Of the Wand and the Moon…When Love Ends

Photo Captured by: Marquis Xavier

I have once again been on a bit of hiatus with my blog and I am sorry for being so behind on things. It has been a really stressful couple months with both my personal life and stuff happening within my family. The one constant that has eaten up my emotional and mental energy was a two year long distance relationship that came to an end in the most awful of ways. I started thinking more about my past relationships and how often I end up choosing the wrong people or the timing is just not right. Love is one of those emotions that has so many roads and meandering paths that lead to good as well as bad outcomes. It has led to me thinking deeply about the concept and how as of now I have yet to find a relationship that is good and stays that way (even when difficulties arise).

Nightime Nightrhymes (1999)

The more I think about this the more I have come to the conclusion that there is one musical project that has always been there for me to help me understand and navigate the painful aspects of relationships ending as well as the experiences dealing with unrequited love. That project is Of the Wand and the Moon which was conceived by Kim Larsen out of Denmark. I first heard about Of the Wand and the Moon (:OTWATM:) from Don Anderson of Agalloch fame. I remember to this day emailing him and asking for suggestions about neofolk projects that helped influence Agalloch’s music (especially from The Mantle), and he recommended :OTWATM:. So I started scouring the internet to learn more about this project and found the album “Nighttime Nightrhymes” that came out back in 1999. When I received the CD in the mail I put it into my stereo and was immediately blown away about how beautiful, dark, and painful the music was. There was a stripped down, and vulnerable aspect to the album that was mostly acoustic guitar and whispered lamentations. It immediately hit me in such a way that when I even hear “Nighttime Nightrhymes” to this day I am still awestruck at how much it hits home. The is one specific song on the album that I listen to all the time (probably in thousands over the years) called “I Crave For You” the lyrics are as follows:

“I crave for you
And the incense of night
To bathe
In the flame of your light
Cold pale in sorrow
In the tears that followed
The years that swallowed
The innocence of my love
I crave for you…”

I think this song above all other Of the Wand and the Moon songs stands out as the most on point song that has summarized my relationship history over the years. I was always put into really difficult situations and was tricked by what I thought love was. In the end I was always put through a veritable buzzsaw and came out scarred and bloody every single time and it took me years and years to recover and be myself again. But the thing is this has happened over, over, and over again. I have yet to be in a loving relationship that helped me heal my scars and stem my blood loss. I have become so disillusioned and jaded to the point that I didn’t even think of dating for almost 5 years. And now the cycle of pain has started anew, and now Of the Wand and the Moon is consistently in rotation to remind me that Kim Larsen has been through his own relationship hellscapes and the emotions that come from navigating those hellscapes. What I can say about sad and dark music is that it has always helped me move towards healing because it reminds me that I am not as alone as I think I am.

Bridges Burned and Hands of Time (2019)

I think another aspect of :OTWATM:’s music is how much it reflects the dreams I have had over the years and the feelings and emotions that come with them. Whenever a relationship ends in the most awful and traumatic ways in my life there are always recurring places or situations I am put into within my subconscious. There is another song from Of the Wand and the Moon, “I Called Your Name” that reflects what sometimes happens in my dreams:

A fire lost at the cost of love
my stare bares witness to the demons I fought
the things we won’t do for love

And I called your name in vain – in vain
loves my bane and time marches on

Four years till this day in this slow decay
a prayer for an end and you’re far away
you’re far away…”

Typically I see myself in a wood that has multiple rooted paths, or I see myself in a giant house that has stairways that lead nowhere or somewhere. One time I would take a path or a stairway and end up being in a downtown part of a city that I am familiar with, and I see through the sea of people my ex walking around or with someone else and I always yell at the top of my lungs their name and they don’t listen. It is like I am surrounded by soundproof glass or in a different parallel world that only allows me to see over interacting with them.

Emptiness: Emptiness: Emptiness: (2001)

My mind is such a vast and sometimes scary place to navigate because when I love someone so deeply I am devoted and loyal and true to them to a fault and it often takes me a long time (years even) to get over someone I have fallen so deeply in love with. I sense their energy, scent, and see them everywhere in my peripheral vision. I don’t know why I get haunted by my past loves but in some weird way it helps me find closure (it just takes longer). All these thoughts and feelings always fall back to the songs Kim Larsen has written. His lyrics are so on point and the emotions and feelings he invokes in his music exactly reflects every single one of my experiences of losing love and the pain that follows with it. A song that really kind of hits all the points in my experiences, healing and recovery is “Can I Erase the Demon?”:

“I see it’s growing darker
And darker still
I see my heart growing darker

And darker still
I felt your heart growing darker
And darker still
I see this life growing darker
And darker still

Can I erase the demon?
Can I ever fill the hole?
Will I see the stars
And start anew?”

The Lone Descent (2011)

It is always such a dark and melancholic moment dealing with the aftermath of a long, hard, and loving (?) relationship especially with what I am currently navigating these past couple weeks. I thought I would not feel all the anguish, loss, and shock of losing someone I love but it happened again and I hope it is the last time I am going through these trials and tribulations in regards to relationships. I definitely feel like I have paid my dues tenfold with the most immense heartache that came with it. I am ready to press forward and find someone who loves me for me and will be there with me through the good and the bad. I am forever grateful to have stumbled upon Of the Wand and the Moon. The music has been my constant companion and reminded me that the feelings and emotions I have dealt with are normal and not too uncommon either. Misery, anger, sadness, wistfulness, nostalgia and memory are always going to be commonalities in regards to love and relationships. If I can think of one last song that helps me move forward would be “Watch the Skyline Catch Fire”:

“Words ring hollow
Clouds draw in
Discouraged
Spring rides on
Embrace the solitude
The fruit of life
Sorrow deep
Impenetrable
Watch the skyline catch fire
Strangers come and go
There’s death on your lips
I never knew
Our tears are water
Under the bridge
A distant memory
Before I go to sleep
Watch the skyline catch fire
Swallows come and go
I was never really here
But these streets know my name
Behold…”

All lyrics by Kim Larsen

Bandcamp: https://tescogermany.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wandmoon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s