Sunday, September 30, 2012

oasis in the oubliette

Friday night, my life was transformed.
Friday night, I was Intro-duced (as it were) to this:


My world has changed.
Chary and fearful of the change at first, I have come to embrace and delight in this brave new world that has such music in it.
My travel companions were surprised that, in view of my insane obsession with Some Nights, I lacked all knowledge of the existence of this horrifying and enchanting, heart-wrenching and haunting song.
Some Nights has reached the level of an anthem in my life--something that transcends just a favorite song-- it's somehow mysteriously become a call to a way of life. Discovering this unknown missing piece has turned my world upside down.

 There are some nights I hold on to every note I ever wrote/
Waiting for catastrophes, imagine when they scare me/
Into changing whatever it is I am changing into...

The first verse of the song sets up the interior battle that is waging war in the soul of the protagonist throughout the Some Nights story. He holds onto his work as an island in a vast sea of unmeasured discontent and gargantuan insecurity. But this no-man's-land of his art is insufficient to calm his mind, slowly being driven insane by the question: who am I?

 And you have every right to be scared.

Choking on his bitterness and agony, he cries out to his beloved, lashing out at her, at the world, and challenging her: why are you still here? He can't even deal with the interior turmoil that leads him to the brink of insanity; why would anyone stick with a human being who is such a hot mess of crippling existential crises? And then during that last verse, piercing through the black murk of painful indecision and hurt comes a ray of grace: a prayer for a sign, a savior. Whether or not he has the eyes to  see the sign is unclear: our protagonist is too scared to look inward, terrified of what's above him. He is trapped within himself, while desperately trying to escape from himself.

The ending line never fails to make tears threaten to leak out of my eyes and twists my soul and heart up in knots. 
He's not ready to engage in the battle for himself. The world of tea parties and Twitter doesn't allow time for crippling existential crises. One must just get on with life, because time is racing into the future at 60 seconds per minute, and there's no way to press the  pause button while trying to work out our identity. 
We just have to try to get some sleep and wake up to fight another day. 
Maybe he can't fight the fight just yet. But he can still wake up, even though he's completely unsure of what he stands for, where he stands, or even how he is still standing.

2 comments:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD7olrqWZHk

    They say this song was an inspiration. I happen to like it too.

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    1. ahh muy interesante. I don't see the connection, though, and my brief flurry of internet research yielded no more info about _how_ that song was an inspiration (only that it was). Curiosity=piqued.

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