Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

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Musical Monday (2023/01/02) – My Only Friend

I’m not much into love songs, particularly those that depict “young love”. However every now and again I do come across a song that depicts love in a very raw and deeply emotional way. This is one such song. I can do no better than to quote from the NZ On Screen regarding this song:

Chris Knox has described this love song as being “about as naked as I get” and “utterly heartfelt in a way that ‘Not Given Lightly’ only hints at”. So it’s no surprise the video is perhaps his most personal, with striking images of his long-time partner Barbara Ward’s face, sometimes projected on and merged with Knox’s own image. Mix in some classic low-tech Knox animation and the simple big red heart image of the Beat album cover – and it’s a poignant little gem.

NZ On Screen – My only friend

My Only Friend was awarded the 2000 APRA Silver Scroll Award (Australasian Performing Right Association)
For Best NZ Songwriting
. I’m surprised that this is the only Chris Knox song I have presented on Musical Mondays, as I like the “rawness” of his music. He’s also something of an icon here as he has had a huge influence on the development of a distinctive Kiwi sound.

Chris Knox – My Only Friend

My Only Friend

If I want you it's purely that There's nothing else
No one in this world I know like you
If I lost you I would be as if bereft
Of every single thing that makes us more than two

When I touch you it means so much to me
There is a sensual mystery to every move
When I'm inside you, I know it is the only place
To be completely free, completely true

So you can trust me
You can open every window, every door
And let the light come flooding in
And let the swollen rivers run
For there is more of what you love inside of me
Than even I can comprehend
There is no end
My only friend

If I hurt you it's only that I'm trying
To get deeper into everything you are
When I enrage you, I know that you will understand
How much we learn from venturing too far

So you can trust me
You can open every window, every door
And let the light come flooding in
And let the swollen rivers run
For there is more of what you love inside of me
Than even I can comprehend
There is no end
My only friend

I know how hard it is to be
Completely open, strong and free
To say what's truly on your mind
It's memories to unload
The very essence of your soul
That holds the key to your desire

Just know I love you
Yes, I think I know exactly
What that old eluded cliche truly means
I love you, it must be true
I finally put it in a song instead of singing in my dreams


A long journey, but oh so quick

Fifty years ago today, in the privacy of a suite in a ryokan (Japanese style inn), the wife prostrated herself in front of me and vowed to be a good, dutiful and obedient wife. I suppose some new husbands might delight in such a moving offer, but I was shocked and appalled. That was not what I envisioned. I had grown up in a very egalitarian society and in a whānau that was even more so.

I had seen in her – and still do – a wilful, independent spirit that was at the same time, tender, gentle, wild and fierce. What she was offering was servitude. What I wanted was someone to share my life with – as equal partners. For life. I don’t recall exactly what I said in response, but I remember lifting her up from the floor and (apparently crossly, according to the wife) telling her that if that was what she wanted, we may as well end the relationship right now, as I wanted her to be herself, my partner and friend, not my servant.

I’ve made many mistakes during my life, and I sometimes joke that my biggest mistake was telling the wife I didn’t want her to be obedient. It certainly has made life more unpredictable and challenging, but oh so wonderful – exciting even. I still sometimes wonder what she saw in me – a reserved, socially awkward undiagnosed autistic, not known for expressing or showing emotions. Certainly not handsome by western standards, more exotic than handsome by Japanese standards of the day, but she often reminds me that my patience, sense of fairness, absence of negativity and being ridiculously accepting and tolerant of alternative beliefs and perspectives attracted her, and my declaration in that ryokan confirmed her choice. She makes a point of emphasising ‘ridiculously‘ at times as she often finds tolerating my tolerance very difficult.

Fifty years seem to have flown by in less than a blink of an eye. I have spent 70% of my life with a woman who is both delightful and charming yet at times tests my patience and tolerance almost to breaking point. But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We really have shared out delights and dispairs together.

As to the future, there’s little chance of another fifty years together, but with a history of longevity in both our families, another twenty to twenty-five years is a distinct possibility. I sincerely hope that those years pass at a more leisurely pace than those already gone for no other reason than to delight in the company of the person I have grown to love in a way I never thought possible.

It’s unlikely that she will read this post – she’s never asked me to provide her with a link to my blog – but I wish to extend a public expression of my gratitude for having her as my life partner. So thank you Sayoko, my Honey-chan, for being my friend, confidante and lover.


If you’re not a touch typist…

Although I use a computer for several hours every day, I have never learnt to touch type. I’m mostly a four-finger typist, and I still need to look at the keyboard every few keystrokes to keep myself orientated.

I don’t know who invented the dark coloured keyboard, but whoever did should be taken out and shot. White/cream/beige keyboards were the norm until the early years of this millenium, and are so much easier to read in poor light, but now they are are as rare as hens’ teeth.

As I have aged, my gripe with dark keyboards has increased, so much so that my son gave me a backlit keyboard last Christmas. Problem solved I thought to myself as I gratefully thanked the son for the considerate gift.

My tired old eyes struggle with this keyboard

But it was not to be. I’m not sure if all backlit keyboards are the same in this regard: The lettering on this particular keyboard was clearly visible only when the eyes were directly above the key – not the most comfortable of positions. Otherwise they were more difficult to see than the standard white lettering on black keys.

I persevered for months, but finally has to acknowledge that the keyboard and I would never be on friendly terms, and it was time to part company. But what could I replace it with?

I searched online for several weeks before I found what I was looking for. It was love at first sight! I ordered it on the spot and just one day later I was was tearing at the packaging like a child at Christmas.

We’ve been together for two weeks now, and I know it has been a match made in heaven. It might not be the most attractive keyboard ever made. One person has commented that it’s ugly and more than a little garish. But it has done wonders to my soul, not to mention my eyesight, and as they say, beauty is only skin deep.

Even when the only illumination is from the computer screen, the keys are still very readable. The lettering is four time larger than found on a typical keyboard, and you could almost say that the keys glow. They are radiant.

I’m in love with this keyboard!