“The light of the dawn was a very deep green and I believed I was upside down and the sky was the desert which had become a garden and then the ocean. I do not swim and I was frightened when it was water and more resolved when it was land. I felt embraced by the sky-garden.” – Nico
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard The Marble Index. I have not heard this song in so long that I had forgotten what it was. It is Nico’s own impression of going on a peyote-fueled spirit quest with Jim Morrison. Nico had many lovers in her life, both famed and infamous, but never anyone she stayed with for any significant amount of time. If she had anyone she could call the love of her life we’ll never know, but some of us like to suspect that Jim Morrison might have been that person for her. At least, he was one she would often speak of fondly in later years, and she credited him with encouraging her to write her own songs and find her own image. Whatever happened between them definitely affected her very deeply. They may seem like an odd couple, but in many ways they were kindred spirits; both too weird to ride comfortably along any accepted life path, both essentially existing in their own mystical reality, both seeking some inner truth and unbothered by the usual concerns of normal people, and both eventually spirit-questing their way into an early grave. Nico was an enigmatic person, to say the least; her songs are deeply cryptic, and she was never very good at interviews either. If you’ve ever seen or heard one of her interviews, two things are obvious – her barely concealed aggravation at anything she considered inane or uninteresting, and when she did have something to say, her inability to express herself coherently. That may be because of the drugs, but I get the impression she was simply so much in her own head that she couldn’t be bothered to make herself understood. Therefore, it’s hard to guess how she really felt about her unusual life, or what it was she was seeking. But something drove her to live dangerously when she could have easily taken the cushy path. Whatever lessons she learned on that peyote trip, she took seriously.