set the twilight reeling

Lou Reed died on Sunday.  This was strange to me because my relationship with him had only begun on Saturday night.  I am a little embarrassed that I was not fully informed about the music of this artist.  Of course I knew some of his songs and was aware of the Velvet Underground and their being part of the Andy Warhol scene, but I think I was just a little too young and a lot too unhip to have accessed more of his music in its time.  When I was just a little older and a touch more hip, I did become a fan of Laurie Anderson‘s work, and got it when she and Lou Reed later became an item.

Being attached to the elements of time, sound and place that Lou Reed inhabited, I would have responded with some curiosity and sadness upon hearing of his passing.  But, having been in his presence just the night before, made the news resonate through my being.

English: Lou Reed performing Berlin at the Glo...

English: Lou Reed performing Berlin at the Globe Annex in Stockholm July 9 2008  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What had happened was that on Saturday night, Pete and I found ourselves still adjusting to being parents without boarders.  This is what my daughter called us when she moved out recently to start college, leaving us with no kids living in the house.  Simultaneous with that event,  by means of some cable wire, our computer has become magically capable of projecting things onto our television set–thus widely expanding the viewing opportunities at our disposal.   So, giddy with this new means of entertainment against the backdrop of a quiet house, Pete turned me onto a show called Spectacle, where Elvis Costello interviews an array of musical guests.  Though this was big news to me, the episodes were recorded between 2008 and 2010.  The show is a combination of  story telling and casual performance which I love.

Comfortably curled up for a night of relaxation, we started with Elvis Costello’s  interview with Elton John.   Right away my rock and roll pulse began to quicken.  Next, we chose the one with Lou Reed.  With Costello’s thoughtful and serious questions and Reed’s droll but meaningful answers, the segment just began to unfold like a walk through a park. Reed was iconic but also gracious and familiar seeming.   He  discussed lyrics, the influence of the Beat poets, songs as stories and the effectiveness of minimal chords.  Then, the artist Julian Schnabel joined them on stage.  A very close friend of Reed, he told a touching story about loss that brought out the richness of their relationship.  He recited Reed’s Rock Minuet as if he were Hamlet.   Costello and Reed performed a perfect duet of A  Perfect Day and they ended the segment with Set the Twilight Reeling.  The combination of the scorching guitars and contrasting vocals was beautiful.   I turned to Pete and said that I felt that I had just had a spiritual experience.

So, when on Sunday, as I was home working on some frustrating and soul-constraining activities and then saw the news that Lou Reed had died, I was strangely affected.  How could that be?  I just saw him the night before.  He seemed ok–his heart was full and he treated us to some of Sweet Jane.  I texted Pete–who was at a conference–the news.  He wrote back agreeing that was very weird.  Throughout the rest of the day, in between tending to my mundane tasks,  I gobbled up the various contents of the musician’s cholesterol-rich oeuvre by reading articles and listening to his music.  When Pete returned, he played me some more.  I felt kind of empty.  I regretted the loss to the world of a sensitive artist.

My own work can frequently feel quite vapid to me–I am reactive to when there is too much science, too much medicine, too much judgement, and too little soul.   The lyrics of my day are littered with mean or inflamed words like hypertension, arthritis, hypertriglyceridemia, gout, GERD, diabetes, obesity and diabesity.  Diabesity–actually sounds like it could be the name of a Lou Reed song.  While Lou Reed’s lyrics can be ugly, angry and crass sometimes too, they are also tender and romantic.

I am always longing for the lyrical and the poetic–and am grateful for artists and their art.   For the lives and stories that I am privy to, I imagine something I call  Diapoetry–where the impersonal becomes personal, where healing becomes love.  This is any artistic or humanistic expression of matters related to health and the conditions that support or hinder it.   It has applications wider than its name.  There are beautiful renditions of illness and loss; there are healing practitioners whose science is art, there is life-giving  food prepared with love and there are acts of service.   It can be pretty or not–but it touches emotions and represents our fuller selves.  Diapoetry can be represented in many ways.  My observation is just that the collective psyche is weary of the bombastic and literal when it comes to our bodies.

So, it was additionally strange, when on the following night, Pete said, “El, read this“.   He handed me a New York Times’ article about Lou Reed having had diabetes.  Apparently, as he struggled with what to eat in response to it,  the restaurateurs and chefs he knew in New York began to create special menus for him and helped him to become interested in food for health.  I was shocked.  Here I am following the life and times of this legendary artist who was known for his often alienating and transgressive behaviors–and he ends up with the same humbling condition that brings many to their knees, praying for culinary and nutritional redemption.  Suddenly, Lou Reed who traveled in realms quite foreign to me,  landed in a place I know a little something about.

The article concluded with a quote from Reika Alexander, the owner of one of the restaurants who nourished him.  She said, recalling a strong final hug, “Even a couple of weeks ago he told me that he loved eating our food because it made him feel really healthy. He was really sweet. I really miss him. I was hoping I could see him again.”

That story, that food, that hug and Lou Reed himself–I think that is diapoetry.  It may be a fitting ending for this man who obviously fed the collective psyche.

Then there is Diabscentity.

Anyway, send word, love and any expressions of Diapoetry you may wish to share.

In health, Elyn

Happy Birthday to my dear husband Peter, who brings a lot of  music to my life.    Really– jazz, classical, post rock, electronic, some really weird stuff–and always rock and roll.  This video is for you, Peter.  (and everyone else, too)

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2013/11/11/131111ta_talk_smith

 

my plate

my plate

My Plate Haiku

As the twilight sunburst gleams
as the chromium moon it sets
As I lose all my regrets
and set the twilight reeling
I accept the new found man
and set the twilight reeling.

by Lou

About these ads

4 thoughts on “set the twilight reeling

  1. Actually I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, the web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent. Thank you for sharing with us. I think it would be effective for all. Good job, cheers!
    NER Neuroendocrine restoration

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s