“But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (via liquidnight)
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it”—
“He’d ride sometimes clear to the upper end of the laguna before the horse would even stop trembling and he spoke constantly to it in spanish in phrases almost biblical repeating again and again the strictures of a yet untabled law. Soy comandante de las yeguas, he would say, yo y yo solo. Sim la caridad de estas manos no tengas nada. Ni comida ni agua ni hijos. Soy yo que traigo las yeguas de las montanas, las yeguas jovenes, las yeguas salvajes y ardientes. While inside the vaulting of the ribs between his knees the darkly meated heart pumped of who’s will and the blood pulsed and the bowels shifted in their massive blue convolutions of who’s will and the stout thighbones and knee and cannon and the tendons like flaxen hawsers that drew and flexed at their articulations and of who’s will all sheathed and muffled in the flesh and the hooves that stove swells in the morning groundmist and the head turning side to side and the great slavering keyboard of his teeth and the hot globes of his eyes where the world burned.”—McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Less a ‘best of’ list* and more a daily meditation of what 2011 sounded like on these speakers over the course of a hard if productive year. I killed my music blog earlier this year, but my never-satisfied thirst for sound is still evident. As this tumblr also acts as my bulletin board when I am stuck and making things, I hope the 'best of 2011' tag can serve to evoke the strange mood of this strange year when I need it evoked.
(2011 adjectives: Bitter. Cold. Wistful. Awakened. Airy. Defeated. Determined. Sweaty. Breathy. Fucked. Expensive. Manic. Pedantic. Canceled. Shelved. Rescheduled. Necessary. Magical. Frustrating. Fulfilling.)
Gems came not only in longform, but in short bursts, the preferred time allotment of the times. A moody arpeggio in a dance single satisfies like the denouement of a long anticipated tryst. Female-fronted pop can absolve like all Hail Marys uttered on knees in spandex and sequins and cynicism. Some notes almost scrapped remind that there’s past in present. And there’s such delight in guilty pleasure.Thank you, 2011. Thank you, music makers: our attending physicians in the daily ER.
*after years of making them, I’ve realized I’m always wrong, about 3 months later when I discover everything else that was in everyone else’s ears in one year. Also becoming more and more uncomfortable with superlatives as I grow older. There’s no point. I liked a lot of shit. That’s enough.
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”—Wise Words: Didion’s Commencement Address at UC Riverside in 1975