Right after the announcement I took an evening walk down Lincoln. The windows of another restaurant were papered over. The urgent care clinic sent fluorescent light out of what used to be the Brauhaus. By the fountain a familiar cellist was playing a Bach melody I've learned by heart this year. It felt like an elegy for the Square as I have known it, for this whole stretch of my life.
We cling to the illusion of permanence because it provides the even more important illusion of security. Or that's what I told myself as the streetlights came on against a blue twilight.
I moved out last week. This blog is not the place to go into the details, but the past couple of years have been the hardest of my life. Sometimes the difficulty seemed permanent in a way that began to feel secure, which terrified me.
I've left behind the music room where we recorded most of Highway Gothic and a lot of Unswept tracks. The hundred-year-old piano from "Gen X" and "After All" is still in the front room. My sticky-note project is still on the wall; I will collect it at some point, but inevitably pieces will be shuffled and jumbled. It won't be the same. Nothing will.
Bach is a good choice for an elegy. His music provides a sense of having tapped into a deeper natural order—and I still don't know whether it's an actual natural order or merely the comforting illusion of one, rendered exceptionally well. The cello suite dances on a sharp edge of paradox, offering permanence in a melody, something that vanishes even as you experience it. Perhaps that, in itself, is the natural order.