Humanity

Agnes Obel and The Narrative

Short Coverage
See, the blooming narrative!
[Source – Pixabay]

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Tell me now of the very soul that look alike, look alike

Do you know the stranglehold covering their eyes?

If I call on every soul in the land, on the moon

Tell me if I’ll ever know a blessing in disguise…

The curse ruled from the underground, down by the shore

And their hope grew with a hunger to live unlike before

And the curse ruled from the underground, down by the shore

And their hope grew with a hunger to live unlike before…

The Curse, by Agnes Obel

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Listen to the song The Curse by Agnes Obel before reading further –


Humanity as an unabridged version, dancing forwards, backwards, forwards, in joy, in pain, walking down the lane is moving too fast and swaying too slow, thought she and wrote it on the blackboard. The white words looked silly but good. She gave a date to this thought and it made a ‘gong’ sound that ricocheted for fun.

The curse is the boon, thought she, but only once in a while when seen thus.

Retracing becomes easier than stepping forth and so one forgets.

And in the search for meaning when they get tired, they choose to imbibe what they hear from others, what they find familiar.

The familiar good that is, not the familiar grim; nevertheless, it is an overwhelming experience, thought she.

Just so you know the underlying emotion here when in search, is that of love – love that doesn’t chase meaning… for it owns it. A simple smile, gesture, hello-hi wave, acknowledging the tata-goodbye, is love triumphing over time.

Time notices it and smiles, each time just so you know. And she followed this thought and it withered away, it withered peacefully.

Now you take this cool-cool mountain air to the riverside and let it gush, let it fall as droplets. Sit by the riverside, fall and rise as someone else who is thrilled to continue the search.

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So let the narrative grow

like a rhizome, spreading then like Time

Without boundaries, fast and slow.


Here’s the official video of the song The Curse

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“The Curse” is a song I wrote after I read the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It’s a book about the mind, and there is a chapter in the book about narrative fallacies, and I thought that was really interesting – how we construct these narratives of our own lives, even though so many things, almost anything that happens, is the result of a lot of things outside of our own control and doesn’t have any meaning – it’s completely accidental. But our minds want to put meaning into everything and to make sense of them. We’re like these “meaning machines” – human beings.

I thought it was really beautiful and interesting, because in a way, he says it’s why we invented math, music, science, and poetry: this need for meaning. And religion, and so forth. But there is also the flip side, why we have all these wars and these hardcore ideas of national identity. That you can go out and kill other people. It’s a blessing and it’s a curse. I just thought it was interesting, and then I wrote this song about it. Some people couldn’t figure out if it was a blessing or a curse.

Agnes Obel (Singer, Songwriter, Pianist)

Read the amazing Agnes Obel’s full interview here – Song Facts

Listen to the other three soulful songs that inspired the blogger to write this short coverage –

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Familiar by Agnes Obel –

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Just So by Agnes Obel –

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Riverside by Agnes Obel –

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Three Voices

Three voices in pink.
Image from Pixabay.

The three voices are saying the same thing.  

What is tolerance… the capacity to endure hardships and… and the willingness to accept beliefs, respect the opinions that are different from our own.  

Tolerance, they say, shows that you are educated for you listen, you debate and you rule out what is not plausible.

You stick to what gives you clarity and what appears to be true, true for one and all because we, the people, are walking forward together.

The boundaries are superficial.  

And so the intolerant idea that in its core aims to divide, to break, to segregate is a foolish one, it does not succeed in the long run.  

But oh, oh, we are complex beings, we are slow and we glow with pride or we moan with guilt and we disturb the peace, we freeze the disease in our minds and resist the resolution till the very end of the war.  

We the humanity and I the individual still do not know who is more powerful… powerful not only to survive but powerful enough to understand, to forge a balanced world, to see through eyes unclouded by hatred… powerful enough to show tolerance.  

The three voices are saying the same thing.  

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Aristotle

The highest result of education is tolerance.

Helen Keller

Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.

John F. Kennedy

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Cor Cordium

Skylark in flight, paper, ink drawing by Ingrid Blixt.

What the heart knows it reveals without any second thoughts for it does not weigh its words. The heart never babbles, it speaks passionately for it speaks the truth.  

The heart speaks to a calm mind, to an honest voice, to a confident cry. The heart speaks fluently and soulfully.  

Powerful enough to move mountains, the heart often uses poems to express, to highlight, to show what the eyes cannot see, to declare and vanquish weaklings who betray humanity.  

I am thinking of you and your skylark song, cor cordium, you listened to your heart then and we are listening to you since.    


Cor Cordium is Latin for ‘Heart of Hearts’; it is the inscription written on Percy Bysshe Shelley’s grave to whom I dedicate this piece.


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Persepolis

Stories are happening, stories are being written, stories are being ended, stories that are new meets stories that are old, everywhere, in every life a story is taking place.

Now imagine a place, long back in time, a grand place, the centre of a huge empire that today rests quietly, patiently the ruins hold itself against time, vanishing slowly but never getting defeated.

Persepolis, the city of the Persians, awaits quietly and patiently a time, it stands composedly and accepts what it witnessed, giving one a good hint of its past who then leaves taking along an unfinished story that also awaits a time, a time of completion.

Book cover
[Source – Cult of Pedagogy]

Marjane Satrapi has a story, it’s titled Persepolis. A beautiful way to begin a story, to merge the storyteller with her past, present and future, to the place she belongs.

Marji’s story is a story of constant reminder – a reminder about the holy myth, burden passed on by the lineage, large scale bloodshed done by mistake, wars of the sexes; it is also a reminder of true love, beautiful dreams, hope and faith, strength to stand up, courage to bow down, belief in freedom and humanity. 

Marji’s story is a fusion of all of this and more that makes life, life. Marji shares it wonderfully from her perspective and whether you know her or not, you will connect to it, for your life too is a story.

So much to be explored, many such Persepolis to be seen, a Marji waiting to tell her story everywhere, a life to be lived today, in the present, a story to be written, today in this very second.

Embark on a similar journey and you will reach a Persepolis and be enthralled by its mere presence. You will become Marji and look back with a smile.


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