Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lost, one Saint Christopher

Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I've kissed her

My musical tastes were once described by someone who knew them well at the time, as being of two types, death music and hate music. I am not exactly sure they aren't the same, but after some careful consideration, I figure that assessment was pretty close to the mark.  I like to think my tastes have, unlike me, matured over the years, but they probably haven't. I would maybe tweak the variety to add "thinking music" but that probably still falls into the former two types as well.

The above quote is from a song called Tom Traubert's Blues by a fellow by the name of Tom Waits. It is a lovely song, and you should give it several listens, it's imagery will make you wish you had one hundredth the talent of M. Waits. I lack even that much talent, but I can still appreciate the song, and the story it is telling with such amazing power. My collaborator, Ladislaw, from what I have been able to tell during our brief time as collaborators, has musical tastes that border on the awful.. I did not like the idea of attempting to impose my own taste upon them, but some times people need saving from themselves.

One of the first songs I recommended to Ladislaw was Tom Traubert's Blues or as they know it Waltzing Matilda (it's other title), they loved it (as if I would recommend a bad song), and we've had several listens to it since. I explained that I had a favorite line in the song, what that line was, and how one day I should write something expanding on it. Well, that has never happened, and it may or may not ever happen, but the theory is sound. Ladislaw chose the above quote from the song as their favorite line, and this post is a small, terrible tale about what that meant.

I am a card carrying cynic, and a bit of a brooder by nature. I have been called gloomy by a few people, the few people that actually know me, and I figure that they would have a pretty good idea. It has has been said of me that "he doesn't like a lot of people, but those he likes, he likes." A pretty good summing up of my view on the world. Trust is a very valuable commodity, and I do not trade in it particularly well or often. However, once you obtain it (like some sort of knighthood) it is pretty much yours, barring some unforeseen disaster, for life. It is not given lightly, nor should it be received lightly. It is just the way I operate in the world.  The "truthful slander" of pessimist has been hurled at me by quite a few people, and in the main, I don't believe it was intended to be a compliment. I am a huge (not just in size) fan of Arthur Schopenhauer. Herr Schopenhauer is not for the faint of heart, and one of the things he is known for is the idea of "cosmic pessimism." It seemed brilliant when I first read about it decades ago, and nothing in the intervening years has happened to change my opinion of it. I will leave it up to the curious among you to Google it at your leisure, if you so choose, if not well then you are just reinforcing the theory. It need not detain us here.

Since we had nothing of any real importance to do, Ladislaw, and I discussed what that line meant. I am of the opinion that since St. Christopher is, among other things, the patron saint of travelers, that the fellow in the song lost his St. Christopher after kissing "her' because he has found love right in front of him, and no longer needs to wander. Wandering is a lovely thing, and I have been known to take a good, solid wander from time to time. Some times in the hope of finding something, some times in the hopes of just getting lost. Being lost is, in many ways, both a terrifying, and wonderful experience. Terrifying in the sense that, you've no clue where in the universe you are, and no real idea how to get back to where you think you belong. If you belong anywhere at all.  Being lost is a lot harder to do in this day and age, but I highly recommend it. Get lost, but do it properly, by that I mean get really fucking lost, get lost at night, get lost at night in a rainstorm, and get lost at night, in a rainstorm, in a shitty part of town. You will, if you are sober enough to form the thought, start to think that being lost isn't exactly what you had planned in the first place, and you might even want your mother, or at least some other warm, welcoming companion.

However, being lost can be, if done correctly, a wonderful experience. Lost can be freedom. If done properly, lost is the lovely state of having no one to answer to, and nothing to apologize for. No one knows (or likely cares) where you are, and no one will come looking for you to add the weight of the world to your wandering shoulders. Lost is a very personal thing, and you can choose how lost you want to be. Do you want to be lost to the entire world, or just a portion of it? You can with the push of a few buttons give your location to whomever you chose, or at least a general idea of where you think you are. Your last known whereabouts given to the right person, can be a lovely starting point to a wonderful, shared, and exciting time.  Or, do you just want to be lost to a certain group of people? Your boss, your annoying as fuck co-workers, the bank, the student loan people, wives or husband (your own or other people's), crazy ex-girl or boy friends who stalk you even whilst saying they hate you, or that group of clowns that beat you up in grade school. There are an infinite number of groups or people that you prefer to think of you as lost.

The word planet comes from some impossible to pronounce or type Greek word that loosely translates as "wandering star." I like to think of all of us as wandering stars, and it is upon our wander through the universe of life that we encounter other wandering stars. Some we like, most we probably don't, some we have to try to avoid collision with, and some that we attempt to wander in the same direction as for as long as possible. It is your wander, it is your Saint Christopher, and hopefully (if you are very, very lucky) you get to lose your Saint Christopher after you kiss her (or him), and get to wander a lot less for a while (maybe a good long while, but nothing is written in stone). Enjoy that wander, but remember you are, in many terrifying and wonderful ways still lost.

P.S.   I was going to expound upon Ladislaw's theory, as told to me, about their favorite line, but decided to let them do it for themselves. After all, it is their theory, and they are quite capable of writing it themselves. Therefore, Ladislaw, when you climb out of whatever tart's bed you are warming for the nonce, and get sober enough to form what passes, for you, coherent thought, you are now welcome to write your reply. I am sure our vast readership awaits with bated (not wasted) breath.

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