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Carbon

Lyrics by Tori Amos

carbon made
found her at the
End of a chain
"time to race" she said
"race the downhill"
Behind crystaline irises
loons can dive
where the world bleeds white

just keep your eyes on her
keep don't look away
keep your eyes on her horizon

Bear Claw
Free Fall
a Gunner's View
black and blue
shred in ribbons
of lithium
blow by blow
Her Mind cut
in sheets
Layers Deep
now unravelling

just Keep Your Eyes On Her
keep don't look away
keep your eyes on her horizon

get me Neil on the line
No I can't hold
have him read
"Snow Glass Apples"
where nothing is what it seems
"Little Sis you must crack this"
he says to me
"you must go in again
carbon made
only wants to be unmade"
Blade to ice
it's Double Diamond time

and keep your eyes on her
keep don't look away
keep your eyes on her horizon
on her eyes
on her horizon





Tori Quotes

Next she meets up with the manic depressive "Carbon." They travel through the Black Hills of Dakota and to Wounded Knee, scene of one of the darkest episodes in Native American history.

All "Carbon" wants is to disintegrate into nothingness. So it's an extremely destructive story. Just as people risked their lives to keep their sacred land, a meltdown is about to happen in her life and a waltz into insanity is on the horizon. She's on this downhill race in her mind and Scarlet has to get to her before she kills herself.

They end up in a ski resort -- Bear Claw, Free Fall and Gunner's View in the song are all ski runs. But for "Carbon" the normal parameters and boundaries have ceased to apply and given way to self-mutilation and an urge to plunge over the cliff. Scarlet walks into this madness, but the outcome is left unresolved. [Scarlet's Walk bio]

Sometimes you don't have to necessarily spend a lot of time with somebody to have exchanged a lot of yourself. And taking away parts of them that become a part of your body map, that sort of become... written, tattooed on you in some way. And it can't be seen visibly but it's felt internally. "Carbon" is this woman that Scarlet has gone to see. She's Carbon-made, she only wants to be unmade. There is a brilliance, though, to "Carbon," as there's a brilliance to a diamond. But people chip away and chip away and chip away at this person, because of their brilliance. They wanted her, so they excavated her. So, there is not a lot left in some ways, but a whole other world has been created in all the ways for her to survive it. So Scarlet is having to deal with both these mm... people... who live in the one being of "Carbon." [Scarlet Stories]

Each person has their own myth, their own mystery. Most of my characters, I guess all of them, are based on real people. They're not made up. ... But really, just the average person has such a story to tell. And I find I never know it. Do you know what I mean? It's the people that I don't expect. ... [You're] pulling yourself into a place where you can see from that character's point of view. That's always tricky. Like in "Carbon," trying to get into that space, being around somebody who is a manic-depressive, unless you're that way, it's very tough to see it like that. I found that one very tricky. To study and try to imagine being like that, doing that kind of research... when you don't feel it within yourself. You try and make yourself almost like a canvas so that their experience can just tattoo or imprint on you. [The Journal News - March 6, 2003]


"Carbon"
2003, live in concert



"Carbon"
October 3, 2009 - Paris, France




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