Moby has been one of my favorite artists since circa 1994. Yes, I know all the criticisms leveled against him. Don't care. Love the music he makes. Respect his views and the fact he really has basically done it his way.
Anyhow, if you've got the time, I've got a story (some of you may have already heard it...).
Around the time when this album was first released, I had escaped from the 9 to 5 grind by going on a road trip to one of my company's suppliers which, in reality, was more an excuse to get out of the office for a few days. I was really struggling with feeling overworked (or, more accurately, feeling like work was getting in the way of figuring out what’s gnawing at me), fretting over being trapped by the stuff of the world and a longing for a sense of freedom. Working upwards of 80 hours every week, I was bugging out, swimming toward the deep end.
Over 900 miles of driving in two days was exactly what the doctor ordered.
On the way home I was listening to this album for the first time. I pulled off for gas at an exit in the middle of northern Michigan on the way from Muskegon to Toledo. I spotted a Goodwill. Didn't know it was there...it just seemed to materialize out of nowhere.
Now you have to understand that for many, many years I was a thrift store junkie. Any new town was a chance to scour the thrift stores (primarily looking for vinyl). I passed up more than a few Goodwills on my little walkabout, er, business trip. Yet I was drawn to this one. It had a "glow" to it.
What did I find there? Moby's Play DVD. So what, you may say. I have always been guided by signs or signals that "someone" is watching over me. For the most part these have always had to do with music.
Perhaps the most significant one I can recall was Melissa Etheridge's first album. Late 80s, school, lots of personal trauma, her first album on non-stop repeat, a balm to a wounded soul.
Six years later, at the apex of my trip to Seattle circa 1994, on the last stretch of the 2,300 mile journey home, crashing and burning all the way, I passed the same exit to the school I attended and on the radio was a Melissa Etheridge song from that very same album.
Her music by this time was just a memory for me as I was fully immersed in the burgeoning electronic music scene, Moby being pivotal in this regard. She was no longer all over the airwaves, her star slowly fading, and this song was not one of the "hits" from the first album ("Late September Dogs" I believe it was...).
Yet at that moment, at that exit, that song from that album was too obvious to miss. Coincidence? Not by my definition. It was closure. I could move on.
Anyhow, I knew immediately that this was another one of those moments. All the doubts, frustrations and fatigue I had been feeling were replaced with a moment of joy. I was excited about the DVD, certainly, but the odds of finding this DVD at this thrift store while a Moby album played in my car at this point in time hundreds of miles away from my home was no mere coincidence.
As I hopped back on the highway feeling pretty good, the album continued to play. By the time I got to "Lacrimae" at about 70 mph I was in bliss. It was one of those rare, memorable moments of sober ecstasy. I was exactly where I was supposed to be and my troubles evaporated.
Everything past was laid to rest, no regrets. Moving forward was not really on my mind. It was quite "Zen" in the sense that I was in the moment enjoying the feeling of the speed of the car, the sounds in my ears and the sensation of being guided.
Try listening to “The Right Thing” through “Lacrimae” in one sitting, either undistracted or completely absorbed in doing something like driving. It may just take you into one of those deep, personal states of being where you just know. No thinking, beyond feeling, beyond mere reminisce...just a knowing.
Why do I bring this up? Happened to have another one of those moments today with this very same album (and Florence + The Machine's "Shake It Out"...). Thought I'd share.
If you got this far, thanks for listening. May you find your bliss in those rare, pristine moments that make up a life.
This album is out in about a billion versions and I'm sure everyone has at least one version but just in case...
Here's a link to one of 'em.
Here's a photo of mine: