Sunday, April 15, 2007

We Don't Wanna Be Alone

I am not the popular one. When I was a teenager, I was not the one the boys gathered around in a crowded room. I had a tendency to be on my own all the time, preferred the company of animals to people, preferred curling up with my favorite book to running around in the mud with the other kids. Now that I’m grown up, alone is what I am all the time still, even with other people. I have always been the one who doesn’t quite fit, who is the third person of a pair, the oldest one of a young crowd, the only girl in a room full of guys. I should be terrified of being alone; my divorced parents have shown me how lonely it can get, especially after a certain age—but I am alone so much even when I am with other people that it’s nothing I can’t handle. In fact, I am quite accustomed to it. I have always preferred the company of music, books or movies to people. After all, in the world of literature, Jane Eyre will always have Mr. Rochester in the end, Elizabeth Bennet her Mr. Darcy. “Baba O’Riley” will always end on a note of triumph, Louis and Rick will always walk off into the Casablanca dawn arm in arm. Music, books, films, those things don’t let you down because they are works of art; etched in history, they are unalterable. It’s people who let you down; they have their own agendas, their own interests to look after, and when something bad happens, they will always look after themselves first. Nothing to be done; it’s human nature. So we are born alone and we die alone regardless of what everyone tells us, and we’d better get used to it. But there’s nothing horrible about being alone if you are happy with who you are; it’s only society that tells you have to be with someone all the time for the rest of your life to be happy.

Despite blissful solitude, however, despite the writings of Thoreau, there are yet still times when you want to hold someone, to have them look into your eyes with complete love and understanding, to reach out in the dark and feel them breathing softly next to you. But such companionship is elusive, and searching too desperately for it, you may grasp it only to have it slip through your fingers. So live your life, do what makes you happy, and when you find a person who can stand to be with you for more than a few minutes, who actually pays attention to you, listens with both ears and whole heart, looks at you when you talk and really sees you, grab on for dear life. Because it is all fleeting, and we are always alone in the end.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-William Shakespeare, sonnet 116

I thought that love would last forever. I was wrong.
--W. H. Auden

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Things I Like Vol. 36

Ten People/Places/Things That Rock My World:

1) Love and Danger - Joe Ely. "Settle for Love" (see previous post) is the best song I know about what it feels like to fall in love and want everything. Plus the man is just flat out gorgeous and rocks harder on an acoustic guitar than most people do with twin Marshall stacks.

2) Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson. On the NYT list of best books of the century. With good reason.

3) Back to Black - Amy Winehouse. Forget the hype, buy the record and listen for yourself.

4) Daniel Wolff, my pal and mentor

5) "The Twilight Zone" - Not every episode is brilliant, but the majority are better than anything that has been on television before or since.

6) "Someone Left the Back Door Open" - John Eddie. New (much darker) music from my dear friend and inspiration. Good luck with the new record.

7) "Another Cigarette" - maybe pete. Watch out, their new stuff rocks hard.

8) Christine Smith. Be happy, be well, adieu.

9) The Hold Steady. Need I say more?

10) To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf. For anyone who has dared to dream.

Hero of the Week: JM, who came through for me in more ways than one this week. You're the best.
Villain of the Week: I would like to say Don Imus, but he's more pitiful than anything else.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Would You Settle?

This song says about all there is to say on the subject of love, on how it can obsess and possess you, shake you to your core, make you see the world differently. But what makes the song really resonate is its focus upon what love really means--being there for someone every single moment of every single day, without question, without judgment. All of us deserve this kind of love, but so few of us seem to get it...

Settle For Love
by Joe Ely

You say you want drama
I'll give you drama
You want muscle
I'll give you nerve
You want sugar
Would you settle for honey?
You want romance
Would you settle for love?

Would you settle for love?
Would you settle for love?
Would you settle for love,
Or do you need
All that meaningless stuff?
Would you settle for love?
Would it be enough?
Baby, would you settle for love

You want fire
I'll give you fever
You want kisses
I'll give you all I got
You want diamonds
Would you settle for rhinestones?
You want romance
Would you settle for love?

Would you settle for love?
Would you settle for love?
Would you settle for love,
Or do you need
All that meaningless stuff?
Would you settle for love?
Would it be enough?
Baby, would you settle for love