08 March 2010

"And evaporate in the sun, sometimes it can weigh a ton..."

"There's one thing we still got, this one last dance in this parking lot. Oh yeah, I got a heart of darkness..."

I've started this post several times already, without quite knowing how to begin. I wasn't really sure I wanted to post regarding the recent loss of Mark Linkous, but I also know that when I experience loss, the only way I know how to navigate those feelings is to write. The first "novel" I ever wrote was in the 48 hours after I first lost someone I cared about.

The most puzzling thing to me right now is just how personal the loss of someone I never met can feel. I have never been one to feel personally distressed over the loss of a stranger, particularly those in whatever dim limelight the people I admire may be. No, I've done a meticulous job of making sure those sorts of things don't bother me. But for some reason, when I received the news in the middle of the night on Saturday, I felt it. And I keep feeling it.

"I was the one who loved you most, but you can't put your arms around a ghost. Some sweet day you will be mine, you'll be mine..."

And the only real rationale I could come to today was because of memory. The memories that I have attached to the music of Mark Linkous. Thus, this felt like the perfect place for me to explore those memories. The memories are woven within and beneath all the lyrics and the music in such a way that I'm unable to fully disentangle the music from the memories. And I suppose in ways, the loss of Mark Linkous feels like the loss of those memories.

It is the parking lot of some old bar. It is the apartment that sits atop that mountain. It is the endless drives between Boone and Charlotte and Asheville. It is the track beneath the music on that mini-cd I made. It is the lyric that I wrote in my journal. It is the song on that first tape you made me. It is the track on all those holiday mixes. It is that song I listened to after I lost you. It is the smile of his ghost. It is the text message you sent me from the show. It is the text message I sent you from the show. It is the photograph my mom took. It is winter walks on the beach. It is an altered lyric that only I heard. It is my mom's request at the Christmas party. It is the converted adoring fan. It is a busted cd case from late nights. It is the feeling of being a restless soul. It is quite simply the sad and beautiful world of loss.

And this one is for my mom:

It is the loss of a truly great artist.

"I could look in your face for a thousand years. It's like a civil war of pain and of cheer. But if you was a horse, I could help you with your chains. I could ride you through the fields, by your fiery mane. May your shade be sweet and float upon the lakes, where the sun will be made of honey."