Childhood thing that was difficult:
I wanted to go out and play with other kids for sure but there was this fucked up older kid in my neighborhood who used to tie kids to trees and rev the back wheel of his dirtbike very close to them, threaten to kill family members etc.. There were also adventures and babes and romance and all that other excitement that were vital but would sometimes peak in terms of stress about venturing out.
I started to appreciate the rain because it just removed the decision about going out altogether, I could just stay home and be imaginative. Rain for me has always signaled safe alone-ness and loneliness.
Fast forward 20ish years to the time of recording this, I was diagnosed with Bipolar, which clarified and complicated things about my world. I opened this tune’s garageband file from around that time and did a little editing . I was also reading this book at the time called The Terror that provided the setting:
The Terror is a 2007 novel by American author Dan Simmons. It is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and H
MS Terror to the Arctic, in 1845–1848, to locate the Northwest Passage. In the novel, while Franklin and his crew are plagued by starvation and illness, and forced to contend with mutiny and cannibalism, they are stalked across the bleak Arctic landscape by a monster.
Tuunbaq is the name of the uncanny spectre that is out roaming around the ships at night, that they really do not understand, and they have to muster the heroism and courage, and recruit a lot of mania, to walk supplies miles across the frozen plains to their sister ship the Erebus. Definitely has some echoes from childhood and some of the very real physical dangers of exiting the house on Spring Valley rd.
No one really knows what those men went through beyond horrific descriptions found in diaries. I try to capture the worst bipolar episodes in diaries, and occasionally re-read them just to remind myself to appreciate the good times and not drop the ball because of how high the stakes are.
I liked trying to capture the aesthetic of the arctic landscape, it’s this otherworldly place that’s really harsh and beautiful, jagged pristine white, whipping winds, occasional eerie calm with northern lights overhead, it’s wonderfully described in the novel.
The three part harmony at the end was about my mom dad and sister, and what the crew had imagined their loved ones thinking when they would read their letters that were sent from the last harbor before setting out to the northwest passage. Felt appropriate now given my inability to visit my older parents and younger niece and nephew due to Covid.
Hypnotic repetitive part is just self talk to appreciate the beautiful aspects of depressive episodes, that to me are beautiful in the way obsidian is beautiful.
Dislodge your heart from the shelving of the pack ice
Abandon the tomb of servitude
Set out on the plain again
Set out on the plain again to the rising sun.
Not so bad it’s not so bad,
Even though you can’t ignore it.
Not so bad not so bad,
though you can’t live without it.
Man I like the way it rains.
It reminds me of the times,
I felt lonely and sad,
I felt longing inside.
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