art worthy of our miraculous lives: frank ocean

i spent this weekend with frank ocean, intimate hours where i could not focus on food or sleep or anything but being with him.

he was out of my sight for a while, and all while i missed him i knew that when he came back he would be different, more of himself. and i lived that whole time, learning more feelings, finding more space inside me to fill with heart/ache.

i knew that he’d stepped onto a roller coaster with his last album/confession and gone into a cave and how he would return would be a mystery. and i believed in him like i believe in myself – i will grow. he will grow.

he grew.

i watched endless, then listened to it loop all night. it was an atmosphere i wanted to be in. i sat in the meditation of watching an artist work, do the things with time and space i would not do. that is the most thrilling thing to me about encounters with an artist i admire. if it is beyond my imagining until i witness it, and then i need it, i am satisfied, the artist has upheld our unspoken agreement.

frank is the one who can ‘walk like that cause he can back it up‘, though it doesn’t feel like ego with him – it feels like he can be slow and deliberate and fuck with my sense of pace because his pace, and what he does inside it, feels so good.

cause/and then blond/blonde came and it is a whole separate mood, it feels like moving from the private creation cocoon to the stage, the endless staircase brings us up into the bright light of frank’s full vocal gift.

my dad tells me of laying on his dorm floor with friends, mid-70s, listening to led zeppelin and feeling himself immersed in and changed by music. unable to do much else but give in to it.

that’s how good blond/blonde is. it’s an album that wants to be listened to deeply, repeatedly, undressing more with each pass. i did the genius pass and have different ideas on what the songs mean to me.

i have favorite songs, but to share which ones feels too vulnerable, the songs are that acute. over and over, frank’s songs go like a blade against the most complex emotions and transitions in life.

post genre, post gender, post form, post expectation.

i feel like frank shares a sense of life as precious and unpromised, and he knows inside that love and pleasure and heartache and memory and learning and creating are what matters. he makes art that raises the standard – the standard of what i should gift my attention to, yes. but even more than that – the standard of what any miraculous being should spend their limited time on.

this weekend: two albums, one visual, plus a video, a magazine, plus beyoncé background vocals and andre 3000 mic dropping, and so much more.

frank ocean was the reticent recluse man of a million delays on wednesday. he has a new story now. frank ocean is generous with genius.

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