Nine slices, five seeds

Posted on September 11th, 2008 by george.
Categories: enlightenment, epiphany, future, history, life, love, music, synthesis.

Over the past few days I have been listening to Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” on the commute to and from work.  It strikes me that when I first played this album on the stereo, kicking back in my 70’s-era chartreuse La-Z-Boy (oh, how I miss that chair), looking out my bay window on the streetlights of Laurel Avenue, atop the ridge of Fort Sanders in arguably one of the most coveted properties for students at the University of Tennessee, surrounded by meticulously-tended gardens and rosebushes too often robbed of their blooms by passersby, that I didn’t like it.  It’s strange to have adored “Kid A” and “Amnesiac,” coming so hot on the heels of yet such a departure from Radiohead’s timeless masterwork “OK Computer,” only to have “Thief” stick in my craw.  At the time, I couldn’t place why it didn’t resonate; I’ve since heard that it was “thrown together” on a short schedule, and suffered from what some say is a lack of polish compared to previous efforts.  I now realize, after having “In Rainbows” wear ruts into my soul, pressing its melodies into the fiber of my being, rivaling the majesty of what to this point was my favorite album, that “Hail to the Thief” suffered only from lack of context.  It was simply ahead of its time; too raw, even though it was finished and complete, like a bridge suspended across a chasm whose far side has only now seen the tectonic plates of time grind past each other, lofting the perfect cliff into place under what seemed a terminus hanging in dead air.  The bridge to nowhere now emerges as a grand paean to the future as told by authors of the past, a gathering together of the sine wave of repeating history, a needle and thread through the wrinkled fabric of this collective consciousness, drawing tight the crevices to be filled with the golden light of meaning.

 

  

It dawns on me now that my love for this group of musicians was tied to the future more than I could imagine, their prescience wholly overshadowing my own, a hand reaching down and transcending the dimension of time, their glowing ladders of song rising out of the misty and dark swirls of this material world to the ethereal flights of the spirit.  I see too, now, that I have not yet fully appreciated my time in the city of my education, the lessons I learned in and outside the classroom, the mistakes I made and the choices I got right that have led me to this day, this moment, these words spilling forth over the banks of my stream, tumbling down white over the rocks of fortune.  Even for all its gray skies and cold nights, its mists and trials, its mazes and morasses, worn desks and defaced walls, I see that I loved that city, my time there, the people I shared it with, the sunshine they reflected that pierced the hazy air.  The rainbow arcs high and bright over the sapling of my existence now; for all their deep and abiding knowledge of past predicting future, I cannot recall a band that’s been through the hourglass that has enjoyed such lofty greatness for so long, or excelled so magnificently so late in their glorious career.

 

P.S. I’m getting married.

 

10 comments.

Wenia

Comment on September 11th, 2008.

I like this entry even more now with the links.

And P.S. ?! Who’s the lucky girl? ;-)

george

Comment on September 11th, 2008.

I’m glad.   Somehow I knew, even then, sitting in that chair by the dusty wooden shutters that one day I would love those as-yet-too-green vibrations.  Hail to the Thief certainly qualifies as the longest gestation period in my life between indifference and adoration. 

You are lady luck, my love.

Sholeh

Comment on September 11th, 2008.

Took you long enough to blog about it. ;-)

cait

Comment on September 11th, 2008.

congrats. on. engagement.

Sarah

Comment on September 12th, 2008.

It’s about time. Congratulations to you both!

Fere

Comment on September 13th, 2008.

I agree with Sholeh. I’ve been waiting for something on here.

Fere

Comment on September 13th, 2008.

P.S. Apparently your fiancee won’t be in town when I’m there next weekend, but are you interested in getting together? I want to give you a really big hug. Then you can go away :)

Andrew

Comment on October 8th, 2008.

Brilliantly phrased. This makes me yearn for thespirited discourse about musicology that we enjoyed a few months back. The kind that harnesses words to feelings and makes our mutual ladies smirk with bemusement. Soon!

P.S. You’re totally getting married.

george

Comment on October 8th, 2008.

I miss you, Andrew Johnson. Here’s to those smirks spreading across their faces in the future.

I TOTALLY AM!

Wenia

Comment on October 9th, 2008.

Don’t worry, boys, you don’t need to get all music-nerdy for us to smirk. ;) But it’s more fun when we’re smirking at you two together, for SURE!

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