Nov 4, 2004

Sleepwalking away...

It's nearly 4 a.m., and I cannot sleep. Ordinarily, this would not bother me, as I even look forward to perhaps staying awake until dawn and experiencing early morning euphoria. Having a botany lab slated for the early daylight hours, however, changes the complexion of everything. Pulling myself out of bed that early to attend a scheduled event I am hardly enthused about is always a challenge, especially when I've attained very little sleep. Last week Thursday, I simply could not bring myself to get out of bed, and ended up sleeping through the entire lab session. Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to do such a thing.

Chris Vrenna's album, 2 a.m. Wakeup Call, is best listened to during times of insomnia. That is precisely what it is intended for. Insomniac music by an artist who calls himself Tweaker. I'm entirely convinced that one best appreciates the strange, haunting melodies when sleep deprived. Sometimes they're dreamy... other times, nightmarish. "Movement of Fear" is one of the more psychologically disturbing compositions I've heard. I am actually intimidated to listen to it alone in complete darkness while half asleep, for fear of it summoning up nightmares. It does follow directly on the heels of "2 a.m.," a much more soothing, ambient tune, conjuring up images of leaping effortlessly from cloud to cloud in the sky under the stars at 2 a.m. But, of course, Vrenna loves to play with your mind, and take advantage of your lethargy and heightened susceptibility to hallucinations... and that's exactly what this album does. It fulfills its goal of taking the listener on an epic journey, and the journey isn't always pleasant. Sometimes, I'm afraid to listen to it... afraid of what it might do to my mind. I can't say the same for any other album I own. It inspires my imagination to conceive of the most bizarre thoughts and fantasies; too outlandish to be justifiably described in words. In a way, it's beautiful, and in a way, it's utterly frightening. It's also a stupendous work of pure genius. When you put down that empty cup of coffee, crumple up that full sheet of paper, and lay back and listen to this, you are taking a certain risk. A work such as this is hard to absorb, and harder for many to even bear, but once that is accomplished, it simply becomes a part of you. Whether you like it or not.

This would be the perfect disc to have with me, I'd imagine, when driving down a desolate road at 2 a.m., entirely destinationless and struggling to keep my eyes open while at the same time charged with a sense of wanderlust, stupefaction, and incomprehensible attraction to all things uncertain--the very sources of my insomnia--that I cannot hope to ever explain. Cauterized and remorseless in my desperate escape from the grinding familiar, I am driven toward something unknown to me, and I would rather it be shrouded in the ghastly surrealism of mystery than see it for what it truly is. Nothing seen through one's eyes is confounding as what can be envisioned in the mind. My imagination, perpetually vivid and efficacious, mirthfully compensates for what the shadows obscure, and I would just as soon as the shadows never crumble to dust. A radio tower by day is a tower for transmitting radio signals. A radio tower by a midnight moon is a spectacular monument reaching into the heavens; an access portal to a secret floating island; a staircase to the top of the world at which awaits the preternatural trigger to the most powerful sense of euphoria the mind, body, and soul is capable of withstanding. The world is quite a spellbinding place... in my mind.

An anonymous reader left me a comment saying my journal is sorely lacking in cuteness. Well, personally, I feel cuteness has become entirely overrated, but I still do not mind patronizing a good kind of cuteness. Enjoy:


Anonymous said...

That was cute


Raveness said...

Very cute!

SEV said...

it makes sense at some level to me.. the mind IS the most amazing playground one can have.
i suffer from insomnia too, and personally find pink floyd perfect for the moods i'm in at that time.
and to me the most beautiful scene in the darkness of the night is the moon... and the starkness of the moonlight that seem to give an ethereal colour to anything it illuminates.

the only 'complaint' that i have is that you remain too negative in the article. cuteness is not required, but remaining sane is !
one can plunge down to the darkness of the mind, and never come out again.. the depths have never been explored. do not make that mistake !