That Last Post.

Funny how the word ‘Last’ has two meanings (actually probably more). Last can be the end of something. Or last can mean the continuation of something.

I haven’t changed my mind that I am taking a break from posting here. But some people have emailed me after that last post and…yeah there are reasons to keep going too. So…not the last then, in the first sense.

But it is the last post in that I feel like what I said in it meant a lot to me. It built up over months and years of my life about what my beliefs are, what and how I think, and basically being self centred and egotistic.

So when I die, and they find that folder on my computer called “Things To Publish When I’m Dead”, that Last post would make a good ending, even though it’s hopefully not even halfway to the end. In the meantime, a big break from this blog is called for. There’s been enough deep and meaningfuls, really.

Danny

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love/I’m A Believer/Let It Go

My final post. For Beth.

I saw Peter Tork of the Monkees tonight. He performed with his band, the Shoe Suede Blues, and it’s not just a silly pun. You can tell he is a man in love with the blues. And also, in love with music.

I had a long talk about beliefs with Beth a while ago, and it’s been on my mind. To the point where I came up with my perfect epitaph – “I’m A Believer.” I want it on record that when I leave this world that I want that written under my name and place of birth.

Let’s look at that phrase. It’s synonymous with one of the great pop songs of all time. And pop music is something I have believed in all my life. It captures me, inspires me, warms me and thrills me. Even tonight, in the Notting Hill rain, I passed a record shop and looked in the window, and stared at a copy of the Shins record on vinyl.

“I’m A Believer” is also one of the greatest love songs of all time. One of the great downbeat-verses-then-euphoric-choruses. The man has been saved. And love, and love songs, has also played a huge part in my life. Love in all it’s different meanings…friends, family, women, strangers and country. And more.

Lastly, there is the word Believer. I definitely am one. I use no facts to shape the way I live my life. I just believe. In music, in fate, in love and in life. I just do. With no basis. I would have made a great religious zealot if someone had got to me early. Someone other than the Beatles.

So I’m thinking about all these things. It’s coming up on Valentines day, and I realised that love is an unexplainable thing, and I live in a life that tries to explain it. I’ve written love songs, and I’ve listened to them all my life. My job is, essentially, to get more love songs out there. But they take tinted photos of love. It’s not real, and it never is. Paul Kelly once sang… “I’ve never heard a love song yet/That I can call yours and mine.” I think it’s because none exist. If you can describe what makes you love a person, in any definition of the word love, then it’s not love.

Same, in many ways, with death. There is a dictionary definition, but it’s also inexplicable. I could write forever about those two topics, and you will never, ever, see it my way. Which is why this blog is ending. I’ve realised that leaving a record of my thoughts here, for the public, is a hopeless idea. I could never describe to you the things I see, the way I’ve felt. It’s mine and it will never be yours.

The other reason is the excitement is over. I started this blog because my life was at a point where there were things to write about. It was a time to write a diary, because every day was different. Now it’s not the case, as days bleed into eachother and I fall back into a rhythm of regular life.

So it’s time, again, to let it go. Send me an email if you want to hear from me. But none of my life will be on here for public record again. You’ll never get it. And it’s not that interesting anyway. And the past, Australia, is far away. I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with many of you as I have done, but this has to stop.

We should be ashamed to think we know what we talk about when we talk about love. Or life. Or death. Or anything. But on the other hand – I’m a believer. I believe in all those things, without facts, on pure faith and just, you know, something to believe in. Just to keep going. So I’ll believe, and not feel ashamed.

Peter Tork played I’m A Believer tonight, to a small crowd, because he is still drawn to it. He still wants to play music. He still believes. I do too.

Danny Yau
London

I’m gonna wait til the midnight hour

I’m not very good at sleeping. I’m not sure when exactly I was supposed to learn this skill, but I never did.

It’s not like I need more reasons to love Tom Waits, but he once said something to the effect of sleeping at night is another way society makes you conform. Certainly, magical things only occur after midnight.

Firstly, the world is your own. I walked home from a night out last week, past the world famous Royal Albert Hall, around 2am. And I stopped in front of it and realised, I am the only person in the world right now, standing here. No one is walking past, or about to. Maybe if I walked into Hyde Park, I could have had the whole thing to myself.

Okay, so when I can’t sleep I don’t necessarily go wandering in parks. But you feel more alive when everyone around you is asleep. If there is someone of something watching over us, you have their attention. If there’s songs to be plucked out of the air, the air is clear for you to grab them.

My mind is at it’s clearest after midnight. I know this. I often manage to get a lot done, if I’m writing, or even just cleaning or sorting something out on the computer. Even Ikea furniture construction. And Tom Waits is right. When you’re on a roll, why does the world say you have to sleep?

The argument against, of course, is if I got good healthy early nights, my brain would actually work in the mornings. But there is a part of me that thinks if I go to sleep before 12, I’m wasting precious time. And once you hit 12, 3am’s a piss in.

The idea of sleeping pills has been considered and considered too scary. I get addicted to things enough thank you. The fact I eat crap every day may also be making something in me not balanced. Is there a sleep vitamin? Pot smoking and wanking have also been suggested. I will not admit publicly to either but in any event I’m still not sleeping.

So back to what happens when you’re awake past the witching hour. Listening to music is always like listening on headphones, whether headphones are used or not. You’re more attuned to the details of it. It’s far easier to lose yourself in the world of a late night movie (or more likely an episode of the Sopranos). And when it’s raining…geez you should have been there to sit and just watch the rain from my old place, with some light music on. Something like Still Crazy After All These Years.

The real magic happens when you’re not alone. When you have someone to call. Londoners were especially great, and now I guess it’s true for Australians. Perth was always good to me. But sometimes you find someone online, and you’re both up, and you say, gimme a call…

Sometimes it’s easier in this day and age to just stay online. But when you’re crapping on at two in the morning… you know the scene when William calls Lester Bangs in Almost Famous? And Lester says, the greatest currency we have is the moments we share when we are uncool. You’re not at the pub, you’re not out, not worried about people overhearing. Some good stuff happens. I used to talk til the sun came up. I was working part time when this was happening.

Work really kicks this part of one’s life in the ass. I need a planet with longer days, and I don’t see terraforming happening in my lifetime. It has occurred to me that sleeping better may be something I need to work on, but I’m not sure how. Hopefully old age will just get me and I just sleep all the time like, well, my Dad. There’s always hope.

Okay, I should be sleep. Society, it seems, has got it’s claws in me again. It’s been nice talking to you. I’m going to try and dream my dreams.

Danny
London
(apologies and thank yous to Kim and Laura)

Something for the weekend

So allow me to reassure everyone that despite appearances (or the last post), I am doing very fine. I have days like that in my head all the time. I just never had a blog before. If there is something to worry about I’ll let you know.

So, it’s the weekend again. The days are just flying by. To misquote Lou Reed “My year is better than your week.” I’m back in routineville.

But routineville aint bad. The weather, the first thing anyone here talks about, has been great. Sunny skies…I even pulled out the old sunglasses today. Nick of Nick-and-Dave-from-Paris fame is back and crashing at mine. Next week we have a bunch of visitors – Alicia, Davey and Kath.

Got a great cheap denim jacket today, along with a stack of old Mojo magazines. I’ve never even seen ones this early before. I love Mojo magazine. I watched the not-as-bad-as-I-thought movie Notting Hill, and you know, that’s my friggin hood. Also managed to catch up with a few people on MSN, Skype and iChat. Robert, I hope you are proud of me.

And work is going great, but supremely busy. But a friend sent me a link where someone noticed something I did and it was quite flattering. I am recorded in world history for something I did. Look. Let me have my moment.

It’s going to be a fun, busy few weeks to round out the month. I’m VERY behind in my writing and my reading. But you have to live as well.

One last thing. Happy Waitangi Day everyone. I heard rumours of the scale of the thing here in London but all I can say is I was impressed. I walked out into the street today and was greeted by thousands of black t-shirts, loving life. It was great. And it went well to my current re-obsession with all things Finn brothers.

Danny