April 12, 2016

Respektor

I was driving home from Denver a few days ago with my iPod on shuffle. Which is a bad idea because who actually successfully listens to their music on shuffle? I was really just skipping every song until it came on a Regina one. There was Human of the Year and Prisoners and Pavlov's Daughter. And it was at that line in Love Affair, a song I have heard a hundred times, when she says, "He grew healthy wavy brown hair on his head. The kind, the kind that babies always go for with sticky little fingers," that I started laughing.

I have never entirely been one of those people that lives based on a motto of, "Don't take everything so seriously!" I don't know what that means. I take things seriously. I analyze and pull apart. I only allow people in my life that I feel will also take things seriously, take me seriously. Yes I can joke and laugh and have fun but I wouldn't call myself someone that quickly lets go of things.

So while laughing in my car to a silly song by a woman that has influenced me for 10+ years, I realized it. I realized the ways in which she taught me not to take myself too seriously. Regina has created an entire career around writing silly songs. I mean, it takes two seconds of listening to her music to understand that she has a beautiful voice and amazing piano talent. But she channels all that into writing lines like, "Maybe you should cut your own hair, cause that can be so funny". And it still makes you feel something. She can talk about divorce and death and abuse and we can feel it but it's okay. It's in a pill we can swallow. And maybe sometimes we don't even notice we're swallowing it.

Whenever someone asks about my collage work, I just pull it up on my phone and show them. There is always an immediate hesitation on my part: Are they going to get it? Are they going to understand that it's supposed to make them laugh? It's supposed to talk about real things in a lighthearted way? Quite a few people don't get that, and it's okay. I know there are people out there that will.

Dear Regina Spektor, thank you for teaching me how to create without heaviness. To say something laced with seriousness and silliness. I love you forever and always. Your influence has had more of an impact than I can even see completely.

3 comments:

  1. Love this. An ode to Regina. Rightfully done.

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  2. Ugh I love this so much, and Regina too. And I was waiting for a little artist's statement regarding your collage work. I think I get it most of the time.

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  3. Love this. I'm a big fan of artists that can joke and take themselves way too seriously at the same time. Or that can make a really powerful statement while totally making fun of themselves.
    I'm a collage artist too and I love walking the silly/meaningful line there--even if only some people get it. ha. And p.s. your collages are fantastic! :)
    I've been reading Dave Eggers recently and he's a master of this. David Foster Wallace too.

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