Monday, May 08, 2006

If it hurts, you know you're alive...

I've been decidedly angsty lately. If you're thinking I'm always angsty, I'll placate you by admitting it and saying that I'm angstier than usual and bugger off.

This part of the year is generally tough for me, and it seems it'll be a little tougher than usual this year. I defer details in this forum, but I will say it relates to some sunny memories from years gone by that I tend to reflect on over and over. Some of the best times. For the last few years I've been too pissed off to truly reflect with any sort of objective view, and it appears that the objective view this year is going to be a bitch. Cryptic enough? I thought so. In short, I hurt around this time of year. It's a very specific pain...something closely akin to mourning.

Speaking of pain...Elise and I had a conversation on our last cultural day/play date about those artforms that "hurt." I'm speaking specifically of lyrics that hurt, books or book passages that hurt, and personally I'm fond of films and television that hurts. When I say "hurt" I do mean that these particular works make me cry a great deal of the time. But sometimes they might just shock me, appaul me, make me giggle maniacally, or force me to lose some sleep. They're so finely attuned to our individual perceptions of humanity that they almost physically hurt to experience. They make us wonder how someone caught that little piece of us so accurately on paper, through music, through image.

I'm thinking specifically of music....

Some of the painful songs I'm relishing right now:

"Some Devil"...Dave Matthews

"It Doesn't Matter"...Allison Krauss and Union Station
"Untouchable Face"...Ani DiFranco
"Kill the Messenger"...Shawn Colvin

"Paint it Black"...Rolling Stones

As I run across more "stuff that hurts" I plan to chronicle it here. Expect book exerpts soon.

Too many words
Too many lies
I can't quite tell the truth
When I look into your eyes

I feel I could
And I know I should
Step away
Turn around
Let my feet hit the ground


You don't need a broken heart
To know a heart can be broken


  1. A-
    This is why books and music and shit like that is important because as a whole, there's so much aching and nostalgia (and I really don't even like that word because I often think it's a simple response to a fabricated stimulus induced by memory that likely never even was) in the breadth of humanity as a whole.

    And part of the reason why such things--specifically those which include words--causes ache is that as a whole, this thing, whatever it is, is rarely articulated because it's not supposed to be for whatever reason or another. So when you come across it through something you read or listen to, it's almost a double-edged sword in that it's a relief that it doesn't directly come from you, but for some reason or another it still stings.

    Does that make sense, in a way that really doesn't?

    "Some Devil" is a really good, angsty song. It definitely qualifies for dark room music.

  2. On another totally unrelated note, I'm finding it difficult to get into Hustvedt's The Enchantment of Lily Dahl.

    You've read it, right? It's just not as interesting as her other works.

  3. I love that song. I wish I could find it somewhere other than their MySpace page. Have you been to their homepage? You can hear their entire first album. It's not bad.

    Pain can be good too. Sometimes it helps me to feel that pain and remember things I often would rather not. Makes me feel alive again. You know I'm here.

    I feel another piece coming on. Will you be asking us our favorite angsty, "hurt" music? Well, one of mine is Hurt by Johnny Cash. The pain in his voice takes away my breath every single time I hear it.

  4. Awww Andi - I'm sorry you're hurting right now. I completely get the whole movies/tv/lyrics/books, that hurt...I have a love hate relationship with them!

  5. Some people have demons.
    Some people have ghosts.

    Andi has spankings.

    spank spank!

  6. Elise,

    it's almost a double-edged sword in that it's a relief that it doesn't directly come from you, but for some reason or another it still stings.

    That's right on! Couldn't have said it better (probably couldn't have articulated it at all).

    I need to start gathering the book quotes that hurt. I'm going straight for Hustvedt and Oates.

  7. E., I haven't read The Enchantment of Lily Dahl. I have it here, but most of the people I know who've read it say the same that you do. It's not on par with her other works.

  8. Heather,
    I thought about doing a piece on angsty hurt music!!! Johnny Cash's version of Hurt is one of my favorites as well. And the music video takes my breath away as well.

    I visited their MySpace briefly the other day, but I need to go back when I'm using the high speed. I'm mad for this song!

  9. Amen, Funky! I'm's worse late at night with too much time to think. :)

    Johnny, you're so delightfully naughty. Now, bend over.

  10. I'd never heard of Evermore before. I just checked out "Running" Just a perfect song...

    The beginning of October is the worst time for me. And the end of April. I kind of withdraw into myself during those times and mourn for...well, what could have been. Should have been.

  11. Good choice, Sole!

    Jessie, I looove the song. Got it on repeat as we speak. And remembering sucks, doesn't it? But it's necessary I suppose.


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