|"The whole thing smacks of effort."
||[Dec. 3rd, 2008|05:17 pm]
Sara with no H
As usual, Tom's livejournal has me thinking about things.
I was listening to Radiohead's I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings on the way home, thinking about the live version of "Like Spinning Plates." There are a lot of reasons to love that song: the beautiful, cyclical piano melody which my mother once described by saying "I feel like I'm in a dream." The lyrics, if for no other reason than the line "our bodies floating down the muddy river" gives me a little chill every time. The incredibly long intro, the chord progression, all of it. But what gets me every time is the way Thom Yorke breathes.
After every line, you can clearly hear him gasp for breath, trying to fill his lungs with enough air to get through the next bit. Huge, wet gasps of oxygen. The song feels extra urgent and more desperate because you can hear the effort, you can see, in your mind, his closed eyes and furrowed brow, trying to get every drop of emotion out there for you.
In high school, it used to kill me when people would say someone was "trying too hard." I know the sentiment they're trying to express--that sense of pandering, desire to be liked, trying to please, etc--but my feeling was always, well, how hard are YOU trying? And if you're not trying as hard as you can, then what the fuck is wrong with you?
We should all be trying as hard as we can. Maybe not at everything, but at something. I don't mean to come off as some didactic asshole, but I know no other way to express this feeling I have, this thing I wanted to tell you as I was walking home from the el in the snow. I think sportscasters who say "this guy makes it look easy" are missing a certain point, sometimes. We should all be like Michael Phelps, underwater until the last possible second, our huge heads breaking the surface, swallowing huge gulps of terrible, cold air into our aching lungs.
I'm not sure I've said what I'm trying to say, but I'm going to do a workout and make black bean burgers. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.