All things considered, it’s been a rough few months. I haven’t felt connected to anyone or anything. I’ve been writing madly, as if trying to write myself out of a hole. Which I think I am, maybe: miserable weather, endless doubt and confusion about what I’m meant to be doing or if I’ll ever be good enough, sore back, stomach bug which won’t go away, things ending, choppy relationships.
In the midst of my bad back crisis, I blagged a lift from and staggered up the steps to City Hall to see Mr. Rufus Wainwright.
It resembled nothing so much as an elaborate funeral for his beloved mother, Kate McGarrigle (who died in January.) The lights were dim, we were told not to applaud and there he was, sliding silently onto a bare stage, seventeen foot train trailing behind him, feathered, be-jewelled, grieving. His accompaniments were fiercely complicated, like mini piano concertos, as though he was trying to make it as hard on himself as possible, his voice rose and soared to reach impossible notes, showing no signs of strain. A giant eye – his – appeared on the black screen behind him; at one point tears began falling from it. The eeriest hush, fell across the audience.
That night those songs were in my dreams. I felt calmer than I had in weeks, which is quite bizarre. How can something so melancholy create happiness? I don’t know but I’ll hold that thought. Rufus’ new album is “All Days are Nights” but I’m renaming it: “All Nights are Days.”
When things are going pear shaped, I’ll play it again. It reminds me of the saying: “The darkest time is just before the dawn.” Perhaps it’s when you’re on the verge of breaking through into something important you hit rock bottom. Or to think of it another way: “Never, never, never give up.” (Winston Churchill.) What a mess we’d be in now if he had!
If anyone else is out there, struggling to accomplish their dream: keep on, keeping on. Never, never, never give up.