I am a cliche, I live in Brighton and I have a strong liking for Nick Cave he lives round the corner. I have bumped into him a few time, he is other worldly yet warm,I would say magnetic. I want to go down the pub with him to the ‘Hand in Hand’ with him and Susie and eat pork scratchings and drink ale until the sunrises. Music is my second love after photography, singing and dancing is one of life’s pleasures ; every minute of my day has a soundtrack running to it. Anyhow I am losing my thread, the thing is I subscribe to Nick Cave’s ‘The Red Hand Files’ which is a newsletter. He is a deep thinker and feeler; vulnerable and generous with sharing with his audience in a weekly letter form. I feel compelled to share his letter/responses this week as it is wonderfully articulate on the subject of ‘love’, over to Nick ;
The Red Hand FilesISSUE #103 / JULY 2020
If you feel that he is beside you… and within you, why would you need to look for him? (This is not a challenge, there is no aggression in this question; I simply want you to think about it and elucidate).
TOM, MANCHESTER, UK
What is love for you?
PABLO, GUARDAMA DEL SEGURA, SPAIN
Dear Tom and Pablo,
The voice in ‘Ghosteen Speaks’ is not my own. It is the emergent expression of an invisible, migratory spirit — the Ghosteen. It is the spirit of love and mercy. Throughout the song, the Ghosteen announces its presence — I am beside you. Look for me.
It says — I am invisible, but I am here. Search for me, and you will find me.
It calls to the compassionate act of witnessing — of seeing.
Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.
To pay witness to another, in an alert and loving manner, is essentially an act of forgiveness for it is to acknowledge with compassion our mutual human capacity for all things, both good and evil.
When we reduce each other to symbols or representations, rather than see each other as the complex, flawed human beings that we are, we engage in the very antithesis of mercy — heartlessness, condemnation and sanctimoniousness. Within this baleful clamour the luminous spirits of compassion retreat.
I am beside you. Look for me — call the windswept voices of love, to all that have the forbearance to hear.