The I Opener
A sunny stroll through Arlington Cemetery put me in a reflective mood, as I looked out over the acres of sacrifice. Bone white headstones bobbed in a sea of green grass, monotonous yet momentous. The riotous color of spring blossoms could not quell the guilty tranquility of walking in a place that I should have visited much earlier in my life, so as to appreciate the honor too many have earned.
I have been to Washington, DC often, but never subscribed to this pilgrimage. Andra, by my side, was my insistent guide. This is her favorite feature in our nation’s capital, she has reminded me many times. I’ll admit, if not for her I might never have seen this place.
To reciprocate, I forced her to go with me to see Song 1, the Doug Aitken nighttime projections at the Hirshhorn. She would not have gone on her own, she’ll admit it. Forty minutes of visual virtuosity, infinite loneliness and passion, as each solo rendition belted out for an absent or imagined soul mate. Yet there we sat together, mesmerized as the haunting refrains echoed off the architecture of The Mall, complicit in our union.
Could it be that Narcissus, staring into a still, deep pool, fell in love not with his own reflection, but longed for the promise shackled within the depths, the Other Narcissus of his better angels?
Each morning, at that mundane but fateful moment when we first catch our reflection, do we see who we are? Or do we see our aspiration? After all, we use the mirror to improve ourselves; to comb our hair, shave or apply make-up, to cover a blemish or remove a bit of spinach from the teeth.
As I sat and let the soulfulness of Song 1 sink in, I wondered at how we all pine for the unreachable, always expecting that some how we will manage to touch it. I reflected on how much better a person I am for having found Andra. She is my inspiration, my mirror, the key for opening up my Other (literally, if you ask the Swedes). It is my luck that I get to croon for her. On this, the last day of her Birthday Month, I’ll do my best to belt it out:
A guest companion post to yesterday’s, and an homage to The Accidental Cootchie Mama and all the joy she creates in my life. Happy Birthday Month 2012 one last time! -MTM