"Remember when you were at school and the teacher asked you a question that you didn’t know how to answer? It was not a comfortable experience. Even if the head of the class was kind enough not to make a meal of your ignorance, you felt silly and small. We all like to feel that we have answers to the questions we are likely to encounter in our lives. Sometimes, though, to be without answers is to be in a state of great grace. You can’t bluff your way through a situation now, but you can be open and willing to learn."
Flightless Bird, American Mouth
Iron & Wine
The Shephard’s Dog (2007)
I was a quick wet boy, diving too deep for coins
All of your street light eyes wide on my plastic toys
Then when the cops closed the fair, I cut my long baby hair
Stole me a dog-eared map and called for you everywhere
Have I found you flightless bird? Jealous, weeping or lost you,
American mouth, Big pill looming
Now I’m a fat house cat nursing my sore blunt tongueHave I found you flightless bird? Grounded, bleeding or lost you,
Watching the warm poison rats curl through the wide fence cracks
Pissing on magazine photos, Those fishing lures thrown in the cold
And clean blood of Christ mountain stream
American mouth, Big pill stuck going down
I’ve been obsessing over this song for a few days. I forgot I had it until I watched Twilight. Apparently, Kristen Stewart chose it for the prom scene at the end of the movie. I love it. It’s gentle and sweet, and despite how indirect the lyrics are, if you think about it… it totally makes sense. It’s a really beautiful, sad, forlorn song. It almost breaks my heart. It makes sense that it was used in this scene in Twilight because Bella has just been exposed to this ugly side of vampirism, she nearly died, and she has come face to face with the thing that Edward is afraid that he is. At this point, she is coming to terms, wanting to accept that she is in this uncomfortable, difficult transitory state where she knows what she wants despite it all.
Once, this guy was an innocent boy diving into a fountain for what he perceived to be wealth, then. All the while, there was life outside of his scope that could see him when he couldn’t see it. (I was a quick, wet boy, diving too deep for coins, all of your street light eyes wide on my plastic toys). Then one day, something happens that causes him to grow up and begin a journey to find himself within that life in the world. (Then when the cops closed the fair, I cut my long baby hair, stole me a dog-eared map and called for you everywhere). And in the state of the world he finds, his America, his homeland, he isn’t sure what to make of what he finds, or if he found anything. All he knows is that something is about to happen on a stage with this world, or that what he discovers this world to be, he won’t like. (Have I found you flightless bird? Jealous, weeping or lost you? American mouth: big pill looming). Now, after his journey, he has become self-dependent, complacent, and bitter. He has found the ugliness of the world has become somewhat normal, and sacred things have been forgotten. He is trying to come to terms with this tragic thing he has learned, but he can’t cope with it. (Now I’m a fat house cat, nursing my sore blunt tongue, pissing on magazine photos, those fishing lures thrown in the cold, and clean blood of Chris mountain stream. Have I found you flightless bird? Grounded, bleeding or lost you? American mouth: big pill stuck going down.)
On an entirely different note… I’ve discovered something that I, myself, am trying to cope with. I’m surprised, considering the trust issues I have, that someone who isn’t me has some of their own. Strange, but despite my sensitivity to that, I’ve never encountered this before… never been on the other side of the coin where it is ME that isn’t trusted. It’s difficult to know that I have exposed myself, all of my paralyzing fear, shame, darkness, pain, hatred, vulnerability, scars and bruises… unveiled everything… and I’m standing here alone, completely naked. I’m waiting for someone to make me feel like I’m not in this by myself.
Slide a strap from my shoulder.
I learn as I get older
to try to forget the horrible ways I’ve had to remember
the betraying sin of a kiss upon my skin.
When I bare myself to you
-it’s every dirty shame of the things they’d do
-it’s the deepest hatred of myself that tore me in two
and trusting you to take the place of my worst nightmares.
As I slide the fabric from the plains of my flesh
I protest to make but one request:
That you try to understand that in this moment
I am exposed more than you will ever know
More naked now- paralyzed by my deepest fears
to lead you here and let you this near.
I’m letting you see and touch all of my scars
showing you what lays within my sensitive heart
Letting you press into where I’m still bruised
from all of the times and ways I’ve been abused.
And I have never bared a single square inch of myself
for just anyone to uncover or discover
What I give you now is a precious, rare gift
of my love, my trust, my soul in this
to allow you to know me better than any other ever can
to allow you to get closer than anyone ever will again
I have hidden it, saved and protected it just for you.
I need to know, as I hold out my hand,
that you understand that this is a declaration that is louder than words
you are the only one, you are my world.
Kassondra Staschuk ©2009