a pause, a deathbed, a tree, a golden song
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first of all, i feel the need to say this, if you’ve just joined this patreon, and i know there are a few of you…thank you for being here, and note: my blogs aren’t usually all about dying for days on end. it’s not every day your best friend dies, and so that’s what i’m writing about. i expected to be posting blogs here every few days about the progress of my new recording with edward ka-spel, to get everybody excited about the new songs about to creak out of the cracks and into your earbuds, but no. we only got one-and-a-half songs into what was supposed to be a 12-day recording session when this particular shit hit the mortality fan.
vi also know i may be taking a familiar tone, expecting that you are reading this and have some sort of background about anthony, my best friend, my ersatz father, my mentor, my intimate for 30 years, but all i can say is….if you want to know more, read the book. i feel lucky that i got a chance to write the book to try to put our relationship into words before this day came. as i felt yesterday on father’s day…some things are hard and fast and explicable, and some are not. explaining what this moment means, and why i have kept my life in the balance for the last four years – since he got diagnosed with cancer – and, now, dragged my (willing, loving) husband to the days-long deathbed of a “next-door neighbor” doesn’t make sense without a bit of background. all i can say is, trust me. this is a big one.
neil wrote a beautiful blog, called “existing in the pause”, which is just what we are doing right now….and i ask you to read it. it will fill some things in, so things don’t need to be said twice.
anthony is near the end, but the end is…minutes? hours? probably not days, his breathing sounds too labored, but who knows. he’s always been a stubborn fucker. we sit by the bed, we cook, i massage his head, nivi massages his feet. we wait. he has stopped talking…he’s barely eaten in two days, his moans are painful to the ear.
i tweeted this morning that being pregnant at a deathbed is like nothing I’ve experienced. i feel like a human threshold. like the hinges of a swinging screen door.
we put nina simone on the stereo this morning and that’s when laura, anthony’s wife, finally really let go and sobbed in our arms. music is a door.
i downloaded the new sufjan stevens and we listened to “carrie and lowell”, the album i got obsessed with a few months ago when we almost lost this baby (don’t mean to be a complete downer here, but it did have a happy ending and a poem: https://www.patreon.com/posts/2514693
sufjan wrote it to come to terms with the death of his mother, who left him when he was a little boy.
music is the door.
i was supposed to be making music this week, but i’m not. instead i’m living in the music. sometimes you don’t get to choose. this is the way it goes. sometimes you grow the garden of songwriting, sometimes you make the meal, sometimes you create the compost. this is a compost week, apparently. i’m off the hook. i’m just holding hands and making food and seeing death. i am lucky i could make it back. i am lucky i get to, as neil said, exist in the pause right now.
the little boy next door, till, came over with his mother, clutching this painting (attached) he made for anthony. he is about 9 years old.
laura put it on an easel where anthony could see it if he raises his head. he isn’t raising his head very much. but we can see it.
and we do.
we do, we do. we do.
p.s. in honor of the fact that i’m not with edward right now, i’m going to leave you with a link to one of my favorite edward/legendary pink dots songs, from one of my favorite pink dots albums, “asylum”. it’s called “golden dawn”, and it seems appropriate at the moment.