Photo by Giasco Bertoli | More here
Aphex Twin – Jynweythek Ylow
I stumbled upon this photo the other day at work and was immediately struck by how much it called up images from my childhood. (A lot of things have been doing this to me lately; humor me a bit if you’ll be so kind until I get it out of my system.) I remember so vividly being young and outside early in the morning or in the evening: the feeling of wet grass and soggy ground, the pink color of the sky against dark oak trees, beads of dew in the swings and the metallic smell your hands had after gripping their chains, realizing too late that there was also water pooled at the bottom of the slide… but ultimately and most of all how self-conscious I was, and the way that most of the time, no matter how many people there were near me in playgrounds and in soccer fields and other outdoor places one finds oneself as a child, I always felt alone – though not lonely – and more conscious of the plants and air and wood and water that were around me than of any other person. It was a feeling of total solitude but also exposure, like I’d just locked eyes with something large and intangible, and also at certain moments the impression that my senses had been sharpened to the presence of something else, as if I were holding my ear to a giant conch shell.
It wasn’t until I started reading Rilke’s selected prose, Where Silence Reigns, and specifically the second essay “Worpswede,” (or so it is titled in my book – I haven’t been able to find it under that name or any other elsewhere) that I came across something that perfectly described this feeling of being young and so aware.
“Landscape is definite, it is devoid of chance, and every falling leaf fulfils, as it falls, one of the greatest laws of the universe. It is this adherence to law, which never hesitates and fulfils itself at every moment calmly and peacefully, that makes nature such an experience for young people. It is just this that they are seeking, and when, in their perplexity, they desire a master, they are not thinking of someone who will continually interfere with their development and disturb, with a rough hand, the mysterious hours in which the crystallization of their souls take place; they want an example. They want to see a life, beside them, over them, about them, a life that lives without concerning itself with them. The great figures of history live in this manner, but they are not visible, and one must close one’s eyes in order to see them. But young people do not willingly close their eyes, especially when they are painters: they turn to Nature and, in seeking it, they seek themselves.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Furr – Blitzen Trapper
A P.S., if you’re still here: “Blitzen Trapper” is basically an upbeat, indie version of The Handsome Family’s gothic-country masterpiece of woodsy unease, “My Sister’s Tiny Hands,” wolf noises and alternating-strong-weak beats included.