drip fed bravery

Wide-eyed wonder, where did you go? I’m unravelling. Ooo, ooo.

This is a line from a song by Violents and Monica Martin – Unraveling – from their new project Awake and Pretty Much Sober. This struck me for a good while today. About midway through my first listen my head lulled back and locked there, facing up at the living room skylight. And I stayed that way long enough to lose count of how many clouds had passed and how many times the song had spun and unspun itself around me. This line in particular has been circling me since then, like I’ve been islanded by it. Surrounded and defined by it. Its been a while since I felt this tethered to a lyric.

In the comments section of a particular performance of the song, someone describes Monica Martin’s voice as – like glass. So much gratitude for this description. Her voice is so clear. You see straight through it with a sliver of yourself out there as well. Like, think mountain cabin window, winter, glass, and you can see frost on the tips of everything outside, and that slightly angled half-reflection of yourself in it too. The clarity hones it somehow. Like you’re somehow also outside in the cold. That’s her voice. Her voice puts you on the other side of glass, which I think is too masterful an act to call reflection.

.

Hanya Yanagihara opens a 2016 guardian article reflecting on the type of language used to describe her second novel A Little Life, by questioning what ‘brave’ means when applied to her writing. She poses questions. Who is brave. What is brave. And adds off-handed, Is it ignoring authority, is it respecting it?

This is where I am tonight. These two things together are what I’m thinking about.

1) where my wide-eyed wonder for those by which I used to measure and define myself has gone,

2) if ‘unraveling’, if ignoring one authority, without knowing if this will mean stepping into another, without knowing anything at all in fact, can be called bravery.

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