All that is your beauty, oh, and all that brings you pleasure

March 16th, 2008

Dear Will,

I feel a little like, as I make my way through this tiny life of mine, that I’m developing an internal anxiety about how quickly time is moving. I think it’s the Way Of Things that as you grow older you notice more – more of the subtle, smaller things at least. Like light and sound and tiny things between people. And as you become aware of all these things – the tiny things – you begin to realise how much there is in the world to be passionate about. It seems to me that while concentrating passionately on one thing, you might, completely without meaning to, miss something else completely worthy. There’s just not enough time to get around to it all.

So I spend my time alternately trying to realise my passion about everything that sparks it, and worrying about the limited time I might have to express it. That’s probably a bit morbid, right? Wait, who am I kidding. You wrote a (completely awesome) song about murdering someone. Not that YOU murdered someone. But I guess if it’s a question of morbidity you’re probably going to think I’m a ways off the mark.

Anyway. I feel like so many people put a rein on their passion. They’re worried about pushing it out into the world, almost like it’ll recoil somehow and slap them in the face. Day to day I come across just bare glimpses of unbridled passion in people. The moment when they let their guard down and forget there might be someone watching. But somewhere along the line someone decides aloof = cool and then everyone becomes inert. And then as a result the only passion they ever express relates to anger.

What I’m getting at here in a not terribly direct way is that it is very, very rare to find an example of pure, unadulterated passion that isn’t tinged by anger. I made the decision a little while ago that if I found anyone in the world who GOT it and wasn’t afraid to unleash their passion on the world then I would grab a hold of them with all my might. Because you can’t have too many people like that in your life, right? And so far that’s worked out pretty well.

And that’s sorta why I’m writing.

I came to your music late. Actually, really late. About 10 months ago, properly. Prior to that there was that little bit of curiosity that you can have about certain bands or musicians. I’d never acted on it though. And then a wonderful boy came into my life, bringing with him his very unbridled passion about many things musical – your sweet self included. So I was swept up in the wonder that is Okkervil River, and since then you could say I haven’t looked back.

Why was I swept up? It was the exact thing I’ve been writing about. That complete, all-consuming passion that comes from somewhere organic and beautiful. And a passion that is almost completely devoid of, or at least equally balanced with, anger. There is a passion in you that is palpable – you sing it and you write it and you speak it. And a girl gets the feeling you’d sing and play the same way if you were playing to one or one hundred thousand people. It’s an inspiring passion. It inspires people. It inspires me.

And while I’m on alla this, I also really want to thank you for your words. I love words and I love to write. I love poetry, and nothing is more beautiful to me than well-woven words. And you have some of the most beautifully woven words I’ve ever heard and/or read. The make my breath catch and my heart beat just that little bit faster. So thank you for that.

My experience with you and your wonderful band at the Manning Bar last month was one of THOSE very rare live experiences – the kind that might change your life. I made (and meant) the statement that night that is was the second best live musical experience of my life. And it was easily the best live musical experience of the year. And dude, have you SEEN the bands I’ve witnessed this year? It’s insane.

Also, welcome to Number 2 on the CFGHQ Of All Time band list. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I think it was some time in between that Manning Bar gig and Laneway. The last time a shift of that magnitude happened, it was when I saw The Mountain Goats at the Great Escape in 2006. So, you know. Feel good about that.

So don’t be stranger now, y’hear? Although, I have a feeling you’ll be back again soon. And I can’t hardly wait.

Much love,

Karen.


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