Archive for July 31st, 2021

GC Myers- Lux Templi

Lux Templi“- Hanging now at the West End Gallery

There is a town in North Ontario
Dream comfort memory to spare
And in my mind I still need a place to go
All my changes were there

–Neil Young, Helpless

I was stumbling around this morning, not really having any idea what I was doing, when this song, Helpless, came on.  The original version from Neil Young has been a longtime favorite, one that I have played here a few times over the years. But I particularly like this version from the great k.d. lang and it really struck home with me this morning.

It was the first verse that did it, especially its last lines– in my mind I still need a place to go/all my changes were there. There’s something about the role memory plays in our wellbeing that jumped out at me, at least as I interpreted it. It reminded me of all the times when I have been in some sort of mental distress and how often I revisited my memory at those times to perhaps seek a point in the distant past that is remembered as being safe and comfortable– dream comfort memory to spare.

And in those distant memories seeking some sort of answer or clue to relieve whatever was troubling me in the present.

A reboot, a return to a point before all the changes. 

Of course, that’s an impossibility and for me that’s where the helpless element in this song takes place. While we may seek clues and maybe even comfort from the past, we are entities that have undergone changes, for better or worse, in the intervening time.

We face the present as we are. And the future? Who knows? The present will undoubtedly change us so we will be changed in some ways when the future meets us.

I thought the painting at the top, Lux Templi, felt right with this song. There’s a solitariness to it that has the feeling of the open spaces of northern Canada. I guess where it diverts from the song is that while it has this sense of aloneness, it doesn’t feel overwhelmed by it. It has both a sense of self-dependence and a spiritual connection with nature.

I don’t know. I’m just spit-balling here. Give a look and a listen and decide for yourself.

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