mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, March 12, 2005

Listening to

Mary Gauthier
Mercy Now

Wrenching. Beautiful.
It tears me up, as did reading her bio.
Clicking on the television pic at the link will give you the video.

It can take a lifetime to write even one line like those that thread through Mercy Now. For Gauthier, that life began in a kind of prison, in which conformity was the lock in the door and each house was as much a cell as any box of steel and stone.

"I was adopted when I was about a year old. My adopted parents tried, but their marriage was doomed. They ended up like zombies. Music saved my life.

"It was the only thing I could relate to back in Baton Rouge [Louisiana]. I looked around me and I couldn't relate to my family. I couldn't relate to the neighborhood. I couldn't relate to the people I went to school with hardly at all. I felt like an alien. But I found songs that spoke to me."

But Bob Dylan, John Prine, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith, Neil Young and the others who caught her ear couldn't save her. Maybe their songs made her even more restless, for they were "truth tellers," as she sees it, and truth only put the lies in a brighter light.

At fifteen she stole her parents' car. "I had no idea where I was going," she remembers. "I just knew that if I stayed my life would be in danger — not that somebody was going to kill me, but I felt like I was dying.

"Somewhere along the way I figured out that the most intimate part of me is the most universal part of me. I've figured out that the artist's job is to reveal that universal human experience. There's got to be a way to go inside and pull out the bigger truth and use it as a mirror in which other people can see themselves."

"I realized that something has to happen when I write — a physiological reaction. If it raises the hair on my arms and puts goose bumps there, I know I've nailed it."

UPDATE: NPR interview

Share it. Touch someone.
posted by Cyndy | link | | |


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