San Francisco, California

The Red Hand Files

Nick Cave’s newsletter is called The Red Hand Files – he typically answers questions from his fans in an agony aunt fashion – and in one of the more recent entries he writes about recovering from tragedy:

So how do we return to our lives – to the awe of existence – and reclaim a sense of wonder? Well, for me, it had something to do with work but it also had something to do with community. Work and community. I kind of realised that work was the key to get back to my life, but I also realised that I was not alone in my grief and that many of you were, in one way or another, suffering your own sorrows, your own griefs. I felt this in our live performances. I felt very acutely that a sense of suffering was the connective tissue that held us all together. It was these two things – community and work – that showed Susie and me a way forward. Work became the lifelines thrown out to us as we floated lost in narcissism and self-absorption. It also became very clear to both of us that we were not alone! We could see there were many others out there, floating around in the dark, outside of their lives. It seemed to be everywhere we looked – people in search of meaning and wonder.

I adore this sentiment but for me that sense of community manifests itself in writing and reading on the web. Knowing for example that every day Ire is writing about her work, Chris is thinking about email, and Jonnie is figuring out his business, well, that’s all just endlessly inspiring to me.

And I get the sense when I read these things that we’re all just bumping into each other in the dark.