Posted by: Brad Stanford | October 30, 2013

A Profound Sense Of Life

The last couple of days, I’ve had Time (Clock Of The Heart) by Culture Club wafting through my brain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tI1_KlO6xI

And, Do you really want to hurt me still wraps me up like a blanket, although a tattered one that’s been in storage for awhile, rather than the brand-new one it used to be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nXGPZaTKik

I’ve had a certain emotion resonating while I listen to these songs that I couldn’t quite define. It was part nostalgia, yes, part appreciation of talent, sure. But there was something a tad darker lurking this time. I finally recognized it as a profound sense of loss.

I realized that I had a certain hope attached to the new wave/new romantic era that I heretofore had not admitted to myself. All at once I was realizing that, and realizing I had lost it as well. Not that it’s a bad thing.

And I’m quite realistic about my romantic visions during that time being solely my own. Not that others didn’t have the similar feelings at the time, but if I described to you what I was thinking back then, I’m not sure how many would identify. I would expect more of a, “You got that out of that era?” than anything else. But there was a complete way of life – a lifetime of experiences – that were never realized.

So Time I think speaks to that feeling of loss not only lyrically and with reflective chord progressions, but in the very appearance of Culture Club itself. The young Boy George with that perfect voice in the video no longer exists, replaced by an older and far-more-beaten-up man than the young top-of-the world Boy could have ever imagined. Time took its toll on everyone since then, Mr. George included.

While I certainly would never want to return to my youth, I do miss how some of those feelings felt sometimes. For instance, I will never be able to blown away by the first listening of Do You Really Want To Hurt Me. That’s happened and will never happen again. That’s a kind of loss.

Remember, too, that “loss” is not always a bad thing. But even when moving from one good thing to the next better thing, there is a departure and arrival that must be dealt with. It might be so insignificant you don’t notice the transition, but the transitions happen, and our responses to them help make us who we are.

(Note: don’t get mourning a loss confused with unthankfulness. They are completely different. The former is a natural response. The latter, an elementary misunderstanding of life.)

All in all, listening to this music is bittersweet, more sweet than bitter, though. (Shout out to Big Head Todd and the Monsters, there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuUNfC3tTI8 ).

To me, the scarcity of time makes things far more valuable, and our experiences that much more noteworthy.

In short, loss is guaranteed, and I choose to be thankful. I choose to live and not be held back by what could have been. And at some point that other me on the “should have” timeline wishes he had chosen the path that I’m on.

Sucker!

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