Posted by: gdevi | January 23, 2010

Potato’s voice

This morning Dayani and I are on our way to S’s house to take some food for S and her mom and these days D’s favorite song to listen in the car is Laurie Anderson’s “The Day the Devil Comes to Get Ya” — it is the voice work — she loves the way Anderson imitates the voice of the Devil. (It is like Walt Disney said–somebody asked Disney how do you know what a potato sounds like? And Disney apparently said, if  a potato spoke, it would be like this.) So then she asks me, mama do you know what God is? I tell her, what is God, honey? D tells me, I think God is a feeling. Oh yeah? I reply. Why do you say that? I ask. D says, I think God is a feeling. A feeling like dignity, respect and gratitude. God is not a person. That sounds right, I tell her. Yes God is a practice, a behavior. And devil, D tells me, Devil is a feeling too. Yeah? I say. Yeah, D says. Devil is a feeling of hatred. That sounds right, I say.  So then after a while D asks me, Is Laurie Anderson black? No. I tell her. She is white. Why did you ask if she was black? I ask her. D says, Nothing. I don’t know. So I pass the CD cover to the back seat–here this is what she looks like, I say. D looks at the CD cover and then asks me, does Laurie Anderson think she is a boy? I tell her, I don’t know. Why do you ask that? D says, she is wearing a suit and she has spiky hair. Anyone can wear a suit, honey, I tell her. It doesn’t have anything to do with being a man or a woman. Laurie Anderson is a woman. A gentle and intellectual woman. She is married to a man, a funky man, Lou Reed. He wrote a funky song called Sweet Jane. I will play it for you, I said. Okay, D said.



  1. I love this! And D., Black, too, is a feeling!

  2. Thanks. I’m doing what R. D. Laing did with his kids, I think–documenting everything my daughter said. Sometimes children understand things very well. Yes blackness is a feeling, a grand feeling, most of the time for me. Thanks again. GD

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