Radio Quarantine – 水晶の舟(Suishou no Fune) – Prayer for Chibi (2008)

水晶の舟(Suishou no Fune) or Crystal Boat in English… just strange and cryptic enough for a band that creates this sound. Neo-psychedelic, ambient, quasi-spiritual… Post-rock? I’ve yet to figure out exactly what post-rock means in any context of genre. Or post-anything at all.

It’s still perfect music, the perfect soundtrack as it were, for feelings today which might be described as a liminal space. Somewhere between this and that with familiar representations of everything between peace/acceptance and trepidation. There is enough of either to be of note but the vibe of the day isn’t quite either. It’s the area between. I’ve not quite give into anxiety but haven’t quite reached acceptance. Are we okay with that for now? Sure we are. It’s true, anyway.

The music is from Japan, by way of the Pacific Northwest, and now Brooklyn. It comes across as sort of ritual music. Prayers, or incantations… remembrance.

What could work better for the first official day back in the office for my company. Others have already made the shift. The last couple months have felt almost like a mourning period for everything that’s happened since March 2020. Grief, ritual mourning and then meditation and reflection. Now we’re going to try to easy back into some kind of routine but we’re not sure what it’s going to look like yet. We will try to sort that out.

I’m now the only person left at the New York office from January 2019 when I started. There are two others that signed on a few months after, but it’s official. I’m the last man standing from that weird time in the fishbowl office in the WeWork on Irving Place. Everyone else was sacked or moved on for other opportunities. It’s impossible to see people jump ship and not wonder about a conscious decision to stay. It has been a conscious decision. Whereas I’ve been guilty in the past of clinging onto the raft until it could no longer stay afloat, simply from fear of moving. This time it’s been a leap of faith, with some solid evidence, that the opportunity is right here. And so…

So the Crystal Boat and Prayer For Chibi is just right for today. It’s a bit mournful, and there is truly mourning, all my worst suspicions about the state of humans and the world around me having been confirmed by the response to the pandemic. You don’t lose what we all lost and then with the flip of a switch march happily onward. Or you just shouldn’t. It’s not just the loss of life from Covid-19. It’s businesses that collapsed. It’s the awakening in the post-Trump (almost a contradiction in terms) months that everything is dreadfully broken. It’s the dawning of the new era of open hostility. It’s the victory of hysteria driven by lies and fear-mongering. It’s… well… a whole heapa tings a gwan, as might be said.

And still we will, in good faith, march cheerfully out with the hopes that we can come to some sort of agreement with the forces of The Universe and carry on entirely in the absence of any collective vision of how this is all going to work. It’s not that anything we envisioned previously held any real weight. It’s now the knowledge that it didn’t and that there is no real plan beyond pretending that if we can gather ourselves it’s all going to be fine.

This might sound like a prophecy of doom. It’s not. I’m just saying that things have always really been this way, or at least headed this way. I’ll lean towards “have always been.” We are not okay. We are not not okay. We just are. Until one day one by one we are not. It’s not a prayer for the loss of innocence. It’s the loss of ignorance, blissful and otherwise. I’m thankful for everything in my life before this and for the anxiety and strife and uncertainty that has taught me how to achieve balance when the world has tilted on its axis. There is a nuanced sort of humor in all of it. What’s the word for this state we’re in?


If we’d created this absurdity for entertainment we might be laughing, so yes, it’s folly. And I’m just shy of a chuckle. I’m at “smirk.”


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