the decay of lying

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Songs from Liquid Days - Philip Glass



If you had no name
If you had no history
If you had no books
If you had no family

If it were only you
Naked on the grass
Who would you be then?
This is what he asked

And I said, I wasn't really sure
But I would probably be cold

And now I'm freezing



Well, I dunno, where to start? You see, what tends to happen is that I hear something – a piece of music, a lyric, a fragment of conversation... and that just sparks off a quick train of thought; stream of consciousness (stream of something, certainly!) and I set aside that carefully drawn up list of things to do that I conjured in an attempt to make my life look busy and active and important and disappear off down a different little pathway in my mind entirely.


So loneliness and belonging and stuff – since we mentioned it – that's a tricky one. I spend quite a lot of time wondering where I'm s'posed to be... if I'll ever find that “place” - and as a junior existentialist normally draw the conclusion that ultimately, you're basically on your own – bugger. And then this little song perks up and seems to ask just that question – strip everything away: Who or what are you? And if not quite freezing, I was left a bit stunned and distinctly chilly...


* * *


And even when you try to write honestly... the knowledge that someone else might read it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to write without that little bit of dramatic licence – that element of performance creeping in... and the line between truth and “art and performance” in its very loosest interpretation becomes interestingly blurred.... So pick the bones out of that....


* * *


I could say to you, that everything has become a performance... a trained monkey dancing on a chain for the amusement of its audience. But have become so caught up in the “role” that I could no longer tell you whether even that is true. The audience is always there, if only in the mind's eye – like running a film reel to an empty cinema. You become a bit lost in it all...


And now I'm freezing