Bold as Love
Destined as the servant to the night where
Your moon dreams of the dirt and the
Sharp tongue of your zealous will is only
Congruent with the salt in your mouth and
The approaching eulogy of the world
Lost in the patterns of youth and the ghost of
Your aches comes back to haunt you. And
The forging of change makes no difference
Memories fly through the mask of your life
Shielding you from time. The years that
Birthed the shell that you gained
Hunched over in apathetic grief with a disregard for
Steps except the one taken back. Perched
Up on a rope crafted in smoke / a sword
Wielding death that buried your hope
Focusing on light through the blinds. A
Slave to reality under a monarch in the sky
Lost in the patterns of youth where the
Windows shine brightly back at you
Recently these words have been thriving viscerally into my mind to the point where they hit me like a double edged sword in the speed of lightning — the said lyric of Vertigo by Deafheaven, mainly envisages the distraught minds and katzenjammer of Clarke and McCoy when they were struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse. Deafheaven’s lyrics never cease to mesmerize me, they’re like a convoluting conundrum that transpierces people’s minds and make them contemplate about existential essence and the spectrum between life and death and all that. In this piece, I’ve been contemplating a lot about my personal interpretations on the lyric of this song. The line “A slave to reality under a monarch in the sky” might be relevant to most of us whilst living in this vacuous static space called earth, that we are, indeed, a slave to reality under a monarch in the sky. In order to survive we are compelled to conform to a myriad of man-made systems, hegemonies, norms, and authorities and people have subconsciously let all those conformities enslave them that they no longer think that it’s unusual to be ruled by conformities. Being a slave of the capitalist society and conformist intitutions has become some sort of an inevitable routine through the years in which we can’t escape because eventually there would be circumstances that would trigger us to need those things to survive and revolting would be in vain. All the higher authorities above us are contriving monarchies that would devour us without a blink of an eye if we choose to subvert against them. Back in 1887, as a pioneer to the axiomatic idea of cultural relativism, Franz Boas once stated that our ideas and conceptions are true only so far as our civilization goes. In which, we don’t have thorough free will regarding conveying our ideas if the civilization we’re in couldn’t accept them and thus some of us grew up to conventionally go with the flow of civilizations.
“Destined as the servant to the night where / your moon dreams of the dirt and the / sharp tongue of your zealous will is only / congruent with the salt in your mouth and / the approaching eulogy of the world” might be related to having limited access to freedom of expression. In my personal inference I can interpret how some people might have the vehement, zealous will to speak up about something crucial to the world but in the end they can’t, because circumstances forced them to be servants of whatever authorities they have no power against, and in the end their attempt to speak up any words they tried to convey was in vain. We’re all somehow a servant of another entity we have no power over, aren’t we? Whilst dechipering the ideas of the post-structuralist Lacanian psychoanalisis that somehow the passion of a human being was born from desires of others — and that when human beings embrace intense fear of disintegration, they would subconsciously run out of self-actualization and drown in the identity another (imaginary) individual, I came to realize that we were never inherently our own self.
“Lost in the patterns of youth and the ghost of / your aches comes back to haunt you. And / the forging of change makes no difference / memories fly through the mask of your life / shielding you from time” probably refer to the fact that the narrator had experienced some traumatic incidents during their youth and the menacing visions of those days occasionally come back to invade their wellbeing despite the fact that they used a “mask” to go through the atrocities of the world as a form of facade and defense mechanism to cover up their traumatic nature. I personally think that this narrator was somehow trying so hard to find their own coping mechanism but they failed to do so.
“Hunched over in apathetic grief with a disregard for / steps except the one taken back. Perched / up on a rope crafted in a smoke / a sword / wielding death that buried your hope / focusing on light through the blinds.” The whole concept of this song might relate to the five stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model — in which, the situations being asseverated in the song might be about the third and fourth stage; bargaining and depression. Ever since the first time I found out about this song, I’ve always imagined a situation of someone yearning to get out from the internal wars inside their head due to past traumatic events and the inability to obtain freedom of expression but never managed to be capable of doing it. But then if we take a look at the last line, it switches to the fifth stage (acceptance) rapidly — it just seems as if the narrator found their own catharsis at the last minutes that the “patterns of youth” they got lost in, ended up becoming some sort of redemption instead.