependiente de la situación individuál.

En Garden State, una comedia estadounidense, el protagonista se enfrente con su juventud, su relación dificil con sus padres y su historia clínica de tener depressión y tratamiento por sentirse culpable por la muerte de su mama, que, de hecho, fue un accidente. (La película está famosa entre Indie-Nerds, porque el cáracter de la excellente Natalie Portman le invita al protagonista a escuchar a su música por sus audífonos con las palabras: DEBES escuchar a eso – son los Shins ! 2015-08-19 gardenstateÉsta canción cambiará tu vida !…, y si uno pertenece al grupo de personas, que opinan que no se puede sobreestimar el efecto de cierta musica a la vida, a uno le encanta esta película ya solamente por incluír ésta línea.) La película termina con una escena clásica del aeropuerto, en la cual el protagonista se decide salir del avión en que apenas entró, para quedar con su amor, y no dejarla. Pero gracias a Dios! la película no termina tan clichee, cursi y calculable con el Happy End, sino que con la pareja enfrente uno del otro, muy confuso y con la línea: “Y ahora? Que hacemos? Que deberíamos hacer ?!”

En la anatomía clínica se habla del fenónemo de dolor fantoma cuando un paciente que perdió una de sus extremidades (un brazo, una pierna…) en un accidente o por una amputación, aún siente dolor de la extremidad (que no puede ser, porque la extremidad ya está amputada…). Supuestamente la parte correspondiente del córtex motor del cerebro aún tiene una actividad electrica para la extremidad que ya no está parte del cuerpo, y por esa actividad electrica se explica las sensaciones del dolor fantoma. Aún duele lo que ya no está.

Todos sabemos muy bien y estamos muy conscientes del hecho de que al final del día, en algún momento todo eso terminará con dejarlo ir.

Let go. Loslassen.

Pues, pero aún no.

there’s beauty in the breakdown (Frou Frou – Let Go)

porque somos tambien lo que hemos perdido (Amores Perros)

Tl; dnr: Llevar luto es un proceso que necesita su tiempo sin saber cuanto durará. En ese tiempo vulnerable e intenso existe la oportunidad de conocernos más a nosotros mismos, aunque doliera mucho.

Fuentes (imagenes):

  • Jonathan Safran Foer – Extrem laut und unglaublich nah. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007.
  • Milan Kundera – Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1992.

“I wanna hear human beings doing human being things” // Ryan Adams on digital recording and editing

ryan_gsgThe first option of any computer – I’m not speaking against computers because I think that they’re wonderful and they make a lot of sense – but for creative purposes a computer is a digital mirror. And the first option in any creative program that I’ve ever seen, that Apple has ever made – is to edit. You take a photograph – the first thing it asks you if you wanna do is: Do you wanna change the light and shadow? Do you wanna highlight something? Do you wanna turn it into black and white? In all the recording technologies to me the first thing that I see is your ability to manipulate the actual moment.

My feeling is we’re these spirits living in these human being bodies and we’re so perfectly errored, but some of those errors are so wonderful!

Somebody played the Blues too fast once on electric guitar – and they invented Rock’n’Roll!
It’s because they were probably on cocaine, but you know what? We got Chuck Barrie and Little Richard!

I wanna hear that! I wanna hear human beings doing human being things.

(Ryan Adams – Interview @ WNYC Soundcheck, New York Public Radio, Sept. 10th, 2014)