Thursday, February 22, 2007

Where Do Breaking Hearts Go?

For Dee (Magoo said it so well, my heart bleeds), JR, Undo, and to you reading this wherever you maybe and whoever you maybe and can relate.

"So you wanna be hardcore
With your hat to the back, talkin bout the gats in your raps
But I can't feel that hardcore appeal
that you're screamin, baby I'm dreamin
This ain't Christopher Williams, still some
MC's got to feel one, caps I got to peel some
To let niggaz know... that if you fuck with Big-and-Heavy
I get up in that ass like a wedgie
Says who? Says me, the lyrical
Niggaz sayin, "Biggie off the street, it's a miracle."

Machine Gun Funk, Biggie Smalls

So you like the blues, Son, …

“..... ...Yet watching Creole’s face as they neared the end of the first set, I had a feeling that something had happened, something I hadn’t heard. Then they finished, there was scattered applause, and then, without an instant’s notice, Creole started into something else, it was almost sardonic, it was Am I Blue. And, as though he commanded, Sonny began to play. Something began to happen. And Creole begun to let out the reins. The dry, low, black man said something awful on the drums, Creole answered, and the drums talked back. Then the horn insisted, sweet and high, slightly detached perhaps, and the Creole listened, commenting now and then, dry, and driving, beautiful and calm and old. Then they all came together again, and Sonny was part of the family again. I could tell from his face. He seemed to have found, right beneath his fingers, a damn brand new piano. It seemed that he couldn’t get over it. Then, for a while, just being happy with Sonny, they seemed to be agreeing with him that brand new pianos were certainly a gas.

Then Creole stepped forward to remind them that what they were playing were the blues. He hit something in all of them, he hit something in me, myself, and the music tightened and deepened, apprehension began to beat the air. Creole began to tell us what the blues were all about. They were not about anything very new. He and the boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.

And this tale, according to that face, that body, those strong hands on those strings, has another aspect in every country, and a new depth in every generation. Listen, Creole seemed to be saying, listen. Now these are Sonny’s blues. He made the little black man on the drums know it, and the bright, brown man on the horn. Creole wasn’t trying any longer to get Sonny in the water. He was wishing him Godspeed. Then he stepped back, very slowly, filling the air with immense suggestion that Sonny speak for himself.

Then they all gathered around Sonny and Sonny played. Every now and again one of them seemed to say, amen. Sonny’s fingers filled the air with life, his life. But that life contained so many others. And Sonny went all the way back, he really began with the spare, flat statement of the opening phrase of the song. Then he began to make it his. It was very beautiful because it wasn’t hurried and it was no longer a lament. I seemed to hear with what burning he had made it his, with what burning we had yet to make it ours, and how we could cease lamenting. Freedom lurked around us and I understood at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he would never be free until we did. Yet, there was no battle in his face now, I heard what he had gone through, and would continue to go through until he came to rest in earth. He had made it his; that long line, of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. And he was giving it back, as everything must be given back, so that, passing through death, it can live forever. I saw my mother’s face again, and felt, for the first time, how the stones of the road she had walked on must have bruised her feet. I saw the moonlit road where my father’s brother died. And it brought something else back to me, and carried me past it, I saw my little girl again and Isabel’s tears again, and I felt my own tears begin to rise. And I was yet aware that this only a moment…”

Sonny’s Blue’s by JAMES BALDWIN


"Love was a terrible thing. You poisoned it and stabbed at it and knocked it down in the mud—well down—and it got up and staggered on, bleeding and muddy and awful. Like--- like Rasputin."

Jean Rhys, Quartet

5 comments:

scotchbiscuits said...

you know the thing about you and sonny? that thing you have in common.
people sigh a happy sigh when you do what you do!

Just Rich said...

You know you got me to look this story up the last time? Sure i only read an abridged version but its the kind of thing you read and realise your life has been building up to the moment that you stumble upon it...
...and sigh a happy sigh.
Oh and hearts dont break, they hibernate.

nahjaj said...

@just rich... I like that..." hearts dont break they hibernate"

crys said...

havent really finished reading. just saying i'm back after all that crush programe for exams, and now catching up on ya'll!

Iwaya said...

speechless here...