Keep Art Alive :: Art by Sanithna Phansavanh
“I love you,
standin’ all alone in a black coat.
I miss you,
I’m goin’ back home to the West Coast.”
There are ways we decide to express ourselves; be it in the way we write, talk, think, dream, invest our time, or as I tend to do, more often than not, through the music we listen to. I may wake up with invisible tape over my lips, rendering me silent and wordless, but what spins in my car’s stereo, or pours out of my headphones, well that’s where most of my truths may lie. Sometimes, I get lost in the twists and the turns of a simple lyrical refrain, other times the pleas of a singer wailing into the mic reduces me to a pool of tears, or brings on such strength and renewal that I swear I can fly.
Inside of songs I often hide confessions, longing and unnamed pain. It seems easier to tuck them away in a melody, throwing them out into the ether of existence and airwaves – the music holding tight all my secret wishes, keeping them safe and sound. Sometimes, I tie ribbons around the songs, leave soft kisses on the curve of each note, sliding them into a brown-paper package and sending them off to the hands, and ears, of someone else. They are my gifts of heart and mind, they are my love, my anger, my logic, my imagination, my emotional insides, and my dreams. Music is connection to me, and if the receiver is too far away to touch, well then the songs are my offered hand-to-hold, my fingers entwining with theirs, my arms wrapping around them in a long embrace.
At times, the songs are enough to fill the ache and the pull of distance and regrets. Other nights, though, they are the strung-out reminders of a damaged heart awash in loneliness. The liner notes are etched in a scrawl too convoluted to see clearly, but if I could make out the words they would sound something like “I miss you, I wish you woulda put yourself in my suitcase.“
And your unwritten replies? Well, I imagine them alight in the burned spirals of that CD you sent me once; the one I still carry around with me, everywhere.
West Coast :: Coconut Records