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June 26th, 2006


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04:59 pm - Women and water are in short supply. . .
Sandra gave me a quick scan, and I felt that thing that women can do to you with just a glance. It is like having an emotional x-ray. Women can pass some kind of energy through a man's body using no high-tech, state-of-the-art gamma scanner but only their eyes.
-A Salty Piece of Land, p. 249
Ah, women. They're wonderful creatures. You'll note that I'm looking to get a few quotes from the book I recently finished thrown up. I like them, is why. They're fun to read and often they describe things perfectly. Right now, I'm thinking about women and the strange things they do.

I was listening in the car a few weeks ago (at this point. . . I'm slow at updating) to a song called "Something Like That" by Tim McGraw. A particular line stuck out at me:

I worked so hard for that first kiss


And the lyric enlivened me.

I think, on some level, I remembered how hard I've worked for so many kisses I never managed to get. I go back and forth on an almost hourly basis about women right now. It's interesting to sit inside my head and listen to what I'm doing, and realize that I have no idea.

Nothing was working. It is simply not in the genes of a heterosexual man in the tropics during spring break to throw two beautiful, barely dressed, very forward women in the posession of a joint of killer weed out of his life.
-A Salty Piece of Land, p. 259
While I'll let anyone with weed walk out of my life without too much complaint, speaking generally, I identified well with Tully Mars throughout the entire book, A Salty Piece of Land. The guy had real girl troubles. Poor kid.

One girl left him for another man because he didn't and couldn't say what he needed to say at the time. Another girl sailed into his life and sailed out with him. One girl used him to fulfill his fantasies and then turned him over to some thugs. Another girl was there to lead him to lighthouses and worlds of adventure.

I couldn't believe how much I identified my life with Tully's for several chapters. Don't bother trying to match up women in my life with the ones in the book: there's not a 1:1 comparison, though some do exist in such a parallel that I couldn't think otherwise.

Also recently, I was listening to the song, "Settle for a Slow Down" by Dierks Bentley. I got into a discussion about whether the song was a sad one, or a happy one. Go ahead and read the lyrics (or listen to the song, if you have taste and like this artist enough to own a CD of his). I'll wait.

Okay:

In the discussion, there were two opposing views: One focused on the hope (we'll call this the "Hope" argument) and the other focused on the fact that the girl doesn't slow down (we'll call this the "Damnit" argument).

Neither is technically incorrect, but when I hear the song, I don't hear the damnit argument. I don't hear the fact that the girl isn't slowing down. I don't hear the fact that she's gone so far away.

What I hear is the expression of love, the expression of hope, and the depth of feeling. It's not a sad song to me: he's let her go, accepted that out of love. He knows he'll never see her again, and he also knows that she won't actually slow down. Sure, he wants her to, he wants to see that brakelight, but he wants to see it because it will validate the love he still so deeply feels.

I think that part of the reason that I see this song as "hopeful" instead of the alternate "damnit" argument is because I see songs as stories, not as poetry or music. When I listen to a song, I hear a story. I don't hear the words alone, I don't hear the music.

In my mind, I understand the background of the story. I know how the story got to this point, where it goes from here. I know what is unsaid in the song.

Finally, today I received two Dove chocolates. They come with little sayings in the wrappers: the first was, "Write a Love Letter." The second was, "Naughty can be Nice."

I believe I now have an assignment.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Manana", -JB

(38 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:snakesinspace
Date:June 26th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
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The world needs more love letters tucked away in random places.

It also needs more good porn.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 26th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
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With Dick Nixon!
From:perlgirlju
Date:June 26th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
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Were they Dove dark chocolates or Dove milk chocolates?
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 26th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
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These particular ones were milk. No darks were, apparently, available.

But a request has gone in.
From:emmilicious
Date:June 26th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
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The fact that you like country music makes me want you all the more.


rawr!
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
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Baby, I choose all my musical options based on what I think is most likely to get me into your pants.
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From:creature_tamer
Date:June 26th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Aha, still trying to understand women? My most recent conclusions have been that this is an ultimately futile pursuit. Not because women as a whole are especially enigmatic, but rather because they aren't really "a whole" at all. My roadblock for many years was trying to understand some vague entity called "female," when in fact it's actually a large collection of individuals with different thoughts and perceptions.

I probably don't have to tell you that, though. Just thinking aloud here.

Not that arriving at answers is any less complicated with that paradigm. But at least it's possible to get a semblance of what the question is. ;)
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From:smithing_chick
Date:June 26th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
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My roadblock for many years was trying to understand some vague entity called "female," when in fact it's actually a large collection of individuals with different thoughts and perceptions.

And that, my friend, is the key to the entire thing. Now if only more people would realize this fundamental truth, the world might be a bit easier to deal with. I will also maintain that if you want to know what a woman wants, you should ask her. It's likely that she'll tell you. :)
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From:singingwren
Date:June 26th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Funny. I guess I have trouble getting past the "ouch" factor of that particular song because I feel I can relate to it on some level, too.

It's interesting to see that you feel he's let her go out of love and I feel he's let her go because he has no choice. To me, he sounds pathetic; he's saying, "I'll take any damn thing I can get, I know you won't stop, but if you could please give me SOME fucking sign that you care, then I could heal..." But she just doesn't. And yet he stands there, waiting in the rain, tortured by vain hope.

There is a depth of feeling to it, and a goodness. There's a goodness to that resignation, to the purity of that sorrow. But I don't find hope in his wanting to see those lights as a validation of love because... he doesn't. His love is not validated. It is noble to stand there for that cause, but if you keep on standing you just get soaked to the bone.

I feel like I know this story, too, and the last things they said and did not say. I do see the hope after reading your viewpoint, but I'm not sure that that hope isn't painfully self-destructive. I also know what it's like for someone not to look back.

Is hope unconditionally good? I think that's the probably the central question.

Currently half of me believes that it is, and the other half thinks that half is stupid... *laughs*

Gotta love Dierks.


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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
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Yes, there is that way of looking at it, that he sounds pathetic, alone, and left behind. But what I hear in it is the love he's pouring out, which is beautiful, not any sort of scorn she may have for him. The love outweighs the regret and pain he feels.

I find a beautiful, deep love in the song. One that's pure because it is so deep and accepting, and also pure because of that slight taint of wanting something for himself. The fact that he's looking for the slow down is really what makes it so deep to me.
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From:singingwren
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)

just thought of this!

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The perfect counterpart to this sad-yet-maybe-happy-yet-mostly-sad song is this one by Montgomery Gentry. It makes me feel really happy, even though the subject is nearly the same.

This woman is every bit as gone as the last one, but Gommy tackles it with an up-beat, laugh-at-myself-and-the-world sort of attitude. You can almost hear his friends drawling in surprised country, "Damn, man! That bage is gone!" I hear love in this too, and a sense of loss, but I think he's just too amazed at how quickly she picked up and left to even be sad. He's just going, "Whoah! That was quick!" None of this moping or being pathetic.

You could argue that this love is shallow, but it seems to me that the most powerful ones are those that end fairly cleanly with both parties mostly understanding what the other side does. I think he's got a lot of respect for this woman, no matter what he bitch he probably also thinks she is... and no matter what a bitch she is. And that's cool.

Sucks for everyone, but I can't help but admire how gone this woman is. :P

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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)

Re: just thought of this!

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"Gone" is a good song. It's similar to "Settle for a Slow Down" in a lot of ways. Both are really just dealing with their pain differently, which is how it usually works in relationships that end.

I ought to know, given recent discussions with various people who are breakingup, and my own experiences.
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From:duriyah
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
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I am loving these quotes from A Salty Piece of Land. And that second one...while I can't identify with the particulars of his dilemma, I can certainly identify with the sentiment ;-)

Those are powerful lyrics. I dont' see the song as either sad or hopeful, but rather bittersweet, and powerfully honest. There is a beauty in his naked deep emotion standing out there in the rain. He isn't hiding from any of it, or hiding himself from her. I fucking love that.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
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Don't worry, there are many more quotes to come up. I just look for ways to keep them relevant to my LJ entries.

Which means I'll have to write one about corporate greed and one about lighthouses, I'm sure. :)
From:ceolnamara
Date:June 27th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
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I looked over the lyrics, because I can't remember if I've heard the song before. It was weird, my sister turned the radio on soon after I clicked over, and I thought the sound was coming from my computer. It was confusing.

I dunno what I think about the song. It's bittersweet, I think. The girl gets what she needs, and the boy wishes her the best but wants to be remembered.

I think, anyway. I'm a bit braindead.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
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Yeah for braindead!

I mean, get some sleep :)
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From:ariansdreams
Date:June 27th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
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You are the only person I know who can wax philosophical about a country song. Or several. Congrats on that.

I like both of those songs, though. I like most country songs, even if most of them are really terrible from a musical perspective. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 27th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
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The only person? You live in Texas. . . There should be no shortage of people getting philosophical about really bad country songs :)

To prove I can do it with really bad country songs, I should write the story behind "Please Take Your Drunken Fifteen Year Old Girlfriend Home," a personal favourite of mine :)
From:healing_coyote
Date:June 29th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
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such interesting things you think about...why, I do believe that I am thinking along the same lines with boys/Men! And certain sexy women, but those have sadly remained fantasies....meh. :)

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