THE LOCK OF LOVE
“Is love the lyric cry of longing, the song of our desire?
Or some crazy chemical confusion, mistook for something higher?”
I was walking in Gorky Park in the sunshine last Saturday. It’s a rather precarious and insecure world being a musician in some ways but one of the compensations is the opportunity to travel and meet extraordinary people and do funny shows and walk in Gorky Park in the sunshine. I love that. And love was very much in the Moscow air that day. A bright, clean cool sky over an unusually happy city with just-married couples promenading by the river to have their photograph taken on their big day. You really would need to be a incorrigible cynic to not wish them well – whatever the future may hold.
Wandering through the silver birch trees, I came across a little bridge over a ravine. Attached to it were lot of brightly covered padlocks. I have been told since that this is a European tradition but I have never encountered it before. I think the idea is you get married then you attach a lock to the bridge and throw the key over the edge as a symbol of forever.
But who knows how long forever is these days?! Time is not what it once was – or what it was once going to be is it?. But for the moment, as Blake said, there may be ‘Eternity in an Hour’ and for these hours at least, the key has been turned and the lock holds true. Long may it do so.
I particularly like the one with the little red jumper – it is as if to say: “I will stay with you through our winters” or perhaps: “Let’s keep this promise warm!”.
I was mainly in Moscow to interview people about Mikail Tariverdiev the Russian composer with who I have become fascinated. I spent some time with Vera, Mikhail’s widow at their apartment in the centre of town in an area reserved for academics, artists and party members during the Soviet times. It was a fascinating insight into their life together and into life as a musician during that era. There are many, many incredible stories to tell – and we shall tell them. But the main thing I experienced with Vera was a strong sense of the deep love she still feels for Mikail long after his passing. The apartment preserved as it was when he died and her work on his archive is a testimony to that. It was a privilege to witness both.
I suppose you could say that their love had a lock that once fastened could not be broken – not by time and not even by the reaper himself.
Yes my friends I bring you good news:
LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH!
Baby you know I’m guilty
So lock me up and throw away the key
I don’t need no bail
If you’re the jail
Just give me life and grant me no reprieve
Yeah baby you knows
This case is closed
And don’t suppose I’ll make a plea
“Cause baby you know i’m guilty