Tuesday, June 19, 2012

# 437 All Things Must Pass - George Harrison (#433 new list)

The last time I listened to "My Sweet Lord" my car had been flipped upside down going 70 miles per hour on I35 on the anniversary of the birth of our lord, William Shakespeare.  While my seatbelt held me upside down, I watched the glass smash onto the pavement and my crappy Nissan Altima screamed in agony like a braking train.  The unyielding pavement popped piece after piece of glass flecks up and up like popcorn, hitting my face and shirt and wrists.

I was laughing.  Like a Kurt Vonnegut character becoming unstuck in time.  I recalled the faint smell of leather and satin from pointe shoes years ago.  Effervescent ejaculations of uncontrolled giggling poured out of my body like tears.  I laughed at the death that I was waiting for as my head hit the window and all I could hear above the sounds of screeching breaks, roaring highway, and my own beating heart were the (un)comforting words of George Harrison singing, "I really want to see you lord, but it takes sooo long my lord (hallelujah)."  During a nutcracker rehearsal when I was 14, one of my friends said to me, did you hear, George Harrison from The Beatles died today.  yeah, I said, as I hopped up and down to break in my new pair of pointe shoes.  The crack of the rosin rocks beneath my blunt toes looked remarkably like the glass popping in my face.  And, as one who is cursed to find irony in every moment of life, I laughed.  Until a man held me back in my seat as he unbuckled my seatbelt, pulled me out of my car window, carried me to the side of the road, laid me on my back, put my feet in the air, and said, "you're going to be fine.  I do this for a living."  I said, "you pull people out of cars for a living?  That's a pretty sweet job." (My Loorrrdddd, my my my lord, my sweet lord, Krishna Krishna) "I'll stay with you until the ambulance gets here."  He said.  "No, you don't need to do that.  When I feel better, I'll get up and move my car." I said. "It's upside down." he said. "Is it?  If you could give me a minute, I'll just flip it back over."  "Just relax but don't close your eyes.  you could lose consciousness."

When life came back into focus a few days later, I picked up the accident report.

"Passenger extracted herself from the vehicle."  according to three witnesses.  And when I saw my car, both front doors were jammed closed and both windows were intact.  To this day, I have no idea how I got out of the car, upside down after a concussion and spinal compression.

Apparently, my guardian angel is a 40 something hispanic male in black nike shorts and a wife beater.

That memory, and the memory of a stiff new pair of pointe shoes as I recalled my first celebrity death rushed through my brain when I turned this album on.  His words melodiously slithered through my brain and unlocked doors of memories long forgotten and images not of this lifetime.  Through a neurological web, I recalled the crunch of a rosin rock under pink point shoes and the sound of shattering glass.  I thought about how we are not individuals, although we think we are.  In an article I recently thumbed through, they estimate that microbes outnumber our own cells 10 to 1.  And that we are not single entities, but rather we are private ecosystems, providing a home for billions of cells and microbes who all work together like a micro-universe.  We are forests.  And that each cell has its own parts and functions and works with its neighbor cells, much like we live in houses and live next door to other families.  I recalled walking my careless pomeranian puppy who stepped on a small snail that carried the secret fractal geometry of the universe in his miniature shell as I heard Harrison sing through my earbuds, "Isn't it a Pity."  I thought about the time where I once had a moment when I stood naked in my closet and felt humbled by my clothes.  This shirt, I mused, this cotton shirt is so much more than that.  IT started with cotton seeds that came from centuries of cotton plants once picked by sweating black hands, but are now picked by people all over the world.  And those little balls of cotton that came from the same plant went off to a factory to be spun and dyed.  A beautiful person planted the seeds, someone with a pregnant wife picked the cotton, a small child wove the cotton into fabric, a woman who was inspired by a song someone wrote designed the image to be printed on the front, someone who was bullied in high school designed the printer she used, and a recovering alcoholic sent it to a store, and I bought it and brought it home and placed it in my closet.  And at the moment I  lifted it over my head and put my head through the hole, I was born with a realization that this very moment was put into motion years before I was conceived.  And this moment too, shall pass.

And this album made me realize, that I am a piece of any puzzle of any one person or thing I have ever touched and will ever touch before I pass away.  And so are you.  And on a grand scale, we are God and Nothing at the same time.  Our lives are the most meaningful, especially for the billions of microbes who call it home, and are also the most insignificant of lives (to those who make us pay taxes).  And these small memories I've provided here, are some of the many memories of people who have been touched by this album.  If we could make a mountain out of the memories triggered by George Harrison, it would take an eternity to climb.  And he was only one man in our macro-universe.  And that is one of the many profound points I surmised from this album.

So if you didn't get that, give it a re-listen and keep in mind that "Not too many people, can see we're all the same."

Don McLean would be happy to know that this music saved my mortal soul.  Here is what Rolling Stone had to say:

Apple, 1970
Harrison had almost enough songs stored up from his Beatles days for a triple LP – the gas starts to run out during the jams on Side Six. But spiritual guitar quests like "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life" became classics.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/500-greatest-albums-of-all-time-20120531/george-harrison-all-things-must-pass-19691231#ixzz1yHU3NE49