Sunday, June 6, 2010

adventures in sinaesthesia: holding melancholy and despair at bay with George Harrison, gardens, and Tam Dao

hellmouth Sometimes the world is too much with us. Like when our oceans are pouring black blood, and uncomprehending animals are caught in a dark tide that ends their world, not with a bang but a whimper.

we feel we can do nothing but suffer with them, as the gorge rises in our throats like that black bile coming from the hellish belly of the earth. NO human effort seems worthwhile in such an atmosphere of despair.

Certainly no aesthetic enjoyment should be contemplated. Who are we to laugh, to smile, to think even, when we have perpetrated such horrors?

But yet, there is still love, and maybe there is hope, though I doubt it very much…..

On days like these, when the wind blows and the rain falls, as if sympathetic to our bootless despair, there is nothing to do but cry for a lost world.

But yet, there is still George Harrison, singing his heartbreakingly lovely “I Live For you,” the most melancholy yet gorgeous love song of all time.

But yet, there is the enormously comforting woody aroma of Tam Dao.

But yet, there are the arms of loved ones, quiet places in which to cry together on days like this.

But yet, there are humble gardens, wet and blown by winds, which can still be helped, can still respond to our care, which can show signs of improvement, which can assuage our guilt, and help us slowly forget. But should we?


Hellmouth image from folio 17r in Ms. 30 of the Los Angeles Getty Museum, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. s lovely post, and part of my stepping back from blogging is also due to the oil spill and feeling absolutely useless though I did send some donations.

    George is my favourite Beatle and seeing this video - well, thank you!

  3. Yeah. I do feel useless. I guess I could cut off all my hair and send it in, but that would be such a drop in the oily bucket of despair. I feel you, BF.

    George is marvelous. And he had such a graceful, thoughtful, melancholy aesthetic to his songs. I have always loved him.

  4. (Nods. Sits and rocks a bit. Looks out at the lake {in her mind's eye}. Breathes.)

    And then there is the Lorax. Other Dr. Seuss books get more attention, but The Lorax...the lorax nearly slayed me when he said but one word. Perhaps.

    There was but one Truffula tree seed left.

    But there was someone who cared. And perhaps that will start things in the right direction.

    It helps that there is beautiful music, and comforting arms, and the acknowledgement among strangers that it is sad, but important to breathe, and then do something.


  5. I love you, ScentShelf.
    I will try to remember the Lorax.
    Thank you.

  6. Not forgetting is one of the greatest battles we can fight. But it is not mutually exclusive of music and what is beautiful and lovely, no way, because in our pursuit of those we pursue the elevation and betterment of ourselves, and if we can do that, then there is hope for the improvement of the world around us. If we cannot change ourselves then how can we change others?

    Scentshelf is absolutely right; if one person cares perhaps that is enough. Certainly it is no small feat. I feel like guilt anguishes us and strangles us. Maybe if we could find a way to see problems clear of guilt, among other things, then we could see answers and solutions so much more easily, and prevent disasters like this oil spill from even happening. Because then we would not forget the consequences of forgetting.

    Don't give up hope my dear S/LBV. And thank you for the George Harrison, I had never heard it before.

  7. you're right; mindfulness is not exclusive of aesthetic pleasure--well-said, my dear.

    guilt is a strangler, I know that full well.

    Glad you like the george Harrison. That has to be one of my favorite guitar riffs of all time.

    Thanks for this eloquent comment, Stephanie.

    Yours, S


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