Thursday, July 01, 2004

You Can Dance Here If You Want

I listened to this all day yesterday. It always takes my breath away.

Interesting note: the last track on the album incorporates the voices of Moroccan women from a 1955 recording done by Paul Bowles, author of The Sheltering Sky. Are they singing? Wailing? Calling out at the market? The piece was composed by Richard Horowitz, as an incidental in the film. It is less than 2 minutes long, and you hear the women only a fraction of that time, but it’s enough to haunt you if you let it. But of course it is nowhere nearly as heart-wrenching as the themes by Ryuichi Sakamoto. No use discussing that – just listen and weep. His music is just wonderful. (I am now listening to “Casa”, a collaboration of Sakamoto and Jaques Morelenbaum, paying tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim. You can’t listen to this and be unhappy)

Another interesting bit: I found out that actor Brandon Lee’s gravestone carries an inscription taken from The Sheltering Sky:

Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It is that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps 4 and 5 times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.

I think it’s a curious choice for an epitaph. It isn’t particularly cheery or comforting, at least not to me. But it does carry more weight than “Rest In Peace” or “Family Remembrance” (if you can’t be kind, be vague). The singer Sade says that she wants her gravestone to read: “You can dance here, if you want.” I like it.

Enough talk of death and epitaphs. My “inexhaustible well” of a life is good this morning. Hope yours is too.


Blogger Carlo said...

Did you know that that book happens to be (snicker) Madonna's favorite also?
I'm still at the shoot. I'm so tired.

July 01, 2004 4:46 PM  

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