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    Run For Your Life, Black Hockey Jesus!
    « A Half Eaten Pear | Main | Buttholes »

    At The Beginning Of 'Year Of The Horse', Neil Young Says "IT'S ALL ONE SONG!" Before Launching Into 'When You Dance I Can Really Love'

    So I’m listening to You’re In Maya by The Mountain Goats and bobbing my head accordingly, minding my own business—mind you—and checking out Twitter.

    That’s the normal part.

    But here’s where shit gets weird so pay attention. (To be honest with you, I think shit is probably weird all the time and it only seems normal when we’re not paying attention. But that’s an idea that just popped in my head and it’s a digression I don’t want to pursue right now because I’m telling you something else.)

    So ears… listening. Eyes… reading. Got it? Check this out:

    John Darnielle howls: There was nowhere I needed to go / And nowhere I wanted to be / And my window at 253 N Broadway looked out on nothing / And NOTHING looked right back at me / SING IT! and this guy tweets “Learned how to play ‘simple twist of fate’ tonight, currently my favourite dylan song” and my mind reels to the lyrics He told himself he didn’t care pushed the window open wide / Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate and—I know, fucking A, I know—it’s like I’m this collision of synchronous meaning and there’s nothing to do but sit there feeling dazed and stupid. But in a cool way.

    I was like wait wait wait—nothing—emptiness—windows—what?

    So I did what you do at moments such as this. I got up to go look out the fucking window. Clearly. If you don’t, at this point, get up and go find a window, you’re obviously a stupid chain smoking nihilist.

    So I get to the window just in time to see my daughter stop walking up the sidewalk. Something caught her attention and—bam—she just stopped. Kids are crazy like that. My daughter will stop in the middle of the grocery store and sing songs to fairies and shit. But this time it was a flower that got her. A red flower. And she bent over, stuck her nose right in that thing, and sniffed long and hard.

    And I swear to God I thought: What kind of stop to smell the flowers daddy blogging bullshit is this?

    Are you kidding me? I went to that window to feel emptiness and to stare down nothing, to actually be—myself—a thrown open window through which nothing looks at nothing and nothing looks back but instead there’s my yellow haired daughter smelling a red flower and fucking up all my nothingness with her meddling somethingness.

    But then she walked off. She was gone. I stood there a long time, staring out the window, looking at the red flower for quite awhile until the little thing smiled at me. I was like wait wait wait—nothing—something—what?

    Reader Comments (22)

    L needs a sash that says (with the help of sequins), 'her meddling somethingness'.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJett

    Go universe.

    May 18, 2011 at 3:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeannie

    And this is why you must stay sober.

    May 18, 2011 at 5:29 AM | Unregistered Commentersuz

    I'm thankful EVERY DAY for the "what?".
    It keeps life...worth it.

    May 18, 2011 at 5:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeather


    May 18, 2011 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother

    no such thing as nothing..there is always something.

    May 18, 2011 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMom

    Kids are funny like that. They are the ones that can turn nothing in life into something.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeannett

    Now that's just beautiful.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterLisa


    I once had something similar happen while listening to Tool, which you have to admit can be some lyrically profound shit. Mine didn't include a little girl smelling a flower, which admittedly hurts the 'similarity' factor, but whatevs, you get my drift: The universe is big, we're all connected, collective consciousness, blah blah blah.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterYou can call me, 'Sir'

    This is just pure gold. A rich vein of it, man.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:57 AM | Unregistered Commenteredenland

    This, right here, is it. This is what I've been trying to say. About the you-y-ness, about the writing, about the why.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaggie, dammit


    May 18, 2011 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterR

    I've always thought that the earth and its inhabitants move to a kind of silent, rhythmic beat, and that everything becomes inevitably and unknowingly synchronised with this invisible tum, tum, tum, tum. When stuff like what happened to you happens, BHJ, I think it's just the universe telling you you're exactly where you need to be - like little mandatory checkpoints that amplify your sense of being found along a path/journey you need to follow and complete - and that you're doin' ok despite the emptiness. It's the universe's way of shouting "Look properly, not everything is what it seems. Nothingness is sometimes something, and something is sometimes nothing." Synchronicity is a fascinating mistress.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterA

    Had you actually heard me PLAYING that song, the nothingness would have become clear... or, at least, it would have clanged your eardrum into wishing for nothingness.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterdave cormier

    Please pursue the things weird all the time / paying attention thread. I love the way your mind works.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterKirsten

    Good one, BHJ...&'s been quite a while since I checked in to see if you're still lovin' that daughter of yours...clearly, you are. Doin' good, man...doin' good. You're tuned right in.
    * ; )
    that's good news.
    I am still bipolar as all get-out, childless by choice, and giving parenting advice to those who really need it...

    your good ol' ex-troll wit' the solid gold soul
    ~ H5

    May 18, 2011 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterhope505

    man, that's some fat shit dude.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterslg

    Its life's mission accomplished, the red flower eased back on its stem, smiled, and prepared to enjoy the remainder of its time.

    May 20, 2011 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterHolmes

    oh my kids do that to me all the time. i wake up feeling like there is nothing, no point, and i just can't.

    and they do something and it pulls me back.

    May 21, 2011 at 5:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterSlow Panic

    awesome. thanks.

    May 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterS

    I'm catching up on my reading, and I often don't comment...but damn. I love this.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjill (mrschaos)

    Mountain Goats. Yeah, been there.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterk

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