I think it’s human nature to worry that something good that’s happening will stop from happening. But have we ever readied ourselves to the situation where it doesn’t stop? How prepared can we be to constant happiness?
One of the happiest memories I have was when I saw Cynthia Alexander perform live, for the first time. I emphasize the ‘first’ detail because I’ve only seen her perform twice: first, on her last Conspiracy gig before she flies to the US; and second, when she had a homecoming concert at Promenade.
For my first Cynthia live experience, the most enigmatic was when she performed Owner of the Sky. It wasn’t my favorite Cynthia song BUT… when she performed it live, I don’t know. It was like she’s the moon and everything else moved.
Every time I listen to Owner of the Sky, I don’t hear the studio track. I always just hear that moment when Cynthia was at arms length and the room was singing with her, if I may even put it, I think the stars were singing too.
Cynthia Alexander is an artist I always go back to. The first time I heard her was through Y!m, that’s Yahoo! Messenger for you. S sent me the file to Comfort in Your Strangeness. From there, I took to Youtube to explore her music more.
Years passed and Cynthia lay quiet as one of the songs in my playlist. Then A and I broke up, and all I could listen to was No Umbrella. It was No Umbrella over and over again, as if hearing Cynthia say the word sorry would satisfy my need to hear A say the word.
Then it was Y’s turn to brew a storm inside. I think I was looking for the lyrics to Rose when I landed E’s blog. E, a fellow Alexoldier (a term gor an Alexander fan which I am minting now), became a very dear friend. We exchanged life stories, poems, movies, songs, books… it was a hipster girl’s wet dream, our ‘friendship’.
Between my conversations with E, Cynthia will always be referred to as an angel. Apart from the music she has created, it is the connection she has lent Alexoldiers (specifically E and I) that is reason why Cynthia’s gift to my life will remain emblazoned with gold.
E is now somewhere in this earth, somewhere in Germany maybe where she’s surely falling in love with history and adapting to the cold. Before she left, I gave her Santa Barbara. She also gave me a song, but I wasn’t destined to know, she said. I don’t know if I’m still in her will, she said when she dies part of her books will be mine. If I am, I hope I will get her Plaths. Cynthia and Sylvia. We have bled stories for those two.
Now, as I thread through my confusion, this state of feeling short-changed and challenged at the same time, I go back to Cynthia. Perfect timing because she just announced that she’s now on Spotify.
How when I saw her post, I heard angels sing. The heavens opened, and I thought to myself, “This time around, I will not lose you.”
I have lost Cynthia’s music countless of times. I have searched for her always a step more than my losses. In those pushes and pulls, I have met different people: S, A, Y, E… and many more (2 K’s in fact). And it has been thoroughly exciting. Cynthia is the song my soul calls out for. I’m inexplicably happy she’s now on Spotify. Hope in this digital humanity, restored.
Likewise, as I tap myself to an endless stream of Owner of the Sky, perhaps I can also restore MY humanity. As I take myself back in that moment where even my heart, no–even my lungs, liver, bladder, kidneys sung, maybe I will be rediscovered. I am not completely lost. My soul is singing, streaming, repeat one.
Song for this feeling: Owner of the Sky by Cynthia Alexander