“I want to nestle in the lens that sees the ocean as an always-open door.” - The O.K. Machine
Photo: Bruce Geils
With a voice weaving deceptively simple melodies over plucking strings, Jonathan is his own karma incarnate, embodying lives, loves, losses and renewal. His haiku of harmoniesis found in Stepdog, Johannine and soon The O.K. Machine. What could it all mean? Find out from the man who pits profundity against mundanity daily and decodes jezebel’s VPL as “Very Plain Language”.
jezebel: I like your lyrics. “You say drinking from my cup feeds your soul, fills you up. If drinking from my cup makes you whole, why’d you stop?” You reach deep.
Jon: I don’t reach. It just comes from me. I don’t find it worth writing if it doesn’t have that spark of inspiration. For me that’s the connection with death; you know, when mortality frames the present rather than ideas of the future or feelings of the past do.
Most people are unwilling to go deep, though; they keep to the shallows, their lives are see-through, but they don’t get to swim in the beauty.
People sell themselves short. Of substance. And then they try and buy it back. Consumer society. What, then, is “The OK Machine”? Something that generates the energy to be O.K.
Coz that’s what we ARE.
But you make instruments; you know that we’re pulse and form and rhythm and resonance?
We’re very complex machines, a working, functioning mechanism that operates with a certain frequency. Have you ever noticed that toilets flush in E Flat? Or that coffee grinder motors are (sometimes) in G?
Ok, so, a guitar is a machine, and a heart is a machine. Then are our dreams just… Feedback?
Possibly; interference. But we’re just very, very complex; I think we function on frequencies, the most complex of which is what we’re always aspiring to. We operate on vibrations, on our emotional intensity. If we’re willing to engage that, then we’re willing to ascend. That’s how I feel about that; without that we are mundane, droning machines, completely analytical. And what changes those frequencies, what alters them, is the emotional content of your intention and your perception.
What do you think of the triumph of instinct and nature over our controlled systems and lives? We’ve got these complex social dynamics, but ultimately, we hunt and pair; the advertising industry is oriented towards sex or desire because of this. Do you think courage and expression can take you higher and return you to your essence?
I think mundanity is a state of mind. To hunt and mate isn’t as mundane as we’ve been made to see. Essentially, you’re comparing two things that exist on different planes – you’ve got the mechanism of the world driven by a select few who are in control (and it’s a conspiracy theory)
- that could be the president of the United States; that could be your mother.
People whose intention is to be in control
- it could be your ego -
and to gain power, to give in to that other side of the spectrum, rather than looking for ascension or advance, which happens through a cycle of constant rebirth. Dying, surrendering, and then accepting and being born again and being helpless again, rather than maintaining power. You’ve got people who are driving industries who are focused on selling sex, and it doesn’t make sex bad, and it doesn’t’ make -
Yes, it doesn’t make all those things bad. It’s the intention with which it is done and the fact that people aren’t equipped enough to deal with -
- their own needs?
their own responsibility to their own world.
And their own freedom of choice
Which is their enjoyment and their perception OF their enjoyment. A good trip every now and then helps.
Take a trip with Johannine (on Facebook), the discontinued (but not disavowed) stepdog and if you like the two, keep an eye out for the launch of The O.K. Machine in small towns all around.