“Mother Nature’s Son /That Would be Something” performed by Jack White
If you’re in the mood to torture yourself, watching Obama era performances at the White House is a good method, especially cutting between footage of protesters dragged out of Mitch McConnel’s office as they defend their right to health care and dignity, and a video of a transcendent Jack White performing “Mother Nature’s Son.”
Never mind that he looks part traveling huckster, part angel, like a cross between Flannery O’Connor and Wim Wenders’ imagination; luminous and weary. Never mind the ambling bewilderment, as if intuiting his way through the song, reaching with brittle tenderness for a moment he’s not sure will come.
The late Derek Walcott said in his Nobel acceptance speech, “Break a vase and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than the love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.”
When the song breaks open, when the modulation tilts, his voice lifting toward the unexpected, it feels as if we are thrown out of our comfort and complacency, a fissure or flaw that slaps us awake. That would be something…As if the moment has become larger than the song, and we become part of its story.
I want disruption. I want this time in history to be a song that breaks open to create something larger; a wholeness that will not be taken for granted.
Kendra DeColo is the author of Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016). She has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Tennessee Arts Commission. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?
Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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