Saturday, June 6, 2009

Upwards and onwards, expansive and circuitous

Today I woke up in half-dream to a shrieking air raid siren. The sound shot straight through both sides of my consciousness, one in dream and one half-awake, pierced and shattered. For some reason, still mostly asleep, the idea gained control of my mind and body that this was it: the North gone mad, chemical attack, nuclear strike, war, having no control over it, nowhere to go, not me, not us, this couldn't possibly happen now. Adrenaline filled me, my body shot straight up in a sitting position, and Lindsey said I was even making some strange noises (not quite shouts or screams) and had a look of indescribable terror on my face. And she said if there had been a real attack, chances are my face would still not have displayed an expression to that degree of primordial terror, I imagine like that of a child who first experiences thunder and lightning, having no understanding of the forces behind it and why it does not put them in actual danger. I don't really remember all of this, because strangely, the episode passed and I lied back down, heading again towards sleep.

When I first looked out the window I saw no one, just a neighborhood emptied out of it's people. But then I saw this old ajuma woman walking down the street with her cane as if at that moment there was not a screaming siren sound filling the air at all (or at least she wasn't bothered by it). Damn. That was embarrassing.

I kept thinking of the last scene in Antonioni's L'Eclisse. Perhaps one of the all time worst ways to wake up in the history of my life. I think waking in the middle of the night as a child and finding that my room and bed had become a plane hitting turbulence in a storm because there was actually an earthquake happening is the only time I can even remember waking up close to that piercingly and that terrified, and that was a real event. This was not. And that speaker must have been so close to Lindsey's bedroom window. And why would they pick 10 in the morning on a Saturday for an emergency siren test?

Even though I felt silly after waking up that way, the feelings I had lingered with me pretty intensely all day. And strangely, even now when I think back on it, I can feel the residue of waking up, I can feel the terror of that dream memory indistinguishable from other real memories I have, as if the source of my fears were real and not imaginary. The mind has such awesome forces. It can really take hold of everything inside us, in one fell swoop, and spit us out after it's over and done with.

On another note, the world has a lot of colors for me right now. As far as my perception, saturation and vibrancy are high. I realized that I've been watching these mountains around me change for almost an entire year now. I saw the bright green foliage of last summer curl up into sleep and shed into a harsh brown during the winter, where the green's absence appeared complete. And now it is growing and becoming lush with such force, perhaps partly because it has such a short period of time with which to grow and shoot up into the air and intermix and wind itself around everything like some prolonged asphyxiation fetish. It only has one go at it, so it doesn't hold anything back.

On Sunday we hiked to the source of the Han River, where it's waters just bubble up from this spring incessantly and, with the help of confluence later on, pick up enough speed down the way to split Seoul in two parts with a shit ton of bridges, all the way on the other side of the country. There were meadows along the way and near the summit of Daedeok Mountain with all kinds of plants growing into each other, colliding and interweaving. One of those places where you just want to sit down and chill everywhere but you don't have enough time.

I've been listening to this Scottish band called Orange Juice. They're from the late 70's and early 80's. I guess "post-punk" or early "neo-pop" whatever those words really mean. But I like them. And I realized it's one of the only things in name that directly relates to the title of this blog, so none too soon. I put up all the songs I like from their album "You Can't Hide Your Love Forever". But my favorite one is Tender Object. I really like how the electronic sounds come in right near the end.

Below is a re-up of a video that Stefani once sent me that I have not forgotten, and I think most eloquently expresses the idea behind Permanent Citrus, which, admittedly, is an expansive and circuitous idea to express. I'll write more on this video later, but I can't think of many better ways to blend art and music with the natural elements, all at once, in what is essentially a celebration of living life in its purest form:

Hermeto Pascoal - Sinfonia do Alto Ribeira

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