Review: Yes “The Ancients” and the Selves Who Wait for Me

I wrote an essay on switching last year. It ended with the realization that, as always, I/Cami am the last to know anything. That my inability to make a decision is based on more than my thoughts. That *I* was the last to know that I am not alone in here.

Then I heard my life in song and saw it in video.

Last year I was faced with my past in pieces. Me in pieces, trying to understand the cacaphony of voices and thoughts in my being.

Writing of this, of selves, of switching. These parts of me, selves interjecting words, thoughts, actions. Sprinkling my writing with editorial, lyrical, and sometimes discordant comments.

I am alone now to ponder, with worthless words, this idea of interaction, of life, of integration. My denial for so long, denying my self. Selves, while you guided me, protected me, embraced me.

<we are here> Myself. I am patient.

But now I wonder. New thought. Am I waiting for you, or you for me?

I have been blind; *I* have been the one missing.

Everyone has been waiting here for me.

Sometime after, I was listening to a CD. “The Ancient” Tales from Topographic Ocean by Yes. A portion in the middle, often referred to as “Leaves of Grass” settled over my brain. A passage I have heard many times before.

And I heard a million voices singing
Acting to the story that they had heard about
Does one child know the secret and can say it
Or does it all come out along without you
Along without you
Along without you

It floored me. All the voices inside me. The hidden parts that know my story, who I cannot yet hear. And that everyone has been waiting here for me.

Searching the internet, I found some wonderful renditions of Leaves of Grass. I want to share two with you. This first is this except from the Ancient at a performance of YES at Massey Hall Nov 6 1997. Steve Howe is just incredible.

This second one is a video of the same segment (recorded in October of 2007), with an accompanying animation that tells a story without words. (Which is great since the video comes from France.) It is rather surreal but interesting to ponder. A child without words, caught up in writing, art and speculation. Alone in a flooded abandoned town but still living. Awaking and sleeping the empty rooms, uncaring the rain and water, until a massive ship passes up the only street in the tiny town, blocking sunlight before disappearing on the horizon. Unaware and apparently uncaring. As she appears to be of it.

Steve Howe Massey Hall Performance:

Direct YouTube Link:

YES The Ancients (animated):

Direct DailyMotion Link:

(And if I could ever figure out how to embedded this one…)

Yes the ancient
Uploaded by histria


  Tigerweave wrote @

It made me think of the lady of shallot. How she weaves by night and day, watching the world through her mirror. Until the mirror cracks, and her world is changed forever. Like the cracks appearing that reveal there is more to self than what you had been seeing in the mirror.

  emilylonelygirl wrote @


Yes, that is a good comparison. A sad story, Lady of the Shalott, cursed to view life through a mirror until she stops weaving which invokes the curse and she ends up dying.


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