Monday, May 21, 2012

Solemn Raindrops

There are different kinds of beauty. Some people say there is no single truth. So, if truth is beauty and beauty truth, why not extend the same courtesy to beauty?

When I started this blog, my intention was to write about the songs I hear and love, the songs that I download onto my mp3 player and listen to over and over again. But after a friend of mine beat me to the draw, I was left feeling at a loss. What do I have left to make this blog unique?
I have since decided to turn this blog into a more accomodating one, still dealing with music but not just one type of music and not just in one way.
Part of the reason for doing this is the acknowledgement of the multiplicity of beauty. Rarely do I say the word 'beautiful'. But that is not to say I refrain from using it altogether. Sometimes I may see something or hear something that affects me, but only momentarily. No matter what Keats had to say, a thing of beauty need not be a joy forever. There is music that I like but that I wouldn't want to put on repeat as I do with songs by the Beatles. That isn't to say their music isn't just as beautiful, or any more beautiful. It's just... different.
Why don't I want to relive the experience? Because like a drug it loses its potency, its effect with use. Some beauty cannot endure. Its influence is instantaneous. Even its memory may not last. While My Guitar Gently Weeps is a sturdy sort of beauty, powerful, enduring. A video of a man writing a familiar adage in simple yet exquisite copperplate handwriting is more subtle, more fragile, more ephemeral. But in the moment that it is seen, it is... electrifying.

Why do I talk of such things?
About a month ago, I was on facebook, chatting with a friend, a kindred spirit when it comes to our passion for music. He shared a link. Nothing unusual about that, we do it all the time. Take Me Somewhere Nice by Mogwai, a band I had never heard of. This was the link.

I had heard such music before. But it had never moved me in the way this piece did, inexplicably. It was nothing like my usual taste in music. I didn't download it and I probably never will. This isn't something I would want to listen to repeatedly. Even the second time had none of the magic as the first. But that night, there was something about it.
Perhaps it was its barrenness. It was an empty musical landscape at first, the guitar, the strings, the percussion, all very nice, all very pleasant, but merely ornamentation, the mountains hiding the sunrise, the trees framing... what exactly? I didn't know. But there was a vacuum. A void. This was seemingly filled later, much later, by the lyrics. But I didn't listen to them. Or I didn't care. For although they seemed to define the song, they were not its substance. Simply more instrumentation. The human voice uttering sounds not words. Sounds that were supposed to support the soul. But the soul was missing. What a pity.
What a pity... I felt a stirring. I had heard great music before, better music, more emotional, lusher. But this one wanted completion. I had never felt what I felt in that instant, nor could I describe it. I felt as if all I needed was the slightest push, a spark to ignite the words left unuttered, unformed within my breast. It sounds ridiculous, it sounds fake, it sounds overly grandiose, but it's true. Is this what inspiration is?
I told my friend, hurry, I told him. I could feel the emotion slipping away just as the vocals began. I asked him to say something, anything. A stimulus. Two words. Adjective noun. That was all I needed. I knew it. But I also knew it mustn't come from me. It couldn't. The emptiness had latched onto my mind. Alone, I couldn't breathe life into it. I needed a stimulus.

Solemn Raindrops.

Why did he say that? Why would he choose those words? I don't know. But they worked. The feeling was almost gone, I had to tug at its trailing threads, trying to recreate it. To some extent, I succeeded, but it still felt artificial. Forced. But then maybe there were no words that would capture that elusive emotion.
Perhaps that was the point.
Perhaps by trying to define the emptiness, by trying to fill it with my words, I had corrupted it. Defiled it.  A paradox. I tried to appreciate a hole by filling it, destroying it. But without doing so, how could I know it?
So I am satisfied. What I wrote is not inspiring. It is not beautiful. It is rudimentary. It is meaningless. But it's still a reflection of something that felt important, so I knew I had to keep it, preserve it, I had to share it. And as poetry is music without a tune and as it had been inspired by music, I chose to share it here, long after it had been written. I always delay this kind of thing. Perhaps it's for the best.

Oh, why are these solemn raindrops falling from the sky?
Have the gods learnt how and when to cry?
Have they come to their senses while all around them the world in madness waits?
Floating in space
With lilies in their eyes and a parchment at their lips
Understanding nothing but the language of seduction, with swaying hips
Sending shivers down collective spines
She sighs
Another day will do
Just not today, for today is mine
Just not today, for today is thine


  1. exquisite!!!as the French would say.Your words remind me of a few lines by Tagore in a little fragment called Flute
    Little Flute
    Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail
    vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
    This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales,
    and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
    At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in
    joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
    Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.
    Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

    The corollary that you present to the music evolves within its own character.Thanks for the tag Sameer always a new journey to partake of your rhyme/reasons.