Sunday, September 13, 2009

After looking through some old pictures

The idea behind the title (of This Blue Heaven's debut album) Quicksandglass was . . . well, it was layered, so I should say one idea behind it had to do with struggling against the passage of time. The futility of that struggle. The desire and pain involved in letting go.

The lyrics I contributed to that album - those for "As Ever As Always," "Future World," & "Where the Living Starts" - all have to do with this struggle in my own life. For me, each of those three songs was, in its own way, a statement of regret and a longing for amends:

When you wonder if the love you thought was real is really gone, don't let it go, it's not too late while we're alive.

Look me in the eyes while they're still open. While we've got this life, there is still time to hope. You'd know them anywhere, wide awake in all ways. Love is blazing there, as ever as always.

The philosopher said there's no deeper despair than remembering what will never be there. Well I'll be waiting down that lonely road, living our dream, hoping you'll show.

I'm all alone and waiting, waiting here for you, in this future world, the spinning nowhere world I knew with you.

I've had the dream a thousand nights we forget all the hurt and fights.

Let's air it all out and let it all go. This is where the living starts.

So okay (swallowing quasi-apologetic evaluations of my first stabs at pop lyrics), I've got regrets. Important business left way unfinished. Huge relationships lost. An insatiable desire for reprieve. Ugh.

Do you have points in your life that seem like they were the last time you were awake, and everything since then has been this long crazy dream you're ready to wake up from? Any minute now? No, seriously, wake UP. And then sometimes you dream you are back in your real life and everything wrong is right and then you have to wake back up to your real real life again and still it seems less real than the real life of the dream?

Anyway. Something about the fall brings up these losses for me. Maybe it's because many of my life-altering losses have come in the fall. (Why is that? Are we really so predictably symbolic?) So here I am with the air turning cool and the trees' rustle changing timbre as the leaves begin to dry, and all of these ghosts are following me around. But somehow this fall is different.

I feel the need for new songs. Songs about mending. Songs about bowing to the inexplicable absurdity. Songs about dancing alone on the edge of the cliff. Songs that say I understand all that can be understood for now and the only thing to really know is that we all do the best we can with the tools we have available at the time. (Songs that say all of that in concise, catchy, punch-to-the-gut phrases, of course, and preferably in the context of some interesting metaphor.)

Even if we were foolish, we were never malevolent. Mostly we are so foolish, aren't we? We live the present in the dark and try to make sense of it looking backward to the best of our abilities and even the very best hindsight is often still so dim.

Maybe the idea of heaven originated from the very first unexpected death of the very first friend (at the paw of some ferocious heffalump-type beast no doubt) to leave the very first grief-stricken friend with the very first unanswered question.

And isn't that question, when it comes to life-altering loss, always the same: Was there love? Did he love me? Did she know I loved her? Did they ever love each other?

Maybe to make this life heaven, when so much of what we know in this life is just what we believe, we just have to believe in love. Love that made the smile lines in the photographs and love that brings tears (happy & sad at the same time) to our eyes looking at them now. Love that is inviolable, even if it is no longer ours. Love that is forever, even if it is after.

Without that, we are lost.


Post a Comment