Friday, January 07, 2022

Shock of the Familiar

It's uncanny when you first recognize a kindred spirit
When you find yourself in conversation with a long lost friend
Beholding that ineffable nous that immediately speaks to you
A substance and outlook that, you realize, tints your customary lens

For what is familiar to you, what you've long known as normalcy
Is not the same for others, rare are the cases of deep empathy
You wrote the tale of the lost stories in an attempt to find yourself
For it's not often that you recognize yourself on the book shelves

It's bracing to read them as they take you into their worlds, these writers
With their finely detailed narratives, it's the underlying story that matters
What with the shared love of limpid language and angular storytelling
We are children of Ananse, with words as music, lovers of social living

I have my tribe, masked in words, with whom I'm in episodic conversation
Members of my cohort who give me comfort with their singular discursions
Blood brothers and sisters, most of them badged as modern travelers
I don't need their likes or plaudits, their very presence is enough

Humorous anecdotes and elliptical notions thrown in for good measure
Unafraid to take our time and tell stories and let them take us where they may
There are distinctions for sure, I'm not one for some of their enthusiasms
Even when I disagree, I have a deep and specific connection with their artistic impulses

The long tail of community, kindred souls who risk and dare
We are normally dark matter, but clarifying with the stories we share
Each pushing our way towards the moment when you see your face in the mirror
But even with our undoubted self confidence, it can be the shock of the familiar

In a life of mixed metaphors: the middle passage and the torrid zone
I'd rather not face the challenge of humanity's curriculum alone
At once stranded mid-Atlantic, dislocation is our ultimate subject
A head nod to my fellow travelers engaging in the normalcy project

Aburi mask

Evocative, a playlist

The Friends playlist would normally be my first port of call, but this note seems to require something a bit more angular and evocative. Taken mostly from Massive Attack and Portishead who frankly won the 90s and finishing with the incomparable Stevie Wonder taking flight. (spotify version)

Timing is everything
Observers are worried

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Writing log: March 25, 2021

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