Saturday, July 18, 2015

#466 A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay

In a yoga class, a block from the Alamo, my hardest position was to remain calm while Coldplay was playing and simply allow the sorrow of Chris Martin's haunting voice to enter my consciousness while not affecting me.  I kept trying to focus on the way my hands squished the green mat, the way my breath sounded in my face, the way the accelerated roar of the tour busses passing outside rattled the pipes of the old lofted studio.  I kept imagining an umbrella over my little rectangle of space like noise cancellation headphones for Coldplay.  And I failed miserably.  You see, I picked this album months ago to write about but for many reasons I couldn't bring myself to express any thoughts on it.  I would play portions of it and put it down because it resonated such pain like the band wasn't playing guitars--they were playing my heart strings instead.

While in downward facing dog, tears began to drop silently on my mat and rather than tuning it out, which was all I wanted in the world, I slowly allowed the inevitable to happen.  I leaned in unwillingly at first and opened up.  Purposefully, I agreed to feel every A minor chord and then the instructor's voice began to fade, the tour busses disappeared, the sound of my breath evaporated and there I was contemplating the death of relationships to the sound of Coldplay playing through my cells and bouncing through every neuron in my head, occupying the space between my fingers and the mat, the space between the touching soles of my feet, the space between my back and the ceiling and then there was something like resignation as I allowed all experiences triggered by my body and the music to bubble up with force and I watched them flash at me and pop as the next one appeared.  puppy breath.  A hair on my pillow in waking sunlight.  Explosions in the Sky Concert.  A Kaleidoscope of Monarch Butterflies.  The frying hair on the back of my neck in a hot air balloon.  Sweating summer leather seats.  Cold Concrete.  Red carpet. A mountain top.  Books.  The comforting smell of a fat grey cat rescued from the Cooke County Courthouse.  The vibration of the sound of the metal trim when the note D was played and knowing it must be tuned if the vibration was absent.  The fluttering of birds with a single step.  Smoke and Coughing and Coughing and Coughing.  Wiping away Fingerprints on a glass table.

I was constantly asked, all the time, what was I thinking.  It made me feel as powerless as the day I listened to Coldplay while practicing yoga.  Maybe thoughts occur differently to everyone.  I wonder if some people only see colors or smells or just perceive general feelings.  Some people can take thoughts and simply acknowledge them without judgment and watch them dissapate to the depths of consciousness.  Others allow thoughts to take control of their physicality and act out with impulsivity.  And some of us turn them into tears to water their yoga mat.

I guess we can all blame it on a rush of blood to the head.

The entire album seems to ask this question: At what point does attraction turn to love and love turn into possession and inevitably to loss?  In one inhale and exhale it is over and we are already looking back at the silent resentments that formed, the hatred created in a night of a perfect storm, the personal concessions, compromises, and sacrifices made for the sake of staying together and after a knock-down, drag-out hurricane one person still wants to "get back to the start."  To maintain the ideal and the fantasy of who each other were when first glances, first hand touches, first smells were appreciated more than breath itself.  But you've already shredded each other to puddles of nothingness to grasp at ghosts of feelings that were there only when you first noticed how beautiful one another was.  Noticed, but not touched.

Perhaps the only love stories are the ones that never happen.

This is the very reason I cannot stand being given flowers as a gesture of love.  Here are beautiful blooming life forms that I've killed and put in a vase for you to enjoy.  And when you've enjoyed all the remaining life out of them they become desiccated and withered and putrid.  And the receiver is left with just an empty vase to be either discarded or placed under the kitchen sink ready to be full of beautiful colorful quiet agony again.  Osho once said about love, "If you love a flower, don't pick it up.  Because if you pick it up, it dies and it ceases to be what you loved.  So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession.  Love is about appreciation."

When I left the yoga class, certain everyone had noticed my silent suffering - when in fact nobody had - I ran into two very good friends of mine here in San Antonio.  In their separate ways, they both push me to exceed the expectations I have for myself every week.  They have each made me a stronger more confident person.  After this emotional hour that felt like an exorcism, there they were at the foot of the stairs looking up at me not knowing that I appreciated them so much in that moment; not having a clue about the symbolic meaning their presence had to me in my private universe.  How very significant they were.  One of them has an eye for beauty and takes beautiful photographs, and through her free spirit and creativity turns everyone into works of art in photos and creates human sculptures with her students on their yoga mats.  The other is strong enough to hold the weight of the world on his shoulders without wavering and absorb the suffering through humor and light-heartedness and although I have lost my ego in front of him before - in the midst of working out so hard my whole body shakes uncontrollably- he still sees me as I am without judgment.  And I was so dumb-struck by their presence - In that moment I felt something like love and appreciation for them.  And after greetings and small talk were exchanged, I walked passed them and to my car in the same way I would walk by two beautiful flowers on a walking trail that I noticed and appreciated but didn't feel the need to pick.

Some of us make others stronger, some of us take photographs, some of us facilitate moments of quiet reflection on accident, some of us sing haunting music that trigger emotional responses, some of us cook, some of us think alone in a smokey garage...

And some of us write.

Ironically, what was written about this album made me laugh out loud.

Capitol, 2002
Coldplay churn out bighearted British guitar rock on their second album – what Chris Martin aptly called "emotion that can make you feel sad while you're moving your legs."

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