An Exile's Theory

from by Slow Dakota

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Written by Slow Dakota (PJ Sauerteig)
Performed by Philip Kitcher
Mixed by Sahil Ansari
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound

lyrics

"An Exile’s Theory"

“Do you realize,” my father once asked me, “That man is the only creature on earth that desires to be something he is not, for man is the only creature to believe in a thing called perfection? Our obsession, our Mark of Cain, causing us to wander over the earth, alienating us from ourselves - the Mark of the Artist!” (It is very late, and as my father and I stare at the ceiling of hospital waiting room, I can tell he’s half-asleep as he talks) “What spider,” he asked, “Stays up late at night, reworking his web? Fixing it, recasting it, and agonizing over its right angles? And have you ever heard a songbird practicing? No, the meadowlark hasn’t practiced a day in his life; just as each spider spins both without pride, and without harshness towards his craft. He just spins. We are alone, son, in all of the animal kingdom we are alone. Do you wonder why we have a heaven, why we need a heaven, and why Melville went mad writing Moby Dick? Dear boy,” he asked, “Do you wonder why Woolf walked into the water, or why Joyce tried to take his own life by stabbing a pencil into his soul?”

* * * *

History tells us that only two Western artists have ever truly approached and knocked upon the door of perfection; one ended up taking his own life as an exile in France, and the other failed to achieve any sort of fame during or after her life. I am speaking, of course, about my father and mother. And hearing their loud knock, I open the door to see two skeletons curled together on the front doorstep. From upstairs, my sister, Sarah, calls out: “Who knocks at our door?” And I answer: “The only two who know where you and I live.” In light of the sunny Spring morning, I leave the door open a moment, and notice that a little spider has begun spinning a web all the way from my father’s heart to my mother’s mouth.

credits

from The Ascension of Slow Dakota, released July 22, 2016

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about

Slow Dakota Fort Wayne, Indiana

(PJ Sauerteig)

Fort Wayne, IN
Massif Records

Columbia University

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