Personal Update, from Buffalo New York

What– you don’t normally listen to Icelandic post-rock trios famous for their use of bowed guitars, falsetto vocals and a classical, minimalist style?

Me either.  Usually.  Sigur Rós is like nothing I’ve ever heard.

Listen to the video attached at the end of this post.  It’s an unmistakable sound, haunting, ethereal, melodic, celestial and vaporous, symphonic yet disturbing.

The language Sigur Rós uses in much of their vocals is surprising not Icelandic, but rather is made up of a meaningless, grammarless, syntax-free system of sounds called Vonlenska (English translation: “Hopelandic”).

Lately I’ve been in a slump– a funk, a slide, a recession of spirits.  I’ve many theories as to why: lack of exercise, odd sleeping patterns, living in a new city with limited old friends, finite free time, a lingering cold, even a lack of nutrients from a change in diet.

I’m now living in Buffalo, New York, in an apartment with a few friends not far from downtown.  I’m working my way through the English MA program at the University at Buffalo, enrolled in three seminars this semester: Critical Theory, Scholarly Methods and Autistry.  This last class in particular has been both intellectually stimulating and a major change in pace from my undergraduate course load.  Two novels (first-person autobiographies from autistic subjects, typically) are assigned a week, in addition to 2-3 (sometimes more) scholarly articles from within the autism community.

I like Buffalo.  It’s a town of energy, of enthusiasm, of people who desire to learn and to grow and to engage with others.

It’s also a place foreign to me.  I wouldn’t say I’m handling the transition well.  I ask myself why this is happening to me– why can’t I live here happily, why aren’t these things going my way?  I admire this song is because it resonates within me, there’s something inside me that identifies with the ideas expressed here, the apprehension of change, feeling afraid of your everyday life, lack of direction and an utter lack of answers.

We try to define these irrational, chance things– why am I not feeling as happy as I did just two, three months ago?

“I just got lost.  But I’m on my way home, my dear.”

Who knows how this one will end up.  Things are getting better.  Tonight I’m going for a run and then grilling myself some chicken for dinner, and possibly after I’ll meet up with some friends at Spot Coffee in Elmwood to go over our lecture notes and readings for our shared classes.

“Sleep, little one, sleep… and when you wake, I might be gone.”

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