Dark Horse

Today, something different. It seems to have nothing to do with Matt, but really it has everything to do with him.

I really like the Katy Perry song, “Dark Horse,” but was a little appalled when I saw the video. In typical Katy Perry fashion, it is over the top and a little silly. So why was I appalled to get what was expected? My little secret is that I have been using this song for a visualization and my first impression with the video was that it was too gaudy and silly for my serious deepness. Right on, Katy Perry. A few days later, it dawned on me just how deeply the video worked with my visualization. And it’s always good to be reminded not to take myself so seriously.

Hopefully, you can view the video, but to summarize:

The lyric:
So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for
Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine
There’s no going back

The video:
Katy Perry is an Eqyptian queen approached by various suitors all offering her precious gifts– jewels, delicious food and drink, sex, godliness, a pyramid of gold. All of these she rejects and turns her suitors to dust, after which she consumes them in some way.

The visualization:
Imagine that the narrator/singer of the song is your best, truest self singing to you and asking you to say yes to love and promising a relationship with yourself more amazing than you could ever imagine. This relationship is magical and doesn’t come from anything you plan or control. It’s something you let happen by saying yes. And once you say yes, “there’s no going back” simply because it is so wonderful. Of course, this is what the lyrics mean. Now, what if you reflect them on to yourself as you listen?

How the video fits:
All of the suitors in the video are the mental and emotional drama that we humans bring into ourselves on a regular basis. From preoccupations to obsessions and addictions with stuff, food, alcohol, sex, work, etc. And this relationship with ourself, which is love, is so powerful that it eventually turns these suitors to dust even if we are initially attracted.

I love that she mixes Greek and Eqyptian mythology.

Crab Cakes

Matt was the person who introduced me to crab cakes. I had never had a crab cake before I met Matt. I remember one day in particular that Matt said, “Let’s go get crab cakes” and there was nothing else on the agenda. I don’t remember when or where this was, but I think we must have been in Annapolis and gone to some restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay. I remember it was broad daylight and the restaurant was not busy. I also remember that Matt didn’t necessarily know the restaurant. You must also consider that good crab cakes are expensive fare for college students/young adults. I can’t remember if we were still in college, but I do remember it being a bit of a splurge, and of course, I wasn’t even sure if they were good crab cakes or not at the time.

The funny thing (or maybe the purist thing) is that I don’t remember ever having crab cakes with Matt anywhere else except in Maryland. I don’t think he was a huge crab cake aficionado; I think he was trying to do something sweet with me (i.e. impress me).


The other night I found myself at a Soundgarden concert. I was never a serious fan, but they are one of the iconic 90s bands and their popular songs were certainly part of the background of my life at the time. Matt was a fan, and I swear I remember him singing “Black Hole Sun” to me. But I don’t really remember if he did or not…

I’ve come to realize that remembering Matt after he has been gone for three years is a very different experience than remembering stories about him would be if he were here to look at. I’m not sure how I’m going to come up with stories to tell the kids about things he did when more often the things I remember about him are triggered by some physical sensation. The memories are not so much story-like or even visual, but physical and emotional instead. It doesn’t translate to words the way I think I would like to talk to the kids about him. And it puts me at a loss as to what I am going to write here. Up to now I feel resistant to writing about my life now as it relates to my memories of Matt (publicly, on the internet). I am coming to see that it is inevitable.

So as I let the experience of Soundgarden wash over me, it sank in and for a moment there was a lot of pain. At this point, the pain is some mixture of memory and reality that is so precious to me. I really do know what a black hole sun is, and I am in awe at what a shared experience it is, albeit the superunknown. Thank you, Chris Cornell, for singing “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman” back to back.

Latest Dream

I don’t have dreams of Matt very often, but I had one the other night. I dreamed that Matt came back from the dead, but he wasn’t quite the same, somehow disabled. He wanted to play the guitar and perform. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go since he didn’t know how to play the guitar but, I went along with it because it was something for him to do. So he got up in front of some audience– it was a talent sort of situation– with his guitar flat on his lap and started picking out a song and singing. It was actually much better than I was expecting although not that great. Then when he was done he started telling jokes. He told one that was dirty and the Director of Elementary Religious Education of my church was there and she kicked him out for inappropriateness. We left and everything was very serious, but the joke itself was actually really funny and self referential to the dream itself. (I can’t really translate it from dreamland but it involved laughing at our own fears represented by a scorpion.)

I woke up and thought a lot about the joke and the dream. How often do I stress with fear over failing at something that isn’t actually about doing the thing right but about finding the right audience? And when the trying it out should be fun? This is a lesson I know well from myself and from watching Matt.