When someone is talented, courageous, or even just off their rocker, the proverbial inflated Ego comes with it. And although Egos come without any guarantee, it’s rare that they fade too soon. Let’s face facts. All Egos are die hards, and they hang in until the bitter end. In fact, for some, Egos succeed them for future generations to analyze and revere. For real, people like Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams and Janis Joplin essentially are still alive through their legacies.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have spent a lot of time considering the depth of “spiritual pollution” these kinds of left-over lives create for the here and now. It seems that in a world that is obviously temporary, people who have “beat the system” are still considered “hip” and important. These kinds of stories about people from the past I find disturbing, even if what they are known for is for creating a ton of positive karma.
Here is the problem? One the one hand, I should be modeling myself after those Egos who have done good things. But on the other hand, if I want to prepare for the ultimate fact of impermanence (my croaking one day), then the last thing I should be doing is thinking about ME, per se.
So, I find living in this world a bit of a bait and switch. And if no one gives you the Secret Decoder Ring, you pretty much go along living with the wrong playbook. Then, depending on which world-view is correct (Catholicism, Shinto, or Theravada Buddhism, or whatever) you have most likely collected a ton of demerits cause you had no real clue what was going on. Doesn’t seem fair. In fact, it’s stressful. I actually spend a lot of time worrying about this, which only makes my Ego more able to resist any and all attempts to melt it down like the Wicked Witch of the West.
So by now you are wondering what any of this has to do with k.d. lang. And you should be wondering, because it really is not clear to anyone who does not worry about these kinds of “made up” ethereal problems.
In many ways, it has nothing to do with dear ol’ k.d.. I mean she is just a poor soul like the rest of us trying to find her way. But she has to pretty much strike the pinata in public, while the rest of us can keep our “swings and misses” to ourselves. But in other ways, it does relate to k.d (or any upstanding celebrity). Truly, she really didn’t have too much choice about what she was going to do in life. (I mean, yes, technically she “chose” to be a singer. But with a talent like hers, it would take a million glaciers to find the strength to stop her train from leaving). So, let’s just stipulate that k.d. really didn’t have too much say in what she did in life. Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that most people “feel” like they have more possible avenues than k.d. likely did. This is one of the advantages of not being exceptionally talented at something.
What I want to run up the flag pole is the idea that Ingenue, taken as a whole theme-based work, is about our struggle with the Ego. To me, it chronicles the struggle a HUGE EGO is having coping in a world where the subdued yet obvious messages tell her that there is not going to be this life for long. Can you imagine how it must be to confront this news when you are are-you-kidding-me talented? Not sure I would have wanted to be one of k.d. nearest and dearest at this time. Anyway, in upcoming posts, I’ll explain in detail how Ingenue carefully captures the deconstruction of our own egos’ market-value swirling the bowl.