Tuesday, April 21, 2009

15 Greatest Albums: Rufus Wainwright - 'Rufus Wainwright'

In a dream we all go to the same sad place to mourn our lost love. How such a place can be so beautiful is maddening to us. We wish we could dream ourselves into some post-apocalyptic barren landscape, scorched earth mirroring the inner wasteland that still serves to beat blood into our extremities. But no. Our subconscious is much crueler than that.

That feeling rises in us, that wave of love which is as pristine as the first moment it rose up to break on our shore. This wave contains every moment of passion, every stolen glance, every small gesture of intimacy, every ecstatic coupling, every tearful reunion, every tragic parting, every shared hilarity, every every every. And that wave washes us, in our dream, up the delta of a bursting river. The salt of the ocean slowly ebbs away and the fresh water takes up our weight. It is as if the tears we shed at the end have been dissolved, brought back to a more primal place.

The river, now free of the bitterness of that terrible end, picks up steam as it rushes backwards away from that all-encompassing wave.

On the shore of this river sit monuments to the failed love, gorgeous statues hewed from whatever rock lay closest at hand, trees whittled into murals, birds preening and singing familiar melodies, flowers clutching stems and trying to hold onto the fragrance that once wafted down and over your entwined limbs.

The river speeds. The detail of the passing banks becomes a bit blurred as you move towards the inevitable. You wish the inevitable were a holocaust made visible, a nightmare of epic proportions. But again, our hearts don't help us. The easy out of an awful vision is not afforded to us.

The trees blur, the moments mingle, the river speeds. You can't be going any faster. All of a sudden you stop.

Your dream, the result of your tragic lost love deep in your subconscious, is a waterfall going up. You see fish leap from it and walk away, evolved. Clouds form and elevate. It is the most romantic sight you've ever witnessed.

But everything is over. Everything is over.

In that distant dream mist, in that backwards cataract, this album was born. And the scales on the fish that walk out of that impossible river have a vague memory of the one that got away.

If only we could forget so easy.

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