monday song # 31: birthday (part two)
this week we embark on an open-ended exploration of the height of heights, and the depths of despair.
wait a minute, that was what “connect the dots” was all about. minus the height of heights.
ten years ago today (september 21, 1999) i lost my mind and spent the better part of a week in the psych ward at herrick hospital (berkeley). the medication that was meant to make me feel well, did a whole lot more, and i exploded into a state of florid mania, with all the messianic fervor and high-mindedness that usually accompanies it.
over the coming weeks i will piece together a song cycle, in no particular order, that seeks to capture some of the flavor, the highs and the lows and the super-highs, that i experienced. the piece is called “mind on fire” and this is the first entry.
breaking with the tradition of monday songs, this is the first “old” song that i have included. this was written in 1999, a month or two before embarking on my mystical journey. i have a handful of others from that period. so i’ll include those, as well as writing some new tunes, which is, after all, the goal of monday songs.
i should also call out that a number of songs i have already posted fit into this suite: birthday (part one) (#3), emily jane (#11), swept away (#12), the start of something big (#6) all deal with this same theme.
so sit back and relax (something i was incapable of during my flirtation with infinity), and get ready for a flood of songs on the topic of release, and uncertainty, and religiousness, and enthusiasm, and otherworldliness.
these songs are dedicated to my wife kristin, who suffered through the deep existential pain and annhilating anxiety of checking her husband into the mental ward. not an experience i recommend.
this song features the special blend of bombastic entitlement and awakening insight that defined the final days of my ascension. a spiritual wrestling match between buddhist no-soul, and skyscraper confidence.