Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post-Mortem Lesson 7: Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

- Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"

Before I used to ask why something that gives you joy can give you sorrow in one unfortunate instance.

I once even arrived at a rather unjust conclusion that attachment to earthly things has a lot to do with this. That it is all organic, a man's tendency to hold on to his physical possessions and attributes.

I have been wrong, of course....there are things beyond the physical realm that I failed to factor in.

I fully understand now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Last Song Syndrome 12: C.R.E.E.P. (The Fall), Clever and Witty, Never Mind That It Is As Old As Mark E. Smith

"He reads books of the list book club,
And after two months, his stance a familiar hunch
It's that same slouch you had the last time he came around."
- The Fall, "C.R.E.E.P."

When I was still attending the university, "chong" music lorded it over the airwaves, thanks to the likes of XB102, 105.1FM, and later on, NU107. Chong is better known as New Wave, the former being a local variation. While I was wary of this label, I do admit that I like a good deal of chong music and, well, chong artists. I'm pretty sure that did not make me a "chong", in the same manner that listening to punk and hardcore did not make me a punk either.

C.R.E.E.P. is one of those supposedly chong songs that I really like. The Fall is essentially, from its inception in 1977 up to the present, Mark E. Smith, lyricist, frontman, and a known book lover. I have to emphasize the latter; it seems that C.R.E.E.P. is in itself a criticism aimed at so-called book lovers. Of course I did not really care then. The song had been my constant companion: it played while I was dissecting my frogs, cats, and sharks in my Zoology classes, it was blasting off the speakers when I was having a good time with friends, it was consoling me when things went wrong, it was appealing to my failing memory whenever I crammed for my examinations.

Lately I have been organising my messy digital files and I came across this collection of John Peel sessions of The Fall. I know it was Je who got hold of them years ago, himself being a fan of cleverly written songs and edgy artists. The song never fails to delight, even after all these years, but I now understand what Mark E. Smith was saying all along. Great to have C.R.E.E.P. on my player once again: it is one clever and witty song...

...which is exactly what I have always wanted my companion to be.