Good morning -
Good to be back! It was nice to have a little caesura, but I missed having this point of contact. I missed you, in fact. How have the last few weeks been for you?
This week’s track is like 70% phaser pedal, and then it’s briefly a party, but then the party’s over and the pool in the backyard is a still, aqua mirror once again.
I’ve moved the project over to this cute service (Buttondown) because well, “having a Substack” means a particular and sometimes weird thing now and they’ve given considerable sums of money to people with gross beliefs, particularly people who hold super anti-trans views. It feels quieter here, maybe a bit more intimate. Both free and paid subscritions will continue apace - you don’t have to do anything except enjoy the emails as you get ‘em.
A few other things I gotta mention:
* I’m doing a CICADA WAVES live stream this Sunday at 7pm est. Gonna try my hardest (in trying not to try) to bring you the peaceful world of the cassette tape live from my gf’s sculpture studio. You’ll need a ticket, grab one here. If you’re a paying subscriber I will happily put you on the guest list! Just send me a message ~
* I still have a bunch of CICADA WAVES sweaters available and the purple / slime green combo is particularly good * Out today - all four episodes! - is a very special audio series called UNREAD, a project by my friend Chris Stedman that tells a really touching story of going through a loved one’s scattered Internet presence after they’re gone. Britney Spears and her storied fandom play a huge role. Chris asked me to make some music for the show (including an imitation Britney track, haha) and I recorded a version of the theme. Find it and listen! Here’s an apple podcasts link.
Okay that’s it for business.
Was there a point in your life where you can recall nothing being missing, or nothing being amiss? A time when your needs were met without anxiety about them being met again? When your days were full and full of life but somehow still relaxed? When you slept enough and drank enough water and were taking in just the right amount of substances? When your bank account was at a completely acceptable level? When your debts were paid, your sins forgiven, your mail forwarded to your new address?
Can you recall a time when you desired nothing? Or rather a time when if you did in fact desire something, it was close at hand, and easily attainable without hurdle after hurdle? When the want of a thing and the having of it were one pure, satisfying thought?
Was there ever a time where what you encountered on a day-to-day basis was at the just-so ratio of familiar-to-adventure? When you knew where you were and what you might expect? Or similarly you knew what to expect but maybe not exactly where you’d end up? Did you feel safe in the not knowing, or held in the familiarity?
Do you remember what it was like to not actively look forward to the next iteration? Or to not actively regret what had just come before? When you could easily slough off any lingering remorse you had about how you had once acted? Do you recall being both entirely comfortable in the exact moment in whatever situation and also totally game for whatever came next, happily taking or leaving it?
Have you ever felt valid and whole, absolutely, with no qualifications? That you didn’t need to accomplish anything to demonstrate your intrinsic worth, or punish yourself for your laziness or your indulgence or your dumbness? At one with yourself, so much so that it’s not even something you consider? Simply a comfortable, contented state of being with no bobbing, dangling carrot of Good Work drawing you down the path?
Imagine that you are not uncomfortable, that you are standing or seated in a position that will not require shifting and will not make the blood pool tingling in your feet. Imagine that you are not hungry, and that you are not thirsty, and that if you’re addicted to caffeine or nicotine or whatever else you need a fix of you have just recently introduced it into your bloodstream. There is nothing required of you. Imagine that you are regular, your skin is moisturized, and that you’re experiencing orgasm at the interval that’s right for you. Your body does not want for anything.
There is no one you owe a phone call to, no email left unanswered, no ever-mounting stack of phone notifications to clear away. Imagine that there is no load of laundry, no garbage, no recycling, no dishes in the sink. Imagine that where you live is affordable and both familiar enough to be comforting but full of stimulation enough to be interesting - like maybe there’s a good record collection, or a stack of magazines, or a considerate roommate who enriches your life.
Imagine that you look forward to performing whatever labor it is you do for money, or if you don’t work for money that the unspoken exchanges and precarious social arrangements of your life feel stable and thoroughly agreed upon. Imagine that you have no fear of warfare. Imagine that you do not fear the authorities, that you are not considered a threat by the law or by neighbors on your block. Imagine that, today, you will lose no loved ones.
Imagine that, for a time, you are glad to be exactly your age. Imagine that your family, whether given or chosen, reflects back on you the qualities and characteristics you already admire in yourself. Imagine that someone is always reaching out to you.
Imagine that you have been getting enough sleep for the last ten years. Imagine that you do not stir, or wake up at odd hours for mysterious reasons. Imagine that you always remember your dreams and they are almost always delightfully odd, never surreal and terrifying.
Imagine that you are floating on your back in a cool, clean river on a hot summer day, the unfamiliar smell of eucalyptus swirling overhead.
Imagine that you are designated driving a minivan full of your dumb, drunken friends through an ever-unfurling city at night, maxing out the car speakers with the sloppiest, most four-on-the-floor dance music the person riding shotgun can find. The song on the stereo and the car ride go on forever. There is no too-small rental house to arrive at, just a series of freeway onramps and offramps and the thump of the music - the song bends in the air as you whip down the highway.
Imagine that, in anticipation of the hottest day of the year, you have freshly installed an air conditioner in the front window of your apartment and that it is gently drying the sweat on your brow.
Imagine that this act of thinking about and imagining a moment of repose has given you one, then click off the machines, one by one.