Golden Oldies – ain’t got nothin on me!

faker foot two

There’s that terrible but true old saying: “I bemoaned my fate because I had no shoes, till I met a man who had no feet.”

I was inwardly bemoaning the pinch of some newly-delivered old karmic shoes I had once purchased for myself—who knows why, or how long ago such an unwise purchase was made? (This cramping pair came re-packaged in the form of a recent extensively standing romantic interest in someone who had no romantic interest in me).

Then I looked up from my own embarrassingly shod pinch-toed feet which had directed themselves down a narrow alley just off Heartbreak Boulevard. Gradually I saw from there past where I was stalled (as from time to time is eventually likely for us all, y’know), and noticed where and how a younger brother from another mother was suffering from a physically much worse shuffle of foot-damage fate (See photos & note below).

Kind of puts some things in some perspective.

Celebrated Aussie crooner Chet Faker has been forced to pull out of WA’s inaugural Disconnect music festival this weekend after succumbing to a serious foot injury. 

The 27-year-old artist has had a number of operations in recent times after damaging his foot, however he now has large holes in the bone which means he will be out of action for two months. 

If Faker was to perform at the festival, he would be risking serious damage as any pressure on his foot could shatter the bones even further. 

In a prepared statement, Faker said of the cancellation, “Disappointed that I can’t make it out to my Perth family next week, for Disconnect Festival.” 

“Sometimes life kicks like a mule. Hope y’all have fun without me. Break a leg.”

faker foot one

Heart-bruise, together with my own currently compromised-health status (an unrelated lingering prior condition), continues to keep me from literally or figuratively dancing & hiking as freely as once was my wont & again shall be. Nevertheless undaunted, I’m slowly training to build back up to my former quietly leonine emotive-&-bodily fine physique (rampant mountain lion king of the asphalt-&-cement jungle, pine-duff dusted trailheads, and rug-cut living room dancefloor).

Meanwhile, I’m still able to daily/nightly visit with a friend who is chronically bed-ridden, and in constant debilitating pain, so who am I to bitch-&-bemoan? Karmicly pinched toes and bruised heart, be damned.

As I write this, a young American scientist friend is in flight to earthquake torn Ecuador. Yesterday or the day before hundreds (more) refugees drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to unwelcoming-but-safer shores. And on it goes.

Meanwhile, where I’m sitting today this (kindly Evangelical Christian-owned!) joint charges $7+ for a simple cup of jo and has no recycling in place. Holy land-mines, Hillary! The same obtains for the (Mormon Christian-owned) book joint down the street, with the terrible music-feed (sardonically happy to fill its coffers propheting off others’ tea & coffee addictions). My seat here taken also somewhat sardonically, be it said.

Having not all that long ago daily and nightly gratefully tended the side of my own bed-ridden true beloved through to her passing, I realize more and more that I’m still physically exhausted, almost three and a half years later. From time to time it becomes obvious that this is true at deeper bodily/ emotive/psychic metabolic levels than I tend to acknowledge to myself.

It never occurred to me at the time that I would, of course, need to pay for not sleeping during what became a solid year and a half vigil before my beloved’s passing and also still not sleeping during most of the next year and a half of nerve-jumble afterwards. At the time it was only one continuous Eternal Now-moment of unbroken loving attention, shared heart-melt/mind-meld, alert helpless concern, and of course unrelieved heartbreak, while I was able to tend to her. (She was confined completely to her bed only for the last three months or so but I had stopped sleeping for more than a year before that to tend & watch over her always.)

And then another year or so afterward of sleepless aftershock/wind-down that never really wound-down, while I kept up the daily schedule of my own other responsibilities and mostly inadequately distractive preoccupational activities.

Despite my heartbreak as she suffered so, I was of course blissfully happy to be with my beloved through her ordeal and to be able ceaselessly to offer some comfort to her though there was little enough I could do. A strange combination of elation and utter despair, of rapidly waning hopefulness and ever-deepening resignation, and of constant gratitude. Mutual unconditional Transcendent Love and mutually contingent embodied existence: a strange condition we partners all share while on Earth.

Though I sleep again a bit now and am definitely feeling much better as time further unfolds its always oddly smudged map, I keep setting aside a few hours, when & as I can, to slowly further pay off in small increments the backlogged debt of sleep still owed. But somehow that now-three-plus-years old debt continues to accrue an exponentially-taxing interest. (“The longer and deeper one owes a debt of sleep to one’s body and mind, the greater the sleep needed to pay off the debt”—my teacher Maharishi used to say to us many, many years before).

So I may not always be walking as unwobblingly & thinking as straight and clearly as I should wish. Feels like my psycho-physical “mean motorscooter” machine is still not always firing on all twelve pistons these days.

A few days after the end of those final three months of our shared journey together in these fragile bodies, I saw myself in the mirror & realized that I had in that short time suddenly physically aged about ten years or more. (C’est l’amour, c’est la guerre, say no more.)

Of course, it was all immeasurably more than worth every iota of such change, naturally; but also a startlingly sudden observation that hadn’t occurred to me might be the case. Much like when a ballet dancer suddenly realizes only after the concert curtain drops, that she’d shattered her ankle mid-performance; only then the pain comes flooding in, and the recognition, perhaps, that her dance career is ended. A small matter in the larger picture, but a change one must deal with. BOOM. Boom. and boom.

But while I have holes in my current karmic traveling soles and a gaping hole in my heart and soul just now, at least I don’t also have this bloke’s problem of holes and metal pins-&-lattice work in his actual foot.

I’ve been revisiting some of his music lately (indicates the fringiness of some of the moods that sweep past me now and again).

Of course I’d been too pre-occupied with much more serious matters than to notice any of his recorded songs when they’d first come out a coupla few years ago. There’s a sound-delay for me of at least 2-5 years of mostly-youtube play-back in general with current music and most of the rest of pop culture (I haven’t owned a TV in several decades, and never bought into netflicks).

I long ago quit following contemporary music. Long, long ago. Basically as soon as it ceased having any steady “message” of social-justice-&-consciousness-expanding concern to its lyrical content. (Register for a moment just how ancient a loss that is). Despite Paul McCartney’s annual millions of continuous sales-income capitalizing on the same, who really wants to listen to the same vapid new-old “silly love songs” played over and over again, as penned & recorded by mostly baby-faced &/or pinched-brow shallow ego-centric idiots? Yeah, obviously millions of folks do, bless their tender hearts. Go figure.

And of course even Ancient-Jaded-I still love a good-enough vapid love-ditty now and again, however goofily inane and callow may be the mind and life of the recording artist & even of the writers (writers & performer increasingly-rarely ever the same person these days.—One of Just-in-the-Beaver’s recent 2-minute love song [?] hits, I’m told, took 13 songwriters to construct; The Beev wasn’t one of them).

But my tolerance for mere musical cotton-wadding from-&-for the achingly empty headed is very low. Always has been. From a favorite 1963 hit:

…I didn’t pay my Con Ed [electric company] bill
So the radio didn’t work so well
Turned on my record player—
It was Rock-a-Day Johnny singin’,

Tell your Ma, tell your Pa
Our love’s a-gonna grow,

Ooh-wah, ooh-wah.”

          • Bob Dylan, Talkin’ World War III Blues
            copyright © 1963, 1966 by Warner Bros. Inc.;

renewed 1991, 1994 by Special Rider Music

It’s wonderful that Paul and Ringo finally in the past few years (beginning 2008) started headlining bi-annual charity concerts to bring Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation to children in inner-city schools around the world, combating the effects of drugs, violence, urban decay & debilitating general malaise. But after the 1972 Concert For Bangladesh by George and Ravi (and even, for that matter, John and Yoko’s 1969 angry drug-darkened concerts for peace and justice), & so much else that has come along before & since Bangladesh, it just feels like so little, & so very late. I’m happy and proud for any goodwill and creative contribution to our common well-being, even by love-song-only poets and players, but there is more to be said through pop cultural channels than merely repeating ad nauseum “our love’s a-gonna grow, ooh-wah, ooh-wah”, “Now, you’ve left me broken-hearted, boo-ha, boo-ha.”

27-yr old Chet Faker’s moodily smoky intensity is certainly charming at times, but I can only take a few minutes at a spell. Whereas I used to be able to sink into entire albums’ worth of uninterrupted intensity of lyrical brain- & aural aura- nourishment from even younger writer-singers with much more to say.

Yes, I definitely dig some of his stuff (and who would deny the sustained wood-fuel of that one video?!). But love-song-only poetry and music, and most electronicka dance tracks, generally hold my attention only for the space of 3 to 6 minutes at a time. I get the feeling the same may be somewhat true for Faker himself, as viewing and listening to all the youtube-posted live concert versions of “Gold” I can find, he seems a bit underwhelmed to be performing the song live, compared to the intensity captured in the studio take. It must be hard to perform the same stuff over and over again. And to be fair, maybe his injured foot was causing him too much pain, though he seems dancey enough most times.

I remember when the Beatles sang “Mr Moonlight” in their 1965 concerts I attended. As intense a delivery each time as such a song could provide (far better, more original & longer than their recorded version!) and they didn’t write it. John riffing on the electric organ with his elbows, yeah.

I remember the Animals, shortly after their electric violin-fueled, “When I was Young” hit the charts, riffing for forty minutes in concert versions of that simplistic-enough erstwhile 3-minute novella. It was moving. Conveyed to the lyrics an aura of having something at least momentarily significant to say. Combined with anti-war and anti-poverty and anti-racism songs, it made everyone feel something important was being shared together in the concert hall or arena, even if their love songs remained the best and biggest chunk of their simple if impassioned repertoire.

Compare the lyrics of Chet Faker’s “Gold” with those (below) of the traditional medieval bhakti yoga divine love song “Gold” by an anonymous Bangladeshi (Bengali) Baul mystic-poet. The lyrics were first transcribed and translated into English by 20th-century scholar-saint Mahendranath Gupta (1854-1932), and became a favorite kirtan bhajan of Gupta-Ji’s master, Shri Ramakrishna (1836-1886).

GOLD

How strange this transformation is!

Everywhere transplendent golden light

shines out from everything.

The garden glistens now, all of gold,

and golden, too, the peacock and the cuckoo gleam!

Everything around me here has turned to gold!

Naught else appears

But gold, whichever way I look.

What can it mean, this miracle, that everything I see is gold?

Ah, I can guess its meaning now:

for She, my Divine Beloved, has come to where I am,

and that is why everything, even my own skin,

has turned to gold.

For she has filled me and everything here with Her golden light.

In the twinkling of an eye,

everything here has turned to gold.

Have I become my Beloved by contemplating Her?

How strange this transformation is!

Everything within me and around me here has turned to gold!

 

GOLD

(by Chet Faker, as sung on studio track)

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I never loved another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feelin love…

hmm…

You gotta know I’m feelin love…

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

I might as well be in a garden

I said, a smell in the air is a drippin’ rose

(“You can be the one for me!”)

Another soul to be my warden

of anything there that’s made of gold

A physical kiss is nothing without it

And you close your eyes to see what it’s done

The body that lies is built upon lookin’

as all that remains before it’s begun

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

A heart’ll swell before it’s hardened

With a flick of the hair, it can make you old

Another hole to dig my soul in

I’ll do anything bare that keeps me sold

A physical kiss is nothing without it

And you close your eyes to see what it’s done

The body that lies is built upon lookin

as all that remains before it’s begun

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feelin love

made of gold

I’ll never love another one, another you

It’s gotta be love, I said it

Ooh!

chet faker Gold

Parvathy Baul Everything Is Turned to Gold!

 

bob dylan Talkin World War III

 

Dylan, another version

Beatles studio version Mr Moonlight

ancient animals not so young

 

 

Stones Everything is Turning to Gold

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