by nick splendorr
January 24, 2023

stifled voice

I'm trying to write letters to several people. Apologies, catch-ups, explanations, reconnections.

Writing used to be the most natural thing in the world to me. I wrote notebooks-full and novels-worth of letters, diaries, lyrics, stories, and poems, throughout my life into my 20s.

The less pleasant my life got, the poorer my wallet, the longer my various biochemical conditions went untreated while material conditions failed to improve to compensate... it got harder and harder to access the free flowing of words.

My own voice. Disgusting to me. Painful. Recriminative. I didn't believe in my own thoughts. Didn't want to write letters because what was the point? Just to tell someone who cares about me how bad I felt? To write another story that turned into self-destruction? To write a song nobody was going to hear?

I miss it. Desperately. Always. But when I start, in any medium besides a vague live journal-style post, it hurts so badly immediately. My heart races, I flood with anger and regret and despair, at all the lost time, at my lost life. It hurts. I can't describe how badly it hurts, and how venomously angry I am that my enjoyment of my own mind has been taken or lost. I truly hate it in here, y'all. And when my voice, my heart, comes out, it is furious. It can't believe this is still going on. That the happy-hearted, creative little kid has turned into a resentful, stymied, old bastard.

... See what I mean?

Anyway, I want to write letters to people I've let down or let go. Not to justify myself, but to explain that they didn't do anything wrong. That it's just me, suffering primarily in silence, confused and lost and hurting, unable to communicate clearly.

I've been accosted too many times for my words. I've written from my heart and had my life literally ruined, harm done, attacked by those who were supposed to care for me. I've also written things that have made other people happy, entertained, informed. Sometimes the same things. I haven't had a stable enough foundation of confidence to withstand the criticism, deserved or not, for a long, long time.

Sara once wondered aloud why she so often fell for emotionally-unavailable men. Meaning me. I said, "I don't know." But in my heart I was screaming, because I wasn't born this way. I was made, damaged, beaten, coerced. The friction of so many meaningless, moneyless days. The insistent and abusive control of my parents, who only loved me when I did exactly what they wanted. The partners who misinterpreted me despite my best efforts, out of their own trauma and suspicion. My naive belief that if I just kept trying to make a connection with someone who was dead-set against me, that a bridge could be formed. A childhood surrounded by friends, family, and people who clapped for my clowning, giving way to an adult life cut off from the world, trying and too-late escaping my family, sweating in rural Georgia for no reason besides literally never having enough money to entertain moving elsewhere under my own velocity.

Anyway. I can write this, and hope that it will give way to writing more directly and constructively to a person, instead of generally to whoever still clicks to this webpage, despite everything. Instead I'll go back to work, where communication is draining my energy, where again for some reason I can't get people to really hear what I'm saying, to believe that I know what I'm talking about, that maybe the reason I seem so strange and threatening is because I do know things they don't, and that I am, as usual, several steps ahead and falling increasingly behind.

I want to believe in my life. In my voice. I don't right now. This is just barking at the window. I'm trying to find my way to myself. I've been trying for almost 20 years.

January 24, 2023

"While you watch the world in stages, taking piece after piece of your heart"

"to the birds that sing in cages" — michael flynn (not that one)

Beat back the night
Tell it to leave you alone

January 12, 2023

"been so cold to the ones who loved me"

the weeknd — "out of time"

January 04, 2023

"Feel waves with low emotion"

"stay down" — silversun pickups

Smothering our sons and daughters
Some swim, some float
Washed out of particular seas

I wanna swim in a beautiful ocean
Feel waves with low emotion
A little change, a little hope

Some words ring better than others
Limiting the sounds we mutter
Some sing, some don't
A little piece of a beautiful world
Once said and overheard

Just another sign
Best to keep that body down

December 16, 2022

"or wish my name had been vasectomy"

the velvet teen — "no one gets the best of me"

Yeah, some say that this life ain't the only one we get
I once claimed that I'd found myself when I'd only been chasing my own silhouette

So point the finger at whom you like
Or raise your head and curse the sky
It makes no difference
That's why I never could decide

December 16, 2022

"do the things you desire"

the velvet teen — gyzmkid

one of the coolest-sounding songs? or the coolest-sounding song? you decide

Do the people you love
Still come greet you like you'd never left off
Or has your skin become too rough
Is it too hard to even keep in touch

Yeah, i try my best, but when i can't
And i'm away, know you've all my love
In this sea turtle moment

December 16, 2022

"written over like a page"

Dirty Projectors — "The Bride" and "Two Doves"

Whose cascading empathy could really reach beyond tomorrow?

This is a fantastic album, with a good mix of strange meditations and dance-ish hooks. The harmonies. Everybody knows about these voices. But if you don't:

Don't confront me with my failure!

December 01, 2022

"because I allways do"

luxury — parallel love

Near as I can tell, this song isn't based on Only Revolutions. But it might as well be.

I'm thinking too much about how it's been 20 years since I was 16. That songs about love used to move me, movement implying a future location different from this one. You can make an argument for a present tense of movement, dancing, but I didn't re-learn to dance until I was 30 and then 3 years later the dance halls closed and we can't breathe each other anymore, sweaty in the glimlight of a bar going gone. Brief bloom of youth out of season. So now love is a word in a song that fits anywhere and refers only to a feeling a human body used to be able to have, that motivated so many long days and nights, but also ultimately served primarily as an anchor in both good and bad measure, while my mind flayed itself against the shore repeatedly seeking somehow to both swim and stand, never ceasing, never happy, never full.

November 09, 2022

"never be a winner, babe, I know"

Nilüfer Yanya - Safety Net

you'll never believe it, but I think this is: a great album!!!

I'll never be a safety net. It doesn't matter what you get, go!
So go on and place a bet. I'll never be a winner, babe, I know

I'm not trying to be someone
I'm not trying to be someone
I'm not trying to be someone I'm not

November 07, 2022

"the root of so much social dysfunction and conflict"

Jony Ive:

Ive is quick to look ahead. “Success is the enemy of curiosity,” he says. And for Ive, curiosity has taken on an almost moral or religious quality. “I am terrified and disgusted when people are absolutely without curiosity,” he says. “It’s at the root of so much social dysfunction and conflict…. Part of why I get so furious when people dismiss creativity is that [when] it’s an activity practiced in its most noble and collaborative form, it means a bunch of people who come together in an empathic and selfless way. What I have come to realize is that the process of creating with large groups of people is really hard and is also unbelievably powerful.”

I think all the time about what leads people to be not just incurious, but proudly so. We have a world wherein simply surviving can take up all of your available energy. People need room and rest to be willingly curious. I've always had a curious bent that won't let me rest even when I'm exhausted from work. But it's gotten harder and harder to feel it's worth the energy to learn things for their own sake.

But then there's the inverse, where people who have an easy life, with surplus resources and time to spare, also tend to be incurious. Because they don't need to be? Is a lack of curiosity something that emerges from lack and from luxury? Is there something else within people that trends one way or the other, and if so, why? Then there's also the power structure angle wherein people are ready to be assured that the answers are already known, fundamentalism of all kinds.

... But then why are the people most likely to say "do your own research" on topics also the most likely to believe the least-plausible, conspiratorial explanation? Here I am, winding down too many paths, literally not even realizing until now that I guess I'm illustrating my point.

Anyway. As an extension, I'm too tired to dig any deeper. Especially on big questions there's just literally no answer to.

But collaborative creativity is one of the most beautiful experiences we can have. I don't always agree with what I know about Ive, but I really appreciate this emphasis.