Good evening, brothers and sisters.
The last time I wrote, it was Christmas Eve. Now it is New Year's Eve.
I don't have anything in particular on my mind that I wanted to talk about, so instead I thought I would share a photo I took yesterday of some turkeys.
I don't know why I am so fascinated with them, but it is one of the few new (to me) developments of 2020 that I am happy about.
Due to recent issues, I won't be drinking tonight, and hopefully not in the near future either. And unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I am spending New Year's Eve alone in my apartment.
But I am trying to make the best of it. I thought to myself, how would I like to end the year? And I think that, in lieu of alcohol, I will try to bring in the new year by trying to be constructive. Perhaps that will attract the proper energy.
So, for the last couple of hours, I have been working on new audio material. I have put that down for the evening, as I think that the natural surge of creative energy has run its course, and going further risks being blinded by listening fatigue. I'm trying to listen to the inner self which guides us and tells us what to do, and the right time for things.
And now I am checking in with you all, and I would like to wish you a happy, prosperous, and healthy New Year!
If you are here with me, reading this, thank you sincerely for sticking with me.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am writing this to you on Christmas Eve. The soundtrack is a heavy rain pummeling the outside of the apartment building, the occasional howl of wind, and faint sounds of the family in one of the neighboring apartments. The voices, when I can make them out, are usually in Spanish. I think, in this case, my limited knowledge of Spanish is beneficial, as it makes it easier for the brain to tune out the voices as background noise. One’s mind is less likely to latch onto fragments of a conversation that one can’t comprehend. If they were in English, I think that I would find it more difficult for me to concentrate.
I’m drinking a bit of coffee, and thinking about what the good things are from this year. I had said in the last entry, that I would write some positive things that happened this year, so these are in the order that I think of them.
ENTRE VIFS x L’ECLIPSE NUE – “L’eclipse Vive”
This is probably my favorite thing of this year, and it is deserving of its own entry at some point in the future. This was released in the middle of the year on the Aussaat label in Germany, and I am very pleased with how it came out. I think that 2020 was not the easiest time to release new artwork in a physical format, given how disrupted the international post has become, but I really hope that over time the album will fall into more people’s hands. I am very grateful both to Aussaat and to Entre Vifs for collaborating with me on this.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – “Tormentum Volume I”
I am very glad to be among such wonderful artists as those that appear on this compilation by TORM Ent in Austria. I won’t single out any one artist to elevate above others, but I am pleased that L’eclipse Nue appears here among some friends and respected artists.
Things I Didn’t Lose
I am fortunate that no one that I know died, of COVID-19 or of anything else. I am lucky that somehow I haven’t gotten fired yet (though the year isn’t quite over). And I am quite grateful that my car is still running.
Slight Improvement In Living Situation
I moved out of the building I was in in Hartford, and moved into basically the only other place that I could afford, which is in Meriden. There are still some problems here, but my neighbors are much more peaceful, and the building seems calmer and less dangerous. I have been receiving most of my mail here, unlike the apartment in Hartford in which many of my packages went missing. I can hear the sounds of my neighbors, but the sounds have a lighter energy, and somehow it doesn’t really bother me as much. If I am trying to sleep, I simply turn on the white noise machine that I keep next to my bed.
For the first time that I can remember, I saw many wild turkeys walking about this year. Mainly I see them near the woods where I work. Since I didn’t grow up seeing them around, I find them really fascinating. One morning, I was sitting in my car before work, and I actually saw about a dozen of them fly down from the tree tops and land at the other end of the parking lot. That was the first and only time that I saw them fly.
L’ECLIPSE NUE – 2020 Recordings - Unreleased
I don’t know how, given all that has been going on, and the continuous 50-hour work weeks (my work has not stopped during the pandemic – I am “essential”), but L’eclipse Nue has recorded four albums of new (as yet unreleased) material. The albums are: “A Defective Man”; “Touch”; “Shatter The Reflecting I”; “Faces From Dreams”. I’m not sure if I am supposed to be talking publicly about the one which has a planned release in 2021, so I will only say that one of these albums will be released, and the others possibly I will just keep for myself.
L’ECLIPSE NUE – “Songs From Steel And Gasoline” (never to be released)
That unreleased material does not include an album I made by attaching metal probes and contact mics to my car, and running this through effects pedals and an amp in the passenger seat while driving to and from work; that album was called “Songs From Steel And Gasoline”. It is probably stupid to distract oneself with twiddling knobs and recording while careening down the highway, but for some reason I had a strong compulsion to do so, and I am glad that I created it. The end result, however, I consider a failed experiment. I created cover art, shared this album with a couple of friends, and that was that.
There are probably some other things that I simply can’t recall right now. But if you’ve read this far, then you’ll probably agree that it’s enough for now. Thank you sincerely to the friends who have stood by me this year.
I hope that all of you are staying safe and warm, and I hope that this storm doesn’t knock out my electricity.
Good night until next time.
Good evening, brothers and sisters.
I hope that the holiday season is treating you well so far.
I suppose this is the time of year when we get reflective about what we’ve done this year, and so on. To say that this has been a strange year would be a gross understatement.
The last (and only) performance that L’eclipse Nue did in 2020 was at H0L0 in NYC. I just checked online, and fortunately they appear to be surviving the pandemic. That performance was back in February, and it was before I was even aware of what was already going on in China, and before the pandemic swept the United States, causing widespread shutdowns. Before the pandemic came here, I was already planning on stepping away from live performances for at least the remainder of the year. I told myself that at the end of 2020, I would reassess how I felt about performing live in 2021.
Soon after, of course, life changed for us all. Everything shut down, and there were no live performances to speak of, save for quasi-live online events through streaming video. What had begun as a personal decision was now a near-universally observed hiatus.
The soul searching journey that I had planned to take after February’s performance never really happened. Or if it did, I got lost, and eventually found my way back to where I had started. The answer never revealed itself. The only thing that I can say so far is that I am not missing performing or attending live shows at all. Whether that is simply a result of depression or whether it is something else, I cannot be sure.
We’ve all experienced a lot this year, and for most of us, life has gone much differently than we could have anticipated: that goes the same for me. So, basically, what I am trying to say is that I am still figuring things out, and the same old demons need to be dealt with. Perhaps I can write off 2020 and try again in 2021.
I had originally intended to talk about the usual “here is what L’eclipse Nue did in 2020 in case you’re interested”, but I kind of went off track. So I’ll write about those other things next time. For a change of pace, the next entry will be a positive one about good things that happened and things that I liked.
Good evening, brothers and sisters.
I expect that this entry will be a short one.
I have just relapsed into some unfortunate behavior, and I am feeling disappointed with myself.
There is no theme or purpose in this evening’s entry, but there are three parts.
Part 1: Praying for Mass Extinction in the Supermarket
Part of me believes, or wants to believe, that all of humanity is connected. We all have value, and every life is precious.
However, it only takes something as small as a trip to the supermarket and encountering people who won’t stay six feet away from me, for me to slip into a hateful internal monologue, and to conclude that humanity does indeed deserve to be wiped out by a pandemic. All spiritually enlightened thoughts dissipate to reveal the real monster within.
Part 2: Waiting for a Painless Suicide to Fall Into My Lap
Ideally, I would like to fall asleep as usual, and simply not wake up. This seems like the best possible option. There would be no feelings of panic or of pain. If there is by some miracle an afterlife in which the ego, or my current sense of awareness, can survive, then I would have escaped; I would be in a new place.
If, as in the more likely scenario, there is nothing after I die, it would still be an escape. In fact, it would be even more of a validation of my feelings about the meaninglessness of life, and a justification for having wanted to end my miserable existence.
I hold these beliefs, and still I do nothing. I keep hoping for it all to work itself out, or to get up the courage to do something about it. I do think that this is where my problems with alcohol keep coming in; not only does it offer unparalleled stress relief, but it appeals to the part of me that wishes to help death along, but painlessly. Painless, unfortunately, isn’t a word I would use to describe my experiences with alcohol so far. After the worst episodes, death feels imminent, and instead of relief, I feel dread and panic.
Part 3: Daily Stupidity in the Face of a Gaping Void
I am convinced of life’s meaninglessness, but I still continue to go about daily routines, even those that I find unpleasant or which bring me grief. That is the ultimate absurdity. Here I am a little reluctant to go into too much detail in case the wrong pair of eyes somehow finds these words.
But even things which are neutral, such as creating and recording sounds: Why go on doing them?
Why continue to fill my small apartment with things?
Why yearn for a partner to whom I could only offer misery and disappointment?
Good evening again, brothers and sisters.
Tonight, I sit here with a bit of rum, prepared to spill my guts to you about how I came to find myself back at zero. So, here is what it was:
My journey to Japan was a failed effort to transform my life into something meaningful and less painful. Certainly, after spending a decade there, a quarter of my life at that point, I did leave there transformed, but probably not for the better. I left there in 2016 in a state which can be most accurately described as broken.
Please don’t misunderstand me: in most ways, I prefer life in Japan to life in the United States. The food is much better; it is safer; I could drink outside; I could walk home drunk late at night without there ever being an outside danger to my safety; I no longer had to drive or deal with the expenses of owning a car; the prevailing attitudes towards rules, personal integrity, and timeliness are well-suited towards my personality; renting a place in Tokyo was cheaper than it is in the most nondescript slum of Connecticut; the women were better-looking than they are here (even the ugliest woman in Tokyo would be at least a 7 in Connecticut); it was easy and cheap for me to find a place to record; I was surrounded by so many talented artists who could assist in my projects that I began to take it for granted…. I could go on and on, and I am sure that I am forgetting many other important things. Furthermore, I am deeply grateful for many of the experiences I had there, and for quite a few dear friends who I still consider very important to me.
What I mean is not that there was anything wrong with Japan. What I mean is that my endeavor to make something of myself and of my life was an utter failure. The end of my life in Japan was the culmination of a series of losses, and a realization that I needed professional help stateside. In particular, a divorce (and an upheaval in my sense of identity which resulted from this), the loss of my job and the ensuing problem of what would happen to my work visa, increasingly frequent visits to the hospital resulting from alcohol abuse, and a horrific decline in the state of my mental health, all drove me back to the USA with my tail between my legs, absolutely bereft of any sense of self-respect or hope for the future.
Even in my completely defeated state, however, it didn’t take long before I was overcome with a renewed sense of disgust at the provincial and uncivilized culture I had returned to back in my so-called homeland.
(*Why go back to Connecticut of all places, you might rightly ask? Well, because here I had family, who might pity me enough to help me find the resources to attempt to heal myself and reboot my life. Although time had removed some of the memory of why I had left Connecticut in the first place, I was still rather depressed to find myself having to return there. I was going from one of the most vibrant and interesting cities on the planet, to an extremely dull sort of purgatory filled with people who took pride in living the most pedestrian and passionless existence as could be possible.)
Over the course of the intervening years, there have been a lot of people who have asked me why I moved to Japan, as if a simple answer could be given. However, I have learned that the truth is that if one asks such a naive and simple question, then ironically it will be impossible for them to understand the complex combination of events and emotions which led me to throw up my hands at American life in the first place.
It is not now, and was not at that time, bravery; it was complete and utter desperation, and an inability to exist in modern American society. I am unable to function properly, and that is not something that I am at all proud of.
These thoughts arise again now, and I bother writing to you about them now, because that same overwhelming sense of unease that I experienced years ago, has returned. I am now exactly where I started, except that now I am much older, and even more pessimistic than before.
Now, I realize fully what I suspect I knew deep down inside all along: there is no corner of the Earth in which I can escape from myself.
Good evening, brothers and sisters.
It is Saturday night, and it is one of the rare times in which I feel free. It doesn't matter how drunk I am. Tomorrow is only Sunday, and I won't be penalized for missing any obligations.
I don't know what made me decide to start writing here to you all, or maybe I do but I am too ashamed to admit it, but here we are: you and I.
It's kind of an old joke by now, but it's still true, that one of the nice things about being a misanthrope during a pandemic is that one can self-isolate with impunity. But even so, it would be a lie to say that I'm not lonely.
I wonder how all of you are feeling.
I have recently disengaged from social media, particularly Facebook. A friend of mine asked me why it is that I have such a strong reaction to it, but I don't know the answer to that question. It was a sudden awareness that I couldn't tolerate it and I had to go, maybe not unlike what started to drive me to Japan in at least 2005 (and culminated in 2006). I am grateful to my friends who were willing to take the L'eclipse Nue page off of my hands, otherwise it would have disappeared with my departure.
Is it my upcoming birthday and its corresponding appraisal of my position in life that is weighing heavily upon my psyche, inability to accept what is, confusing my true self with the ego, problems with a job that I find utterly demeaning and demoralizing....? It's all of these things and more.
Well, switching gears now, I do have a few ideas of things that I'd like to tell you about, if you are interested. This one here is just kind of putting a toe into the water.
If you have any questions or ideas for things you'd like for me to talk about, do feel free to comment or send me a message through the contact page.
Daniel Sine (of L'eclipse Nue)